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THE EXPANSE Recap: The Mormons Are Gonna Be Pissed

THE EXPANSE Recap: The Mormons Are Gonna Be Pissed

(Fair warning: This recap includes spoilers for The Expanse that may send you crashing into the sun.)

After the careful and deliberate placing of all the pieces back on the dance floor last week, “Godspeed” was a deceptively complicated episode that took place almost entirely within the confines of one big mission.

The only real development outside of the attempt to blast Eros into a nearby sun was the bulldog session between Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), Errinwright (Shawn Doyle), and Mao (François Chau) wherein Errinwright proved himself to either be a blind incompetent or a truly bad schemer. It makes no sense that Avasarala would show her hand like this beyond the intimidation move of letting Mao know that she’s onto his dirty deeds and his UN partnership, but all of that sails right by Errinwright. It’s possible he was feigning ignorance in order to placate Mao, but Mao wasn’t having any of that either. It was a startling beauty contest between corporate efficiency and government bungling, and now the public knows all about the Protogen connection to the derelict ship.

Expanse Godspeed UN

But let’s get to the real meat of the episode, which brought the band back together to do one more ridiculously insane job. In a way, it felt a bit repetitive to ping pong back and forth between semi-militaristic undertakings from the relative safety of OPA HQ, but the end result was excellent—providing a profoundly real emotional confrontation for Holden (Steven Strait) and a path toward redemption for Miller (Thomas Jane).

After all agreeing that they need to commandeer the largest ship ever built, which also happens to be the Mormon temple/ride out of town, to crash it into the infected asteroid, they set off on what feels like a fairly routine operation. Besides the comic relief of Miller awkwardly gaining his Belter bonafides by becoming a clumsy Rock Hopper, throwing the Nauvoo through space at Eros while planting detonators on the asteroid went arguably smoothly.

There were just two problems. One, the Merasmus, a ship containing a bizarre group that apparently took it upon themselves to give first aid to all the Belters in Eros. Two, a bomb that needs a human hand.

That first issue is played with beautiful tension as Naomi (Dominique Tipper) checks in regularly on how by-the-book everything is going, right up until it’s not. After she spots the vessel, the situation devolved into a strange conversation filled with lies (on both sides), hampered by the real possibility that the French-accented Médecins Sans Final Frontières could be infected. Miller warned them not to leave using his best Billy Bob Thornton voice, but they didn’t heed, and as they headed toward the other side of the asteroid to broadcast what they’ve found to the galaxy, Miller launched a missile that obliterated them and sent debris sailing.

Expanse Godspeed

Which is where the second problem comes into play. The debris first ripped a hole in Miller’s suit (patched in a panic) and then launched the countdown timer on the final bomb he was planting with his water-selling black market parolee. Without a finger on its touchscreen, it would have gone off and ruined the mission, so Miller opts to stay behind.

It’s one of the most interesting moments of the series so far, subverting the lone hero trope while offering Miller an opportunity to bitterly prove his selflessness. It was also one of the bigger magic tricks the show has pulled off, essentially creating an option where a massive, unbelievably expensive ship would smash into an asteroid infected with Protomolecule, or Miller would survive, but not both. In a way, the scene proved how much Miller is worth to the story and the us.

He made the call on his own, thinking up no elegant sci-fi solution to the problem (Naomi’s suggestions prove there were at least two). It’s almost as if Miller craved death. Like he was happy to see a need to stay behind. And, to be frank, is there a better way to go than crashing into the sun as a hero?

Of course it didn’t work. The asteroid moved all on its own, proving the Protomolecule has its own plans. The focus was completely on Miller’s final, poetic moments, and then the Protomolecule yawned, stretched its legs, and said, “Is that all you got?”

It’s great that Miller survived, but the Mormons definitely aren’t going anywhere for a while.


  • Where do you get insurance for the largest ship/church ever built?
  • Would Rock Hoppers laugh the whole time watching Gravity or just at the George Clooney parts?
  • It’s a little crazy that they basically pulled off this huge undertaking, right? They threw a giant church at a rock miles and miles away. If it weren’t for the sentient infection…they made it look super duper easy.

Images: NBC/SyFy

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