‘The Expanse’: Season 5 Episode 9 Recap, ‘Winnipesaukee’

The Expanse has been blowing fans away with Season 5. Nails were surely bitten down to the quick, especially during both “Hard Vacuum” and “Winnipesaukee,” both of which saw fan-favorite characters facing down life-threatening situations. For those who haven’t yet seen ‘Winnipesaukee,’ now might be a good time to stop reading. Here are the biggest plot points during the episode of The Expanse. [Warning: spoilers for episodes 8 and 9 ahead.]

What went down in ‘Hard Vacuum’?

Dominique Tipper and Wes Chatham
Dominique Tipper and Wes Chatham | Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for ReedPOP

‘Hard Vacuum’ focused largely on Naomi Nagata and her efforts to escape Marco Inaros’ ship. Previously, Inaros informed Nagata that they’d be using her own ship, the Chetzemoka, to lure the Rocinante into a trap. 

Nagata performed a wild maneuver, leaving Inaros by exiting the airlock after exhaling and pushing herself towards the Chetzemoka. She oxygenated her blood with an injection and was able to board her ship. 

Nagata soon realizes that the Chetzemoka is wired to explode, and that it’s transmitting a false distress signal to lure in the Rocinante. Nagata struggles to find a way to alter the recording. She memorizes the timing of the distress signal, and repeats it in her head. 

She repeatedly exits the oxygenated portion of the ship in order to create a makeshift radio in a maintenance corridor, using a spacesuit with no oxygen reserves. Each journey also depletes the amount of air available to her for future journeys. 

After many grueling attempts, Nagata is able to start and stop the distress call such that it says,  “This is Naomi Nagata…tell James Holden I’m in…control.”

Other important events include Camina Drummer losing her cool at Karal and chugging all of Ahsford’s bottle of whiskey. Earth prepares to launch a counterattack. The Rocinante and the Razorback pick up the false distress call.

‘Winnipesaukee’, episode 9 recap

Steven Strait, Cara Gee, and Wes Chatham of The Expanse
Steven Strait, Cara Gee, and Wes Chatham of The Expanse | Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

‘The Expanse’: The Challenges Behind Filming ‘Winnipesaukee’

Episode 9 of The Expanse, “Winnipesaukee,” sees some major action. The Rocinante and the Razorback pick up on Naomi Nagata’s altered signal, as do Karal and Oksana on the Dewalt. Oksana struggles with the decision not to tell Camina Drummer that Nagata may still be alive, but eventually relents. 

Meanwhile, on Earth, Avasarala is shocked to discover that a bloody counterattack has been launched against the Belters on Pallas behind her back by Delgado and Paster. She declines to participate in any council that will continue to launch such attacks, as suggested by Paster. Other members follow her lead.

Eventually, Paster is removed by a no-confidence vote, and Avasarala is reinstated, alongside Delgado, who she welcomes into her cabinet. 

Amos Burton and Clarissa Mao make their way to Lake Winnipesaukee using a helicopter provided by Erich. Burton and Mao, alongside Erich and his crew, plan on taking an abandoned sub-orbital shuttle to Luna. However, they soon find themselves in conflict with the area’s local security force. What’s more, the shuttle’s power supply is defective.

After a failed shakedown by the security force, the crew manages to repair the shuttle — just in time for security to come back with guns blazing. A racing gunfight from the lawn into the shuttle bay takes place, with both sides taking losses. 

Eventually, Amos Burton and most of the crew are able to make it aboard the shuttle. Luckily, this includes all of the main characters you’ve come to care about so far.