02x06 - Paradigm Shift

Previously on The Expanse

sh1t.

"Protomolecule.

" They gave the goddamn thing a name.

HOLDEN: What are we going to do with it?

AMOS: Stick it on the end of a torpedo, and we fire it into the sun.

That is too important to destroy right now.

- NAOMI: We'll hide it.

- HOLDEN: Where?

NAOMI: Out here.

It'll be safe.

Jules, you need me.

You need my government's resources and my protection.

I need a patron who understands the historic importance of what's happening.

The Deep Radar Station on Deimos.

It's mostly automated, minimal personnel.

SOUTHER: You want us to attack a Martian moon?

That's a declaration of war.

BOBBIE: We trained all our lives for this.

The sooner we have it out with Earth, the better.

Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you.

We're not going to Earth.

We've been ordered to Ganymede Station.

Farm patrol?

We're Marines!

And we serve where we are ordered to serve.

CHRISJEN: What's happening?

Eros has changed trajectory again.

It's now on a direct collision course with Earth.

SADAVIR: There's only one option left.

A massive missile launch at Eros.

UN ADVISOR: Our missiles have lost their target-locks.

Fred Johnson is honorable.

Give him access to your missiles, and my crew and I will guide them in.

DRUMMER: One hundred and fifty live thermonuclear missiles under your control.

I believe that makes you the most powerful man in the system right now.

I know you can steer this ship.

What happens to us now?

MILLER: Whatever happens, it happens to both of us.

[Theme music playing]

SOLOMON: Mars had been a colony for a long time, and it was filled with the best scientists and technologists humanity had to offer.

We were ready to govern ourselves and start a new nation of our own, but everything we built, or mined or made, was still the property of old Mother Earth.

I was a fusion-drive engineer.

My wife, Caty, wanted to start having babies, like all good Martians do, but I convinced her that we should buy a second-hand yacht for me to tinker around with instead.

She liked to indulge me.

I'd been modifying the engine to boost fuel efficiency.

I wasn't expecting much, maybe four percent better, tops, and I was taking it out for a test run.

Commence pre-flight check.

Commence pre-flight check!

The voice interface had been problematic from the start.

The original owner was Chinese, so I turned the damn thing off.

[Beeps]

The rest, I guess, is history.

[Beeps]

Okay.

Let's see what you can do.

- [Whirring]

- [Grunts]

[Rapid beeping]

[Chuckles]

My name's Solomon Epstein.

And I changed everything.

JANUS: The consensus, is that Eros was a test of a new Martian zero-inertia drive.

They've been pumping R&D into that project for over a decade.

It's the single most plausible explanation.

It is, of course, possible that it was something else.

Like a massive relativistic field generator or Or some other bunch of science words you string together?

JANUS: The one thing we do understand is that Eros was a wake-up call.

Whatever it was, it's clearly the greatest technological leap - since the Epstein Drive.

- [Door opens]

And if it is a weapon, given the depleted state of our missiles, it's a weapon that will conclusively tilt the balance of power in favor of Mars.

Dr.

Iturbi.

You're late.

I can't have missed very much.

The Rocinante was closest to Eros than anyone.

They might have more insight The Rocinante and James Holden have gone silent.

Along with Fred Johnson, and the Martian government.

So we will just have to be insightful on our own.

SADAVIR: Where are we on the impact site mission?

JANUS: We've commandeered a civilian survey vessel and are refitting it with our best sensors and probes.

We're also reinforcing the hull to allow us to get closer to the surface.

If there's anything left of Eros down there, we'll find it.

We'll be on our way to Venus in a week.

I'll expect regular updates from you personally.

Understood, sir.

Next on our list of sh1t, we need to clean up.

One hundred and fifty missiles we launched.

So far, sir, we've confirmed abort on 121 missiles.

Tracking has been very difficult, but we're confident we'll be able to account for all the rest in short order.

HOLDEN: So, I don't know what you've heard, or if you're even going to get this.

