03x03 - Assured Destruction

Previously, on "The Expanse"...

We need to send a message that the UN is trying to kill us.

I'm leaving our names out of it.

Release sequence engaged.

The Roci picked up a distress call.

It's Julie Mao's ship. We're not responding.

So we just go back to business?

Can you look him in the eye and tell him that whatever this might be is more important than finding his kid? Anna, I need your help.

It'll be the single, most important speech of my life.

I want you to help me write it.

You want me to help you justify this war.

We didn't start it, but for the good of the system we need to win it and end it. Jules-Pierre Mao can't hide forever. We know where his children live. Galactic punishment is still a war crime, look it up.

We're all in agreement. Tycho is the only way we survive. Io. Hell with it, I'm in.

Amos... Me too.

Detonation confirmed. Our other six are in formation around the racing ship.

If you've got a better plan, now would be the time.

Let's do it.

We did it. Yeah, we sure did.

We just declared war on Earth.

Help her, please.

♪ ♪


♪ ♪

Who defaced the Martian flag on the bulkhead?

I updated it. You think that's funny?

Maybe not now... Hey, whoa, whoa, whoa.

Let's, uh... let's start everything off on the right foot, shall we?


You got everything you need off your ship?

I need to charge my armor.

Not until you tell us what's going on.

I did a rotation on the Donnager.

This ship is the Tachi, and it's more mine than yours.

Punch the panel all you like.

You're locked out of our systems.

You think I need my armor to take this ship?

Be interesting to find out. Not for you.

Hold on, hold on, hold on, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

Okay, let's just remember, you called us.

Okay, I think saving your lives earned us an explanation.

A Martian Marine with the Deputy Secretary of Earth, on Julie Mao's ship, with the UN trying to kill them.

Start with that.

I can't tell you. It's classified.

Ah, come on. We crippled a UNN gunship to save your hide. I didn't call you, I called the MCRN. Can you just settle down, now, darling, please? Call me darling again and you'll be saying that drawl in sign language.

Sounds like things are going well.

The Martians are bonding.

How is she? Stable.

She's got some neural damage, but nothing meds can't fix.

A few more minutes in that burn might've killed her.

This one's not telling us why they're out here.

That's not our concern. Of course it is.

We just dodged a massive bullet.

Scopes are clear. No ships tracking us.

It's a God damn miracle, getting out of this thing like nothing happened.

Something did happen. It's over and done.

We're going to Io. Right?

That's right. Io?

My daughter's there. We hope.

Madam Avasarala has information that could help stop this war.

You can't just drag her to Io in the midst of it Then take your ship and leave.

No one's keeping you here.

We're target practice in that thing.

It's defenseless, the comms are locked out, it's not... We'll fix your comms!

After that, we don't owe you anything.

You can't just turn your back and pretend this war isn't happening.

If they don't use the ship, then you should take it and go.

Go to Tycho.

Do what you have to do.

We have confirmed ID on the contact.

It is a Martian Stealth-C Ballistic Missile Platform.

It holds 10 planet busters, each with 20 high-yield MIRV warheads.

Our Watchtower satellites are the only things that can penetrate their stealth tech, but it's far from perfect.

This is the first time that we've been able to locate two of their Platforms at once.

It's a hell of a break.

And a golden opportunity.

Now, the Martians are always moving these Platforms and they're using sensor blinding, so when they move, we lose them.

But as a group, they're always positioned to optimize strike times to Earth.

So if we know where two of them are, we can predict where the rest of them most likely will be.

How many Platforms are out there?

Intel says five, and confidence is high.

If we can find the other three, then we can use our planetary rail guns to simultaneously destroy them all before launch.

A preemptive strike. Yes.

It would have to be perfect.

If it's not, Mars will retaliate immediately.

With justification. Millions of lives would be at risk.

Yes, but sir, our operatives in the MCRN Command are convinced that they're on the verge of launching anyway, so... Why would they?

'Cause they're losing the war and they know it.

