137 years ago, back when Mars was just a colony under UN control, an engineer named Solomon Epstein was tinkering with the jalopy of a space ship that he owned. Initially, just trying to marginally improve fuel efficiency, Epstein hits the drive button and immediately begins travelling far faster than he ever imagined. Narrating the flashback, Epstein says his discovery changed everything.
Back in the present, the UN Security Council is grappling with what Eros has done. Colonel Janus thinks it was a test of a new Martian fuel drive, a notion that Avasarala scoffs at. Whatever it is, Janus says, Eros represents the "greatest technological leap since the Epstein drive." They plan to send a team to Venus to investigate.
Holden sends a message home to his mother telling her he's okay and how proud he is of his crew (especially Naomi). Later, he and Naomi continue to debate over whether or not they should destroy their sample of the protomolecule.
Holden and Naomi stand in front of the rest of the Rocinante crew and make the big announcement that they're seeing each other. After a pregnant pause, Amos and Alex erupt into laughter and say that Alex lost the bet. Amos is surprisingly cool with all of this.
Alex then pulls Holden aside to point out that 30 of the nukes that Earth sent have not been shut down. Where are they now? They see that they've been caught by a giant space net.
137 years ago, Epstein's fuel-burning breakthrough was great for mankind but kind of terrible for him, as he's now speeding off into space at g-forces that will surely kill him. He tries to reach the panel to turn off the burners, but he can't.
Avasarala has dinner with Dr. Michael Iturbi, who was present at the earlier UN meeting. The two of them seem to have some kind of romantic history, but she shuts that down quickly. He asks Chrisjen to find a way to get him onto that transport to Venus. He offers to be her eyes and ears there if she does.
Holden and Naomi speak to Fred Johnson about the 30 missing nukes. Fred doesn't so much see it as a problem because he's got them. Holden thinks they ought to jettison the missiles and tell Earth and Mars about the protomolecule. Fred counters that the nukes can be good bargaining chips, and as for the protomolecule, the safest thing they can do is keep Earth and Mars in the dark.
137 years ago: Epstein makes a last-ditch effort to signal his wife, but he can't reach the signaling device. Things are looking grim.
After Fred tells Holden that he's going to need to pick a side as things escalate, Naomi goes to see Fred as well. She thinks they should tell the people everything about what Miller and Julie did on Eros. Not the protomolecule stuff; just how an Earther/OPA member and a Belter came together to save humanity. That story has value. Fred eventually agrees.
Later, the Roci crew debates whether they should destroy their protomolecule sample. Alex says they should give it to Mars, which earns him a heap of side-eye from Naomi. Ultimately, Naomi drops her objections and concedes to Holden and Amos that they should eliminate it. Naomi shows Holden a simulated launch of the torpedo containing the Protomolcule; however, unbeknownst to Holden, the torpedo remains dormant, inactive and immobile. The torpedo's rocket exhaust is shown glowing briefly without leaving its location.
137 years ago, Epstein is about to die - of a stroke, most likely. But he voices over about his discovery and how it would allow Mars to finally break free of its colonial limitations, travel out into space, mine the asteroids, and colonize the Belt.
Avasarala finally confronts Errinwright about Mao. She says they need to know what Mao knows and cut a deal with him. Avasarala goes off on Errinwright, saying that she will threaten to ruin Mao's family if they don't bring him forward.
On the Roci, Alex comes upon Amos defacing the Martian flag (erasing Deimos, since it's not there anymore) and starts an argument with him. He's still mad about the bar fight and Amos treating him like some damsel in distress. Amos matter-of-factly says he does see Alex as weak and in need of protection. Alex objects to that assessment.
Naomi gives Drummer a hand in disabling the countermeasures on the pilfered nukes. They bond some more over their common Belter experiences.
On the shared UN/MCR moon of Ganymede, Bobbie Draper and her marines patrol the border zone. While in a communication blackout, they spot gunfire on the UN border line. A drone appears overhead and suddenly, the marines' comms are jammed, and UN six marines appear to the charging at them. There's weapons fire everywhere, on the surface near the domes and among the ships orbiting overhead. Draper's unit is attacked from the UN line and her commanding officer, Lt. Sutton, dies on the MCRN Scirocco during the engagement in orbit. Draper's squad, Privates Travis, Hillman and Corporal Sa'id are all killed. Dazed and in a damaged suit, Draper is the only one left to see the approach of the attacking figure - and it looks alien.