The UN will be monitoring your messages, so there's some things I can't talk about.

But I just wanted to let you know that I'm okay.

And that this time, I didn't run from the fight.

The people on this ship, my friends, they helped avert a catastrophe.

Helped save Earth.

I hope you get to meet them someday.

One in particular.

- Love you, Mom.

- [Call ends]

How come you don't say "Love you, Mom, and mom and dad, and mom and dad and dad.

" [Sighs]

It's understood.

[Sighs]

Can you imagine what it must have been like on Earth, watching Eros coming at you with no way to stop it?

I'm amazed Earth and Mars didn't blow each other up - out of sheer panic.

- Hmm.

There's still time for that.

The Protomolecule turned an asteroid into a space ship.

Nobody knows how or why.

We'll figure out how it works.

Sooner or later.

It's not a bio-toxin, or some genetic toolkit.

It's alien.

You still want to destroy our sample?

Yeah.

[SIGHS]

Now more than ever.

Miller wanted to destroy it, too, you know.

Miller told me he trusted us to do the right thing.

And we did.

Hmm.

I wonder if he knew that his trip to Eros would be one-way.

I think part of him never left that terrible little room where we found Julie.

I don't think Miller wanted to be saved.

Hmm.

When I said we had to keep following Eros, I was ordering you, and Amos, and Alex to your deaths.

None of you even questioned it.

It was the right thing to do.

We all felt the same.

I don't want to be the one who says who lives and who dies.

Whether you like it or not, you are the Captain of this ship.

[Inhales]

HOLDEN: So in the interests of the smooth operations of this vessel, and the morale of this crew, I just wanted to let you know, that Naomi and I are together.

Sleeping together.

When did it start?

Just after we got out of Eros.

[Breathes deeply]

I knew it.

- [Laughs]

- God damnit!

Son of a bitch!

It doesn't make no sense!

I told you.

Eros.

Didn't I say?

You lost the bet, man.

Give me that arm.

ALEX: I can't believe I agreed to this.

All right, go ahead, take your shot.

What the hell was that?

That's 'cause I like you, brother.

- ALEX: You said it was a punch.

- AMOS: I know.

- I didn't want to hurt you.

- Asked, answered.

Hey I'm glad that me and Naomi being together isn't an issue for you.

Oh, no.

She's a good person and I like her.

But she's like a sister to me.

Right.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I'd do her if she'd let me.

I'm glad we had this talk.

It was supposed to be a punch.

- Hey, Chief, you got a second?

- Yeah.

I gotta show you something.

This is all the telemetry on the nukes the UN launched against Eros.

They detonated them after they lost target lock.

That makes sense.

That's what the abort codes are for.

Yeah, except [Snifles]

[Rapid beeping]

Nearly 30 of them kept on going, long after all the others aborted.

Where are they now?

That's the million-dollar question.

Well, I got no clue.

Roci lost track of 'em when we were chasing Eros.

- Oh - Right?

Megatons of thermonuclear ordinance, state-of-the-art guidance systems, and somehow, 30 of them didn't get that self-destruct message.

They just kept on going.

Who knows where.

Kind of an unsettling thought, don't you think?

Yeah, it is.

Way better than I ever expected.

Fuel efficiency was through the roof.

A hundred times better than anyone had even thought possible.

A once-in-a-generation breakthrough.

And that was the whole problem.

See, a high-G burn hurts like hell.

I felt like someone was standing on my chest.

It was getting harder for me to breathe or talk.

[Grunts]

[Gasping]

Shut down main drive.

[Rapid beeping]

Not that talking would have made any difference.

[Panting, straining]

The acceleration was making my body so damn heavy, it was getting hard to even move.

[Straining]

[Groans]

Oh, that was bad enough, but it wasn't the worst part.

Because the most dangerous thing about being in a high-G burn is that if it goes on too long, it'll kill you.

So, how is Arjun?

