‘The Expanse’ Season 5 Recap: Everything to Know Before Season 6

Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for The Expanse through the Season 5 finale “Nemesis Games”.With Season 6 of Amazon Prime‘s The Expanse out in a few weeks, we thought a little refresher of what happened in Season 5 was needed. Season 5 kicks off with the Rocinante ship under repair on Tycho Station which gives the crew the opportunity to take off for destinations across the universe.

Captain James Holden (Steven Strait) stays with his beloved Rocinante on Tycho Station, Amos (Wes Chatham) heads to Earth on some personal business, Alex (Cas Anvar) is taking the ship, The Razorback, to Mars, and Noami (Dominique Tipper) charters the ship The Chetzemoka to Pallas Station to see her son, Filip (Jasai Chase Owens), who she hasn’t seen since he was a baby. Meanwhile, Camina Drummer (Cara Gee) is traveling with her polyamorous family in the Belt, as she struggles with the death of her friend, Ashford (David Strathairn). Here’s a look at everything that happens since then, so buckle up, and fly through this Season 5 recap!

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Tycho Station

Holden is encountered by a reporter, Monica Stuart (Anna Hopkins), who tells him that she has proof that there are still samples of the Protomolecule in existence. Holden denies it to her, but the thought compels him to confront Fred Johnson (Chad L. Coleman) who also denies it. Monica is then kidnapped on Tycho, but after an exhaustive search, Holden and Fred’s Chief Ops Officer, Bull (José Zúñiga), find and rescue her. And the drama doesn’t stop there.


When news of the Earth asteroid attack hits, Tycho comes under fire by the ship, Zmeya. Fred is shot and admits to Holden as he is dying that he has the protomolecule in his quarters and that Holden is to protect it at all costs. The Zmeya deploys a robotic creature to capture and escape with the protomolecule. Holden enlists Bull to get ready to follow Zmeya and destroy the protomolecule on the newly repaired Rocinante. When the crew catches up to Zmeya, they are intent on destroying it, but it suddenly implodes itself. There is no evidence of the protomolecule, but Holden insists they take off to find Alex and Bobbie on the Razorback who are en route to find Naomi. The Rocinante is met with three ships that seem ready to attack until Drummer intervenes and lets the Rocinante escape. Thanks, Drummer!

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The Belters

Upon arriving at Pallas Station, Naomi meets up with her old Belter friends, Cyn (Brent Sexton) and Karal (Olunik Adeliyi) where she tells them she is there to see her son, Filip. Her reunion with Filip does not go well and she decides to go back to the ship where she is quickly knocked unconscious and brought back to the flagship, Pella. Naomi is present when Filip’s father and Naomi’s ex, Marco Inaros (Keon Alexander), attacks Earth. Marco broadcasts a speech into the universe that he is now the leader of the Free Navy and takes responsibility for the attacks. Realizing her relationship with Filip may be a lost cause, she makes a daring escape through the airlock, diving through space to land inside the Chetzemoka ship.

On the ship, she has no outward communication and realizes Marco has rigged the ship with a bomb that will explode if any other ship comes near it. She also discovers that they have used her voice to fake a distress call to Holden knowing he and the Rocinante crew would immediately come to find her. Naomi receives a message from Alex and is horrified to hear that he is on his way to get her. She is able to figure out a way to manipulate the distress signal just enough for Marco to pick it up and realize she is still alive. Naomi sees The Razorback approaching with Alex and Bobbie. With no options left, she free jumps out into space doing a series of hand gestures that Alex is able to recognize as Belter sign language and receives her message in time.

Drummer receives an invitation from Marco to meet to discuss her future with the movement. Marco offers Drummer and her family a chance to work with him. Drummer realizes it is not an option to say no as Marco sends Karal with Drummer to her ship and keeps Drummer’s crew member, Serge (Wilex Ly), with him for insurance. Drummer receives orders from Marco to seek and destroy the Rocinante as they are on their way to save Naomi who is apparently still alive. Drummer approaches the Rocinante and message Holden that it is her which enables them to escape. For Drummer’s punishment, Marco pushes Serge out of the airlock. Drummer’s family chooses sides and breaks up.

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Life on Mars

Alex (Cas Anvar) arrives with The Razorback on Mars and finds that Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams) is busy investigating stealth technology being sold on the black market. She sends a message to Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) that she’s afraid Marco has gotten his hands on it. She is investigating Admiral Sauveterre (Tim DeKay) for corruption, but Alex refuses to believe a Mars patriot such as the Admiral would ever be involved. Bobbie and Alex uncover information that they should follow the Martian ship, The Barkeith, to track the smuggling operation. What they are able to surmise is Mars has begun selling warships to Marco and the Free Navy.

