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Author Topic: The Expanse Season 5: Why did it go so wrong? [Spoilers]  (Read 1005 times)

hedgehobbit

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The Expanse Season 5: Why did it go so wrong? [Spoilers]
« on: February 12, 2021, 10:44:06 AM »
The Expanse is my favorite current show (which isn't saying much as the only other show I am watching is Wandavision which fell apart by the fourth episode). I greatly enjoyed the start of Season 5, as they finally moved the focus of the show away from the blue fairy dust and went back to the political intrigue that I liked from the first couple seasons. But as the season went along it got worse and worse. There were two problems that seemed to repeat over and over throughout the season.

Plot points that go nowhere:

-In the last episode of Season 4, the graphic showed Marco destroying the watchtower with coordinated rock strikes. This never happened.

-Marco threatens to release the proto-molecule on Earth if the UN responded. Not only did he not do this, but the UN leaders never even mentioned it when discussing their strategy. An odd omission considering the release of the proto-molecule on Earth was the biggest threat for the first several seasons.

-Marco mentions that Ganymede will be able to supply food for the belt yet that's completely pointless considering his actual plan. In fact, most of what he does, including trying to destroy the Rocinante, doesn't matter to his actual plan.

-The entire season arc of Amos left him back in the same spot as he started.

-There were multiple episodes where Naomi was inside a ship trying to get out a coded message. She succeeds but, even though Holden gets the message, nobody does anything different then they would have otherwise. The entire message plot was pointless.

Characters introduced and then dropped:

-The "wuvs the science" girl that fixed the Rocinante get's captured but never mentioned again.

-There's a new prime minister of the UN but he gets removed off screen putting that horrible woman back in charge which completely undid her entire arc from Season 4.

-They add a new ex-girlfriend for Drummer out of nowhere. She spends the whole season mumbling and plotting against Drummer and then just leaves. We can also mention how Drummer went from being second-in-command of Tycho station, to first in command of the Behemoth, to being a scrapper in charge of a "fleet" of three ships with a combined crew of 6. A major downgrade to her status and she spends the entire season fumbling around, changing her mind every episode.


After all of that I'm left wondering what happened. It seems that halfway through the season, they writers just forgot what was supposed to happen and went with the whole "capture the rift" plot even though it meant that most of what had already happened didn't make sense anymore. Are the books this unfocused or did the showrunner just decide to go in a different direction?

Omega

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Re: The Expanse Season 5: Why did it go so wrong? [Spoilers]
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2021, 09:23:19 AM »
Check writer credits to see if they are notably different. Even if they arent different there may have been some uncredited writers brought in.

Warder

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Re: The Expanse Season 5: Why did it go so wrong? [Spoilers]
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2021, 06:03:14 PM »
Regarding the plotholes. Ive seen tv shows so bad they fried my receptors to bad plot. I am able to forgive a really big amount of logic holes, plot holes too. So im ok with what went down, i wasnt that much invested in it.

Regarding Amos, the whole earth asteroid bombardment was handled way better in the books, i had a feeling the fallout was way more ugly and had long term catastrophical impact. In the tv series it was ehh.. I like Amos thou, Peaches too, so im ok with that. I also like how he trolled Holden at the end, that was good. So ill consider the whole journey time well spent/watched.

Regarding Drummer. She is without a doubt a ... somewhat chaotic character. She is a hardass to her core but she had to make some decisions that were ripping her apart. I dont see her arc as well written, also the dead crewmember at the end made me laugh. Of course a petty maniac with a narcissius complex like Inaros would retaliate on a personal level, its his whole shtick. Her ex girlfriend was dumb as fak thou.

Also, regarding Wandavision.. i recommend watching the next episode, they do pick up nicely. Still, its all your mileage may vary, and i do have a somewhat skewed reception.

Premier

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Re: The Expanse Season 5: Why did it go so wrong? [Spoilers]
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2021, 06:24:07 PM »
I dont see her arc as well written, also the dead crewmember at the end made me laugh. Of course a petty maniac with a narcissius complex like Inaros would retaliate on a personal level, its his whole shtick.

Just pointing out that the crewmember getting killed in retaliation was in no way a surprise to anyone, and it had absolutely nothing to do with Inaros being narcissistic or taking it personally. It was clear ever since Drummer's meeting with Inaros that the guy had to be left behind as a hostage - in the original sense of the word. It's a practice that had been around since at least the Roman Republic: we're on the same side now, but we're taking some people important to you, and if you ever backstab us they die. Drummer and the rest of the crew had to know what was going to happen; of course, they might have just deluded themselves out of despair.
Obvious troll is obvious. RIP, Bill.

