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The Expanse Wiki

"A Shot in The Dark" is the seventh episode of the fourth season of The Expanse. Overall, it is the forty-third episode. It dropped on December 13, 2019 as part of Amazon Prime streaming's full-season release strategy with season 4.


Naomi and Alex work to keep the Barbapiccola in orbit amidst a power outage. Avasarala faces a tough decision. Holden and Elvi race to find a cure for a disease spreading on Ilus.


Holden and Amos patrol the structure[]

Ilus has been flooded by the tsunami, but the ruin is safely sealed with everyone inside. Dr. Okoye is scanning the eyes of all the people gathered, as there is spreading eye infection caused by strange, green microbes. The Belters and the RCE personnel set up separate camps within the alien structure, and Carol Chiwewe has to break up fights over food, as the Belters are low on supplies.

Holden and Amos are roaming the chambers of the structure, and calling with Naomi on the Rocinante, who explains that the water isn't receding as fast as they thought and they are currently buried inside a literal ocean, and it will take days before they can possibly go out to the surface. He asks Naomi about getting the reactors to work again, but since fusion doesn't work anymore due to the protomolecule, there is nothing to be done. Naomi says that the Roci and the Edward Israel can keep afloat for months on their remaining battery power, but the Barbapiccola is low on energy and has a few more days before they fall down to Ilus.

Chiwewe approaches Holden and asks when they will be able to return, as they only have enough supplies for one or two days. Holden assures her that he's doing everything he can, but they have to stay put for now. Chiwewe asks if there's any way they can help but, when Holden says there isn't, she laments that they are still at the mercy of him and his invisible friend.[1]

Eye infection[]

Dr. Okoye checks on Jakob, whose eyes have started to turn green with the infection. He asks her if this is some kind of outbreak, but she reassures him that it's just some sort of allergic reaction. When he asks her, she claims that she knows how to treat it, but seems unsure.[2]

Murtry's camp is much better supplied than the Belters, and he tells his officers that when the Belters run out there will be a fight and that they should prepare for it. Chandra adds that they should be smart about it, and not attack the Belters unless they attack first.

Lucia learns about the Barb's situation[]

On the Roci, Alex and Naomi come up with ways to keep the Barbapiccola afloat a little bit longer, which they share with a worried Lucia. Their last resort is to rescue anyone still aboard, including Lucia's daughter, and let it plummet, but Lucia insists that they need the ship to survive, as it contains all the lithium they have mined and if they lose it they will have absolutely nothing left.[3]


On Earth, Avasarala is in her nightgown, watching a news feed of herself addressing her citizens and taking the blame for trusting the OPA to handle the Belter terrorist threat. She did this speech on the advice of her campaign manager, who thought it would be best for Avasarala's image to address the issue immediately after her failure during the debate with Nancy Gao, but Avasarala is angry, feeling that it made her sound weak and incompetent and causing her to lash out at her aides. Arjun arrives and calms her down, but she loses her temper again when the poll numbers show Gao within 3 points of Avasarala, telling her aides to get out. Arjun stands up for them, asserting they are the best at what they do, but Avasarala is intent on firing them and criticizes their and Arjun's outlook on politics, which allows the public to second guess her decision-making. He tries to calm her down but she keeps lashing out at him, until he gets upset and leaves.[4]

UNN's hunt for Inaros begins[]

Later, Avasarala is briefed in her office about Marco Inaros, his faction of loyal followers within the OPA and his divisive terrorist strategies which have turned other OPA factions against him. She is shown the footage from the Pizzouza, and her advisors tell her that it hasn't made any stops yet so if he was ever inside, he must be there still. General McCourt gives her two options: Either destroy the entire ship full of innocent Belters, which Avasarala says she'd rather avoid, or have the Earth's Marines board it at the risk of them getting hurt. Avasarala reasons that she could make an example out of Marco for other Belter pirates, and asks McCourt to keep both options on the table so she can stall her decision until the last moment.[5]

Tensions rise in the shelter[]

