The Expanse: Nemesis Games
February 2, 2021 4:12 PM - Season 5, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Holden and the Roci face off against Marco's forces and Drummer, while Alex and Bobbie attempt a dangerous rescue of Naomi, and the balance of power in the Solar System shifts. (Season 5 finale)
posted by ShooBoo (94 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Woah, that was a lot of story. Don't get me wrong, it was a roller-coaster of an episode, and I had a blast, but I was left feeling a bit rushed in spots.

Other notes:
Amos negotiating Peaches' entry to the Roci was classic Expanse humour, and a much-needed relief from the grimness of this and the last few episodes. A callback to season 1, really. Loved it!

Did that last Martian ship get destroyed, or just examined, by the angry red aliens? I can't remember what transiting out of Ringspace looks like from the inside of Ringspace.
posted by Mogur at 5:53 PM on February 2 [11 favorites]


That was underwhelming, due to a lot of subpar action that skipped over a lot character beats.

We all knew Drummer was going to flip. Or rather be herself, 'cause she never flipped. Karal absolutely should have known that and been planning for it, so to have Drummer sneak up on her feels like plot driven, a ticking of writing box.

There's no reunion, not even a radio message between Naomi and Drummer? SERIOUSLY?! We don't get see the exchange between Holden and Drummer?! SERIOUSLY?! Alex just strokes out alone?! Yeah, I know the actor turned out to shitbag and was fired, but it was so anti-climatic.

Good things: Naomi playing the tape for Holden, Naomi hugging Alex, Alex adding Peaches to the crew, Drummer asking Oksana to stay, Bobbie grabbing Naomi (shades of the movie Gravity there, in good ones)

Not sure what's going at the end. I guess the alien is building something?

Good season, but in retrospect, too rushed at the end.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:44 PM on February 2 [5 favorites]


I enjoyed this a lot. After a whole bunch of slower episodes setting everything up, having it all come in a rush was exciting.

Alex just strokes out alone?! Yeah, I know the actor turned out to shitbag and was fired, but it was so anti-climatic.
Yup. I'm ok if shitty things happen to shitty people.

Did that last Martian ship get destroyed, or just examined, by the angry red aliens? I can't remember what transiting out of Ringspace looks like from the inside of Ringspace.

I think that's supposed to be the dangling mystery.


***A LITTLE BOOK SPOLIERY***

Certainly, my super-vague recollection of the next book suggests this is an ongoing question

**END A LITTLE SPOLIERY**
posted by coriolisdave at 6:55 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


I kept wondering how they were going to kill Alex and keep Bobbie on that racing yacht. Pretty elegant way to get rid of a troublesome actor while doing only minimal reshoots.

I thought the rescue of Naomi, that tight shot on her face, was exceptional.
posted by Catblack at 6:56 PM on February 2 [12 favorites]


Alex just strokes out alone?! Yeah, I know the actor turned out to shitbag and was fired, but it was so anti-climatic.

Specifically, I think Cas Anvar's shitbagginess was discovered after the 5th season was filmed, so they probably used reshoots to shoehorn in his character's stroke, and were constrained by what had already been shot and couldn't be redone.
posted by axiom at 6:58 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


Mr Corpse and I laughed when Alex died. It was so blatantly done last-minute.

Closed captioning wasn't working for us -- anyone else have problems with it?
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:31 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


Oh, and my first hope was that the bullet Bobbie had tossed over her shoulder had killed Alex. I need resolution for that bullet!
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:32 PM on February 2 [14 favorites]


Closed captioning wasn't working for us -- anyone else have problems with it?
Yes! I had language options for basically everything except English. Defaulted to.. Belarusian
posted by coriolisdave at 7:59 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


Incidentally, Alex’s death more or less mirrored Fred’s death in the books.

While the limited reshoots made for a weirdly-paced episode, the addition of a random, meaningless space-death make the risks and consequences of a high-G burn a little more clear (which is one minor book detail that the show’s failed to address until now)

Other mostly-spoiler-free book detail: We’re at the first point in the TV series, where we’ve pulled virtually nothing forward from future books. I wasn’t sure Duarte or Laconia would be introduced at all, given that the show’s prior scripting suggested that we’d at least get a bit of backstory over the course of this season. While I’m still fairly certain that the show and books will diverge in the final season, I’m eager to learn how.


Even in spite of the last-minute plot adjustments, this is almost certainly one of the best science fiction season finales ever. Naomi’s rescue was masterfully scripted, acted, and shot. We got a beautiful articulation of the value of chosen family. Drummer continues to be badass.

My only regrets are the scenes that undoubtedly got cut to fit in Alex’s death and the hasty “oh shit we got renewed” foray into the Laconia plot.
posted by schmod at 8:02 PM on February 2 [4 favorites]


If I want to read the books to get me through waiting for the next season, should I start with book 1 or somewhere further along?
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:23 PM on February 2


It's a good read, start at the beginning.
posted by sammyo at 8:33 PM on February 2 [10 favorites]


Yes! I had language options for basically everything except English. Defaulted to.. Belarusian

I didn't have CC turned on, but that didn't stop the German translation of any on-screen words (e.g., ship names) from appearing.
posted by axiom at 8:38 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


Wiki has a publication order for the novels, novellas and short stories.

I had the same problems with captioning others have mentioned. Prime can be pretty incompetent as a streaming platform, it just so happens to make up for that with a lot of entertaining* b-material.

* a word that can mean many things.
posted by dumbland at 8:41 PM on February 2


Nobody had captions - the issue should be fixed now, though.
posted by Mogur at 8:42 PM on February 2


i just finished watching an hour ago, and still had no english captions, but yeah it's fixed now.

i don't know how to feel about the finale, except surprise that it's the finale. looking back, the only plot strands that had a propulsive sense towards the finale was Amos and Naomi's, and even Amos is undercut by disappearing as soon as he left Earth (no sense of the reception in Luna for example). Even Avasarala's felt more like in holding pattern, what more Holden's. Drummer had a lot of good emotional beats but it also felt inert. But I think if it's binged in consecutive days/hours, it might not be so apparent? Even accounting for the reshoots, which ironically made Alex's death and his impact on to the Roci very moving.

