The Expanse season 5 begins streaming on Amazon Prime this week

The Expanse season 5 is based on Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck’s novel Nemesis Games

The Expanse season 5
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The Rocinante crew is back on Amazon Prime Video for season 5 of the hit sci-fi series The Expanse.

The first three episodes of the fifth season are available to stream in more than 240 countries and territories starting today, with one new episode arriving on the platform each succeeding week. The season finale is set to drop on the streamer on February 3rd, 2021.

Season 4 of The Expanse was largely based on Cibula Burn, the fourth installment in The Expanse novel series by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. Since events in that book took place in a limited number of locations and involved a smaller cast, season 4 of the TV adaptation felt a little diluted, plot-wise, even after scenes and subplots from succeeding books were added in.

Luckily for viewers, the new season doesn’t have the same issue. According to The A.V. Club’s pre-air review of the first nine episodes The Expanse season 5, every storyline in the new batch of episodes feels like an equally important piece of the whole ― thanks to some setup in season 4 and the massive scope of the fifth novel, Nemesis Games, on which the new season is based.

Viewers have more exciting storylines to follow in the new season, as it separates its core ensemble for the bulk of its episodes. As revealed in the official synopsis for season 5, which you can read below, the main characters are scattered across the Solar System, facing different problems on their own.

The Expanse season 5 synopsis

“Season 5 of the series picks up as multitudes of humans leave the solar system in search of new homes and vast fortunes on the earth-like worlds beyond the alien Ring, and a heavy price for centuries of exploitation of the Belt finally comes due and a reckoning is at hand. For the crew of the Rocinante and the leaders of the Inner Planets and the Belt, the past and present converge, bringing forth personal challenges that have wide-reaching repercussions throughout the Solar System.

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“Amos (Wes Chatham) returns to Earth to confront his past and the legacy of the life he fought to leave behind. Naomi (Dominique Tipper) reaches out to her estranged son in a desperate bid to save him from his father’s toxic influence. Bobbie (Frankie Adams) and Alex (Cas Anvar) confront the collapse of Mars as they chase a shadowy cabal with ties to terrorists and criminals. Holden (Steven Strait) wrestles with the consequences of his own past with the Protomolecule, the aliens who built it, and the mystery of what killed them. Drummer (Cara Gee), with a new crew, fights to escape who and what she used to be. And Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), refusing to be relegated to the sidelines, fights to prevent a terrorist attack unrivaled in history.”

Wes Chatam as Amos in The Expanse season 5
Wes Chatam as Amos in The Expanse season 5

The future of The Expanse

The Expanse has already been renewed for season 6, which, according to Amazon Studios, will be the show’s last. But in an interview earlier this month, Abraham and Franck refused to call it a cancellation, saying that it’s more of a pause.

“We have what we think is a very natural pause point for the story after season 6,” Franck told Polygon during a press event for the new season. “It’ll feel like a satisfying end to the story we’ve been building over the first five seasons. I think one of the things that is sort of an outmoded idea is the idea of being canceled.”

He continued: “Alcon [Television Group] — our studio — is very committed to the IP. They have lots of plans. We’ll see what happens after that. But we will have a satisfying story to the TV arc in the sixth season.”

Sources: Space.com, The A.V. Club, Polygon