'The Expanse' May Be Over, but Is It Done Forever?

The final season deliberately leaves some questions unanswered.

the expanse james holden steven strait
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime

This article contains spoilers for The Expanse.

The Expanse, like the universe itself, was always getting bigger, more complex, and denser with every turn—so consistently that it seemed like it could never end. But, for now at least, its Season 6 finale is also its series finale, an action-packed mega-episode that saw Earth, Mars, and the Belt finally come together to face a common enemy, with the crew of the Rocinante ready as always to lend a sneaky assist. With a climactic battle and a much-deserved villain death behind them, is that really it for The Expanse? Its writers and showrunner seem game for more, and the finale deliberately leaves a few threads hanging.

First of all, there are those pesky Ring entities swimming around in all those wormholes to other worlds, ready to pounce on any ship that dares to wake them up. The enemies of the ancient race that created the protomolecule, their presence has been teased throughout the season, building up to the final moment when Naomi figures out they can be used to do away with Belter pirate Marco Inaros and his Free Navy for good. As the Pella transits through the Ring on the way to menace the rest of the solar system, it's overtaken by those sinister red blobs that eat away at the ship and its inhabitants until not a trace of them is left. There's got to be more to the entities than that, right?

After Inaros' final defeat, the episode addresses a few more plotlines that need wrapping up. Naomi's son Filip, who she thought died in Inaros' ship, left when he realized that Inaros was a vengeful, self-obsessed bully, taking a tiny pod and officially changing his name to Filip Nagata in the ship's log. He's still floating around out there somewhere, forecasting a reunion with Naomi that's yet to come. Earth, Mars, and their Belter allies, fresh off their shared victory against the Free Navy, have formed the Transport Union, a joint coalition to equally manage trade through the Ring. James Holden accepted the presidency and then immediately transferred it to Belter leader Camina Drummer. And what about that pesky runaway protomolecule sample the Rocinante never ended up finding? When Holden brings it up to Naomi at the end of the episode, she brushes it off as something to deal with later. Assuming there is a later.

Perhaps the biggest plot left glaringly unfinished was Laconia, the alien world newly settled by a community of scientists and orbited by a spaceship crawling with the telltale blue glow of the protomolecule. Former Martian Admiral Winston Duarte seemed hell-bent on gaining control of Laconia for himself—so determined that he even helped Inaros by supplying him with stolen Martian ships, before betraying him at the last second after getting what he wanted. "I have gods to kill," he tells Inaros cryptically, after we see him staring up at the spaceship with a gleeful smile.

And we haven't even gotten to the sentient Laconian "dogs" that young Cara meets and convinces to resurrect her dead little brother Xan, who comes back as a black-eyed revenant with rapid healing abilities that immediately horrify Xan and Cara's parents. The two children run off after their botched family reunion, and we can clearly see that Xan now has that blue-tinged protomolecule vision. Is... that bad? 

How can this show possibly end things there? There's clearly enough material for The Expanse to continue, and there are three more novels in the book series on which it's based. Its creators have been adamant that they're not done with it yet. "I feel like we got great support at Amazon and Alcon to get the show to the end of book six, which was always, you know, a possibility that that was going to be an ending of the show because there's a satisfying conclusion at that point," showrunner Naren Shankar told io9. "The door is open to other things. And if the stars align, I think you'd find a lot of people willing to participate in it." The Expanse was saved from cancellation once when it moved from Syfy to Amazon Prime, so anything could happen. The universe, as we've learned, is a pretty big place.

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Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.