It would actually tickle me btw if Jared Harris never appears again on this show and Anderson Dawes is just constantly only ever in just-missed communiques.
posted by cendawanita at 8:48 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


The cackle that rang through this house when Alex stroked out!

Myyyyyyy goodddddddd. I have NO idea how they're going to portray the events in Season 6, and I'm already gagging for it. This next storyline is one of the my personal favorites, aside from the Amos n' Peaches road show.

Naomi's entire "throw body into space and eventually get rescued via Bobbie Draper hug" arc merits an Emmy nod for Dominique Tipper. Stunning, claustrophobic work and utterly wrenching, played out over multiple episodes.

Timmy and Erich's goodbye eye contact hug.

Chrissy's Sith Lord-inspired jewelry/cape combo, and the Free Navy/protoMakers? attack cutting off their celebratory wub-nub song at the end...
and her overdubbed line about Alex! (lol)

Cortazar excitedly motioning to terrifying background proto-structures, like he doesn't recognize he's in the opening clip of an interstellar Godzilla movie.

In summary: I am excite for the final season, plz can have?

Corpse: The books are excellent, not too dry (but still plenty of hard sci-fi discussion, like the Epstein Drive and the cascading ecosystem collapse issues we only touched on a few seasons back). IMO, at least 3 of the short stories are also worth reading. I'm certain my husband and i read through most of the books in less than a year? Not sure how quickly you read books. You can probably get an excellent deal if purchasing them all bundled in trilogies on your Kindle.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:02 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


I can recommend the audiobooks, too, if you're an audiobook person (I think it's a good fit for this kind of book which is more about plot than language). Just make sure to stick with the same narrator throughout. They switched to an inferior narrator for one of the books at one point and then later re-recorded that book with the person who did the rest of them, I assume because of fan outcry at the bad job the new guy did.
posted by whir at 10:01 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


Watching the breakup of Drummer’s crew-family was utterly gutting.
I found this to be the perfect encapsulation of the Belter experience, how everything in their lives is inherently more difficult and why there will always be a fundamental lack of understanding between them, and Earthers and Martians.

Avasarala and the Rocinante crew and the dignitaries on Luna get a cocktail party and a back-patting speech about how coming together is how they win. They’re not wrong, but the people who turned the tide and made that celebration possible had no reward for their sacrifice beyond watching a member of their family be murdered.

This is the nature of the Belters’ existence: there are no easy decisions. Being forced to the end of your tether becomes the norm; real, irreversible sacrifices are inextricably tied up with your existence. Drummer was right, consciously sacrificing Kylo was the only way to get out from under Marco’s thumb. But Oksana was also right, in that after that, the only thing which had held them together was gone.

Two phrases kept echoing through my mind during those scenes on the Tynan:


Furiosa, Fury Road: “Out here, everything hurts.”

Naomi, Nemesis Games: “Whatever you do now, you will regret it forever.”
posted by myotahapea at 1:48 AM on February 3 [14 favorites]


Alex's death reminds me of the Sixth Doctor, or possibly Poochie.
posted by Gary at 2:07 AM on February 3 [2 favorites]


Random notes about actor choices:
1. Bobbi taking a beat and looking down (way down) at Monica after Monica says "You know a lot about guns and missiles, don't you?". Bobbi's expression says "Hmm. Well, that's not the worst pickup line I've ever heard. Let's see where she's going with this."

2. Amos' exasperated "Hey! A little help! The bottle! " as the very expensive bottle of tequila plummets down to Luna ground. Why doesn't everyone have catlike reflexes like me?, like he honestly expected someone to pluck it out of mid-air (even at 1/6 gee, it was going at a bit of a clip by the time he finished yelling.
posted by Mogur at 4:07 AM on February 3 [7 favorites]


Avasarala and the Rocinante crew and the dignitaries on Luna get a cocktail party and a back-patting speech about how coming together is how they win. They’re not wrong, but the people who turned the tide and made that celebration possible had no reward for their sacrifice beyond watching a member of their family be murdered.

But why? Why was Drummer and her crew not nearby?! Holden and Drummer clearly spoke and it's hard to believe Naomi and Drummer didn't speak. Dont' tell me 'cause the Drummer family were pirates, Peaches was in prison for multiple homicides, but she's on the Roci crew now.

I'm not saying Drummer would have wanted to go to a cocktail party, not after all her losses, but damn it, why weren't her sacrifices noted and known by Chrissy?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:59 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


I don't get the cocktail party at all. They haven't won really anything or have anything to celebrate. Yes, they rescued Naomi but Marco is still out there with his free Navy, they're still at war, Earth is still a catastrophe, etc. It felt a bit like Trump throwing Rose Garden parties in the middle of a pandemic and recession.

I mean as a contrast to the hell Drummer and crew were experiencing and as a false lull before the Ring attack conclusion, I guess. But it just seemed so unbelievably tone deaf given what we know is still going on around them that it bothered me. Especially her speech which is what, we win cuz we're incredibly privileged and inappropriately celebrating while people die?

Personally I wish the first half of battle/Naomi rescue/subsequent reunions was shown more and then we had a brief "can't believe we survived this, what's our next plan to fix things" meeting on Luna and boom, ring attack, they haven't survived anything.
posted by chris24 at 5:32 AM on February 3 [2 favorites]


I think part of the weirdness of this episode came from planning out options in case the show was not renewed for season 6. Avasara's speech about "this is how we win" would make a decent enough series ending if they had no other options. But it also has its uses to show how she can be simultaneously politically savvy and tone deaf and how real-world events can undercut pretty speeches.

The reshoots to kill off Alex messed with the pacing some, too. It was an episode with some strong moments, some messiness, and a promise that things are not over--in fact, things are just getting started. They have so many cans of worms open for season 6, I'm sure they're not going to even try to tie everything up. I hope they find some way down the line to dramatize the material in the last trilogy with most of these cast members, but I'd almost rather see an end where the Roci keeps flying than a finale that brings everything to a close.
posted by rikschell at 5:59 AM on February 3 [4 favorites]


I don't get the cocktail party at all.

