The first half of this article will be spoiler-free, but the second half will focus on what The Expanse’s Season 3 finale means for Season 4 and its future on Amazon.
How We Got Here
If you missed the first three seasons of Syfy’s The Expanse, then you picked the perfect time to start getting acquainted with the best science fiction series since the reimagined Battlestar Galactica premiered in 2004.
Set more than 200 years in the future, The Expanse is a sci-fi operatic marvel, filled with complex characters, political intrigue, and a compelling story that centers on Earth’s relationship with various human colonies that inhabit Mars and the Outer Planets Alliance, or OPA for short. When a strange alien substance called the “protomolecule” starts causing havoc in the outer colonies, the three major governments use their resources to obtain the protomolecule for its potential use as a weapon of mass destruction.
In the two-part Season 3 finale, titled “Congregation” and Abaddon’s Gate,” all of the tension between the OPA, Mars, and Earth that’s been building over the past 3 seasons has come to a head. A small group of renegades aboard a stolen Martian ship, the Rocinante, led by their captain, James Holden (Steven Strait), is the only voice of reason amid the chaos. While the three major powers compete for control of the protomolecule, Holden and his team have continually urged caution when dealing with the alien substance and encouraged all sides to work together instead of blowing each other up. With all three powers in close proximity to each other throughout the finale, the question becomes: will people finally start listening to what Holden has to say before it’s too late?
If any part of this story sounds interesting to you, then I highly recommend checking out the series. Currently, you can stream the first two seasons on Amazon Prime and Season 3 on Syfy on-demand. Shortly after The Expanse was canceled by Syfy, Amazon picked up the series for a fourth season.
Now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of what the Season 3 finale could mean for Season 4 when it premieres on Amazon. FULL SPOILERS ahead.
A Galactic Gold Rush
After Holden and Anna (Elizabeth Mitchell) convinced the rest of the flotilla to power down their ships, The Ring no longer saw the humans as a threat and let them return to normal space. This event was huge, because not only did it let humanity survive another day, it also resulted in the opening of 1300 new gateways to unexplored worlds, teeming with possibilities. Holden said it best when he phrased the event as a new gold rush for space exploration. For Season 4, Holden and company should have an exciting galactic playground to explore, as they search for answers concerning the protomolecule and the aliens that created it.
Now that we know the protomolecule isn’t a weapon, but instead, a tool used to build roads across the galaxy, a series of new questions about its origins arises. Like who actually made it? Well, according to Detective Joe Miller (Thomas Jane), the protomolecule’s creators were killed off by another powerful force of unknown origin that Holden and Miller are interested in learning more about in Season 4. While Holden and Miller’s endeavor to seek out the most deadly force in the galaxy might sound silly, their search through uncharted space should provide us with exciting new adventures away from the human colonies. In a way, The Expanse is becoming more like Star Trek as it boldly goes where no one has gone before. Also, what passed through Holden’s body before the credits rolled?
The Expanse has always had a rich cast of characters, but the addition of Reverand Anna Volovodov (Mitchell) in Season 3 made the show even better, especially her relationship with Amos (Wes Chatham). Chatham has done a wonderful job of being the show’s comic relief, but since Naomi (Dominique Tipper) fell in love with Holden and left the Roci crew midway through the season, Amos lost a counterpart to bounce his craziness off of. With Anna, who had a great scene with Amos during a shootout in the finale about the value of human life and morality, Amos now has that dynamic equal to contend with. Chatham and Mitchell are both talented actors, so pairing them together in an almost mother/son dynamic was a great move by the writers. Hopefully, Season 4 will develop their relationship even further.
Amazon and the Future of The Expanse
Thanks to Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, The Expanse is coming back for a fourth season on the streaming provider, with no release date officially announced. Now, with the backing of one of the biggest companies in the world, will the show’s overall look and production value change? The Expanse is already a visually striking series, but Amazon has proven that it’s not afraid to invest in its shows, with Lord of the Rings costing around $500 million for two seasons‘ worth of episodes. Either way, it’s nice to know that The Expanse is in capable hands, with a company that doesn’t rely on ad-sales to finance their shows. Hopefully, author James S.A. Corey’s immersive universe will be explored in full before the series airs its last episode – book 9 in The Expanse series will be available in 2019.
What are you excited to see when Season 4 of The Expanse premieres on Amazon? Let us know in the comments.
David Griffin still has dreams of becoming an Astronaut one day. Say hi on Twitter.