- Steven Strait as Jim Holden
- Cas Anvar as Alex Kamal
- Dominique Tipper as Naomi Nagata
- Wes Chatham as Amos Burton
- Frankie Adams as Bobbie Draper
- Florence Faivre as Julie Mao (credit only)
- Shawn Doyle as Sadavir Errinwright
- Shohreh Aghdashloo as Chrisjen Avasarala
- Chad L. Coleman as Fred Johnson
- Hugh Dillon as Lt. Sutton
- Sam Huntington as Solomon Epstein
- Cara Gee as Drummer
- Ted Whittall as Dr. Michael Iturbi
- Dewshane Williams as Corporal Sa'id
- Mpho Koaho as Private Travis
- Sarah Allen as Private Hillman
- Andrea Drepaul as Caitlin (credit only)
- Andrew Rotilio as Diogo
- Briana Templeton as Belter Waitress
- Carlos Gonzalez-Vio as Cortazar
- Colin Glazer as Val's Husband (credit only)
- Conrad Pla as Colonel Janus
- Laura Tremblay as Belter Hottie
- Stephen Farrell as Scientist (credit only)
- Ted Jefferies as Grimy Belter
- Tracey Ferencz as UN Advisor
- Vanessa Matsui as Val (credit only)
- This episode effectively marks the beginning of the book Caliban's War.
- The origin story of Solomon Epstein and eponymous Epstein drive was explored.
- The Ganymede incident takes place at the end of this episode.
- The title of the episode refers to a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.The five instances to which the title is referring to:
- The Epstein family estate licensed the drive technology to Earth, in exchange for Martian Independence.
- The drive itself, a revolutionary nuclear fusion reactor design, means ships can cover longer distances in a shorter period of time, using a fraction of the fuel.
- Fred Johnson requisitioned the unaccounted ordinance, thermonuclear missiles, which would change the balance of power in the Solar System.
- Chrisjen Avasarala offers transactional immunity to Jules-Pierre Mao in exchange for his expertise on the protomolecule.
- The protomolecule has the ability to reshape life and man's dominion of the Solar System.
- Gyro (or Gyroscope): a wheel mounted in a set of rings so that its axis of rotation is free to turn in any direction; when spun rapidly, it will keep the original direction of its rotation axis no matter which way the ring is turned ; it is this "memory" of direction that makes the component ideal for guidance systems.
- Nuclear fusion: Process where nuclei of atoms are brought together and energy is released as a byproduct.
- Thermonuclear fusion: Using the heat and pressure from the nuclear fission reaction, process from which atom are broken apart, to drive the nuclear fusion reaction, which releases significantly more energy.
- Zero-inertia : minimal to no resistance to a change in motion . With respect, to the Zero-inertia drive, it allows spacecraft to make drastic maneuvers without the gravitiational forces tearing the crew to shreds
- Massive relativistic field generator: According to Einstein's Special Relativity Theory, as an object approaches the speed of light, time slows down, and the object can cover large distances in a short period of time, as perceived by a person outside the accelerated reference frame.
- The reason why the general consensus skews toward speed of light travel being impossible is the following: A ship and it complement have a certain mass, and if the ship somehow had the energy to reach the speed of light, the energy would be equivelant to additional mass, as per the famous mass-energy equivalence formula E = mc², where E is energy and it is equal to mass times the speed of light squared. The additional mass-energy would then require even more energy to accelerate, which again is equivelant to additional mass; causing an exponential loop; this implies infinite energy would be require to move any object with mass at the speed of light.
- Stickman: a player in any of various games (as hockey or lacrosse) played with a stick.
- Paradigm shift
- Nuclear fusion
- Thermonuclear fusion
Cast credits on-screen
"Safe" • "Doors & Corners" • "Static" • "Godspeed" • "Home" • "Paradigm Shift" • "The Seventh Man" • "Pyre" • "The Weeping Somnambulist" • "Cascade" • "Here There Be Dragons" • "The Monster and the Rocket" • "Caliban's War"