“The Expanse – Season One – Three” (2015-2019)
Developed by: Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby based on ‘The Expanse’ by James S. A. Corey
Featuring: Thomas Jane, Steven Strait, Cas Anvar, Dominique Tipper, Wes Chatham, Paulo Costanzo, Florence Faivre, Shawn Doyle, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Frankie Adams and Cara Gee
Title Card: “In the 23rd century, humans have colonized the Solar System. The U.N. controls Earth. Mars is an independent military power. The inner planets depend on the resources of the asteroid belt. In The Belt air & water are more precious than gold. For decades, tensions have been rising Earth, Mar & The Belt are now on the brink of war. All it will take is a single spark.”
Released recently on DVD and Blu-ray is the fourth season of the critical hit for Amazon Studios in the form of the fourth season of the sci-fi television show “The Expanse” (2015-present). Based on a series of books by James S. A. Corey this show has gone fro strength to strength especially after being cancelled by the SyFy channel and picked up by Amazon, as well as being recently renewed for a fifth series, with plenty of material to come. It is often favourably compared to both the reimagined “Battlestar Galactica” (2004-2009) and “Babylon 5” (1993-1998) but possibly with better source material as well as the backing of one of the richest people in the world.
The show is set hundreds of years in the future, the Solar System has been colonized by humanity. The three largest powers are the United Nations of Earth, the Martian Congressional Republic on Mars, and the Outer Planets Alliance (OPA), a loose configuration of the asteroid belt and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.
There are so many reasons to check this show out, even though this is the fourth season it is worth going back and viewing the entire series to date. The acting from all the new faces is excellent, it is also very well directed and the special effects are among the best seen on any television show airing today.
I recommend this show highly, do yourself a favour and check out all the seasons then go and get this latest one.
Chrisjen Avasarala, a United Nations executive, works to prevent war between Earth and Mars. Ceres police detective Joe Miller is sent to find a missing young woman, Julie Mao. James Holden is the unofficial captain of an appropriated gunship that becomes the main setting of the series. Naomi Nagata, Alex Kamal and Amos Burton are the crew.
In the first season, the space-freighter Canterbury and the Martian Navy flagship Donnager are destroyed by ships built by Jules-Pierre Mao, Julie’s father. The crew of the gunship Rocinante, with Miller’s help, investigates and eventually discovers a biohazard that kills off most of the humans on the asteroid Eros, including Julie.
Martian Marine Bobbie Draper fights an inhuman figure on Ganymede and later becomes a protégé of Avasarala. The crew try to help a father find his daughter and, in the process, encounters and kills the figure that Draper fought, now known as a “protomolecule hybrid” developed by Jules-Pierre. A research ship, sent to Venus to investigate the crash of Eros, is stopped dead in the atmosphere and completely disassembled by the protomolecule.
The UN declares war as Earth and Mars send science vessels to investigate what’s happening on Venus.
A vast land rush begins now that portals to other habitable worlds have opened up. Earth begins to invest vast resources (that it had earlier stinted Mars and the belt) on the new earthlike worlds through the portal. In the outer worlds, the residents’ efforts to enhance life, particularly terraforming on Mars, begin to wane, since much richer worlds are now available, and investment “here at home” is not as attractive.
New Terra: As portals to numerous different solar systems with habitable planets are revealed through the Ring, UN Secretary General Avasarala orders the UNN to blockade a growing fleet of settler ships, as she, wary of another potential Eros Incident, maintains a cautious approach to the new worlds. Desperate to pass through the Ring Space, a convoy of Belter refugees from Ganymede attempts to run the blockade; most are destroyed or crippled, but the Barbapiccola makes it through, eventually landing on a Lithium-rich alien planet they christen “Ilus”. Avasarala taps James Holden, sending him as her special envoy to contact the Belter settlers on Ilus and i
Jetsam: Bobbie Draper struggles with the stagnating Martian job market as a veteran, working a menial job dismantling decommissioned warships; she is singled out as a suspect in a violent crime due to her record of military insubordination, and she experiences other harassment as well. When Avasarala visits Mars on a diplomatic mission, she invites Bobbie to a diplomatic dinner; Bobbie becomes offended when she perceives she was used as a prop to show Avasarala’s solidarity with Mars, and refuses Avasarala’s offer of work.
