The Expanse's First Season 5 Clip Hints at Cosmic Trouble on the Horizon

James Holden (Steven Strait) confronts Fred Johnson (Chad Coleman).
James Holden (Steven Strait) confronts Fred Johnson (Chad Coleman).
Image: Amazon Studios

The Expanse has just been renewed for a sixth and final season, but it’s not time to say good-bye just yet. In fact, season five arrives on Amazon in just a few short weeks. io9 is thrilled—like, James-Holden-finding-a-working-coffee-maker-in space thrilled!—to share the very first clip from the season premiere.


While Holden (Steven Strait) puzzles through the universe’s more cosmically distressing questions, season five will see the rest of the Rocinante’s crew going on more personal quests, as Amos (Wes Chatham), Alex (Cas Anvar), and Naomi (Dominique Tipper) delve into choices they’ve made in the past that are still haunting them in different ways. We know Naomi’s long-lost son (Jasai Chase Owens), glimpsed at the end of season four, will play a huge part in the drama to come—as will his father, Marco Inaros (Keon Alexander), the Belter last seen launching a fleet of asteroids in the direction of Earth.

Set on Tycho Station, the episode premiere clip sees Holden bringing up a certain blue goo to Fred Johnson (Chad Coleman). Yep: the protomolecule is still making trouble.

It’s clear that the protomolecule—the mysterious remnant of an alien civilization wiped out by forces unknown in the distant past—is still going to have a significant role to play. The ring gates it created have enabled the tentative explorations we saw in season four to become a full-on stampede to colonize other solar systems...and those unknown forces that caused so much damage all those years ago? Well, they just might be shuddering back to life.

Where will it lead? How will it affect the other players? Whose faces will Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams) and Drummer (Cara Gee) have to punch next? And what will Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) have to say about it (and what will her outfits look like this season)? We’ll find out some of those answers on December 16, when the first three episodes of The Expanse’s fifth season arrive on Amazon. After that, there’ll be a new episode each Wednesday until the season finale on February 3.


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io9 News Editor, here since 2016. Previously SF Bay Guardian newspaper (RIP), SFSU (MA, Cinema Studies), member of the SF Bay Area Film Critics Circle, big fan of horror, metal, and verrry small dogs.



I’ve never liked Steven Straight as James Holden, he’s just too “angsty” and “sad boy”. Holden in the books is a badass, Steven Straight is kind of a weenie.