The Expanse Season 5: The Mysterious Past of Amos Burton

New details have emerged about a possible backstory arc for Wes Chatham’s character, Amos Burton, in The Expanse season 5.

Wes Chatham as Amos Burton in The Expanse
Photo: Amazon Prime Video

Fans awaiting the premiere of The Expanse season 5 may think they know Amos Burton and the other members of the Rocinante crew pretty well by now, and readers of the James S.A. Corey novels are likely smug about their foreknowledge of the events to come. However, a recent EW interview with showrunner Naren Shankar reveals that adept viewers may already have many clues as to what they might learn about Amos’ past this year.

Shankar drew attention, for example, to the in-depth interview Monica Stuart did with the ship’s mechanic back in season 3. Amos confirmed that he started as a union apprentice without a sponsor after escaping the slums of Baltimore by winning a lottery drawing, and Monica was suspicious of the amazing good fortune for a kid who grew up on Basic. Could it be more than a matter of luck?

Aside from a birth certificate and his supposed lottery win at age 15, Amos has no official government records tying him to a specific past. “I did talk to some locals, though, and they told me about a guy who was also named Amos Burton who was some sort of mob boss,” Monica told Amos in season three. “But that couldn’t be you because you left the city when you were fifteen.” Amos responded simply that it was a common name before smashing the reporter’s camera, but might we meet some of Amos’ criminal contacts in The Expanse season 5?

Fast forward to The Expanse season 4 finale, and we see Amos headed back to Earth. “There’s a lot of mystery attached to Amos’ backstory around Baltimore,” Shankar told EW. “Without telling specifically why he heads back, you’re going to get a lot of answers to it. Things are going to feel really, really satisfying because it illuminates a side of him that nobody else on the Roci gets to see. Nobody else really knows, but the audience is going to get to go with Amos to experience it.”

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Astute viewers may also remember that Amos began season 4 conversing with an imprisoned Clarissa Mao, the vengeful daughter of protomolecule exploiter Jules-Pierre Mao. “She’s down there, I suppose,” admitted Shankar without revealing too much. “We did see at the beginning of season 4 that she’s in prison.” Considering the criminal past Amos might reveal in The Expanse season 5, this sympathetic phone call and his return to his home planet present all kinds of possibilities for a reunion.

It might not be the best timing for a visit, however, since Naomi’s ex, Marco, has put innumerable cloaked asteroids on a collision course with Earth. “There’s a whole bunch of them,” Shankar confirmed. “From the end of season 4, the last image that we left with was Marco looking at the plotted trajectory of all of these asteroids… that are lined up to hit Earth in its orbit. So, they’re coming.”

Amos thrives on danger, however, and fans of the killer mechanic will no doubt be hoping for a central storyline for their favorite character in The Expanse season 5 no matter what happens on Earth. With the premiere on Amazon Prime Video set for December 16, 2020, the wait won’t be long for details to emerge about the impending attack and the consequences in store for Amos and the crew of the Rocinante.