Politics. It could be as simple as Avasara's inauguration and her gathering people together to begin a new administration. So I'd definitely like to know why Drummer wasn't there. Maybe she didn't want to be, which is fine, but converstation or some acknowledgment of what she did to save Naomi, who can now talk to the Avasara's people about Marko, is hella important.

At the very least it would have given us more Drummer screen time!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:26 AM on February 3 [5 favorites]


I guess I think it's stupid politics too. One pic from bar staff out over the web of them partying in luxury while her constituents suffer and die in an apocalypse and war wages on seems like it would be damaging.
posted by chris24 at 8:29 AM on February 3 [2 favorites]


What I can't figure out is why anyone wants anything to do with the protomolecue. Every time it's studied or attempted to be used for good or nefarious reasons things go very wrong. The only good that I can of caused by the protomolecue was its creation of Ring, but that was done without any human intervention.

(Also, isn't there protomolecue left on Venus?)
posted by ShooBoo at 9:08 AM on February 3


Every time it's studied or attempted to be used for good or nefarious reasons things go very wrong.

That's the genius of the protomolecule as a threat though. Everyone thinks it's going to work out different for them; not everyone can or even wants to resist that temptation. I love it, I'd put it up there with The One Ring when it comes to Genre Fiction Existential Threats.
posted by EatTheWeek at 9:28 AM on February 3 [20 favorites]


Man, things really took off with this episode. Three arcs all packed into an hour! Wish they'd spread it out over another hour or two, but c'est la vie. Overall, I liked the episode and the whole season, even if it didn't give me the level of catharsis I wanted.

I was SO sure that the showrunners were going to give us some Drummer ass-kicking fanservice and am only a little disappointed that instead they gave us something much more realistic: Drummer preventing Karal from firing on the Roci, but not actually being the one to kill her. (And also, it's not clear that Michio actually intended to kill Karal, as much as just incapacitate her.) The moment when Drummer identified herself to Holden was great, but I could have used a LOT more of a celebration. Moving right into watching the Belter fam watch Marco space their tribute on the Pella so, so sad (albeit a really well done scene).

The other lack-of-catharsis for me was never getting the Full Team Back Together On Luna moment. Obviously it wasn't the showrunners' first choice for how the season would end, but I was surprised by his death, even knowing that Cas Anvar wouldn't be back next season. It totally made sense to kill him right after a hard burn for some surprise realism, rather than waiting 'till next season or having him slip on a broken tequila bottle on Luna and die or something. (Also, omg, that bottle dropping scene was SO great. The way they write for Amos and the way Wes Chathem performs. *chef's kiss*) But again, things felt much more subdued and a little anti-climactic they way they played out.

Lastly, I want to echo the praise for keeping the camera on Naomi's helmet while she was being rescued: it was SO FUCKING GOOD. Just hearing the Bobbie rescue patter without seeing her and watching Naomi sob. A fucking tour de force from Dominique Tipper.
posted by lillielillie at 10:01 AM on February 3 [13 favorites]


(Also, isn't there protomolecule left on Venus?)

It took off and turned itself into the Ring a couple of seasons ago.
posted by cardboard at 10:18 AM on February 3 [3 favorites]


I started the first book last night; thanks for the encouragement. I'd tried a while ago but it didn't take, but this time I just dove on in -- I think having the characters already in my head made it much easier this time. (The author throws a lot of names at you in the beginning and it's not clear who you're supposed to pay attention to, which is something I am not good at.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:19 AM on February 3 [4 favorites]


The pacing of the back half of this season was weird. It's not the first time the show has had some weird-pacing stuff going on, due to the structure of the novels (with the end of book 1 happening halfway through season 2, for instance), but I'd love to know how much of that was COVID-related (if any), how much was having to cut around Cas Anvar stuff, etc. I didn't expect they'd actually kill him off — I was expecting a recast — but to be honest, I think he tends to be the least important character of the four main crew members, so I don't know how much this is really going to cause a divergence from the novels. I'm assuming they'll just assign his parts in the storylines to come to other characters.

I was impressed with how bold they were with the ending, though. And the Barkeith vanishing scene was perfectly done... really similar to how I pictured that effect looking when I read the book.
posted by Kosh at 10:50 AM on February 3 [2 favorites]


I enjoyed Drummer’s line “Caption now, Camina later”. Very succinct illustration of different identities used in a combination polycule / free navy vessel.
posted by migurski at 10:52 AM on February 3 [9 favorites]


It took off and turned itself into the Ring a couple of seasons ago.

That alone probably scares most of humanity from messing with the proto-molecule. The bad part is that those who are interested in it absolutely should not have it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:50 AM on February 3


The only bits of filming that were potentially affected by COVID were any reshoots due to the decision to fire Cas Anvar. There was definitely one scene with Naomi and Holden, and then the one where Amon joins them. Most of the rest seem like they were recut or reframed, but I don't know for sure. I'm glad they didn't recast the character, it was weird enough having Arjun #2. This almost feels like a mid-season finale, since all the stuff in play for next season has pretty much already been introduced.
posted by rikschell at 12:05 PM on February 3 [2 favorites]


This finale felt rushed like the season three finale but I still enjoyed it. They make the most with what they have. I know they had to edit around some things and address the off-screen issues with Cas Anvar. The scriptwriters solved the Alex issue with a single stroke and spoke directly to the audience with the following exchange:

NAOMI
I called him a brave idiot.

AMOS
There’s worse things to be.

They were acknowledging that, yeah, it was a little sloppy, but it was the only way to do it without any of us having to be in the same room with him again.
posted by guiseroom at 12:19 PM on February 3 [6 favorites]


The finale did a decent job of tying up the various plot threads of the season. I wonder what the bigger picture with Mars is now. The congress was destroyed by Inaros, was that part of the deal with Sauveterre or was that something that Inaros did on his own and Sauveterre just rolled with it because he got his system? I'd imagine that given the situation Mars is going to be under military control, which likely suits at least some of the military just fine, and maybe they're OK with giving the Inaros control of the Ring Gate in exchange for some amount of systems to colonize and will back Inaros against Earth.

