The Expanse Recap with Spoilers: CQB

the-expanse-CQB
(Photo: Syfy)

The episode starts on Ceres, after the tense situation of last episode. Detective Miller is investigating the death associated to Mao that he found. The M.E. comes in and talks to Miller, giving him an ID, and not much else.

On the Martian ship Donnager, the other four Canterbury survivors sit and talk while Holden's on the bridge talking to the Captain and investigator. They're convinced Naomi is an OPA terrorist and the ship heading toward them will attack them to get her back. They insist that they had nothing to do with the Canterbury's explosion, but Holden also insists Naomi didn't, either. "Because of you, Earth thinks we destroyed it," the captain, Teresa Yao tells Holden. He's sure there's something deeper going on here.

The incoming ship starts putting out a jamming signal when they try to hail it. It releases six fast-moving ships, and they start firing. The Donnager goes into battle mode and sounds general quarters. The Cant crew straps in in their joint holding cell. The fight is on.

On Earth, Chrisjen is trying to figure out who the Donnager is fighting, and how she can get a ship to it to rescue the 5 Cant survivors. "Somebody has a new fleet of warships," she says, and has no idea who it could be.

Back at the fight, the crew of the Donnager is pretty relaxed about the incoming fire and vehicles. Yao has significant combat experience, and openly mocks Holden for his concern.

Chrisjen lies on her rooftop, looking up at the stars. One of her grandchildren comes out, as they look at falling stars. The child tries to reassure her that it's okay.

Holden and the interrogator continue to chat on the bridge after Yao was called away. They talk about Earth, and the desire to make Mars like it, with free air and oceans. "I could never understand your people, why when the Universe has bestowed so much upon you, you care so little for it," he says. Holden tells him "wrecking things is what Earthers do best. Martians, too."

The real battle is on, as they start firing directly on the ships. The first one goes down easy. Suddenly a torpedo hits the shields of the Donnager - not as easy as we thought, huh? They start diverting power to the railguns to "finish this."

Ceres: Miller goes to check out Bizi's place (the dead guy, who also had some kind of dating connection to Mao). A bunch of people getting wasted and watching vids of people out in space. Miller asks about Julie and if she had been around there. He tells everyone there that Bizi is dead - but that's who they're watching live in the ship trying to break some kind of record. They see him die, and Miller (like us) is very confused.

The Navu is a new ship being built, apparently for the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints (Mormons), who were in an earlier episode, too. Col. Frederick Johnson is building the ship for them. The one who commissioned the ship says there have "been rumblings that you should be replaced on the project" because he's linked to OPA. Johnson says if he's replaced, he'll lose the most skilled workers and "who knows what tragic malfunctions might occur along the way." The Mormons plan to take a 100 year journey to another sun and colonize a new planet, apparently. After the Mormon leader leaves the transport, Johnson gets serious and says, "we're good to go. Get all the Mormons off the ship and turn the sensors towards the Donnager - I need a report, now." Yeah, sounds like the Martians might be right about OPA doing this attack, but does that mean that Naomi's really doing all this with them?

The Donnager is getting attacked hard. Alex realizes that they've turned on the railguns, meaning they're in CQB - Close Quarter Battle, which he thinks is insane. Captain Yao wants ID on the ships, and her crew can't give it to her. Holden, seeing the images from the seat he's locked into, says he has seen one like it before. A big hit to the main drive makes them shut it down to avoid overloading. Alex is freaking out, and Shed is trying to calm him down. He throws him something to calm him and we hear a pop - everyone is shocked. Shed's head has exploded by something that shot straight through the hull on both sides of the room, blood is flowing from his body out into the vacuum. Naomi and Amos spring into action, and move to plug the two holes before they really can even react. Shed's headless body sits there. The engine turns back on, and with it the gravity, and his body falls forward.

On the bridge, there's massive hull damage. They've stopped firing. Holden tells them the ships they're fighting are just like the one that blew up the Canterbury. Yao oders him taken off the ship and back to MCRN command, as he's the only one who can identify and testify to what's happening, that Mars is being setup. He doesn't want to leave without his shipmates. A boarding party from the vessels - presumably OPA - is coming onto the Donnager.

