Review: The Expanse Episode 509, “Winnipesauke”

Pictured: Shohreh Aghdashloo (Chrisjen Avasarala)
Pictured: Shohreh Aghdashloo (Chrisjen Avasarala) /

The Expanse highlights how much our characters have grown before it brings them back together for the grand finale of season 5.

It’s time for Amos and Clarissa to finally leave Earth, and hopefully leave their pasts behind them as well. Together, they lead Erich and his team into one of the hangers holding a shuttle. It’s broken but they quickly get to fixing it. During the repairs, they are visited by others stranded on the island and their already large party gets even bigger.

There are clear differences between how Amos and Erich respond to those that need their aid, and it’s ultimately Clarissa that pushes to help them. Amos constantly needs a kind of guidance system to point him towards the right choice. Since he’s been on Earth he’s realized his own judgement can lead him to make decisions that seem right in the moment but ultimately prove destructive.

When a couple of wannabe enforcers show up pretending to play nice, both Erich and Amos see through the façade and let them go, only for the wannabes to ambush them right as they’re trying to take off with the shuttle. We then get a rare firefight with actual gravity involved. We see what Clarissa’s mods can do, prompting Erich to proclaim that he’ll never be mean to her again. The intense battle ends with Amos barely making in onto the ship as it takes off and heads into orbit. As he stares out the airlock door at the planet that raised him, his eyes show no love for his home world. The lessons that world taught him are lessons no one should have to learn.

Avasarala seems to be the only person in the U.N. who doesn’t want to kill innocent people. When she discovers that an attack on Pallas Station happened even after she greatly opposed it, she confronts the rest of the cabinet, including the Security General. After her pleads go unheard, she immediately resigns as she cannot be a part of a team whose only goal is to kill as many Belters as possible.

There’s a scene where she forces one of the generals she’s closest to retell a joke that has the Belt as a punch line. Of course it’s not funny at all and creates a sad awkwardness between them. Hopefully that snapped the general somewhat back to reality and saves some lives. The last we see of her, she’s adding her late husband Arjun’s name to the circle of names whose lives were taken by the rocks. As she does it, she says goodbye to a part of her life that she wanted so badly but could never really have. This is her way of finally accepting that.

Her moment of reflection is brief, as she’s informed that many other cabinet members and personnel have stepped down in wake of the Pallas attack and are asking for her to be re-reinstated as Security General. Chrisjen Avasarala has given so much of her life to the U.N. and to humanity, but her job is not over yet. And now she will lead humanity as it engages in the largest and possibly most important conflict it has ever faced.

Holden, Alex and Bobbie mostly sit this episode out. They’re all still burning hard to reach Naomi while they decipher what the change in the distress call means. They eventually come around to the idea that Naomi is alive and on the Chetsmoka. Although they’re still unaware of the proximity bomb that will kill her and them once they get close enough.

Naomi Nagata is alive on a ticking time bomb hurling towards all the people she loves. Having already pulled a brilliant move to signal that she was on the ship, she now attempts another, fiddling with wires until she gets radar on her spacesuit helmet, which shows her the Roci getting closer to the area of detonation.

Meanwhile, Drummer is finally made aware of all the things her crew had been keeping from her. She’s been working through an identity crisis all season and now her orders are to destroy the Roci. But the news of Naomi possibly being alive seems to give her second thoughts.

As Drummer contemplates her next move, Naomi makes a discovery that grounds her and focuses her attention. She suits up for what seems a final time and heads into the dead part of the ship.

Compared to some of the interplanetary struggles the crew of the Roci have faced together, their current problems are much more personal. From past romances to old frenemies to finding one’s own purpose and identity, they all hit close to home, sometimes literally. After going through so much personal growth and saving the system, the Roci crew members are no longer the people they were when the Cant blew up. Going on these journeys with them have gotten us really invested in them. They’re relatable, even if they grew up on an asteroid.

They’ve set everything up for an all-or-nothing finale where many of these storylines will come together. Let’s just hope they don’t get too close to Naomi’s ship.

Grade: B+

Next. Review: The Expanse returns for season 5, excellent as ever. dark

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