Belters always support belters. That is until you shoot Drummer during an attempt to take over the command center on Tycho Station. Last night’s action scene came shortly after Anderson Dawes sends a message to Fred Johnson cutting ties with him. Dawes falls back on every Belter’s criticism of Fred, his Earther home. It’s a message that constantly resonates with the nearly all Belter OPA and pushes one group of Belters to take action.

The entire scene is tense. The Belters want the missiles Fred stashed away to flex their muscle towards Earth, but Fred isn’t willing to give them up. The Belter leader executes one of the crew, but that only strengthens Fred’s resolve. He talks about how people have died for him before.

As one of the belters attempts to hack into the missiles, the Rocinante crew springs into action. Amos shuts off the oxygen supply from the outside while the rest of the crew regains control of the command center. But the highlight of the episode was what happens next. As Alex is helping Drummer to medical, she grabs a pistol and headshots two of the Belters who led the attack – leaving a stunned Alex in her wake.

Drummer is a Belter, but she shows throughout the episode that she will not tolerate enemies. When her and Naomi are accessing the station’s antenna to see where Cortazar was scanning, Drummer talks about how Fred should space the kid who helped Dawes escape.

Fred Johnson Pyre

Belters impulses to kill their enemies was on display in another one of the show’s pivotal moments.

Prax The Expanse

‘Pyre’ introduces us to Dr. Praxideke Meng, a botanist from Ganymede who barely made it off the moon when one of the mirrors came crashing down. He awakens aboard a refugee ship, but no sign of his daughter Mei. He’s also closely attached to a capsule in his pocket.

A friend comforts him, but is soon spaced as the Belters in command kill all the Inners (folks from Mars and Earth). Once again, the Belters only react. They never think things through.

The refugee ship, and Prax, ends up at Tycho station. Prax isn’t just a way for the show to illustrate the costs of whatever was on Ganymede and the subsequent battle between Mars and Earth ships. He’s set to play a bigger role after Naomi and Holden discover where Cortazar was scanning for more protomolecule.

Nope, it wasn’t the missile lurking behind an asteroid. It was Ganymede. A quick search for Protogen employees working on the station reveals a name – Dr. Lawrence Strickland. Cross-referencing images of Strickland on Ganymede station shows Prax with him.

Prax and Strickland

Naomi and Holden rough up Prax only to find out Strickland is Prax’s daughter Mei’s pediatrician. Naomi also notices the capsule Prax seems to be protecting in his pocket. She grabs and unscrews it only to reveal a soybean plant.

So let me get this straight. Naomi and Holden are on edge about more protomolecule out in the wild and the first thing they do when discovering a mysterious capsule is to just unscrew it? That shit would have been in lockdown if it was me.

The trio also learns Strickland left with Mei’s daughter an hour before the attack on Ganymede began. What does Strickland know? Why is Mei important? All Prax wants to do is find his daughter and joins the Rocinante crew as they about to embark towards Ganymede.

Which gives us another no-nonsense line from Amos. “Naomi said you’re coming with us to find your little girl? That’s a good reason.”

Amos and Alex

Speaking of Amos, he’s been MIA mostly in recent days as whatever spooked him with the refugee kid continues to haunt him. Something happened to Amos long before he became part of the crew onboard ‘The Canterbury.’ We saw a glimpse of this when Amos described The Churn back in Season 1.

And another last night when he searched for a woman named Lydia Maalouf. Before we learn anymore, Alex jumps in and confronts him over not wanting to help with the refugees. Amos is about to beat the shit out of Alex before he holds back and says something along the lines of “don’t make me fight you. If I do, who will fly the ship?”

Something’s up with Amos. But he never stays in a funk too long as he helps prevent the Belter takeover of Tycho station just a short time later.

‘Pyre’ wraps up with the Roci crew, plus Prax, about to disembark for Ganymede station. Fred is holding them up, though. Holden gets a hold of him to see what the problem is when Fred gives him an ultimatum. If he goes to Ganymede and destroys the protomolecule there, Tycho Station will no longer be a home for the Roci.

Why the sudden escalation over the protomolecule? Fred knows his hold of Tycho Station and one of the leaders of the Belt is more threatened now that Dawes knows about the protomolecule. Plus, he views the protomolecule like he does the missiles – a bargaining chip to keep Earth and Mars from steamrolling the Belt.

He believes peace is the only solution for the Belt. Not war. The problem is, he’s always looking to weapons of war to be instruments of this peace. Holden is much more idealistic and believes the protomolecule needs to be destroyed. He’s a lot like Miller here. It’s why Miller executed the head scientist earlier in the season. As Miller said, he was making too much sense. Fred’s argument might make sense, but the protomolecule is too dangerous to leave out in the wild.

Still, even if the Roci destroys the protomolecule in next week’s episode, there’s still the sample Naomi refuses to destroy lurking behind an asteroid. Plus, whatever the hell is going on with Venus right now. We saw it blow up on impact, but a science vessel is supposed to be in route to examine the remains.

While the protomolecule looms, we’re still left with questions on where the crew ultimately stands. Holden is the most focused of the bunch with his main concern being the protomolecule. Amos still seems shaken up over what happened with the refugee kid. Alex steals glimpses of his family on Mars. And Naomi shows her Belter colors as she refuses to destroy the protomolecule sample.

Plus, we have Fred trying to solidify his position within the Belt despite being an Earther. Drummer appears to be completely behind him now after the attempted Belter takeover.

Next week, we see where Bobbie stands. Mars wants her to say the UN Marines engaged first, but she now knows what she saw. The preview shows Chrisjen wanting to talk to Bobbie. We’ll see how Bobbie can handle toeing the Martian line when Chrisjen is hunting for the truth. We know who will win in that fight. Check out the preview for next week’s episode.

You gotta love the interactions between Prax and Amos. “Are your plans always this vague?”

“This is about average,” Amos replies.

Chrisjen, Bobbie and the Roci crew all in one episode again. Next week is going to be badass.

When I’m not playing Rocket League (best game ever), you can find me writing about all things games, space and more. You can reach me at alex@newsledge.com

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