The first season of Syfy’s The Expanse was largely concerned with delivering a story that lived up to the series’ title. With that came an overwhelming sense of discovery as the show set up its various interplanetary factions and worked to introduce the movers and shakers within each group. The sizeable cast peppered the vast reaches of the solar system, transforming the void of space into a playing field not unlike the ever-changing animated map of Westeros on HBO’s Game of Thrones. This time, though, planets and moons replaced continents with Earth and Mars the two superpowers in the midst of a futuristic Cold War while smaller (but still massive, relatively speaking) man-made space stations took up the part of the scrappy underdog, seeking not only a seat at the interstellar table, but any advantage that would make the major players sit up and take notice.
To the show’s credit, The Expanse excelled at managing its multiple threads of political machinations, working class rebellions, unsanctioned clandestine experimentation, and a noir-inspired mystery of the missing Julie Mao and her terrible fate that was destined to alter the course of humankind forever. In other words, the first season of The Expanse more than lived up to its name.
All of that was poised to change with the discovery of the protomolecule, however, an element of presumed extraterrestrial origin and whose true purpose remains unknown. In true human fashion, those who have already gotten their hands on the radiant blue substance have found a way to weaponize it, to make its unique properties part of the escalating arms race that has already put Earth and Mars on the brink of mutually assured nuclear destruction numerous times. And at the end of the season 2 finale, the protomolecule is poised to put Fred Johnson and the Belt (though, more likely just Fred Johnson) on even footing with the other big players in the solar system. And with that, the interplanetary setting of the series becomes a whole lot smaller as the concerns of the various players gradually begin to focus on the one thing destined to bring them all together.
Aside from a guest appearance by former Mythbuster Adam Savage, the season 2 finale, ‘Caliban’s War’, finds the crew of the Rocinante reunited following the events of ‘The Monster and the Rocket’, which briefly set Holden, Alex, and newcomer Praxideke on a mission to destroy the protomoleule hybrid before cooler heads prevailed and the Martian warship set its sites on protecting a ship full of refugees that also happened to have Naomi and Amos on board. Unbeknownst to the unified Rocinante crew, however, they have a dangerous stowaway just waiting to break up the otherwise happy reunion.
Feel free to begin a conversation about The Expanse season 2 finale in the comments section. We will have a full review soon.
The Expanse will return for season 3 in 2018.