Well, fighting in the Outer Planets is different than bringing it to our own doorstep.

Mars isn't stupid.

Or crazy.

They could be deliberately leaking, pushg us to the peace table.

Sir, that's not what's happening here.

If this doesn't work, millions will die.

People are dying right now. Our people.

When we began this war, we had a five to one advantage in ships.

Now it's down to three to one.

Every minute this war goes on costs us more lives.

Every loss that we inflict on Mars pushes them closer to launch.

If we do this, we save lives because it will end the war.

Find the other Platforms. I'll give you my decision then.




Somebody heard us.

We're saved.


It's the UNN Agatha King.

The flagship of the Jupiter fleet.

How many survivors? Unknown.

They must've lost comms. We pinged their distress beacon, but the registry data on the answer-back was minimal.

No manifest, no crew list, nothing.

Any skiff in the fleet could've handled this.

Why send us?

Lot I don't understand about this war.

But even in low-g, sh1t still rolls downhill.

Does this remind you of Vesta?

This is nothing like Vesta.

Electrical's still not fixed?

Re-patching decks 2 and 3 as we speak.

Wiring on this bucket really needs an overhaul.

Let's hope her outsides hold up better than her insides.

She won't let us down.

There's a reason we don't put these old girls out to pasture.

Budget cuts. Agatha, don't listen to them.

They'll learn to love you. [BEEPING]

Incoming tight-beam, sir, From Admiral Nguyen.

Maybe that's another glitch.

Put it up.

Admiral Souther, any survivors on the Drop Ship are to be considered prisoners and taken to the brig immediately.

No one is to speak to them until I get there.

That's an order.

Transmitting rendezvous coordinates.

See you shortly.

Nguyen's coming here in person.


If they were gonna blow us up then they'd have done it already.

So that's a good sign, right?

So we just have to get our story straight.

Uh, we can say that we're the only ones survived, that no one else got off the ship.

We can say that I wasn't trying to help them, or you... Theo...

Or whatever you want me to say.

What do... what do you want me to say? Theo!


It's gonna be okay.

Take a deep breath and close your eyes.

Relax. And just breathe.

All right. Relax and breathe.

Relax, breathe.


Ah! I'm sorry, Theo.

I'm really sorry.



It's good the children get to play together.

Oh, absolutely.

It keeps their cortisol levels low, which enhances protomolecule uptake.


♪ ♪ Guess who? [GASPS] Stop it!

Katoa! Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you.

Does it hurt? Uh-uh.

I feel strong. Really?

Mm-hmm. All right, time for bed.

Come on, let's go.

Hey, wanna see something cool?


Would you get down, please?

[CHILDREN CLAPPING] Katoa! Come down!

Have the others been infected?

I don't have a large supply, so I like to go one at a time.

The current subject is the best candidate genetically.

Don't worry, there's no risk of contagion.

Not at this stage.

Thanks for speaking up earlier about still going to Io.

We said we were gonna take you there.

Ah! Sorry.

Thought you said you've done this before.

I have. Just not on someone else.

I don't want you looking like Frankenstein when Mei sees you.

Frankenstein was the name of the doctor.

The monster didn't have a name.

God damn. That's right.

Why do you believe Mei's still alive?

Everyone who ever cared about me on Earth thinks I'm dead.

But here I am. Baltimore... that's where you're from, right?

Charm City.

That's where you learned to do this?

This and everything else I had to.

You mean those specific people skills you have.

Back there, getting by was getting even.

That's a dark way to look at the world.

None of the people that I dealt with were innocent.

Did most of them a favor.

Dying is the only way of getting out of Baltimore.

So how'd you get out?

I died.

♪ ♪

[BEEPING] Alex, can you hear me?

Loud and clear.

Comms restored.

I kept override control in case our guests try anything cute. Good thinking.

Hey, Naomi, you know what might be a good idea is to slave that ship to the Roci.

I'd rather have that thing following rather than hooked up, in case more sh1t goes down, you know what I mean?

You're right. I'm on it.


