Last night's finale of The Expanse, season five, was mostly disappointing, shifting from bad tonal choices to odd tonal choices. It did have bright spots, though, and even a disappointing episode of The Expanse is still better than the average TV series.
Spoilers after the screenshot
So we finally know how they handled the departure of Cas Anvar--they killed off Alex abruptly. Having a stroke after rescuing Naomi (Dominique Tipper) is a nice way of reminding the audience of the constant danger involved in the crew getting juiced up to handle g forces. Aside from that, though, it really didn't feel like the right time from a storytelling perspective. Alex had some good episodes at the beginning of the season that seemed like they were just the start of a new chapter for him.
In addition to that, the reactions of the rest of the crew, particularly Bobbie (Frankie Adams), who'd been teamed up with him all season, seemed peculiarly bland, which makes sense if the episode was shot before the makers of the show decided to edit Alex out. The banquet scene at the end feels particularly bizarre.
After all the bitterness and struggle of the season, now everyone's kicking back, getting their drunk on, and dressed in red and black. It felt like a dream sequence--part of me seriously expected it to be. Marco isn't even dead. Which is another disappointing thing, considering he was such a weak, uninteresting villain.
The two bright spots of the episode were Drummer (Cara Gee) and Naomi (Dominique Tipper). The drama between Drummer and her crew as they decide to take the painful steps of parting ways with Marco was great and the conclusion of Naomi's already gripping survival story was terrific.
I don't know the exact nature of the allegations against Anvar but I'm inclined to think he shouldn't have been fired unless he'd been convicted of a crime. But, oh, well, it's just a TV show. It kind of feels like the heart's gone out of it, anyway.
The Expanse is available on Amazon Prime.