In the short term Inaros controlling the Ring Gate isn't a big deal because they have no real manufacturing outside of our solar system so for now the main thing is still control of the system but at the same time the Ring Gate is the one piece of territory that Inaros now needs to hold so it ties up some of his fleet, which still isn't that big. We don't know what other meteor tricks Inaros has but a hot war between Earth and a divided Free Navy still ends in favour of Earth. I don't know how Earth vs Mars and the Free Navy goes.

I'm glad they didn't recast the character

As an out-of-shape, middle-aged brown guy who lives in Toronto (where it's filmed) I was daydreaming about them holding open auditions for the role. My chance to be a star!
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:23 PM on February 3 [9 favorites]


The arc of Naomi over the last... three? episodes has been satisfying enough to forgive a lot. And agree that her getting saved by Bobbi was handled really really well - I was ready to be outraged that they had gotten rid of Naomi (I haven't read the books other than the first and not read much ancillary news about the show). Her being rescued was very cathartic. (And finally understanding that she was setting the ship in motion so they _could not_ board(and self destruct) ... and then realizing that wasn't going to work either and so... madness.

And Alex stroking out was 100% correct - except for how it scr
Suddenly Naomi is back with James! Wow was that ever less than ideal.
And a lot of the rest was chunky as well. At times it felt like a lot of PlotPoint bow-tying.

That said, I'm glad Marcos will be back because I want to see Drummer "kill you dirty" And the annihilation of the Martian true-believer ship was pretty damn satisfying as well. (Here's how Marcos got his ships, here's how that's going to shake out in the future.) The question it posed for me was : the proto molecule will now only let through those ships it deems 'acceptable'? seems like a rule is being established that is gonna make problems down the line.

Look forward to watching this season again. And again.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:14 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


Closed captioning wasn't working for us -- anyone else have problems with it?

Strangely, this was the first episode this season that didn't have German subtitles for any on-screen text.
posted by thecjm at 1:18 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


It took off and turned itself into the Ring a couple of seasons ago.

Working directly with the protomolocule hasn't worked out for anyone yet, but those ring gates sure are useful once humans figured out how to use them, aren't they?

In Cortazar's message, we see not only spiky towers like on Ilus, but also something big in the sky. A station? A ship? It's something else for the rogue Martian navy to figure out how to use.
posted by thecjm at 1:28 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


I just remembered this: the Belter ship radar screen during the battle was a ring showing ship positions, and at the edge it read “Hamma Lok”. What’s that?
posted by schoolgirl report at 3:05 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


Lang belta for “hammer lock” which I think Bobbie referenced when she was playing taxi for Avasarala. It’s the range where the missiles will have a positive lock that the target can’t shake (easily?). It was a nice touch of written belter language.
posted by furnace.heart at 3:44 PM on February 3 [4 favorites]


In Cortazar's message, we see not only spiky towers like on Ilus, but also something big in the sky

I didn't notice this, but some redditors in the Expanse subreddit identified early on that there were shots of the orbital platforms and the Laconia gate (labeled, even) in the opening credits for at least some of the episodes in this season. That attention to detail is one of the things I love about this show.
posted by Kosh at 4:10 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


Chrissy's Sith Lord-inspired jewelry/cape combo

The combo she had on when she declared martial law was a direct co!our match for Ming in the 1980 Flash Gordon.
posted by biffa at 4:26 PM on February 3 [6 favorites]


Drummer and her crew are still Belters, on an armed Belter ship that's seized goods off of Inner ships, IIRC. They're not going to be unqualified heroes on Earth, and they don't want to be there, anyway. They'd be trapped in a dangerous and completely alien situation. On the run in the Belt is still dangerous, but the kind of danger they're probably more used to managing.

Earth is still never going to be a place they're going to go to. They have zero loyalty to Earth or Mars; only to their friends in the form of the Roci crew. And getting there and back out safely is not a guarantee. It's a long trip that the Roci crew would be willing to make for immediate family like Amos, but not for Drummer alone to say hi to an old frenemy.
posted by pykrete jungle at 4:30 PM on February 3 [6 favorites]


knowing nothing about hollywood (toronto?) actor drama, it's a little jarring to see folks laughing gleefully at a pretty significant character's demise. Any future readers will learn that, according to wikipedia,

In June 2020, Alcon Entertainment hired an independent firm to investigate multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault made against Anvar.[13][14] It was announced in November 2020 that Anvar would not be returning for Season 6 of The Expanse.[15]
posted by rebent at 5:30 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


Check out the Dewalt and the Mowtang. They are built like stout office blocks on offshore pilings. Nobody does spaceships better. They really understand that the floorplan of a warship has to be a tower.
posted by whuppy at 5:38 PM on February 3 [2 favorites]


RIP Alex Kamal, killed off by his own shitbag of an actor.

The bad part is that those who are interested in it absolutely should not have it.

Yeah, anyone megalomaniacal enough to consider poking about with the protomolecule at this point is, uh, bad news.

I found the emotional/physical toll this season put on Naomi genuinely hard to watch. Which says something about the calibre of the actor, but still: not exactly my preferred mode of this show. I'd read the books, but it certainly seems much worse on screen!
posted by BungaDunga at 7:35 PM on February 3 [3 favorites]


Kosh: AHA! I thought I'd seen that image somewhere earlier in the show because it was weird enough to be memorable but couldn't figure out where. Thanks!
posted by rmd1023 at 8:08 PM on February 3


TBH, recutting the episode was the right choice, but I still want to see the original cut.
posted by schmod at 8:51 PM on February 3 [3 favorites]


Hutch didn't die last episode!