Brand55

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Re: The Expanse Season 5: Why did it go so wrong? [Spoilers]
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2021, 08:48:00 PM »
One problem with Drummer is that she isn't a character. She's an amalgamation of several characters from the books (at least two, possibly more) and it makes for a bit of a weird character arc.

I think the show's biggest problem is that they only have one season left to wrap everything up and there's no way they can do that. The show has covered about five books (with plenty of changes) but the books are still coming out (I think book nine is supposed to be out this year). So the people making the show have to either change things to come up with some sort of satisfactory ending, which won't match the story they're working with, or keep plowing ahead and hope the series gets renewed or picked up by another service.

jeff37923

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Re: The Expanse Season 5: Why did it go so wrong? [Spoilers]
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2021, 03:53:28 AM »
I don't know if this is the explanation for the chaotic screenwriting, but Cas Anvar is accused of numerous instances of sexual assault allegations from convention goers. The news is 10 months old, but I just ran across it. Full details are at the links below if you want to wade into the muck.

https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/the-expanse-season-5-how-show-writers-ditched-cas-anvar-in-nemesis-games.html/

https://www.reddit.com/r/TheExpanse/comments/hf7k3v/cas_anvar_alex_accused_of_multiple_counts_of/fvvrz02/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x

Kyle Aaron

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Re: The Expanse Season 5: Why did it go so wrong? [Spoilers]
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2021, 06:41:13 AM »
The book covering the events of this season is just as muddled as the tv show.

Basically once the Ring Gate opened the whole story got weaker. That's what happens when you base your plot on Mysterious Black Slime Nanobots.

HappyDaze

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Re: The Expanse Season 5: Why did it go so wrong? [Spoilers]
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2021, 07:14:54 AM »
The book covering the events of this season is just as muddled as the tv show.

Basically once the Ring Gate opened the whole story got weaker. That's what happens when you base your plot on Mysterious Black Slime Nanobots.
The story really takes a dive in books 7 & 8 (and probably in the upcoming final book 9 too) when they jump the timeline ahead so they can have the final arc of the series. I'm going to read book 9 with low expectations, mostly out of hope that some of what I loved about the series will reappear. If it doesn't, oh well.

Kyle Aaron

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Re: The Expanse Season 5: Why did it go so wrong? [Spoilers]
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2021, 08:33:09 AM »
I bought the books one by one, got up to #5 - or was it #6? - and then didn't feel the urge to look for the others in the bookstore. Two basic kinds of books are the Tom Clancy kind which you read just for the story, and the Tolkien kind where the individual sentences are well-crafted. Only the second is really worth re-reading, so I donated them to the op shop. I hope someone else enjoys them.

I think the authours tried a bit too hard to go epic. It's the problem in so many action and superhero movies, too - once you've saved the world, where do you go from there?

Lurkndog

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Re: The Expanse Season 5: Why did it go so wrong? [Spoilers]
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2021, 02:59:54 PM »
I think the authours tried a bit too hard to go epic. It's the problem in so many action and superhero movies, too - once you've saved the world, where do you go from there?

The plot might hinge on "save the world," but often the parts we remember are the character interactions along the way. When I think of the first Avengers movie, I immediately remember the scenes between Cap and Tony. The best of the Marvel movies are full of moments like that.

If you have the right characters and dialog, it doesn't matter that you've saved the world before.

HappyDaze

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Re: The Expanse Season 5: Why did it go so wrong? [Spoilers]
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2021, 11:14:13 AM »
If you have the right characters and dialog, it doesn't matter that you've saved the world before.
The writers of Supernatural seem to agree with you.

hedgehobbit

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Re: The Expanse Season 5: Why did it go so wrong? [Spoilers]
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2021, 08:23:15 AM »
The plot might hinge on "save the world," but often the parts we remember are the character interactions along the way. When I think of the first Avengers movie, I immediately remember the scenes between Cap and Tony. The best of the Marvel movies are full of moments like that.

If you have the right characters and dialog, it doesn't matter that you've saved the world before.

My problem with The Expanse isn't that they saved the world so now what, but the fact that they never actually saved the world. The proto-molecule is still dangerous and uncontrollable, yet when Marco threatens to deploy it on Earth none of the characters on Earth actually care. It's almost like the fact that they revealed a new, even bigger, threat means that the old threat doesn't matter anymore.

It reminds me of the later seasons of Lost. Where instead of resolving problems, all the characters just randomly stop caring about them.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2021, 08:24:47 AM by hedgehobbit »