After the huge escalation of heart-racing action and excitement in Episode 4, I suppose it’s only natural – even reasonable – for ‘The Expanse’ to let out a deep exhale and slow things back down this week. That said, this is the weakest of the show’s episodes aired so far.
Holden and his crew escaped the destruction of the Donnager. However, Martian Lt. Lopez has died from his injuries. Amos’ leg is in pretty bad shape initially, but Naomi slaps a fancy high-tech brace onto it that patches him up pretty well.
After putting some distance between themselves and the wreck, Alex cut the engines to their shuttle (called the Tachi) and monitored to see if anyone followed them. Nobody did. Now they’re drifting, indistinguishable from any other piece of space junk. No one should even know they’re alive or have any reason to search for them. And yet, someone has found them. The shuttle receives a transmission from Fred Johnson at Tycho Station offering them sanctuary.
With no other immediate alternatives, Holden wants to accept the offer. Naomi feels differently. She knows Johnson by reputation and she doesn’t trust him. The crew vote on what to do next and are split down the middle. Amos sides with Naomi only because that’s always his first instinct. Later, he talks to her about it privately and she relents. Before transmitting an answer back to Johnson, Naomi reprograms the shuttle’s transponder, and in doing so has to give the ship a new name. Holden suggests “Rocinante,” after Don Quixote’s horse.
As they set course for Tycho, Alex intercepts a news broadcast from Ceres about the recent riots. Holden’s face is plastered all over the rioters’ signs. So much for his anonymity.
Havelock has not only survived being impaled through the chest, he’s recovering quickly. I guess medical science in the 23rd Century is pretty impressive. Miller visits him in the hospital and is annoyed that Havelock ever let himself be put in a position to be attacked.
Star Helix Security has video of Havelock’s assault by a man named Filat Kothari, a lowlife thug not normally associated with the OPA. Capt. Shaddid wants him caught at all costs, and makes it clear to her officers that she wouldn’t mind a bit if he “accidentally” fell out an airlock.
Rather than hunt for Kothari, Miller remains obsessed with the Julie Mao case and spends time in her apartment trying to connect more of the dots. One trail of clues leads him to info about a shuttle called the Anubis and a man named Neville Bosch. His girlfriend Octavia finds him in the apartment, and Miller fills her in on what he’s learned so far. She tells him that he needs to bring this to Star Helix, but he insists on working it alone.
OPA organizer Anderson Dawes (Jared Harris) approaches Miller at a bar and informs him that he’s holding Filat Kothari in a safe house. Kothari thinks he has sanctuary there, but Dawes feels no obligation to him and offers Miller the location. Dawes doesn’t condone the recent riots. He says that all Belters really want is a home of their own, much like Earthers have.
Miller tracks down Neville Bosch and interrogates him about Julie Mao, the Anubis shuttle, and the data broker currently sitting in the morgue. This leads him to a black market shop called Tech Noir (hey, that’s the name of the rock club in ‘The Terminator’!), the back room of which the data broker had used as his base of operations. There Miller finds a data chip hidden inside a robotic rat.
As he leaves the building, Miller is grabbed by some thugs who throw a hood over his head and drag him away.
Scattered throughout the episode are flashbacks to an incident that occurred 11 years prior. The crew of an oil refinery called Anderson Station held a protest about their poor living conditions, and were labeled terrorists by the U.N. Although they attempted to peaceably surrender, the U.N. cut off communication and ordered the Marine Corps to blow up the station anyway, killing hundreds of innocent civilians. The man who pulled the trigger was one Col. Fred Johnson. For this, he became known as “The Butcher of Anderson Station.”
The flashback storyline in this episode is extremely heavy-handed. All of the Anderson Station protesters are portrayed as helpless, peaceful innocents who only want their adorable children to be able to breathe some cleaner air. For this, the evil, evil U.N. viciously murders them all, kids included. Bwaaa haaa haaa…
On top of that, the episode is a little too slow and the plot a little too confusing with the many different characters tied up in the Julie Mao case. The story still has my interest, but I think this was simply too much of a breather to take immediately after such an exciting fourth episode.