The Expanse: Exodus, Churn, Mother
December 17, 2020 8:12 PM - Season 5, Episode 1 - Subscribe

The first three episodes of Season 5 starts on Amazon Prime: In different parts of the Solar System, the crew of the Rocinante and their allies confront the sins of their past, while Marco Inaros unleashes an attack that will alter the future of Earth, Mars, the Belt, and the worlds beyond the Ring.

Episode 1: Churn
Holden tries to convince Fred Johnson to destroy the last sample of protomolecule. Naomi gets an important lead to her son. On Luna, Avasarala begins to hunt for Marco Inaros.

Episode 2: Churn
Holden tries to convince Fred Johnson to destroy the last sample of protomolecule. Naomi gets an important lead to her son. On Luna, Avasarala begins to hunt for Marco Inaros.

Episode 3: Mother
Naomi comes face to face with Filip. Holden and Fred turn the tables. Avasarala closes in on Marco
posted by ShooBoo (42 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I was kind of hoping that Holden wouldn't do anything important while everyone else was dealing with their pasts. Like he'd go eat noodles and then back to the Roci to do nothing. Maybe read Don Quixote. Let his hair grow out a bit more (it looked like all of the guys' hair grew out from season 4), and that would be it until he got drawn back into the story.

Also, if Erich is so worried about the cops realizing Amos' ID is fake then shouldn't Avasarala know all about that too? She would have looked into all of the crew's backgrounds.

Any idea if they're going to write Alex out of the show or just recast him?

Finally, everything I read said the release date would be December 16 but the episodes showed up on the 15th for me. Did it release a day early or did something glitch?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 8:39 PM on December 17, 2020 [1 favorite]


My experience with Amazon shows is they show up on their premiere date at midnight Eastern time in the US, so if you're on the west coast, they can be watched at 9pm the day before.
posted by ShooBoo at 8:45 PM on December 17, 2020 [1 favorite]


And given that I just finished watching all five seasons of the "Wire", I found out that some things haven't changed in Baltimore in 2350.
posted by ShooBoo at 8:49 PM on December 17, 2020 [5 favorites]


Is this a Show Only thread?

(Also, I was intrigued by what I thought was a single episode called “Exodus, Churn, Mother”...)
posted by Ian A.T. at 3:09 AM on December 18, 2020


I was disappointed by Baltimore. It didn't particularly look like Baltimore, nor did it look like a city 350 years in the future. The lone drone didn't cut it. Also disappointed that they're not even trying for an accent -- there's just no sense of place at all. It's ironic, I feel like each of the space stations has its own vibe and sense of place and even accent, so why is Earth so flat? Even the costuming was bland as hell.

Oh, and I was also disappointed by the little flashback to Lydia, because her dialogue was so weird and stagey. I guess that's Amos's version of the memory, and she asked him to remember her as better than she was, so this was his version of "better than she was"? But at least Erich was interesting. Drummer seems SO much scrappier and tougher than him, but I would still like to see the two of them together. They seem like they would "get" each other, as much as an Earther and a Belter can. Similar way of thinking.

Naomi's storyline is interesting, but to be honest I found the kidnapping and all that kind of confusing -- that said, I found it confusing in the book, too, so that's not really the fault of the show. The show's strength is still the Belt, by far!

Surprised to see Cas Anvar, but I guess he'll get written out? I don't think they really need to do a recast or anything, Bobbie can be the resident Martian just fine.
posted by rue72 at 7:23 AM on December 18, 2020 [2 favorites]


Surprised to see Cas Anvar, but I guess he'll get written out? I don't think they really need to do a recast or anything, Bobbie can be the resident Martian just fine.

Apparently filming for this series was completed before the allegations against Anvar surfaced, which meant removing him for S5 wasn't really feasible even before Covid added exponential complications.

Part of me does wish there could have been another option, though, as the accusations* meant I couldn't really enjoy any scenes he was in. Everything felt a little tainted with creeper vibes, and the bits with Lara Jean Chorostecki were actively uncomfortable.

I'm on board with rue72's suggestion -- Frankie Adams is great and anything that results in more Bobbie screen-time is always welcome. I think with some minimal tweaking she could fill that gap in the core ensemble pretty easily. Alex has a change of heart and leaves the crew to be a presence in his kid's life, and Bobbie joins the Rocinante for the final series. As they're not filming events from the later books I'm pretty sure it wouldn't mess up the book chronology too much.

