Holden finds himself at odds with his crew when a controversial decision is uncovered. On Ceres, Avasarala struggles to contain an escalating humanitarian crisis. Drummer's growing faction stage a daring raid with dire stakes. Filip, demoted to repair skiff duty, makes an unexpected discovery.
In Laconia, a funeral is held for Xan, who was killed by a derailed cart. The community gathers to offer support and condolences to Gary and Dot, while it is implied that the cart driver will be executed as punishment for the accident. Cara sits alone, staring at her dead brother, when she is approached by a man who tells her that her family was not supposed to be there; they were meant to be sent to an institute on Paris, Earth to analyze the data they found on Laconia. The man tries to reassure Cara, who says she knows it's okay to be sad, but he and clarifies that grief and sadness are two different things, though humans often lie and pretend they are the same thing. We also tell other lies, like "it will be alright" or "we'll keep you safe" and, though we try to and want to keep those promises, it's not how life works. Having something you love that you can't protect is terrifying.
Cara asks if the man also had a kid who died, to which he says it wasn't a child but a place. He assumed it would always be there, like Cara assumed she'd always have her brother, and when he lost it, he was very sad, angry and frightened and needed to somehow make it a sacrifice rather than just a death. He clarifies to Cara that "sacrifice" means "to make something sacred" and, though it doesn't fix anything, it makes it all hurt less. He assures her that Xan, and also Mars and its dream, still matter despite being dead, and that if they succeed there on Laconia, it will all be worth it. He muses about humanity rushing through the gates carelessly, just like Xan rushed into the road where he died, and asserts that someone needs to keep them safe, or at least try. He isn't sure if he still can, and if he can't, then nothing matters anyway. Cara holds his hand and smiles, advising him to keep trying. He thanks her, just as Cortázar comes rushing in and approaches the man, addressing him as Admiral Duarte. Seeing his intense stare, Duarte tells Cara he is sorry she wont get to see Paris, but maybe they'll have one of their own one day.
Cortázar leads Duarte away, suggesting he might have found a way to activate the structure in Laconia's orbit. Cara is left alone, staring thoughtfully at her brother. That night, she steals Xan's body on a stretcher and runs off with it into the dark woods.
On Ceres, Nico Sanjrani speaks at a protest, where they tell a riled-up group of Belters that they understand their fear and anger, but press they must not sell out their future for the empty promise of safety. Though it is unknown who planted the explosives that vented Ceres' tanks, Sanjrani reaffirms their support for the Free Navy's cause and warns that the Inners will try to get them all to switch sides, which they see as returning under the Inner's yoke. The crowd cheers for Sanjrani, who says Belters can't be defeated, and that the Inners were offered peace if they stayed in their own worlds. They chose to come to Ceres, and there will be peace after they leave.
Avasarala, Sidiqi, Gareth and Kirino watch the protest from the UNN Zenobia. Gareth is upset and pressures Avasarala to make public the information that the explosives were of Belter make, clearly planted by Marco Inaros, but Avasarala feels it will be waved aside as another Inner lie and it won't be enough to turn Sanjrani against Marco. Kirino states they are a navy, not a policing force, and brings up the losses both in soldiers and in ships sustained as a result of the bombing, but Avasarala reminds her their fleet isn't strong enough to win the war without support in the Belt and adds that Belters also died in the explosions. Kirino informs Avasarala of a proposal by MCRN fleet command that they send a strike force to the Ring to take out Medina Station and regain control of the Ring Nework. Avasarala maintains that rushing in to salve their pride and prove their manhood is exactly what Marco wants, and she won't commit her soldiers to that plan. After she leaves, followed by Sidiqi and Gareth, Kirino informs MCRN fleet command of her response. They reply they are prepared to go alone.
Monica Stuart stands, dirty and with a smear of blood on her face, over a UN officer who is putting the bodies of the UN-affiliated victims of the explosions into bodybags. Avasarala arrives with her entourage and tells Monica she was glad to hear she wasn't hurt, to which Monica nods solemnly before kneeling by one of the victims. Her name was Darcy Okuda, and Monica had heard her talking to sergeant Ebron as they were both competitive swimmers and had raced once, disagreeing about who had won. Gareth realizes Monica is recording the moment and orders her to stop, but Monica reminds Avasarala she was promised full access, which she concedes to, allowing Monica to return to her work. Avasarala stares, shaken and dejected, at the piles of bodybags filling the room.
