I’m a huge fan of THE EXPANSE and looked forward to Season 6 with great excitement. Aside from the relatively rough Season 4, which was okay but not mind-blowing in my opinion, every season was incredibly strong, drawing on terrific source material while beautifully adapting it as a screen series. Season 6 was okay but overall disappointing for me, not quite Season 8 GAME OF THRONES but with some familiar feelings.
In this season, James Holden and his crew are exhausted after months fighting Marcos Inaros and his Free Navy, which seeks to control the Rings and therefore all the resources of the worlds beyond. If they can stop asteroids from being hurled at Earth, the UN and Mars can go on the offensive. When they do, it leads to a climactic battle that may forever redefine the final relations between Earth, Mars, and the Belt. While all this is happening, each episode starts with a scene on a planet on the other side of the Ring, where colonists are conducting some type of research and a young girl makes a startling discovery about its indigenous life.
The season has its strengths and powerful moments, but overall it feels rushed and clumsy, and while it catches up to the books and offers nothing more to happen–the show has been canceled, and the next book in the series from what I hear is set 30 years later, requiring a reboot–it leaves a lot on the table. Notably, the subplot on the planet that for me didn’t really go anywhere and wasn’t needed. Besides that, the characters don’t feel like themselves. Gone is the cracking dialogue, the human moments that made the sci-fi come alive and feel lived in. Everybody feels like they’re economically checking scenes so they can get it over with in a short season of six episodes, while oddly some subplots, such as the relationship between Inaros and his son Philip, have falling out and reconciliations that repeat again and again. A power play at the very end, which apparently wasn’t in the book, is a TV trope we didn’t need to see again.
Overall, it didn’t crash and burn and tick me off the way GAME OF THRONES did, but I was hardly wowed. In all, THE EXPANSE was one of the best things in my opinion to happen to sci-fi on TV, brilliant and exciting and filled with strong characters. I wish it had ended on a stronger note, but I’m grateful for what I was able to get, and I’ll continue reading the books to flesh out my fix.