Subduction: On Earth, UN Home Secretary Nancy Gao resigns from Avasarala’s cabinet and runs for Secretary-General against Avasarala, on a pro-expansion platform, an approach diametrically opposite to Avasarala’s conservative caution. Avasarala’s aides uncover a nepotistic scheme that put Gao ahead in her career, which Avasarala orders leaked as political ammunition against Gao. On Mars, Bobbie’s nephew David is kidnapped by the criminal gang and forced to work off the debt incurred by her destruction of the drugs when she removed him from their operation; the gang offers to release David if Bobbie helps them steal military equipment from the shipyard where she works.
Retrograde: Since the truce between Earth, the Belt and Mars, Ashford has operated as an OPA peacekeeper, tracking down and neutralizing renegades. Meanwhile, Drummer is in command of Behemoth, which controls the Ring Space. They identify Marcos Inaros, an infamous OPA pirate (not unlike Ashford had been some years before the Ring opened), as the pirate responsible for capturing a UNN colony ship, Sojourner, and for spacing the Earthers aboard and stealing the ship and its cargo.
Oppressor: On Earth, Avasarala preps for her first public debate against Gao. Initially, Avasarala gains the advantage, playing up her role in neutralizing the Eros Incident, but her attempt to use accusations of nepotism against Gao backfires, and then the debate is cut short by a security threat; Avasarala is rushed out of the building on camera. The threat resulted from an unidentified ship approaching Earth. Initially claiming to be a civilian ship experiencing multiple system failures, it goes silent after altering course towards an Earth asteroid defense platform, and based on drive signature is identified as the Sojourner, the ship Marco Inaros had captured and claimed to have broken up to sell piecemeal. Avasarala promptly has it destroyed.
Displacement: Alex and Naomi contact Holden, informing him of the massive explosion on the other side of Ilus, and warning of the impending effects: an earthquake very soon, followed by a dangerous shockwave packing winds in excess of 200 km/h, which itself will be followed some hours later by a catastrophic tsunami that will reach the settlement the next day, destroying the buildings and submerging at least a third of the continent. With this knowledge, the settlers finally agree to evacuate the camp, but the Belters only agree on the condition that Holden call for Avasarala to support their claim; Holden’s agreement to these terms further antagonizes Murtry.
A Shot In The Dark: The settlers on Ilus split into different areas of the alien structure, with Murtry and the Earthers hoarding their resources from the Belters while Murtry minimally cooperates with Holden and bides his time. Murtry reveals to Wei that in order to maximize his profit from the situation, he has always intended to eradicate the Belters from the planet. Okoye discovers a condition spreading in the settler population: green micro-organisms are colonizing their eyes, which will lead to blindness. Several settlers are also killed by different larger, parasitic green slug-like creatures.
The One-Eyed Man: After the destruction of Pizzouza, Drummer and Ashford both resign from their respective positions, upset that their information led to senseless Belter deaths. Ashford plans to hunt down and kill Marco Inaros independently and asks Drummer to join him, but she declines, weary of “politics”. On Earth, Avasarala is blamed and condemned for the Pizzouza fiasco, and her marine general resigns. At a memorial for the marines who died on the ship, Avasarala delivers a heartfelt speech referencing her own son, also an Earth marine who died in the line of duty, killed by the OPA.
Saeculum: Murtry orders his crew on the Edward Israel to fire a weaponized shuttle at the Rocinante, hoping to destroy it and the Barbapiccola. Okoye’s geologist friend learns of this plan and warns Alex in time for him to destroy the shuttle, though debris endangers Lucia and Naomi and damages the Rocinante. Unable to use half of their thrusters, Alex devises a plan to maintain their orbit by using the Rocinante’s railgun as a makeshift thruster. In the alien structure on the surface, Miller reveals that he has overcome his Protomolecule programming; now able to act independently, he seeks to end his tormented, ghost-like existence. He identifies the creatures who created the Protomolecule as “the Builders”, and tells Holden that he found a place on the planet that seems to “kill” the Protomolecule technology, explaining it essentially as unexploded ordnance fired at the planet by the race that destroyed the Builders.
