The Expanse (2016) – Back to the Butcher, and Rock Bottom

Dan Nowak pens Back to the Butcher. First airing on 5 January, 2016 the story this week moves back and forth in time a bit, taking us to an event that happened at Anderson Station when some of the workers (including the wonderful Billy MacLellan) staged a protest because the corporation that owned the station wasn’t stepping up to look out for the workers’ children who were becoming sick because of the product.

A UN ship was sent to engage, and after negotiations were apparently over, as decided by the UN, the station is destroyed by a man who becomes known as the Butcher of Anderson station, Colonel Frederick Johnson (Chad L. Coleman).

That ties directly with what is going on with the crew of the silently tumbling Tachi containing Holden (Steven Strait), Naomi (Dominque Tipper), Amos (Wes Chatham), and Alex (Cas Anvar), because somehow Johnson knows that someone escaped from the doomed Donnager and has offered them safe haven.

The crew has to decide what to do, and after finally agreeing, they reprogram the ship’s transponder and give her a new name, the Rocinante.

Back on Ceres, Miller (Thomas Jane) is digging into more information about the conspiracy and disappearance of Julie Mao, he knows there are connections to the destroyed Scopuli, Canterbury and Donnager. He also learns the Scopuli was moving to intercept the Anubis which was carrying something from Phoebe Station, a research post.

Before he can do more, he’s grabbed by Anderson Dawes’ (Jared Harris) men and abducted.

Rock Bottom was written by Jason Ning and originally debuted on 12 January, 2016.

The Rocinante arrives at Tycho Station, and the crew forms an uneasy alliance with Johnson, who has a mission for them. He had a contact on the Scopuli, one that was still transmitting after the disaster. He wants them to go out and retrieve that contact, he’ll disguise the Rocinante, and provide them as much information as he can as they need it.

Holden agrees to do it right off the bat, because he still feels the whole thing is his fault, having been the person who logged the original Scopuli distress call. The rest come around eventually, even as we learn more about them, and prepare to ship out.

They are being watched on Tycho Station, however, which means there’s someone else in play, Chrisjen’s (Shohreh Aghdashloo) spy?

Meanwhile, Miller is almost killed by Dawes’ men but is rescued by Muss (Athena Karkanis). He’s also figured out, possibly, what is going on; Phoebe Station found something, perhaps a bio-weapon, that could shift the balance of power in the system, and everyone who has learned about it is racing to get their hands on it, and the OPA seems to be in the lead.

In fact, the OPA apparently owns the Ceres’ Star Helix security office, or at least its chief, because when Miller reveals all of this to Shaddid (Lola Glaudini) she promptly secures the info he’s found, deletes his clearances and files and has him fired.

As the Rocinante heads out into mystery, Miller has just landed in a whole new pile of trouble…

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