Congregation and Abaddon’s Gate
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[9:48] Episode Recap
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This week we discuss season 3 of The Expanse with the two-part finale made up of “Congregation” and “Abaddon’s Gate”.
In this week’s podcast after sharing some news from The Expanse, I talk about the most recent episode. I end the podcast with some great listener feedback.
Or listen to the audiobook version through Audible
The episode opens with all the ships in the slow zone trapped around The Station.
On the Behemoth Holden is being interrogated by the MCRN but refuses to talk until he knows his crew is OK.
When Ashford approaches him in a more civilized manner he opens up. He tells his story and everything he saw.
They have it all wrong about the Protomolecule. It doesn’t care about them. All it wanted to do was build a road. Now that the Ring is open it’s trying to report back, but there’s no one to receive its message. Whoever created the Protomolecule was wiped out.
They fought back, destroying entire solar systems in the process, but in the end, they were defeated by something more powerful then they were.
Ashford is convinced that Holden is insane. Bobbie refutes this but is overruled. Holden will be held for everyone’s safety.
Bobbie and her unit, stripped of their armour escort Jim to his cell. The team is divided on the treatment Holden is getting and Bobbie is visibly torn between her loyalties.
Clarissa Mao is being held on the Rocinante, her enhancement implant being blocked. Anna and Amos figure out that everything that has happened to them was her fault. Amos thinks the best course of action is to put her down but Anna stops him.
Naomi and Alex manage to get partial communications back online. They learn of the offer from the Behemoth and everyone on board decides to go there to look for Holden.
Upon their arrival, Clarrissa is taken to the same detention block Jim is being held in, and Naomi is arrested for desertion and brought before Ashford.
She wants to see Holden but Ashford won’t let her until she agrees to help them fix their power grid.
Alex and Amos take their supplies to the medical bay where Amos takes an interest in Anna. Something about her behaviour fascinates him.
Elsewhere on board, Drummer is undergoing a spinal cord regrowth procedure. She goes through a slew of emotions about her predicament. At first, she’s upset, then angry and sorrowful, but then her resolve takes over and she decides to do something instead of just lying there helpless.
Naomi arrives as Drummer is putting together a pair of mech legs to help her walk. The two make quick amends before Naomi asks for Drummer’s help in getting to Holden. The former captain agrees.
They make their way to the holding cells where Naomi is finally reunited with Jim. He tells her what he’s been through. He blames himself for everything that has happened and he’s determined to fix it at all costs. Clarissa, in a nearby cell, overhears their conversation.
Taking a break from the injured, Anna visits Clarissa. She’s trying to understand Clarissa. She doesn’t understand why she doesn’t care about the Mao girl. She usually cares about everyone. She can’t figure out why someone like Clarissa would do the things she’s done.
On the Thomas Prince, UN Scientist Kolvood informs Commander Kunis that the Behemoth’s com laser may be powerful enough to send a message through the gate.
The Behemoth crew attempt to send a message but it fails to penetrate the Ring.
Kolvood has a new idea. He wants to detonate a nuke between their ships and the Station. The data collected would help them better understand their predicament. Commander Kunis is sceptical but Ashford agrees to the plan.
They detonate the skiff but the results are not what they expected. The Station starts building up power as if it’s getting ready to fire at something. They estimate they have less than seven hours until it happens.
Ashford realizes that Holden may not be as crazy as he suspected.
The episode opens with everyone learning about the recent nuclear detonation and the Station’s reactions and wondering what it all means.
Ashford convenes the leaders of the MCRN and UN and explains his theory. He believes that by detonating the bomb they proved themselves as a threat to the Station. And according to Holden when faced with a threat the station responds by obliterating the solar system the threat originated from.
He proposes they save their solar system by destroying the Ring using the Behemoth’s comm laser. It would strand all of them inside but it would save the human race.
The three agree and put their plan into motion.
In a desperate plea, Holden reaches out to Miller who tells him how he can fix their situation. By detonating the bomb they showed the Station that every reactor is a threat. But if they shut down all their reactors they would show the Station that they are not a threat and it will stand down.
Drummer contacts Ashford telling him they have a plan but he doesn’t want to listen, Instead, Ashford orders Diogo to capture them.
