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"Cascade" is the tenth episode of the second season of The Expanse. Overall, it is the twentieth episode. It aired on March 29, 2017.

Synopsis Edit

Holden leads his crew through the war-torn station on Ganymede.

Recap Edit

On Ganymede, the Rocinante crew deal with their guilt over the shootout that led to the death of the pilot of the Somnambulist. Prax is looking very wary of being connected to them. Holden, Naomi, Amos, and Prax find out that Mei and Dr. Lawrence Strickland are not marked among the dead on Ganymede. Then, they tour the blasted agriculture dome where Prax used to work.

On Earth, the negotiations with the MCR are as tense as ever. Avasarala doesn't believe Draper was talking crazy when she mentioned the man without the space suit. In Draper's quarters at the Martian embassy, Martens hollers at her for her testimony. She asks if she can see the ocean before she's sent back to Mars, but Martens rejects. As soon as Martens is gone, Draper begins to try to pry her room's windows open.

Errinwright is increasingly agitated as he pores over Draper's testimony and the evidence from the attack.

Holden and Naomi question relief workers about Dr. Strickland and ask about signs of the protomolecule. Naomi tells Holden this incident doesn't feel like Eros. Holden wonders if it just hasn't started yet.

As Amos and Prax investigate the damaged plant life, Prax is accosted by Basia Merton, who accuses him of cowardice. Prax tells him he's looking for Mei, and he's told to seek out someone named Roma, who might know.

Errinwright, looking stricken, goes to see Avasarala. He tells her he believes Ganymede was a test for a weapon that was made by Jules-Pierre Mao. He knows this, he says, because he's been working with Mao. He tries to justify that this was about trying to keep Earth safe, but Avasarala won't let him off the hook. He hands over all the information he has and says he thinks Ganymede was just the beginning.

Draper is finally able to get her window open, and she climbs out and tumbles her way down and out into the unsure environment of Earth.

On Ganymede, the Roci crew finds Roma, who is hoarding supplies and running his own corrupt little barter system. He's initially obstinate towards requests for help, so Amos starts beating on him. Naomi and Prax stop him from killing Roma, so, instead, Amos pulls out a gun and gives Roma a choice: help them or die.

Cotyar reports to Avasarala that Draper has escaped the Martian embassy. She sees this as a huge opportunity to find her first, and she instructs Cotyar to see that the Martians are slowed down in their efforts to find Draper.

Draper is loose in New York, walking around shanty towns and looking for the way to the ocean. A friendly face offers to help in exchange for her bone density pills, which he can barter for medicine to help his people. This man, Nico, shows Draper how to walk like an Earther and points her towards the ocean.

While Roma searches the database for Mei, Naomi tells Holden how much she's bothered by the crew's recent turn towards violence. "Every shitty thing we do makes the next one that much easier," she declares.

Meanwhile, Prax inspects the plant life, which is dying out because of improper watering. He tells Amos that once the plants go, the whole ecosystem will go. Amos says Ganymede is too important to the system's food supply. Prax says Ganymede is already dead.

While all this is going on, Alex is having fun on the Roci, singing along to country music and drinking zero-gravity beer. Suddenly, a MCRN announcement states that Ganymede and its surrounding area are declared a no-fly zone.

Roma finds video of Strickland and Mei walking towards an old part of the station where there are no cameras.

Draper makes it to the ocean and sits at the water's edge. There, she's approached by Avasarala and Cotyar. She shows Draper a photo of the protomolecule creature who rushed her on Ganymede, part of the evidence Errinwright gave her. She tells Draper it was part of a Martian test of a new weapon. Draper doesn't believe her, at first. Avasarala says they can't afford to be enemies, but Cotyar pulls her away as Martian officials are approaching.

