The Expanse Season 5 Will Finally Pay Off This Season 1 Plot Point
Naomi Nagata sure knows how to hold onto an IOU, and The Expanse sure knows how to reward patient viewers.
Way back in The Expanse Season 1, before the Roci left Tycho on their mission to find “Lionel Polanski,” Naomi told Fred Johnson: “One day, I’m gonna ask you to find someone no questions asked.” Readers of the book series no doubt realized right away that this was a reference to Filip, Naomi’s long-lost son with charismatic and manipulative OPA terrorist Marco Inaros, but TV viewers didn’t hear Naomi bring up her son until well into Season 2. Later, we find out that Naomi hasn’t seen now-teen Filip since he was a baby.
In Season 4, finding Filip is no doubt increasingly on Naomi’s mind, both as tensions between the OPA and Earth rise and as Naomi sees her own regrets reflected in Lucia’s struggles on Ilus. It all comes to a head in the Season 4 finale, when Naomi calls Fred Johnson to call in her favor. Now, as we approach Season 5, Johnson’s follow through is about to become a major plot point. Check out what showrunner Naren Shankar had to say about it in a recent interview with EW:
At the end of season 4, the message [Naomi] sent to Fred Johnson was, ‘I need to get in contact with my son. I’m calling in that favor that we set up way back in season 1. I’m calling in that favor. I really need to find my son, because I’m afraid that his father is going to get him killed.’
If the Season 4 finale is anything to go by, this favor may be too little too late. We meet Filip in the final minutes of the season when he helps his father kill Ashford and then stands by as Marco sends the cloaked asteroids hurtling towards Earth and its billions of citizens. Regardless, in Season 5, Naomi will finally meet her son again and “the reunion that she is hoping for is probably not the one that she’s going to get,” teased Shankar. “He doesn’t bake her a cake.”
Dominique Tipper spoke about the fruition of this particular storyline on The Expanse Season 5 set last year (via io9), saying: “I think for me it’s quite delicious, because a lot of my really early choices with Naomi was all rooted in this past that I couldn’t talk about to anyone, or chose not to. So, there was a lot of this, like, secret actor work I felt like I was doing. I had had reasons for the way she reacted in situations and the way she reacted to certain outward things that happened. You’re like, ‘Why is Naomi running after that child? Weird.'”
Tipper continued: “I feel like if you went back and watched like season one, you’d be, like, ‘Oh, that’s why she’s doing that. That’s why she reacts that way.’ So I think that’s quite nice. There’s been a lot of planting of Easter eggs and then it’s starting to come full circle. It’s cool to play out and really quite rewarding.”
Filip might not be baking Naomi any cakes any time soon in Season 5, but perhaps Holden will? Shankar said of the romantic partnership: “We’re starting Holden and Naomi from, I think, a very warm and supportive place at the beginning of season 5.” While the inclusion of “at the beginning of” seems a bit suspicious, this is a dramatic show rife with dramatic happenings and, with the solar system poised to erupt into all-out war, tensions will no doubt be high in Season 5. Will the Roci family be able to weather the storm?
“After the events of season 4, after everything they went through on Ilus, it’s like they are a bonded group that… It’s just their chosen family. It has that feel to it. There’s a connectedness and warmth to the relationships of all of our four main people on the Roci, and that’s reflected in Holden and Naomi.”
Fingers crossed that Naomi gets some cake at some point in what is sure to be an emotionally devastating Season 5. She deserves it.
The Expanse Season 5 premiere will drop on Amazon on Wednesday, December 16th, with new episodes following weekly. Find out more about the season here.