Cibola Burn: Miller’s plan is a success, destroying himself while completely deactivating the Builder technology on Ilus; Okoye suffers an ominous vision after falling into the glowing circle, seeing something similar to what Holden sees during his passages through Rings. With the planet deactivated, the Ilus settlers are finally able to evacuate, although many of the Belters opt to rebuild their settlement on the planet now that the danger has been neutralized. Holden brings Murtry and a wounded Amos onto the Rocinante to return to Earth’s solar system, where Murtry and Lucia will stand trial for their respective crimes. However, after Naomi points out the similarities between herself and Lucia, Holden sets Lucia free, reporting that she died as a result of the suicide shuttle launched from Edward Israel. Heeding a warning from Miller, Holden finds a small sample of Protomolecule still on the Rocinante, which he removes and fires into the sun, using the sample as a proxy to say goodbye to Miller.
Safe: The season opens with Martian Marine gunnery sergeant Bobbie Draper and her team undergoing combat training on Mars. They are deployed to PhoebeResearch Station, which had been reported as being attacked. The United Nations debates blockading MCRN fleet deployments; Avasarala backs the measure but privately believes that she is being prepared by Errinwright as a scapegoat, and hires private security. An MCRN vessel fires on a UNN vessel; the UN elects not to fire back, figuring that the Martian missiles were saber-rattling. The missiles pass the UNN vessel and destroy Phoebe Station. Draper believes that war with Earth is good; her commanding officer, Sutton, believes war must be avoided. Holden and Miller recover from radiation sickness; Miller and Amos have a violent disagreement that is broken up by Naomi. The Rocinante crew finds a protomolecule sample in a cryogenic safe recovered from the Anubis and decide to hide it in a debris field. Naomi and Holden perform repairs to the Rocinante and their personal relationship deepens. Alex cooks lasagna for the crew of the Rocinante, and over dinner tensions are eased.
Doors & Corners: Avasarala hires freelance spy Cotyar Ghazi. The Rocinante crew’s arrival at Tycho Station is tense, but the situation is defused by explaining what is happening on Eros and where the data is going. Fred Johnson pulls together a strike team from rival Outer Planets Alliance factions, killing one of their leaders in the process. Rocinante is assigned as the mission’s muscle in the assault on Thoth Station, engaging the station’s defenses and clearing a path for the boarding party. The station is not prepared to defend itself, and falls easily to the team. Capturing the lead scientist on the project, Dresden, and an underling, Cortazar; Dresden is uninterested in who he answers to as long as he can continue his work. Dresden explains the source, dangers, and possibilities of the protomolecule and tries to convince Holden and Johnson to let him continue the project, but Miller shoots him in the head.
Static: Earth destroys Mars’s moon Deimos in response to the MCRN’s nuking of Phoebe. This creates tensions in Bobbie Draper’s squad. Holden and his crew return to Tycho Station, angry at Miller for killing Dresden, the lead scientist on the protomolecule project. Fred Johnson offers Miller safe passage off Tycho, but Miller’s investigations show that action must be taken against Eros. Johnson and Holden reach the same conclusion when Amos figures out how to get the captured scientist Cortazar to talk. Miller realizes that Eros must be destroyed, and that Fred Johnson has the equipment necessary to do so: the Nauvoo.
Godspeed: Avasarala gathers information linking the protomolecule to Jules-Pierre Mao, Julie’s father. Miller’s plan is put into action. After assembling a demolition team and procuring the Rocinante’s services for cover, the Nauvoo is evacuated of its people, commandeered, and set on a collision course to knock Eros into the Sun. After flying to Eros, Rocinante drops its cargo of bombs and the demolition team spacewalks to them for precise placement in order to seal the surface of the asteroid. A complication arises when a group of humanitarian doctors is found who will not follow Holden’s orders, so he destroys their ship to prevent spreading the protomolecule infection. The debris damages one of Miller’s bombs, and he chooses to stay with it on Eros, watching the Nauvoo approach, but no collision takes place. Holden and crew confirm that the Nauvoo did not miss – despite having no human-built propulsion system capable of doing so, Eros maneuvered to avoid the impact.
