The Expanse Casting Signals a Devastating Season 5

Amazon has announced that it’s bringing back three characters for regular roles in its upcoming fifth season: Marco Inaros (Keon Alexander), Clarissa Mao / Melba Koh (Nadine Nicole) and Felip (Jasai Chase Owens). Their return signals that the series will indeed tackle the the fifth novel in the series, Nemesis Games.

The characters have popped up in the series a handful of times already, but for season five, they’ll all be elevated to series regulars, showing off that they’ll play a much larger role in the next season, which has already begun production.

Potential spoilers ahead for Nemesis Games and Seasons 4 and 5 of the TV series.

Alexander played Marco in five episodes in season 4, a radical leader within the Outer Planets Alliance and the former partner of Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper). Felip (played by Owens) is their son, and appeared in a single episode. Melba / Clarissa (Nichole) is a familiar character in the series, having been introduced in Season 3, and who appeared briefly in season 4. All of the characters play a major role in Nemesis Games, the next installment of the series.

The recently-released fourth season has been teasing a major confrontation between Marcos and Earth. Over the course of the last season, Ashford (played by David Strathairn), worked throughout the season to hunt down the radical belters who threatened the delicate arrangement that Earth, Mars, and the OPA came to after the opening of the Ring Gate. He discovered a Belter plot that involved Martian technology, only to get killed when he tries to take down Marco in the finale. During the finale, we learn that Marcos’ next target is Earth.

Marco, a radical, violent member of the OPA brought Felip into the ranks of the Free Navy, which have been working to orchestrate an assault against Earth — payback for decades of persecution. Both Marco and Felip play pivotal roles in planning and carrying out the attack.

That devastating attack plays out in Nemesis Games as Earth is devastated by a trio of asteroid strikes, and ultimately to a massive war against Marco and the rest of the Free Navy. The crew of the Rocinante is scattered throughout the solar system, and after the attack, work to meet back up in the chaos. Amos is on Earth at the time of the bombardment, and brings Clarissa Mao back to the Rocinante with him when he escapes from the destruction on Earth, after which point she becomes a regular member of the crew.

With a bit of foresight, Nemesis Games is one of the series’ more important installments, the culmination of a number of major tensions within the solar system that tee up the events of the next entry, Babylon’s Ashes. When word broke that the Syfy Channel had picked up the books for adaptation, one of my first thoughts was wondering if they would be able to pull off that devastating turn of events. Now, it looks like we’ll see later this year, when the fifth season debuts on Amazon.

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