The Expanse Recap with Spoilers: The Big Empty

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(Photo: Syfy)

After the catastrophic events of the premiere, the second episode starts with a look back. On the Canterbury, Ade tells Holden about the medical benefits of a little matchstick sulfur. It's their first meeting.

Holden awakens from the day dream, and there's a bad debris field that Alex is going to try to navigate them through. No one's talking about the fact that debris is the blown up ship and bodies of all their friends and former crewmates, because that would be gruesome and terrible to think about. The airlock pops open after a hit, and Holden tries to get to it to manually seal the breach. The ship is in a bad way, with fires and breaches popping up around that the crew is trying to handle. They make it through, though. Holden wants to keep an eye on the ship that attacked them. Everyone else is not so into the idea. Naomi actually shuts down the engines, and Holden is pissed.

Ceres Station: Detective Miller showers, but his water ration runs out before he can rinse off. Conspiracy theorists think Mars and Earth are both trying to "thirst out" Ceres so that one or the other can fully take it over, and make sure it's only supplying the one planet.

Miller goes to continue his investigation, presumably into the disappearance of the Mao girl. Indeed, it's her home. He uses a voice-altering tool to see what she's been up to, including a recent message from her father - and one from her back to him. "If you won't take yourself seriously as an adult, then why should I care about being your child?"

Her water ration is nearly full, so he takes advantage of that and rinses his hair.

United Nations Building (New York, Earth): Sadavir, the under-secretary general, talks to Chrisjen about her gravity torture of the belter. He's not happy, and says he needs to go into a tank of water.

She brings the belter into a tank and this way, he starts talking. He insists he's not an OPA agent, just an average belter. Chrisjen wants to know who he was transporting something for. "There are places far worse than this, and I imagine there is a mother somewhere who would like to see her son again."

The shuttle Knight: Assessing the damage, they only have a few hours of oxygen, and have no radio transponder board. Shed goes into shock and freaks out a bit. The only way to fix the radio is to go outside and fix the antenna - but that means depressurizing the cabin and only using suit O2 from there on out. The damage is extensive, and they might not be able to fix it.

Ceres: Miller and his partner report in to some kind of station commander. He thinks the belters are stealing water, causing patches of the grass in the rich area of Ceres to turn brown and die. Miller's partner isn't having the anti-Belter sentiment.

Knight: Holden and Amos are trying to fix the antenna, and it's not going well. Amos says he's out there following Naomi's orders, and that she's the captain now as far as he's concerned. The rest of the crew is working on repairs inside the ship. Things are tense. Alex seems to be losing it - yeah, his tank is damaged. Shed tries to hook his breather to Alex's so they can share air, and it seems to work. Phew. Sharing air is making it go way too fast, though. Holden and Amos manage to get the antenna rocking just in time, and just as they seal the airlock and start to pressurize, they get Shed and Alex's suits open. Shed isn't breathing, and despite Holden's attempts at reviving him, he doesn't make - no wait! He's back. That was close.

Chrisjen tells the undersecretary she needs to do more to interrogate their prisoner. She thinks OPA (the belter terrorists/group) is trying to get stealth technology, and that they may be teaming with Mars for it. As we've seen, a stealth ship did take out the Canterbury, but no one on Earth knows that yet.

The antenna is going on the Knight, but they can't get enough power to get a proper signal out. Naomi tells everyone to start taking anything with a battery apart so they can boost it as much as possible.

On Ceres, our detectives check out the Air, Water, and Power station. Their guide has an OPA tat - the A is in the Anarchy A symbol. Miller finds a diverter on a pipe, yeah, someone is stealing water all right. They find the people stealing the water, who have plans to sell it, and start to go after them. They have tubs full of water. Miller manages to grab one of them. He tells the kid that where he really went wrong is not doing things the way the old gangsters of Ceres did. Steal little bits of water here and there from any sources other than the higher-ups there. Pick pockets. Don't steal water from main sources. Miller surprisingly lets the prisoner go, and tells him to tell his friends not to mess with the water.

Chrisjen receives a notification that the prisoner avoided his high-gravity injections while being transfered by ship - and died. "Earth's gravity, we used it against him. He's throwing it back in our face."

On the Knight, they're trying to figure out why Mars would shoot down a mining vessel. They manage to get the transmitter working, and are hoping for a rescue.

Ceres: Miller goes to the docks and asks the chief if he's seen Mao. The chief says he remembers her, as a dock worker was hitting on her, tried to put his hands on her, and she took him down. "Girl's got skills!" The ship she was on? The Scopuli. Holy crap. Looks like Mao was the woman at the start of the first episode, and she's in way worse trouble than Miller thinks.

Knight: everyone sits in silence - they're probably running pretty low on oxygen. An alert goes off, someone heard their signal, and is on route - but they're fairly far away. It's a Martian ship, the flagship of the navy, the Donnager, so things might not actually be any better. "Coming to finish the job," Naomi says. "And we just told them where we were," Amos adds.

Ceres: the Canterbury is missing, and the ice shipment from it is in doubt, a news report says. Miller's partner goes to see, well, probably a lady of the night, and gives her a cactus. How sweet, nothing but a little prick. Ba dum ching.

Miller looks through Mao's records, and Octavia walks in. "A week for vanishing ships," she says. They talk about a scar she has, and how she specifically didn't get it fixed.

Knight: Holden puts out a transmission detailing, in exact truth, what happened to them, that they think the Canterbury was destroyed by Mars, and that they're going to cooperate with the ship coming to take them, hoping the broadcast will reach someone else. It doesn't. The Donnager's jammers are in range, and gets there. Guns are held to the crew of the Knight, and they're told they're prisoners of Mars. "Move and you die."