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.
Admiral Nguyen [5:16]: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.
Errinwright [6:10]: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 [6:18]: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 [6:33]:Who was the officer who spirited Sergeant Draper away?
Korshunov [6:37]:A friend of Sergeant Draper's family, here to offer moral support.
Avasarala [6:40]:He didn't seem like the supportive type.
Korshunov [6:43]: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 [6:58]:You really fucked up in there, Gunny!
Martens [7:16]: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.
Martens [8:03]: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 [9:30]: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 [9:41]:The Martians wouldn't have given us the armor if it were otherwise. What about biologicals?
U.N. Tech [9:46]: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 [9:54]:I'm not talking about soybeans. I mean exotic biologicals. Anything that shouldn't be on Ganymede.
U.N. Tech [9:59]:Sir, I'm not sure what you're getting at. We did a pretty thorough analysis
Errinwright [10:03]: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 [10:12]:Yes, sir. Right away, sir.
Naomi [10:35]:Do you have any idea where Dr. Strickland might have been going?
Nurse [10:39]:Lucky for me, I wasn't anywhere near the clinic when the mirrors came down. I have no idea where Dr. Strickland is.
Holden [10:45]:Have you seen any patients with any kind of bluish mottling or unusual, heavy skin growths? The growths might have been glowing.
Nurse [11:00]:I haven't seen anything like that. What is it?
Naomi [11:03]:Something we heard about. It's probably just a story.
Nurse [11:07]: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 [11:27]:This doesn't feel like Eros, does it?
Farm Worker [11:33]: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.
Amos [11:48]:I'm not the guy you should be asking.
Prax [11:58]:This yellowing indicates a nitrogen imbalance. We have phage-resistant 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.
Basia [13:08]:I don't know. Roma will know. We... We gotta show this whole thing to Roma. We... We gotta go right now.
Amos [13:16]:Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. Who's Roma?
Basia [13:19]:He finds people. He's helping me. He's helping all of us. You You guys got things to trade. That's good because Roma.... He doesn't take scrip. Only barter. He.. He.. He likes chicken. Only only canned chicken. That works best. Canned chicken.
Basia [13:38]:Yeah. You give him canned chicken, he gives you video from the security monitor. You give him more chicken, he gives you more video. He said that he could find Katoa but, I didn't have enough chicken.
Avasarala [14:45]:Not at all. She's an exemplary soldier who does what she's told to. What's wrong with you? Hmm? Sit down.
Errinwright [15:03]:I think she did see something on Ganymede. Something we're not supposed to know about.
Avasarala [15:09]:And what is fueling these thoughts?
Errinwright [15:12]: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 [15:22]:You've been in contact with him.
Errinwright [15:24]:No. But I was aware of his weapons research Because I was working with him. ...You've known for a while.
Avasarala [15:46]:Ever since you had Frank DeGraaf killed.
Errinwright [15:48]:I know it makes no difference, but I had no hand in that, Chrisjen.
Avasarala [15:52]:But you covered it up. You protected Jules.
Errinwright [15:55]:You need to understand that this 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.
Errinwright [16:13]:You're the one who taught me that Earth must come first.
Avasarala [16:15]:And Eros? A hundred thousand souls. Did I teach you that?
Errinwright [16:19]: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 [16:25]:Eros nearly destroyed this planet. You will have to answer for your part in that.
Errinwright [16:34]: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.
Bobbie breaks out of the Martian Embassy and goes AWOL to find the oceanfront
Prax [18:49]:Baz's son, Katoa..... Mei have the same disorder. Met under the care of Doctor Strickland. Best friends ever since. Katoa means everything to him. He's a good father.
Amos [19:02]:These plants have been stripped bare.
Naomi [19:05]: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.
Prax [19:16]:These plants have no nutritional value. They're air scrubbers that supplement the station's system. Roma's place should be somewhere around here.
Holden [19:27]:Looks like no one's got a place around here.
Desperate Girl [19:58]:I have a family to feed! Please!
Avasarala [24:01]:You have to find her as quickly as possible.
Cotyar [24:03]:I'm on it. I can access our full surveillance network, -... find her face
Avasarala [24:08]:... 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 [24:24]:My pleasure. Oh, uh Are we information-sharing with Errinwright now?
Avasarala [24:37]:At this moment, he's more useful to me outside of a jail cell.
Cotyar [24:41]: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 [24:49]: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.
Cotyar [25:08]:[strokes beard along jawline smiling]...
Cotyar [25:11]:I wasn't laughing. It's just I'd forgotten how it felt to be fighting for the good guys again. I like it! It's nice!
Bobbie [25:54]:[short tired breaths]Excuse me. Could you please tell me how to get to the ocean?
Nico [26:11]:Don't take it personally.The clinic stopped giving Peter 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.
Nico [26:34]: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 [26:56]:You're a drug dealer. They're not gonna fly you to the moon.
Nico [27:06]: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.
Nico [27:29]:[sighs]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.
Nico [27:58]: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.
Nico [28:31]: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 ... 'til your eyes are locked on the horizon.
Holden [29:55]:I woulda stopped him before it went too far.
Naomi [30:01]:Every shitty thing we do makes the next one that much easier. Doesn't it?
Prax [30:17]:You said you weren't a homicidal maniac.
Amos [30:21]: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.
Prax [31:05]:When I learned the clinic had been destroyed,... and when I had to accept that Mei was dead,... there's a part of me that... I felt almost relieved. She was sick her whole life. I couldn't fix her. I'm better with plants. I couldn't help her the way a father is supposed to.
Amos [31:35]:Are you asking me to tell you that's okay?
Prax :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.
Prax :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.
Prax :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
Prax :This station is dead already. They just don't know it yet.
Alex has a drunken solo acrobatic western ballad aboard Rocinante
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
Roma [36:34]:Ah! Good news, kopeng. I find the little girl and the man. They be moving way away from the battle and where the mirrors fall. Those part of the station still be okay. So, if they there, maybe they still be okay, too.
The title of this episode was released before that of the premiere. It is a reference to "cascade failure", a chain of events in a complex system of interlinked components. The whole systems eventually fails to function as a series of its components fail, rather than as a consequence of the failure of any specific components by themselves.
When they meet at the oceanfront, the text "Project Caliban" on the display Avasarala shares with Bobbie is the first appearance of that word in the show.
The digital read-out on Alex's pistol, a MCRN standard-issue service weapon, is a rangefinder feature that gauges distances.
Nico mentions a number of severe health risks for those living in poverty. The treatments he pursued for the community he served were radiation treatment, the anti-malarial Chloroquine, and phage therapy.
A Twitter User reports that the homeless encampment scene was filmed under Toronto's Gardiner Expressway in an area marked off by Lower Simcoe Street. Looking closely,Frankie Adams is seen on the right side with her back toward the camera.
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
Phage therapy, is a technique, well-researched in the Former Soviet Union and other Eastern European countries, to kill bacteria by way of a virus.
Hydroponics is the ability to grow plants without the use of soil
Facial Recognition Software works by encoding tissue depth markers and other unique biometrics from the sample then would compare against massive database of photographs.