The second half of The Expanse's final season kicked off as the first three episodes did: on Laconia. It showed us another glimpse of what the Protomolecule is doing. The battle between ThePella and The Rocinante was intense and the fallout afterward has dire consequences. Holden and Marco Inaros are more alike than they probably like to admit and tensions rise throughout the galaxy.
There is a lot to unpack in The Expanse: season 6 episode 4 because this episode served as a transition. The end is near and not just in the number of episodes left. It's palpable.
In last week's episode, Laconia's storyline ended with the death of a child. They didn't show what happened to Cara's brother but they inferred that it was some kind of accident. Well, we learn right off the bat that he was hit by a motorized cart because the driver was going too quick around a corner and it flipped. It was just an unfortunate accident.
Cara talks with the Admiral during her brother's funeral and he offers her advice on how to grieve. She takes this information very directly. The conversation ends when Cortazar enters, looking for the Admiral. He says to the Admiral that he's close to a breakthrough and the Martians' plan with the Protomolecule is nearing completion.
When everyone is gone, she pushed the hovering table with her brother's body on it and heads toward the forest where she's seen the alien-like dogs. She intends on the creatures helping her bring her brother back and we can assume this is going to be a Pet Sematary-style resurrection.
Holden and The Rocinante
The Rocinante has been through some tough battles in The Expanse. Holden knows disarming the warhead on the torpedo before it hit ThePella was a questionable call. They could have killed Marco Inaros right there but instead, they let him go. While repairing the ship, Peaches discovers what really happened to the warhead. She tells Amos and he decides the best time to ask Holden about it is on a space walk to fix something outside the ship.
This tension between the crew of The Roci' has been building since the first episode. They know they're expendable assets and some of them are starting to knowingly forget the reason they're out there. Nevertheless, the two argue and go their separate ways.
Later, Holden finds Naomi to tell her what happened to the warhead. He explains to her that he saw her son Filip on the communication feed from Marco and he can't be the reason her son dies. Holden also has a conversation with Peaches where she tells him that she was the one who discovered the warhead. She gives him the best piece of advice he's gotten since detective Miller: don't ever feel bad about not killing someone.
Episode 4 finally shows Drummer getting her payback on Marco Inaros. She finds the supply depots hidden deep in space. Inaros doesn't know they're even after these supplies and this hit will be difficult to recover from but in an unexpected way. Drummer and her crew get onto this small supply station where they're met with resistance. They get into a shootout and win but realize something awful. Marco stole all of this and kept it hidden from the Belters.
They discover the Belters protecting this load were preparing for a delivery, so they have little time left. One of her crew, Josep, gets stuck under a large container. After they try to free him, it becomes clear they need to cut his arm off to save his life. They do it and he survives.
They rig some charges and blow up the support of the supply station. Drummer gets on a widespread communication link and tells Marco what they did. She informs the entire Belt that Marco Inaros was the one who stole the supplies and kept them hidden. She tells them not to forget that it was her who stole the supplies back.
Marco and Filip Inaros
Marco is dealing with the damage to The Pella and he's really pissed off. He feels embarrassed to have lost the battle against The Roci. He's letting his emotions get to him because he's making questionable decisions. He commands his crew to 'space' the leaders of the ships that failed in the battle. Then, he tells Rosenfeld to do the same to the captain if there is any hesitancy. Rosenfeld doesn't oblige his last command.
Inaros is upset that she didn't listen to him but she tells him why. She tells him the crew will lose faith in him if he's seen as weak. Killing everyone who failed in a battle they didn't have to be in shows weakness and she saved him from that. Instead, he's seen as a merciful leader.
In a separate part of the ship, Filip is assigned his new role in repairing the hull of the ship. He makes a new friend as they start working outside the ship to repair all the damage from the fight. They discover the disarmed warhead and Filip falls in line with his new place in the chain of command.
The episode ends with Filip eating with some of the crew as they get pinged with Drummer's broadcast. The entire ship hears her call Marco a coward and sees her steal the supplies back. Filip gets angry and shouts at everyone in the room that this is war. He tells them they must do anything to defeat the enemy.
This episode had far less action than the previous one but the transition into the home stretch is palpable. We already know this show will end on Amazon after the next two episodes, but they have only caught up to the sixth book in the series. There is more source material left to adapt and this episode gave me the sense that is possible for the first time. Laconia is the future of this series and whatever Cortazar is doing with the Protomolecule. There are only two episodes left of this incredible series but several storylines need resolution.
Stay tuned to our Pop Culture section for the final two episodes!