We open “Mother” with the Savior of Mother Earth, Chrisjen Avasarala, licking her battle wounds. Admiral Delgado is fixing her a cocktail and trying to tell her a joke about an Earther, a Martian, and a Belter who all walk into the same bar. He doesn’t get to finish it (which is probably a good thing), because a scientist (Danny Waugh) who specializes in asteroids drops by to give some bad news: if an asteroid were coming to Earth, and it hit, it would be 1-4 megatons upon impact. Chrisjen determines that Marco would’ve certainly sent more than one asteroid because she is seemingly the only UN figure left with a brain. She recognizes Marco for what he is–an extremist, willing to do anything to make his point. Even a Deep Impact-esque point. She also delivers a truly great line: “I have burned all the bridges in front of me and behind me…and I don’t give a fuck.”
Later on in “Mother”, after Chrisjen’s tried to get a cowed Admiral Delgado to retask the asteroid spotters to see the stealth tech-covered asteroids, he tells her that virtually everyone just thinks she’s a crazy old lady, which has definite shades of her conversation with OG Arjun back in the first season. She’s come full circle–in a really bad way. He also thinks his own reputation is sinking because he’s allied with her–oh silly Delgado, she’s brought men more powerful than you to their knees from half a system away!
Oh, and speaking of Arjun, she sends a message to him, with the implication he hasn’t been responding to her messages after their spat in the previous season. Arjun, talk to your wife!
Camina Drummer gets to Klaes Ashford’s ship and finds out that Marco stripped it, not for parts, necessarily, but to send a message: come after him and suffer a similar fate such as Ashford’s. We get to see the polyamorous (or polysexual) nature of the crew as they all sleep together, naked, which seems like a risky venture in space, but what do I know?
Camina finds Ashford’s backup data core, which just confirms his gruesome death at the hands of Marco. I did have one question about that–did Ashford’s final transmission upload wirelessly to the data core? Because that’s literally the only way I can see it getting there. It makes sense, but I honestly could’ve used an explanation. Anyway, Camina’s rightfully pissed and decides her little pirate gang is going to take on Marco, even though she JUST said that if anyone comes after him, they’ll probably die.
The closest crew member to Camina, Oksana (Sandrine Holt), convinces her to not do this crazy thing, and Camina, while looking at the bottle of liquor Ashford gave her at the end of last season, decides not to do the dangerous thing. She instead transmits the data from Ashford’s data core to Fred Johnson, telling him that “This is not my fight.” Why do I get the feeling that this will be her fight, sooner or later? Also, Oksana and Camina’s relationship is confirmed, which should make people hopeful that Camina was some kind of queer very happy.
On Tycho, Monica is spitting venom at Fred and Holden after getting locked in that cargo container, insisting that she help with the hunt after those who tried to kill her–they ignore her. She does get one good barb off, to Fred: “Your organization leaks like a sieve.” “Mother” is full of great quotes, but that one made me laugh out loud. They do find out who kidnapped Monica, but they’re dead, in yet more Belter causalities towards vast conspiracies.
Naomi is back in “Mother”, and she finally gets to Pallas Station, but not before staring at herself in a funky mirror…which is a weird moment that I didn’t really understand? Naomi’s never seemed like someone who lacks confidence in herself, but that’s what that shot seemed to convey. She immediately heads to a bar, because if you want info on The Expanse, that’s the first place you go. She meets up with two old friends (and Marco associates), Cyn (Brent Sexton) and Karal (Olunike Adeliyi). Cyn seems much friendlier than Karal. They tell her there’s no way Filip’s gonna talk to her, but she’s determined to speak to him.
She finally does get to see him, and she offers a ship she bought him (?!) because yes, the Roci crew is apparently swimming in money. He rebuffs the offer because he is all in on his father’s philosophies of killing in the name of equality, and he leaves Naomi to reflect on just how pointless this whole excursion was.
But then he shows up on Naomi’s ship, playing nice for about two minutes until Cyn and Karal show up, stabbing Naomi in the belly with a cattle prod-like device. It looks like they’ll just leave Naomi on Pallas Station, which, while it would strand her, is certainly optimal compared to the other possibility–death. Instead, Filip makes an executive decision, which he does a lot, probably too much. She’s coming with them, back to Marco. Naomi protests–this certainly wasn’t part of her plan–but she gets zapped again. Should’ve sent that message to Holden, Naomi. Probably.
On Mars, Alex tries to butter up Lt. Babbage (Emily, she says), and he’s halfway successful, getting out of her that she’s leaving on a supply run, which to Bobbie seems like bad news. Alex also gets jumped by two baddies at his hotel (oops), and he tells them everything about Bobbie’s work after getting injected with some truth serum. Bobbie saves his ass, because Alex is just…bad at getting himself out of any sort of trouble, and the two perps get arrested, but they still know what Alex told them! Whether that plot will appear again is questionable, though. Alex and Bobbie decide to use the Razorback to go after Lt. Babbage’s supply convoy, which is probably the smartest idea anybody who isn’t Chrisjen has had this season.
Fred transmits what he knows about Marco’s plot to Chrisjen (the info coming from Camina), but she leaves before she can read it.
And after that…IT happens in “Mother”. An event you’ve been anticipating ever since you read Nemesis Games, probably. One of the asteroids crashes down into the Atlantic off the coast of the African continent and oh shit, this is really happening isn’t it?
Will more get through? Looks like we’ll just have to wait until next week…
Watch The Expanse Season 5 Wednesdays on Prime Video.