Home: Eros is speeding on collision course for Earth. Miller and the crew decide that Miller will bring the bomb into the heart of Eros to destroy it and then escape back to the Rocinante. On Earth, the United Nations decides to fire its planetary defense nuclear missiles at the incoming Eros, but the asteroid evades them by ‘going stealth’, ceasing to reflect radar. The Rocinante crew use their proximity to the asteroid to provide a target lock to Fred Johnson, who will guide the missiles to Eros. Eros reacts to this by accelerating still faster; to maintain visual contact, the Rocinante accelerates at the limits of human endurance and finally gives up the chase. Miller arrives with the bomb at the heart of Eros and discovers a transformed Julie Mao. While the protomolecule has infected her and Eros, she has in some way infected it back, and can influence Eros’s trajectory. With a combination of words and affection, and after removing his protective spacesuit, Miller convinces her to redirect Eros away from Earth toward Venus, where it crashes in a planetary-scale event.
Paradigm Shift: Flashbacks show Martian colonist Solomon Epstein envisaging a future where Mars is freed from Earth’s control by use of his fusion drive. In the present, Avasarala demands Errinwright bring Mao out of hiding by threatening Mao’s family and business empire. On Tycho, Fred Johnson’s idea to use the thirty missing nukes as a bargaining chip against Earth and Mars angers Holden. The Rocinante crew commiserate over Miller’s death and agree to launch the protomolecule sample into the sun. Naomi fakes the launch; the others believe there is no sample left. On Ganymede, Bobbie Draper and her marines are sent to patrol the agricultural farms. They see UN marines running towards them, firing. Their comms are jammed. The UNN and MCRN fleets in orbit each think the jamming is part of an attack by the others. A full scale battle breaks out in orbit. This destroys several of the giant orbital mirrors. The crashing wreckage devastates the colony. The Scirocco comes under fire and Sutton is killed. After the battle, an injured Bobbie awakes to find her team massacred and an inhuman figure standing over her.
The Seventh Man: After the Ganymede battle, Bobbie is rescued by the MCRN and asked to report the events, which some of her superiors do not believe. On Earth, Avasarala demands a peace summit between Earth and Mars to prevent further escalation of the tension, in which both planets believed the other fired first on Ganymede. Over three thousand people were killed in the Ganymede Incident, and the massive damage to the colony destroyed the agricultural domes that the Belt depends on – leading to a starvation and refugee crisis. On Tycho Station, a recently arrived Anderson Dawes is asked to represent the Belt in negotiations for peace with Earth and Mars, but Dawes convinces the Belters that Earth and Mars will never respect the Belt. Bobbie is ordered to Earth to the peace summit, and to tell Earth that Mars fired first accidentally, despite Bobbie remembering the presence of an alien figure the UN marines were fleeing from. On Tycho, Dawes becomes aware of Cortazar’s presence and knowledge. Cortazar is later found to be missing from his cell, leading Alex and Naomi to chase after an escaping ship, only to find Diogo aboard and Dawes and Cortazar gone.
Pyre: Aboard a Ganymede refugee ship, Praxidike Meng and others are headed for safety as he privately mourns the loss of his daughter Mei, who was supposedly killed when the mirrors fell from orbit. The ship’s crew throws refugees from the inner planets out of the airlock, reflecting the rising tension between the Belters and the Inners. Prax’s ship later arrives at Tycho Station, which is inundated with thousands of refugees from Ganymede. Meanwhile, Fred Johnson receives a message from Dawes, who tells him that he’s giving back the weapon (Cortazar’s protomolecule information) to the Belt. This earns support among the Belters on Tycho, who storm the hangar and take Fred and his subordinate Camina Drummer hostage, wanting to launch the missiles back to Earth in order to provoke a fight, but are unsuccessful when the Rocinante crew intervenes. The crew discovers that a protomolecule ‘shout’ (signal) came from Ganymede at the time of the battle and discover a pediatrician, Dr. Strickland, who used to work for Protogen, was also on Ganymede. Prax reveals that his daughter Mei was a patient of Strickland’s and footage shows Strickland leaving the pediatric clinic with Mei one hour before the battle. Prax, with the crew, set off for Ganymede with renewed hope his daughter is still alive.