*I have not been following this story so I don't know if it's moved beyond the accusation stage, but the fact Anvar won't be returning for the final series seems to indicate there's at least something to it.
posted by myotahapea at 9:31 AM on December 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


Amos flirting with Avasarala will always be one of the best moments of any episode. Closely followed by Avasarala’s swearing.

Agree with any portmanteau ... above re: sidelining Holden for a bit; it feels a bit like most of his protomolecule arguments in these episodes were there just to give the actor some screen time. I guess with Steven Strait being a producer it's not really going to happen, but it would be nice to have him take a few steps back for a while and let the rest of the ensemble's more interesting storylines breathe.

Loved the scene with Avasarala and Admiral Delgado sifting through the evidence, breaking down Inaros’ motivations and putting the pieces together just too late. I got the sense we were meant to believe they’d pulled an all-nighter in that bar, but Avasarala had a new outfit in the later scene, so … ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Wes Chatham is SO GOOD as Amos. Every scene, every line delivery feels perfect for the character.
"I hate waiting."
"Tea sounds great."
"I'm not here to take anything that belongs to you." Except maybe this really good bottle of booze.
His casting, for me, is on par with Alec Guinness as George Smiley in the TTSS miniseries.

One of my pet peeve tv/film tropes is people abandoning food for dramatic effect, so seeing Monica eat Holden’s bowl of noodles — with perfect accompanying facial expression — after he shut down their conversation and left was a LOL moment. (I didn’t notice until a rewatch that the two guys who kidnapped her were the ones listening to their conversation in the restaurant.)

The Naomi/Filip storyline didn’t really grab me in the books, and I found those scenes similarly underwhelming here, perhaps because this type of family drama is pretty boilerplate and I find interpersonal aspects of The Expanse more interesting when they explore the unique circumstances of the series. Hoping this part of things improves with the Inaros faction grabbing Naomi.

Bobbie shutting down Alex in their first meeting was such a good moment as well. It can get really difficult to be on the receiving end of that sort of relentless, unfounded optimism, and her neatly dismantling all his empty positivity felt cathartic and perfectly true to character.

I didn’t think it was possible to like Drummer any more than I already did, but here we are. She's always been a badass, slightly inscrutable dose of competency porn but seeing her here, suffering such profound grief over Ashford yet ultimately recognising that singleminded vengeance is not the way forward was a powerful moment. The beginnings of a great leader?

“What did you do?”

“There was a button, I pushed it.”
“Jesus Christ, that’s really how you go through life, isn’t it?”
The other LOL moment for me. Fred Johnson, summing up Holden’s personality in a sentence. The friction between Bull and … everyone ... is an interesting addition, but I’m really happy Fred returned to Tycho.
(I almost want to see Chad Coleman and Frankie Faison in a scene together, but they never crossed paths in Baltimore and have even less reason to here, so seems unlikely.)

So happy this series is back. I definitely watched all three of these back-to-back, but am pleased the remainder will be coming out weekly, as it's nice to have it to look forward to, and to be able to sit with the episodic developments for a bit.
posted by myotahapea at 12:12 PM on December 18, 2020 [13 favorites]


When you tell a bunch of extras from Toronto to do a Belter accent, you don't have a jillion people from Ceres and Pallas blasting the net with how they did it wrong. But tell them to do one of the Baltimore accents...

Likewise, unless you give The Expanse a truly movie-level budget, every city on Earth is going to end up looking like Toronto lightly dressed up.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 12:14 PM on December 18, 2020 [7 favorites]


When you tell a bunch of extras from Toronto to do a Belter accent, you don't have a jillion people from Ceres and Pallas blasting the net with how they did it wrong. But tell them to do one of the Baltimore accents...

They created a whole language and a bunch of different, distinct subcultures for the Belt! But they can't get a dialect coach for Bmore? Or film a few exteriors that look anything like the city, maybe even CGI in a landmark or two? Or think about costuming really at all? This is the one place in the whole show that has WEATHER -- that doesn't come up when designing costumes? Dumbass Hat Cop thought about it in S1 and he wasn't even ever going to be able to feel rain.

Earth just feels like such an afterthought on this show, which I find disappointing because I think Earth 2350 could be a really fascinating environment. Ah well.
posted by rue72 at 12:39 PM on December 18, 2020


I could believe that an extra 350 years of easy travel and cultural homogeneity has smoothed out accents on Earth and Luna to the point where everyone sounds the same. There was that one scientist who went to Venus who had an accent, so maybe the UK or Australia or wherever he's supposed to be from talk differently, but everyone else on Earth seems to talk the same.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:43 PM on December 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


Also disappointed that they're not even trying for an accent

Wait, you think people in Baltimore speak with the same accent 300+ years in the future ?
posted by Pendragon at 2:37 PM on December 18, 2020 [3 favorites]


No, but I would assume that they’d have some kind of way of talking that isn’t just a completely bland version of how we currently speak. Same with the clothing, same with the city design.
posted by rue72 at 2:56 PM on December 18, 2020


We really needed the Domino Sugar sign poking up out of the water in an establishing shot.

