Title: The Expanse Season 3 Episode 5: “Triple Point”
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction
Platform: TV – Syfy
Director: Jeff Woolnough
Writer: Georgia Lee
Release: May 9, 2018
Cast: Steven Strait, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Frankie Adams, Cas Anvar, Wes Chatham, Dominique Tipper
Feature image: Source
“Who else was there? The Tooth fairy?” Lt. Durant – The Expanse
The crew of the Rocinante make their plans for their assault on Io. They haven’t heard any Protomolecule shouts lately. Alex Kamal (Cas Anvar) finds a hole for them to get through to allow them to avoid the UN and Martian fleets. James Holden (Steven Strait) says that their biggest advantage is the element of surprise. Dr. Praxideke ‘Prax’ Meng is in the armory getting a gun for the assault. On board the MCRN Hammurabi, Ensign Sinopoli (Atticus Mitchell) goes to the bridge. The ship’s CO, Captain Sandrine Kirino (Krista Bridges) asks how he and his mates were able to make it back to the fleet. He explains that they received help from Jim Holden and his crew. He tells her that Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams), the ‘defector’ and UN Deputy Secretary Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) were also abroad. The ship’s XO, Lt. Durant jokes, “Who else was there? The Tooth fairy?” Sinopoli hands Kirino the Errinwright video, he tells her that Chrisjen wants her to send it to UN Admiral Souther (Martin Roach) aboard the Agatha King. Kirino wonders if this is real. Durant warns her it’s against regulations. They check and find out that the Agatha King is heading towards Io. Kirino decides if the Agatha King is heading to Io, they’ll intercept them there.
On the Agatha King, Admiral Nguyen (Byron Mann) gets word that heading their way is a Martian cruiser. Lt. Shaffer (Natalie Lisinska) and Lt. Manusco (Morgan Kelly) want to rendezvous with the rest of the fleet at Calisto for backup. Nguyen is against it, they are still going to Io. Admiral Souther joins them to ask why they are going to Io. Nguyen won’t tell him and requests, “Admiral, in the future, unless you have specific business in the CIC, there’s no need for you to be here.”
Chrisjen walks in the kitchen while Holden tries to make coffee. Chrisjen: “Good coffee can save the world.” Holden: “I’d settle for it to save my morning.” She is there to talk to Holden about Io. “You can’t nuke Io,” Chrisjen pleads. “I need the protomolecule.” Holden tells her that Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper) was right. Chrisjen compliments Naomi for being a smart girl. She tells Holden she doesn’t want it as a weapon, only to study it. Chrisjen: “This is for the survival of our species.” Holden blames her and all the other ‘adults’ for the mess they are in. Chrisjen responds, “You are not a child. I suspect you never were. So stop acting like one. It doesn’t become you.” She needs him to get involved.
“Or get even. Like you said it’s the next best thing.” Dr. Prax Meng
Alex is doing flight tests when he receives a video message from his son, Melas (Chris River). He is outside in his space suit so his mother won’t hear him. He knows his mother is mad at Alex, but he isn’t . He knows he’s out there defending Mars. Melas: “A real warrior has to make sacrifices.” He hopes to help Alex defend Mars when he’s older. He is proud of his father and loves him. The message moves Alex. Meanwhile, Amos Burton (Wes Chatham) gives Prax shooting lessons. Prax thanks Amos for the shooting lessons and taking care of him. Amos: “You can thank me if we get your little girl back.” Prax: “Or get even. Like you said it’s the next best thing.” Amos appears concerned about the hardness Prax is displaying.
“Um, Boyer, I’ve been meaning to tell you your boss is kind of a prick.” Lt. Shaffer – The Expanse
In his quarters, Souther tries to eat his meal when Shaffer and Manusco join him. Manusco reports that Nguyen is secretly sending and receiving messages from Io and keeping the messages off official records. He won’t even tell Souther what he is doing. Manusco and Shaffer have been checking with other UN ships in the AO. Manusco: “The commanders you’ve trained are loyal to you.” Souther knows they are talking mutiny, but he isn’t ready to consider it. Nguyen’s right hand man, Lt. Boyer joins them. Admiral Souther leaves. Shaffer: “Um, Boyer, I’ve been meaning to tell you your boss is kind of a prick.” Boyer defends his boss telling them he was there when a Martian ship destroyed five UN ships. Nguyen hasn’t forgotten and in a situation like this, he wants someone like Nguyen to lead.
Alex is helping Bobbie with her combat suit. The Rocinante doesn’t have some of the materials she needs for it. Bobbie: “You and your crew killed a hybrid, yeah?” Alex: “Yeah, barely.” Bobbie: “How did you do it?” He tells her how they led it out with the radiation of a nuke and that he turned the ship around to burn it with their afterburner. She tells Alex she will need extra incendiaries for her suit. Alex knows she is looking for fight with a hybrid.
Dr. Lawrence Strickland (Ted Atherton) and Jules-Pierre Mao (Francois Chau) are standing beside the containment tube they have Katoa (Jordan Dacol) in; he is nearly a hybrid now. Mao asks him what the Protomolecule wants. Katoa struggles to talk and keeps saying “the work”. Mao: “What is the work?” Katoa starts screaming in immense pain, Strickland sedates him and he tells Mao they have this under control.
