Episode 10 of The Expanse Season 5 begins with Holden realizing a hunting group is closing in. Outnumbered and with little firepower, they have no choice now but to run. However, they’re going to run right through the middle of the formation, even if it means sacrificing themselves to allow the others to escape.
Holden feeds this plan back to Alex and Bobbie, imploring them to head off and grab Naomi. Naomi however, does her best to try and free herself from the precarious situation onboard the Chetzemoka. Her constant hammering manages to send the ship off-course, while the Firehawk closes in on Naomi’s ship.
Alex sends a message across to her , informing Naomi that he’s coming and encouraging the girl to hang tight. With her helmet on, and knowing that she’s done this before, Naomi takes a gamble and leaps out into the void of space, away from the Chetzemoka to prevent Alex and Bobbie from being killed.
What follows is an incredibly daring and frightening situation, something that mirrors some of the extreme close-ups in 2003’s Gravity. Naomi goes through a whole range of emotions as she floats aimlessly out to space, hoping someone will pick her up.
Thankfully this leap of faith is well placed, as Bobbie dons her spacesuit and grabs Naomi. Unfortunately in the ensuing charge across space, Alex winds up having a stroke and dies onboard his ship. Bobbie grabs Naomi and they await the Roci showing up to save them from this ordeal.
On the other side of the conflict lies Drummer and her crew. On the eve of battle, she makes a bold choice and decides to take her ship back, holding Karal up at gunpoint as a mutinous split fractures the ship in half. Karal is killed, Drummer gets on the comms asking for assistance, and missiles are dropped and fired on the other ships.
With the Roci safe for now, Drummer soon gets on the comms unit, speaking to Holden and letting him know that the threat, at least for now anyway, has been quelled. The crew onboard the Mowteng are split over the actions they’ve taken, knowing that they too have been thrown into this fight, thanks to Drummer’s actions. Unfortunately this split sees Drummer lose Oksana, who decides to leave.
Marco Inaros sees parts of his plan slowly start to come undone, assessing the damage done to these ships. He tries in vain to hide his rage before noticing a compassionless Filip shrugging off the betrayal and telling his Father they still have work to do.
With Amos already at Luna, parting ways with Elrich who’s intent on carving his own place in the galaxy, the Roci heads straight there to regroup. They’re going to take the fight to Marco but for now, they celebrate their mini-victory. Just as they do, Clarissa returns and Amos introduces her as part of their crew, at least temporarily anyway.
With everyone joined together, Avasarala briefs the team, telling them that their cooperation and peace is everything Marco is afraid of. She implores them to try and bring the Martians, Earthlings and Belters together in a unified front. Well, that may be easier said than done as the protomolecule situation returns. The group realize that the sample may well have been onboard the stray missile, which Monica notices and briefs the others on.
Avasarala takes Holden and the others away from the crowd of people to show them what’s happening in the system. Marco’s Free Navy pummels forward for the Sol ring as the three ships there come under heavy fire. They’re quickly dispatched, as this conflict turns into a massacre. Even worse, a whole fleet of Martian ships go rogue and team up with Marco.
As we soon find out, it turns out Marco made a deal with Admiral Sauvettere, promising them protection from the Free Navy. Afterwards, they communicate with the Martians onboard the planet Laconia, a brand new Mars where they Martians intend to rule under draconian rule with no exceptions. Only, in the sky happens to be another protomolecule structure, this one an eerie, abandoned ship of some description.
However, just as the ship passes through the ring, everything freezes and they’re lost in a sea of brilliant orange and black. This ties back to the earlier incident with Fred in the early episodes as it seems the architects have awoken and they’re definitely not happy.
The Episode Review
The Expanse Season 5 bows out with a tense and suitably dramatic finale after a pretty turbulent season of drama. With Naomi taking the lion’s share of the screen-time, Alex’s death is certainly fitting but perhaps a little less impactful than it would have been had we seen more of him this year.
The subtle visual design of this episode though is fantastic, with Bobbie wearing blue and Avasarala wearing red, showing the unity between Earth and Mars through this single clever use of colour.
The conflict with Marco Inaros is far from over and as we’ve seen across this season, his fleet is only growing in size and strength. With the rogue Martians by his side now, it seems like only a matter of time before this turns into an all-out dogfight.
However, it also seems like we’re returning to existential threats to the world now, as the ring and protomolecule fire back at the forefront of this story.
The ending certainly hints that we’ve got a dramatic season of action to come and unfortunately The Expanse only has one more chapter left to tie everything together. This is easily one of the best sci-fi series of all time though and easy to recommend, as we all agonizingly await season 6!