Murtry approaches Holden, who criticizes him for not sharing his resources. He asks Holden if he can somehow be of help with the Investigator and the protomolecule ruins. Holden replies that there's nothing he can do until the Investigator talks to him, and he is about to leave when Dr. Okoye appears. She explains that every single person in the ruin is infected with some form of primitive micro-organism that is growing inside their eyes, and she's been lying to everyone that it's an allergy so as not to start a panic. She has no way to stop it, and it will turn people blind within the next day. Strangely, it appears Holden is the singular person in the entire ruin to not be infected, which greatly distresses Murtry. He tells Okoye that curing the infection should be her first priority. The camera shifts to Murtry's field of view, which is slowly filling with green.

Amos spots Chike sitting by himself, and asks him why he is alone. He replies that his parents died in the shockwave. Amos sits with him and tells him that his parents did their job, which was to make sure he was safe. He notices Chike's green eyes, and it appears the boy has gone completely blind. Chandra watches from afar as Amos holds the boy's hand and offers to see for both of them. She lingers for a moment before sounds of shouting voices from another room interrupt and she leaves to check on that. Amos tells the boy to stay put, and follows her.

A group of RCE officers are assaulting a Belter, claiming he stole their water, and they punch him to the ground, but are stopped by Murtry who orders them to stand down. He helps the confused Belter up, and gives him his water back. Chandra and Amos agree that conflicts will only escalate further, and eventually they will have to kill some people.[6]

Felcia and Naomi work together[]

Naomi is instructing Felcia with tampering with the Barbapiccola's machinery to conserve battery power. Felcia had only seen the insides of a ship in a school field trip, and expected to be dealing with things like these in a university simulation, not in a real life emergency. Naomi assures her that this is a better way to learn than any university can offer, which Felcia ponders makes Naomi sound like her mother. Naomi laughs and uses the opportunity to help Felcia understand Lucia, relating to her wanting to escape and telling her that Lucia didn't mean to hurt anyone. She tells Felcia that she herself regretted running away, and that her mother wants her to go after her dreams, she is just scared of not being able to protect her. Felcia replies that it doesn't really matter anymore.[7]

Holden confides in Amos[]

Dr. Okoye draws Holden's blood, and as they wait for the analysis, they talk about The Investigator. Holden is burdened by the responsibility of being the only person able to talk to it, and by the constant nightmares and visions of death that it sends him, but Okoye says she would kill to be in his place, the only human being able to contact an advanced alien civilization and get answers to humanity's biggest questions. Holden tells her it's not the same when you don't get a choice.

Holden leaves Okoye and finds Amos to get supplies from his med kit, so Okoye can help the infected. He tells Amos the truth about the infection, which deeply shocks Amos, who realizes they are all in much more danger than he initially thought. Holden asks his help with keeping everyone calm, and tells Amos that he can't handle all this without him. Amos is deeply shaken, but he nods in agreement.[8]

Chrisjen apologizes[]

Avasarala visits Arjun as he is teaching at the University, where she gifts him an apple and apologizes, citing that she was overwhelmed with stress and not herself. She explains that the Eros Incident made her feel helpless, and she feels the same helplessness now. Arjun confesses that he's never questioned her actions, because he knew she always had the right reasons in mind, but with this election it feels like it's not about her being right, it's just about her needing to win. He asks her if losing would be so bad, and she replies that she doesn't know, which is what scares her and why she needs to win. He asks her how far she intends to go to find out, and she replies, "as far as I have to."[9]

Alex tries to cheer Lucia up[]

Alex finds Lucia looking over the Roci's plants, which she says remind her of Ganymede, and Alex explains that they were put there by someone from Ganymede, who went back there to help rebuild it. Lucia reminisces about how beautiful Ganymede was, and about Felcia's early interest in technology and engineering. They sit down in the galley and Alex tells her about his wife and son, whose lives he is no longer a part of because he couldn't do the right thing when they needed him to. He insists that Lucia still has the ability to make things right with her family, instead of moping around and regretting how she lost them for the rest of her life. He echoes her story with Felcia about Ganymede's floating mirrors, which gives Lucia an idea.

