The Expanse Takes An Unvarnished Look At The Repercussions Of War In Redoubt

We're in the back half of the last season of "The Expanse," and the war is continuing to have a toll on all sides. That includes Marco Inaros (Keon Alexander), who isn't riding as high as he was at the beginning of the season.

Even though Marco and the Free Navy are facing setbacks, that doesn't mean that the Inners are doing much better. And on the personal level, the relationships between characters aren't so great either! Pretty much everything is no-so-great (to put it mildly) for everyone. Read on to dig into the details of "Redoubt," episode 604 of "The Expanse." And warning: spoilers abound below.

Meanwhile, on Laconia

Before we get to the war-torn solar system, however, we get a brief interlude on Laconia. When we last left the ring planet, Cara's brother was tragically killed. We start this episode at his funeral, where young Cara (Emma Ho) has a poignant conversation with Admiral Duarte (Dylan Taylor), the Laconian leader.

Duarte's talk with Cara serves the purpose of letting us know why someone like Duarte, a former Martian Admiral, would break off from his home planet and help someone like Marco. Duarte, like Cara, is also grieving. In his case, he's grieving for the dream of Mars. When the ring gate went up, the dream of terraforming Mars into a habitable planet was washed away — why spend all that money to "fix" a planet when there were hundreds of habitable worlds now at humanity's fingertips? His speech gives us a glimpse into his psyche, and what he's trying to accomplish on Laconia, though we don't know the details.

We do know that his new mission, however, involves trying to turn the protomolecule on. And when someone rushes in to get him from the funeral, it looks like he may be close to accomplishing that goal.

Cara doesn't care about this, of course. All she cares about his her brother. And so at the end of the sequence we see her taking his body out into the forest and to the strange dogs.

The Repercussions of a Single Action

Back in our solar system, both the Rocinante and the Pella are dealing with the repercussions of their fight last episode.

On the Roci, the whole crew is dealing with the fact that Marco got away when their nuke apparently failed. Bobbie (Frankie Adams) is pissed off and can't square it in her mind, while Naomi (Dominique Tipper) works to get the data about the Pella out there in hopes someone else will find them.

And then there's Clarissa (Nadine Nicole) and Amos (Wes Chatham). Clarissa is the first to realize that Holden (Steven Strait) disarmed the nuke and tells her boss. Amos is furious with the news, which exacerbates what he was already feeling — why are they all out there risking their lives, if it isn't to end this war? Holden doesn't give Amos an answer as to why he did it, which only angers Amos more. Clarissa, on the other hand, is more sympathetic to Holden, and tells him never to feel bad about not killing someone.

The biggest and most emotional confrontation about Holden's decision, however, is between him and Naomi. This scene was the last one Strait shot, and one the two actors said was one of the most memorable. Part of that reason is that it gets to the crux of the two characters' relationship. "I can't be the one who kills your son," Holden says. "Every time you wake up you'll be lying next to the reason your boy is dead." For Holden, that's just how it is, even if that means many others may die. 

Marco's Pissed on the Pella

Meanwhile, on the Pella, Marco is furious about losing the Rocinante and takes it out on the two ships who abandoned them during the fight. He spaces the leadership of one of those ships, something Rosenfeld (Kathleen Robertson) tries to council him against doing. Part of why Marco is acting this way is because he and Filip (Jasai Chase Owens) are still on the outs, with Filip now working as a repair technician. While Rosenfeld tries to get Filip to make amends with his father, he refuses. And so he spends time fixing up the Pella and finding out that the nuke the Roci sent was disabled.

Filip also spends time with his new bossman, who's worried about his brother on Ceres after the bombings there. Back on Ceres, Monica (Anna Hopkins) is chronicling the aftermath of the explosion while Avarsarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) is pushing against a joint Mars-Earth attack against Medina, saying that they need allies in the Belt to ultimately be successful.

And Drummer is Even More Pissed Off

There are those in the Belt who don't like Marco, and at the top of that list is Drummer (Cara Gee). She and her new Belter allies go to raid one of Marco's supply depots, and things get bad when they exchange fire with Free Navy folk on board. Josep (Samer Salem) gets his arm caught underneath a crate, and in a very graphic scene, Michio (Vanessa Smythe) ends up cutting his arm off. That scene is intentionally hard to watch. "You do a disservice if you sanitize those things," Ty Franck, co-author of "The Expanse" books and executive producer on the series, told /Film. "You don't want to be grotesque, but if you're going to say that people are being hurt, if you sanitize I think you do a disservice to the story you're telling."

The scene does the job of making the realities of war hard to watch, and it also spurs Drummer to step out of the shadows and take Marco head on. Instead of stealing some of the depot's supplies, she takes the whole depot and plans to bring it to Ceres to help the starving Belters there. She also does a channel-wide communication about what she's doing and makes sure to speak about Marco in the least flattering terms possible. 

On the Pella, Filip is in the mess haul when Drummer's declaration makes the rounds. "I will always be the one who took back what you stole," Drummer says to Marco. "Live ashamed. Die empty."

Filip stands up for Marco and calls Drummer their enemy. "Everything we fought for will be for nothing," he says. "There's no turning back now." That's what he has to tell himself as well, for how else can he face the fact that he's killed billions?

Other Thoughts and Tidbits

  • Clarissa really likes salt on her food. Like, too much. Check your blood pressure, Clarissa!
  • If I ever get a cat, I'm going to name it Lucky Earther.
  • The X-Ray short with Amos and Bobbie was highly enjoyable. I'd happily lose in a fight to either of them.

New episodes of "The Expanse" drop on Amazon Prime Video on Fridays.