The Weeping Somnambulist: Approaching Jupiter, the crew of the Rocinante realize that their ship is too obvious, so they commandeer the Weeping Somnambulist, unable to convince that crew they mean no harm. The Mars delegation arrives on Earth for peace negotiations, and Bobbie Draper gives testimony that makes it look like Mars started the battle of Ganymede by accident. Alex takes the Rocinante to hide behind a Jovian moon, awaiting a call from the crew for pickup or rescue, and Prax is unimpressed with the crew’s planning abilities. Upon arrival, Holden and Amos realize something is wrong on the Somnambulist and, while attempting to intervene, one of the Somnambulist‘s crew is killed. A research vessel in orbit around Venus, the Arboghast, discovers that the Eros impact zone is teeming with unexplained activity, information that Avasarala matches with Bobbie Draper’s additional testimony to realize that the solar system is still in danger.
Cascade: Despite chastisement from her commanding officers, Bobbie sneaks out of the Martian embassy to see the ocean. She passes through an enclave of street people under some overpasses along the way. Errinwright confesses to Avasarala his role in helping Jules-Pierre Mao with the Eros incident. Avasarala approaches Bobbie with images of the inhuman figure from Ganymede, now believing Mao created it as a weapon which could wind up in Mars’ possession. On Ganymede, Amos beats an information dealer for footage of Dr. Strickland taking Mei to the oldest part of Ganymede station. Prax realizes too much damage has been done to Ganymede’s ecosystem to ever repair it. Alone on the Rocinante, Alex receives the MCRN alert declaring Ganymede a no-fly zone.
Here There Be Dragons: Bobbie forces Captain Martens to reveal Jules-Pierre Mao’s protomolecule technology project. A demonstration of it caused the Ganymede Incident and triggered the battle in orbit. The technology is now for sale. Bobbie takes the information to Avasarala at the UN and requests political asylum. Mao offers to explain everything to Avasarala if she meets with him outside of UN control. She accepts over Cotyar’s objections. The research team aboard the UNS Arboghast lands a probe on Venus. They see a massive protomolecule structure before the probe fails. Alex uses a Gravity slingshot to sneak the Rocinante past the MCRN blockade of Ganymede. Holden and crew explore the old part of the station. They find guards and scientists having a pizza party. After Prax starts a gun fight, the survivors barricade themselves in a back room. Holden and Prax realize the protomolecule monsters are actually Belter children with genetic peculiarities and deliberately infected with protomolecule. The fate of Mei is unclear. Most of the enemy is killed by a protomolecule monster, but a dying scientist says there are plenty more out there. The party splits. Naomi and Amos evacuate people off Ganymede, while Holden, Prax, and Alex hunt the protomolecule monster on the surface.
The Monster and the Rocket: Errinwright expresses remorse to Avasarala as she departs to Mao’s ship with Bobbie and Cotyar. Mao claims he will give both Earth and Mars access to the protomolecule while he sits comfortably in the middle, preventing war. Errinwright meets with Martian Defense Minister Korshunov, poisoning him with a banned toxin for Martians that makes it look as if he died from a heart attack while also ordering the destruction of the Martian black-ops ship MCRN Karakum that was dispatched to collect the protomolecule monster on Ganymede. Errinwright subtly orders Mao to kill Avasarala and tie up loose ends. Holden becomes increasingly aggressive while hunting the protomolecule monster. Naomi and Amos repair the Somnambulist but it carries only enough air for 52 people, while over 300 refugees riot at the door. Naomi, with the help of a Belter who gives up his spot to her, manages to evacuate all the children and some young adults. When the Somnambulist is fired upon for violating the MCRN blockade, Alex convinces Holden to save them, threatening the MCRN ships with the Rocinante‘s arsenal. The protomolecule monster is shown to have stowed away aboard the Rocinante.
Caliban’s War: The protomolecule monster is found in the cargo bay on the Rocinante. It attacks Holden, crushing his leg and pinning him to the wall. It tears out panels to get to the reactor core for its radiation. Amos says the only way to get rid of it is to use the air on the ship as a pressurized blast to force it into space, which would also kill Holden. Prax sees the monster craves radiation and suggests the nuclear core in a ship’s missile could lure it out. Naomi and Prax expose a core; Prax throws it into space. The monster jumps after it and is incinerated by the main engine. Cotyar is wounded in a shootout with Mao’s men. Bobbie manages to sneak away to get her power armor and saves him and Avasarala. As the science team on the Arboghast begins a descent to the surface of Venus to examine the protomolecule structure, the ship is stopped and disassembled in an increasing spherical pattern. Naomi confesses to Holden that she never destroyed their protomolecule sample; with Earth and Mars already fighting over it, the Belt needed it too, so she gave it to Fred Johnson. On Io, Mei and other children are shown to be kept in stasis by Dr. Strickland.
