Season four saw some behind-the-scenes changes for The Expanse, even as the timeline moves forward over eight months. The series moved from Syfy to Amazon, and the entire fourth season was dropped on 13 December, 2019, allowing fans to devour all ten episodes in a day, if they wanted.
Written by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, who have overseen the series from the beginning, season four opens with the fast-paced New Terra, while also reestablishing all of our familiar characters.
Holden (Sten Strait), Amos (Wes Chatham), Naomi (Dominique Tipper) and Alex (Cas Anvar) are asked by Chrisjen (Shohreh Aghdashloo) to pass through the Ring, and transit to one of the thousand systems that have now been opened up for humanity, there is the suggestion of protomolecule structures on one of the planets that has been marked for an expedition.
But things are never that easy. There is a hassle for countless ships to pass through the gate to other systems, but for now, it’s under tight control of the UNN and the MRCN, based out of Medina Station aka the Behemoth, commanded by former OPA Drummer (Cara Gee), who is recovering from her broken back slowly.
It seems one refugee ship, fleeing the destruction of Ganymede, has already made it through the gate and has set up a settlement on the same planet Holden is on his way to check out. They’ve christened it Ilus, but the UNN is sending their own team there, led by Murtry (Burn Gorman) who insists on calling it New Terra and is more than happy to kick off all the ‘illegal’ settlers, especially after their descent vehicle is destroyed by the landing pad blowing up – sabotaged or something else?
As Naomi is awestruck by stepping onto a planet for the first time, ever (a wonderful moment, brought about by bone and muscle growth injections she is subjecting herself to) the entire landing party, settlers, and UNN team are attacked by a flying swarm of somethings…?
A great season opener that reintroduces us to our favourite characters, where they are, how they’ve changed, and where they may be headed for the season. And Miller (Thomas Jane) is floating around still investigating…
Jetsam picks up right where the previous episode ended as the investigation into the strange metallic things that attacked the camp, the discovery that the landing pad was wired to blow, and Miller makes an appearance to Holden to drive him on yet another mission.
While Naomi suffers from the injections she has been taking to allow her to come down a gravity well, Holden and Alex set off to explore the ancient protomolecule structure, which suddenly has an entrance.
Writtten by Laura Marks, we get to spend some time with Chrisjen and Bobbie (Frankie Adams), who is not happy about where her life is back on Mars, and Chrisjen offers her a position at her side.
Investigations continue at the Ring and Meridian station as acts of piracy on UNN vessels continue, and the OPA may be responsible.
At the structure, Miller appears to Holden and asks him to remove something to allow the device to continue its work. Holden working on trust does it, but is then barely able to escape the rapidly sealing structure as a strange storm comes to life in the atmosphere of the planet.
What the hell is going on?
Season four is already moving at a rapid pace, and it’s incredibly enjoyable. It feels like the stakes have been upped, and things are going to get even more complicated real quick.
What a fantastic show!