He's fine.

I hear he's been away, on Luna.

For quite some time.

- This is not a date.

- It's not?

- Those days are gone.

- [Chuckles]

Don't be cross with me for trying.

I asked you to that meeting to hear your opinion.

You barely said a word.

In that room, my opinion would have only made me less popular than I already am.

You have a different theory about Eros?

Different, yeah.

More like radical.

This is not a time to keep these things to yourself.

The problem with Colonel Janus, as a scientist, I mean, his personality disorders are obvious, but his problem is that he lacks imagination.

[Chuckles]

It's true.

He can only conceive the world in terms of things he's already seen.

His job is to explain science to politicians.

In that regard, it's a useful skill.

But it's of no use here.

Eros Station was under quarantine, the result of a mysterious bio-weapon unleashed by Mars, which Mars believes was unleashed by us, which we did not Did we?

We did not.

Ah, I never doubted that for a moment.

Suddenly, Eros, the entire asteroid, moves In a way that practically defies every single known law of physics.

Now, Janus thinks that means there's a new Martian weapon, some staggering breakthrough on an incredible scale of a technology they've been pursuing utterly unsuccessfully for years.

But ask yourself this question Does it make any sense at all that Mars would want to test their ground-breaking technology in a bio-hazard zone, that they themselves created?

I suppose not.

So what if this bio-weapon isn't a bio-weapon after all?

What if it is responsible in some way we can't yet fully understand, for Eros moving?

I believe Eros was infected by an entirely new order of technology, something from somewhere else, somewhere beyond the reach of our species.

I believe the Eros incident was our first contact with alien life.

I have a file with 900 pages of analysis, and contingency plans for war with Mars, including 14 different scenarios about what to do, if they develop an unexpected new technology.

My file for what to do if an advanced alien species comes calling?

It's three pages long, and it begins with, "Step one, find God.

" I need to get to Venus.

You can pull the strings and get me on that ship.

I will be your eyes and your ears, I'll be your own private back channel to everything we find, unfiltered by Janus and Errinwright.

Please, let me prove I'm right.

MEN: [Shouting]

The heroes of Eros!

[Crowd cheering]

Oh, Jesus!

Hey, nice.

How you doin'?

ALEX: Hey, good to see you.

Thank you.

Thank you so much.

Great.

[Crowd cheering]

We'll catch up with you later!

Easy, easy, easy.

There's plenty of me to go around.

DIOGO: Josephus Miller, with his final word, he said to me, "You are the future, Diogo.

You must continue to fight for the Belt!

You must live.

Just live!" Whoo!

[Crowd cheering]

FRED: You'd think helping to save Earth would balance things out, but the Mormons don't think like that.

They've filed a lawsuit over the Nauvoo against the Tycho Corporation and myself.

Basically, I'm in some deep sh1t.

Well, we have one more thing for you to worry about.

These aren't rock-hopper mining nukes.

These are planet busters.

Designed to evade the best defense systems.

If the wrong person picks 'em up, it could be a problem.

Especially if they're smart enough to remove the counter-measures.

The missiles could be re-targeted, and sent right back at the Inners, or anyone else in the system, for that matter.

This doesn't seem to be bothering you.

Why is that?

Because I've got the missiles.

DRUMMER: After the UN gave us guidance control, our techs were able to lock out some of the abort codes and override the drives.

We scooped 'em up and brought 'em back to Tycho, inside gas freighters and ore ships.

We could use some help removing the counter-measures.

HOLDEN: What are you planning on doing with them?

Nothing.

Sometimes that's the best plan of action.

The only thing those weapons are good for is first strike.

Hell, they're good for a lot of things.

They can be used as deterrents, or a bargaining chip.

Earth and Mars are still in the dark about the Protomolecule.

We need to tell them everything we know about it.

We need to tell everyone.

And exactly what should we tell them?

That it's alien technology that we barely comprehend?

That would cause a system-wide panic.

