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This week we continue season 2 of The Expanse with the third episode titled “Static”.
In this week’s podcast after sharing some news from The Expanse, I talk about the double episode premiere. I end the podcast with some great listener feedback.
Or listen to the audiobook version through Audible
The episode starts with the inspection of the mysterious stealth ship Fred Johnson gave Avasarala the coordinates to. She receives confirmation that the drive on the ship came from the Bush shipyards on earth.
According to the DNA profile from all the bodies found on the stealth ship indicates that they were all last employed by Protogen Corporation then their histories just stopped. Protogen is a subsidiary of Mao-Kwikowski Mercantile. A company owned by Jules Pierre Mao.
Avasarala realizes that’s why Fred send her that information. He wants her to connect the stealth ships to Protogen and Jules Pierre Mao.
Putting two and two together she deduces that Mao and Errinwrite are working together. Knowing she can’t use this information without showing her hand, she has her guys push the derelict stealth ship into the established U.N. Shipping lanes knowing it will soon be discovered and the secret will be out.
Once the stealth ship is discovered, it doesn’t take long before word gets out of it’s connection to Protogen Corporation. Jules Pierre Mao isn’t happy and demands a meeting with Errinwright.
At the meeting, Avasarala questions his knowledge of the happenings at Protogen. Mao denies knowing anything. Protogen makes up only a fraction of a present of all their holdings and is very low on his radar. He suspects the company was infiltrated by OPA moles sent by Fred Johnson and they are responsible for building the stealth ships.
He claims that Protogen works autonomously. There were no red flags that would have alerted him or his team of excessive spending.
Avasarala acts amazed that these so called moles could build super-advanced stealth ships and start a war, right under their supervisor’s noses and not go over budget.
She questions Mao about Protogen, it was a biotech research company with a government contract on Phoebe station. She says the Martians were very intent on destroying Phoebe before the U.N. ship could secure it and it makes her wonder what Protogen was working on. He offers to get her that information.
Avasarala oversteps Errinwright and threatens Mao, telling him that the stealth ships were built by his company on his watch and if anything comes of it the people of Earth will hold him responsible.
Errinwright quickly steps in and comes to Mao’s defence assuring her that the man will cooperate fully with their investigation.
Later, Mao and Errinwright are talking. Mao suspects Avasarala knows they are working together but the Deputy Secretary assures him it’s just wild speculation on her part. Not taking any chances Mao cuts ties with Errinwright.
Holden is upset when he discovers that Fred and Miller are working together to eliminate the threat on Eros. The ban has been lifted on the station and it’s only a matter of time before someone either goes there to collect samples or gets infected.
The more he hears of their plan to commandeer the Nauvoo and use it as a battering ram and to slag the landing docks by detonating bombs the crazier he thinks they are.
Unfortunately, he can’t come up with a better idea. Simply blowing up the asteroid is too dangerous since they can’t guarantee that the protomolecule will be completely destroyed.
Reluctantly, he agrees to go along with their plan.
A radiation leak alarm on the Nauvoo forces everyone off the ship. Once there’s nobody on board, Fred’s team remotely launches the ship on a collision course with Eros.
Naomi questions Miller’s motives, whether he’s doing this for Julie. She asks if he told Fred about the Protomolecule they hid. Miller tells her he didn’t, that’s her and the Roci’s problem.
As they approach Eros, Alex spots U.N. and Martian ships heading their way. Holden isn’t concerned. They’ll be long done by the time they arrive. They drop their cargo, the bombs to slag the docks, and take up protective orbit around the asteroid.
They do a survey of the docks to make sure nobody but the Rocinante made it off of Eros. It doesn’t look like any other ships made it off the asteroid but whatever is still there is generating a lot of heat.
Naomi discovers a ship tethered to Eros and investigate. They send in a drone only to discover that the ship, the Marasmus, isn’t abandoned. They are hailed by the ship. The man tells them he and his crew are doctors and they came to Eros to offer aid but they’ve been unable to find an operating airlock to enter the station.
Pretending to be a Martian gunship, Holden orders them to prepare to be boarded. He hopes that the scare will cause them to leave. They can’t tell them the truth, but since they never got into Eros they’re free to go.
He orders Alex to target lock the ship and then tells them to leave Eros or they will be fired upon. The ship concedes and lifts off.
Aboard the Guy Molinary the detonation team make the jump to Eros. Miller is nervous, this being his first space walk but Diogo walks him through it.
Miller and the kid start placing their bombs at the predetermined position along the docks. Millers unfamiliarity with space walks is slowing them down. They’re the last team still on Eros with a couple of bombs left to deploy.
The ex-detective notices a breached airlock and investigates. Inside he finds a protomolecule infected body from the Marasmus. The doctor on the ship was lying, they had been on Eros and they’re possibly infected.
Holden confronts the Doctor on the Marasmus who confesses to being on Eros. The protomolecule was everywhere and attacked them. There was nothing he could do for his colleague so he got out.
The Marasmus tries to reach the other side of Eros where the doctor wants to broadcast the truth to the entire system. Holden orders them to turn around or he will fire on them but they don’t comply.
With much pain, Holden launches a missile and destroys them.
On the station, Miller receives Naomi’s warning that high-speed debris from the destroyed ship is heading his way. He and Diogo just manage to take cover as it passes by. However, they don’t go unscathed. Miller’s suit is breached and he looses a lot of oxygen before he’s able to patch it. And the bomb Diogo was working on got damaged. A 60-second countdown detonation timer has been activated and the only way to prevent it from blowing up is to keep pressing the reset timer button.
Knowing that if that bomb goes off before the Nauvoo hits Eros their plan could be ruined Miller decides to stay on the station and hold the button.
When the crew of the Roci discover that Miller is still on Eros they’re mortified. They want to help but Miller tells them there’s no time. The Nauvoo is almost upon them.
Miller watches his fate as the generation ship closes, only to see it miss and fly by Eros. He calls the Rocinante wondering how the heck the Nauvoo could change course like that and miss. But to everyone’s astonishment, it wasn’t the Nauvoo that moved. Eros did.
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