A crewmember informs Admiral Nguyen that the Hammurabi is within missile range. He thinks the Hammurabi won’t shoot until other Martian ships arrive. Manusco waves Shaffer over to tell her that they just received a message from the Hammurabi for Souther. She tells him to send it to her. Shaffer shows the video to Souther. He won’t act until he gets confirmation that it’s real. Shaffer: “What do you want me to do sir?” Souther: “Be ready for anything.” He goes to sickbay to confirm the video with Cotyar (Nick E. Tarabay). Cotyar: “I was wondering what visitors hours were?” Souther asks him to describe what was on the video. Cotyar is able to say what Errinwright said and name the Martian ship he ordered destroyed. Souther is sure now. Boyer walks in and asks Souther to come with him.
“I’ll never like what you did. I can’t hate you for doing what you thought was right.” James Holden – The Expanse
As they prepare to land on Io, Naomi has a frank and sincere talk with Holden. Naomi: “It’s almost funny to say this after everything we’ve been through but, you don’t really know me, and that’s not your fault.” She explains why she gave the Protomolecule to Fred Johnson. When she was younger, she was with a man who ran with the OPA, he was much like Holden. They had a child together named Fillip. Naomi: “The man I loved took him away because I refused to do what he wanted.” Holden is horrified for Naomi and expresses his sympathy. She continues that she shut down and eventually signed up for the Canterbury. After Eros and seeing how much Holden cared for the people there, it woke her up. It made her think what if her son was there. Naomi: “I’m not sorry I gave the Protomolecule to the Belt, but I’m sorry for the way that I did it. I should have talked to you first, all of you, but most of all you.” Holden: “I’ll never like what you did. I can’t hate you for doing what you thought was right.” They give each other a meaningful look.
Dr. Strickland uses a control module to wake up Katoa. Mao continues asking him about the work. Katoa’s in an aggravated state, but he’s able to get out, “You can’t… stop… the work! Soon… work… finish… soon… soooooon!” They know that whatever the Protomolecule is doing in Venus is nearly complete. Katoa is too far-gone now; he won’t be able to talk soon. To find out more, they will need to go to the next subject. The person most suitable is Mei Meng (Leah Madison Jung). Mao looks pained, but he gives Strickland his permission. Nguyen contacts Mao, he informs him that his bank accounts are unfrozen; he must transfer the launch control to him. Mao does immediately.
“War is an inherently unstable interaction of three things: intense emotions, politics, and luck.” Captain Kirino – The Expanse
Souther walks up into the CIC. He tries to talk to Nguyen about what he knows. Nguyen threatens to put him in irons. Manusco: “Sir, it’s the Hammurabi; we’re almost within their missile range.” On the Hammurabi, the XO wants permission to fire on the Agatha King. Captain Kirino wants to maintain their position. She wants to give Souther a chance. She explains to Durant, “War is an inherently unstable interaction of three things: intense emotions, politics, and luck. Maybe out here away from the politics and bullshit, a couple of grunts can figure out how not to fight. For once.” Durant calls it a noble sentiment, but it isn’t appropriate now. The Rocinante is preparing to land on Io. At the very moment, Strickland has Mei strapped down to begin the procedure to turn her into a hybrid.
“They’re testing us to see who we really are, if we’re honorable or not.” Admiral Souther – The Expanse
Holden, Bobbie, Amos, and Prax are on the ground and trying to get inside the facility. Back in space, the Martian ships aren’t firing on the UN ships. Nguyen: “Why the hell aren’t they firing?” Souther: “They are testing us.” Nguyen appears confused. Souther: “They don’t want to shoot. If they did, they would have done it already. They’re testing us to see who we really are, if we’re honorable or not.” Nguyen: “There’s no honor in defeat.” He orders the Agatha King to fire. Souther belays that order, his officers grab the guns away from Nguyen’s men, and he tells them to arrest Nguyen for being a conspirator in an illegal war. He has his crew to open all channels to both UN and Martian ships in the AU. Souther tells them that the Agatha King is standing down. He has arrested Admiral Nguyen for being a conspirator to an illegal war and he is sending the proof to all the ships. Nguyen’s men are able to regain control and Nguyen shoots Admiral Souther dead. Nguyen sends a message only to the UN ships; he is back in control after Admiral Souther’s attempted mutiny. Some of the ships are moving out of the area, Nguyen orders them back, and they ignore his orders. One of ships is the Jimenez; after giving them another warning; he blows the ship up.
“Jesus, they’re firing on each other.” Ensign Sinopoli – The Expanse
The mutiny continues throughout the UN fleet, ships are firing on each other. The Martian fleet watches. Sinopoli: “Jesus, they’re firing on each other.” Lt. Durant wants to attack the UN ships but Captain Kirino tells him no, if they fire upon any UN ships, they will stop fighting each other and fight the Martians, let them keep fighting amongst themselves. She sends a message to both fleets; the Martians will not fire on any UN ship that flies under a flag of truce. They will give those ships assistance if requested. Nguyen who is shooting mutineers as they lay on the ground won’t have any of that. He goes to the panel and fires the Protomolecule pods out into space. The Roci crew us still trying to get into the facility when they here explosions. Prax: “What the hell is that?” Holden [looking up]: “They’ve launched the hybrids.”
This episode and the next episode “Immolation” virtually serve as a two-parter. Therefore, I’ll include my thoughts on this episode in the epilogue of the “Immolation” recap. It should be up in a few days. This episode and the next prove why “The Expanse” deserves a fourth season. I know you’ve heard the news of the series being cancelled by SYFY. I’m not surprised, that seems to be their M.O. I’m still mad about “Farscape”. Hopefully, one of the streaming services will pick it up. Fans are making a big push to save the show. One way is to watch the episodes live. Let future buyers know that they can actually get good viewership if they pick up the show. Here’s the Twitter hashtag #SaveTheExpanse. Whatever idea you have, do it if it helps save the show. I hope in a few weeks that we’ll have some good news. Now I have to get to work on the next episode.