That said, that was more or less everything I wanted, except for what we now know about Anvar retroactively coloring all of his scenes with a fairly high level of 'ick.'
posted by Alterscape at 3:17 PM on December 18, 2020 [2 favorites]


Also disappointed that they're not even trying for an accent

Alas, the Baltimore accent will be unlikely to survive this century. TV and the internet has homogenized the Bawlmer out of the last couple generations, and the extinction of the city’s blue collar base is doing the rest. I haven’t heard an accent on a par with my grandmother’s in years, and I have to drive out to Essex or Middle River even for that.

I noted, too, that future Baltimore doesn’t look a lot like Baltimore, but as I was driving into the city via Key Highway to the American Visionary Art Museum this morning to teach mosaic classes via Zoom, I had to note once again how much the city had enthusiastically embraced developer-driven urbland architecture even in the fourteen years since I was the engineer on the museum’s mosaic walls. A whole realm of nothing architecture is blasting skyward everywhere in the city. It’s not all bad, but it’s also not particularly distinctive or Baltimore-y, either.
posted by sonascope at 6:58 PM on December 18, 2020 [10 favorites]


Amos flirting with Avasarala will always be one of the best moments of any episode. Closely followed by Avasarala’s swearing.

myotahapea, I agree with this and everything else you said in this comment!

I think that Cara Gee is doing a fantastic job as Drummer.

Did they give all of Bull's good qualities to Drummer? He seems like more of a dick than I remember him in the books.

Fred Johnson, Holden and Bull (all Earthers) are walking down a hallway and Holden refers to Belters with the slur Skinnies. That didn't ring true for me.

None of that matters. I spent the first episode trying to remember what they did with Clarissa Mao. At the end of the 2nd episode Amos calls Avasarala. It's happening.

Amos and Peaches walk the Earth.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 12:43 AM on December 19, 2020


Holden refers to Belters with the slur Skinnies.
Just watched this episode, it was Bull who used that word, not Holden.

(It jarred for me, and I expected Holden to say something)
posted by coriolisdave at 3:05 AM on December 19, 2020 [6 favorites]


I need Amos and Chrisjen shipfic, right now. I loved them when she was on the Rocinante, but they just dialled it up to 11.

Speaking of Amos, it was a little reunion for The Unit there when Admiral Delgado walked into the room--both actors were in that series. (I thought I couldn't stand Wes Chatham from that series. Everyone told me to watch The Expanse, that I'd get past it because he's so good. I didn't believe them. Tried the series finally. He's now one of my favorite characters.)

Drummer continues the be The Absolute Best. I am so afraid they'll kill her off. But I really loved her "This isn't my fight." That's a pragmatic person who, despite her anger, knows what she should do. I know there's no reason for them to ever meet, but an encounter between Camina Drummer and Chrisjen Avasarala would be absolutely incendiary.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 9:47 AM on December 19, 2020 [1 favorite]


an encounter between Camina Drummer and Chrisjen Avasarala would be absolutely incendiary.

...and Amos!

Oh my god.
posted by Mogur at 10:27 AM on December 19, 2020 [2 favorites]


This was really good.

Bull’s gonna get knifed by a belter at this rate, right? We’re obviously in uncharted territory with his character, but I’m wondering if he’s being set up to be a redshirt, or if he’s going to get a redemption arc. Feels very much like it could go either way at this point.

The show’s expansion of Drummer’s character (and consolidation of many other characters into her’s) remains the greatest improvement that the show has offered over the books. While I’d love to see the showrunners convince us that there are more than a dozen people in the Solar System, Cara Gee is too damn good to sideline.

Consolidating Michio Pa’s character into Drummer seems both like a missed opportunity, and something that will seem obvious in hindsight. Also..... of course, Belter crews are all queer AF, and fucking each other. Queer representation was a glaring shortcoming of the novels, so I’m really glad to see it finally happen in the show.

