The Expanse – Season 6 Episode 6: Recap, Review & Ending Explained

Babylon’s Ashes

What happens on Laconia?

Episode 6 of The Expanse Season 6 begins back on Laconia. Cara arrives back home to find her parents desperate to find out where she’s been. She confirms that Xan has been “fixed”, as her brother shows up with blackened eyes and a strange disposition.

Gary, Cara’s Dad, grabs a knife and slashes at hos son in fear, spilling drops of black blood on the ground.

Eventually Cara leaves with Xan, rushing through the woods away from their parents. Cara holds her brother’s hand and remains adamant that if she dies then the dogs will bring her back. The last shot here is of the Admiral, staring up at the sky, concerned over the ship above.

What’s the plan to hit Marco and the Free Navy?

We then cut back to Avasarala and the gang, talking battle tactics and how to take down Marco Inaros and his Free Navy. They intend to use the Roci to assault the Ring Station and capture Marco’s railguns.

It’s risky, but the MCRN strike team were originally taken by surprise, hence why they were chopped down so quickly. Without that, Bobbie is confident that they can do this while the rest of the group attack and draw Marco’s eyes away from the Ring.

The Last Supper

While preparing for battle, each of our Roci crew have a nice moment together. Holden and Bobbie connect over Alex; Amos and Naomi discuss the changing dynamics onboard the ship.

Clarissa starts to suffer the effects of CECS (Complex Edocrine Collapse Syndrome.) This is basically a side effect from her use of the mods – and she’s on borrowed time. She puts on a brave face in front of the others though, and as they all sit down to eat, there’s a feeling of it being a “last supper” of sorts, preparing for the final battle.

The Fight Begins

With the UNN Battle Group 1 joining the fight, Avasarala receive confirmation that they’ve found the Pella and they’re moving in. Drummer’s group join too but there’s a problem. The Pella they’ve attacked was actually just a decoy. With the ship not even returning fire, it’s quickly revealed that they’ve been duped, and the real Marco is waiting in the wings.

Marco’s counter-attack

Marco hits back – and hard. He hammers into Drummer’s battle group. Four ships are down and even worse, Drummer’s ship has a massive hole in the side of it.

She’s out for blood though and Drummer remains determined to track down and kill Inaros. Unfortunately, Liang is a mess and as she communicates with him one final time, his ship is blown to smithereens.

Drummer does manage to assemble her force to hit Filip and Rosenfeld, with the latter badly hurt thanks to Drummer’s tactics.

The Roci Assault

In the middle of all this drama, Holden heads to the Ring Station in the Roci. In a bid to disguise their ship, they hide in a whole rabble of shipping containers that are all brought through the ring at the same time.

Things are tough going but the armour on the Roci holds. The reactor however, is starting to scram and it needs urgent repairs. Clarissa volunteers herself to the cause, and heads down to do just that.

She doesn’t use any mods, and despite being severely weakened, manages to bring the reactor back online, earning her keep as Naomi checks on her, proud of “Peaches” and her accomplishments.

Are the Railguns stopped?

Meanwhile, Amos and Bobbie both manage to land on the Ring Station and remain determined to press on and take the railguns. Bobbie uses her missiles to take out the guns but in doing so, comes under heavy fire.

Amos comes to her rescue though but with the guns taken out, it’s enough to bring the Roci in to cover them both and save them from certain death.

Do Amos and Bobbie manage to secure the railguns?

With the Ring to Laconia closed, courtesy of communication from Admiral Duarte, Marco Inaros learns that Rosenfeld has died. His nonchalant attitude to this though leaves Filip questioning his decision to stand by his side. Through all of this he finally sees his father as the warmongering terrorist he always was. While everyone else cheers and chants for Marco’s cause, Filip is silent.

Amos and Bobbie head back onboard the Roci and decide to hit out at the Ring Entities using their big bad enemies to hit their other enemies.

What is Naomi’s plan?

Naomi intends to trigger these Entities, the same ones Holden was so worried about destroying the universe even as far back as last episode, and push as much energy as possible in to wake them up… and Holden is okay with it. In fact, no one even questions the idea.

Naomi deduces that if they time it just right – hitting the Ring with everything they’ve got in a concentrated burst of fire – it could stop Marco and his Free Navy in one fell swoop. It’s a hell of a gamble but one that they all wholeheartedly press ahead with. Let’s hope this doesn’t destroy the whole universe, eh?

As Marco enters the Ring, his own confidence and blindness to the cause is his undoing and he’s completely destroyed. It’s implied that Filip is destroyed too but hold that thought until later on in the episode.

When Naomi realizes she’s lost her son, she’s beside herself with grief. It’s particularly bittersweet given we saw Filip having a change of heart just prior to this and turning away from Marco’s cause.

What happens with negotiations between the Inners and Belters?

With the war won, we cut forward in time as we see the political negotiations take place. Avasarala wants to try and make things right with the Belters and Inners, which includes Drummer being granted a voice at the table.

Her vision includes the United Nations – Mars, Earth and the Belters – all working together. Only, that’s easier said than done with ill feelings all around. Specifically, Drummer wants it so the Belters control the Ring gates.

Through all of this, Holden sits forward and admits that Inaros wasn’t all wrong. He was evil, but his ideology was based on this unfair balance between the Inners and Belters – which he capitalized on. The only way to prevent that happening again is to change the established order of things.

Eventually Avasarala decides to use an apolitical person to work as an independent agency to balance out all the arguments for and against each proposed idea. And what better person than James Holden. He’s initially taken aback by the idea but does agree to it – under a set of specific instructions.