Fight or Flight: The crew cleans up the Rocinante, missing a small piece of protomolecule in the process. They also conduct repairs and rename the ship Pinus Contorta to hide during escalating tension between Earth and Mars. Errinwright convinces the UN to declare war, Mars blames Earth for the assassination of defence minister Korshunov, and everyone wonders what is happening on Venus. Things are strained between Naomi and the crew. Though Naomi wants them to dock at Tycho, Holden picks up a protomolecule signal on Io, convincing the others to find answers for Prax. Fred Johnson reaches out to Dawes to use the scientist and protomolecule to work together, and orders the Nauvoo retrieved as the Belt must unite as one nation. Errinwright frames Avasarala for Eros and says she is the one working with Mao, having missiles fired at Mao’s ship to kill her. Bobbie, Avasarala and Cotyar force one of the employees of the ship, Theo, to help them gather evidence to expose Errinwright, then Bobbie and Avasarala escape on Mao’s racing ship Razorback, while Theo and Cotyar escape on a landing shuttle.
IFF: As the civilians of Earth get more afraid about war with Mars, Esteban calls in old friend Methodist pastor and Doctor Annushka “Anna” Volovodov; to help convince the people that God is on Earth’s side. Anna irritates Errinwright by calling for restraint. Jules-Pierre Mao visits Dr Strickland on Io, considering shutting down the whole project, though Strickland reveals the children of Ganymede can be controlled hosts for the protomolecule, including Mei. Pursuing the Razorback, Errinwright’s men fire again and Avasarala’s body cannot take the force of acceleration needed to escape. Bobbie sends out a Martian distress signal that is picked up by Holden’s crew. Holden and Amos want to ignore it and Alex and Naomi want to help. Prax breaks the tie and decides to assist them. Holden has torpedoes fired around the Razorback as a shield and then uses an explosion for cover to get in close to disable the UN ship’s engines. After Amos saves his life, Prax admits he is scared of what he will find on Io, though Amos says Prax shouldn’t give up on his daughter. As Avasarala passes out, she and Bobbie are picked up by a stunned Holden and crew.
Assured Destruction: Errinwright pushes a preemptive strike against Mars’ long-range capabilities. Anna tells Esteban to take as few lives as possible so he refuses. Errinwright tells Esteban he must end this war to unite humanity against whatever comes from Venus, so Esteban has Earth launch an attack. A malfunction allows one Martian missile to kill two million people in South America, which Errinwright reveals to Anna. Cotyar and Theo’s signal reaches the UNN ship Agatha King. Cotyar kills Theo to maintain the story of Avasarala’s death. UNN Admiral Nguyen believes Avasarala to be alive and a traitor, and prepares to charge Cotyar with treason. Captain Souther of the Agatha King believes Cotyar’s story about Errinwright, but Nguyen takes command and orders the ship to Io. Mao begins to bond with Mei. He demands the project be shut down when an infected child begins dying. Avasarala recovers and tells the crew of Mao and Bobbie’s role on Ganymede. Holden still doesn’t want to get involved with the war. Alex gets a message from his family that they don’t need him anymore. Avasarala is disgusted Naomi gave the protomolecule to Fred Johnson. Naomi swears to never let Avasarala or Earth get any protomolecule sample.
Reload: Drummer retrieves the Nauvoo. Esteban gives Anna’s speech but it is revised by Errinwright to further justify destroying Mars before dealing with Venus. Anna is disgusted and prepares to leave. The crew is very low on fuel and prepares to take some from a defeated Martian ship, but find three surviving Martian Marines. Avasarala convinces Holden to send the recording of Errinwright’s treason to Anna so she can get through to Esteban; shocking her just as she is about to depart. The three Martians are disgusted they are on a stolen Martian war ship, preparing to capture it by beating Alex and taking him and Naomi hostage. Bobbie is able to talk them down. Holden has the Martian’s ship repaired so they can rejoin their fleet, giving them a copy of the Errinwright recording to pass onto their captain, whom Avasarala wants to pass it to the Agatha King. On Io, Dr Strickland secretly keeps working on Mei’s infected friend. Mao is initially furious but when he sees that the boy is communicating with the protomolecule on Venus; and learning by ripping out and disassembling his nurse’s organs, Mao realizes this is the key to everything.
