The Expanse has gotten very, well, expansive over the years. After The Ring opened up countless new systems and planets to explore, it seemed like the universe was on the verge of getting too big for the Rocinante and its crew. But season five is looking to bring it back home.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Naren Shankar teased what fans can expect from season five of The Expanse. Taking inspiration from Nemesis Games and Babylon’s Ashes (the fifth and sixth books in the series), as well as the Amos-centered novella The Churn, the storyline hones in on our characters and does something we haven’t seen yet: Explore their backstories.
“The theme really is about the sins of the past. To one extent or another, that’s every single storyline, whether it is Naomi personally confronting the fact that she had a son with this very charismatic, and now quite violent, revolutionary-type leader. Whether it’s Amos connecting to his past, or going back to Earth for reasons that we’re not quite sure of. Whether it’s Holden’s past with unleashing the protomolecule. Whether it is the past geopolitical history of the Belt, and its relationship with the inner planets, which we see through Avasarala,” Shankar said.
One of the biggest storylines centres around Naomi (Dominique Tipper), who discovered last season that her son Filip (Jasai Chase Owens) was alive and part of his father Marco’s (Keon Alexander) rising Belter resistance movement. According to Shankar, Naomi is determined to reach out to Filip and rescue him from his father, who “she thinks is really a terrible person.” But the showrunner said one of his favourite stories from the new season is actually about Amos (Wes Chatham), who heads back to Baltimore to confront his own past — one that audiences have been kept in the dark about. It’s a story that was explored in The Churn, one that Shankar said he’s been excited about telling for years.
“Reaching back into season three, when that reporter Monica Stuart was interviewing him. She was talking about, ‘Isn’t it funny that you got the name of a mob boss?’ He said, ‘Oh, it’s a common name in Baltimore,” he said. “There’s a lot of mystery attached to Amos’ backstory around Baltimore. Without telling specifically why he heads back, you’re going to get a lot of answers to it. Things are going to feel really, really satisfying because it illuminates a side of him that nobody else on the Roci gets to see. Nobody else really knows, but the audience is going to get to go with Amos to experience it.”
The Expanse returns on Amazon Studios December 16.