‘The Expanse’ Season 4 Review: Episodes 1-6 Are Beautiful & Compelling

The Expanse Season 4

Amazon Prime The Expanse

Season 4 of The Expanse releases on Amazon Prime on December 13 (likely in the evening of December 12 in the United States.) Amazon gave an early copy of the first six episodes of the 10-episode season to Heavy. This article will only have the most minor of spoilers that won’t give away major plot developments.

The New Season Is a Beautiful Work of Art

The Expanse Season 4

Amazon PrimeThe Expanse Season 4

The new season of The Expanse is breathtaking and the cinematography is top-notch. You can tell that the new season is lovingly made and not rushed through, either in the special effects or in the storyline. After the final season of Game of Thrones, I really enjoyed watching a show that moved through the storyline slowly without cutting any corners.

Not to say it was perfect. There was a certain storyline involving Bobbie Draper, for example, that didn’t make a lot of sense to me when I tried to square it with her personality and motivations in previous seasons. Book readers tell me it makes sense, so I’m holding off on my judgment.

But overall, the storyline is dense, complicated, and intriguing – just like I prefer my science fiction plots. There are a couple storylines and character decisions that you’ll find yourself debating with other viewers. Some characters have motivations that you can understand, even if you might not agree with the actions they take to reach their goals. But you understand why they did what they did. This season is going to provide a lot of material for conversations and debates in the weeks to come.

And all my favorite characters are heavily featured. Drummer and Klaes Ashford have a lot of very important decisions to make that could greatly affect the political climate around them. James Holden, Amos Burton, Naomi Nagata, and Alex Kamal are back. James is still a “prophet” of sorts, albeit a very uncomfortable one. The storylines don’t shy away from deep ethical questions and debates. And unlike some shows where I know exactly what I would do when I’m in a character’s shoes, I’m not sure at times here. 

And of course, I love the rings. I was a big Stargate fan, so I was thrilled when the idea of an ancient civilization that built rings as wormholes was introduced. This is very different from Stargate. But it scratches that itch.

If you’re trying not to binge the new series, you’ll need a lot of self-control. Episodes end with twists and minor cliffhangers that leave you wanting to immediately move on to the next one.

The New Season Starts Off Fast, So Make Sure You’re Refreshed on Where We Left Off

You’ll want to make sure you’re all caught up and refreshed on the previous seasons, because the new season isn’t going to hold your hand. It kicks off with a bang, right where we left off, with no in-depth refreshers spliced into the scenes. You’ll want to make sure you remember the major storylines, political intrigue, and protomolecule background before you start the new season.

From the moment the new season kicks off, it feels like The Expanse that we’ve all known and loved. The new intro is similar but different from Syfy’s intro. Amazon doesn’t try to make the series starkly different from Syfy’s version. It’s not like Designated Survivor on Netflix, where suddenly characters who never cursed before were unleashing expletives in an attempt to go grittier. The Expanse stays true to its origins, while simply improving and expanding upon them to create a beautiful work of art.

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