Having watched and loved this entire show, it has been on my mind. There are, however, many things that stick in my craw about the first two seasons. Mainly concerning the protomolecule conspiracy. Wondering if anyone can help me out here.
mau/protogen want to cultivate and study the protomolecule by unleashing it on Eros. The UN and MCR would normally prosecute this plan, so the mars/earth standoff has to be escalated in order to get away with it. To this end, they want to cause an international incident via a false flag attack on a freighter. So they aquire (or build) a martian distress beacon as bait, and build a small fleet of next gen gunships out of MCR tech.
Assuming all of this was planned before Julie tried to throw a wrench in things by attacking the Anubis, the Scopuli could not have been part of the original scheme. Improvisation? Did they decide to use the Scopuli as bait after they had captured her to add fidelity to the plan, instead of just sticking the beacon on an asteroid or inside one of the gunships? Perhaps they had another way to get a shipwreck they could use but Julie just gave them one so they said fuck it? Awkward.
The Canterbury comes, the plan is almost thwarted by the crew deciding to ignore the beacon. Lopez claims that it is common for ships to just wipe the logs and ignore distress calls, so presumably mau/protogen know this. Maybe they set up along a shipping lane knowing that eventually someone would check it out, since it only matters that it’s an earth corp ship, not necessarily the Cant in particular? They couldn’t have accounted for Holden’s altruism. Im assuming they don’t want to wait forever for a white knight to come along and are on some kind of time table.
In order to frame mars, it is essential to let survivors recover the fake beacon. So the gunship waits for Holden and Co. to pick up the beacon, nukes the canterbury, then burns out of there. Im willing to forgive the plan being put in jeopardy by the resulting debris almost killing the shuttle before holden can frame the MCRN, its a weird small thing for the conspirators to account for. Still kind of funny.
Then we get to the attack on the Donnager…?
The closest I can think as to why they would try to kill holden is they did not account for him sending his little skype call and it becoming a news sensation. Maybe they assumed he would be picked up by authorities, turn over the beacon, be debriefed, and sent on his way. From that point on the narrative would be in the hands of bloodthirsty politicians who would most likely call for war. The message turned Holden into a belt celebrity instead of just some space trucker, so if he recanted his accusation publicly it would actually be taken seriously… making him a liability?
Enough of a liability to attack the Donnager? Given the fact that the attack BARELY succedes at all, and if it hadn’t it would have just confirmed the MCR had nothing to do with the Canterbury? It seems extremely reckless that they would do this. Did they just assume that their stealth ship was so sneaky that it would not be seen at all, therefore no one would be able to connect the two attacks? It doesn’t seem like Holden and Co. did anything spectacular to get a good look at the ship that nuked the Cant.
Its already a spot of whimsy that Julie accidentally carries out the Eros plan, but it’s also emotionally tragic and crucial to what happens later. Makes for a good story. I suppose it just becomes harder to swallow as the other contrivances pile up.
At any rate, that’s all i can think of right now.