Episode 6 of The Expanse Season 5 begins with David Paster, Minister of Transportation, greeting Avasarala. Well, it turns out this guy is the new acting Secretary-General. They discuss the tragedy on Earth together and he knows how important Avasarala was to preventing the tragedy on Earth being worse than it was.
In fact, he wants her to join his provisional cabinet. When he leaves the room, Avasarala fumbles with her necklace through shaky hands, eventually exclaiming “damnit” and walking out the room.
Down on Earth’s frozen ground, refugees begin to gather at a nearby aid station. Among them are Amos and Clarissa who stand on the fringes and eventually decide against going. Instead, they’re heading off for the Conservacy Zone in Baltimore. It’s a beautiful trip; the blanketed snow on the floor twinkles like diamonds from the bright sun above, peeking through the crowded and naked trees.
Amos and Clarissa eventually find a dead body on the floor which shatters this beauty. Amos scavenges for resources. As they keep walking, they come across a rugged survivor who offers them a drink. When Amos flat-out refuses, he gives them some advice about which way to travel. It’s an uneasy conversation, something that sees Amos immediately put his defences up as they walk off, changing direction to head toward the “crazy guy shooting.”
With a fence blocking the way, Clarissa and Amos notice fresh blood across the floor. This survivalist immediately shows up brandishes a shotgun. Amos is forced to strip down to show he’s not holding any guns. It’s a tense few moments as this survivalist looks set to shoot Amos in cold blood…until Clarissa shows up and uses her mods to stop him. With the man dead, Amos contemplates what to do next as he realizes he needs to get back to his crew.
Meanwhile at the Belt, Holden decides to fire the Roci back up now that they’ve cleared it of any possible explosives. Only, Monica shows up and demands she be taken along with them. Well, Holden isn’t in the mood for arguing and allows her access to the ship. While she settles in, Holden notices an unread message from Naomi.
Floating through space following that near-collision last episode, Alex and Bobbie immediately come under fire from one of the ships. With Alex placing grenades on their shuttle, it’s touch and go for a while as he floats back through space to the ship. Eventually they take off just in time, leaving their pursuers to burst into a million pieces.
Marco’s Free Navy continues to grow in power. As they say, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Anyway, Marco tasks Cyn and Filip to Space Naomi after her betrayal. Filip and Cyn refuse to do it though and eventually the former pleads for her life. As they walk away, Karal approaches Marco and tells him next time just to ask her.
Filip immediately confronts Naomi and talks about being a fighter. Filip is blinded by his loyalty to Marco and Naomi does her best to get through to him. Unfortunately it’s too late and it seems like Marco has well and truly poisoned their son’s mind.
Meanwhile, Camina and the others arrive at Marco’s ship and realize he’s joined by MCRN Warships. Understand they won’t be able to shoot their way out of this, Camina heads in with the others and reluctantly hands over her weapons.
Eventually Marco and Camina talk and the attention immediately turns to Ashford and what happened to him in the past. It’s tense, to say the least, and eventually the conversation turns back around to the future of the Belt. Agriculture is a big talking point, especially given Earth is the hotspot for this.
Marco simply throws lavish promises out about the future of agriculture and how the Belt will surpass the level of Earth’s crops in the future. Anyway, Marco wants Drummer to join their Free Navy but the choice is a difficult one for her to make. Discussing it as a crew, they eventually decide to join, realizing they don’t really have much of a choice.
To seal the deal they exchange a “tribute”; a single crew member to keep things united. That crew member happens to be Karal, who rocks up on Camina’s ship.
As she does, Filip heads down to speak to Naomi in her cell. Specifically, they discuss the Behemoth and what happened with Naomi and the others. Marco is listening on his monitor though and clearly agitated.
The Episode Review
The Expanse returns this week with another solid episode, one that slows down somewhat and discusses the nature of morality and what that means. Amos’ trek through the wilderness and discussions surrounding tribal activities is a fascinating juxtaposition against the order of Marco’s Free Navy.
In fact, Marco’s entire conversation involving agriculture is deliciously ironic. Given he sees himself as the leader of this “free navy”, Marco speaks and acts just like the politicians he’s turned these people against.
The way he throws lavish promises over the future of crop growth with no substantial evidence or plan is typical for how these men and women bring nations together. Given the issues the Belters have had though, it’s no surprise that they’re all rallying around Marco.
Camina has had little choice but to join and with MCRN Warships on his side, Marco’s strength is only growing. You can feel the show is gearing up for a big fight to come but quite who will come out on top remains to be seen.
One thing’s for sure though, The Expanse is far from over and given we’ve got another season after this one, so there’s plenty of time for another thrilling set piece to ignite this show into sci-fi history.