The Expanse season 6, episode 1 recap – the premiere explained

December 10, 2021
Daniel Hart 1
Amazon Prime, Streaming Service, Weekly TV
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While still a good continuation, the premiere of the final season feels like it’s setting the story. We already know the story.

This recap of Amazon’s The Expanse season 6, episode 1, “Strange Dogs,” contains spoilers.

Read the recap of the season 5 finale. 

Six episodes. Yes, The Expanse was given six episodes to pull off an ending for this story. Various news reports suggest that six, eight, or ten episodes will be enough, but the question that remains is — will they pull it off?

The Expanse season 6, episode 1 recap

Episode 1 begins with a young girl in the wild, caring and tending for animals. The camera zooms out to reveal the mountainous environment — the screen pops up with “Ring #673, Planet 2” and then “Laconia” — this is one of the systems Marco gave the Martians free rein of. This is all we see in episode 1 of this system, but we expect this to be more important in the remaining chapters.

And then episode 1 flits to Earth; asteroids continue to hammer the planet, and the Free Navy is seen in news footage celebrating and hailing their leader Marco Inaros. We’ve reached a peaking point in the story. Chrisjen Avasarala and Bobbie are doing all they can to limit the damage from the rocks. Avasarala notes that each rock, even those destroyed, increases contaminants on the planet. She seems fed up and defeated. And do you blame her? Marco has the upper hand at this point.

As for the Rocinante crew, they are fighting in The Belt on a Recon Mission. It’s day 187. Holden confirms Free Navy activity, and he looks exhausted. Wary of the Free Navy, they send a drone on an asteroid to see if it’s a stealth rock. Amos handles the drone from outside the ship. When checking out the rock, Naomi Nagata believes she can see a mining structure.

Holden goes to check it out. He finds a navigation computer. Suddenly a magnetic force comes into action; Naomi tells Holden to get out because the reactor is about to explode. However, Holden takes matters into his own hands to shut the system down. He repeatedly smashes the computer until it stops. Holden states he didn’t have enough time, but Naomi isn’t in the mood to debate it. We understand her anxiety; she’s not about this life anymore. She doesn’t want to lose anyone again.

Episode 1 then moves to Ceres Station, which is under Free Navy Control. Filip Inaros is having sex with a woman. And then, he joins his father, Marco, and there appears to be tension between them. Filip eyes up another woman working behind the bar — he seems to be enjoying himself on the station and is less interested in his father’s plans; he clearly feels invincible when it comes to women due to his reputation, but there’s something that is hurting him. Marco wants to increase the bounty by 20% for Drummer; he’s frustrated that she’s still not caught.

Marco then delivers a speech, calling Ceres Station one of their homes. He states that the station has always been for the Belters. He wants it to be their primary place for a home. Interestingly, Filip is not moved by this speech. He looks irked.

And then episode 1 moves to a Free Navy Bounter Hunter in The Belt. Drummer and her family are on the run but attempting to take down Free Navy ships. After a mistake by Michio with the controls, they have to evade an attack — they succeed in their mission, but a heavy risk was taken. Unfortunately, after this mission, they have a low missile load. Micho complicated the mission; Drummer tells her that she will need to leave the crew, so they will find her a place to stay and to be safe. Michio is upset, believing she can do better. She doesn’t want to leave the polyamorous family.

The ending

Filip and his friend enjoy more women on the station. The friend starts boasting how Filip was one of the leaders for the attack on Earth — Filip is irked by the storytelling, and he’s suddenly not in the mood to party and storms off. He overhears Marco and an acquaintance talking about Ceres, and he tells his father to do a better job for the people.

Filip heads to the bar and tries to pull the barmaid again; she tells him to find another girl, and Filip is unnecessarily rude, believing she should be grateful that someone like him takes an interest in her. To cool him down, she tries to give him a free drink, but he loses his head and ends up starting a fight with his friend. Filip shoots his friend in anger.

Holden receives an intel update on the Free Navy. He shows Amos, and it’s linked to the Protomolecules. Amos states it should be the least of their worries. Naomi interrupts their conversation — she’s seen a pattern with transmissions; each signal has launched a rock. Naomi triangulated the signals and found a Spotter ship that has an orbit. Holden believes it will severely damage Marco and his operations to hit the Earth if they can find and destroy it.

As we reach closer to the end, episode 1 moves to the U.N.N. Zenobia that is orbiting Earth. Journalists hound Chrisjen Avasarala — Monica Stuart asks Avasarala if she tried to make a peace treaty with the Free Navy, and the leader is irritated by that question. Bobbie asks Monica to back off.

As the episode ends, Avasarala tells Bobbie that she knows that she hates this job working for her; she knows she is sick of doing nothing. Avasarala shows Bobbie intel from Holden — the Spotter ship. She hopes that it’s good intel, as they are broken. They need something big to give them all a reason to “hope.” Avasarala has something in mind, but what?

Navigation logs

  • Naomi gets emotional at steering the Rocinante for the first time.
  • Amos tries to cool tensions between Naomi and Peaches, but Naomi does not forgive Peaches for the past. Amos tells Naomi to give Peaches a break.

What did you think of The Expanse season 6, episode 1? Comment below.

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1 thought on “The Expanse season 6, episode 1 recap – the premiere explained

  • December 13, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    I think that the the common thread in all three situations in which Filip reacted in a somewhat overreactive, emotionally-driven, violent way is the trigger of his father being brought up. You used the word “irked” twice to describe him and I felt like you were painting the impression that he was apathetic and unbothered by things like his father’s speech and the conversation in the room when him and his friend were enjoying the two women when it shifted to his father and role in the bombings. If you don’t mind me saying so, I think “irked” is just a bit of an understatement, because I didn’t get the impression that he was just completely unimpressed and unfazed by his father’s speech, for example. I felt like he was intensely focused on his father’s face during it, and it is during moments like this as well as others where he realizes his life revolves around his father where he suddenly has an urge to explode due to his contradicting internal feelings – on the one hand, it has been Filip and Dad against the world, and he does not want to betray him, on the other, he is starting to realize the truth of what Naomi said about how Marco would let Filip die for him but would not do so for Filip if the tables were turned. Not to mention, having Marco as a father in general of course leads to the development of some major ego and confidence issues, not to mention the normal psychology surrounding growing up in someone’s shadow, so the violent outburst at the end was honestly no surprise to me since he had just run into his father at the bar on his way out of the room, already flustered by the conversation turning to focus on Marco, and then Marco dismisses him condescendingly, purposefully patronizing him in front of his business associate in a “shhh the grown-ups are talking” way. I honestly thought he was going to suddenly start swinging violently at his friend in the room with the girls.

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