Triple Point: The Martian marines pass the Errinwright recording along to the captain of the Martian Hammurabi. Avasarala admits Earth needs a protomolecule sample but wants to unite humanity and needs Holden’s help to end the war. Naomi admits she gave the protomolecule sample to The Belt. At the lab, the boy tells Mao that the work on Venus is almost complete. Mao orders the next subject, Mei, to be infected. Admiral Nguyen orders Mao to turn over control of the protomolecule monsters to him. Souther and his crew attempt mutiny, announcing to both Earth and Mars that they want to stand down, but Nguyen kills Souther and those loyal to him. The UNN ships begin firing on one another. The Hammurabi offers aid to any Earth ship willing to stand down. A wounded Nguyen launches the missiles containing the protomolecule monsters.
Immolation: Believing Holden’s group to be Martian Marines, Mao and Strickland prepare to use the children as hostages. The boy hybrid attacks Bobbie. A missile hits and infects the Agatha King. Holden captures Mao. Amos kills Strickland. An infected Cotyar destroys the Agatha King to stop the protomolecule. Naomi tells Johnson about the hybrid missiles, and he destroys them. On Earth, Anna exposes Errinwright who admits his treason. Esteban orders Errinwright’s arrest. Mao is brought to Avasarala as a prisoner, Bobbie recovers with Alex, Prax spends time with Mei, and Holden reunites with Naomi. A large protomolecule structure takes off from the surface of Venus.
Delta-V: The protomolecule forms the Ring, a structure orbiting beyond Uranus. Earth, Mars, and the Belt send fleets to investigate it. The OPA is recognized as the government of the Belt, led by Anderson Dawes and Fred Johnson. Anna flies to the Ring with the UNN fleet. Bobbie, reinstated into the MMC, is with the Martian fleet. Mars sues the Roci crew over the ship. A journalist and her cameraman are allowed onboard on the Roci in exchange for paying the crew’s legal fees. The Rocinante escorts the OPA fleet to the Ring. Naomi and Drummer command the OPA flagship Behemoth (formerly Nauvoo). Dawes’ representative, former pirate Klaes Ashford, is named Drummer’s first officer. Ashford undermines Drummer by preventing her from spacing a drug dealer. A UNN tech crew including Melba Koh is deployed to a support ship in the earth fleet. Koh places a bomb on the ship and kills a coworker who discovers it. A Belter racing ship slingshots through the Ring and is instantly decelerated to a near complete stop, killing the pilot. Holden, alone in his quarters on the Roci, sees Miller sitting on his bed.
It Reaches Out: Melba hides the body and returns to the Thomas Prince. She briefly meets Anna. Holden keeps scanning himself for brain defects and protomolecule, finding neither. Miller only shows up when he is alone. Using timestamps from Monica’s footage Holden determines Miller first appeared when the racer entered the Ring. Monica’s cameraman swaps out a circuit on the Rocinante. Miller says he is an Investigator and he and Holden are tools for “it” to get to the Ring. Melba destroys the Seung Un and sends a message with Holden claiming responsibility. The Rocinante is unable to communicate a denial. On the Behemoth Ashford demands they fire on Holden to prove the OPA is not with him. Drummer gives the order. The ship malfunctions but eventually fires. Holden is able to get Amos to give him a minute alone, whereupon Miller says they should aim for the ring but they are moving too fast. Holden convinces Alex to slow down and enter the Ring. The acceleration hurts everyone on board. The ship starts to enter the Ring with the missile just behind it.
Intransigence: The missile has been stopped and redirected by the Ring but the Rocinante is unable to communicate or access any weapons. A Martian ship follows them inside; a probe touches the edge of the Ring and vanishes. Cohen the cameraman admits to sabotaging the ship but says he only wanted information and never met the person who contacted him to do this. Amos sends him and Monica out of the ship to be picked up by the Martians to explain Holden’s innocence. Unable to repair the ship without Naomi, Holden believes their only option is to surrender to the Martians. On the Behemoth Ashford talks with Naomi to make her realize her heart is still with the Rocinante. Drummer rallies the Belters to enter the Ring but lets Naomi take a shuttle back to her old crew once inside. Flashbacks reveal Melba is the other daughter of Jules-Pierre Mao who could never get his approval as he preferred Julie. Melba intends to destroy Holden for her father. Earth’s civilians are evacuated away from the Ring but Anna is able to stay. Miller has Holden investigate the center of the pocket dimension the Ring connects to. Holden detaches himself from the ship and goes towards a structure in the center.
