‘The Expanse’ Places Every Main Character in Danger — Again (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Expanse Season 5 episode 5, “Down and Out.”]
The Expanse has reached finale levels of intensity… and it’s only halfway through its fifth season.
For one thing, nearly every main character is either dead (RIP, Fred Johnson) or in immediate danger. The Roci isn’t safe anymore, which places Holden (Steven Strait) in peril. Naomi’s (Dominique Tipper) trapped on Marco’s (Keon Alexander) ship, which means things aren’t looking good for her, either. Amos (Wes Chatham) and Clarissa (Nadine Nicole) are stuck in the rubble. And Bobbie (Frankie Adams) and Alex (Cas Anvar) might not be as invisible to those corrupt Martian ships as they think.
While “Down and Out” isn’t quite the nail-biter last week’s installment was, it does some narrative heavy-lifting to move its many characters to places where their stories will grow more exciting. Here’s how it plays out.
An Unpleasant RSVP
Again, Drummer (Cara Gee) can’t catch a break. For one thing, she receives word that yet another of her friends, Fred Johnson, has been killed. And as a Belter, her presence is requested by Marco Inaros, who wants to discuss “the future of the Belt.” Meaning, Marco wants her to join his Free Navy — and if she doesn’t, he’ll kill her and her whole team..
Amos Escapes, Holden Hatches a Plan
Amos and Clarissa find their way out of the penitentiary, with the help of an inmate strong enough to rip the panels off the wall to reveal a maintenance ladder. Once they, and a couple guards, reach the top, he kills one of the guards and goes after Amos (Amos had called him “Tiny” a couple times during the ordeal, and he didn’t take kindly to that). Thankfully, Amos gets the upper hand and throws him down the shaft they climbed up. The other guard goes to find her daughter, and Clarissa and Amos head out in hopes of escaping the new, post-apocalyptic world.
Holden interrogates the Belter traitor who killed Fred Johnson (Chad L. Coleman), who reveals Marco had moles on plenty of stations; moles who believe his way is the right way, since the Inners treat Belters like “favorite pets.” She doesn’t help them much in finding the protomolecule, but they do have the flight plan for the ship, so, as Holden says, it’s “time to take the Roci out for a hunt.”
A Desperate Transmission
Naomi’s personal hell continues aboard Marco’s ship. She won’t eat, her son won’t speak to her, and it’s been made clear there’s “only one way” she’ll leave Marco’s ship (presumably, it won’t be with her heart still beating). In her despondence, she decides to end Marco’s tyranny… even if it costs her her life. She takes a knife from the ship’s kitchen and slips it up her sleeve, then walks to the ship’s bridge and approaches him. She quite nearly makes it to the egotistic leader, but Filip stops her: “We are busy!” he says, “And you have no business here.”
Filip, on the elevator back to Naomi’s quarters, reveals one last bombshell: by taking her, he says he “saved her life.” Naomi puts two and two together and realizes the Roci — and Holden — is in grave danger. She manages to get a distress signal out to them, saying the ship’s reactor code has been sabotaged and it will explode if the drive spins up. A horrified Holden can only watch as she continues, saying she’s being held captive by Marco. Thankfully, she’s just in time; she saves the Roci and the man she loves.
Flying Too Close to the Martians
Alex and Bobbie keep following their corrupt Martian ship, which leads them to the heart of the corruption. They run into a Belter ship, their Martian ship and two more Martian destroyers, and they realize the Martians are running deals with the Free Navy – “his belters, on our ships,” as Bobbie puts it. The MCRN is giving the Belt warships and weapons.
Unfortunately, they catch the baddies’ attention, so they can’t send ship profiles to Avasarala (Shoreh Agdashloo). The ship fires missiles at them, and no amount of “juice” will make the Razorback fast enough to outrun them. Things look dire, but Alex has one last idea — he dumps the ship’s core. This works in terms of exploding the missiles, but it sends them, in the Razorback, spinning aimlessly out into space.
The Expanse, Season 5, Wednesdays, Amazon Prime Video