With practically 5 seasons at its again, the Amazon Prime Video epic has earned extraordinary moments that may be misplaced in practically every other story.
[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for “The Expanse” Season 5, Episode 7, “Oyedeng.”]
Nobody jumps into the huge vacancy of house with out safety simply because they wish to do it. Sci-fi writers most likely really feel the identical quantity of reluctance about placing characters in that scenario, pushing them proper to edges of what the human physique can safely take.
But when any TV present is able to pulling off a near-impossible feat like that, it’s “The Expanse.” This week’s chapter, the Season 5 episode “Oyedeng,” caps off with Naomi (Dominique Tipper) risking her life to drift from the ship the place she’s being held captive to the decoy vessel getting used to lure the Rocinante right into a dying entice.
It’s a transfer born of desperation and it finally ends up ensuing within the dying of Cyn (Brent Sexton). However as a substitute of being an affordable, credulity-straining transfer from an area story simply trying to get from one story level to the opposite, it’s an instance of how meticulous and thorough “The Expanse” is at organising its most stunning turns.
The emergence of Marco (Keon Alexander) and Filip (Jasai Chase Owens) Inaros has been the trickiest new component for Season 5. Increase this rising totalitarian father-son combo because the preeminent risk to the photo voltaic system is a tall process, even over the course of a whole season. Although, with the time that these two and Naomi have had of their uncomfortable household reunion on the Pella, the present has constructed the groundwork for why her soar into the void means a lot greater than an escape.
Nevertheless he intends it, when Marcos sneers that the Roci crew is Naomi’s household now, he’s proper. Even when Filip is her son (and we will see glimpses of the home bliss the three of them had when he was an toddler), the bodily and metaphorical abuse she endures is a stark breaking level. When given the selection, she’d reasonably sail throughout empty house than maintain making an attempt to reform both of them.
There’s a endurance to how these previous interactions in “Oyedeng” are located. We see Naomi in varied combos with Marco, Filip, and Cyn, even listening to the identical story of her final airlock expertise from totally different views. It is probably not apparent on a primary viewing, however rewatching these scenes, it’s a meticulous means of organising the ending not solely as a mirror for her previous near-decisions, however further context for what that soar means to her.
That’s not the one means that “The Expanse” is subtly establishing a framework. Even one thing so simple as together with a 10-second stretch of somebody strolling throughout a gangway primes anybody waiting for simply how a lot that looming vacancy is devoid of sound. It doesn’t simply depend on any innate concern of house. It underlines simply how a lot what surrounds these ships is the intense absence of….something.
This episode additionally has loads of emphasis on boosters: the Roci engines throttling as Holden tries to intercept a goal with Naomi’s doable coordinates, the bursts from the torpedos as they’re caught between two sides of a dogfight. “The Expanse” all the time been good about exhibiting the logistics of movement on this faster-than-light universe, particularly within the Amazon Prime Video seasons, the place the sequence’ scale has grown by orders of magnitude. Marisol Adler, this episode’s director, makes use of that custom to trace the Roci and the Razorback and every other flying projectiles as they make their means throughout their respective planes.
The roar of gasoline burning and of explosions in house assist arrange one other distinction. As Naomi drifts towards her vacation spot within the remaining moments, it’s solely by way of the thrust of her personal push. She will’t go any quicker or expend any quantity of the dear air she has left. And when she arrives on the reverse airlock, she’s on the mercy of her personal trajectory and what little little bit of discolored focus her taxed eyeballs can muster.
Understanding now that she not less than survives lengthy sufficient to reach the place she intends, that ending’s savviest contact may be to withhold the second she injects herself with the decompression package till after we’ve seen her float for a couple of further seconds. There’s simply sufficient time to register that Cyn is now lifeless, and that the identical destiny may be awaiting Naomi. For a short pause, it nearly seems to be like she’s at peace. With the urgency of attending to the opposite facet, she’s nonetheless going through a sequence of selections. Leaving the ship, going to the lock, taking the plunge, giving her bloodstream emergency oxygen: these are all selections to maintain going.
None of them make sense with out the story tracks that “The Expanse” continues to put down week after week, season after season. The payoff is that it will get to validate these excessive strategies of survival that in different tales may simply be mere comfort. Because it continues to do, “The Expanse” by some means makes the unimaginable make sense.
New episodes of “The Expanse” can be found Wednesdays on Amazon Prime Video.