The Razorback is spotted by The Barkeith, and in order to escape undetected, Bobbie and Alex are forced to activate the Epstein Drive on The Razorback to escape which puts a lot of physical strain on their bodies. Later, upon receiving Naomi’s distress call and alerting Holden, they realize that they are Naomi’s best chance at survival. As they approach, Bobbie sees her floating outside the ship realizing she’s sending them signals if they get too close, the ship will explode. Bobbie floats out and rescues her. Back on The Razorback, Alex succumbs to a fatal stroke as a result of the Epstein Drive jump.

Once in a Blue Moon

After her loss in the election for U.N. Secretary General, Nancy Gao (Lily Gao) appoints Avasarala to Luna (the moon) to oversee emigration to the Earth’s new colonies, a position Avasarala is well aware is an insult considering her pedigree. With a heads up from Bobbie that the asteroids cannot be detected because Marco stealth-coated them, Avasarala desperately tries to get ahold of Gao who has been evacuated from Earth after the first asteroid strikes. Gao finally understands it is an attack by Marco and authorizes Earth’s satellites to be linked up to the asteroid detectors.

Gao’s plane is destroyed minutes later by the next asteroid. Following Gao’s death, David Paster (Sugith Varughese), the Secretary of Transportation, is appointed as the acting Secretary-General. Paster plans to attack Ceres, the biggest Belter port which would result in the death of thousands of children and ignite the war between the Outer Planets and the Inners that Marco is hoping for. Avasarala resigns in protest and walks out of the Cabinet meeting and is soon followed by other members of the Cabinet. After leaving, she discovers that her husband has perished on Earth, and is informed that Paster has been removed with a no-confidence vote by the Cabinet and they’d like to reinstate her as Secretary-General.

Image Via Amazon Prime Video

Hell on Earth

Amos has traveled to Earth and headed towards his hometown of Baltimore. He meets up with a man named Charles (Frankie Faison) who informs him that his wife, Lydia, has died, and is now being forced out of his home by Erich (Jacob Mundell). Amos decides to pay a visit to his old friend, Erich. Turns out, Amos isn’t Amos’ real name, but the name of a man he had killed 20 years prior in order to save Erich’s life. Erich, in turn, gave him the fake identity of Amos Burton as long as he promised to never return to Earth. Erich and Timothy (Amos) were childhood friends both under the care of Lydia after their birth mothers had died.

Amos convinces Erich to let Charles live in the house for the rest of his years. Erich agrees as long as Amos never returns to Baltimore. Amos heads south to the U.N. maximum security prison to see former nemesis of Holden, Clarissa Mao (Nadine Nicole), who is being held in the most maximum of security which is about 20 floors below the surface. While visiting Clarissa in “The Pit,” the asteroid hits Earth. They are protected from the impact but are trapped, but soon discover a ladder in the walls and climb up 20 stories to escape. Amos and Clarissa fight their way from the Mid-Atlantic all the way up to Winnipesaukee Island in New Hampshire where Clarissa spent time when she was little. She knows there is an orbital shuttle there they can use to get to Luna, which they do with a bunch of Earth refugees on board.

All Together Now

On Luna, the crew of the Rocinante reunite and together they mourn the loss of Alex. Amos breaks it (quite comedically) to Holden that his former nemesis, Clarissa, will be joining them on the Rocinante. Avasarala and Bobbie (who it seems now works for Avasarala) tells everyone that they have a common enemy in Marco and the Free Navy and they all must work together to bring them down.

Meanwhile, out at the Ring, Avasarala gets word that the Earth Ships protecting the Ring have been attacked by stealth meteors, the same technology used in the Earth attack. The Council receives a transmission from a Martian vessel, but Bobbie recognizes it and tells Avasarala that it’s The Barkeith, the ship Mars sold to Inaros. Marco and his crew celebrate as Avasarala and the Cabinet are horrified to learn that an entire fleet of Martian ships has assisted Marco in taking the Sol Ring in exchange for the Protomolecule. Admiral Sauveterre communicates with Marco that they are inside the Ring and the Protomolecule has arrived safely. As the Admiral’s ship travels back out through the ring, the ship appears to disintegrate.

And that is everything you need to know about season 5 before launching into the show’s sixth season!

The Expanse will premiere its 6th and final season on Amazon Prime on December 10th.


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