The second season of Syfy’s flagship space opera reaches an explosive end with a trio of nail biting conclusions and tantalising cliffhangers.
After a cluttered and awkwardly paced debut season The Expanse became essential viewing for its second outing on Syfy.
With greater focus on character development, more clearly defined plots and an incredible attention to detail the show has matured very quickly into one of the best sci-fi series on television right now.
Through their individual characteristics and relationships we’ve grown to care about the Holden, Naomi, Amos and Alex – collectively the crew of the Rocinante, a commandeered Martian warship.
Their primary struggle throughout a politically charged second season has been the fight against control of an alien biological entity. A protomolecule. Against a backdrop of a solar system on the brink of war the crew endeavour to keep control of the protomolecule away from the grasps of Earth’s U.N, Mars’ Military and the downcast extremists of ‘the belt’.
Whilst this second season of The Expanse has been entertaining, the structure of key story arcs has at times been questionable.
The first five episodes proved compelling. Focussing primarily around Thomas Jane’s character, Miller, and serving more as an extension and conclusion to the first season. The hapless former officer of the law sacrificing his life aboard the biologically infected Eros space station as it plunged – under the control of an alien infused activist, Julie Mao – into the surface of Venus.
Thereafter the high-drama and tightly wound tension built at the top of the season dropped off significantly with attentions shifting towards the role Martian commander, Bobbie Draper, would play in tandem with the crew of the Rocinante in their plight to rid the solar system of the Protomolecule.
The remainder of the season became a slow-build towards the final episode with elements from each episode gradually combining for a tense and action packed conclusion.
S02 E13 – Caliban’s War | Spoilers Ahead
The season reaches a feverish climax with a trio of plots playing out.
Action collides with politics as U.N. Under Secretary, Chrisjen Avasarala, alongside the defected Martian commander, Bobbie Draper, are held in an armed stand-off with Jules-Pierre Mao, – the key antagonist responsible for the weaponization of the protomolecule.
Meanwhile a U.N. scientific research vessel investigates the surface of Venus where Miller and the space station Eros crash landed. Shadowed by a Mars warship the crew risk their lives attempting to unlock the secrets held at the crash site.
As you would expect, the main focus, action and drama takes place upon the Rocinante as the crew discover an unwanted stowaway aboard the ship, granting us our first up-close and personal look at the previously elusive hybrid soldier.
Holden’s consuming aim to rid the solar system of the protomolecule backfires as the unwanted guest places him and the crew in danger. With each plan to rid the ship of their unwanted passenger placing the captain’s life in mortal jeopardy, it falls to botanist, ‘Prax’ Meng, to offer a viable solution.
The Expanse has already been deservedly renewed for a third season, so it’s no surprise that this final instalment leaves a number of cliffhangers.
Intriguingly, things turn a little ‘Kubrick’ as the U.N. researchers reach the surface of Venus. Closer to reality Avasarala and Draper overcome their power struggle to seal the fate of Maeo, – and with Mars and Earth now in possession of the protomolecule, Naomi’s ultimate betrayal is revealed as she confesses to Holden that their sample of the alien entity, presumed destroyed, is actually now in the hands of extremist ‘belter’, Fred Johnson.
The solar system seems ever closer to war, the crew of the Rocinante could be broken apart by Naomi’s revelation and who knows what strangeness lies in wait on the surface of Venus?
I can’t wait to find out in The Expanse season three.