I’ve seen others mention that the show has done nothing so far to set up the Laconia plot, which is..... interesting (especially given that we’re going to be getting fewer seasons of the show than novels). Are we going to skip that entirely?
posted by schmod at 6:42 PM on December 19, 2020 [2 favorites]


I’d say Alex and Bobbie’s adventures on Mars (and really Marco and Filip’s arc, in a way) are entirely setup for the Laconia plot. To avoid being too direct about spoilers, I’ll just say double-check the names of characters we’ve met on Mars, and ships they’ve mentioned.
posted by Alterscape at 6:54 PM on December 19, 2020 [2 favorites]


There's some exploration about the intentionality around what they did show about Baltimore over on this thread: https://twitter.com/KetanJ0/status/1340634386891481088 A whole lot of Baltimore sits at less than 50 MASL; its going to be pretty fucked with the amount of climate change illustrated in the show.

Franck and Abraham have been pretty vocal about not saying that season 6 would be the last iteration of the show (Maybe some film, a la Firefly? I wouldn't necessarily find that ). The first go around, they were pretty straightforward about the cancellation, and what the studio was doing to keep going with it. I wouldn't say all hope is lost.

They've also said on their twitter feed several times that they don't want to do any prequels or anything like that; they have no intention of writing them, but they've also reiterated several times that they don't necessarily own the IP on film rights. I'd pay good money for an anthology set in The Expanse. World-building is the strongest part of the show, and I'd love a series of shorter one-offs or episodes just exploring the universe. They've done this in parts: battle for Anderson station, Epstein drive mini-arc. I'd love love love more of that.

I like this show more than just about anything that's graced a screen in the past few years. I really hope it keeps going.

I know it was the point, but OH MAN that bar that Alex chooses is just so fucking bad.
posted by furnace.heart at 6:42 PM on December 20, 2020 [4 favorites]


I feel like they're setting up Bull to be the mole (at least that feels like the obvious trope approach which makes me hope that they're aware of that and not really what they're going to do, but I'm still guessing that's what they're going to do).
posted by kokaku at 6:24 AM on December 21, 2020 [4 favorites]


Franck and Abraham have been pretty vocal about not saying that season 6 would be the last iteration of the show (Maybe some film, a la Firefly? I wouldn't necessarily find that )

I don't now whether this applies to you, but for people who haven't read the novels and without any substantive spoilers:

This season is the book Babylon's Ashes and the final season 6 is presumably Nemesis Games, in both cases probably with bits from the "side quest" novellas. This really does hit a natural end-point for the series. The remaining books, starting with Persepolis Rising, begin 30 years after the end of Nemesis Games. This poses obvious problems, and again without specific spoilers it has seemed to me that filming books 7 and 8 anyway would be more expensive than the show so far just by nature of the content.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:52 AM on December 21, 2020 [2 favorites]


What is it about Stephen Strait that with a shirt off he's a cut Adonis, but the instant he puts a shirt on he looks like a consumption victim who should be getting sand kicked into his face somewhere?
posted by whir at 2:16 PM on December 22, 2020 [11 favorites]


Anyone else disappointed we didn't get to hear the punchline of Admiral Delgado's joke? What drink did the Earther order and how did the choice reflect his character?
posted by Paul Slade at 2:25 PM on December 22, 2020 [12 favorites]


I have the glasses the man at the end of ep 3 is wearing! Sadly they don't have the fish identification feature though. Between the Toronto locations and props that I've bought on Amazon the show sometimes feels lower budget than it actually is.

So episode 4 has shown up now. It wasn't there in the early afternoon. My guess now is that the release is based on GMT.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 5:25 PM on December 22, 2020 [2 favorites]


any portmanteau: I have the exact same Bowflex Selectech weights Bobbie uses. An hour before watching the episode I did a few sets of the exact same weight she's flat pressing when Alex visits.

Paul Slade:
Best answer on Reddit: "the Earther grabs the Martian's drink, points at the Belter and says, 'He's paying.'"

Honorable mention: "the Earther looks at the other two and says, 'I'm not ordering recycled piss, guys.'"

Actual answer: the scientist inadvertently completes Delgado's joke, which is why Delgado laughs when he asks for bourbon. It's an extremely on-brand joke for an Earth general, simultaneously communicating their position is such they don't feel the need to study their opponents, while acknowledging their organization has its head so far up its own ass they wouldn't even if they did need to. If you grew up around a lot of US .mil types you encounter a lot of humor based on that overwhelming superiority/overwhelming incompetence duality.
posted by Ryvar at 6:53 PM on December 22, 2020 [13 favorites]


I am glad I haven't heard the accusations about Cas Anvar. I so enjoy this show. Seeing Strait on talk shows, I think they body double him when his shirt is off. Shirt on, he is just himself. He seemed thin on the talk piece I saw, he was with the Chatham, who is a much larger person than Strait.
posted by Oyéah at 7:38 PM on December 22, 2020


Pro climbers often have that very toned / low bulk thing. If anything Strait's on the bulkier side of it, so I wonder if he boulders.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 8:26 PM on December 22, 2020


Actual answer: the scientist inadvertently completes Delgado's joke.

