The Expanse Recap with Spoilers: Back to the Butcher

(Photo: Syfy)

The episode starts on Ceres, where Detective Miller finds his partner Havelock, in the infirmary being treated for his horrible injury. He yells at him to keep his head down. "The next spike is gonna go straight through your skull." The girl Havelock's been seeing to be taught how to speak to the Belters (and probably a bit more) is there, too, and Miller's not happy about it. When he leaves, though, he sees the girl show some real care for him.

MCRN Tachi - the Martian escape vehicle, is next. Holden wakes up, and sees their Martian rescuer is dead. Amos, meanwhile, has an open fracture in his leg. Naomi does her best to set it and patch it up; thankfully their advanced tech can help that along.

Holden checks with Alex on status - it seems that no one else made it off the Donager, and "no one knows we're alive" - but Amos notices something strange about that: they've just received a message.

Anderson Station - ore refinery in the Belt. 11 Years ago. The room is crowded, mostly with children. A man is teaching a little girl basic lessons with shapes and colors. The people on this station are clearly ill. He gets a call - "This is UN 1. Are you ready to surrender?"

Back in the present on the Tachi, they review the message. It's from Col Fred Johnson, who we met last episode, "Director of Operations at Tycho Station." He tells them they need to contact him. He's offering help, allegedly trying not to start a war. "We're the only survivors from the Canterbury and the Donnager. We look like terrorists. No one's going to believe our story," Holden says. Naomi doesn't think they can trust Johnson. "Remember 10 years ago?" Alex votes yes, and Amos votes with Naomi, so it's two against two. Guess they'll just float in space forever.

On Ceres, Miller's on a tram, with a few OPA'ers talking about the Cant and the Donnager. It stops temporarily. Before anything bad can happen, it starts moving again.

In Star Helix HQ, a video of the attack on Havelock plays for the officers. The guys who did it took full credit.

Miller is in his room, now, looking into the Juliet Mao case again. He's looking at her flight path, looking for something.

The SH captain says this guy isn't OPA, which means if "he resists, shoot him."

Octavia visits Miller, asking him why he isn't out going after the guy that attacked Havelock. She thinks he's obsessed with Mao because of a payday. Miller lets her in on the secret, "Everything goin on out there, it all has to do with her, Julie Mao." Another ship, the Anubis, left Phoebe research station, and he thinks Julie's ship was sent out to intercept it. Capt. Shadiq hasn't bitten on any of this theorizing yet. "There's something worth spilling a lot of blood over" on the Anubis, he thinks. Octavia thinks he should take it "upstairs," but he's not willing to let it go just yet.

11 years ago: Anderson - "We hear you loud and clear, but we don't think you're hearing us. Until our terms are met, we're not giving up control of this station. We want to negotiate peacefully," the man there says. UN Command is treating them like terrorists and refuses to negotiate. The man "in charge" says it's time to stop, and there are some vocal opponents to that idea. A blast on the station takes out the generators.

Tachi (present day) - Alex seals up Lopez's body in a bag for - preservation? Naomi walks around, and the ship starts showing her engineering specs, to her surprise. Amos comes up and asks her why she doesn't want to go to Tycho. She says "it's not the place, it's the man." She thinks Johnson will "get them killed" with his cause.

Holden explores another part of the ship, apparently the commissary. Amos comes in and says he has talked Naomi into Tycho, so they're heading that way.

Ceres: Miller is reviewing a video of an attack on a man named Neville Bosch. Anderson Dawes sits down next to him, and assures him, "the piece of trash that attacked your partner is not one of our ranks. What's worse, he's not even remorseful!" Dawes has the attacker in an OPA safehouse ready to be turned over to Star Helix. Dawes wants a Ceres "for Belters, run by Belters." He says, "Earthers have a home. It's time Belters had one, too." He gives a phone to Miller to get Cothari's location. He just wants "a simple exchange of information. Julie Mao was one of us. I want to find out what happened to her as much as you do."

10 Years ago: Surrender is their only option. The man in charge reaches out to UN Command, issuing "our unconditional surrender. We're unarmed, we have women and children with us. Copy?" There's no response from UN-1.

Tachi - they're getting news reports about the chaos on Ceres, with the violent protests. They all still think Mars took down the Canterbury. They see something (we don't) on the feed. "It can't be." Ah, they see a poster of Holden with "Remember the Cant" on it. So he's gonna be a little recognizable now.

Ceres: Miller continues his lone investigation. He finds Neville and asks him about Julie. Neville says he leased out his ship to her, but he was "wrong about her." They stopped at mines on Callisto a month into their trip, and Julie got out to help kids and belters, even though it was poisonous air due to an accident. Miller's connecting with the guy. "She was hanging around with some hardcore OPA. Like Anderson Dawes. She asked me to hook her up with a data broker." It's the guy that died and had all the tech inside to conceal his identity. Neville tells Miller to ask for "the Sherpa." Miller let's him go.

10 years ago: No answer from the UN. "They're not listening," the leader of Anderson Station says. If they're not listening, there's nothing they can really do. The little girl smiles at him and waves. He has figured out a way to bypass the jammers and broadcast the camera footage from the station out. "4 Days ago we took control of this station to protest the treatment of our children." He picks up his daughter, Kiri. "She and the other children have been diagnosed with hypoxic brain injury due to the low oxygen environments. We're not a violent people, we didn't intend for anyone to be hurt during our protests. We've tried repeatedly to surrender to the UN Marines. We just wanted to be heard for the sake of our children." A blast rocks Anderson Station, and our next shot is debris, and the man floating, his little girl still in his arms. Heartbreaking. "Anderson station is secure. All terrorists have been subdued. Well done, Colonel." It's Fred Johnson. "The Butcher of Anderson Station" the caption says.

Tachi - Johnson sends instructions to the crew on how to change their transponder so that Mars can't detect them when they turn it on. The four survivors debate on a new name for their vessel, as they need one for the new transponder. "Rocinante" is what Holden suggests, saying it's Spanish for "Workhorse." Amos likes it, and remembers a woman by that name. Naomi agrees to it. It was Don Quixote's horse's name in the original Cervantes novel, for those not up on their 17th Century Spanish literature.

Ceres: Miller heads to Tech Noir to look for the Sherpa. The man behind the counter shows him to the back room where "the Sherpa" works. There's a ton of tech, lots of little data chips, but no one is there. Miller starts scanning stuff but isn't finding anything of use. A robotic rat catches his eye, but he doesn't look closer.

Rocinante - Amos explores the vessel a bit, finds what looks like is some booze in a bunk. Alex looks at a picture of, presumably, his wife and child, and sets course for Tochi. Holden finds coffee, which he's incredibly happy about. Amos drinks, alone. Holden drinks his coffee, alone. Naomi lies in a bunk, eyes open; she looks the most concerned out of the bunch.

Ceres: Miller enters Julie's old room, and finds another robotic rat. Inside it is a chip, which he takes out and hides in his signature hat. As he leaves, someone puts a bag over his head. Another person tasers him, and they take him off.

And that's all for this week.