They convene with Naomi, and Lucia explains that she had seen drones pull the mirrors back to orbit when their thrusters failed on Ganymede. The Rocinante could do this to save the Barbapiccola, but this would put both ships at risk. Lucia figures out a way to take apart the Barb's mining nets and create a cable long enough to connect the two ships at a safe distance. Naomi and Alex are skeptical, but Lucia begs them to help her make things right.

They call Felcia, who is unwilling to talk to Lucia until Naomi and Alex explain that she has a plan to save the Belter ship. Lucia shares her plan, and Felcia makes suggestions and corrections based on other factors, like the Barbapiccola's shifted center of mass due to the lithium they are carrying. They are short on time, but the plan could possibly save their lives and their ship.[10]

A new threat[]

Murtry informs Chandra of the incoming blindness crisis, and says they will need to cooperate with the Belters to survive. Chandra realizes that this is why he protected that Belter earlier. Murtry plans to outlast the Belters and letting them die, which will require them to take Holden out of the picture. Chandra is shocked by this, but Murtry tells her a story of how he murdered an entire ship worth of Belters once which got RCE lots of money, and he got paid extra. He tells her he's been spilling blood to make the company rich his entire career, and while the UN wants them to coexist with the Belters, it's in the company's interest if they die. In addition, he could get even more money if they find a way to control the protomolecule technology on the planet, and promises to share his gains with Chandra as long as she can help him take Holden out. Chandra tells him he's never had to pay for her loyalty, and he replies that she's given him reason to question that by her relationship with Amos. Chandra assures him that Amos is not a problem for her.

One of the RCE guards finds his best friend dead in a pool of water, and grabs the Belter that his friend was beating up earlier, drowning him in the pool. The guard is hysterical but, between Holden, Murtry and Amos, they convince him to let go of the Belter. When he emerges from the water, there is a strange slug stuck to his face. The Belter starts having a reaction to the slug, and falls in the pool, dead. Suddenly, more slugs fall from the ceiling, and one of them falls on the guard's head, killing him within seconds. Holden points a blacklight at the walls and ceiling of the ruin, showing they are covered in the slugs and their trails.[11]

Strike on the Pizzouza[]

Avasarala has both options readied to deal with the Pizzouza, but chooses the less violent version of having the ship boarded by Marines. They are unable to find Marco on the ship, and a firefight starts. Before the Marines can advance, the ship explodes, killing everyone inside.[12]



Guest Starring[]




  • Similar to another episode this season, in the chapter/scene titles, the SecGen's character name is misspelled without an "h" as "Crisjen" instead of "Chrisjen"


  1. Season 4, Episode 7: "A Shot in The Dark" ("Holden and Amos patrol the structure" [00:01:13])
  2. Season 4, Episode 7: "A Shot in The Dark" ("Eye infection" [00:04:52])
  3. Season 4, Episode 7: "A Shot in The Dark" ("Lucia learns about the Barb's situation" [00:06:34])
  4. Season 4, Episode 7: "A Shot in The Dark" ("Falliable" [00:08:01])
  5. Season 4, Episode 7: "A Shot in The Dark" ("UNN's hunt for Inaros begins" [00:11:34])
  6. Season 4, Episode 7: "A Shot in The Dark" ("Tensions rise in the shelter" [00:14:11])
  7. Season 4, Episode 7: "A Shot in The Dark" ("Felcia and Naomi work together" [00:20:38])
  8. Season 4, Episode 7: "A Shot in The Dark" ("Holden confides in Amos" [00:24:24])
  9. Season 4, Episode 7: "A Shot in The Dark" ("Chrisjen apologizes" [00:25:58])
  10. Season 4, Episode 7: "A Shot in The Dark" ("Alex tries to cheer Lucia up" [00:28:45])
  11. Season 4, Episode 7: "A Shot in The Dark" ("A new threat" [00:33:28])
  12. Season 4, Episode 7: "A Shot in The Dark" ("Strike on the Pizzouza" [00:39:04])

External links[]