That went completely over my head. Thanks, Ryvar.
posted by Paul Slade at 11:22 PM on December 22, 2020 [5 favorites]


maybe even CGI in a landmark or two?

Turns out they did! Yeah, that twitter thread furnace.heart posted is terrific. tl;dr - 21st century Baltimore isn't recognizable because it's underwater.
posted by mstokes650 at 10:49 AM on December 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


I'm not happy with how the crew is all off slowly game-of-thronesing in separate storylines. The only substantial interactions we've seen between main characters have been Alex with Bobbie (nooooope) and Holden with Johnson. I hope at least some of the Roci crew are back together before we reach the halfway point in the season.
posted by polytope subirb enby-of-piano-dice at 6:07 PM on December 23, 2020


I just realized that Bobby's hologram of bad guys reverses the genre colour-coding standard. The useful contacts are in a reassuring red, and the 'burned' useless ones are flipped over to the worst colour she can think of - blue.
posted by Mogur at 5:24 AM on December 24, 2020 [16 favorites]


I was disappointed by Baltimore. It didn't particularly look like Baltimore, nor did it look like a city 350 years in the future. The lone drone didn't cut it.

Firmly disagree. The wife and I grew up in Bmore and it was instantly recognizable and felt right.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:37 PM on December 26, 2020 [2 favorites]


It’s pretty incredible how, across all three societies, a decanter of whiskey is seemingly always within arm’s reach.
posted by schmod at 12:49 PM on December 28, 2020


It’s pretty incredible how, across all three societies, a decanter of whiskey is seemingly always within arm’s reach.

Deep down, we're really all the same. We're really all Scottish.
posted by Mogur at 3:33 PM on December 28, 2020 [3 favorites]


Ep1 Lang Belta Signage:

- KEKOKU: GASH SEDNESHANG. (“Warning: Sedation Gas”)

- NA KAMERA ERE DA PELÉSH XI (“Cameras prohibited in this area”)

- FO DU WANG WIT DA OWKWA BERA MOWSH DU DA BUTONG WANG TIM. IM KOM AFONG DA SEKA SEKA. (“To operate the water, one short press of the button is sufficient. It comes out of the dryer”.)

E2:

- VICHI (“victory”)
- DUSIWALA (“Softy”)

E3:

- SHIF KOMIWAL (“shift change”)
- FUKITING (“fuck” is a verb in LB, so adding -ting to make the English word a noun is code-shifting.
- GUT FO BITNESH (“Good for business”)
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 1:16 PM on January 5, 2021 [4 favorites]


As I slowly catch up:

What the heck is going on with the time lag on Ashford's message? He recorded it before the asteroid was launched, the asteroid took a non-linear route to Earth, and it still arrives at the same time as a light speed message?
posted by mark k at 11:12 PM on January 15, 2021


Ashford didn't send it - Drummer did after finding the hidden data backup on Ashford's ship.
posted by polytope subirb enby-of-piano-dice at 6:27 AM on January 16, 2021 [2 favorites]


Oh, thank you! I saw her recording the message but missed / did not register that she was including the attachment. (I was watching it late, in my defense.)
posted by mark k at 9:16 AM on January 16, 2021


Just catching up; boy that's a lot of story in 3 hours. Even after cutting ruthlessly. If you're as much an Amos fan as I am it's really worth reading The Churn, the novella about Amos' visit to Baltimore. A whole lot more goes on and it's that story that really turned Amos' character from odd but dumb muscle to something much more sympathetic. They kind of wove that back into the first seasons of the TV show, thanks in part to Chatham's fantastic acting, so it won't seem like a surprise. But it's a great story.

Shout out to Drummer's polyamory, not to mention the casual puppy-pileness of the Belter sleeping arrangements. Although I found it a little unrealistic; even submariners arrange little privacy curtains for their bunks. Still that scene of everyone waking up was great. I could smell it.

I was distracted because Drummer's girlfriend, the one who gets lots of lines, looked so much to me like Melba / Clarissa from seasons 2 and 3. But last we saw (briefly) in Season 4 she's in prison. Anyway turns out it's a different actress and character; she's Oksana played by Sandrine Holt.
posted by Nelson at 11:12 AM on January 18, 2021


A new life awaits you on the off-world colonies.
posted by ckape at 5:43 PM on March 13


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