Murtry’s Wrath Is Unleashed in a Bloody Episode 3 of ‘The Expanse’ (RECAP)

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[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Expanse, Season 4, Episode 3, “Subduction.”]

There’s no love lost between Murtry and the Belters, and that’s putting it mildly.

To some extent, the man has a right to be upset. His crew members were likely attacked by the Belters, and Holden and his pals are asking him to set that injustice aside. But that doesn’t justify his methods of solving the problem — namely, his cold-blooded execution of Coop in Episode 2’s final moments. Unfortunately, as “Subduction” reveals, it probably wasn’t the first time Murtry reacted in such a way to confrontation… and it won’t be the last.

While chaos unfolds at the camp, Holden and Alex continue to investigate the newly reinvigorated protomolecule structure and its latest method of destruction, which could have detrimental effects on the settlement.

On Our Own

The Belter camp is reeling from the aftermath of Murtry’s act of violence. But they have bigger problems — Holden’s protomolecule lightning is heading for the camp, and before anyone can take cover, it strikes. The Belters get the worst of it, and Naomi leaves the ship to help them rebuild.

For the time being, Alex and Holden stay at the monument site. Alex suggests that he ask proto-Miller about what happened, but Holden says if Miller knew or cared about the settlement, he would have warned them. “I’m not sure we can trust him anymore,” Holden says. “I think we’re on our own.”

Naomi helps Lucia, one of the Belters working in the medical part of the settlement, get power restored. Her presence causes some friction among Lucia’s family when her daughter, Felcia, reveals that she’s a big fan of Naomi’s and wanted to get a degree like she did. Instead, her parents brought her to Ilus. “Don’t encourage her,” Lucia says to Naomi. “She belongs with her family.”

Amos. Vs. Murtry

Some Belters are planning a counterstrike against Murtry in revenge for their fallen comrade. They ask Lucia for her help, saying she was “part of it.” She tells them to find someone else… and Murtry, who’s bugged the camp, hears the whole thing. Uh-oh.

Amos takes one of the RCA’s generators to help power the Belter camp, and he has to use some force to get it from them. That doesn’t go unnoticed by Murtry, who later tells him that when he undermines his authority, he “puts everyone in danger,” including his friends. Amos tells Murtry he knows what he is — a killer. “From one killer to another, you don’t want to try that s**t with my people,” Amos says, referencing the previous night’s events.

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'The effects jump off the screen in a way they didn't before,' exec producer Naren Shankar says.

No Peaceful Resolution

Murtry goes to Lucia to get his leg brace adjusted, but he’s really there to get information from her about the attack he heard about over his radio. She won’t tell him anything. “I don’t want any more violence,” he says. “Just a peaceful resolution. I sense you feel the same way.” Naomi interrupts and asks him what he’s doing there, and an argument erupts quickly… at least until the engineer collapses. As Lucia tends to her, Murtry leaves.

When Naomi awakens, Lucia gives her a warning. Some of their people couldn’t acclimate to the gravity, and they were put in the recycler after a day. If she doesn’t return to space, Lucia says, she’ll be dead just like them.

Dr. Okoye joins Alex and Holden at the protomolecule structure, and she picks up on the fact that they know a lot more about it than she does. She confronts them about it, but they’re interrupted by news from the Israel’s people in the sky, who let them know the lightning stopped. They might have gone out of the frying pan and into the fire, though: It seems an earthquake is beginning.

A Challenge for Avasarala

Avasarala has a new obstacle to endure: Nancy Gao, the UN Home Secretary, has decided to run against her for office. As she explains to Avasarala when she hands in her resignation, colonization of the systems beyond the ring is “inevitable.” Based on what she knows about that world and its connections to the protomolecule, Avasarala isn’t so sure. “If the people vote in Nancy Gao,” she says, “they’ll be inviting another Eros.”

The people might not get the chance to do so. Avasarala’s team does some digging on her opponent, and they find that Gao “jumped the line” of Earth employment, meaning that she shouldn’t have had a job as quickly as she did… and some people waited decades for an opportunity that Gao cheated her way to in a week. “Leak it discreetly,” Avasarala tells her team of the information. “The media will uncover the rest.”

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Chatham also teases a romance for his character, and talks the parallels between Amos and new antagonist Murtry.

Bobbie’s Job Offer

Bobbie, after her run-in with David’s less-than-lawful companions, notices her nephew hasn’t come home from school. She gets a message from him telling her to be in a concourse in 15 minutes, and she’s met by a few shady characters who tell her that if she leaves a door at the docks open that night, David will be back in school the next day. “This is your only chance to have any control over the situation,” the man says.

She tries to go to the authorities, but the man who threatened her earlier is also an officer, so that’s a dead end. Left with no other options, Bobbie leaves the door at the docks open. But first, she figures out that they’re not stealing weapons — they’re stealing encryption modules and other non-lethal items. As she watches Martin’s operatives leave with the tech, she receives a text from him saying, “We need to talk.”

Thankfully, he doesn’t threaten David — Bobbie calls him to make sure he’s home. Instead, he offers Bobbie a job on his team. He says the navigational systems and technology Mars built are just collecting dust now, and they could be used by other people to do something better with their lives. “After what they did to you,” he says, “you don’t owe this place anything.”

Murtry’s Wrath

Okoye’s seismometers allow them to identify the source of the quake, and it, just like the lightning, is definitely protomolecule-caused. There’s a rapidly spinning structure just like the monument Holden crawled into that’s making the ground shake, and if it keeps going, it’ll clip the settlement.

Holden, instead, orders Alex to drop a torpedo on the thing. Okoye’s not pleased with this course of events, but Holden makes a good point — it could do something else they don’t understand, and they can’t take that chance. Alex fires the torpedo, and it stops moving.

Back at the camp, a different kind of chaos is unfolding. While there’s no earthquake, a storm is indeed brewing: Murtry executes all the Belters who were planning the attack against him.

The Expanse,Season 4, Streaming Now, Amazon Prime Video