4 out of 5 Koalas
“Without gravity, any internal bleeding is a death sentence. You might want to put in a good word with your boss… this is only going to get worse.” Medical Officer – The Expanse
James Holden (Steven Strait) is out cold. Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams) notices the bullets in the alien station stood still. She has Private Trepp (Hamed Dar) fire a RPG. She determines that the speed limit has changed again. She picks up Holden and tells her team they are leaving.
The sudden mass deceleration knocked out Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper). When she wakes up, she tries to get the spiff moving again. The controls of the ship catch on fire. The fire forms a bubble; Naomi knows it’s going to explode. She tosses a tool to check density outside the ship; she jumps out the ship to walk to the Rocinante.
Bobbie, Holden and her team make it back to their spiff and take off from the station. Bobbie has to restart Holden’s heart. Her team would rather she had let him die. Bobbie: “Holden’s not a killer. He knows something. He must. He wouldn’t have gone into that thing otherwise. When he wakes up he’ll talk to us.” The station appears to be pulling all the ships in the Ring towards it.
A large farming machine pins down Camina Drummer (Cara Gee) and Klaes Ashford (David Strathairn). No one knows that either one is down there. She didn’t tell anyone where she was. Ashford scolds her for that. They begin arguing again. Drummer: “Well you got one thing right. You and I definitely got a problem to work out.”
Clarissa Mao aka Melba Koh (Nadine Nicole) wakes up floating. Tilly Fagan (Genelle Williams) is floating near Clarissa with a pipe protruding through her body. Anna Volovodov (Elizabeth Mitchell) is stumbling down another hallway in shock from the deceleration. She had been in bed buckled up so she wasn’t injured. Blood droplets float around her. She finds the hallway filled with floating dead bodies. Members of the crew soon show up to vacuum the blood. She makes it to sickbay where the medical staff is attending to the wounded. She volunteers to help but the harried medical officer (Rebecca Applebaum) explains, “Without gravity, any internal bleeding is a death sentence. You might want to put in a good word with your boss… this is only going to get worse.”
“Singing not make you more interesting. Less in fact.” Camina Drummer – The Expanse
On board the Behemoth, Ashford and Drummer are trying to move the farm machine that has them pinned down. They try to use a robotic arm on the equipment to snag a floating hand terminal to contact the crew. They work together to snag the device, but unfortunately the robotic arm crushes the hand terminal.
Anna leaves sickbay and comes upon Clarissa, whose arm is broken. She helps her to sickbay to get treatment. On Anna’s terminal, she hears Tilly’s weak voice; she can’t understand what she is saying but leaves the sickbay to find her. Clarissa warily watches Anna leave and quickly slips out of sickbay. Anna finds Tilly who tells her, “In a way it’s your fault. That’s what I get for trying to help someone.” She informs Anna that Melba Koh is Clarissa and that she attacked her. Clarissa is trying to kill James Holden. Tilly takes her last breath.
To Drummer’s annoyance, Ashford is singing an old Belter song. Drummer: “Singing not make you more interesting. Less in fact.” She asks Ashford about one of his closes calls. He tells her about an incident when he was gun running. He asks what her closest call was. She tells him about this time at Hyperion. He thinks it was some type of battle there, she corrects him; it was the Hyperion bar back at Ceres. After sharing a rare laugh, they begin discussing what they see for the Belter people. Drummer grumbles, “I sacrificed too much in my life to adopt the tradition of my enemy.” Ashford: “When the victim becomes the victorious, they adopt a uniform to show that they are one warrior. Individuals can be divided and conquered, but symbols endure.” Drummer: “We are who we are. That’s what makes us Belter. That’s the way the Inners need to see us.” Ashford: “Well they will in time, but right now they need to see us as one. I have no desire to look like anyone other than myself, but I will sacrifice my pride to make something better for the future. I hope that one day that’s what make us Belter.” The two begin to sing the Belter song together.
“Bring your wounded here so that they may heal. You will be welcome. The Belters embrace all of you.” Klaes Ashford – The Expanse
Clarissa is trying to locate Holden using the ship’s computer. Anna is trying to track her down. Holden is located and Clarissa heads toward the cargo bay. Before Clarissa can leave the ship, Anna catches up with her. Anna: “Melba! Melba listen to me. You cannot escape what you’ve done. There is nowhere for you to go. The only thing you can do is beg for mercy. [As Clarissa flies away] Melba! Melba! Melba!”
