The Expanse Hits a Home Run with Season 2
**Light spoilers ahead for both seasons of The Expanse.**
I’ve gushed about The Expanse before. It has everything I’ve ever wanted in a sci-fi show: interplanetary politics and intrigue, space battles grounded in Newtonian physics, and thought-provoking commentary on society and the human condition. You know, basic Space Opera TV-type stuff. Season one had all these things in spades, and I’m
happy ecstatic to say that season two is even better—all while adding a hint of conspiracy thriller and a dash of mystery to the formula!
This season has two story arcs. The first arc concludes Miller’s search for Julie Mao definitively; it takes just shy of half the season to finish. It’s a bittersweet ending as it sidelines Thomas Jane’s character for the remainder of the season (just as I was warming up to his character). The ending also nicely sets up the the second half of the season: the protomolecule super weapon is released and the interplanetary powers—Earth, Mars and the Belt—are in a race to acquire and control it.
Several new characters are thrown in the mix this time around. Terry Chen plays the newest member of the Roci, Praxidike “Prax” Meng. Separated from his daughter and fearing that she may already be dead, Prax crosses paths with our space-faring crew only to learn that she’s still alive. He later joins the crew in order to help him find his daughter and her kidnapper. Chen is a great actor and is well cast here; he comes across as a well-meaning family man who also acts as a new character foil to Amos, our lovable onboard sociopath played by Wes Chatham.
Bobby Draper (Frankie Adams) undergoes the largest character reversal of the season. Introduced in the very first episode, Draper is a hot headed Mars Marine in power armor: blood-thirsty and war hungry with Earth in her crosshairs. Adams does admirably, riding the line between a hot headed and stubborn marine and someone who questions authority and actually has some moral fiber in her. By the season finale, she has literally turned her back on the Martian Navy by seeking asylum with the UN on Earth.
And, of course, I would be remiss to leave out Nick E. Tarabay’s portrayal of Cotyar, Avasarala’s personal spy and bodyguard. I was looking forward to Nick’s character since the very beginning, and he does not disappoint. Cotyar was charming and funny throughout the season—so much so that you could probably call him a bonfire scene-stealer. There are few actors I genuinely enjoy watching, and Tarabay is definitely on the top of the list.
Having already dumped exposition in the previous season, it is exhilarating to see all the movers and shakers of The Expanse universe try to coerce, backstab, and manipulate each other in the hopes of getting the upper hand on the protomolecule. Jules Pierre Mao (François Chau), Sadavir Errinwright (Shawn Doyle), and Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) have exquisite chemistry together as each tries to financially and politically outplay one another. Additional props goes to Jared Harris who (and I say this with utmost respect) makes Anderson Dawes the most slimy, cunning, and memorable character in this season.
Suffice it to say, I loved this season. Everything about this show: the directing, the special effects, the pacing, the acting—all of it, are very well done and have absolutely cemented me as a fan of this universe.
This is my favorite SciFi series right now, and I can’t wait for more.
Photo Credit: Kurt Iswarienko/Syfy