The Expanse Season 2 Episode 12: The Monster and the Rocket


Sadavir Errinwright (Shawn Doyle) is shaving, dreading the day ahead. He walks his son Jefferson (Gage Munroe) to school. He apologizes for leaving the boy’s mother and advises him always to do what’s in your heart. His father is freaking him out. The UN hearing on Eros is coming up and Chrisjen (Shohreh Aghdashloo) is trying to encourage him. She tells him she received a message from Mao and he wants to meet. That seems to give him a little hope. He makes some suggestions on what she should do. Errinwright hands her a medal and asks her to give it to Jefferson so he’ll remember the man he was before Eros happened.

Cotyar (Nick E. Tarabay) is watching Bobbie (Frankie Adams) closely which bothers her. With her betrayal of Mars, he doesn’t trust her.  Her answer to his doubts concerning her, “Burn me and mine and I’ll go through you like a door.” Chrisjen, Cotyar, and Bobbie are going on the trip to meet Jules Pierre Mao (Francois Chau). Chrisjen hasn’t been off world in a while and is nervous. Cotyar doesn’t like the setup of this meeting. He wonders why Mao even wants to meet. Chrisjen postulates that even though Mao considers himself a citizen of the system, deep down he misses Earth and doesn’t want to cut ties to it. Bobbie enjoys watching Chrisjen’s discomfort as they take off.

Errinwright is in his office and finishes writing a letter. He looks at a small vial of liquid. (Poison?) As a viewer, you wonder if this is a suicide note. Afterwards he meets with the Martian Minister of Defense, Korshunov (Jeff Seymour). The negations have stalled because the Martians want Bobbie back. Errinwright reveals, thanks to Bobbie, the Martians developing a Protomolecule weapon with Mao. He tells Korshunov they are alike, going outside their governments to get things done because their superiors don’t get it. Errinwright warns that with this new weapon the next war could be the last war. (Meaning annihilation of the human race.) Korshunov asks why new technology is often seen as a weapon. This could help Mars with its effort to turn their planet into a garden. Errinwright offers Korshunov some 108-year-old scotch; it goes down smooth. Not so smooth for Korshunov, he crashes to the floor. The small vial of liquid was a genetically tailored untraceable poison the UN developed to kill Martians. They never used it because of a treaty. Errinwright tells Korshunov, “One of us has to lose.” It appears that would be the Martian Minister of Defense. Errinwright calls for help.

UN-MCR Neutral Zone

Bobbie and Cotyar are trading insults. Bobbie: You were in military intelligence filing reports and hiding behind a desk. Cotyar: My IQ was too high to be a marine. Bobbie: Your morals are low enough to be a spy, good training to be in politics. She wonders if that’s why he works for Chrisjen. “No, I got her son killed.” Bobbie wasn’t expecting that.

Captain Malik (Curtis Caravaggio) welcomes Chrisjen and her crew aboard Mao’s ship. He offers them refreshments; Bobbie goes over to the sandwich tray and chows down on cucumber sandwiches. Mao enters, he starts with his pompous pleasantries, Chrisjen barks, “Just get to the f^#king point.” Mao makes his demands; he wants the sanctions removed from his family. He plans to sell the Protomolecule created soldiers to both sides, creating a balance of power he controls. Chrisjen laughs at him and warns him when parents fight; children get hurt. Mao turns it around and says Earth and Mars are children fighting for his trinkets. They receive a surprise transmission from Errinwright.

Errinwright announces that Korshunov is dead from a heart attack. He had the Karakum (I’ll cover this later) destroyed over Ganymede. Thanks to tracking Chrisjen, he can destroy Mao’s ship. He is the only one Mao has left who can protect him. Now he addresses Chrisjen specifically, she taught him Earth must always come first, but here she is groveling to Mars. He wants Mao to come back to Earth alone. They have work to do. Mao’s men draw their weapons on Chrisjen while he walks out the room. Cotyar pulls out his weapon while Bobbie gets in front of Chrisjen to protect her.


The Rocinante is hunting for the Protomolecule creature Alex (Cas Anvar) saw the last episode. Holden (Steven Strait) has gone all ‘Captain Ahab’ over this creature. Prax (Terry Chen) is looking at a picture of his daughter, afraid the creature they are hunting could be her. Alex is thinking what these creatures could mean, “We’re yesterday’s model – obsolete.” Prax asks for compassion for these creatures, instead of trying to kill them we should try to communicate with them. Holden tells him the creature out there isn’t his daughter (like that matters to Holden); Holden wants to kill it now.

They fly inside a damaged agriculture building pursuing the creature. Holden is so obsessed that Alex accuses him of endangering the ship going into this unstable structure. He also points out that maybe the creature is laying a trap for them. Over the radio, they hear the Karakum is landing, they assume to pick up the scientist and creature. They know that the Karakum won’t find anything but dead scientists and a missing creature. Alex doesn’t want to believe Mars would get involved in this but the evidence is indisputable. Now the radio reports that the Karakum has disappeared.

