“You think because someone is the underdog that they are the good guys.”
The Expanse returns on December 16 with their Season 5 premiere of the first three episodes of the season. Although the first three episodes are individually titled “Exodus,” “Churn,” and “Mother” respectively, collectively they could be called Revelations or The Past Never Leaves Us. The episodes are made to be binged as they set up the key elements of the season where the viewers are treated to revelatory moments of discovery about Amos, Alex, and Naomi. But, Bobbie, Avasarala, Fred, and Holden must also deal with present major issues which are outgrowths of their past decisions.
The first episode sets the stage of what will be a visually stunning season while at the same time establishes that the crew members of the Rocinante and Drummer have gone their separate ways while the ship is being repaired. Amos heads to Earth, Alex heads to Mars, and Naomi eventually heads to Pallas Station while Holden oversees the repairs on the Rocinante.
On Mars, Bobbie investigates the mystery of the stealth tech going to the Belters, while on Luna, Avasarala uses every ounce of her considerable political knowledge and connections to alert Earth to the danger of Marco Inaros.
Drummer has returned to her previous days as someone who makes money by skirting the law and Fred Johnson continues his effort to unite the Belters. Unfortunately, both of their past decisions come back to haunt them as well.
For those viewers who have read the novels and the novellas, the title of Episode 502, “Churn,” reveals so much. Amos’s journey home brings to light his past and opens the dark book that is his childhood. Viewers will learn more about Amos than even his crewmates know.
Meanwhile, Alex travels to Mars where he hopes to resolve past problems and also meet up with Bobbie. Together, they hope to discover who is supplying stealth tech to the Belters. It is not clear whether or not Alex’s expectations are realistic but he will soon discover the truth. For Bobbie, the investigation of the stolen tech may lead to places she does not want to go.
The crew member with the most troubling past is Naomi. Viewers may remember that in the early seasons, Naomi made a request of Fred Johnson. Fred eventually honors her request, which sends her on a journey that will be one of the major storylines in Season 5. But the viewers should not forget or assume that the thing which started this great odyssey is dormant. The Protomolecule reminds humanity of its many weaknesses as it rears its ugly head again. Both Holden and Fred Johnson must contend with this new problem created by the Protomolecule (and those who would use it) without their key team members.
Since this is a non-spoiler review, I have only hinted at what our heroes will face. I can say that a rewatch of the entire series in preparation for Season 5 will remind viewers of the excellence of the series as well as the foreshadowing throughout the early episodes. Many book fans believe that Nemesis Games is the best novel in the series thus far. After viewers see the first three episodes, I believe that they will agree that Season 5 will be the best season, at least, until we see Season 6.
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