Cast Edit

Click Expand to see the Cast list →

Main Cast Edit

Guest Starring Edit

Co-Starring Edit

Click Expand to see significance of † →

  • † In the Co-Starring section, an actress by the name of Allison Hossack, woman with blonde hair,  as well as Ted Atherton and Leah Jung were given credit for their performance even though they never spoke a word. It is generally accepted practice, that a performer would be given credit, only if they spoke at least two lines that day, and are usually called a "day-player" as indicated in FilmCraft: Costume Design . This particular case was obviously an exception, and moreover, in reference to Ms. Hossack appearance on the indicated video stills in the footnotes , her face was turned away from the camera, making her hard to identify.  A similar stipulation applies to Mr. Atherton and Leah Jung, their likeness was on a monitor being observed, smaller than audience viewing screen also making them harder to identify. The most probable way they did get credit was that they had speaking roles in select scene(s), but it was then removed on the "cutting floor" during the editing process.


Admiral Nguyen: A single soldier kills a dozen marines on the surface of Ganymede without a vac suit? Please! The MMC trains their people to believe they're invincible, and that failure is an unacceptable option. Well, Sergeant Draper failed. And then she snapped, because she couldn't deal with it.
Avasarala: So, you think she's lying.
Admiral Nguyen: I think she's crazy.
Avasarala: Still, I wouldn't mind getting her in a room alone. She seemed perfectly sane to me. And, after Eros, my definition of crazy has contracted significantly.
Admiral Nguyen: Well, she has zero credibility. There's no point in talking to her again.
Errinwright: The point is that something was bothering her and she was ordered to suppress it. Mars is using peace as a distraction.
Avasarala: "Peace as a distraction." God, I wish I could disagree with you right now.
Korshunov: Our apologies if we kept you waiting.
Errinwright: Not at all.
Avasarala: How is Sergeant Draper?
Admiral Peñano: In her quarters, resting.
Avasarala And in no frame of mind to answer any more questions, I assume.
Korshunov: I'm afraid not.
Errinwright: The traumatized mind is a dark place. But rest assured, we're here and happy to help any way we can. We have Earth's best doctors at our disposal.
Korshunov: Thank you, but the medical team at our embassy is more than able. And if it's absolutely necessary, we can arrange for further testimony after the Sergeant has fully recovered. But right now, we need to finalize the terms of our accord.
Avasarala: Who was the officer who spirited Sergeant Draper away?
Korshunov: A friend of Sergeant Draper's family, here to offer moral support.
Avasarala: He didn't seem like the supportive type.
Korshunov: Madam, your ships are still heading towards ours at Ganymede. So, unless your intention is to have us shooting at each other again, let's do what we came here to do.
Martens: A man standing on the surface of Ganymede without a vac suit. Are you absolutely sure about that?
Bobbie: So, you think I'm crazy.
Martens: I think we asked too much of you too soon. Bobbie, truth and fact are not the same thing. Now, I know this may be too much for you to grab a hold of right now, but you believe what you saw is true because you need it to be true. To explain how your team was killed.
Bobbie: So, what happens now?
Martens: Now, you go home back to Mars. You've earned it.
Bobbie: And then what?
Martens: Then we do what's best for you and for the Corps.
Bobbie: I'd like to see the ocean before I leave, if that's possible.
Martens: Sorry. You're under restrictions now.
Bobbie: You mean I'm a prisoner.
Martens: No. I mean you're a Martian. It takes weeks, sometimes months, to acclimate to these open spaces. You saw what happened when we stepped off the ship. You're breathing natural air. You're trying to orient yourself with that damned horizon. Just rest! A transport is coming to get you. You'll be shipping out day after tomorrow.
U.N. Tech: Our analysts confirmed that Sergeant Draper's power armor was subjected to massive concussive and incendiary forces, and the suit's internal data logs, as far as they go, are consistent with the MCRN's account of the battle.