♪ ♪

We missed a lot.

Maybe waking up wasn't the best thing.

I didn't think you were going to.

Thank you for not letting me die.

Proud to be of service, ma'am.

[KNOCKS] You wanted to see me, ma'am?

James Holden. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised.

Chaos has a way of finding you.

We're all victims of circumstance.

That might be a good title for your memoirs.

How are you feeling?

I freaking hate space.

Well, it does take some getting used to, but you already curse like a sailor.

Patience was never one of my virtues, amongst many other things.

But at least...

I can get to thank you in person for everything you did during the Eros incident.

You're a hero.


Miller and Julie were the heroes.


Well, from the looks of Venus, Eros isn't finished with us yet.

Maybe now would be a good time for you to tell me why you're here, with a Martian marine and your own government trying to kill you.

I was trying to bring Jules-Pierre Mao in from the cold.

There are factions within the UN who are using the protomolecule as an excuse to wage this war.

I need you to take me to a safe port.

We're going to Io.

To find someone's daughter, possibly, I heard.

That's very noble, but I may have a way to end this conflict.

Have you been watching the news?

Diplomacy's over. I need to send a tight-beam to Admiral Souther on the Agatha King.

Any tight-beam would give away our position.

And we already took that risk rescuing you.

We're not doing it again.

Whatever happened to the man who risked certain death to stop Eros? He stopped fighting battles he knew he couldn't win.

This isn't just about the war.

We need to contain the protomolecule, make sure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

You think that's funny? Not at all.

It's just that I've heard it before.

From who? Everyone.

Including me.

I met your mother.


When everyone else said you were a terrorist, I went to find out for myself.

Lovely woman.

She thought I was full of sh1t, too, at first.

She's well. Happy for you.

Happy you're free.

She told me when you were a boy, you wanted to be a knight. That's because I was a boy.

It's no accident you're in the midst of all this chaos.

I'm nobody's savior.

ID was confirmed Cotyar Ghazi, Former Sig-Int. currently assigned to Deputy Undersecretary Avasarala's security detail.

He's her spy.

Admiral on deck.


At ease.

Permission to come aboard. Of course, sir.

Welcome aboard the Agatha King. The ship is yours.

That won't be necessary, Admiral.

Are the prisoners secured?

There was only one survivor, sir.

We have him in the med bay. He was shot.

I know this is an unusual visit, but secrecy was critical.

The Secretary General has issued an Executive Order to apprehend Chrisjen Avasarala, on suspicion of treason. What?

She was conspiring with Jules-Pierre Mao.

Her last known location was aboard his yacht, which is now the debris field you fished the prisoner off of.

Keep this need-to-know.

May I accompany you, sir?

Of course.


Outside. Yes, sir.

Mr. Ghazi, I'm Admiral Souther.

This is Fleet Admiral Nguyen.

Well, you Navy boys sure know how to roll out the red carpet.

I figured a rock hopper would be my ride home.

Lucky for me, there's a war going on.

Well, your friend wasn't as lucky.

Explosion shook us pretty good.

[GRUNTS] Theo didn't get strapped in in time.

He was a good man. Shame.

Seems like the type who'd have been very cooperative.

Now we only get your story.

Where's Avasarala?

She's dead.

Jules-Pierre Mao's goons executed her.

So she gets killed, but you still managed to escape.

I find that hard to believe.

We barely got to the drop ship.

It's a miracle.

There's another ship docked to the Guanshiyin.

A racing pinnace.

The Martian took it.

Those Marines are bad ass, but... of course you know that better than anyone.

I think your boss is still alive.

I think she's defecting to Mars.

Well, maybe you should've called to ask her before your people blew up the Guanshiyin.

Are you implying that UNN forces destroyed a civilian yacht? I'm not implying sh1t.

It's a God damn fact. Pathetic. [CHUCKLES]

You're gonna be charged with treason, too.

Cooperate and you might avoid a death sentence.

Talk to Errinwright. He's the traitor, He's been protecting Jules-Pierre Mao all along.