On the Rocinante, en-route to Ceres, Holden walks into the command deck to inform Naomi that they will now have the Joint Fleet's protection for the rest of their journey. He finds Naomi looking through the battle logs from their fight with the Pella, and she explains she is compiling all the data they gathered so the rest of the fleet can have detailed information about Marco's flagship, and maybe it will help them find it. Holden agrees, reminding her to use tight-beams only.
Amos paces around the machine shop while on call with Holden, informing him about the repairs that need to be done on the Roci after the fight, which Holden offers to help him with. Meanwhile, Bobbie gets incresingly frustrated as she struggles to fix up her boot, which Amos comments is cause she is still pissed off about not getting to blow up the Pella due to their torpedo being a dud. They return to their work in silence, but Amos notices Bobbie is listening to twangy country music, which he recognizes as Alex's. Bobbie says Alex used to play this music all the time on the Razorback, claiming there was nothing else to play, though she believes he was lying. Amos feels the same and has had a similar experience on the Roci. As they continue to work, they both sing along to Alex's song. The moment ends when Clarissa calls Amos to the cargo bay to show him something.
When he gets there, Clarissa lets him know she completed a full torpedo diagnostic and found no faults, but the dud torpedo had also been cleared the day before, so she dug into the weapons telemetry log to look for any system glitches. What she found instead was a log proving that Holden deactivated the missile. Looking concerned, she shows it to Amos, saying it is above her pay-grade and she doesn't want to judge. Amos gravely replies that he will handle it.
The captain of the Granicus informs Marco and Rosenfeld that the Lauber was wrecked in the battle and will have to be abandoned, though its crew salvaged a repair skiff that they will give to the Pella. Marco replies it is the least they could do after their catastrophic failure, and orders the captain to have the two senior officers of the Lauber spaced after they complete salvage operations. Rosenfeld is taken aback and tries to say it would be counter-productive, but Marco interrupts her and orders her to also have the captain of the Granicus spaced if he asks her to change his mind.
Tadeo chastizes the new repair technician recruit for being late, only to immediately apologize in shame after seeing it is Filip standing behind him. Much to his surprise, Filip explains he's been demoted to repair skiff duty and defers to Tadeo's leadership. The conversation turns even more awkward when Tadeo asks Filip some questions and it becomes apparent the boy has absolutely no knowledge or experience working on repair skiffs. He reassures Filip it will be easy to learn after all his accomplishments, but is interrupted by Rosenfeld, who pulls Filip aside to talk to him.
She asks if Filip is still angry, saying that Marco's treatment of him was unfair but that, being the commander in chief, he has to focus on the war and cannot be distracted by Filip. Though it might be hard to understand given all the love and admiration their people have for Marco, Rosenfeld says that he is alone and has no one but Filip left, so he needs Filip by his side to give him support and counsel, the kind no one else can. Filip lashes out that Rosenfeld doesn't know either of them as well as she thinks she does, asking her what she thinks Marco would do if Filip shot her in the face. She defiantly replies he might feel really guilty about it, then send money to her family and pretend it's remorse, a jab to how Filip reacted to killing Yoan. The two of them tensely hold each other's glares for a moment, but Filip steps away and leaves to do his job.
As Holden and Amos are doing repairs on the hull of the Roci out in space, Amos reveals he knows about Holden deactivating the torpedo, which Holden admits. Amos says he trusts him to always do the right thing, or at least what he believes it is, but they had a chance to end Marco and Holden pulled the punch which, though he keeps trying, he can't see how it was the right thing to do. Holden stands his ground and, though Amos asks for an explanation, saying he doesn't know what he is fighting for if not to kill Marco, Holden insists it was his call to make and he doesn't owe Amos an explanation. Amos asks if Holden is mad at him for asking, or because he doesn't really have an explanation for his actions, then walks away and returns to the repairs.