Until we get more information, we need to keep this under wraps.

Eros changed everything.

Earth and Mars are scared.

And whenever that happens, Belters always lose.

Our first priority is to protect ourselves.

And that means, we're gonna take advantage of every edge we've got.

- [Music playing]

- Miller, I do this for you.

I tell you, girls, when you're out there in the black, pulling hard 20Gs, and the whole boat is vibrating underneath you, about to shake herself apart Hell, if I had flown any faster, I would have caught up with yesterday.

[All laugh]

Then all the blood leaves your brain and everything goes dim and Bam!

A pump of that juice hits you like an ice cold bullet in the spine, and you're out there flying, just on pure instinct.

No time to think.

'Cause if you think, you're dead.

You need better things for think about.

Oh, yeah?

Like what?

[Speaking foreign language]

[Speaking foreign language]

Hey, hey, hey!

Hold on there, partner!

Back off and settle down, ya hear?

- [Groans]

- [Glass shattering]

[Girls scream]

AMOS: What the hell?

Amos?

Jesus Christ!

Amos!

[Groans]

What the hell?

You okay?

What the hell are you doing here?

You live here or something?

Yeah, I got a flop next door.

Next door's a brothel.

Yeah.

Hey.

Oh, no, no.

You two enjoy yourselves.

It's okay.

All right, darlin'.

It's all right.

What do you want?

[Sighs]

I want to know where you and I stand.

I would've thought that was pretty clear by now.

It isn't.

Now, I've been straight with you since the first time I approached you after the Donnager.

I have done exactly what I said I was gonna do.

But now I'm getting the feeling that you're not being straight with me.

Well, I understand paranoia is a natural state of mind for a soldier.

After you left Eros, with Miller, the first time On your way back, you cut thrust for nearly five hours.

What for?

You've been poking through our nav logs?

Yeah.

You got me curious.

On the way out, Amos was forced to kill a friend of Miller's.

They needed some time to work through that.

And then Miller wanted to give his friend a proper burial at sea.

Which means that it's none of your goddamn business.

We want the same thing, you know.

We're on the same team.

That's the thing with all of you.

Earth, Mars, the Belt, the OPA.

It's all bullshit.

There shouldn't be any teams.

That's a beautiful dream, son.

And I hope I'm around to see it come true.

But in this world that we live in, in order to survive, you have to pick a side.

SOLOMON: At the rate my drive was burning, my fuel was going to last for weeks.

Which I have to say was amazing.

[Rapid beeping]

Aside from the fact that I'd be dead long before then.

[Signal beeps]

The only thing I could do was to try to signal for help.

Even though I couldn't talk, Caty would realize that I was in trouble.

She'd figure out a way to help me.

It was my only hope.

My last chance.

[Rapid beeping]

[Groans]

[Pants]

[Groans]

[Grunts]

And I blew it.

[Static]

[Lights fizzing]

[Knocking at door]

Got a minute?

What's on your mind?

I think we should let people know about Miller and Julie Mao.

Not all the details, nothing about the Protomolecule, just about them.

A Belter and an Earther who was an OPA member, that sacrificed themselves to save the cradle of humanity.

The Inners need to hear that.

You're going to turn them into a story.

A love story.

Might help cool things down a bit.

Because narrowly avoiding an extinction-level event, apparently wasn't enough.

I want people to know about Miller.

He was a good man.

He was a pain-in-the-ass, suicidal ex-cop, who got the job done.

- Okay, I'll do it.

- [Device chimes]

Gotta go.

[Exnales]

Thank you.

[Door opens]

HOLDEN: Fred saw what the Protomolecule did to Eros, and now he's going to squeeze every ounce of information out of Cortazar's head to figure out how it works.

He wants to control it.

Fred's trying to protect the Belt.

Or so he claims.

It's too dangerous to leave our sample out there anymore.

We have to destroy it.

ALEX: Here's another option.

We can give our sample to Mars.

