"Displacement" is the sixth episode of the fourth season of The Expanse. Overall, it is the forty-second episode. It dropped on December 13, 2019 as part of Amazon Prime streaming's full-season release strategy with season 4.
Alex and Naomi are on the Rocinante, looking at the readings after the island exploded. Naomi notes that the radiation profile resembles reactor failure. They message Holden and Amos, who are on Ilus unsuccessfully trying to keep control of the escalating conflict between the Belter settlers and RCE. Naomi informs them that they will be hit by an earthquake first within the next hour, then by a massive shockwave in 8 to 10 hours, and finally a tsunami within 10 hours after the shockwave, flooding the continent and wiping First Landing from the map.
Holden is unable to get the attention of the screaming crowd, so Amos shoots a bullet to the sky to get their attention. He gives them all the information sent to him by Naomi, and everyone stares at their hand terminals in shock. Carol Chiwewe gets ahold of Holden, blaming him for activating the ruins and ruining their last chance to survive. Holden explains that he wishes it hadn't happened that way, but that now their only option is to get out as fast as they can. Chiwewe pleads with him to support the Belter claim to Ilus publicly, as his opinion holds power and is backed by UN Secretary General Avasarala. Holden tells her he doesn't speak for Avasarala or Earth, but that he himself will do everything in his power to help them. Murtry is very displeased, but Chiwewe trusts Holden and gets the Belters to start preparing to leave.
Felcia learns about her mother
Jakob gets a call from a friend aboard the Barbapiccola, who brings Felcia forward to talk to him. He is very relieved that his daughter is safe and asks what she is doing in orbit, and the girl replies that she is leaving back through the ring, because she wants to go to university. She apologizes, but Jakob says that it was him and her mother Lucia who drove her to this decision so she shouldn't be sorry. When Felcia asks about her mother, Jakob tells her that Lucia is on the Rocinante with Naomi and decides to also let Felcia know about her mother's involvement in the violence that caused fatalities from the Inners' shuttle.
Dr. Sarkis is aboard the Edward Israel, studying the explosion and noting that the planet will look very different tomorrow. He is on call with Dr. Okoye, who asks him if they should expect the other islands to explode as well, but it appears that the other islands are cooling down. As Okoye packs her things, she scratches her itching eye.
Alex visits Lucia in the med-bay, where she thanks him for saving her. She is overjoyed when Alex tells her that Felcia is safe, and connects her to the Barbapiccola so she can talk to her daughter. Her joy is rebuffed by Felcia, who tells her she knows about Lucia's actions and the deaths that she caused. Lucia tries to explain, but Felcia doesn't want to listen, telling her that after all her talk of keeping the family together, it was Lucia who ran away first. Felcia says that, at least, she herself didn't kill anyone before leaving, and she closes the channel. Suddenly, the Roci's power goes down as the reactor inexplicably stops fusing its fuel pellets and turns off. He leaves Lucia alone to go help Naomi with the reactor. The Edward Israel and the Barbapiccola are faced with the same problem, which appears to contradict the laws of physics, so Naomi and Alex conclude that it's probably the protomolecule's doing.
On Earth, Avasarala watches Carol Chiwewe's transmission in which she condemns RCE for their brutality, and Lipson informs her that they have lost contact with all the ships in Ilus. At first she believes it might be the OPA intervening, but he says they checked that possibility and it appears that Medina Station is also unable to reach Ilus, meaning that everyone who is there currently is completely cut off from the rest of humanity.
Bobbie works her new job
On Mars, Esai Martin seals a black market deal with a client, sitting at a table in a public place. Bobbie watches from the sidelines, and she spots a man approaching the table, carrying a tazer in his hand. She and Leelee work together to covertly take his tazer and get him to leave. She nods at Esai, who asks his client if he is waiting for someone, and the client pays him and walks away in a hurry. Esai tells Bobbie and Leelee that "split's at the same spot" and they all walk in different directions, with Bobbie looking pleased with herself. Her smile fades when she sees a news screen showing Caskin, saying that he was arrested for murder. She calls Thomas and asks him what he's doing at the moment.