Errinwright: The Martians wouldn't have given us the armor if it were otherwise. What about biologicals?
U.N. Tech: Well, we did find traces of various plant material, but again, that's consistent with the accounts. She was found in the wreckage of the Ag Dome.
Errinwright: I'm not talking about soybeans. I mean exotic biologicals. Anything that shouldn't be on Ganymede.
U.N. Tech: Sir, I'm not sure what you're getting at. We did a pretty thorough analysis
Errinwright: I don't want "pretty thorough". I want you to go over every goddamn molecule on that armor and tell me if there's anything you've missed. Do you understand me?
U.N. Tech: Yes, sir. Right away, sir.
Naomi: Do you have any idea where Dr.Strickland might have been going? Lucky for me, I wasn't anywhere near the clinic when the mirrors came down.
Nurse: I have no idea where Dr. Strickland is.
Holden: Have you seen any patients with any kind of bluish mottling or unusual, heavy skin growths? The growths might have been glowing.
Nurse: From what? Radiation Exposure , possibly. I haven't seen anything like that. What is it?
Naomi: Something we heard about.It's probably just a story.
Nurse: Then do me a favor and don't spread it around. People don't need anything more to worry about. The battle took out three of these domes but we managed to save two. We've got things moving in the right direction now. We're going to rebuild this place.
Naomi: This doesn't feel like Eros, does it?
Holden: Maybe it just hasn't started yet.
Eyewitness: I haven't seen Strickland around for a while. There's a lot of turnover these days. Aid workers come in, refugees go out. Location services are real spotty. It's hard to keep track. Sorry.
Praxidike: What do we do now?
Amos: I'm not the guy you should be asking.
Praxidike: This yellowing indicates a nitrogen imbalance. We have phage-resistance bacteria in the hydroponic lines to prevent that, which means that something got in and killed the good bacteria. Which means the hydroponics have been contaminated.
Amos: Is that a hard fix?
Praxidike: Under normal circumstances, no. These are too far gone to make it.
Avasarala: A friend at the Martian Embassy managed to get me Sergeant Draper's service record.
Errinwright: Anything interesting?
Avasarala: Not at all. She's an exemplary soldier who does what she's told to.What's wrong with you? Hmm? Sit down.
Errinwright: I think she did see something on Ganymede. Something we're not supposed to know about.
Avasarala: And what is fueling these thoughts? I believe that Ganymede was a test of a new weapon that Jules-Pierre Mao is developing for Mars. Based on technology he unleashed on Eros.
'Avasarala: You've been in contact with him.
Errinwright: No. But I was aware of his weapons research Because I was working with him. ...You've known for a while.
Avasarala: Ever since you had Frank Degraaf killed.
Errinwright: I know it makes no difference, but I had no hand in that, Chrisjen.
Avasarala: But you covered it up. You protected Jules.
Errinwright: You need to understand that It started out as a conversation about peace. About the discovery of this incredible protomolecule on Phoebe. This was a way to guarantee the safety of Earth.
Avasarala: At a terrible price.
Errinwright: You're the one who taught me that Earth must come first.
Avasarala: And Eros? A hundred thousand souls. Did I teach you that?
Errinwright: If I had known what was going to happen on Eros, I would have stopped the project and Jules-Pierre Mao along with it and you know that!
Avasarala: Eros nearly destroyed this planet. You will have to answer for your part in that.
Errinwright: I know And I will. But what we need to do right now is keep the system from burning down. This is everything that I know about the protomolecule project. If Ganymede really was a test, then this is It's just the beginning.
Amos: These plants have been stripped bare.
Naomi: That nurse said that a dozen freighters packed with food left the station after the battle to honor contracts instead of feeding the people here. They've been eating the plants to survive.
Praxidike: These plants have no nutritional value. They're air scrubbers that supplement the station's system.
Holden: You Roma?
Roma: Who Roma?