What?

Think about it.

They're the only players in this whole goddamn game that didn't do any of the bad stuff.

They nuked Phoebe.

No.

They saw something real nasty going on down there, and they just wanted to keep Earth out of it.

Or keep what they found there a secret.

You don't know what the hell you're talking about as usual.

Anyways, Mars has the best scientists in the system.

If anyone can think of something good to do with that sh1t, it's them.

Since when has Mars done anything that wasn't in the interests of Mars?

ALEX: They saved our lives, for starters.

If any side believes they have a strategic advantage by using the Protomolecule, then eventually someone will.

And then we're going to have another Eros or worse.

The only way to prevent that is to destroy it.

All of it.


While we still can.

Dresden wasn't working alone.

Do you seriously believe we've got the only remaining sample in the system?

We just might.

When Dresden's people lost the Anubis, it stopped the project dead in its tracks.

Which tells me, Protomolecule samples aren't easy to come by.

We vaporized the Anubis.

Phoebe, the original source was destroyed.

We broke Dresden's station down to the bolts, nothing was there.

And Eros burned up in Venus.

We're this close to getting rid of it, once and for all.

We should kill it.

Drive it into the goddamn sun.

[Sighs]

It's the only way.

Yep.

Yeah.

[Beeping]

Everything ready?

[Clears throat]

I'm right about this.

[Beeping continues]

HOLDEN: It's done.

Yeah It's done.

[Engine shuts off]

SOLOMON: Sooner or later, it happens to us all.

Me, you, everyone we love.

Maybe you see it coming.

Maybe it surprises you.

But in a sustained high-G burn, what usually kills you is a stroke.

[Breathes slowly]

Lying there, on my death bed, all I could think about was "What happens next?" I'd never give Caty a child.

But she had the plans for my drive.

They'd make her rich for the rest of her life.

Because with my drive, the Epstein Drive, Mars would be able to move outward.

Mine the asteroids.

Colonize the Belt.

And remake the Solar System.

My drive would give us the edge we needed to finally break free from Earth.

And build a new world for ourselves.

That's the wonderful and terrible thing about technology.

It changes everything.

[Beeping]

[Signal beeping]

- [Whirring]

- [Beeping continues]

Those UN grunts are definitely loaded for bear.

You really believe Earth is going to try to take this station?

Why else would we be here?

BOBBIE: To guard soy beans, apparently.

SUTTON: You wanted action, Stickman.

You got it.

Is this what passes for action with you Navy types, sir?

Look on the bright side, Marine.

At least you're finally off the bus.

HILLMAN: You know, I really hope Eros was our tech.

Be nice to have something in our back pocket to turn Earth to slag if need be.

Well, fortunately for our species, no human being is dumb enough to put you in charge, Hillman.

[Laughs]

SUTTON: Stow the speculation.

Everyone's jumpy enough as it is.

May we shoot the soy beans, sir?

Only if they shoot first.

[Signal beeping]

Stickman, you're getting a little close to the UN line.

Back off, maintain two clicks minimum separation.

Understood, Overwatch.

Stickman-One out.

SA' ID: Yeah.

Backing off.

Don't want to make the blues nervous.

Boom.

[Door opens]

You in the mood to talk?

What about?

About the friends we choose to keep.

Like Jules-Pierre Mao.

He's a good man, Chrisjen.

Maybe he was once.

But it's quite clear now that he was involved with Eros.

We have no proof that that's the case.

His own daughter was working with the OPA to stop him.

So you really believe that he was trying to destroy the Earth?

Is that right?

He was playing with powers he couldn't control.

Have you had any contact with him?

No, I have no idea where he is.

We need to know what he knows.

You should convince him to come in from the cold.

How am I supposed to do that?

He trusts you.

And if he helps us, he can keep a semblance of the life he's always known.

[Sadavir sighs]

You're really willing to cut him a deal?

Yes.

And for anyone who could help us understand what we're dealing with.

