The Expanse

The Expanse: Season 5, Episode 5 (“Down and Out”) Recap and Review

Season 5, Episode 5 of Amazon Prime’s The Expanse was a whirlwind of action; one of those episodes which feels like it went by too fast! A great deal of the action was building on the turn of events from last week, but there were some new developments. As usual, spoilers below!

 

Amos 

It’s always fun when we’re waiting to see how characters will react to something we know about, but they don’t. In this case, Amos was still unaware of the second asteroid hit at the start of the episode. This segment of the show was a classic escape mission. We have guards and prisoners forced to work together, which is always a fun dynamic, and an elevator shaft sequence. 

 

I really enjoyed the innovative way they opened the maintenance shaft doors, but I wonder: how they are opened regularly? 

The episode set up a lot of expectations and cleverly flipped them. I was expecting a cool Clarissa vs. Tiny fight, but, instead, we got Amos launching Tiny into the pit after an assist by the guard.

I also thought it was realistic that the female guard didn’t spend a lot of time arguing about letting Amos and Clarissa go; of course, if your kid is in danger, you’d abandon your job.  

But … the other prisoners … are they just left to die?  

Holden 

We don’t spend a lot of time with Holden in this episode, and most of what we do get is overshadowed by the dark intensity of Sakai’s interrogation and threats. Still, there is the typical Holden brooding shot, but he’s in a train/elevator this time. I wonder where he’ll brood next?

And, I suspected that Sakai had done something to the Roci! I wonder how that message got through just in time, given how long it takes data to travel through space, but we can assume it was a coincidence that Holden received the message just as he was getting ready to take off. 

What’s the most interesting about Holden’s plotline was Sakai’s reveal that their coup/terrorism wasn’t relegated to just Tycho station; all the space stations are compromised. How will that play out in future episodes? 

 

Bobbie and Alex 

After following the Martian ships to the Hungaria asteroid belt and witnessing an exchange of freighters between the Martian navy and the Belters (supposedly), Alex and Bobbie are spotted. 

The episode ends with that awesome chase sequence and core drop, sending the two Martians spinning out into space. Given how fast they were going, who knows where they’ll end up?  

Naomi

The core of the episode revolves around Naomi trapped on Inaros’ ship. We are given small moments between her and everyone from her past life, hinting again as to her old affiliations and sentiments. There is deep antagonism between her and Karal, though whether it’s because of Naomi leaving all those years ago or something that predates that, we’re not sure. 

Naomi also severed any hope of further compassion from Cyn. I mean, I wouldn’t trust anyone who cranked me over the head with a wrench. 

That leaves her only potential ally being Filip, and we’re still not sure what his motives were for bringing her to Inaros. I’m assuming it’s because deep down, he wants answers surrounding her abandonment of him, especially given Inaros’ comments about his compassion for her. Hopefully, she can use this compassion to turn Filip from Inaros or, at the very least, have him assist her in stealing back the protomolocule (when she realizes it’s there).

The most interesting part of this episode is when Inaros has a heart-to-heart with his son. I assumed he would berate him, but, instead, he imparts advice in a way that makes it seem like he’s a good dad.

But, how much of this is manipulation? Or is this an attempt to humanize Inaros, to round out his character by way of having him give some good advice (to not block out your emotions but also not to let them rule you)? This demonstration that he isn’t as unstable as previous episodes made him out to be is much more terrifying regarding his plans for the Inners. 


Final Thoughts 

While the episode starts with Drummer, we don’t get a lot of her and her faction. She claims guilt for previously letting Inaros go, but it seems she is using this as a motivation to plan a trap. At least, I’m assuming she’s not meeting Inaros to chat. Maybe she’ll help Naomi escape? Or maybe it will be an assassination attempt?

With Bobbie and Alex spiraling out into the black, Amos and Clarissa in the wilderness, and Naomi still stuck with the Free Navy, Holden’s crew couldn’t be further apart. Here’s hoping they make it back together safe and sound by the end of the season!

T. S. Beier is obsessed with science fiction, the ruins of industry, and Fallout. She is the author of What Branches Grow, a post-apocalyptic novel (Top 5 Finalist in the 2020 Kindle Book Awards). She is a book reviewer, editor, freelance writer, and co-owner of Rising Action Publishing Co., which offers self-publishing services. She currently lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband, two feral children, a one-eyed pug, and a Shepherd-Mastiff.

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