One of the best science fiction shows comes to an end. But is it a goodbye or a cya later?
The Expanse has been a real treat for sci-fi fans, featuring five high-quality seasons about warfare between factions, weird alien technology, politics, and even a little noir mystery. But at the centre of all this has always been the relationship between characters, particularly those who inhabit the Rocinante ship.
Unfortunately, this sixth season marks the end of the show, with only six episodes, although the last one is a little longer than usual. It's a direct continuation of the season five events, focusing on the Inners fight against Marco Inaros' Belter faction. It's a sixth season based on the sixth book from author James S. A. Corey, Babylon's Ashes, but as with the written work, this sixth season feels more like a season 5.5 then a true new season.
But there's more. Season six also tells another story, based on the separate book Strange Dogs: An Expanse Novella. We won't go into details, but it's a more protomolecule-focused story that plays out in the first few minutes of each episode. It seems like an odd decision to introduce Strange Dogs this season, as it's connection to the rest of the story is tenuous at best. Maybe it's a way to include a little more about the protomolecule, as the rest of the season barely touches on this subject?
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Another hypothesis is that Strange Dogs is in this sixth season to plant the seeds for something more in the future. Officially this sixth season is the last of The Expanse show, but there are three more books in the literary work, and producer Naren Shankar has already said the series can continue - if only outside Amazon. But that, for now, is speculation. More importantly, if it ends here, the show will all have a decent ending with this sixth season. The arc of the Inners, the Belters, and Marco Inaros concludes satisfactorily, although there is still the feeling that something is missing, especially with regard to the protomolecule.
The sixth book in the saga is criticised for wasting too much time in the first half of the story, but we didn't feel that when watching the sixth season. As there's only six episodes, the story carries on at a good pace, without ever seeming to waste time. It's also a season that gives fans what they want, in the sense that the Rocinante's crew is back aboard the ship, where we prefer them to be.
This sixth season also has some good action moments, with reasonable special effects - considering it's a TV series. If you're a fan of space battles, great manoeuvres, and intense action, you shouldn't be disappointed by a few moments from The Expanse: Season 6.
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Overall we'd say it's a reasonable conclusion and a good sixth season, although The Expanse has spoiled us by being mostly more than merely 'good'. Let's hope it's not really the end of the saga, event if that means The Expanse has to find a new house for a second time (the first three seasons were on the Syfy channel, before the series was acquired by Amazon Prime Video for seasons 4, 5, and 6).