He can tell you everything you want to know.

Nice try. Get some rest.

You're gonna need your strength.

♪ ♪

These are some preliminary thoughts for your speech.

The parts about Venus and people facing the unknown are fairly solid.

"Throughout our history, we've broadened

"our knowledge of creation, "deepened our understanding of ourselves, "discovered profound connections between each other and the planets we share."

Nice cadence at the end. It would be more convincing if we weren't at war. [BEEPING]


♪ ♪ What if instead, the focus was on defying fear?

Defying fear.


We are witnessing the greatest event in human history.

We should feel something other than fear.

Of it. Of each other.

Of the difficult choices that we sometimes have to make.

You mean the choices you have to make.

Yes. The necessity of hard choices, of sacrifice.

Sacrifice literally means to make sacred.

Do you think that's what's going on here?


Sacred losses.


You're carrying a burden.

I'm not going to lighten it for you.

Maybe this war was inevitable.

Maybe there was no way to avoid it.

But you want it to be holy, and it's not.

The best you can hope for is that it's justified.

And if they Mars makes it a choice between us or them?

[CHUCKLES] Us and them... How many of us?

How many of them? How many sacrifices can you stomach and still tell yourself you're doing God's work?

A... a hundred?

A million? A billion?

We both know it's more than 37.

I'm gonna consider that a rhetorical question.

No. There is an answer.


So you know precisely how many lives a leader must sacrifice and still be a good man?

Yes. As few as possible.

Are you someone's dad?

No one you would know.

There you are. [SIGHS]

I told you to stop running off.

I'm sorry, sir.

Do you work for Dr. Strickland?

No, we work together.

Like Misko and Marisko? Who?

They're dinosaurs. They work together to help people and stop Count Mungo.

It's my favorite cartoon.

I think my daughters used to watch that when they were your age. Are they here?


Ah, I got this.

Hey, up you go. Ooh.

Did you see how Katoa jumped really high?

I did. Dr. Strickland says one day I might be able to jump like that.

I hope I can.

I wanna show my dad when I see him.

What's your name? Mine's Mei.

Jules-Pierre. Nice to meet you, Jules-Pierre. Nice to meet you, Mei.

Hey, Hoss. I wanna run a system check of the Roci's active sensors and comms.

We've been running silent for a quite a spell now, and that last battle was a real thumper.

So, I just wanna make sure everything is A-okay when we need it. All right, make it quick.

Yes, sir.


♪ ♪ Alex... we thought you were dead for so long.

And I'm glad that you're not.

Really, I am.

But you waited too long.

Melas has learned to live without a father, and a real husband wouldn't have done that to his wife.

I'm glad that you have something more important than us.

Because we don't need you anymore.

♪ ♪


Sir, the location of MCRN Platform number 5 has been confirmed.

What do the simulations say?

Complete success, knocking out all five before they can launch, 82%

And if they do manage a launch, what would the casualties be then?

We estimate it would... That's very unlikely.

And our planetary defenses are in perfect position.

But right now, we have the advantage of total surprise.

It won't last forever.

But our rail guns are targeted, warmed up and ready.

All we need is for you to give the order to fire.

I have a sacred obligation to the people of this planet.

All we need is for you 82% is not good enough. to fire.

Stand down.

This is ridiculous. I just want to talk to everyone... If you're gonna walk around the ship, you have to wear the boots.

House rules. What?

Do they think I'm just going to float away?

Don't look at me. This is not my ship.

Okay, lean your foot back to engage it.

Lean back with my weight on my heel?


There you go.

Now you just walk around like you're in pumps.

How do you know what it's like to walk in pumps?

I didn't always work in space.

This isn't so hard.

Not bad, right?

I'll inform Mars to ready the white flag.

♪ Where are you now? ♪

♪ Where have you gone? ♪

♪ The way you looked in the light fixtures ♪

♪ On my wall ♪

♪ Where are you now? ♪

♪ Where have you gone? ♪


There's half a pan in the fridge, if you want.

