It all comes down to this episode on The Expanse. “Babylon’s Ashes,” which shares its name with the sixth novel, concludes the Free Navy Conflict along with the series as a whole. How well does the finale stick the landing?
People are on edge as war is on the horizon and the tension is felt from all sides. The uneasiness of the coalition between Earth, Mars, and the Belters is reflected in the strategic talks and planning between them. There is plenty of preparation to be done but we are treated to a pleasant moment in the calm before the storm on the Rocinante. The scenes of the family dinner are so heartwarming with the survivors of the original crew along side former adversaries turned allies.
The last showdown on The Expanse is worthy of a finale with such a large scale and engagements on multiple fronts including Interstellar dogfights between ships and frantic ground assaults. There are unexpected tactics that turn the tides for both sides and it’s an overall exciting battle. Particularly with the attack on Medina Station, the first-person perspectives within the power armor takes the viewer directly into the action and has the intensity of a video game.
There is a culmination of several plotlines coming together both big and small. There’s the obvious war but even mentions of topics throughout the season play an integral role such as the plan to ultimately defeat Marco. It’s great attention to detail and is built subtly but well into the narrative.
For the most part, “Babylon’s Ashes” is a satisfying closing chapter to the popular science fiction series. A new world order is established with a more equal share of power thanks to last minute politicking and a trick up Holden’s sleeve and there’s a small glimpse of hope for someone who thought they lost and sacrificed so much. But there are still some aspects left open. Questions about the protomolucule and the entities that destroyed the Builders are left unanswered and it can be frustrating considering how involved these threads are throughout the various seasons.
In addition, the Laconia subplot shows what happened to the renegade Martians that masterminded The Expanse’s overarching conflict but even that is unresolved. It serves as a nice bonus to fans of the novels but those who only watch the show will question its relevancy. Only if we receive additional adaptations of the last three novels will there be any payoff. However, with only what is presented in season six, the storyline is a disappointment because it’s unfinished and so disconnected to everything else.
Overall, “Babylon’s Ashes” is a fitting end to a fan favorite show that spanned six seasons on two different homes. The epic action and tying up of most of the loose ends results in a fulfilling experience for those who have been there from the start.
Watch the entire series of The Expanse on Prime Video.
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