Picking up immediately following the emotional and suspenseful second season finale, the 13-episode third season finds Earth, Mars and The Belt at war, with each competing entity vying for control. Now, more than ever, the mission to unlock the secret of the protomolecule reaches an all-time high and every decision made could jeopardize the survival of the solar system.
The opening episodes of the expanse season 3 UK are a nearly seamless continuation of what happened in Season 2. Nearly every character’s journey goes on as if there were no break to speak of. Structurally, it’s not how we conventionally break down seasons of television, and at times it can feel a bit unceasing. The simplest way to summarize what happens is “more of the same,” which feels dismissive but is intended as anything but — while the drama could be more heightened, there’s a sense that “The Expanse” has found a groove.
It may be a big show with a lot of moving parts, but the writers have proven quite capable of making sure that the most important components connect. In fact, much of the joy of the show is when the various pockets of characters come together. In Season 2, for example, the addition of Martian marine Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams) to Avasarala’s entourage was a delight given the extreme contrast in their characters, and that dynamic continues into Season 3.
In general, while the mid-Season 2 departure of Joe Miller (Thomas Jane) and his wonderful hats does leave a bit of a vacuum, the ensemble has coalesced nicely, with both established performers like Chad L. Coleman and relative newcomers like Strait settling into their roles. Shoutout to Terry Chen, by the way — Chen is an actor who’s been appearing in film and television for decades, but has recently picked up a number of high-profile supporting roles in “Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” “UnREAL,” and this. He brings a unique flavor to each distinct character, and as Prax, a botanist searching to find his missing daughter, he’s easily one of the show’s most likable characters.