Speaking of the other - now only 3 - Cant survivors, they're stuck in this room with vacuum on both sides. They have 20 minutes of air left in the room. Naomi finds a sedative, and Alex agrees to take it, to slow his breathing and buy them all more time. Naomi is visibly upset about Shed, and Amos goes to comfort her. "I wanna say thank you. For helping me all those times you did. You're a good person," he says. "I could've been better," she replies. "I didn't even get to say goodbye." "To who?" "It doesn't matter now," she says. He takes her hand, his own covered in Shed's blood.

Martian soldiers are escorting Holden, and not thrilled about it. One of the boarding parties breaches near them, and start firing. The interrogator (apparently XO on the ship?) tells Holden to get back into cover and stay down. Holden takes the opportunity to run out toward his people.

On the Ceres, Miller IDs the guy a few more times, and it's new people every time. He's asking Octavia for help (and offhand mentions he can't find his partner, Havelock - he apparently doesn't know he got beaten and nailed to a wall yet). She says he has a bunch of implants (the dead guy), including an ID spoofer and a memory crypt in his calf. Miller decides to take it out himself instead of getting the coroner, but he's not very good at this, digging around in his leg. Third time's a charm and he gets it out of the body. Octavia starts looking, and it's a bunch of government records - the guy was a data broker. Miller tells Octavia it's "better if you don't know" about why he's so centered on this guy. Miller calls Havelock and leaves a message for him asking him to cover for him with Shadid.

A woman finds Havelock on the ground with the giant bolt through him - and he wakes up! Hurray, someone's actually survived one of these terrible moments! (I don't think Shed is so lucky)

Back on the Donnager, Holden - in his suit, is trying to find his people. There are dead Martian Marines all over the place, and some of the attackers dead, too. He gets attacked by one of them, and the Martians come to his rescue, blasting off his hand. "Who are you working for? Why did you destroy the Canterbury? Were you at Phoebe station?" they ask the attacker, who is not cooperating. Holden says he won't testify unless they go get his friends. "I'll make you a deal."

Holden walks into the room, where Naomi, Amos, and Alex are still there. They need to suit up and they must all agree to testify that Mars had nothing to do with the attack on the Cant.

Holden goes to his interregator - Lopez is his name. Donnager went to Phoebe station and found everyone there dead. "All the computer cores were destroyed. They were covering something up." Holden's finally in on it. The other Marine with Lopez gets a message - the Captain has set condition zero. Yao is ready to scuttle the ship.

The Martian Marines and Cant survivors are trying to get to an escape vessel. There are attackers all over near it, though. Amos, trying to carry Alex, gets shot. He gets up and keeps running, and the two of them make it there. Naomi and Holden are next, and as they run, Lopez gets hit with an RPG behind him. Naomi and Holden get projected into the air, but some quick thinking gets Holden back to the ground, and he pulls Naomi down to him. They run across and make it into the ship, too. Lopez is alive, he gets over to them. He says the others are dead, and they have to get going. "I'm not a pilot. Someone else needs to fly."

Holden literally grabs Alex and throws him up into the pilot chair. "I don't think I'm in any positio..." "GET US OUT OF HERE," Holden interrupts. "You got it." Alex gets juiced up and starts the liftoff sequence after Lopez transfers full controls to "everyone now on board" - of course, that includes Naomi, who he thinks is an OPA traitor involved in all this. Hmm.

Alex starts flying the ship and blasts a hole in the hull of the Donnager to fly out of. Lopez gives him an order on flying out of there, and he says "Yes, sir." Lopez is pretty hurt. He says to Holden, "It would've been nice to see an ocean on Mars."

On the bridge, they're about to be breached. Yao and her pilot both hit their thumbs on a reader and the ship blows up.

Alex is flying the Mars navy escape vessel at full speed. Lopez looks like he's probably dead, and Holden looks in pain. And the episode is over. "Son of a bitch" indeed, Alex.