On the last episode of The Expanse, society is on the brink of collapsing on Earth following the asteroid attacks. Amos and Clarissa make their way to Baltimore in this newly dangerous landscape so they can travel off planet to reunite with the Roci. Meanwhile, Naomi becomes closer with her son hoping to save Filip from his father making Marco concerned about their growing relationship.
[Slight Spoilers Ahead!]
Mom and dad are engaged in a game to gain the affections and loyalty of Filip. Naomi candidly shares with her son her emotional struggle to leave her family all those years ago and how close she was to giving up on life. Marco appeals to Filip’s eagerness to prove his worth and to live up to a father’s expectations. Just to spite Naomi, the older Inaros plans to use his ex-wife as bait to lure the Rocinante and destroy the ship and its crew with his navy.
Holden has a tough decision to make: either stay focused on retrieving the protomolecule or save his lover. Luckily for him, Alex and Bobbie contact him to check in and they’re black market deal mission has led them not too far from Naomi’s location. He orders the pair to keep an eye on Marco’s fleet while he engages the Zmeya, the ship with the stolen protomolecule. The news of the Free Navy’s mysterious backers also causes Holden and Monica to ponder whether there’s a figure in the shadows manipulating everything and if Marco is only a tool for a more nefarious scheme.
One change The Expanse has made from the novels is having Filip solely responsible for Naomi’s kidnapping rather than it being on the orders of Marco. This is a smart choice on several levels. First, it complements the emotional beats and emphasizes Filip’s desire to know his mother. These past episodes have been building their relationship really well where it’s believable that the son might defect even though Naomi has only been in his life for such a short time. It also makes Filip’s heartbreak that much more when he perceives his mom chooses her friends on the Rocinante over him.
The decision also adds complexity to Marco’s character. He doesn’t come off as the typical villain fueled only by revenge and spite towards the woman who rejected him. For the sake of his son, he’s shown restraint when it comes to his ex-wife and even some compassion for someone who tried to kill him. There are some humanizing moments when he and Naomi reminisce of the good times in the past. But he is a bad guy after all, and it all goes out the window when he plans to destroy the Roci.
With only three more episodes this season, “Oyedeng” also sets the stage for things to come. Bobbie and Alex are in place for Naomi’s rescue when the time comes although her own actions make it unclear if there will be someone to save. Holden and Monica bring up for the first time the possible existence of a bigger threat that is manipulating Marco and the events as a whole. The finale would be a good time to reveal who that is leading into the final season. I also wanted to mention the intense dogfight between the Roci and the Zmeya. The Expanse space battles may not be fast paced, but they really develop suspense.
This episode features the compelling Inaros/Nagata family dynamic and sets up interesting possibilities for the end of the season.
New episodes of The Expanse are released Wednesdays on Amazon Prime Video.
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