The scene where Amos tricks Holden into letting Clarissa join the crew was pretty funny and also shows just how far Amos has come as a person. Could you imagine him in season 1 being able to do that? When he was talking with Cortazar on Tycho about the modifications that were done to Cortazar I thought that Amos was wondering if something similar had happened to him and that would have been a plausible explanation for his behaviour. I guess it was just the result of his brutal life on Earth, and perhaps in space before he met Naomi, and wasn't permanent in the same way that Cortazar's modifications are.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 9:59 PM on February 3 [5 favorites]


So I already can't wait for the next season but I gotta admit, one funny part for me was the cut to Holden and Naomi, and she's in bed and her face is all puffy and discolored and droopy looking, and only one eye is open, and I hear holden say "..had a stroke. It's a risk we all take knowingly whenever we go hard burn" and I was like "oh snap NAOMI STROKED OUT WTF?!?!? but that does explain her face right now so hmm... this could be really interesting next season, I'm guessing they cant magic away the effects of the stroke, how are they going to deal with this in a non-ableist way going forward for a whole season? "

And then after I was done imagining how that would go, I focus back on the show where someone is telling Bobby that they're "sorry for the loss of your friend" and I was like waitaminute, Naomi's not dead? Are they giving condolences for someone who is still alive and able to talk but obviously has had their physical appearance and capabilities affected forever? these ableist fucks are writing off fucking NAOMI ?? I am incensed!

ANd then I remembered the sexual assulter guy was supposed to be written of the show and I was like "OH yeah lol he musta had a stroke offscreen, that makes sense now. "
posted by some loser at 7:15 AM on February 4


It wasn't offscreen, exactly. We got a good visual of Alex staring forward unmoving with little blood droplets floating in the air. It wasn't explicitly explained, but Bobbie kept calling to him and getting no response. Then the cut to Jim and Naomi. They only had so much footage to work with.
posted by rikschell at 7:55 AM on February 4 [9 favorites]


My complaint for season 5 is the same as for season 4 — 10 episodes just isn’t quite enough. Another 3 episodes would have been really helpful to flesh everything out and feel less like a headlong rush to the finish line.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 10:55 AM on February 4 [5 favorites]


So...I guess I'm gonna have to embarrass myself and ask, because I was hoping some things might get explained here but they don't seem to be heading that way.

I didn't get the ending, and the fight scenes are just impossible for me to track because the only ship that looks any different to me from the others is the Razorback. Thanks to Holden's exposition, I know that in the first fight, Drummer is firing on Marco's ship, which is a stolen Martian Marine ship. But the last one baffled me--I'm given to understand that a station was blown up? And some ships? Or something?

And then Martian Jim Jones (whatever Tim DeKay's character's name is, I forgot) has some conversation about divvying up Ring space with Belter Jim Jones, but I don't understand exactly what they're divvying up and where. Is Tim DeKay taking the entire inside of the Ring? What exactly is that psycho Marco getting?

I wouldn't have known who they were talking to on the planet if it hadn't been for any portmanteau in a storm's comment above (thank you!), but everyone else here seemed to make the connection to who that dude was who thinks he can control the protomolecule. So obviously Cortazar got through the Ring onto that new planet, but then, the Martian Jim Jones and his acolyte turn into red glowy stuff and seem to disintegrate, but I don't know what's happening there. Are they dead? I'd love it if someone could explain that to me because obviously I'm too stupid to track this.

Aside from my confusion about multiple points, this episode just made me sad: Drummer's lost half her family and had to watch one of them be murdered, we never get to see her reunite or even speak to Naomi. I just want Drummer to have nice things for a little while. And I liked Alex, and his relationship to Bobbie, and the whole thing is just so sad and awful...I used to love Andvar's little behind the scenes videos. I hope the people he targeted are doing okay.

And so this isn't a complete downer, yay, Hutch survived! I liked her. It's too bad she can't join up with the Roci gang too, but I'll take Peaches and Amos. Also the way Amos looks at Avasarala! I still remember him asking Holden what she was wearing and how she looked and I just think something needs to happen there.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 10:56 AM on February 4 [5 favorites]


Is Tim DeKay taking the entire inside of the Ring? What exactly is that psycho Marco getting?

Marco made a deal with the Martian defectors. They got the Laconia system (through one of the many gates in the hub), and the protomolecule for Cortazar to play with, which which he's messing with some alien tech that they found.

Marco got a bunch of "lost" Martian warships for his fleet, with which he blew up the UN and still-Martian fleet ships at the ring gate hub. (He had plenty of Belter sympathizers ready to take over the Nauvoo/Behemoth/Medina Station, which I don't think was ever mentioned on the show?)

And then that one Martian officer told Marco to not go through the Laconia ring, and Marco didn't care since he has control of the Sol system and the other 1,372 ring gates.

And something mysterious happened to the ship with that Martian in it, which the show has not given any context for yet. (In the books though, they will call it "going Dutchman"... ship goes into ring on one side, does not come out of the other side.)
posted by Foosnark at 12:17 PM on February 4 [3 favorites]


kitten kaboodle it isn't just you. The ships all do look fairly similar to me too and so in the first fight between the Roci and Free Navy I know what happened in the end but the actual shots of ships shooting each other wasn't all that clear. I think at the end we see the Roci firing its PDCs at some torpedoes but in between it was just ships shooting and getting hit and we'll see what happens at the end. I'm actually kind of fine with that because I'm interested in the tactics/results of the space battles more than the battles themselves. I think the first fight's events go something like this:

Drummer fires on one of her ships taking out its engines. She calls for help from the two Martian ships and then sends her torpedoes at one of them. On the Mowteng(?) Josep sees what's happening and launches all of his torpedoes at one of the Martian Free Navy ships too, most likely the one that Drummer didn't fire at but *shrug*. Holden and the Roci dump a bunch of torpedoes at it too, and maybe shoot with their railgun while using their PDCs to take out the incoming torpedoes targeting them. End result is the Roci is OK, one of Drummer's ships has a busted engine thanks to Drummer and the two Martian Free Navy ships are destroyed.

The second battle has a couple of Earth ships guarding the entrance to the Ring Gate. The Free Navy approaches and before anyone is in range of anyone some stealth meteorites hit the Earth ships causing them damage but not destroying them. Then the Free Navy starts attacking and the Earth ships try to return fire but they're already hurt. Probably still would have been a battle but then some Martian ships come from inside the Ring Gate and shoot the Earth ships from behind and the combination destroys all the Earth ships. Medina station inside Ring Space wasn't a part of the battle.

