The Expanse Recap — “Triple Point”

Season 3 / Ep 5: Triple Point / SyFy

Episode 4, Reload, ended on a few tenuous points: the Martians were supposed to share Avasarala’s info with their high command. Pastor Anna was supposed to remind the SecGen what kind of asshole Errinwright really is. The crew of the Rocinante was supposed to finally get all the way on the road to reconciliation. Some of these things happen and some don’t. In each case, this episode, Triple Point, is full of surprises.

The Roci on the way to Io

The two Martians, Alex and Bobbie have begun trading barbs and acting chummy, which is a thing that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, character-wise. I mean, Bobbie didn’t desert Mars so much as pick the good guys to fight for. Alex on the other hand… but here we are.
The crew agrees that if they see any hybrids on Io, they will run like hell and nuke the place from orbit. This has been solid advice since Ripley gave it to another group of Marines back in 1986.

MCRN Ship, Hammurabi

Here we are again with another Martian ship named for a famous figure from non-western history — Hammurabi, the Law Giver. On board the Hammurabi, the smart Martian, Ensign Sinopoli, is called to the Command Deck to talk to Captain Kirino.

Sinopoli is good for his word and in the face of serious doubt he delivers his message. Kirino tracks down the Agatha King and Admiral Souther, who are currently on route…away from the battle to Io. Well ain’t that interesting? Kirino may not be willing to deliver the message, but she sure as hell is willing to investigate.

UNN Agatha King

The flagship of the Jupiter fleet is now under the command of Admiral Nguyen, who is proving to be more than up to the task of being Errinwright’s errand runner out in space. He’s directing the ship to Io, against the recommendations of Souther’s loyal bridge crew. Nguyen again boots Souther off of his own CiC, adding insult to injury.

This side eye tho!

The Roci

Avasarala, of course, doesn’t want them to nuke Io. She needs that sample, the data, all of it. She decides to come clean to Holden, mostly because she doesn’t seem to have a choice. She tries to sell Holden the “savior of the species” line, which he doesn’t seem to be buying. At least that’s one thing he won’t buy. He’s let other people, and his passions, dictate so many of his actions, it is interesting at this point to watch him try to stay neutral. Isn’t it too late for that? Aren’t they already caught up in the Churn?
One thing that Avasarala says that is 100% on point: Holden is a better man when he’s being the adult in the room. At some point he has to stop pretending not to care about his situation and actively start trying to direct it. She continues to be able to read a person with very little information.

Even Prax is down for nuking the site, having realized that if Mai is down there, and has been infected, killing her would be a mercy. Amos continues to his mission of mercy to soften Prax’s heart, or at least to try to keep it soft. Amos’ work with Prax, and indeed Prax seems to be a project that Amos cares for, is touching as he continually tries to keep the plant guy focused on the love of his daughter instead of revenge against the guys who took her.
Speaking of Amos, he’s the only member of the crew who continues to treat Naomi like the sneak she is. Somethings, he says, can’t be fixed.

Agatha King

On the flagship, the bridge crew has realized that Nguyen is up to no good. The crew hints to Souther that if he wants to “make a move”, i.e., regain control of his ship, they’re behind him. Them and half the Jupiter fleet. How’s this gonna work out?

Io

Katoa has now been completely engulfed by the protomolecule. When he is in his own mind, he complains of the pain, which Jules-Pierre pretends to give a shit about. But really Mao and Strickland are in it for the protomolecule — what does it want, what is it doing? Why disassemble? Katoa, still obedient to their requests, tries to tell them. But between the squelching and the screaming all he manages to say is “The Work, You can’t stop the work!” and if that isn’t ominous coming from an alien, I don’t know what is.