Tadeo helps Filip learn how to work the repair skiff. As Filip keeps patching up the holes in the Pella's hull, he overhears Tadeo's terminal, where he is watching news about the bombing on Ceres showing a total casualty count of 976 so far. The momentary distraction causes him to mess up and lose grasp of the hull plate, which they don't have a lot of, so Tadeo rushes in and just barely manages to retrieve it. Filip chastizes Tadeo for looking at the news while they work, to which he says that his brother worked the docks on Ceres and he hasn't heard from him since the explosion, so he is worried, but promises it won't happen again.
Filip calms down and accepts it's Tadeo's skiff, so it's his rules, asking if he is close with his brother. Tadeo shares that they are, as his brother Mas raised him after their parents disappeared. Though he was a scoundrel and a thief before, he changed when he took Tadeo in, and he describes his brother as one of those people who is good at caring for others but bad at caring for himself. Filip asks why Mas didn't join up with Tadeo, to which he explains that his brother has vacuum vertigo and is unable to leave Ceres. He worriedly expresses that he just hopes Mas is okay, which visibly affects Filip.
Naomi keeps looking through the information on the disapparances in the Rings, when Holden walks in. He hesitates for a moment, before saying that Filip looks a lot like her. He tells her that he saw Filip behind Marco when they shot their torpedo, and confesses he disarmed it on purpose because he couldn't kill Naomi's son.
Naomi is upset and points out that Holden let Marco escape to spare her feelings, which in her mind makes her responsible for everyone Marco kills from this moment onwards. Holden says she is not responsible for his choices, but Naomi feels that Holden keeps placing her emotions above their mission (as he also did when she almost ruined the raid on the Azure Dragon) and she wants him to stop treating her like she is broken. Holden heatedly tells her to stop pretending that her feelings don't matter, and mentions her traumatic experience on the Pella, saying he sees how much it hurts her every time they kill another Belter ship and asserting that she cannot carry all of this by herself. Naomi tries to bring up Filip and the possibility of him killing someone after Holden spared him, but Holden interrupts her and, between anger and tenderness, says it's not about Filip but about them; he cannot be the one to kill her son because, no matter how justified it was in the moment, every time she wakes up at his side she will see the person who killed her boy, and he doesn't have it in him to be that to her. Naomi, tearful, says she tried to save Filip, and she failed. She knows now that, if they win, it's probable he will die, and she had the chance on the Pella to martyr herself in the name of motherhood but chose not to. She asks him not to take that from her, because it's all she has left.
While wandering through the ship's insides on their repairs, Tadeo and Filip find the Roci's warhead. They both comment on how they would have died if it had gone off, and Tadeo says Marco is blessed. He goes to dislodge the missile, which makes Filip nervous. Tadeo suddenly gets stuck and begins screaming for help, causing Filip to panic as he tries to yank his arm away, but it turns out to be just a joke. Tadeo laughs at Filip's horrified face, and after a moment Filip laughs too and jokes that Tadeo is an asshole as they carry the missile away.
Drummer, Josep and Walker float in space, surrounded by Golden Bough soldiers in vac-suits. They free-fall towards Marco's supply depot, where Josep notes, disgusted, how Marco is hoarding resources while the people of the Belt starve. Walker comments that "a revolution that doesn't make you rich is hardly worth having". Drummer silences them and orders the first team to follow her, as they slowly push towards one of the supply clusters and grapple onto the crates. Michio oversees from the Tynan, finding no ships in the vicinity but urging them to hurry.
Drummer and her team breach the airlock and get inside the first station, while the second team takes on the second cluster and keeps Drummer informed through comm-link. Josep observes the cabin is pressurized and, though Drummer thinks it's most likely live soil, but Walker suggests there might be ransom prisoners, which he's captured for Marco before.
The group is taken by surprise when the doors on one of the crates burst open and a contingent of guards runs out, starting a shootout with Drummer's team, who manage to kill them all. Drummer finds it strange to have guards inside the station for protection, as opposed to a more effective ship outside the depot, but realizes they were getting ready for a pickup after she reviews their supply logs. She has Michio do another sweep, which thankfully finds no sign of other ships, and then orders everyone to quickly retrieve any resources they can and return to their ships within the hour, fearing they are about to have visitors.
