Last week on The Expanse, Amos and company finally escape Earth and head to Luna but not before repelling an assault by security forces. When they arrive, they’ll find the U.N. with a new leader after Avasarala takes a moral stand against the Secretary General and wins the political battle. Both the Rocinante and the Razorback are racing towards Naomi’s location hoping to save their colleague but if the booby-trapped ship doesn’t get them, a fleet of Free Navy vessels, that include Drummer, just might.
[Slight Spoilers Ahead]
The Free Navy catches up with Holden and the Roci and he must choose between engaging the enemy or retreating. He decides on a valiant last stand despite Bull’s objections in order to buy Alex and Bobbie more time to rescue the woman he loves. Will his sacrifice be in vain? Naomi tries to pull every trick at her disposal to prevent her friends from coming close including knocking out one of the thrusters so her ship flies in a circle. However, Alex is a stubborn “dumb idiot” and is determined to save her friend.
At the same time, Avasarala brings a stabilizing presence to the U.N. and develops a less controversial strategy to confront Marco Inaros than her predecessor. Undeterred, the rebellious leader has his eyes set on a more important prize and makes a play to control the Ring network.
“Nemesis Games” brings a satisfying conclusion to a very entertaining season. Most of the main storylines are resolved and it sets the stage for the conflict to follow in season six.
Throughout the series, The Expanse has wisely used Camina Drummer and here is no different. Her television counterpart is an amalgam of the book version along with several other characters from the novels. This allows the series to stay close to the source material without confusing the audience with a larger cast. It also brings more depth and complexity to this Drummer and further emphasize her bond with the Rocinante crew and her struggle with following Marco’s orders. It’s no surprise who she sides with but it comes with great cost breaking up her family.
As one family comes to an end, another is reunited. Season five saw the Roci crew going their separate ways. We could explore our heroes more individually and both Amos and Naomi had memorable arcs but it also left the others, Holden and Alex, on the sideline. It’s as if the latter two spent the majority of time flying through space chasing after things.
This episode shows how much of a family they all are with so much self-sacrifice to save their friends. An outgunned Holden tries to hold off the Free Navy alone (he didn’t know Drummer would change sides mid battle). Naomi performs a leap of faith out of the Chetzemoka to warn Alex of the trap. Fortunately, Bobbie saves her but we don’t get the awesome missile surfing scene from the book. When the entire crew finally meet up on Luna, you can feel the joy and relief that they’re back together again. How The Expanse addresses Alex’s departure felt abrupt and clunky but it was the best they could do after sexual misconduct accusations levied at actor, Cas Anvar.
With the band back together again and Earth on the mend, you know the season couldn’t end on a high note. There are call backs to the black market dealing Martians and the missing protomolecule that build up the intrigue for when the show returns. Not only does Marco control the Ring, but there is a well-armed Martian group out there along with mysterious dark figures that erase an entire ship out of existence. The only concern is we’re only roughly halfway through the books. How will the series wrap up with only one more season left?
The season five finale ties up many of the loose ends but leaves with an intriguing cliffhanger for what may be a very ambitious final season.
Episodes of The Expanse can be viewed on Amazon Prime Video.
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