This Friday will mark the official end of The Expanse Season 6, with the sixth episode of the final season on Amazon Prime Video. The finale appears to end the ‘Free Navy’ arc, a story in motion since the end of Season 4.
The point is, I’m not entirely convinced that this is the end of The Expanse (one of best Amazon Prime Video shows). The show has survived cancellation once before, after Syfy bluntly abandoned the show at the end of its third season, and I suspect something similar is going to happen now.
It’s not just wishful thinking on my part either. Showrunner Naren Shankar said THAT ONE that there is still room for more Expanse stories to tell. Which makes sense. After all, The Expanse book series is nine books (and eight short stories), while the TV series only seems to go all the way to Book 6: Ashes of Babylon.
And that was reflected in Season 6, with the series acting as if it intended to continue well beyond Friday’s finale. The series has even started to set the stage for adaptations of the last three novels. There have been teases and hints in the past seasons, but Season 6 has taken it to the extreme.
There are more stories to tell for The Expanse
Anyone who hasn’t read Expanse’s books before will likely be confused about the subplot starring Cara, the young girl living on the planet Laconia. Its story bears no relation to the rest of the series, and the threat of the Free Navy, after all.
Without spoiling anything, Cara becomes very important later, and these clips from her life on Laconia are absolutely crucial for that. In other words, The Expanse is already setting up future stories, even as the series itself comes to an end.
That’s why I suspect it’s not really the end.
Scope was good enough to accommodate its source material. It hasn’t been completely faithful, for one reason or another, but overall the series has done a good job of condensing the first six books (and the relevant novels) and adapting them for the small screen.
Without spoiling what’s likely to come in the finale, it makes a bit of sense that The Expanse, in its current form, ends here. Babylon’s Ashes ended in such a way that the show could end there, offering solid conclusions to the ongoing plot without leaving any significant suspense.
That being said, there are still three books left to adapt, and those books cover the mysteries of The Expanse’s universe in much more detail. Mysteries the shows have only scratched the surface of, such as the mysterious beings who live inside the ring doors, and are only visible to James Holden.
And, of course, Laconia plays a huge role in the last three books. So huge that I can’t really go into detail without revealing possible spoilers. Needless to say, Cara’s story is very important, even if it only seems like a confusing addition to the current arc.
What form would Expanse 2.0 (or Expanse season 7?) Take?
The only question is, what would more Expanse look like? The most logical option would be to go ahead and develop the stories as seasons seven through nine. It would make Amazon a bit of a fool to declare season six the last, but it’s not like fans would be so outraged. And that means we could (hopefully) keep the same cast that fans know and love for a few more years – if they so choose.
Alternatively, there is always room for spin-offs. Amazon has already shown that it is not against this action plan, since The Boys already has two different spin-offs in development. Without a doubt, changes will need to be made and new characters introduced to replace the exiting Rocinante crew. However, that would mean being able to end the whole saga, in a way, and deliver a real conclusion as the creators of The Expanse envisioned.
Again, who said it should be a TV series? I wouldn’t mind being able to see an Expanse movie, and the space action is generally pretty amazing on the big screen. Heck, I’d rather settle for a streaming-only movie. After all, if Amazon can launch a future blockbuster like The Tomorrow War, it could pull out all the stops and give the green light to an Expanse movie (or movies).
Plus, while Amazon has picked up a bunch of theatrical releases that have been affected by the pandemic, there aren’t many “Made for Prime” movies out there. Certainly not in the same league as Netflix. Expanse movies wouldn’t be such a terrible way to reinvigorate this surge.
If Season 6 is truly the end of The Expanse, that wouldn’t be the worst way to go. The conclusion of Babylon’s Ashes was a turning point for the series, and events unfold in such a way that the series can (and, hopefully,) deliver a satisfying conclusion to all of the major plot threads. So we’re not going to find ourselves in a Deadwood situation, with a cliffhanger ending that must be resolved in a still unreleased film.
But The Expanse was a hit with audiences and critics alike, with Seasons 3, 4, and 5 still scoring 100% on Rotten tomatoes. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if we got more Stories from the Universe at some point in the future. After all, if a show with such a maligned finale like Dexter can come back for more, then anything is possible.
Plus, as book readers already know, a gap of several years between Season 6 and whatever lies ahead could work in the show’s favor. Whatever happens, the door will always be open. We just need someone willing to go through this.