What’s the reasoning behind Alex’s exit in The Expanse, how does his goodbye play out, and the way did his dying change The Expanse season 6 from the books? The Rocinante’s second run on Amazon Prime, The Expanse season 5 is filled with stunning moments: the near-decimation of Earth, the arrival of long-awaited alien villains, Naomi’s suit-free leap into area, and so on. Trumping all of them is the dying of Alex Kamal. Played by Cas Anvar, Alex is one of many authentic survivors from The Expanse‘s ill-fated Canterbury ice hauler, who’re spirited away onto the Martian gunship that later turns into often known as the Rocinante.
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As the pilot, Alex represents an important element of James Holden’s crew, and his laid-back demeanor is so usually the treatment to his captain’s ardour, Naomi Nagata’s hearth, and Amos Burton’s aggression. Over the course of 4 seasons, Alex transforms from a glorified bus driver into a chilled presence who sometimes prioritizes the wants of his mates above his personal troubles. Viewers had been anticipating additional Alex improvement in The Expanse season 6, however real-world occasions have understandably taken priority, probably forcing a change of route.
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In June 2020, a number of ladies got here ahead with accusations of misconduct and harassment on Cas Anvar’s half. When The Expanse season 5 aired later that yr, the ultimate episode killed off Alex in sudden trend. What does that imply for The Expanse season 6, and does the TV sequence line up with the books in any respect?
Why Alex Died In The Expanse Season 5’s Finale
Intentionally or in any other case, Alex’s dying scene in The Expanse is considerably ambiguous. Bobbie Draper exits the Razorback to rescue Naomi and upon their return, Alex has already kicked the bucket. The viewers sees solely a single shot of Alex’s lifeless physique as drops of blood float previous in zero gravity. The precise reason behind Alex’s dying is left for James Holden to disclose later, as he discloses to Naomi (and viewers) that Alex was killed by a stroke, reiterating how every of them dangers the identical destiny every time they fly.
Certainly, the risk of struggling a stroke throughout area journey is just not a brand new idea in The Expanse‘s world. When a ship is required to endure notably intense maneuvers or hit the gasoline onerous, passengers are injected with a cocktail of medication to assist their our bodies address the strain. This occurs throughout the Rocinante’s very first takeoff in The Expanse season 1, with Alex himself muttering “I need some juice…” earlier than the stimulant arrives by means of his seat. Unfortunately, these medication aren’t foolproof. The common human can solely take a lot “juicing” and persevering with a tough burn past that time will increase their probability of a stroke. The Expanse season 5 foreshadows Alex’s dying when Bobbie warns him they’re already “juiced to the gills” and will “stroke out” throughout the Naomi rescue sequence.
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Thematically talking, Alex dies out of determined dedication to avoid wasting Naomi. While the opposite three Rocinante members would usually be at odds for one motive or one other, Alex Kamal typically performed peacemaker, all the time attempting to maintain his household collectively, regardless of the associated fee or the hardships they endured. It’s attribute of him to go all-out rescuing one of many crew.
How Alex’s Death Changes The Expanse Season 6’s Book Story
Unlike the TV adaptation, Alex Kamal would not die within the Expanse ebook sequence by James S.A. Corey. The Expanse season 5 was largely primarily based on Nemesis Games, the fifth ebook within the sequence, and the pilot remains to be knocking round lengthy after the conclusion of that novel. The literary Alex Kamal not solely survives the conflict with Marco Inaros’ Free Navy, however then lives by means of a time skip of a number of many years into a brand new battle with the Laconian Empire. At the very least, Alex would’ve survived into The Expanse season 6, that means some ebook modifications are afoot.
Alex Kamal dying whereas saving Naomi is new for TV, however the dying itself is repurposed from an unused scene in Babylon’s Ashes (ebook 6). Before Alex, The Expanse season 5 consists of one other main character exit: the assassination of Fred Johnson on Tycho Station. Fred is shot by Sakai when Free Navy insurgents activate Marco Inaros’ secret plan to steal the Protomolecule pattern hidden in Fred’s workplace. In the books, nonetheless, Fred Johnson survives the Tycho incident, persevering with to work with James Holden and the UN’s Chrisjen Avasarala towards Inaros. The OPA chief is aboard the Rocinante throughout a fraught dogfight with the Free Navy’s Pella, and the extreme flying triggers a stroke — similar to Alex’s within the TV model. Since Fred Johnson’s ebook dying is not required in The Expanse season 6 (for apparent causes), the plot turned obtainable for Alex to undertake as an alternative.
Alex Kamal’s dying is one in all The Expanse‘s greatest ebook modifications but, and undoubtedly has a bearing upon The Expanse season 6. The Rocinante clearly required a brand new pilot, and Fred’s former assistant, Bull, appeared primed for the job when he drank from Alex’s espresso cup. In The Expanse season 6’s premiere, nonetheless, Holden confirms he is now piloting the Rocinante. Although Alex continues to have a important function past Nemesis Games, there is not something in season 6 for which his presence is completely important. Alex’s tales may be minimize from The Expanse‘s closing season with out nice consequence. The Expanse season 6 references Alex’s dying on a number of events — normally Rocinante characters reminiscing about their fallen pal — however by no means dwells on the subject for lengthy.
Why Amazon Killed Off Alex – Was It Planned?
The in-story rationalization for Alex’s demise is perhaps comparatively clear (due to Holden’s exposition), however the circumstances in actual life are considerably much less so. We know that after the aforementioned Cas Anvar allegations started, Alcon Entertainment shortly commissioned an investigation into the matter. When November 2020 got here, The Expanse season 6 was introduced as the ultimate run, and followers concurrently realized that Alex wouldn’t be returning. Understandably, the overall assumption is that Cas Anvar’s exit got here on account of the misconduct investigation, however this hasn’t been confirmed formally. Asked whether or not Alex’s exit was deliberate from the start, The Expanse‘s showrunner, Naren Shankar, refused to reply definitively both manner. Shankar claimed (h/t Den of Geek) that a most important character dying was mentioned early in The Expanse season 5’s manufacturing, however did not specify Alex was within the firing line, nor that the conversations would’ve changed into something concrete had a lead actor not confronted real-world allegations.
Related: The Expanse Season 5 Final Scene: What Happened To The Martian Ship Explained
Since The Expanse season 5 accomplished filming earlier than the Cas Anvar controversy started, some viewers have speculated that Alex’s dying was inserted into the finale by way of reshoots. This actually appears to be the case, with Alex’s closing scene merely a static body and some drops of digital blood floating previous. Alex’s parting line might’ve been slipped in throughout post-production, and even when Bobbie delivers her “juiced to the gills” foreshadowing, the digital camera cuts away from Frankie Adams, suggesting this too was possibly added throughout ADR (automated dialogue substitute) to keep away from filming extra scenes with Anvar.
Given how intently The Expanse normally follows James S.A. Corey’s novels, in addition to the abrupt nature of Alex’s dying, it does appear unlikely the character’s exit was a part of season 5’s authentic plan. If The Expanse had plotted to kill off Alex prematurely, his closing moments certainly would’ve packed extra impression, fairly than taking part in out largely off-screen.
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