Episode 8 of The Expanse Season 5 begins with us back on the frozen land of Earth as Amos and Clarissa drive electric bikes to Baltimore. On the way, Clarissa marvels at her renewed senses, especially now that her blocker meds have started to wear off.
Unfortunately the pleasant comes with the unpleasant, as Amos and Clarissa uncover a number of old people outside a care house dead and covered by a tarp. Things on Earth are going to be difficult for a while, and Clarissa suggests they head off and find a ship before it’s too late.
Well, the pair make it to Baltimore and head back to see Erich. They want to use his name to get a shuttle off the planet to Luna. With Erich’s territories gone, washed away from the ensuing tsunami, Erich decides to tag along and eventually help them.
Elsewhere on Earth, David Paster gives a speech to the people honoring Avasarala and Delgado for their hand in saving Earth. He rallies the troops, beginning the journey to justice by administering the largest manhunt in history. They’re going to find Marco Inaros and his Free Navy, bringing them both to justice. His speech garners rapturous applause from all in attendance, as Earth prepare to fight back.
Behind closed doors though, Earth’s bloodlust could come back to bite them as the generals sit their sights on Pallas. Given there are estimated to be between 9000 and 13,000 belters on the station, they contemplate whether to make that their first target.
Avasarala though is worried about killing innocent people, turning more to Marco’s cause and leaving this situation incredibly volatile for now. After the meeting, Delgado makes absolutely no mistake that he’s all-for targeting Pallas.
Back on Marco’s ship, the crew mourn the loss of Cyn after the airlock incident. Marco blames Filip for Cyn’s death, claiming he’s the one responsible for this.
Trouble also brews on Camina’s ship too, as the crew are forced into another salvage now they’re on Marco’s side. With Karal overseeing proceedings, the crew are troubled and unsure whether this is the right thing to do.
Despite a light bit of relief in the form of water slurping, Karal eventually tells them what’s happening next. After the salvage, they’re heading for Ceres with orders to engage with any Inner ship they encounter.
Before they can continue however, they pick up Naomi’s distress signal. Camina immediately wants to chart a course to help but Karal is indifferent, telling them Naomi is dead and this is a decoy. Oksana stops Camina from lashing out at Marco’s subordinate and takes her away.
Camina heads into a secluded area and screams her lungs out – a pained, frustrated, blood-curdling cry that seems to hint she’ll do something drastic in the near future. Stay tuned.
Naomi however, awakens from her ordeal to find herself alive. She vomits and she’s clearly in a tremendous amount of pain and struggling to see.
Naomi is desperate, determined to try and send out a broadcast but her muscles are clearly weakened from her ordeal in the vacuum.
On the Roci, Holden plots a course for the Razorback after the incident with the Zmeya blowing up. While Bull is confident the protomolecule has been destroyed, Holden continues to try and find Naomi, endangering the mission for everyone. At least, according to Bull anyway. He has no illusions that this plan is turning into a suicide mission.
Speaking of suicide, Alex and Bobbie continue to search the frequencies for clues. They stumble upon Naomi’s dummy broadcast, which they in turn tell Holden and the others about. Both ships then burn hard for Naomi, as she hears their broadcast back confirming they’re en-route.
More determined than ever, Naomi is forced to put her body through the paces and repeatedly head out and try to modify the broadcast. It’s a clever plan, one that eventually sees her change the distress call to confirm she’s in control.
The Episode Review
While slower than the other chapters this season, The Expanse returns with a Naomi-centric episode focusing on her struggles and trying to communicate with Holden and the others. Quite how she’s going to get off this proximity bomb of a ship is anyone’s guess.
If there’s one continuity error here though it comes from Naomi making it onboard the ship. Did no one on Marco’s ship have cameras outside to see her make it onboard? I’m guessing it was just naivety and believing she was dead, especially in the wake of Cyn’s death. Still it seems like too much of a good stroke of fortune when Marco would probably have liked the satisfaction in making sure she was dead.
Speaking of which, blaming Filip for Cyn and Naomi’s death is really harsh and just shows how much of an uncaring Father Marco really is. I still think Filip will be the one to pull the trigger and stop him but we’ll have to wait and see on that front.
Meanwhile, Camina seems like she could be the wildcard in all this and her screams alone, with a bottle of alcohol at the end really exemplify how conflicted she is as a character. In fact, her journey these past few seasons has been fascinating and a testament to the great work this show has done with its characters.
While the events with Naomi haven taken up a good chunk of time here (perhaps too much!) the episode itself does a relatively good job with its various characters. It may not be at the same heights as the early episodes this season, but as a deep breath before the final plunge, The Expanse feels like it’s setting up for something big next week.