The Contracting Expanse (DOG EAR)

The Contracting Expanse (DOG EAR)

kay, here’s your warning – if you are a fan of the show The Expanse, you’d better sheer off right now. Spoilers regarding the conclusion of the fifth season lay ahead.

Did they all leave?


Alex’s death.

I’ve read the series up through book eight and, of course, Alex does not die. The fab four (James, Naomi, Amos and Alex) remain alive and continually fixing the universe, up into old age. Well, to be truthful, something weird happens to Amos but he’s alive. Sorta. Well, kinda.

But Alex is very much alive.

But not in the show. At the end of season five, Naomi is trapped on a ship booby-trapped by her ex-husband. With Alex and Bobby trying to rescue her (a move that will cause them all to die when the proximity charges blow) she heroically throws herself out the airlock. They spot her and have to burn hard to intercept her before the air in her suit (no tanks) fails. Bobby just manages to do that. Then she radios to Alex that she’s got Naomi. Yay! Except no answer from Alex. Then there is the shot of Alex stock still in his pilot’s chair, as still as death, as still as a repurposed photograph. But blood is bubbling faintly from his nose. Later, James and the now-rescued Naomi discuss it and it is revealed that he died of a stroke.

Not in the book. Not at all.

A little hunting around showed that season five was shot and in the can. But then it came to light that the actor who plays Alex Kamal, Cas Anvar, wanted to get into the fading MeToo movement. Apparently there are charges of sexual harassment and assault allegations against him and the series spaced him. The little scene at the very end, the big explanation, that was a post-production change to explain his coming absence from season six.

Really, I don’t know why actors do this. Why pursue something with someone who doesn’t want you? I guess the heart is stronger than the brain, but Mr. Anvar had a promising career (in IMDB, he has tons of credits). Whether this will end his acting career or not, it’s hard to say. But it certainly puts a kibosh on him appearing in any fan events for The Expanse in the future. It’s really a shame. I liked the series and enjoyed his role in it. But that’s done now.

As Cardinal Richelieu said (at least in the movies) “One must be careful of what one writes. And who one gives it to”. I’m sure Mr. Anvar would agree.