Dandelion Sky: The Thomas Prince enters the Ring. Anna and others on board theorize the Ring is trying to isolate potential threats. Anna’s friend Tilly recognizes Melba as Clarissa Mao and confronts her. Clarissa attacks Tilly to avoid being revealed. The Investigator admits he is just a construct in Holden’s brain attempting to fulfill the protomolecule’s mission of discovering what happened to an ancient civilization. As Holden goes towards the station at the center of the pocket dimension he touches a circuit, revealing Miller’s last thoughts to get Holden to comply. Believing Holden to be insane, a Martian team including Bobbie follow him. They fire at Holden but the bullets are stopped in mid-air and a Martian lieutenant is disassembled and absorbed by the station when he throws a grenade. The station forces every ship to slow down further, interrupting Clarissa’s attack on Tilly. Holden touches the circuit and is shown visions from the protomolecule’s point of view. He is shown previous events in reverse before witnessing events in the distant past, planets exploding and a connection to farther away in space, and finally loses consciousness.
Fallen World: The mass deceleration caused fatalities and severe wounds among all the ships; without gravity internal wounds cannot drain, meaning many more will die. Naomi returns to the Rocinante treating a wounded Amos and Alex. On the Behemoth, Drummer and Ashford are pinned on opposite sides of a large piece of equipment, working together to try to free themselves and learning about each other. Drummer allows it to roll forward, crushing her further to give the ship a captain in Ashford. Once free, to treat Drummer and the others, Ashford commands the ship’s drum to create spin gravity, opening the ship to everyone’s wounded. Leaving Tilly for dead, Clarissa realizes with all ships being drawn to the center, she can board the Rocinante. However, Tilly survives just long enough to tell Anna the truth. Clarissa boards the ship and attacks Naomi, seeking Holden, but Anna follows and tasers her from behind. On Bobbie’s skiff, Holden wakes up and tells her he saw a vision detailing the end of everything.
Congregation: Everyone boards the Behemoth with all weapons seized by the OPA. Holden is believed to be insane and Clarissa wears an injection system to impair her abilities. She is locked across from Holden without him knowing who she is. Anna tells her all she can hope for now is forgiveness. Holden tells Ashford the beings that created the Rings and protomolecule were somehow killed and used Rings to destroy planetary systems, attempting to save themselves. Drummer builds herself mechanical legs with help from Naomi, whom she later reunites with Holden. Clarissa can hear Holden’s torment as he tries to get Miller to tell him what to do next. Amos takes a liking to Anna. A tech from Earth has the idea to send a damaged skiff with a nuclear missile to try and weaken the field blocking immobilizing ships and blocking the laser communication to the outside world. In response, the station begins charging energy. Ashford realizes the station intends to destroy the entire solar system and convinces the leaders of Earth and Mars to destroy the Ring with the laser, saving humanity at the cost of marooning everyone inside the Ring.
Abaddon’s Gate: Holden talks with Miller. The station thinks humans are a threat and Ashford’s laser will cause it to destroy the solar system. To calm the station, they must power down the ships. Holden, Naomi and Drummer storm the Behemoth‘s reactor room. Amos, Alex, Anna and Monica broadcast to the other ships asking them to power down. Ashford frees Clarissa to work on the laser. Bobbie’s squad is sent to stop Anna’s broadcast. The Marines turn on Bobbie, who defends herself and Alex. Diogo attacks the reactor room in Martian power armor. Naomi crushes him with an elevator to save Drummer. Anna’s message convinces the other ships to power down. Ashford orders Naomi and Holden killed, but Clarissa saves them and is shot shutting down the Behemoth. The station releases all the ships. It reactivates the remaining Rings to 1300 habitable planetary systems. Bobbie joins Rocinante‘s crew. Holden says Miller wanted the other rings open and to find out what killed its creators. It has given humanity something to explore as part of its plan. The Rocinante passes through the Ring barrier while Holden watches some ghostly object seem to speed towards him.