Holden: There's some people on the station we need to find. Heard Roma's the man to talk to.
Roma: Ah, in that case Ah, cute kid, copain.
Holden: We need to find her and the man with her. And we need to find them quickly.
Roma: Lot of jobs ahead of you. Lot of work for other people. You got chicken? That's what I like. Gonna take a lot.
Naomi: You guarantee results?
Roma: No.
Naomi: That doesn't give us much faith in your work.
Roma: Then leave.
Amos: You seem to be doing quite well for yourself. I mean, you got enough here to feed half the station.
Roma: Put that back.
Amos: This guy just wants to find his little girl. She's sick. She could die if he doesn't find her.
Roma: This business.
Holden: We got rations, protein bars, ammunition. We're happy to barter.
Roma: What I want is chicken. No chicken? Back of the line.
Naomi: Amos, no!  Stop! - Amos! - Enough.
Praxidike: Stop! Stop it! He can't find Mei if you bash his head in! What's wrong with you?
Amos: Are you gonna help us?
Roma: Absolutely. I find little girl. Pro bono.
Amos:Thank you.
AUTOMATED VOICE: The amnesty has been extended indefinitely. Take advantage of basic income, group housing, medical services. Register today for a better tomorrow.
Cotyar: My source inside the Martian Embassy just informed me that there's a lot of activity around Sergeant Draper's quarters Because she's no longer in them.
Avasarala: That is very interesting.
Cotyar: Why would she run?
Avasarala: I'm not sure. But I've learned not to look a gift horse in the mouth.
Cotyar: Hmm.
'Avasarala You have to find her as quickly as possible.
Cotyar: I'm on it. I can access our full surveillance network, - we'll find her face
Avasarala: And as quietly as possible. The Martians will, of course, be trying to find her as well. But they are at a severe disadvantage on the streets of our planet. Make sure they are stopped frequently by the local authorities and checked for proper identification.
Cotyar: My pleasure. Oh, uh Are we information-sharing with Errinwright now?
Avasarala:  I'll tell him later.
Cotyar: Why haven't you turned him in?
Avasarala At this moment, he's more useful to me outside of a jail cell.
Cotyar: You're the only person who knows the truth about him. The only person anyone might actually believe. And that puts you in a precarious position.
Avasarala: Something changed with Errinwright. Maybe when he saw Eros hurtling towards Earth with no way to stop it and realized what he'd put into motion, and only miraculously avoided That it was time to make amends. I wasn't trying to be funny.
Cotyar:  I wasn't laughing. It's just I'd forgotten how it felt to be fighting for the good guys again.
Bobbie: Could you please tell me how to get to the ocean?
Nico: Don't take it personally.The clinic stopped giving Peter[1] his meds two months ago. Makes him forget his manners and his reality sometimes. But I can tell you how to get to the ocean.
Bobbie: I don't have any scrip.
Nico: You're Martian, aren't you?
Bobbie: That obvious?
Nico:Well, I've seen a few of you over the years, being how close we are to the UN. But that's not what tipped you. It's the way you're walking. Like the sky might fall in on you. Like the ground's gonna bite you. And if you're Martian, you'll have Osteo-X. Give me what you can spare and I'll tell you how to get to the ocean.
Bobbie: You're a drug dealer. They're not gonna fly you to the moon.
Nico: I know what Osteo-X is for.
Bobbie: Then why do you want it?
Nico:I can trade that and get a month supply of meds for the kids who've been exposed to radiation from the drive plant. And I can probably get a month supply of the new chloroquine. It'll save some of us from dying in the summer when we're forced to drink sewer water.
Bobbie: Jesus. Is that true?
Nico: Would it matter if I said it was?
Bobbie:So you're a doctor?
Nico: I put myself on the vocational training lists when I was 17 years old. I'm 52 now. Still waiting for my slot. But we still gotta take care of ourselves down here. And so we do.
Bobbie: I'm sorry.
Nimo: That's okay. Everything we've been told about Martians is probably garbage anyway. That you're all a bunch of robots with no souls who just like to conquer shit. Oh, and I hear your music ain't nothin' to write home about neither.

