Season five of The Expanse brings the story back into the Sol System even as the mystery of the protomolecule hangs over everything in the system. The season opener, Exodus, was written by Naren Shankar and dropped on Amazon Prime alongside episodes two and three on 16 December, 2020.
The crew of the Rocinante are split up all over the system, Naomi (Dominique Tipper) is on Tycho Station overseeing the repair of the Roci, while trying to get information on her son, Filip (Jasai Chase Owens), who is working with his father to cause dissension in the system as a new extremist arm of the OPA. She breaks the news to Holden (Steven Strait) that she has to do this on her own, and reveals that his father is Inaros (Keon Alexander).
At the same time, Holden receives information from Monica (Anna Hopkins) that Johnson (Chad L. Coleman) may still have a protomolecule sample. And that does not sit well with Holden at all.
Alex (Cas Anvar) is heading to Mars in the Razorback to see his family, and ex-wife (Supinder Wraich) and to check in with Bobbie (Frankie Adams) who is continuing her work with Chrisjen (Shohreh Aghdashloo) to track down the extremists.
And Amos (Wes Chatham)? Amos is on a shuttle to Luna, and from there to Earth, and you know he’s making some waves amongst the criminal element aboard who are fleecing the passengers. He finds himself in conversation with Chrisjen which feels like a check-in, and perhaps planting a seed for something to come – I love their chats.
And we get a glimpse of how soon Inaros plan, to drop a rock down Earth’s gravity well, is going to happen…
Churn was written by Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham (known collectively as James S.A. Corey, the authors of The Expanse novels) and dropped with episodes one and three on 16 December, 2020.
Amos makes it back to Baltimore and confronts some of his past, and once again Chatham shows that he not only gets the character, he perfectly embodies him. He plays the emotional arc really close to his chest, but you can see it below the surface – Amos and Chatham are awesome.
Holden learns from Monica that someone is going after the protomolecule, but when he goes to meet her, she’s missing and her place is trashed. Monica has been grabbed and is being held by forces unknown, but she’s able to transmit images to Holden. Will it be enough for them to be able to track her down?
Drummer (Cara Gee) is patrolling the Sol System, and is stunned to finally come across Ashford’s ship. Chrisjen continues her work on Luna, and wonders about returning home to Earth and her husband, but her commitment to her work, and the safety of the system though she clashes with the ruling party who doesn’t seem interested in her feedback regarding Inaros.
Bobbie shows Alex what she’s been working on for Chrisjen, and he’s absolutely gobsmacked to get a glimpse of her investigation and what is going on behind the scenes and the conspiracy at work. They don’t see the connections to Inaros yet, but we know it’s gotta be there.
The season feels a bit more somber than things that have gone before it. A little introspective, and it totally works for the characters and the series, because we know there are set-ups and payoffs, and things are going to ramp up even as these personal beats for the characters shape what is to come.
Such a smart and well-written show.