The Expanse Recap with Spoilers: Retrofit

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(Photo: Syfy)

The episode starts on Earth, with Chrisjen telling someone she needs to borrow a spy on Tycho station to keep an eye on Fred Johnson. "The answer's no," says the man, Carlos Davila a former Intelligence agent for the UN. Chrisjen isn't playing - she mentions his nephew, up for parole, with the not-so-subtle implication that he won't get it if Carlos doesn't help. "You know why I quit the intel desk? I couldn't tell if I was still working for the good guys."

Out on the newly christened Rocinante, they're descending toward Tycho station for docking. That, at least, goes pretty smoothly. Then they get off their ship. Fred Johnson is not happy to see Holden. "You could be the only key to stopping a war." Johnson wants to get rid of the ship, and Holden says no go on that. Only he and Amos are outside the ship right now. Johnson calls his bluff that there's a bunch of people on the ship. "You walked off that ship because you're in charge, or at least you think you are. Johnson is not playing either.

On Ceres, Miller was taken, by a pair of people working for Anderson Dawes, of course. "We're going to have a nice long talk, you and I. How long depends on you," he tells the detective.

We cut to an abandoned asteroid mine in the belt. A man is setting a charge for his uncle, Mateo.

Back on Tycho, Holden tells the true story to Johnson about what happened. Johnson says he wants Holden to testify to the UN Security Council - and give him an entrance into it. Johnson won't let them leave, and a gun to gun standoff starts. "There are countless OPA brothers and sisters standing behind me who will hunt you." Well, there's one out by the Rocinante, which the crew noticed, and was ready to kill him.

Ceres: Miller tells Dawes he went back to Julie Mao's apartment for her shower. Dawes says he's a joke on the station. "You create a bunch of chaos, you stir shit up so you can ride in and save the day." Dawes insists he's close to independence for Ceres, with him as the governor. Miller asks why Mao has to be sacrificed. Dawes says Miller's in love with her, and his thugs torture him a bit more.

The asteroid belt, the charge goes off, and the pair get a hail that they're to power down and prepare for boarding, it sounds like from a Martian vessel.

Tycho: Johnson wants the lone survivor of the Scopuli, a vessel he and the OPA hired, recovered. He knows a code name, Lionel Polanski, was used to notify of coordinates after the disaster. "I need a gun ship. it's getting hot out there, and the OPA doesn't have anything like this." Holden says he'll go, and leave his other three crew members behind, and that they'll all give sworn statements about what happened.

Asteroid Belt, the MCRN Scorpio Africanus, a border patrol vessel, boards the little mining vessel. The Martians are being dicks to the poor miners. "I'll tell you what I'll do for you, absolutely nothing." Yeah, these Martian patrol guys are awful, and basically sentence these two to death, saying they're not allowed to follow restricted routes on their way home; they don't have the fuel to do otherwise.

Tycho/Rocinante: Holden and Naomi are arguing! What a surprise! No one thinks Holden can trust Johnson. "I don't need to trust Fred Johnson, we both have a gun to each others' heads." Alex is actually more anti-Johnson and this Scopuli mission than Naomi. Holden admits to the other two, "This is my fault. I logged the distress call on the Cant." Naomi sticks up for him, telling Amos she knew and "Holden did the right thing." Amos has a bit of a revelation about his relationship with Naomi, and walks off. Alex is disgusted by them all, and walks off, too.

Dawes and Miller start to have a real conversation about Julie. She went to Dawes, and was "willing to make a sacrifice for us," he insists. Miller brings up Dawes's sister, who was rumored to have died, because of Anderson. "My sister, Athena was fragile. Her bones were like chalk from spending her lifetime in zero g. She was never going to recover. When she became too ill, even to travel, I had three other sisters to think about. Our family was starving." "So you killed her?" "And that makes me a monster." Wow. Dawes said he cried so hard his tears turns to blood. "Living with this pain" made him want to fight for his millions of brothers and sisters living in the belt. Dawes says if Julie was there, she'd "spit in your face, you're everything she hated. Die as you lived," and throws Miller's hat at his head.

On the mining ship, the uncle Mateo listens to some OPA ranting. Then he throws his nephew into the airlock, technically with a pack and a helmet, and shoots him out; and flies away, leaving him there.

