Miller and Julie Mao Sacrifice Eros, Themselves, on 'The Expanse'
Eros was the Greek god of love. So it’s only appropriate that Miller finally found something that resembled the love of his life on Eros Station before they both careened into Venus, culminating in a fiery asteroid oblivion that saved the solar system. Miller and Julie Mao are dead, but before that tragedy, we learned the answer to the big hanging question from last week’s tense episode of The Expanse.
Miller’s plan didn’t work because Julie Mao’s protomolecule-infected body became the seed crystal to the collective consciousness of Eros Station. It became sentient and violently pulled away from being impacted by the Nauvoo. The sentience isn’t just a reactionary impulse either. As a whole, Eros echoed Julie’s consciousness in yearning to get back to Earth. “I dreamed that I was going home,” she says. But her dreams were so vivid that they forced Eros into a collision course that would have spelled certain doom for Earth if it weren’t for the show’s disparate characters coming together to stop it.
Still, for all the selfless acts between Earth trusting Fred Johnson, Holden and the Roci crew* agreeing to try and manually pilot nuclear missiles into Eros, and Mars declaring the UN’s maneuvers not an act of aggression, it was Miller, as the man on the ground, who gave the episode its heart.
He trudges into Eros Station, clinging to the 60-second fail-safe nuke that malfunctioned last week — a burden on top of a burden. But as he gets further and further into the neon blue-specked station, which looked like if the sets from Alien suddenly got a DayGlo injection, you came to the realization that he’d never get out. In the center of it all was the blue-tentacled remnants of Julie. She’s attached to the organic protomolecule material inside Eros, but somehow she is Eros, and Miller has to both stop her and confess in front of her, too.
Julie’s ghost has led Miller throughout the series so far, and now that he meets her there’s no turning back. “You made a guy like me believe in something,” he tells her while removing his gear, thus dooming himself to protomolecule infection. He sacrifices himself and Julie for the good of Earth, Mars, and the Belt.
But what happens from here? We asked Mark Fergus, series creator and executive producer, and he said not to expect a solar system-wide rendition of “Kumbaya.”
“People inevitably come together during conflict, but tensions aren’t so easily solved by a moment of crisis” he told Inverse. “It’s one thing for the Allies to beat the Nazis, but another to have to divvy up the mess. You’d think some of the shit we’ve been through as human beings would bond us forever, but it’s quickly forgotten once the immediate threat is gone.”