Naomi makes it back to the Roci. She calls for her friends, but no one answers her back. Naomi locates Alex Kamal (Cas Anvar) unconscious and floating in the kitchen. She takes him to sickbay. Naomi: “Alex. Come on. Alex!” Alex: “Na…Naomi?” Naomi: “Yeah it’s me.” Alex: “My head hurts.” Naomi: “Alex, where’s Holden and Amos?” Alex: “Holden, he left awhile with Miller.” Naomi: “Miller? What do you mean?” She leaves him and eventually finds Amos Burton (Wes Chatham) semi-conscious and floating. Naomi: “Amos! You have to be alright. Please just say something.” Amos: “You changed your hair.”
Ashford has a punctured lung and he’s coughing out blood. Drummer is about to pass out but Ashford wakes her up. Drummer: “This isn’t how I thought it would end for me.” Ashford: “Ah no, no, no. It’s not over yet.” Drummer evaluates their situation and starts the machine’s engine. Ashford: “What are you doing?” Drummer: “Our situation here, gonna be multiplied a hundredfold through the ship. Cannot afford to lose us both….The ship needs a Captain, and you got what you want.” Ashford: “There is still hope.” Drummer: “I was wrong. All the optimist I know aren’t yet dead.” The machine moves, it frees Ashford but crushes Drummer.
Naomi is in sickbay taking care of Alex and Amos. Amos wakes up and looks at Naomi. Naomi: “How are you feeling? Amos: “Are you back? Naomi: “Yeah.” Amos: “Back to help? Or back to stay?” Naomi: “Stay. I guess it took being away to understand that, you’re my family.” Amos: “Okay.”
The Behemoth crew makes it down to Ashford and Drummer. Fortunately, Drummer isn’t dead but she is badly injured. Ashford tells the crew how she saved him. Ashford tells Grigori (Brock Johnson) that he is going to spin the drum to create gravity. Grigori warns him that spinning the drum could cause the ship to tear apart.
Clarissa is walking towards the Rocinante. She is wearing a bulky spacesuit that can move heavy objects. She tears the Roci’s cargo bay door open and enters. Naomi goes to investigate. Clarissa attacks Naomi. Clarissa: “Where’s Holden. Tell me where he is.” Naomi: “He isn’t here.” Naomi holds her own against Clarissa, using her mobility and agility against the bulky Clarissa. Eventually Clarissa pins down Naomi, before she can kill her; out of nowhere, Anna appears in her own spacesuit and tasers Clarissa.
“Everything. The end of everything.” James Holden – The Expanse
Ashford gives the crew the order to spin the drum. The ship violently shakes at first, but soon the gravity on the ship is stable again. Ashford sends a message to all of the other ships in the flotilla. Ashford: “This is Klaes Ashford, Captain of the OPA Behemoth. I have a message for all the ships in this infernal place. We are all victims of the same catastrophe. But the Behemoth is unique, this ship, my ship, can create spin gravity. So, I am able to offer it to all of you. Bring your wounded here so that they may heal. You will be welcome. The Belters embrace all of you.”
Bobbie hears the message and tells her crew that Ashford has the right idea. Holden wakes up in a panic. Bobbie: “Holden are you okay? What happened in there?” Holden: “I saw something, a vision.” Bobbie: “A vision of what?” Holden: “Everything. The end of everything.”
After the events of episode 10, we get to see the results of the deceleration, and they aren’t pretty. A heavy machine traps Ashford and Drummer. To their horror, they are stuck together. To save her crew, Drummer willingly sacrifices herself to free Ashford so the crew will have a captain during this crisis. Naomi’s skiff explodes; fortunately, she is close enough to the Rocinante to walk to it. She finds both Alex and Amos injured. The Thomas Prince takes a major blow, there are dead bodies floating in the hallways. There is also another deadly force aboard the ship, Clarissa Mao. Before the mass deceleration, she had attacked Tilly for knowing her true identity. Tilly isn’t dead when Anna finds her, so she is able to tell her what happened. Clarissa bent on carrying on her murder spree strolls over to the Rocinante to kill Holden. She runs into Naomi instead, so to paraphrase an old soul classic, she tries to “Kill the One You’re With”. Anna shows an unexpected warrior side and follows Clarissa to the Roci and tasers her.
This episode was slower than the previous action packed episodes, but it wasn’t boring. It was a nice character study, especially for Ashford, Drummer, and Anna. We saw Ashford and Drummer reconcile some of their differences and watch Drummer sacrifice herself for the crew. Even a tough old bird like Ashford was impressed. We knew that Anna wasn’t a pushover, but I didn’t see her following Clarissa and using that taser on her. It was the highlight of the episode. The episode was light on the Roci crew. Steven Strait might as well had the week off since he was unconscious nearly the entire episode. He earned his salary at the end by telling Bobbie about his terrifying vision. That sets us up for the two-episode season finale.