UN: Chrisjen continues to insist that Fred Johnson needs to be watched carefully. We learn the OPA killed her son. "You're damn right it's personal." She has the go-ahead from her superior, as long as he's kept in the loop.

Tycho: Amos sits at the bar, having a drink with Alex. He gets hit on by a guy and after telling him he wasn't interested, warns him - not to back off, but that another guy who's eyeing him has a knife hidden on him. The guy says thanks and walks off. Amos reveals to Alex that he "grew up in places like this." Did Amos just say he used to be a prostitute? It seems like it, yeah. Alex was once married, but needed to be back out in space. "Flying the Rocinante out there, that was just about the best feeling I ever had."

On the Rocinante, Naomi is making sure it'll only listen to Holden's commands so he can't be betrayed. Johnson and Holden have a chat about how to fly out to the Scopuli. Holden tells him about the Lieutenant's body in the hold, and to treat it with respect. When Johnson says, "I'll make sure it gets back to Mars. He's a fellow soldier," I actually believe him. Am I a sucker, reading into it because of my own military history? Maybe. Holden suggests he and Naomi go have a drink while the ship is prepped further by the Tycho crew. Their relationship seems to be turning considerably less "at each others' throats" into more at each others' you know whats, if I'm picking up what they're throwing down here.

Ceres: Miller is in deep doo doo. Dawes' thugs drag him to an airlock. They throw him down - ironically, the same one he used to keep that filtration guy in line. The air is draining, and he sees both of them get shot. It opens, one of the bodies falling in - Octavia's there, and she's saved Miller's life.

The mining ship - Uncle Mateo is flying away, and his nephew is begging him to come back. "A man is going to stand up. We can only live so long with a boot to our necks." He insists someone will find the kid. He flings his cargo of rocks at a Martian patrol vessel, and rockets toward. The kid sees an explosion in the distance as he floats, rotating.

Tycho: Holden and Naomi have that drink - or three or four. Holden gives a drunken toast to Shed. "Wherever you are, I hope no one needs medical attention." His second toast is to the "brave, crazy bastards who got us off the Donnager." Naomi doesn't understand why they did it. She tells Holden she knows it was because of him, in the end, though. Johnson, meanwhile, takes the record log from the Lieutenant's body. That doesn't look good. Back to Naomi and Holden, she wants to keep right on drinking. Someone is watching them, and recording and uploading video from a camera in his eye. Uh-oh.

On Ceres, Octavia patches up Miller, but then starts to freak out. "I've never killed anyone before." Miller starts telling her a story about his third year on the job, when he had to kill someone who was threatening his wife. Miller noticed after the shot that their little girl was in the window, watching. "Only guy I ever killed. You know, everytime you remember something, your mind changes it just a little, until your best and your worst memories are your biggest illusions. My advice is forget it." "I appreciate that. It's terrible advice," Octavia says with a smile through the tears. "Yeah, probably." They get very close to kissing, and Miller turns away. He goes and gets his hat, where the data chip from Julie's place is still in the lining.

Tycho/Rocinante - the Roci has been painted up. Alex and Naomi are on it when Holden boards. "Amos will be here any second," Naomi says. Johnson comes up and says they drive a hard bargain. Naomi says they'll get his man back, but "in return I want you to help me find someone. Someday I'll come to you with a name, no questions asked." "I'll do what I can," he says. Amos is outside, painting the ship name and a logo on it. Nice.

Ceres, Miller visits the Captain of Star Helix, and shows her a clip from the data chip. It's of a recording of someone apparently testing a bioweapon, he thinks on Phoebe station. Miller tells the whole story, that Julie bought the chip from a data broker, and showed it to Dawes. He crewed up the Scopuli to go check it out, and that ship disappears "with all souls aboard." The OPA thinks the weapon on Phoebe can tip the balance of power, according to his theory. The Captain starts asking him if he told anyone, and if there are any copies of the chip. "Erase Detective Miller's casefiles and cancel all his clearances." She just fired Miller, and is kicking him out. What?! Yup, there's an OPA tat peaking out of her collar.

Rocinante: Amos comes aboard, but doesn't say a word. "I'm sorry," Naomi says. Holden comes up with coffee, gives some to both of them. They're hidden as a gas trader. Alex disengages and takes control. Holden takes stock of his crew before spinning around to observe. As the Roci leaves Tycho, the episode comes to an end.

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