Down and Out
Following Marco’s chilling speech last episode, episode 5 of The Expanse Season 5 begins at Drummer’s Faction in the Belt as Camina and the others watch the devastation gripping the system. Of course, given Camina was the one to let Marco go she takes responsibility for what happened and blames herself.
Even worse, a message from Marcos asking to meet throws a serious spanner in the works. Camina tells the others about her message and they decide to accept his invitation and meet.
Back on Earth, Amos awakens to find Clarissa knocked out on the ground. Thankfully a guard called Ronas arrives to help Amos push open the door. Amos and Clarissa eventually team up with the guards; their time is running out as the place looks set to cave in at any moment.
They grab a modded inmate called Konecheck to help, who works with the soldiers to head up the maintenance shaft ladder bit by bit. After one of the guards meets an untimely demise, the elevator shaft suddenly drops revealing daylight above. Only… there was a building there before. As they head up, the group look out at the devastation they thankfully managed to avoid by being underground.
Konecheck takes the opportunity to kill one of the guards before grabbing Amos by the throat. Together with Clarissa and Rona, they manage to throw the inmate back down to the depths of the prison below.
Back at the Belt, Holden finds himself alone as he sends a message to Naomi pleading with her to contact him. Bull and Holden do their best to interrogate Sakai but she refuses to try and strike up a deal with them. Eventually Holden decides to fire up the Roci and go on the hunt himself.
Back on the ship, Naomi is brought in to see the group but all of this is a ruse by Marco to wind her up. Cyn is not happy but when he and the others leave, it turns out he’s not the only one disappointed. Marco questions just why Filip has brought Naomi onboard and tells him how disappointed he is.
Out in the hallway, Cyn and Naomi come to blows over the future of the Belters. It’s actually a pretty telling conversation, explaining the motivations of Marco and how he’s managed to poison the minds of the Belters to follow him. Like a loaded spring, eventually you tighten it with too much pressure and the whole thing snaps.
Anyway, next up is Karal who appears and tells Naomi that no one is coming to save her. This is just what Naomi needs as motivation, as she slips a knife under her sleeve and heads out on deck with Marco and the others. Just before stabbing Marco however, Filip shows and saves his Mother’s life, taking her down to her holding cell.
However, Naomi realizes that the Roci has been sabotaged with the Augustin Gamarra Code. If they turn the drive on, it’ll blow. Naomi knocks out Cyn, grabs his phone and rings Holden. She pleads with him to turn the engine off and it seems to do the trick as Holden follows her instructions. Unfortunately, Naomi is thrown into isolation for her troubles.
In the Hungaria Asteroids deep in the Belt, Kamal and Bobbie continue their hunt for the Barkeith. As they hide out in the midst of the asteroids, they find out the ship isn’t alone.
Not only is there an escort with it, two Martian-operated Destroyers are with them too. As they begin profiling who they’re dealing with, they realize Marco’s Free Navy is actually operating and cooperating with these Martian destroyers.
Unfortunately, they’re spotted and forced to fly away. With missiles locked on them, Bobbie and Kamal try to send the profiles of the ships to Avasarala but they’re being blocked. Thankfully they eject their core just in time as the missile hits it and sends The Screaming Firehawk hurtling through space.
The Episode Review
After the Red Wedding-esque episode last time, The Expanse keeps up the tension with another excellent episode full of suspense and tightly written segments. Marco’s Free Navy is now starting to take shape and this spells bad news for our characters.
The Expanse is shaping up to be a top contender for the best TV show in 2021. Alongside Attack On Titan (also another early contender), The Expanse manages to perfectly characterize both sides of its conflict and does so with some telling dialogue and a cleverly written branching storyline.
With each of our Roci crew at a different location, it allows these sub-plots room to breathe and expand out into a far more expansive and intriguing whole.
Quite what’s in store for them next remains to be seen but one thing’s for sure – The Expanse Season 5 is shaping up to be one of the best yet.