In season 5 episode 3 of The Expanse, "Churn", the journalist Monica Stuart is kidnapped and held in a shipping container.

But near the end of episode 4, the ship that was apparently coming to collect her stops before entering the station.

Why? What was the point of putting her in the container, if they were not going to pick her up?

  • I don't have the text reference at hand, but IIRC, in the book, it also wasn't clear what their exact intentions with her were. However, the book made a bigger point that Holden noticed her disappearance earlier than one would assume someone would, and so Fred was able to lock down the station just a little sooner than they probably figured he would. Presumably that lock down happened earlier than they anticipated, preventing them from picking her up. It wasn't clear as to their intentions or if that was exactly the problem, but that was the impression/assumption I always had was their plan.
    – Mufasa
    Aug 11, 2021 at 2:59

1 Answer 1


Well, there are two possibilities:

a)They wanted to kill her and get rid of the body


b)They wanted to kidnap her and use her.

Now, the first option seems a bit silly, as there must be an easier way to hide a body - throwing it out of an airlock, feeding it to the recycler, dissolve in an acid... or even just cover her up with some scrap.

So the only logical option then is the second one - the rebel Belters wanted to keep her alive and use her, hence why she has been kept in an air-tight container with a life support. So why did the ship didn't dock to collect her?

Simple: they knew that the security has found Monica and put soldiers in her place. Marco Inaros had a mole high in the structure of the Tycho Station working with Fred Johnson himself, who has managed to inform the incoming ship about the trap, so they had to revert to a "plan B" and instead just used a robot to steal a protomolecule.

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