Plans B and C
Chandra leads RCE security as they prepare their supplies to leave Ilus. Amos arrives and asks her if they will be ready in time. They joke back and forth for a while but, as Amos leaves, she calls to him and thanks him for giving a shit. As Holden crosses the settlement holding a crate, the earthquake hits, but causes no damage. Holden notes that they have 7 hours remaining before the shockwave arrives. He is then called by Alex and Naomi, who inform him that, with all the ships reactors' down, they can't get anyone off the planet. Naomi reasons that, since the island exploded like a reactor, the protomolecule is preventing any other reactors from fusing to prevent another explosion, and Alex asks Holden about The Investigator, who has not appeared to Holden in a long time. Holden figures that they can use the Edward Israel and the Barbapiccola's chemical rockets to evacuate instead of the shuttles, though it will take much more time. Naomi also points out that the Barbapiccola is flying too low and is not "rated for atmosphere", but Holden says they should deal with one problem at a time and ends the call. Lucia arrives in the command deck and asks what "rated for atmosphere" means, and Alex explains that, since the ship is flying very low, and has no reactor to speed up, it is in danger of falling into Ilus's atmosphere. Naomi adds that the Rocinante has a longer battery life, but eventually all the ships will start to fall towards Ilus as well.
Holden brings his plan to Murtry, who refuses on the grounds that Holden picked the Belter's side and swore allegiance to them. He denies them help unless they dump all of the lithium they have mined from their ship, and announces that, even if they do as he says, he refuses to risk both of his shuttles for the Belters. Having no other option, Holden begrudgingly accepts to bring his offer to Chiwewe.
The Edward Israel sends its shuttle down to Ilus, but as it reaches the atmosphere, it burns and melts into nothing. Murtry calls his officers in orbit, who cannot explain what happened. Everyone in the settlement watches one of Ilus's moons turn red, and the RCE scientists report that it appears to be melting. Murtry asks what plan C is, and no one can find a suitable solution until Holden offers that they could take refuge in Ilus's towering ruins. Chiwewe offers to use the Belters' mining charges to blast open a passage, but Murtry asks how they will seal the hole behind them. Amos declares they will have to figure it out later, but Chandra points out they don't have a lot of time left.
Old Inner sayings
The officers of the UNN Tripoli arrive at Medina Station and convene with Drummer and Ashford to discuss sending probes to Ilus so as to figure out what happened to their people. Drummer tries to be diplomatic, but the UN officers are boastful and condescending. They discuss the issue of the Sojourner, which Drummer had assured the UN had been destroyed, before it was almost used to ruin Earth's defenses. The Earth found that, before being destroyed, the ship sent a tightbeam somewhere in the Outer Planets. Drummer explains that Marco Inaros was behind it and that he will be killed, but the officers say he should have been killed already, and admonish Drummer for being unable to handle the threat. They announce that the UN has given them permission to remain within the Ring Space, which Drummer and Ashford protest, to no avail. The officers gloat at Drummer and Ashford before leaving. Ashford laughs and tells Drummer that they were "measuring [her] office for curtains"; He believes they want to take over Medina Station. Drummer stands by her decision to let Marco Inaros live as, if she had done otherwise, it would have disrupted unity within the OPA's factions. Ashford advises her to check the logs in every dark OPA relay to trace the tightbeam that was sent by the Sojourner, and points out that they need to deal with this quickly, otherwise the Earth will not leave them alone.
In a Martian hotel room, Thomas lies in bed naked, while Bobbie gets dressed. He jokes that he feels kind of used, and Bobbie retorts, "I can assure you, you were." She has to leave for a job meeting, and Thomas notes that she was quick to find a job after getting fired. Bobbie lies that she is doing freelance consulting work. She kisses him on the forehead and leaves.