As far as the last scene where the Barkief transits the Ring Gate and then something happens. It wasn't clear to me that it was destroyed either. Just that it disappeared into the gate with some red effect. I'm guessing that book reading people know more of what's happening or people are just guessing that that's what the red effect means because I don't think it's been established in the show what we saw. I've been fairly literal when watching the show in that I speculate on a lot of stuff but I only "know" the stuff that has been actually shown. Like with Hutch "dying" last episode, I saw her getting shot and I saw Amos doing something to her in zero g but until I see a funeral or other confirmation I didn't see her die. I was on the fence about Fred actually dying until they showed Holden and Bull talking over his dead body and even now if it turned out that he faked his death I wouldn't be shocked because I don't remember if we saw his body getting cremated or shot into space in a torpedo.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:10 PM on February 4 [3 favorites]




> it's a little jarring to see folks laughing gleefully at a pretty significant character's demise

Why? It was clumsily done, and I never found the character interesting anyway.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:17 PM on February 4


Did that last Martian ship get destroyed, or just examined, by the angry red aliens? I can't remember what transiting out of Ringspace looks like from the inside of Ringspace.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the Martian ship is gone and that the..thing..that killed the ring builders that we saw last season did it after being "woken up" by the protomolecule transiting the ring gates.

There are other reasons why the ring gates vanish ships which I'm not sure have been mentioned in the show, but I don't remember Persepolis Rising ever explicitly stating what happened to the Barkief so I'm just speculating.
posted by wierdo at 2:47 PM on February 4


I’m looking forward to next season, when hotshot pilot Alexei Kamalov accidentally bumps into Amos in a bar and the turns around and says, “Sorry there, pardner!”
posted by snofoam at 2:54 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


I'd been noodling around with why Marco sent Drummer, of all people, to kill the Rocinante, as she'd done everything but spit on him the last time she saw him. Was it a test of her loyalty? Or was Karal supposed to use her inevitable complaining as pretext to kill her? Or was he trying to get rid of Drummer's whole faction (with his ideal solution being the two ex-MFN ships surviving and the auxiliaries getting blown up).

Then I realized that I was overthinking it - Marco sent those 5 ships because that's all he could scrape together in that area, as the bulk of his (still not that big) navy was heading for the Ring at speed.
posted by Mogur at 4:06 PM on February 4 [6 favorites]


Also:
------------+---------------------------------------------------------------------+----
      Tactical genius                                                           Marco

posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:04 PM on February 4 [9 favorites]


Seemed to me that Marco thought he had Drummer by the short and curlies, and he wanted to break her.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 5:08 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


okay, can someone more adept with reading Emotions(TM) tell me what exactly was going on with replaying the Naomi recording? To me it read like a break-up message, but they kiss later?

Congratulations to Dominique Tipper for a gorgeous performance. It was physically hard to watch her, she was so obviously in pain, and the relief and tears when she was rescued. Just, wow.
posted by snerson at 6:46 PM on February 4


This was the message that Naomi sent when she was going after Filip, but seeing how he's also Marco's son she wasn't sure she'd be making it back alive. So it was a message to Holden to not try to go out and save or avenge her but instead to continue on living a good life with Alex and Amos on the Roci. It kind of was a break-up message but only because Naomi thought they were at the death-do-us-part part.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 7:38 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


By playing the message after she and Holden were safely reunited, it became a declaration of her love for him - plus a meta farewell to Alex who we'd just seen stroke out.
posted by Paul Slade at 11:59 PM on February 4 [3 favorites]


Killing off the character is one way to handle a disgraced actor, but what if they just retconned him with a new actor? It would be pretty funny if the retcon is never even acknowledged by the other characters. By a few episodes in, the fans will be fine with the new guy.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 12:18 AM on February 5


By a few episodes in, the fans will be fine with the new guy.

Fans are still arguing about which version of Avasarala’s husband was better.
posted by chimpsonfilm at 7:15 AM on February 5 [16 favorites]


Paul Slade + any portmanteau in a storm - thank you!!! :)

Killing off the character is one way to handle a disgraced actor, but what if they just retconned him with a new actor?

Nah. Having him dead gets us more screen time for Bobbie and Peaches.
posted by snerson at 7:55 AM on February 5 [8 favorites]


By a few episodes in, the fans will be fine with the new guy.

Nobody TV show has ever done this better than Due South.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:24 AM on February 5 [5 favorites]


Fans are still arguing about which version of Avasarala’s husband was better.

Yeah, and don't even start with which of the half dozen plus "Young son of Don Draper" was the best one.
posted by sideshow at 2:40 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


Who the hell likes Arjun II better?

A synth, that's who.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:50 PM on February 5 [5 favorites]


I think ending the Alex character was a good move. If I have one criticism of the books, it's that the main crew tended to have too much plot armour. All kinds of crazy stuff happens to them, but they always survive. Which is good in that you don't lose favourite characters, but can make the story kind of stilted.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:38 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]


It's entirely possible that I'm reading stuff into it that isn't there, but I thought the show did a good job of walking a line between respecting Alex but also being kinda "Fuck you, Cas." Nope, you just stroked out, and we're gonna just paint you right the fuck out of the party at the end. Here's your scene and you're right there on that chair except we deleted you.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:15 PM on February 5 [11 favorites]


If I have one criticism of the books, it's that the main crew tended to have too much plot armour. All kinds of crazy stuff happens to them, but they always survive.

Alas poor Shed, we hardly knew ye.

"Trust me, we're all going to be just fi-"
-Shed Garvey
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:22 PM on February 5 [6 favorites]


If I have one criticism of the books, it's that the main crew tended to have too much plot armour. All kinds of crazy stuff happens to them, but they always survive.

I agree, with the one exception of that doctor guy who came with them from the Canterbury and got killed off early on. (On looking him up - yes, Shed Garvey! He's like the Pete Best of the Rocinante.) But I do think the books (and show) have been good at introducing us to ancillary characters who could probably take over the spots of various main crew members in a pinch, and there has been a fair amount of turnover among the extended family (no spoilers, but Fred Johnson for one seemed like he was going to last longer than he did to me).
posted by whir at 9:35 PM on February 5


I know we kinda goof on the character of Holden, but only a true Paladin could have brought Bull aboard so quickly just by stating the big picture and what the situation demands of them.
posted by whuppy at 9:51 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]


Fans are still arguing about which version of Avasarala’s husband was better.

