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[11:30] Episode Recaps
Here is the full discussion episode about The Expanse season 6 episode 6 titled Babylon’s Ashes.
The episode opens on Laconia with the strange ship in the sky blinking protomolecule blue lights, as Admiral Duarte watches from below with great intensity. Elsewhere, Cara returns to her worried parents, but she brings a surprise – her no longer dead brother, Xan. As the almost zombie like Xan approaches them, her parents realize the danger and Cara pretends to run out of their home. She has tricked them, and leads her brother into the forest, where we see her through Xan’s eyes, glowing with the blue protomolecule particles dancing around her.
On the Zenobia, Avasarala, UNN and MCRN representatives, Drummer, Holden and Bobbie review options to stop Inaros before he gets to the Ring and Medina Station. The Free Navy and Alliance fleets are evenly matched, and the UNN, MCRN, and friendly Belter assets will each pursue one of the three Free Navy groups. The Roci crew has a Plan B. They will rendezvous with the Giambattista and join an assault team. If they can take out Medina Station’s targeting and comm arrays, they can capture the Rail guns, force Medina to surrender, and stop any Free Navy ships coming through the Ring that might have gotten past the main fleet action. It’s a bold, yet difficult plan.
The Roci crew is docked with the Giambattista and is preparing for the coming assault. Bobbie and Holden reminisce about the Roci’s original name, the Tachi, and Alex. Naomi asks Clarissa to handle a task and when Amos gives the okay, Clarissa refers to him as “boss.” Naomi reminisces with Amos about their time on the Cant, when he called her “boss,” and helps Amos understand that the torch has been passed – to Clarissa. He’s grown into his new responsibilities and position. Meanwhile, Clarissa has another episode and goes to the medical bay. The news is grim. She’s experiencing complex endocrine collapse syndrome for which there is no approved course of treatment. Continued use of her mods increases the risk of sudden death. Her life expectancy is five years. Later, Clarissa makes a home cooked meal for the crew. Textured mushroom seco de carne with soy tequenos on the side. Amos tells Clarissa she’s the ship’s mechanic now. The crew has bonded, each giving the other a chance and putting old disagreements aside. And they eat, enjoying each other’s company before the coming battle. Drummer prepares for battle against the Free Navy tenders and supply vessels. Looking at her empty room, with her family no longer there, she heads to the flight deck to lead her battle group. Their mission is to destroy a frigate, but Walker suggests that they capture the prize. To their horror, they realize the freighter is not what it seems, but a disguised and fully loaded war ship – the Pella. The Dewalt is hit and Drummer’s ship, the Tynan, has a gaping hole in its side. Four ships have been lost and five are without power. Two ships are operational. She is going after the Pella herself, but Walker contacts her. He’s going on the suicide mission and she watches him die as his ship hits the Pella. Drummer knows they’ve done all they can. Tenye wa chesh gut, Rocinante. Have a good hunt.
On the Pella, Filip reports to the main deck for duty as Rosenfeld has convinced Marco that Filip should be there. As Marco and Rosenfeld talk, we learn that Admiral Duarte supplied the rail guns to Marco, and that Marco apparently expects to get another weapon from him. When they are hit by Walker’s ship, they experience significant damage, and Rosenfeld is injured. Filip rushes to her side and is with her as she dies. With the Pella damaged and some of his fleet lost, Marco receives a tight beam from Admiral Duarte, who refuses to provide additional armaments to the Free Navy and refuses to communicate further with Marco, threatening his ships. Duarte has gods to kill. The Ring to Laconia is now closed. Marco is on his own. Filip informs Marco that Rosenfeld is dead, and Marco doesn’t seem to care. Filip asks his father how he so easily copes with all the people they’ve killed, and Marco dismisses it with the thought that he, Marco, could have died. When Filip expresses that he had no choice in the life Marco has made for him, Marco berets him, but it is clear that Filip now sees Marco for who he is. Marco leaves his room and rallies his troops as Filip turns away in disgust and despair.
