Episode 7 of The Expanse Season 5 begins with Naomi reminiscing over moments with Filip as a young child on Pallas. She isn’t the only one reminiscing though, as Marco arrives before Filip and asks him for a favour. He wants to use Naomi’s ship as bait for Holden and the others, intending to kill off the biggest threat to his Free Navy.
For now though, Marco heads down to visit Naomi in her cell. There, the duo discuss Marco’s manipulation and how Naomi was glad to be rid of him in the past. She clearly has leverage for now, thanks in part to Filip’s wavering dedication to his Father, eventually leading him to free her from her cell.
For now, Marco has allowed her to walk about the ship but Marco warns he’ll throw her out the air lock if she misbehaves.
Well, Naomi heads straight over to talk to Filip about the past. Specifically, they discuss Marco’s incredible charisma and hold over people. Naomi knows Filip is under his spell and hopes that one day he’ll see the consequences of his actions.
As they sit together, Naomi holds her son and admits that she didn’t want to leave Pallas all those years ago. She tried desperately to find Filip after Marco hid him. Heartbroken and with her life shattered, Naomi had every intention of killing herself. Only, she realized this wouldn’t make a difference to Filip’s life and thought twice.
After this touching moment, Naomi sits down with Cyn and they share a drink. She apologizes for bashing him in the head but Cyn is also sorry, admitting that he was the one who helped Marco hide Filip from her. Cyn also saw her walk into an airlock, which is when he realized he needed to help her. Naomi asks for his help now, tears running down her cheeks, as her old friend is left with a difficult decision to make.
Up on the deck, Cyn asks Marco to let Naomi go. Instead, he shows disdain and fierce loyalty to the cause by telling him no one is taking Filip away. Filip shows up next and decides to take control; he wants command of his own ship to show what he can do. Instead, Marco lashes out at Filip and tells him that everyone is chanting his name – not Filip’s. He’s Marco’s heir and will lead the Belt after he’s gone but for now, he’s forced to stay in Marco’s shadow. Just to cement his position, and keep Marco’s hold tight, the entire ship begin chanting Filip’s name.
Meanwhile, Holden closes in on a Belter skiff. He’s determined to find the protomolecule and destroy it no matter what. As he and Bull get a chance to reminisce over the past, they discuss Fred and how Holden was convinced the Belter leader wasn’t being completely truthful. After this moment together, Holden receives a message from Alex, asking about the Roci. Given the lack of a transmission delay, it’s clear he’s close by.
Well, Holden sends a reply mentioning the protomolecule, which in turn is bounced back with a message from Alex mentioning the Free Navy and Marco’s growing army. As Holden listens to the words, he checks out the different ships nearby and realizes that among them is the Chetzemoka; Naomi’s ship.
Eventually Holden finds the Zmeya and closes in on it. Unfortunately the ship launches a barrage of missiles at the Roci, forcing them into a spin to evade and shoot the torpedoes before they do some serious damage. As they close in on the Zmeya, Holden changes his mind and decides they should board the ship and check out their datalog. The Zmeya make the decision for them easier though as it completely blows – an act of self sacrifice to keep themselves hidden.
It’s worth noting though that one of the torpedoes prior to this – at 32.20 to be precise – seems to have a blue exhaust at the back, seemingly hinting that the protomolecule is still out there somewhere in the void of space.
Back with Naomi and the others, Marco reveals the extent of his plan. They’re going to use Naomi’s ship to lure in the Rocinante and kill everyone onboard. After that, Naomi will be free to go. She tries to get through to Filip but he lashes out, striking her across the face and forcing Naomi back into her cell.
After detaching the Chetzemoka, and with all crew onboard Marco’s ship, the group prepare to launch their attack. Cyn however, figures out where Naomi is and tries to talk her out of killing herself as she walks out onto the bridge.
It turns out she has no intention of killing herself as she holds a syringe of hyper-oxygenated blood to keep her alive. Cyn freezes and appears to be dead but Naomi manages to keep on floating across to her ship. As she grabs the exterior of the ship, she smashes open the button and scrambles inside, allowing the doors to shut behind her and keep the Belter alive.
The Episode Review
As we move into the business end of this season, The Expanse returns with a powerhouse episode that’ll almost certainly have everyone googling exactly how to survive the vacuum of space. To save you having to do that, it turns out an astronaut in the 60’s did actually survive for about 15 seconds out in the vacuum. It seems like as long as you don’t hold your breath you may be okay.
The motor function needed to inject a syringe, hold a door and thrust yourself inside a ship however, is a little more farfetched.
Still, the entire sequence is really poetic, with Cyn finally making good on his promise to be there for Naomi when he wasn’t in the past. In a way, this is a fitting end for his character, a man wracked by guilt over his part to play in sending Naomi does this path and wanting to do right by Naomi. Hopefully he’s found his peace now but it’s still unclear whether he’s dead or not.
And what of Filip too? It’s clear he still has affection for his Mother but Marco has poisoned his mind and turned the boy into his own personal weapon. He’s being groomed as the heir to Marco’s blood-soaked campaign but could the thought of Naomi’s death be enough to spur him into action?
I’d imagine it will and given the emphasis on Filip this season it’ll end in tragedy. At a guess, Marco could be grooming Filip to be his sacrificial lamb or alternatively we could see Filip changing sides, stopping Marco but dying in the process. Either way, I can’t see there being a happy ending for Naomi’s son.
The ending will certainly be a big talking point though and alongside Attack On Titan, The Expanse Season 5 is easily the best show of the year so far. Whether it can finish that off with a show-stopping final few episodes however, remains to be seen.