The Expanse season five kicks off slowly


Photo courtesy of SYFY

The crew of the good ship Rocinante: Naomi Nagata, Amos Burton, Alex Kamal and James Holden. The Expanse Season 2 Preview Gallery via Syfy

Sven Kline, Contributor

The Expanse, the hit sci-fi show set in humanity’s far future, returned to Amazon Prime in December 2020, with a new actionpacked storyline and stunning visuals based on astronautic science.   

In the hour-long episodes, The Expanse delivers  jawdropping narrative expanding upon two main characters Naomi Nagata played by Dominique Tipper and Amos Burton played by Wes Chatham, whilst focusing on new tensions and conflicts between planetary governments.   

A Syfy channel original for its first three premier seasons, The Expanse has received numerous awards and nominations, such as the Dragon Award and Saturn Award, for its depiction of accurate science in its cinematography. It. Was picked up by Amazon for its fourth, fifth, and upcoming sixth season.   

I’m going to analyze this season, so beware of spoilers.   

The season returns to the main characters split up after the incident caused by Belters on the newly colonized exoplanet. Belters is group of people native to the Asteroid Belt between Earth and Mars.  

We join James Holden, played by Steven Strait and Naomi Nagata beginning their lives together when Naomi finds information about the location of her long-lost son who was stolen by her ex-husband, and main antagonist of this season Marco Inaros, played by Keon Alexander. The reunion is promptly interrupted when her son turns on her and Naomi is taken. This triggers a series of events leading James and his crew aiding in a dire rescue mission. This is learning about a secret group seeking the last remaining amount of proto moleculea bioweapon revealed to be engineered by an ancient species that went extinct for unknown reasons.   

On another storyline, we follow Alex seeking amends with his family that he left behind prior to season one.  He is rejoined with the martial marine gunnery sergeant Roberta “Bobbie” Drapper, played by Frankie Adams. As the two begin traveling the solar system in a repurposed martial warship, they investigate who is supplying the Belter O.P.A terrorist organization with Martian technology.   

On Earth, Amos returns to his hometown of Boston, Massachusetts, to settle a dispute about an old arrangement made prior to season one that escalates.  Amos flees the world with his acquaintance after a terrorist attack, brought on by antagonist Marco as he flings meteor into the Earth’s atmosphere, destroying many large, populated cities across the globe.   

The season finishes with United Nations secretary general played by Chrisjen Avasarala, played by Shohreh Aghdashloo,  struggling to keep peace between Earth and Mars as the s newly formed Belter terrorist organization declare war.   

There are a lot of great aspects of this season  to make up for the dry and slow plotline.  This is done by exploring many of the other main characters past lives and histories and things like the overwhelming anticipation of where a missing asteroid around Venus is and how it was used in a terrorist attack on the Earth. The politics that go into keeping peace between three governments add to it too. 

However, this season lacks pacing. It can lose the audience’s attention early on with the first three episodes. While there’s thrilling moments like  the battle between the Rocinante, the show’s main space vessel, and the Belter armada, it takes over too much of the season making quite a few of the scenes unnecessary to season’s plot.   

Another problem surrounds the character Alex Kamalplayed by Cas Anvar. There were sexual assault allegations against the actor, as well as multiple women allegedly receiving inappropriate messages and pictures.  The actor was fired from the show because of the allegations, bringing a troubling scene toward the end of the season, where he was killed off.  The scene is troubling because feels forced rather than necessary or compelling to the plot. It also brings concern about what will happen in season six.   

Season five of The Expanse is by far more thrilling than its preceding season, which seemed to drag on before the final three episodes, but season five comes with its own complications. The death of main character Alex, even the expectation of the asteroid impact felt anti-climactic compared to other thrilling scenes seen in seasons two and three.  

Other than that, season five keeps audiences locked in and is must watch for anyone invested. The developing plotline  seems to be setting up for something big in season six. Id rate the season 3.5 picks out of five, as it delivers to the audience compelling drama and thrilling action content, but may take a bit of watching to get to.   

Sven Kline may be reached at [email protected]edu. @SvenKline on Twitter.