Drummer and Josep are ambushed by a fifth guard, and Josep pushes Drummer out of the way just as a crate falls on him, crushing his arm against the floor. Drummer kills the ambusher, and asks Walker for help to pull the crate off, but Michio intervenes as the pressure is the only thing keeping Josep from bleeding out. She drives the Tynan close to pick him up and, with Drummer and Walker's help, straps Josep's arm to mitigate the bleeding. Seeing no other alternative, she tells him that she loves him and is sorry, then gives him a kiss before quickly sawing his arm off without anaesthesia. Josep keeps howling in pain, but Walker congratulates a shocked Michio on her steady work.
Holden walks into the Roci's galley, where Bobbie is complaining to Clarissa about how, despite performing outrageously well against all odds in the battle with the Pella, it still "chaps [her] ass" that the one-in-a-million shot they managed to get in was a dud. She leaves to go to the gym, and Clarissa notices Holden is troubled, advising him there's no point in telling Bobbie the truth and promising she herself won't say anything. Holden assumes Amos told Clarissa, but she reveals she found out first and Amos didn't tell Holden because, as is usual, he was trying to protect her. She then asks Holden if he wants to know when she realized she didn't want to kill him, and Holden agrees.
Clarissa remembers their first real-life meeting on the Behemoth, when Holden and Naomi were walking unarmed into the command deck, with all of Ashford's soldiers pointing their guns at them. Holden said then that they were all reaching for violence and asked if they couldn't try something else for once. He ponders they are still here, trying to kill their way to a better tomorrow, so he didn't do a great job. Clarissa shares she's killed a lot of people, and some of them deserved it, and most probably didn't, but that's not the point; they all haunt her just the same. Killing someone is a terrible thing, and you can never take it back.
In her room, Naomi looks at a picture of Filip.
Clarissa urges Holden to never feel bad about not killing someone. He replies it's good advice and smiles, thanking Clarissa, who nods and returns to eating, while Holden sips on his coffee. He comments on the copious amounts of salt she is adding to her food, which she says she just likes that way as she adds even more, causing them both to chuckle.
Monica shows Avasarala the footage of her meeting with Owain the day before. She had asked him if the cat was his, and he said he had named her "Lucky Earther" because she was fat and lazy and he gave her whatever she wanted. After the explosions, crowds of people run in panic around the docks to flee from the fire and smoke. Monica follows Owain to a different location, where he tells her he was born on Ceres and it is his home. Amidst the footage of people injured and dying, children cowering and crowds rushing to escape from the raging fires and explosions, there is an interview with Owain who says he doesn't hate anyone. He only wants air, water, freedom and a good life for his children. It's not the Inners and the Belt; it's the people who want more hate, and the ones who just want to live. He is tired of all the hate, and he doesn't even have enough water to wash his hands. He pets his cat, repeating: "Lucky Earther".
Avasarala feels the video makes the Earth and Mars look weak, but Monica says it makes everyone look equally weak, which is why it works. She says that, if you want the enemy to see you as human, you have to see them as human. She isn't sure if Belters will ever do that, but Monica says she isn't sure they are the enemy she is talking about.
Michio cares for a sleeping Josep, assuring him she is there for him, as his arm is regrown in the auto-doc. Drummer watches from a distance, then angrily rushes to the command deck and, after being assured the charges are ready, she asks her comms officer to begin a wide-band broadcast. She states her name, Camina Drummer, dedicating this message to the traitor and coward Marco Inaros. He hunted her and hers, but they are still here, unbent, unbroken, unbowed. She tells Marco directly that he is nothing, to which Walker jokes "well, so much for anonymity". Drummer's small fleet flies off, using the charges to sever one of the supply clusters from the rest of the depot and dragging it along with them.