Bobbie meets with Esai and Leelee, where they split their gains between the three of them. They buy drinks and toast in celebration, though Leelee refuses to clink her glass with Bobbie's. Bobbie watches her unsuccessfully try to flirt with Esai and asks her if she killed the customs agent at the docks, which she doesn't deny, causing an argument between them. Esai diffuses the argument, asserting that he doesn't do business that way, but Bobbie still distrusts Leelee. When he leaves to talk to a man at the door, Leelee taunts Bobbie but stops when Bobbie threatens to beat her up. Esai returns with the man, Beltran, and the four of them sit down to discuss their next score. Bobbie tries to be friendly and make small talk, but everyone ignores her. The score is a heist into a decommissioned terraforming tower full of expensive materials, which Esai stresses will get them a lot of money.
The settlement starts working faster
Holden leads the group of Belters and RCE employees to the base of the tower, where the opening which had closed before seems to now be ajar. This worries Amos and Chandra, as it could be loose and ineffective against the tsunami, and they have no way of sealing the large rifts in the tower's side. Amos and Holden leave to get the Belter's mining equipment to open the hole, leaving Murtry alone with Chandra. He tells her that it will take weeks for relief ships to get to Ilus, possibly causing a food shortage, in which case Murtry plans to murder the Belters. He tells Chandra that Holden and her "new boyfriend" will have a problem with that, and asks her if she herself will too. She replies that, if that happens, she will do what needs to be done.
Back at First Landing, Carol Chiwewe is ensuring people are prepared and mobilizing and she advises those who cannot currently walk to the tower to wait until the shockwave passes and then they will be picked up. Dr. Okoye offers to bring her water purifier, which Chiwewe accepts. Okoye's eye is still itching, and she is starting to see green spots in her vision, so she scans her eye, finding small green blotches in the scan.
Ashford watches an old recording of himself singing a song to his baby daughter. His emotional moment is interrupted by Drummer, who tells him there was an unregistered relay in the tightbeam's path, and that the transmission was encrypted with Martian codes. Ashford remembers that Inaros told him Mars is no longer the same the Belt used to fight against, and they realize, to their puzzlement, that someone on Mars is helping Inaros plan something. Drummer is monitoring the ship that received the transmission, which is on its way to Pallas Station.
A new Mars starts to emerge
Bobbie, Esai, Leelee and Beltran take public transit to the score location, sitting individually so as not to arouse suspicion. They are unable to breach the security door, as Beltran's inside man ends up being ineffective. Bobbie realizes the door's controls are hydraulic controlled, and that she can go to the base of the tower and release it. She finds a space suit which Esai notes doesn't have a lot of oxygen left inside, but Bobbie assures him it's not the hardest thing she's done.
The first wave
The detonation charges successfully blow a small hole in the side of the protomolecule ruin. Amos is the first to go down, and, not knowing whether it's safe inside, Chandra gives him a passionate kiss before he climbs down. After Amos is sure of the room's safety, the people start to get down inside one by one, while Murtry watches the horizon. Holden arrives back at First Landing to ensure everyone has left, and tells Amos to prepare the people for the shockwave's impact. Amos tells him to stay safe.
Holden gets the Belters in the settlement to hunker down, and finds Dr. Okoye, who is frantically securing medical equipment after she realized that the green things in her eye are a spreading infection. When the sunlight fades, Holden looks out the window to see a gigantic wave of dust approaching fast, and he and Dr. Okoye turn to look at each other. One moment later, they drop to the floor as the windows shatter and all the equipment tumbles out of place, covered in dust from the shockwave. They walk out to see the camp has been ruined and some people who were still outside at the time have gotten killed. Alex and Naomi call Holden to make sure he's okay, and she expresses her frustration at being unable to be down there with him, but he replies that he feels better knowing both of them are safe in the Roci. A tense silence follows, until Holden reassures them that he doesn't plan to die down there, and hangs up to check on Chike, who just lost his parents to the shockwave.
Drummer shows Ashford a recording from the Pizzouza, the ship that received the Sojourner's tight beam, and Marco is visible in the transmission's background. The ship hasn't made any stops since the recording, which means Marco must still be inside. Ashford is uncertain that Marco would make such a big mistake, but Drummer is sure that, with help from Fred Johnson and Anderson Dawes, they can get him and do so without allowing him to talk his way out this time.
