In season 3, we see Melba/Clarissa Mao on the war path to kill James Holden, willing to stop at nothing to achieve her goal.

However, in the last episode of season 3 she has a major change of heart, believing in him and helping to stop Ashford from trying to destroy the ring.

I may have somehow missed something, because this turn around seemed to come out of no where to me.

Why did Melba/Clarissa Mao decide to not kill Holden and instead choose to help him?

1 Answer 1


In the book, Melba get's captured on the Rocinante and has a change of heart basically directly after talking to Anna. In particular, she's overcome with guilt over killing Ren.

In the show Melba's change of heart has more to do with being interred next to James Holden, hearing his desperate one-sided conversations with Miller, and realizing that Holden is telling the truth about his visions, what he saw on the station, etc. This makes her realize that her quest for revenge is murderous and crazy, and she wants to make up for it.

  • 1
    In the series, Melba also has a couple conversations with Anna that may have laid the groundwork for her "face turn". (But Holden's behavior was probably the more proximate cause.) May 24, 2022 at 15:32

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