Rosenfeld reports to Marco that the Granicus is ready to join them, and the senior officers of the Lauber were executed as he ordered. He asks if the captain of the Granicus asked for mercy for them, which Rosenfeld reveals he did, but she didn't execute him as Marco had told her to. Marco accuses her of being insubordinate, but Rosenfeld is nonchalant and points out that, though his anger was justified, the punishment wasn't; it would have made him look scared and weak, but now he looks merciful. Marco seems annoyed that she believes she has the right to address him so bluntly, but she thinks somebody has to, as all the people that used to are either dead or picking up trash below the deck. She reinforces that the crew needs to see Marco be calm and unaffected by the defeat, otherwise they will lose faith in him. Marco tells her that, after what Naomi did to him and to their family, the Roci crew all deserve to die. Rosenfeld counters that, if the Free Navy succeeds, Naomi and her crew will be as powerless as the dead. She gives him a glass of whiskey and turns to leave, but Marco stops her and asks what she expects of victory. She wants to be named governor of Medina, which Marco points out is a very prestigious position given its role as the "crossroads of the empires", but Rosenfeld replies she feels like she's earning it. Marco comes closer and shares the whiskey with her, toasting as they both smile at each other.
Tadeo sits in the Pella's galley alongside a crowd of other crewmates, worriedly looking through the feeds, when Filip arrives and asks if there's news of his brother. Tadeo says there aren't, but thanks Filip for asking, who asks for permission before taking a seat to eat beside Tadeo. He tells Filip that the Roci's warhead was still active, so they repurposed it and got a free nuke. Filip asks why it didn't go off, and Tadeo informs him there's a data log showing it was disarmed before impact. Filip is taken aback realizing that someone disarmed the missile, but Tadeo can't imagine who would do such a thing, writing it off as a malfunction instead, though still being thankful to be alive. Filip, however, seems unsure of what to think.
A commotion in the galley interrupts their conversation, and the other crewmates in the room put Drummer's message on the bigger screens so everyone can watch. Drummer broadcasts proof of Marco hoarding supplies in his depots and shames him for stealing from his own, for abandoning Ceres to the Inners and leaving Belters to starve. He named himself a champion, and then he ran. She challenges him to raise his bounties, to track her down and even kill her if he can, but it won't change the fact that she, Camina Drummer, will always be the one who took back what Marco stole. She tells him to live shamed and die empty before ending the broadcast, letting the entire galley sink into uncomfortable, unertain silence.
Tadeo jokes that at least it was Drummer, and not the Inners, who raided their supplies, causing Filip to slam his hand against the table and ask him whose side he is on. He stands up and proclaims that Drummer is their enemy, same as the Inners and anyone who stands in their way. This is a war, and it won't be over until they are dead or victorious; otherwise, all the blood they spilled and the loved ones they have lost will have been for nothing. He yells that there's no turning back now, then walks out of the room.
- Steven Strait as James Holden
- Dominique Tipper as Naomi Nagata
- Wes Chatham as Amos Burton
- Frankie Adams as Bobbie Draper
- Cara Gee as Camina Drummer
- Nadine Nicole as Clarissa Mao
- Keon Alexander as Marco Inaros
- Jasai Chase-Owens as Filip Inaros
- Shohreh Aghdashloo as Chrisjen Avasarala
- Anna Hopkins as Monica Stuart
- Joanne Vannicola as Nico Sanjrani
- Krista Bridges as Sandrine Kirino
- Kathleen Robertson as Rosenfeld Guoliang
- Dylan Taylor as Winston Duarte
- Samer Salem as Josep
- Vanessa Smythe as Michio
- Emma Ho as Cara Bisset
- Carlos Gonzalez-Vio as Paolo Cortázar
- Daniel Jun as Gary Bisset
- Dianne Aguilar as Dot Bisset
- Ted Dykstra as Gareth
- Conrad Coates as Admiral Sidiqi
- Craig Arnold as Lieutenant Hannu
- Stuart Hughes as Liang Walker
- Joe Perry as Tadeo
- Vieslav Krystyan as Owain
- Virgilia Griffith as Tynan Crewmember #2
- Emmanuel John as Pella Officer
- Tim Dowler-Coltman as Laconia Ensign
- Chantele Francis as Laconia Civilian #1
- Siddhartha Sharma as Laconia Civilian #2
- Adrienne Kress as Distraught Mother #1
- Ava Cheung as Dristraught Mother #2
- Adrian Pavone as Wounded Martian #1
- Gerardo Gismondi as Wounded Martian #2
- Derick Agyemang as Wounded Martian #3