‘The Expanse’ EP on the Finale’s Key Moments & What Might Happen in Season 6

Q&A

[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Expanse Season 5, Episode 10, “Nemesis Games.”]

After Naomi (Dominique Tipper) jumped out an airlock without a space suit, it seemed like things couldn’t get any crazier on The Expanse.

And then a ship dissolved.

TV Insider chatted with executive producer Naren Shankar about key moments from the finale, including the Barkeith’s disappearance, Filip’s (Jasai Chase Owens) opinion on his dad’s plans for Belter domination, and whether Peaches, aka Clarissa (Nadine Nicole) is really safe aboard the Roci.

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What was your favorite aspect of Nemesis Games to adapt for TV?

Naren Shankar: Sequence-wise, Naomi on the Chetzemoka is probably my favorite. What I love about it is that it’s brutal, and she’s there for three episodes, and it just gets worse and worse, and tougher and tougher. And she’s smart — and that doesn’t help!

I told Dominique at the beginning of this last season, “We’re going to put you through the ringer this year.” And she goes, “I know!” And I said, “No, we’re putting you through the ringer this year.” It was a physically demanding, emotionally difficult thing to do, and she delivered. I think it’s beautiful and incredibly affecting.

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Is Filip starting to question his dad’s way of doing things? We get that moment where he looks like he’s not all in…

I’m so glad to hear that, because I’m a big believer in faces, sometimes more so than words. This poor kid is in an emotionally abusive relationship with his father, then, this person comes in and brings him into her light, and she tells him things and shows him things. There’s a tremendous amount of confusion. This is a soul who is in turmoil. The threads of that are a huge part of Season 6.

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I couldn’t help but notice Bull [José Zúñiga] was drinking out of Alex’s [Cas Anvar] cup on the Roci. Is that a hint he’s sticking around next season?

No spoilers! But it’s also not like he’s deciding on new curtains and checking out the office. It’s just, “I’m sitting in that guy’s seat, and that guy’s not here.” It’s a simple recognition of loss.

My favorite scene in this episode was the conversation between Holden [Steven Strait] and Amos [Wes Chatham] about their past, and then Amos brings in Peaches…

[Laughs] It’s a very Amos way of dealing with the problem.

To what extent is the Roci a safe space for Peaches?

It is an independent ship, so it’s not flagged. Because they are who they are, with Holden’s relationship with Avasarala, they have a lot of autonomy. It’s like an embassy; it’s considered foreign soil. You have a certain independence of actions and freedom on the ship.

Amos is a bit like an onion — every season, we peel back a few more of the layers. This season, we learned that he is “Timmy” to Eric [Jacob Mundell]. In Season 6, will we learn more about what that meant?

There’s a whole novella about how Amos grew up, The Churn. That would be a great movie, if we could do one between seasons.

But I’m a big believer in grounding series in as much forward momentum as possible, because flashbacks can become crutches. Learning more about Amos and peeling the onion, as you put it, is the job of how relationships evolve. As the onion is peeled, the onion inside is a bit softer. [Laughs] But it still makes you cry!

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For those who haven’t read the books, it sure looks like that ship just dissolved at the end. You’re in production now. What can you say about Season 6 and the mystery of the Laconia Gate?

That is the Protomolecule rearing its ugly, scary head once again. It’s the thing that Holden and the gang found on Ilus when they went through the ring, that strange artifact that seemed to be responsible for destroying the Protomolecule builders, the thing that Holden talks about with Fred Johnson. He’s worried these things are rearing their heads, and they’re rearing their heads. There’s something in there that’s quite frightening, and we’re showing the audience that it is affecting things in this world. It’s not just a theoretical concept anymore, and that certainly has ramifications for what happens next.

The Expanse, now streaming, Amazon Prime Video