I’ll be damned - I never noticed!
posted by Big Al 8000 at 12:01 PM on February 6


don't even start with which of the half dozen plus "Young son of Don Draper" was the best one.

second becky.

anyway...i thought it was super disjointed. not to get nostalgic, but the julie/proto/hatcop through line was really good at keeping up both momentum *and* curiosity. more of that, pls.

amos and clarissa on earth, same same.

marco bugs the shit out of me. just 2d comic book evil. not legit evil, like the belter tech woman who sabotaged the roci. she sold it.

killer work by tipper. she could carry something alone, she has that much power, e.g. arctic or all is lost.

something is lost by leaving drummer and billie plot scraps. such a waste.

ultimately, i feel bad for the editors, who probably new that whatever they stitched together would be off.

six! can't wait.
posted by j_curiouser at 9:36 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


I am late to the party again (because I only have time on the weekends to watch), and I came online excitedly to see how the internet reacted to one of the most realistic and brutal space battles I've ever watched on TV. I'm a bit sad that the response was mixed, but also not very surprised, because the whole thing from Drummer pulling a gun to the Serrio Mal blowing up happens in a breathtaking 3m32s (literally, I couldn't breathe). I don't see anyone breaking it down here, so in the interests of sharing, I thought I'd do it. Hopefully by the end you'll see it for the exciting brutal fight it was!

Prelude

So going into the fight, we know a few things. Drummer's family has 3 ships. The Mowteng, Dewalt, and the scavenged Tynan (Ashford's ship). Drummer sits in the Tynan, along with Karal on fire control, Michio, and Bert. On the Mowteng is Oksana and Josep. I forget who was on the Dewalt, but I don't think it is relevant for the fight.

We know the Drummer family ships are classic belter, shitty tin cans in space held together with spit and bailing wire, and that their weapons compared Earth and Mars' military hardware are crap.

We know that the 3 Drummer family ships joined up with 2 Free Navy (Marco faction) ships, with express instructions to destroy the Rocinante. These 2 ships are distinctively Martian in design, from the colour scheme to the sleek angles and chamfers. The smaller of the two is the Koto, with its puny 2 PDC emplacements it looks like it is smaller than the Rocinante. Its big honking partner is the Serrio Mal, bristling with PDCs and looking super intimidating.

We are also primed on some military tactics. PDCs shoot down torpedoes that get too close, and torpedoes can be used to intercept other torpedoes also. We also know how the Rocinante's railgun works: it emits the distinctive purple mist when it fires, and when it hits, it hits so hard and fast it just punctures holes straight through its targets with a shower of sparks and a satisfying SPECHUNK sound. It's simultaneously understated and terrifying.

The Rocinante's plan going in is very much in character for both Holden and, funnily enough, the horse that the ship is named after: charge at impossible odds firing everything they can, to buy enough time for Alex and Bobbie to rescue Naomi.

The fight

On the Tynan, Drummer steals Karal's gun and points it at her. While holding Karal at bay, Drummer programmes fire control to fire a torpedo on the Mowteng, disabling its engines but not destroying it, and taking it out of the action early.

The Rocinante reacts. The screen flashes information briefly at you, but you don't need to know what it says because Bull and Holden verbalise what's going on quite clearly. WTF yells Bull, watching Holden lift his hand off the trigger. We're not sure what Holden has planned but we do see he's on alert and is re-thinking his plan.

Back on the Tynan, Bert screams at the Dewalt and Mowteng to fire. Drummer gets on comms to overrule him, but Bert's having none of that and attacks Drummer, who drops Karal's weapon. Karal retrieves it and trains it on the scuffling pair, and it seems like Drummer has lost... but a surprise Michio hammers Karal's head from behind with a fire extinguisher. Karal falls, and cracks her skull with a meaty crunch as she does. At this point, we the audience know this action will result in Serge's death (Drummer family tribute on Marco's flagship Pella). Michio probably knows it as she lifted the fire extinguisher, and it crosses my mind, as I write this, that her scream as she attacked Karal was more anguished than angry. But we have no time to process anything, there's a space battle on!

The Koto reacts and angrily radios in to the Tynan. Tynan, [this is] Koto! What the fuck are you doing? Drummer buys time, enough to program all the torpedoes on the Tynan to target... something, and fire. The name of the ship is a bit hard to see on the screen, but the shape of the ship was shown to us earlier in space, and it does not look like a garbage scow. Tynan is firing on the small Martian ship, the Koto.

In space, the belter torpedoes have helpfully orange rocket flames. The Koto only has 2 PDC emplacements, but 2 is enough for even a small Martian military ship to take down some crappy belter torpedoes fired at them in a surprise attack. On the Tynan, Drummer's face falls as she watches her torpedoes get shot down one by one. Back in space, we see the Koto easily handling the last of the incoming torpedoes, when... SPECHUNK! A hole appears in its hull! And then SPECHUNK!! Another hole, with a shower of orange sparks! And behind we see a purple flash and we know that the Rocinante has fired on the Koto with its railgun.

Back on the Rocinante, Monica is shitting bricks as Holden turns his attention to the next biggest threat, the Serrio Mal. He fires a bunch of torpedoes at the Serrio Mal, which counters by firing its own torpedoes back at the Rocinante. We know from this exchange that the Rocinante is heavily outgunned. The Serrio Mal spits out waaaaay more torpedoes than the Rocinante does. It has so many torpedoes that, even after it has used some of them to obstruct the incoming torpedoes from the Rocinante, it has spares leftover that the Rocinante has to shoot down.

On the Mowteng, Josep has made a momentous decision. He starts programming the Mowteng's torpedoes while Oksana looks on in horror. The Mowteng lets loose.

In space, we see the Motweng firing a whole bunch of torpedoes at the Serrio Mal. We know it is the Serrio Mal because the target is big and Martian looking, and the Koto is out of it. The Serrio Mal is also rather far away because the Mowteng had its engines blown out earlier so the torpedoes take some time to get there. The Serrio Mal takes care of the torpedoes handily, but while that is happening cannot take on the Rocinante. The Rocinante, free from having to defend itself from the Serrio Mal, fires its railgun... once, twice, many times - wow it's really using its railgun huh - and a lucky shot sets something off. The Serrio Mal eats it.

