In the Season 2 finale episode ‘Caliban’s War’, we finally see the Protomolecule hybrid in its full glory. Avasarala finds herself in a situation she can’t talk out of. Naomi reveals a closely held secret. Plus, events on Venus will change things forever.
Caliban’s War Recap
Avasarala along with Cotyar and Bobbie is stuck on Jules-Pierre Mao’s ship. With tensions rising, Mao’s guards start shooting at them. Cotyar fires back at them, but is shot in the process.
Naomi and Amos return back to the Rocinante. Still bleeding, Amos heads to the Med-bay. Naomi reunites with Holden, glad to be saved by him. But he says it was Alex who convinced him to stop the ‘Protomolecule hybrid’ hunt and save the Somnabulist instead.
In the Med-bay, Prax tends to Amos’ wounds despite having a degree in botany. Still unsure of what happened to his daughter, they converse over the fact the hybrid used to be a kid once.
While discussing the plan to repair their damaged ship, the Roci crew spots the hybrid in the cargo bay. It might have hitched a ride during their latest altercation. This time they don’t have a choice and have to kill it.
Ignoring Prax’s request to wait until they understand the creature, Holden and Amos go after it wearing their VAC suit. As they reach near the hybrid, they see it remove an implant from its chest which is some kind of failsafe regulator. The implant explodes as soon the hybrid throws it out of the ship.
Holden and Amos start firing, but the bullets in the hybrid heal themselves. It throws a magnetic crate at the men, but Holden pushes Amos away. Pinned to to the wall, he tells Amos to retreat as his suit is losing air.
As the hybrid is approaching Holden, it changes focus and starts digging into the ship’s bulkhead instead. The Roci crew realizes that it’s going after the ship’s radiation source, for food. If it reaches the ship’s reactor, they’re all pretty much doomed.
Back on Mao’s ship, Avasarala, Cotyar and Draper are still in trouble. Looking through ship’s design, Bobbie finds a way out leading to the elevator shaft. However, Cotyar is bleeding badly and couldn’t possibly climb it. So, he tells Bobbie to escape, retrieve her battle armor, and come back to save them.
As the hybrid continues to dig, the Roci crew try to figure out a plan to incapacitate the creature and save Holden before his injuries become life-threatening. Amos comes up with a plan to over-pressurize certain areas of the ship to blow the hybrid out of the cargo bay. But that kind of pressure change might tear Holden apart.
UNS Arboghast is still orbiting over Venus but they have lost all their probes. With little data from the last probe, they decide to descend for their sensors to get meaningful readings.
Back on the Roci, Naomi apologizes to Amos for getting rough with him on the Somnabulist. He blames himself for making her do so. He says that he’s been trying to make choices on his own but can’t seem to make the right ones. Naomi asks Amos if he was lying about Holden surviving the de-pressurization plan and he says yes. She tells him not to blow the hatch until she says so.
With the hybrid still digging, Alex turns off the ship’s reactor drive. But when the hybrid turns its attentions to Holden, Alex has to power it up again and the creature resumes digging.
While Cotyar is trying to negotiate with Mao’s men, Draper moves through the elevator shaft. Despite a close close with the elevator, she makes it out safely. When she encounters two guards along the way, she takes them out with her bare hands.
The Arboghast is still on a descent towards the Venus’ surface. However, the Martian ship around them picks up speed to beat them to it.
On Rocinante, Prax notices some plants growing towards a light source and seems to have an idea. With Holden’s vital signs fading, he wants to talk to Naomi. He tells her that if he dies, let him go and find a place to hide out. However, Naomi refuses to say goodbye just yet.
Cotyar is passed out from his wound, until Avasarala presses on it to wake him up. They’re still trapped, but Mao’s men offer Cotyar a deal: give up Avasarala and he can walk. Meanwhile, the only thing standing between Draper and her supplies is an electrician. He threatens to push a button and initiate a lockdown. However, she is able to strike a bargain with him and he lets Draper pass.
Prax gets an idea that the hybrid is moving towards the energy source like plants toward sunlight. If they could offer it a new energy source like nuclear warhead from a torpedo, they could lure it out. Prax and Naomi starts getting ready to walk on outside of the ship with the nuke to lure the hybrid. Holden makes Amos promise to blow the hatch in case the plan doesn’t work.
Back on Mao’s ship, Cotyar is thinking about the deal made to him. Avasarala tells Cotyar that if he is going to turn on her, he must stop Errinwright. She says, “You owe me that”. However, he says that he owes Avasarala’s son to keep her safe. Hearing this, Avasarala surrenders herself but Mao orders his men to kill her.
Alex shuts off the ship’s reactor again. Instead of going after Holden, the hybrid senses the nuke. Just as Prax and Naomi expose the core of the warhead, the hybrid follows them outside the ship. After seeing the creature, Prax gets stunned probably thinking of her daughter. He tosses the warhead at the last moment and the hybrid goes after it. He and Naomi run back to the ship and Alex is able to disintegrate the hybrid with the Roci’s afterburners.
While Arboghast is descending to the surface of Venus, the Eros crater starts moving. The Martian ship disappears and the sensors go crazy. Suddendly, the Arboghast stops and the crew is surrounded by tiny Protomolecules.
Holden and the crew are in Med-bay while his leg is strapped to heal. Naomi asks the boys to talk with Holden alone and they leave the room. Naomi tells Holden they can’t have any more secrets, so she tells him that she didn’t destroy the piece of Protomolecule they had. She further says that the Protomolecule is a weapon which Earth and Mars already have. She needed to make sure the Belt has it as well, so she gave the Protomolecule to Fred Johnson.
Just as Mao’s men are about to shoot Avasarala, Draper, armed with her battle suit, arrives to take them out. Arboghast is suddenly pulled apart into a thousand pieces.
Meanwhile, we see Dr. Strickland at an unknown location on one of Jupiter’s moons. He seals up Mei in a pod and tells her ‘sweet dreams’. The pod is then stored in a facility along with several others.
The Expanse "Caliban's War" Review
'Caliban's War' was a thrilling finale which delivered a showdown though not an ultimate one. The Roci crew really excels at teamwork which they proved yet again in this episode. Even, Prax is turning out to be a worthy addition to the team and not just another hitchhiker.
If we have learned one thing over the last few episodes, it's that the Protomolecule can't be destroyed. The growing Eros crater on the surface of Venus proves just that.
Now that Avasarala avoided the near-death situation, it'll be interesting to see what she does to Errinwright. With ass-kicking Bobbie on her side, we're sure to see some more action.
With even the belters now having possession of the Protomolecule, a massive interplanetary war is entirely possible. However, it will be in everyone's good interest to keep it from happening.
The Expanse is one show that keeps getting more interesting in every episode. It will definitely be harder to wait an year to see some more of it. But I guess even the creators can't see it yet.
The Expanse returns for the third season in 2018. There surely will be news and teasers in between, so stay tuned.