It's all right. I'm not hungry.


Look, Naomi, I... I realize that things ain't how they used to be around here.

And, um...

When you were on the Razorback, I saw you were checking out Tycho.

You wouldn't understand. Well, you're wrong.

I do. I get why you wanna leave.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still mad as hell that you gave that protoshit to Fred Johnson, but...

I can't help but respect your commitment to the Belt.

I wish I had your strength.


Sure you don't want some?

I mean, the cheese ain't real, but...

The love that went into it is.



All right, you take this one.

I'll get another one. Thanks.

You're welcome.

I wanted to personally thank you for helping us.

But more importantly, to cut out all the bullshit.

I'll go first. [DEVICE BEEPS]

UN Deputy Secretary Errinwright commissioned Jules-Pierre Mao to manufacture protomolecule hybrid soldiers.

The proof is in this.

It would be nice if you could decrypt and authenticate it.

They field-tested one of those things on Ganymede.

It wiped out a dozen UN Marines and my entire Fire Team without even breaking a sweat.

I believe Errinwright intends to use the hybrids to lay waste to Mars.

We need your help to stop him.


♪ ♪ Show cargo bay surveillance of hybrid incursion.

We encountered one on Ganymede.

It got onto our ship, almost killed us all.

We killed it instead.

Wait, you guys fought one of those things and won?


Burned it up in our drive plume.

We believe they're producing the Hybrids on Io.

A pediatrician is using children with a rare immune deficiency to create them.

My daughter is one of the kids.

I hope you find her.

What do you intend to do if you find other things?

Like scientists, data cores, a sample of the protomolecule itself? We shoot the scientists and nuke the rest.

Speaking for myself.

Based on your track record, I think you'd be inclined to give the whole lot to the Belt.

They don't need it.

Fred Johnson already has a sample.

How could you be so freaking stupid to give it to the OPA?

He didn't.

I did.

I'd say cry me a river if I thought you could appreciate what one was.

If good Belters ever stood up and defied the OPA instead of letting them speak for all of you, perhaps you'd deserve respect.

We're not the ones doing the killing now.

Earth and Mars have the protomolecule.

The Belt has the right to it as well.

In that case, we should nuke Io.

I told you we want the same things.

Maybe now you'll believe me.

Thought you'd left.

Have a drink.

Thank you, sir.

How's the speech coming? Good.

Anna knows how to reach the best in people.

This speech could well define my term in office.

Well, that's a shame.

Excuse me? I understand why you canceled the strike, but with all due respect, that was the moment to write your legacy, not some speech. You're being short sighted.

Leaders aren't just remembered for the wars they win.

No, they're remembered for how they moved civilizations forward.

This isn't about defeating Mars.

It's about what's happening on Venus.

Eros proved that no one on this planet's safe anymore.

And we need to end this because we don't know who or what our next enemy is.

And if the thought of casualties scares you now, imagine another Eros, one that we can't even stop.

If you end this war, you'll be remembered as the man who united humanity in the face of first contact.

And that's a legacy you don't need anyone else to write.



What's going on? Katoa!

[GRUNTING] He's okay.

He's gonna be fine.



♪ ♪


So I understand we're still having electrical problems on decks 2, 3, and 11. 11, no, sir.

And 2 and 3 are fixed.

How long do you think the systems will be down on 11?

Uh... everything should be back up and running in about 20 minutes.

That'll be perfect.



♪ ♪



Electrical fire down on 15. All hands needed.

Sir, I'm not supposed to leave the prisoner.

He's chained to his bed. You're with me.

We have new orders, Lieutenant.

Lay in a course for Io. What's in Io, sir?

That's classified.

Yes, sir. What's the problem?

Electrical issues. The Agatha's showing her age.

Repairs are underway. Shouldn't take long.

Where is Admiral Souther?

I believe he's in his quarters, sir.

Which decks are experiencing electrical issues?

2, 3 and 11, sir.

Med bay's on 11.


