The Expanse Ventures Into “The Big Empty” For Its Second Episode
There’s a severe water shortage on Ceres and the fact that ice hauler The Canterbury has gone missing is making matters worse. Some in the Belt suspect that Earth is purposely holding back shipments but Detective Miller has been informed that a ring of water thieves are at work. Taking a break from his mission to hunt down Julie Mao, Miller tracks down the bandits—and then lets them go. It seems he’s got bigger things to think about now that he’s discovered that the last sighting of Mao on Ceres was by a guy who saw her board the Scopuli and set off into the stars.
Holden and the remaining crew of the Canterbury are adrift in space after their shuttle the Knight takes a severe beating from some asteroid debris. With their communications knocked out and their air supply at a frighteningly low level, they’re forced to gamble on a risky operation that involves Holden and ship mechanic Amos Burton venturing outside to try to fix the shuttle’s antenna—which they eventually do (by kicking it repeatedly).
And not a second too soon, either. While Holden and Burton are out doing repairs, the rest of the crew have to rely on the oxygen supply left in their spacesuits. When pilot Alex’s tank quits working, the crew’s medic, Shed, steps in to share his. Breathing together, Shed’s supply decreases twice as fast and both men are soon on the brink of asphyxiation. Holden and Burton return without a second to lose and Alex and Shed are revived. But just barely.
With a working antenna, de facto crew captain Naomi Nagata orders that everything with a powers source be hooked up to the ship’s comms centre so that they can send out a distress signal. That’s when the group gets confirmation of what they’d earlier only suspected: the transponder they found planted on the Scopuli is indeed Mars tech—meaning it was a Martian ship that destroyed the Canterbury.
Back on Earth, high-ranking UN power player Chrisjen Avasarala is continuing to torture a suspected OPA terrorist from the Belt without making an inch of progress. Her efforts are completely thwarted when her prisoner sends a message by committing suicide during a transport.
As the episode comes to an end, we go back to the Knight to find out that their distress signal has been picked up… by a Martian ship. Knowing that his crew is as good as dead anyways, Holden broadcasts a message explaining who was behind the destruction of the Canterbury—only it’s unlikely to ever reach anyone with the Mars ship (and its broadcast-scrambling capabilities) so close by. The last words we hear are spoken by Martian forces. They’re “move and you die.”
The Expanse Episode 2: By the Numbers
1: Robot hamster
5: Remaining members from the crew of the Canterbury
4: Remaining members from the crew of the Canterbury who are furious with Holden
2: Near-asphyxiations on the Knight
3: Number of kicks it takes to fix a broken shuttle antenna
97: Percentage of water rations left over in Julie Mao’s abandoned apartment
3: Hours left of “juice” on the Knight
5: Knight crew members taken prisoner by Mars