STUFF WENT DOWN last season on The Expanse. Like any good romance, the slow burn of the plot kept me coming back for more until the storylines collided like two things in space colliding. Dramatically.
Season Two, premiering Feb. 1, looks to be at least as promising as the first. But before we can take on the new plot twists, let’s take a look at what happened last season.
Here are the ten things you need to know to catch up before tonight’s premiere:
1. There are three main players. Earth and Luna are ruled by the United Nations. Mars is a military superpower. The Asteroid Belt is mined for resources to support the other planets, and is home to an increasingly agitated population who believe the Earth and Mars take and take without giving back. Belters live in poverty. Resources are scarce but TENSION IS HIGH. The Belt is also home to the rebel group Outer Planet Alliance, or OPA.
2. The catalyst was the Canterbury. Basically everything that happened last season started with, or went back to, the moment the Canterbury got blown up like Aunt Marge after dinner at Privet Drive. The responsible party remained at large for much of Season One (see: The Mao-spiracy Theory), but everyone was ready to point fingers. Here’s the backstory: The Canterbury pulled over to answer a distress signal from another ship, the Scopuli. After sending a small crew to investigate, a stealth ship comes out of nowhere and fires upon the Cant, destroying her and all aboard. WHILE THEY WERE ON A RESCUE MISSION. I Cant even.
3. The Martians were just scapegoats. The only survivors of the Cant explosion were the ship’s Executive Officer, James Holden, the engineer, Naomi Nagata, the pilot Alex Kamal, the medic Shed Garvey, and the mechanic Amos Burton. They assume that because the stealth ship that attacked the Cant had advanced technology, it must have come from military powerhouse Mars. Unfortunately, when they put out a distress signal of their own, the Martians are the ones that answer.
4. Boom goes the Donnager. Holden and crew send a message to the entire solar system that Mars is responsible for destroying the Canterbury. That only holds up for about ten TV seconds because BAM, the Donnager, the Martian ship that picked them up, is now under attack by those same stealth ships. The remaining members of the Cant crew narrowly escape destruction as the Donnager, too, goes up in flames.
5. Water is valuable. The Canterbury was bringing water back to Ceres, a planetoid in the Belt. Due to problems related to being completely and totally blown to bits, the Cant never delivered any water to Ceres causing massive water shortages. The people already feel disenfranchised and underappreciated. Now they have no water. And they think Mars blew up their supply. Not happy campers on Ceres.
6. Looking for Julie Mao. Meanwhile, also on Ceres, Julie Mao has gone missing. Her father will do anything in the solar system to get her back. Cue Detective Miller. His mission: find Julie Mao, no matter the cost. So he spends most of Season One following clues around and we realize that Julie Mao has some kind of connection to everything else that’s happening, even though that connection eludes us for the majority of the season. Julie left Earth, renouncing her family and her fortune, and appears to have joined the OPA. Her whereabouts? Unclear.
7. Same place, same time. Everyone ends up following their own path/clues to Eros, an extremely poverty-stricken station in the Belt. Holden and crew end up busting into a hotel at the same time as Detective Miller, and together their party discovers…DUN DUN DUN…the body of Julie Mao completely disfigured by some sort of possibly flesh eating, invasive, fast-spreading disease.
8. The Mao-Spiracy Theory. Through backstory, we learn about the events leading up to poor Julie’s demise. As it turns out, Julie’s FATHER, the same father that allegedly would do anything to get her back, has discovered some kind of weapon on the planet Phoebe. Julie was on an OPA mission to steal this weapon so it couldn’t be used against Belters, as she feared it might be. But instead of securing the weapon, Julie’s team is overtaken by the ship carrying the weapon, the Anubis. Julie’s ship is completely disabled, and all other crew members are killed by some kind of strange, blue, biological weapon (that I will be referring to as The Blue Death from here on out). But wait! What ship was Julie on, you ask? THE SCOPULI. The very same ship the Cant stopped to rescue. So who destroyed the Cant? THE ANUBIS.
9. The Massacre on Eros. Our main characters are still on Eros after having discovered Julie Mao’s body. All the sudden, radiation alarms start going off and people are herded into bunkers. But instead of protecting them from radiation, all the people in the bunkers are infected with The Blue Death and they’re dead now. It appears to be a test masterminded by Jules-Pierre Mao, Julie’s father, with infectious specimen harvested from her body. The scientist who harvests the infection, Dresden, then says, “She could save us all.” WHAT DOES IT MEAN? CONSPIRACY.
10. Radiation City. Holden and Miller both get hit with high doses of radiation in their attempt to escape Eros. Also shit is majorly hitting the fan everywhere with shootouts and sirens and it is generally not a great situation for anyone. Luckily, our main men make it back to the ship, get treated for radiation poisoning, and live to see another season.
WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT? I don’t know, but I’m going to find out tonight in The Expanse two-part premiere event, starting tonight 10/9c on SyFy Network.