Why does James Holden undermine Avasarala?

We then cut forward in time, to see James Holden up accepting the position as First President of the Transport Union address, He also makes Drummer the Vice President. And in a genius move, he officially resigns as President and hands the throne over to Drummer. Right in front of everyone.

Avasarala is understandably livid that she’s been undermined. She sets out to try and undo this but Holden urges her to reconsider. This is the only way to secure peace and given the show started with the Belters – busting their backs mining asteroids and Avasarala torturing one on Earth -so it ends with a Belter stepping up in the most important role for the future of this new Union. But will it be enough? Avasarala certainly hopes so.

With peace seemingly secured, Holden heads back to the Roci with Naomi and the others. He reflects on his choice and hopes he’s done the right thing. Naomi reassures him that he’s followed his conscience and tells him its important to do what’s right and to help.

How does The Expanse Season 6 end?

As she speaks these words, we cut back and see Filip flying away from Marco’s ship, setting off into the deep void of  space and deciding to forge his own path. He didn’t die with Marco Inaros after all! Tellingly, he also changes his surname back to Nagata too.

The Roci flies off, awaiting what the universe may hold for them, as the series comes to a close.

The Episode Review

I worried last episode that this final episode was going to feel rushed and alas, that is certainly the case here. I’m not quite sure what the point of the whole Laconia storyline was, but it feels unfinished and feels in stark contrast to what’s happening around the universe.

In fact, this season may have worked better without that even in the story. All it’s made me do (and I’m sure many others who haven’t read the novels as well) is buy the books to see how that fits into the narrative properly.

Meanwhile, Filip survives the whole skirmish and flies away to parts unknown. While it’s played as a feel-good moment, I can’t help but feel a more bittersweet ending with him dying alongside Marco would have worked a lot more, and felt a lot more powerful as a result.

With Naomi’s son still alive, it leaves many question marks over whether a spin-off or some sort of continuation is in the pipeline away from this main series.

However, the main story with Marco is wrapped up nicely and he meets a suitably messy end at the hand of the Ring Gates. Not only that, he dies at the expense of his own foolishness and blinded ideology and that’s definitely satisfying to watch in the grand scheme of things.

The Roci crew all get a suitably fitting end too but I guess there’s only so much one can do with six episodes of material and three big books to adapt. Either way, the fact these Ring Gates and the multiple worlds were never really explored (beyond season 4’s detour of course) is a bit of a missed opportunity.

Despite that though, the ending does at least give closure to our main characters and it’s certainly poetic that the Belters finish in a position of high power after starting at the very bottom all those years ago.

There are definite high points but equally low moments that could have been improved too. In fact, I’ve been stewing over this review pretty much all day (hence the late publishing time!)

Overall, this finale simply whets the appetite to read the books. As a season finale, this is pretty good. As the last ever episode of The Expanse? I’m not so sure.


But what about you guys? What did you think of the finale? Did it live up to expectations? Agree with our comments? Or vehemently disagree with what I’ve written here? Let us know in the comments!

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You can read our full season review for The Expanse Season 6 here!

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5 thoughts on “The Expanse – Season 6 Episode 6: Recap, Review & Ending Explained”

  1. Nice review but I guess you missed the bit where Liang Walker’s ship the Inazami hit and damaged the Pella – not Drummer, causing the mortal injury to Rosenfeld. They both had the same Kamikaze idea but Walker got there first. Drummer then realises that with no missiles all her group can do is withdraw. Personally I would have loved Klaes Ashford’s (now Drummer’s) ship the Tynan to strike the Pella as some revenge for his execution but you can’t have everything.

    The Laconia storyline is included as they sow the seeds for series 7, 8 & 9 if they ever happen. Its not going to be much of a spoiler alert that Laconia is integral to the later books. They obviously hope another platform will pick up the series (as do I).

    Yeah the assault team carried many classic scifi names but it was Hudson, Hicks, Ripley & Vasquez that made me notice it. Others included Bowman (2001), Akbar (StarWars), Quaid (Total Recall), Deckard (Blade Runner), Starr (Space Ranger), Connor (Terminator), Riker (Star Trek), Rico (Starship Troopers) and Thrace (Battlestar).

  2. Nice recap and review. I tend to agree about the Laconia story line not being necessary if there is no plan for a sequel: if there is a long range plan for a follow up series or movie covering the final books, then maybe it’s ok.

    I disagree about the Filip survival. He has to have survived for the sake of the overall narrative and main plot theme. That theme being that by instinct (or even some kind of supernatural influence) Holden ALWAYS makes the right decision even if it is not obvious to anyone, even Holden himself. There is no other reason for the story to have Holden save Filip by disarming the missile. That one split second decision that would have ended the war has to be justified. In this case to fit the god like prescience that Holden seems to have.

  3. Very good recap! Before I read yours, I read a few other recaps that were more glowing, but I think yours basically expresses what I was feeling. The series has been a great ride, with some parts better than others, but as you wrote, I think the conclusion was a bit rushed and there are a lot of unanswered questions, especially with regards to the far side of the gate and Laconia and the protomolecule in particular.

  4. I think everyone did a fabulous job ending it. Much, much better than the infamous Games of Thrones fiasco…and in 6 versus 8 episodes. Sure you may wanna go read the books to everything spelled out in detail, and what happens next….but this summed it up well.

  5. Awesome show, great finally. But did anyone else notice that the names of the Bravo assault team attacking the rail guns were the same as the marines on Aliens, too include Ripley. Pretty cool sneaking that in.

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