That part might be true, yeah. Go back the way you came 'til you see a drainage tunnel on your right. Got it. What's your name. Bobbie. Nico.

Nico: Here's what you do. Feet planted in line with your shoulders. Back straight. Head down, staring at your toes. Then raise your chin, slowly millimeter at a time till your eyes are locked on the horizon.
Bobbie: Okay.
Nico: In a couple of weeks, your brain will forge the pathways. Your inner ear will get the memo. Then you'll be no different than an Earther.
Bobbie: Thank you.
Praxidike: You said you weren't a homicidal maniac.
Amos: I didn't kill him. Not yet. He's a bully. And where I come from, bullies take desperate young girls like your daughter and force them into prostitution. And when they finally get knocked up, they peddle them to johns who get off on that. After they have the kid, they push them right back out on the streets even before they have a chance to heal. And those kids They use them, too. Some people deserve to be punished.
Amos:What are you doing?
Praxidike: Something I actually know how to do. Did you notice the Epipremnum patatas on the green wall?
Amos: I'm sure that I did not.
Praxidike: Right here. Big fork-shaped leaves on the vine. Same yellowing as before.
Amos: If you say so.
Praxidike: They're using distilled water in the hydroponic supply instead of the proper mineral solutions needed for long-term stability.
Amos: That sounds bad.
Praxidike: They'll only be able to get away with it for another week, maybe two. After that, the air, the scrubbing plants, what's left of them, will die off. When that happens, they won't be able to stop the cascade.
Amos: What's the cascade?
Praxidike: In real nature, there's enough diversity to cushion an ecosystem when something catastrophic happens. Nothing that we build, our ships, our stations, has that depth. Now in an artificial ecosystem, when one thing goes wrong, there's only a certain amount of pathways that can compensate for it. Eventually those pathways get overstressed, and then they fail. Which leaves fewer pathways, and then they'll get overstressed and then they fail.
Amos: So it's not the thing that breaks you that you need to watch out for.
Praxidike: Exactly. And Ganymede is a simple complex system. Because it's simple, it's prone to cascades, and because it's complex, you can't predict what's going to break down next or how.
Amos: Yeah, but Ganymede is the most important food station out here. They're not going to let it just collapse
Praxidike: This station is dead already. They just don't know it yet.
MCRN Dispatcher: This is an MCRN Priority Alert to all vessels in the Jupiter AO. A no-fly zone is now in effect around Ganymede Station until further notice. Any unauthorized ship entering or leaving the zone will be fired upon without warning. This is an MCRN Priority Alert
Avasarala: Is it everything you thought it would be? I can't remember the last time I went down to the water.
Bobbie: You take it for granted.
Avasarala: You're right about that.Your people are on their way.So we have to be quick.
Bobbie: Uh, quick about what?
Avasarala: We never finished our conversation.
Bobbie: It didn't feel like a conversation to me.
Avasarala: The thing you saw on Ganymede? It was real. Here. This is what attacked you and your team, isn't it? A new type of weapon. It was being tested on Ganymede.
Bobbie: Tested?
Avasarala: By your own government.
Bobbie: Fuck you, ma'am.
Avasarala: Sergeant, I wish to God it was my government. Then I would have some control over the situation. But right now, all I have is you.
Bobbie: So you're telling me that me and my team, we were Sacrificial lambs.
Avasarala: And your friend Travis
Bobbie: I don't believe it.
Avasarala: And I don't believe a goddamn thing you were told to say in that room. I need to know who is doing this and why. I need your help.
Bobbie:This has to be a mind game. You are the enemy. 
Avasarala:We cannot afford to be enemies anymore. We need to go now.

Media Edit

Images Edit

Ganymede Station
Click Expand to see Photo Gallery →

Homeless Encampment in New York City
Click Expand to see Photo Gallery →

Bobbie Searches for the Ocean
Click Expand to see Photo Gallery →
Alex -- Solo on-board the Rocinante

