TL;DR – Today we see the end to it all and the start of something new.
Nemesis Games Review –
Wow, we have reached the end of Season Five, and what a wild ride it has been. In today’s finale, we get to see the culmination of where the plot was screaming towards and the inevitable fallout from when it all goes wrong, or right depending on your perspective.
So to set the scene, in last week’s episode Winnipesaukee, Naomi (Dominique Tipper) was desperately trying to let people know that her ship was a trap, without the ability to change this ships thrust or use a radio. This worked, but in that it only made people race to her faster as something was clearly wrong. It is in this race that Marco (Keon Alexander) sends Drummer and her family to intercept the Roci and end James Holden (Steven Strait) for good. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
This episode was a culmination of all the tension we have been feeling this year, but that does not mean that it lets the foot off the gas pedal in any way shape and form. We open with two of the tensest moments in the whole show, and this is an episode that exists in a season where we watched as people tried to save the world from falling rocks in almost real-time. But we have Naomi stuck on a doomed ship doing everything in her power to signal do not approach which is only making people approach more and James looking down a barrel of a fight he cannot win.
Both of these work out fine, but none feel like deus ex machina because those resolutions have been building all season. It makes sense that after everything Camina (Cara Gee) would pick this moment to make her stand which gives us what might be the best quote of the episode “Captain Now, Camina Later”. The same goes for Naomi’s last-ditch effort to save her friends by sacrificing her life to send a message that the ship was not safe using the only thing she had left, her own body. When she is saved by Bobbie (Frankie Adams), it makes sense because if anyone in the show can jump out of a ship and fly across the dark void of space like a Valkyrie of Norse mythology, it will be Bobbie ‘Gunnery Sergeant’ Draper. I did like the use of sound from Naomi’s perspective as she was rescued, as it made the resolution of that scene hit harder.
However, both of these last-minute saves comes at a coast. For Naomi, she has to live with the fact that foolish idiot Alex (Cas Anvar) stroked out trying to save her, that her life has a literal cost attached to it. Also while on Luna, one family was coming back together, out on The Belt, another was getting ripped apart. Drummer did not ask her family or consult with them before acting the way she did, and there were consequences, namely the death of one of the family as part of Marco’s revenge. But more than anything, Camina’s actions drew a line in the sand, and for Oksana (Sandrine Holt) and Bertold (Stephen Tracey), they could no longer walk where she was going. This is made worse by Josep (Samer Salem) deciding to stay, a level of heartbreak that would not have happened if the actors, production design, and story had not worked together all season.
Nemesis Games is also an episode of resolutions and more questions. The whole Roci family got scattered to the winds back in Exodus and it only now that they finally come back together. But all of them have walked different paths and come back as different people. It is here where we get some touching moments like James and Naomi sharing her final goodbye message because James had not had the heart to listen to it before now. We also got some lighter moments with Amos (Wes Chatham) smashing that bottle of tequila and even the way he invites Clarissa (Nadine Nicole) on board. But while many of Marco’s plans have fallen apart, one is still in motion, and that is securing the Ring Gate system for the rogue Martian faction that bankrolled him with most of his new ships. This, of course, this is rain on Chrisjen’s (Shohreh Aghdashloo) happy day and a bad day for this new faction on Laconia as one of their best ships gets eaten up during the transit.
In the end, do we recommend Nemesis Games? Absolutely, this was another contender for best episode of The Expanse. We got moments of action, moments of tension, moments of emotion, and moments despair. It concluded this season’s story and then propelled us into the next season (and if I am lucky more than just next season).
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Expanse
Directed by – Breck Eisner
Written by – Ty Franck, Daniel Abraham & Naren Shankar
Created by – Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby
Based on – The Expanse by James S. A. Corey (Ty Franck & Daniel Abraham)
Production/Distribution Companies – Alcon Entertainment & Amazon Studios
Starring – Steven Strait, Cas Anvar, Dominique Tipper, Wes Chatham, Frankie Adams, Cara Gee, Nadine Nicole, Keon Alexander, Jasai Chase-Owens & Shohreh Aghdashloo with José Zúñiga, Sandrine Holt, Tim Dekay, Anna Hopkins, George Tchortov, Olunike Adeliyi, Jacob Mundell, Lara Jean Chorostecki, Wilex Ly, Stephen Tracey, Samer Salem, Vanessa Smythe, Carlos Gonzalez-Vio & Somkele Idhalama