All of this, from Drummer pointing a gun at Karal to the Serrio Mal blowing up, happens in the span of about 3 minutes and 32 seconds (12:46 - 16:18).

After action review

There's a lot to absorb here but I realised I'd already written up a gigantic wall of text and didn't want to drag it on any longer. I hope that clears it up for anyone who felt like there was just too much information on screen in too little time.

To me it was the highlight of this season, everything I love about the Expanse in 3 and a half minutes. Character motivations resulting in character actions, the chaotic rush that real fights feel like, the established military hardware heirarchy, superb action in space, and the absolute trust and credit the showrunners accord the viewer. I also really enjoyed it because I feel that space battles in media in general are clunky and exposition heavy, when actually they should be terrifying and brutal and quick, so to actually be shown something like this battle was a real treat.
posted by theony at 9:51 PM on February 6 [25 favorites]


Entirely separately, I found Serge's execution one of the most disturbing things I have ever watched on television. It wasn't just the execution itself, which was bad enough. It was the whole set up. The function of the tribute, the family dynamic, the real schism forced into it by Marco and his actions, the very uncomfortable and disgusting feeling you get from time to time whenever Marco makes a good point about the belters being oppressed, the way he called Serge to help, Serge's terrified desperation, the fact that Marco conducted the execution personally. It was extremely disturbing.

TRIGGER WARNING FOR IRL VIOLENCE

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I was reminded of the poor souls who got beheaded in those ISIL videos. And I imagined the family of those poor people watching the videos online and reacting to a loved one having their head sawn off. Marco's execution of Serge was very disturbing and I don't ever want to watch it again.
posted by theony at 10:05 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


I'd been noodling around with why Marco sent Drummer, of all people, to kill the Rocinante, as she'd done everything but spit on him the last time she saw him. Was it a test of her loyalty? Or was Karal supposed to use her inevitable complaining as pretext to kill her? Or was he trying to get rid of Drummer's whole faction (with his ideal solution being the two ex-MFN ships surviving and the auxiliaries getting blown up).

Part of it was the lack of resources, and needing to prioritise assignments. Killing the Rocinante isn't as important as the other missions he's running, but it would be a powerful symbolic act, and on the personal level Marco wants to take away or destroy everything Naomi cares about, so it's important to him.

The other part is that people like Marco take pleasure in exerting control over, and breaking, others.

As someone else mentioned in response, Marco knew he held all the cards -- Serge was essentially a hostage on his ship, and if Drummer went against him (Marco) she was not only endangering herself and her entire crew/family on their two ships, as they would then be a target of the Free Navy as well as the Inners, but also leaving Serge to be made a symbol of what happens when you defy his authority. The reference to the ISIL videos is apt.

Knowing Drummer's personality and hot temper as he does, and knowing the respect she commands as a faction leader, he wants to see her broken, publicly and privately -- to be forced to 'bend the knee'. Not only will it strengthen his position of authority and instill fear in others (both because she's a strong faction leader and because at least some people will know of her close friendship with Naomi, and if someone like Drummer will kill Naomi's family on Marco's orders without question it will immensely strengthen his image) but he will also get the ego boost of knowing that someone who hates him, someone who once held his life in her hands, has fallen in line and takes his orders without question.
posted by myotahapea at 11:46 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


Fans are still arguing about which version of Avasarala’s husband was better.

All I know is that the first one used to have a cafe in New York.
posted by Paul Slade at 7:37 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Entirely separately, I found Serge's execution one of the most disturbing things I have ever watched on television.

I ended up fast forwarding over it.

So, yeah. Pretty brutal.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:51 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


My biggest gripe this season was that it just never made sense for Drummer to agree to join the free navy in the first place. Marco killed her BFF and it was clear from her scene with Phillip that she thought Naomi might be on his ship. I don't feel like they did enough to sell that decision, especially given how much worse it was for Drummer's family when she changed her mind in the last episode.

By a few episodes in, the fans will be fine with the new guy.

Nobody TV show has ever done this better than Due South.


Definitely not a case that demonstrates that fans will just get over it. The Ray Wars left few unscathed.
posted by chaiminda at 1:00 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


It seemed pretty clear to me that Drummer and her crew were not convinced that Marco was being truthful when he said he would let them leave alive if they chose not to join.
posted by wierdo at 6:58 AM on February 13 [10 favorites]


My biggest gripe this season was that it just never made sense for Drummer to agree to join the free navy in the first place. Marco killed her BFF and it was clear from her scene with Phillip that she thought Naomi might be on his ship.

My read of that is she joined because there was no viable alternative - if she hadn't have joined, Marco would just have killed them all outright.

This gave her time to find an angle to work.
posted by coriolisdave at 1:45 AM on February 14 [2 favorites]


For people who didn't get the battle between the Roci and the Free Navy, here's spacedock on youtube giving it big smooches.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:55 PM on February 15 [6 favorites]


So I went and rewatched the whole five seasons again over the last week or so - I'd forgotten so many things that made season 5 more explainable (for some reason the whole Julie Mao thing I'd somehow ignored pretty much in the earlier seasons - I must admit when Amos went to visit her in prison - I remembered the face - but couldn't remember all the events) . It has also made me use Belter Creole in my everyday life - which I hope isn't appropriation given it's fictional. Mrs Inflatablekiwi hasn't yet gotten used to being responded to with "yah bosmang" when she asks me to do anything.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 8:45 AM on February 23


Fodagut at some point I'm gonna try one of the red kibble recipes out there...
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:56 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


I finished my Expanse binge. I hate Marco Inaros. I HATE HIM SO MUCH.
posted by schroedinger at 8:16 PM on March 15 [9 favorites]


The fight

I completely missed the railgun shots from the Roci in that fight, thanks for the breakdown theony.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:52 PM on May 21


Not sure where to put this, but YAY!
posted by DowBits at 11:36 AM on November 16 [2 favorites]


YAY!

Cool - looks like the very last bit in the trailer is from "Strange Dogs", the novella between Babylon's Ashes and Persepolis Rising and maybe my favorite of the novellas.
posted by whir at 2:24 PM on November 16


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