Agatha King

Oh, and btw, Hammurabi does send that recording to Souther on the Agatha King. The Churn is everywhere now, all the rules have changed.
Souther needs to confirm that the message is real, so who does he talk to? The only person he *knows* is alive and should have been there: Cotyar.
Now, why Nguyen let Cotyar continue to draw breath, I have no idea. I’d have killed him, or had him “try to escape and oops we shot him” by now. Cotyar is literally the only person they have in custody with the info to bring it all down around them. But maybe Nguyen doesn’t know that? Anyway, Cotyar who has been waiting for Souther to get his head on right for 2 episodes, sings the whole story, convincing Souther that this whole thing stinks. Which he knew, but yay for confirmation?
Leaving, Souther is caught and arrested. But they still don’t kill Cotyar? Nguyen and crew need to up their evil mastermind work.

The Roci

And here it is. Naomi, for her own internal reasons, finally comes clean about her past. Why she picks this particular moment isn’t clear, at least to me. Of course, she has a former lover who’s in the OPA. Of course, she has a kid she can’t see because that former lover is an asshole. Of course, she gave the protomolecule to Tycho out of some desire to protect this child she doesn’t know and hasn’t seen. Of course. Of course. This has all been hinted at throughout the series to the point where I think Holden was the only one who didn’t know. The timing lends itself to an “I know you’re going away to maybe die, so here’s the truth” kind of trope, which makes the scene corny in a show that usually is anything but. I wasn’t moved by it, which continues to be my issue with their relationship — each character alone is solid, but together they just fall flat for me.
In truth, Naomi has been necessarily restrained thus far this season. Once she puts herself back out there, I suspect all of the personalities onboard the Roci will get kicked up a notch.

Io

In talking to the creature formerly known as Katoa, Mao and Strickland discover that the Work is coming to an end. But just like any other unwilling informant, providing that info leads to the alien becoming…well…unusable. So they’ll have to infect another kid and get another, as Mao says “conduit”. Mai Meng, you’re up!
While Mao is pretending to care that his surrogate daughter is about to be consumed by the protomolecule, Nguyen shows up demanding the control codes for all the hybrids.
Remember, that’s what he was going out to Io for in the first place, to get the hybrid soldiers to use again Mars. Nguyen, and by extension his boss Errinwright, doesn’t know about the child hybrids. Man is Errinwright gonna be hotter than hell when he finds out.

In orbit around Io, the mutiny of Souther and his loyal bridge crew is kicking off.

Also in orbit around Io, the Hammurabi is threatening to start flinging missiles around. They don’t, because, in fact, the only adult in the room is Captain Kirino. She decides to wait and see what the Agatha King is going to do, wasting her long-distance advantage.

Also in orbit, and descending on the other side of the planet, is the Roci and crew.

Errybody Same Place, Same Time

Now the crew of the Roci doesn’t get up to much, so don’t worry about them.

While Nguyen is doing his damnedest to get those hybrids, Kirino hangs chill, waiting for something to happen. Nguyen is having trouble keeping hold of his own ship though because he was dumb enough to bring Souther to the bridge. Souther announces to all ships in the area, Earth and Mars, that he is standing down, there’s a conspiracy afoot.

The whole episode picks up speed now. Control of the Agatha King flips back and forth, competing messages flying around like a rumor of a new Frank Ocean album on Black Twitter. People get shot whose names you couldn’t even read on their uniforms. Once there’s enough blood on the floor of the Agatha King, Nguyen starts firing at UNN ships. Because the best way to put down a mutiny is to start killing your fellow soldiers.

Kirino really does play the role of the wise Hammurabi, staying out of the fight while the Earthers tear each other to shreds. She’s even wise enough to volunteer to help any of the Earth ships if they want to opt out of the madness.

How does Nguyen respond to all that? He pops the hybrid pods up from Io, directly at the Martian fleet. The Crew of the Roci gets to watch them take off.

We’ll be covering all of The Expanse so come back weekly for new recaps and other news under the The Expanse tag.

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  • L.E.H. Light

    Editor/Reviewer

    Editor, Writer, Critic, Baker. Outspoken Mother. Lifelong fan of sci fi/fantasy books in all their variety. Knows a lot about very few things. She/Her/They.

  • Show Comments

  • protomolly

    I thought Holden and Naomi were hot when they were hooking up in the air lock, but that was awhile ago. Their chemistry got burned down to atoms. Now it’s just kind of cringey.

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