Amazon's Glorious Sci-Fi Series 'The Expanse' Comes Home in Season 5

With a terrorist threat looming large in the Belt, the Rocinante crew confront their pasts.

Amazon Studios
Amazon Studios
Amazon Studios

Five seasons in, The Expanse is cruising. The Amazon Prime series, which returns December 16 with three new episodes and then one every Wednesday through February 3, is one of the best longform adaptations of a science-fiction series to date, and one of the most exciting, complex, and brilliantly written shows on television, period. The colorful, ever-changing vision of our interstellar future changes the game every season, morphing from a few misfits in a spaceship hunting down a mysterious substance to a diplomatic (and in some cases not-so-diplomatic) battle for supremacy over a new universe full of potentially habitable worlds. Not to mention everyone trying to figure out what happened to the progenitors of humanity’s new planet-hopping tech. Not to mention the unstable web of alliances within our own solar system itself.

With the addition of a mysterious terrorist, a missing protomolecule specimen, and a bunch of rocks hurtling towards humanity’s homeworld, Season 5, based on the fifth book in James S. A. Corey’s series Nemesis Games, turns things up several notches. Overwhelmed by the opportunity presented by the exoplanets reachable through the Ring, thanks to the protomolecule mysteriously left behind by an unknown and seemingly all-powerful alien race, the solar system is on tenterhooks once again, plenty of factions vying for control of the wormholes, disturbing the tentative peace between Earth, Mars, and the Belt. Adding a further wrinkle is the appearance of Belter terrorist Marco Inaros (Keon Alexander), driven to near insanity by the slights and hardships he suffered as a citizen of the asteroid belt, who plans to declare war on Earth by launching stealth-cloaked asteroids at the planet’s surface. Not good!Before we get to any of that, though, our heroes need to make some Feelings Journeys into their respective pasts, as the crew members of the Rocinante go their separate ways for the first time since they were all thrown together by the cataclysm that began the very first season. Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper) plans to hunt down the son she had with Inaros and save him from his terrorist dad; James Holden (Steven Strait) is searching for the remainder of the protomolecule and, with it, an explanation for why it haunted him for two seasons; Alex Kamal (Cas Anvar) attempts to reconnect with his estranged family before going on a stealth mission with Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams), who has been keeping track of illegal arms shipments on and off the Moon; Amos Burton (Wes Chatham) heads down to Earth in order to settle the affairs of a woman who looked after him when he was a child, before catching up with an old frenemy in an underground supermax prison. Camina Drummer (Cara Gee) is devastated by the loss of Ashford, and even Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) is unmoored after losing her United Nations reelection in the last season to Nancy Gao (Lily Gao), whom she’s uncertain has the temerity the position requires.

Naturally, all of these threads are knotted together again as the conflict between the inner planets and the Belt inevitably reaches a tipping point with catastrophic consequences. And yet, even with all the pithy conversations about alliances and human rights and the out-of-this-world action sequences The Expanse has become known for, there’s more of a melancholy feeling to this season, especially in the first few episodes. Our friends aren’t together anymore, no longer trading barbs about Martians and Belters and coffee machines as usual. All the people they’ve left behind have moved on, or become enemies, or died. Some, like Bobbie, have been totally disillusioned from what they thought was a flawless political system, working on the fringes to dismantle whatever small-time corruption they can find. There are plenty of spaceship shootouts and battle scenes to be had later on, but the first half of Season 5 is an Expanse that feels a little more interior than previous seasons, that gets into its own characters a little bit deeper than before.

The connection between the Rocinante‘s crew is never quite severed, though, and The Expanse remains great fun to watch. Even Thomas Jane is back-offscreen, that is, directing the third episode. Shortly before this premiere, Amazon announced that the show had been renewed for a sixth and final season, ending the rescue mission that happened when The Expanse jumped from cable network Syfy to streaming. But that means there are still plenty of episodes left before it’s gone for good, and the Rocinante is more than happy to bring us along for the ride.Need help finding something to watch? Sign up here for our weekly Streamail newsletter to get streaming recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.

Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.


Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.


Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.


BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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