We both know how the world works.

When the stakes are this high, many things are possible.

I can reach out to his family.

He has two sons, and another daughter that he adores.

They'll be able to reach him.

Maybe they can help him turn himself in.

Good.

And please let them know that if they can't I will rain hellfire down on them all.

I will freeze their assets.

Cancel their contracts.

Cripple their business.

And I have the power to do it, because I am the f*cking hero who helped save Mother Earth from the cataclysm that Jules-Pierre Mao unleashed.

Tell his children that government is more powerful than any corporation.

And the only reason they think it tilts the other way is because we poor, public servants are always looking for some fat, private-sectors payoff down the road.

But I'm not looking.

And by the time they can pull the strings to force me out, it'll be too late.

Their family will be ruined.

Their mother, the children, their children, all of them, pariahs.

Outlaws.

Hunted and on the run for the rest of their days until we find them, and nail each and every last one to the wall.

Make sure you tell them that.

Hey, Alex.

What the hell are you doing?

Fixing the Martian flag.

You're defacing it, Picasso.

I'm making it accurate.

Deimos ain't a moon anymore.

It's just a bunch of rock.

That is not funny.

[Chuckles]

I disagree.

It makes me smile every time I walk past it.

That's because you are an ignorant asshole.

Seventeen Martians died in that attack!

Do you want to do something about it?

Go ahead.

Take a shot.

[Scoffs]

Hold on a second.

Is this your messed up way of telling me you're sorry?

Was it messed up?

Jesus Christ.

You don't even know why I'm mad at you, do you?

Yeah, 'cause I took care of that guy who was kicking your ass and I made you look weak.

Is that what you think?

The way I see it, there's only three kinds of people in this world, bad ones, ones you follow, and ones you need to protect.

What, so I'm the one you need to protect?

Is that right?

Yeah, there's nothing to be ashamed of.

I let a breaching pod with 25 people get blown to pieces in order to protect you.

I'm a big boy, Amos.

I can fight my own battles.

[Woman speaking in distance]

NAOMI: I'd suggest discharging the gyros first.

A lot of missiles' counter-measures trickle back-up power from the guidance systems.

- [Beeping]

- Okay.

Thanks.

I wasn't expecting your help.

Belters have to help each other.

No one else will.

[Speaking foreign language]

[Speaking foreign language]

[Beeping continues]

SUTTON: Stickman, this is Overwatch.

We're heading into Ganymede's shadow.

We'll be in visual blackout for the next 48 minutes.

Continue patrol and do not linger on the border.

This is Stickman-One.

Understood.

HILLMAN: What do we have here?

It's not one of ours.

[Rapid beeping]

And it's definitely unarmed.

Probably just an unlicensed Ag Drone - from one of the greenhouses.

- BOBBIE: Copy that.

[Signal beeping]

Overwatch, this is Stickman, we are registering movement on the UN line.

Six marines about 2.

3 clicks out on foot, closing fast.

They appear to be charging us.

- [High-pitch whirring]

- [All groan]

BOBBIE: They're jamming us!

Overwatch, are you there?

Hillman, Travis, Sa'id, Marines, do you copy?

SUTTON: Stickman, are you under attack?

[Indistinct voices]

- Come again, Stickman.

- [STATIC]

Their comms are being jammed from the surface.

We need to boost our signal!

Sorry, sir, we're still in blackout.

One minute out!

Goddamnit, I need a surface visual now!

[Firing]

They are engaging in orbit!

- Who fired?

- Not our problem!

Spread out.

Make a line.

Free fire at 500 meters.

500 meters?

We don't have permission to engage.

If they cross that line, you will fire!

Do you understand, marine?

- Aye-aye, Gunny!

- Go!

[Bobby pants]

I can't believe we're doing this.

[Groans]

- [Grunts]

- [Alarm blaring]

[Woman speaking over PA]

[Gasps]

[Whimpers]

[Snarling]