The Rocinante and Giambattista approach the Ring. The assault team members are each enclosed in cargo shipping pods which are launched from the Giambattista. Bobbie reminds them that they say “good hunting” before a fight, not “good luck.” The Roci uses the other ship for cover then peels off and changes the flight path of the pods to evade the rail guns. The Roci is hit and the new armor holds, but the ship is losing power. With alarms blaring and strong turbulence from the ship, Clarissa descends to find the problem with a coolant pipe. She knows what to do. Power returns to the ship and the Roci resumes its fight to save the pods from destruction from the rail guns. Meanwhile, the remaining assault team members eject from their pods heading to the Rail Station strapped into their engine powered seats. Holden takes out Medina’s targeting and comm arrays giving the assault team clearance to land. Naomi heads to the reactor to check on Clarissa, who’s not answering her comm. She finds Clarissa on the walkway, alive, mods unused, and the problem fixed. Clarissa’s gonna earn her keep.
Amos, Bobbie and the other assault team members land on the Ring Station, as gun blasts and debris fly all around them. They’re met with heavy fire from the Free Navy forces at the station, and rapidly lose troops. Outgunned, outmanned, and pinned down, they need air support which the Roci can’t provide because of the rail guns. Bobbie charges the station and sends missiles toward the rail guns, giving the Roci the opportunity to come in and save her and Amos from the onslaught of fire from the Free Navy ground troops. Bobbie apologizes – they lost the rail guns that they wanted to use against Marco.
Avasarala is on the Zenobia monitoring the war, and she tells the Roci crew what’s left of Marco’s fleet as he approaches the Ring. They have no assets in range to intercept him. The crew knows they can’t repair and power up the rail guns on the Ring, they’re outnumbered, they don’t have the fuel or reaction mass to make it to a colony and escape, but as Amos points out, no one really wants to cut and run. They could attempt what would be a suicide mission to slow him down. Naomi, looking at the screen, offers an alternative. She wants to trigger the Ring Entities – using the Giambattista, push mass and energy through the Ring all at once and wake the Entities up. It could put an end to Marco once and for all – with the risk of waking the Entities up permanently.
The Roci crew is ready. They watch Marco and his ships approach the Ring. Naomi’s finger is on the trigger and she flashes back to a time when she held her young son. With tears in her eyes, she pushes the overload reactor button and the Giambattista explodes. Marco watches on his control screen and the Ring begins to fire up, and he shouts “Veer off!” – but it’s too late. Marco and the Pella are consumed by the angry red force.
The Roci crew watches the ship disappear and Naomi screams and is held by Holden as she breaks down. The war is over, but her son is gone.
Some time later, Avasarala, Drummer, Sanjrani, UNN and MCRN leaders, and Holden are meeting to discuss how they move forward together, and how to control traffic through the Rings. They have differences of opinion, and then Holden talks about trust. Avasarala suggests that the proposed Transport Union be headed by someone with no allegiances, a friend of the Belt, and everyone looks at Holden. We later see Holden being introduced as the President of the new Transport Union, naming Drummer as the Vice President. Holden, who was once called the most naive person she knew by Avasarala, outfoxes her, resigning and leaving Drummer in charge of the Ring and transport and trade for the colonies.
As the Roci heads out, Bobbie takes over as pilot and Clarissa replaces Amos’s devil head pin and makes one for herself. Naomi and Jim talk together in their bunk, with the Rocinante emblem above their head. Naomi reassures him he did the right thing by ceding the Transport Union presidency to Drummer.
As she speaks, we see a flashback. Filip Inaros leaves his station on the Pella, goes into a maintenance pod and leaves the ship, changing his name to Filip Nagata, leaving his father and his past behind.
“The universe never tells us if we did right or wrong. It’s more important to try to help people than to know that you did. More important that someone else’s life gets better than for you to feel good about yourself. You never know the effect you might have on someone, not really. Maybe one core thing you said haunts them forever. Maybe one moment of kindness gives them comfort or courage. Maybe you said the one thing they needed to hear. It doesn’t matter if you ever know. You just have to try.”
And Jim wonders, where’s that protomolecule sample, as the Rocinante flies out into —— The Expanse.
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