I rarely agreed with your boss or her methods.

She's a ruthless son of a bitch.

But she's also a patriot.

She'd die before betraying Earth.

So talk fast.

What really happened on that ship?

Avasarala made a secret deal to bring Jules-Pierre Mao in.

In exchange for immunity, he was going to testify that he and Errinwright had been colluding to develop the protomolecule into a weapon, and would turn over all data to the UN instead of the Martians.

Errinwright turned the tables on all of us.

That means Nguyen's been working with him.

Avasarala isn't dead, is she?

She got off the yacht with the Martian Marine.

I don't know what happened after that.

Can you prove any of this? No.

But Errinwright sent a message admitting everything.

And Avasarala has it.


She said you were an honorable man.

This war was built on a lie.

Are you gonna do something about it?


Find that guard. I wanna talk to him.

Could you kill the lights again, please?

I'm trying to get the rest you said I need.

I've decided to take you up on your offer, Admiral.

Sir? I'm relieving you of command.

The Agatha King is now mine.


Don't make me relieve you of duty as well.

Of course, sir. The deck is yours.

Rail guns designated 1 through 5 report green for go, sir.

All targets locked for simultaneous impact.

On your command, sir.



One away. Track is good.

One is away.

Two is away.

Three is away.

Four is away.

Five showing red. Failure to launch.

What's happening? I... I'm just checking, sir.

Check incoming. What the hell's going on?

We have a launch malfunction on five.

They need to shoot, God damn it.

Yes, sir.

Five is away.

♪ ♪

Target one is scratched.

Scratch two.

Scratch three.

Scratch four.

Scratch five. [EXHALES]


Congratulations, sir. Well done.

Thank you. We have a confirmed launch from target five.

They got one off before we hit them.

Jesus Christ.


♪ ♪


♪ ♪ Status.

Impact in South America. Tip of Amazonia.

Closest city to ground zero is...

Goías Maior.

Total population in the blast zone approximately 2 million.

What happened with the rail guns?

It was a power cycling malfunction.

From charging up and standing down earlier, sir.

Watchtowers have detected no other launches.

Sat-com believes we have eliminated the MCR's first strike capability.

♪ ♪

[SIGHS] The subject has been placed in isolation.

The rest, sedated. They're asleep in their quarters.

I'm sorry you had to see that.



Stop what you're doing to the children.

Sir, these experiments have lead to the only real success we've had in controlling the protomolecule.

I wanted that to be true.

I was grasping at straws. We are on the verge of so much more. We're torturing children.

We're creating killing machines.

And we're still light years away from even beginning to comprehend that.

What we are doing is hard.

We have to be strong, and great men are strong.

That's how they accomplish great things.

It's not up for debate.

The experiment is over. Shut it down.

Who's responsible for that?


I'm not unsympathetic to the plight of Belters.

I know the OPA doesn't speak for you all.

Save your breath.

We're not gonna be friends.

That doesn't mean we have to be enemies.

There's an old Belter joke How can you tell when an Inner's lying?

When their mouth's... When their mouth is moving.

And it's not much of a joke, really.

You might be able to fool the others, but I know what you're doing.

What I'm doing is trying to stop this war from getting worse.

You're not going to Io to destroy the protomolecule.

You're going because Earth doesn't have a sample, and you need one to stay in the game.


The only reason I'm still on this ship is to make sure you don't get it.

You're right. We're not going to be friends.

ANNOUNCER: Which covers a radius of nearly 11 kilometers.

The South American Emergency Response Directorate has begun sending workers in, though they say that fires and radioactive fallout will make rescue efforts extremely dangerous.

Drone cameras have begun recording dramatic footage of the impact site.

Warning: the following images are graphic.

You know what makes this worse?

What could be worse?

Didn't need to happen.

We had a military option earlier today that would've prevented it.

But there were risks and costs, which the Secretary General was unwilling to take.

If only he hadn't wavered.

But it's good that you're here, though.

He's going to need you now more than ever.


♪ ♪