The Expanse (S03E05) “Triple Point”
A lot of action is going on in the Solar System this week. War has broken out and there are continuing repercussions. The crew continues to make its way to Io.
Spoilers beyond this point.
The crew is watching as Alex (Cas Anvar) shows a potential pathway through all the warships. Everyone has turned to Callisto, leaving a gap for them to head to Io. They discuss what to do if there is Protomolecule on Io.
On the Hammurabi, Sinopoli (Atticus Mitchell) acknowledges that Holden, Draper, and Avasarala were all on the Tachi. They do not believe him, so he shares the recording of Errinwright. He wants to share with Souther. Admiral Kirino (Krista Bridges) does take note and changes course to intercept, but then dismisses Sinopoli.
The Agatha King notices that a ship has broken off. Nguyen (Byron Mann) deflects the questions about why they’re going to Io. (But, his thought is that if he can get the Martian fleet to follow him to Io, he can use the Protomolecule to destroy the fleet. Nguyen has serious issues.).
Avasarala (Shohreh Agdashloo) gives Holden (Steven Strait) a pep talk, disclosing that her son was killed (which shocks Holden). She admits to Holden that she does want a Protomolecule sample, but it is because now she’s concerned about the fate of all of humanity, not just Earth. As Holden tells her Naomi was right, she acknowledges that Naomi is smart.
Alex takes a look at comms and gets a very unexpected message from his son. His son tells him he understands and wants to be like him.
Amos (Wes Chatham) teaches Prax (Terry Chen) how to shoot. Prax is clearly more hardened, willing to get even if he doesn’t get his daughter back. Amos actually looks unsettled at this attitude. He’s not sure he likes this shift in Prax.
On the AK, Souther (Martin Roach) is very unhappy. His nucleus of loyal crew are extremely concerned about Nguyen. They’ve also been talking to other ships that are loyal to Souther. Souther is worried that his crew have done this. Souther leaves when a Nguyen-loyalist comes in to the mess hall. The sailors complain about Nguyen and the loyalist tells the crew that Nguyen was involved in the Vesta battle and watched Martians kill his troops. (This of course means his judgment is clouded about the Martians … )
Alex encounters Bobbie (Frankie Adams), who is ensuring her suit is charged and loaded. They don’t have some fuel that she needs to fight the Protomolecule. Alex tells her that the hybrid is more animal than human.
Mao (Francois Chau) and Strickland (Ted Atherton) question Katoa (now played by Jordan Dacol), who is in a containment unit. Katoa, clearly in pain, tries to explain about “the work” but can’t continue so they sedate him. Mao knows that Katoa is communicating with the Protomolecule “host.”
Back on the AK, sailors loyal to Souther arrange to privately receive the message Hammurabi sent to them. Souther listens and then goes to Cotyar (Nick Tarabay) for confirmation. Cotyar nearly cries with relief now that he knows Avasarala is alive. But, Souther still leaves him to rot in the medical brig.
Naomi (Dominique Tipper) updates Holden about Alex’s plan. Naomi apologizes for what she did and she explains what drives her. She tells Holden she has a child, Filip, with an OPA resistance leader. Her significant other took her child because she wouldn’t do what he wanted. She said to survive she sealed it all off. Holden forgives her.
On Io, a semi-sedated Katoa starts to say “the work” would be done soon. But he freaks out and starts to break his containment unit. Backing quickly out of the room, Strickland tells Mao that Katoa is now unreachable. The next closest match for the hybrid protocol is Mei Meng. Mao hesitates approximately one nanosecond before approving starting the protocol on Mei.
Nguyen calls Mao and tells him that all his assets are frozen and to transfer firing control and transfer research and assets. Mao indicates he understands and transfers launch control. (Great, now the insane guy controls the Hybrids).
On the AK, Souther approaches Nguyen and tries to get him to stop. Nguyen relieves Souther of duty. On the Hammurabi, Admiral Kirino is keeping track of what the AK is doing. She’s worried that there will be a firefight, and she recognized that it’s sheer luck that they have info which could stop this war. (Her speech on war is right on point.)
The Roci prepares for its encounter. Amos assures Prax he has his back no matter what.
On Io, Strickland’s hench aides strap Mei (Leah Jung) down, and they hear some unusual noise. They look up to the ceiling as I used to do when I wondered what my children are up to on the second floor.
The Roci team runs up to the entrance of the factory on Io, with Bobbie’s suit in full squeak mode.
Sinopoli briefs Admiral Kirino about Avasarala. Kirino’s crew is agitated that they have a firing solution on the AK, but aren’t taking it.
On the AK, the tension between Souther and Nguyen boils over. Souther finally announces that he is relieving Nguyen of duty. (Shit is about to get real). Souther begins to announce that they are standing down, that he has relieved Nguyen of duty. In the meantime, a Nguyen-loyalist disarms one of the sailors and Nguyen SHOOTS and kills Souther. 😮 Nguyen reopens the channel to the UNN fleet, announcing he has prevented a mutiny. (Hat tip to a shoutout to Eric Heisserer, one of the nonresponsive ships). Nguyen orders a sailor to fire on another ship, and she refuses. Several other sailors refuse to comply, so Nguyen personally fires on the Jimenez, destroying it.
Admiral Souther’s loyal troops are still on deck, looking horrified. As a crewman announces the Jimenez has been destroyed, remaining mutineers try to gain control of the deck. In the shootout, most of the prime Souther-loyal crew are killed. Nguyen is also shot, but seemingly not fatally. Now, the UNN fleet starts firing on each other. Admiral Kirino tells the Martian fleet to hold their fire, and broadcasts a message to the UNN ships that any ship with peaceful intentions will not be fired upon. In response, Nguyen launches the Protomolecule Hybrids!
On Io, just as Amos gets the door open to the base, the group looks on in horror as the hybrids are launched.
Thoughts on this episode: In a word, SHOCKING. I didn’t foresee Souther and all his crew being killed in a mutiny, nor did I foresee the launch of the hybrids. (It’s been a while since I read this novel, and I don’t remember how this all happened in the book – although I DO remember what is coming up NEXT episode. You won’t want to miss it!). It’s interesting to see Amos’s reaction to the hardening of Prax, and yet, although disturbed, Amos completely has Prax’s back. Holden was shocked and saddened that Naomi lived with her sadness at the loss of her son, Filip and that she never shared this circumstance with him. This show had a very interesting mix of military attitudes – loyalty, blind loyalty and responsibility for resisting illegal or unethical orders.
UPDATE: After the airing of this episode, Syfy announced it unfortunately will not be airing future seasons of The Expanse, if indeed they are made. This shocking announcement has sparked a fire in the fandom, and we are advised that Alcon Entertainment is working feverishly to restore the loss of funding from Syfy. Please see this post for actions you, the fan, can take to help save The Expanse.
Images courtesy Syfy.
The Expanse airs on Wednesday nights at 9/8c on Syfy. “Immolation” airs on May 16, 2018.