The Expanse returned last week to begin its sixth and final season. We jump back and forth between different areas of space catching up with the various characters. The war between Marco Inaros and Earth continues while a new planet is introduced where some humans have established a settlement.
The narrative has several moving parts and “The Azure Dragon” starts bringing them together to better see the big picture. The Roci finds a lead in stopping Marco’s constant asteroid bombardment but during a supply run, Bobbie comes aboard with a change of plans on the mission. Instead of destroying the episode’s titular ship, the crew must now hijack it to retain the valuable intel it possesses.
What follows is a thrilling cat and mouse game between the two vessels with the Rocinante in hot pursuit. The tension is taken up a notch with a series of close calls until the Azure Dragon is immobilized. The in-person skirmish provides some great action but isn’t nearly long enough. Though it does give Peaches a chance to shine and prove that she’s one of the crew. In addition, we see some of the trauma from being trapped on the Chetzemoka haunting Naomi and the PTSD could be a point of concern moving forward.
Meanwhile, it seems as though Marco has more enemies to deal with on The Expanse. Though she and her people have hit hard times, Drummer is reinvigorated and finds a way she can really hurt the Free Navy. It should be interesting to see if she will become allies with the Rocinante one more time and having another battle-hardened faction out there pursuing the main antagonist’s demise will certainly add to the eventual epic battle we’re all pining for.
Inaros is more than game for that grand showdown as he prepares his forces. The rise of Rosenfeld Guoliang in his inner circle is interesting considering she’s new to the show. It’s unclear what her agenda is and if her whispering in Marco’s ear is for the betterment of the cause or if she has ulterior motives. The series is also beginning a redemption arc for Filip with how he is truly showing remorse for his actions in the premiere and making an effort to make things right.
The developments on the planet of Laconia System still remain intriguing. Readers of the novel know how it all ties in but at this point it still feels isolated from the rest of the events on The Expanse. Although similar to what can happen with child centered plots, the young girl’s actions turn out to be annoying since she disregards her parents’ orders and manages to make the situation worse. The special effects are high quality with realistic alien life, particularly the dog/reptile-like creature.
One aspect of the episode that does feel forced is Monica Stuart’s storyline. The ensemble series has accumulated a large cast and some members can be pushed into the background. Avasarala assigns the journalist a task and it feels more a way to give Stuart something to do other than pester the UN Secretary General.
“The Azure Dragon” builds upon what was established in the premiere placing all the moving pieces closer together. The Rocinante plot is a standout with suspense, action, and significant character development.
New episodes of The Expanse are released Fridays on Amazon Prime Video.
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