Bobbie cuts it close
Bobbie climbs inside the tower's maintenance shaft and opens the hydraulics panel, manually disabling the door's security. Esai, Leelee and Beltran are able to get inside, but Bobbie has been spotted by a guard, who has locked her outside. She informs Esai that the guard is calling for backup as her air runs out and she loses consciousness. She wakes up in the corridor, with Esai visibly happy to see her safe, and congratulating her on her impressive work. They all leave the tower, passing by the tied up and blindfolded guard next to the door.
The second wave
Dr. Okoye and Chandra are the last people to climb inside the building, leaving Holden alone with a panel that they have latched to ropes so that they can pull the entrance to the ruin closed when everyone is inside.
Naomi, Alex and Lucia watch from the Roci as the tsunami advances over Ilus, crossing the coastline.
Amos, Murtry and Jakob work together to pull the panel closed, but there's not enough leverage, so Holden walks outside and tries to help by lifting it.
First Landing is completely destroyed in the tsunami's wake.
Holden picks up a nearby metal pole, and is able to use it to finally give enough leverage for the others below to lift the heavy panel. Holden manages to jump in at the last moment, as water pours through the cracks, over all the people gathered.
- Steven Strait as James Holden
- Cas Anvar as Alex Kamal
- Dominique Tipper as Naomi Nagata
- Wes Chatham as Amos Burton
- Frankie Adams as Bobbie Draper
- Cara Gee as Camina Drummer
- Shohreh Aghdashloo as Chrisjen Avasarala
- David Strathairn as Klaes Ashford
- Burn Gorman as Adolphus Murtry
- Paul Schulze as Esai Martin
- Rosa Gilmore as Lucia Mazur
- Keon Alexander as Marco Inaros
- Lyndie Greenwood as Elvi Okoye
- Jess Salgueiro as Chandra Wei
- Adriana Crivici as RCE Guard #3
- Ahmed Messallati as Shady Dude
- Aniko Kaszas as RCE Scientist on the Israel
- Corey Wadden as Tripoli X.O. (Makish)
- Dale Miller as Fence
- Dayle McLeod as Leelee
- Jamaal Grant as Barbapiccola Captain
- Jung Yul Kim as Terraforming Guard
- Justin Michael Carriere as Angeletti
- Kerry Griffin as UNN Tripoli Captain (Vats)
- Kyla Madeira as Felcia
- Michael Brown as Lt. Lipson
- Michael Xavier as Thomas
- Michelle Alexander as Pizzouza Skipper
- Nathaniel McParland as Chike
- Paige Williams as Smiling Daughter
- Patti Kim as Carol Chiwewe
- Tim Campbell as Beltran
- Scott Edgecombe as Dock Foreman (Caskin)
- Steven McCarthy as Jakob
- Zach Smadu as Fayez
- In the chapter/scene titles, found using the X-Ray feature as of 2021-Feb, "inner" and "mars" are not capitalized and not following traditional standards of North American English writing for names of proper groups.
- Season 4, Episode 6: "Displacement" ("No hoax" [00:01:12])
- Season 4, Episode 6: "Displacement" ("Felcia learns about her mother" [00:04:48])
- Season 4, Episode 6: "Displacement" ("Bobbie works her new job" [00:09:42])
- Season 4, Episode 6: "Displacement" ("Plans B and C" [00:12:40])
- Season 4, Episode 6: "Displacement" ("Old Inner saying" [00:19:03])
- Season 4, Episode 6: "Displacement" ("Work meetings" [00:22:24])
- Season 4, Episode 6: "Displacement" ("The settlement starts working faster" [00:25:29])
- Season 4, Episode 6: "Displacement" ("A new Mars starts to emerge" [00:28:48])
- Season 4, Episode 6: "Displacement" ("The first wave" [00:32:38])
- Season 4, Episode 6: "Displacement" ("Bobbie cuts it close" [00:38:59])
- Season 4, Episode 6: "Displacement" ("The second wave" [00:43:15])