Naomi (Dominique Tripper) and Amos (Wes Chatham) approach the Weeping Somnambulist. The scene is chaotic because everyone is trying to get off the station. Melissa Suputayaporn (Valerie Buhagiar) sees them approach and she isn’t happy. She reminds them, “You people are shit magnets.” Naomi tells her they aren’t there to seek passage on her ship but to help her repair it. Melissa has someone working on it now but it is clear he doesn’t know what he is doing. Naomi takes over repairs. Melissa offers a big brute Champa (Gugun Deep Singh) passage if he keeps the crowd in line.

The power is going out in the station. The crowd is already scared because the air supply is dwindling and it is getting ugly. Naomi gives Amos a shot for the pain from the gunshot. Melissa gives Naomi some bad news; they could not fill up the ship’s air tank, so they only have enough air for 52 people. There are over 100 people on the dock; they are going to have to leave some of them. Naomi determinedly says they aren’t leaving anyone. Amos tells Naomi that Melissa is right. The crowd goes wild, something big just fell out of orbit. What they don’t know is that it is the Karakum destroyed by order of Sadavir Errinwright. (Earth really does screw with the Belt.) It will become a complete riot if they open the doors and tell the crowd halve of them can’t come in. Melisa orders they take off.

Naomi prepares to go out to talk to the crowd. Melissa tells her not to go out there; Amos physically tries to stop her. She gives him two shots to make him semi-conscious. When she exits the ship, Champa is ready to kill her. He thought they had been using him to control the crowd while they escaped. With his big hand around Naomi’s throat, she is able to explain that they only have air for 52 people. She needs him to line them up, children first, then young adults. He asks her why she came out, she tells him she was at Eros and she didn’t do enough. Champa understands and addresses the crowd. He explains the situation about the air supply and who will board the ship. He rallies everyone by reminding the crowd what makes them Belters. They allow the children and young adults to board. When no more can get aboard, they gracefully accept it. Naomi tried to give her seat to Champa but he pushes her in the ship and tells her she has more work to do.

After they take off the MCRN tells the Somnambulist they don’t have clearance to leave. Melissa explains they are a relief ship and they are carrying out refugees. The MCRN orders them to return to the port or they will be fired upon. Alex hears the MCRN warning to the Somnambulist. Holden says he has a clear shot at the creature. Alex tells him they need to go and help their family now. Holden finally gives up his obsession. The MCRN fires a missile at the Somnambulist but the Rocinante arrives in time. Alex shoots the missile down. Holden opens all frequencies and sends a message to the Martians to explain that they are escorting the Somnambulist off Ganymede. He ends his message with this warning, “Any ship that opens fire on us will feel the sum total of our state-of-the-art Martian arsenal rammed up its ass.” The Martians let them go.

After all the drama, Holden asks the Somnambulist’s status. Naomi playfully replies, “You’re a son-of-a-bitch, that’s my status.” Melissa looks at Naomi and tells her she did good. For once things are looking up except for a Protomolecule creature catching a ride aboard the Rocinante.



A few episodes ago Sadavir Errinwright seemed to be a changed man. He appeared chastised by Eros nearly hitting Earth. The hostile attitude he had toward Chrisjen had softened. During this episode it looked like Errinwright was going to commit suicide. The show did a good job of misdirection. I don’t know what the letter was on his desk, maybe it was a shopping list because it doesn’t appear that it was a suicide note. Errinwright is back in full bastard mode. He is probably a bigger bastard than ever. Chrisjen is going to have to summon all of her powers to bring him down. How she gets off Mao’s ship is anyone’s guess. It seems that Bobbie and Cotyar have her back, so I expect her to take the fight back to Errinwright very soon.

Captain Ahab Holden was off the deep end this episode. While Errinwright appeared nicer each episode, Holden was getting colder. This episode was the culmination of his obsession with stopping the Protomolecule. After what he and Miller experienced on Eros, it was reasonable that he had dedicated himself to making sure this didn’t happen anywhere else. As it became more unreasonable it placed a wedge between him and Naomi. It seemed like he was pushing Alex away too. Alex was able to snap him out of it by telling him they had to save their family. With a Protomolecule creature being aboard the Rocinante, I don’t know where it will take Holden. Will it reanimate the Ahab in him, or will he see some type of humanity in this creature and take a different course in dealing with this new reality?

Naomi was also affected by Eros, but this episode was the first indication of how much it affected her. She was carrying a great deal of guilt for not being able to do more to save people while she was there. Naomi wasn’t going to let that happen at Ganymede. Add to her guilt to what happened to the Suputayaporns, she was willing to put her life on the line to do all she could. Her storyline was the most hopeful because we got to see the best in humanity. This was a situation where we could have seen the worse. The way that the people sacrificed themselves to make sure the children had a chance was touching. This series doesn’t always show the best of human kind, but when it does it always gives you hope for our future.

Grade: A


Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Editor-in-Chief
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