Knowing Ashford’s intent, Alex and Amos enlist the aid of Monica Stewart to spread the word of their plan to power down every ship in the fleet and Amos convinces Anna to help them.
They make their way to a substation where they can tap into the transmitter array. The problem is as soon as they start broadcasting their location will become known.
As they’re waiting, Anna and Amos discuss their limited futures. Anna tells him that both sides think they are right. If they get out of their situation alive everyone on both sides will need to explain to each other why they chose the side they did. It is the only way they can let go of the hate.
Amos is touched by her words and tells her that he won’t let anyone hurt her.
Holden, Naomi and Drummer make their way to the reactor control station and start the shutdown sequence on the Behemoth.
They learn Ashford’s plan to destroy the Ring but Jim knows that the Station will only view the attack as another treat and kill everyone on both sides of the Ring.
They try to talk Ashford down but he believes that even if Holden’s plan succeeds someone in the future will do something to escalate things again.
On the bridge, Ashford commissions every available person to help complete the power grid repairs, including Clarissa. When she mishandles a live wire Ashford removes the chemical restraint blocking her implant in order to clear her head.
She asks him if a truly good act at the end of your life would counterbalance all the bad you have done. Ashford believes so.
When he realizes that someone is attempting to shut down the reactor he sends Diogo to stop them.
Monica starts the broadcast and turns the camera to Anna who explains to everyone in the flotilla what is going on and what they have to do to stop it.
When Grigori questions Ashford the captain kills the man and asks if anyone else feels the same. The MCRN commander orders Bobbie and her team to arm up and stop the broadcast.
The marines make their way to the substation where they engage in a firefight. When Alex realizes they’re fighting with Bobbie he puts down his weapon and asks to talk with her.
He explains Holden’s plan to her. She’s not convinced, saying the Station changed Holden and he’s not the man they knew.
Alex counters that Holden is running around putting his life on the line for others, that’s exactly the Holden he knows.
When the other two Marines attack Bobbie chooses her side and fights her fellow Martians putting one down, taking a shot in the process as Amos kills the other.
Diogo and his goons, wearing the Martian Marine attack the reactor control room where Holden, Naomi and Drummer barely escape.
They make their way up an elevator shaft. Knowing they are no match for the Marine armour, Drummer takes the grenades from Holden and stays behind to confront Diogo, knowing it’s suicide giving the other two time to escape.
She prepares to detonate the grenades as Diogo passes her position but the young OPA agent is hit by a descending elevator; sent by Naomi, sparing Drummer her fate.
UN Scientist Kolvood calls Commander Kunis from the Thomas Prince and tells him that if Ashford is right, it won’t make a difference if they all shut down their reactors. But if he’s wrong, shouldn’t they even try?
The Thomas Prince and other flotilla ships start going dark as Ashford prepares to fire the comm laser. Their first shot misses.
Holden and Naomi reach the bridge as they are realigning the comm. The two surrender and try to explain to Ashford and everyone in the command centre that both sides are trying to save lives. The problem is they are both reacting to things they don’t understand. They are reaching for violence because it’s what they know. But just this once, can’t they try something else.
Ashford orders them shot and Clarissa makes a decision. She attacks Ashford and then reverses a relay, something Ren had warned her never to do because it could cause a devastating chain reaction that could overload the system. In doing so the Behemoth’s reactor shuts down.
As Miller predicted, shutting down all the reactors worked. The Station powers down and releases all the ships from their prisons.
As everyone watches, thousands of Ring Gates start appearing around them. 13,000 habitable systems for humanity to explore. Holden suspects that was Miller’s plan all along. He just doesn’t know if humanity is part of that plan.
With so many opportunities now open to them it’s inevitable that Earthers, Martians and Belters alike will want to reach out. It will be like another gold rush.
Holden is scared. When he was connected to the Ring he saw that the civilization that built the Rings is gone. What could have killed them?
Miller concurs, he want’s to know that as well, and he needs a ride.
Everything starts to wind down and the ships are heading home. The crew is back on board the Rocinante, accompanied by Anna, Bobbie and Clarissa.
As they pass the Ring Gate Holden receives one more vision. Something is coming for them.
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