Videos Edit

Notes Edit

  • Oddly enough, the title of this episode was released before that of the premiere.
  • This is actually the first mention of the word Caliban, as in Project Caliban
  • AO is an acronym for Area of Operations
  • AWP is an acronym for Air, Water, and Power
  • Pro Bono is a latin phrase derived from the expression, Pro bono publico, which in English means, for the public good, as in a person will render assistance at no charge
  • The digital read-out on Alex's pistol, a MCRN standard-issue service weapon, is a rangefinder feature, that is it gauges distances.
  • The tune Alex was singing along to is a song previously performed by Hank Williams named " I'm so lonesome I could cry (1949) "
  • "The title of the episode, is actually an allusion to the phrase "cascade failure" which is inevitable and sometimes unforeseen chain of events due to an act affecting a system which may have deleterious ramifications.
  • According to Twitter User Tim Gouw, the homeless encampment scene was filmed under Toronto's Gardiner Expressway. More specifically, it is marked off by Lower Simcoe Street. If you look closely, you can see Frankie Adams, the person who plays Bobbie Draper, on the right hand side with her back facing to the camera.
  • Hydroponics is the ability to grow plants without the use of soil
  • A phage or bacteriophage is a virus which preys on bacteria. Consult Soviet research on phage therapy for more information.
  • Prax mentions something about  a nitrogen imbalance
  • Chloroquine is an anti-malarial drug
  • Distilled water is derived from a process of boiling and condensing said water into a clean container.
  • Radiation Exposure (or Acute Radiation syndrome, ARS) is illness caused by exposure of the body to ionizing radiation, that is radiation that can split atoms, characterized by nausea, hair loss, diarrhea, bleeding, and damage to the bone marrow (where red and white blood cells are produced as well as platelets which are involved in healing) and central nervous system. In the final stages of the illness, known as the Walking Ghost phase, a person feels better and shows no apparent symptoms, followed by a sudden rapid decline, as in internal bleeding and certain death.
  • Possible treatments for radiation poisoning :
  1. If exposure is external, remove all attire immediately, including shoes, followed by a Decon, or Decontamination shower. Gently washing with water and soap and clothing removal reduces 90 percent of external radiation particles from the skin. Decontamination prevents further distribution of radioactive materials and lowers the risk of internal contamination from inhalation, ingestion or open wounds.
  2. Attacking radiation exposure internally involves:
    1. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, a protein which promotes the growth of white blood cells, includes - filgrastim (Neupogen), sargramostim (Leukine) and pegfilgrastim (Neulasta), may increase white blood cell production and help prevent subsequent infections.
    2. Transfusion of red blood cells or blood platelets.
    3. Potassium iodide (Thyroshield, Iosat). This is a nonradioactive form of iodine. Iodine is used in the production of thyroid hormones, which in turn controls the body's metabolic processes. As such, the thyroid gland becomes a "destination" for iodine in the body. If you have internal contamination with radioactive iodine (radioiodine), your thyroid will absorb radioiodine just as it would other forms of iodine. Treatment with potassium iodide may fill "vacancies" in the thyroid and prevent absorption of radioiodine. The radioiodine is eventually cleared from the body in urine. Potassium iodide isn't a cure-all and is most effective if taken within a day of exposure.
    4. Prussian blue (Radiogardase), This type of dye binds to particles of radioactive elements known as cesium and thallium. The radioactive particles are then excreted in feces. This treatment speeds up the elimination of the radioactive particles and reduces the amount of radiation cells may absorb.
    5. Diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA), This substance binds to metals. DTPA binds to particles of the radioactive elements plutonium, americium and curium. The radioactive particles pass out of the body in urine, thereby reducing the amount of radiation absorbed.
  • Facial Recognition Software works by encoding tissue depth markers and other unique biometrics , i.e. distance between inner corner of eyes, width of nose, etc, into a type of map, or matrix (list of numbers), and it would run the sample against massive database of photographs (or matrix if it is not calculated before the search execultion) on file.
  • Also in this video still pulled from the archived surveillance footage, what does SSTC (rel) mean, as found in the lower right-hand side? Is it like UTC (Universal Time Coordinated), which is another way of saying Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). If that is the case does SSTC mean Sol System Time Coordinated, due to the spread of colonies across the Solar System? What about rel, does it mean relative, as in the time is adjusted for the local region and SSTC is the standard of time which is agreed upon. For reference, consult the British Standard & Practices concerning Railroad Standard Time and subsequent American adoption. A standard of time is needed with respect to the fulfillment of contracts, and scheduling commitments.

Cast credits on-screen Edit

External links Edit

Icon-syfy-22x22 Season 2 Episode 10 - Cascade


  1. See Co-Starring Cast ref. "Shirtless Man" (Petyr? sp?)

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