It is good news to fans that THE EXPANSE has already been picked up for a second season, although it’s going to be a long, long summer of waiting. Last night’s finale was a culmination of the set of circumstances that brought together a diverse group of people, most who can’t stand each other. The destruction of Jim Holden’s (Steven Strait) ship, the Canterbury, triggers talks of war between Earth and the colonized Mars. On Ceres, Detective Joe Miller (Thomas Jane) seeks a mysterious woman, Julie Mao (Florence Faivre), a woman with ties to the OPA, a band of rabble-rousers proclaiming to seek equality for the “belters,” miners who are stuck on asteroids digging for the minerals that keep this futuristic universe alive. Headed by Anderson Dawes (Jared Harris), the OPA is not above extreme violence and pitting Earth and Mars against each other.
The first few episodes established characters and the world, and introduced viewers to an incredible visual spectacle of space, complex space craft, and futuristic cities on Earth, Mars, and beyond. Miller is hell-bent on finding Julie Mao, whom he may or may not be in love with. Holden and his patched together crew try to figure out who destroyed their ship, while Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) tries to hold things together diplomatically on Earth.
Things come together at episode 8, where Holden and his crew discover the remains of the ship last known to have had Julie Mao on board. What they find is something beyond their wildest imaginings, something so big, and so terrifying the band runs and nukes the space ship. They head to Eros, where their paths finally cross with Miller, and together they find the mystery of Julie Mao.
The season finale was heart-stopping, as Holden faces a hit squad, as Miller becomes hunted by the OPA as well as the police on Eros. This is where the series culminates and it is truly shocking. It is a rush for the pod, a hide and seeks game from Eros police, and the witnessing of a frightening truth that is bigger than Earth, Mars and the belters; something that can destroy them all.
At first, I thought “The Expanse” referred to the expansiveness of space; by the end the true Expanse is revealed, and its jaw dropping and terrifying.
During the break, I plan on reading the series of books “The Expanse” was based on, the series Leviathan Wakes by James A. Corey. So far there are five books in the series. Also easing the pain of waiting is the April release of Season One on DVD.
Along with The Expanse, The Magicians, 12 Monkeys and the upcoming The Hunters, it seems that SyFy has at last joined the ranks of serious science fiction and fantasy, hopefully obliterating their reputation for movies such as Sharknado. It’s a wonderful and welcome transition.