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Why Chrisjen Avarasala's Contact List On The Expanse Means More Than You Think

Amazon Prime's sci-fi gem The Expanse is mostly content to exist in its own universe — which, admittedly, is plenty to deal with at the best of times. And while the show might tend to lean toward the somber side, it's not entirely devoid of humor — and as it turns out, it's also not above making the occasional joking reference to other well-known fictional universes.  

Even a show as rich with its own mythology as The Expanse can't always resist adding an Easter egg here and there. From cool, casual Blade Runner references to fun mysteries fans want resolved in season 6The Expanse season 5, in particular, has been fond of sprinkling the show with extra surprises. For instance, Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) has access to all sorts of contacts, ranging from strictly above-the-table to more than slightly shady. But did you know just how strange her contact list can be? 

Perceptive fans have spotted her phone's contact list in the season 5 episode "Down and Out," and upon closer examination, the names listed seem to mean quite a bit more than you think.

Chrisjen Avasarala's contact list is a subtle nod at her husband's recasting

As one Reddit thread discussing the show has noted, Avasarala's contact list seems to include plenty of people who are even more famous — and occasionally powerful — than many of the ones she usually associates with. The first and most obvious name they spotted was "Who, Dr." This is a fairly obvious nod at the ever-regenerating and oft-recast Doctor of Doctor Who fame. The thread soon noticed other familiar-looking names on the list, and user Chahk soon realized what's up. "Omg ... All of the names on that list are characters that were recast!" they wrote.

Indeed, this seems to be correct. "Stevens, D" would be Darrin Stevens from Bewitched, "Clegane, G." translates to Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane from Game of Thrones, and the other folks on the list are Becky Conner of Roseanne and Vivian "Aunt Viv" Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Just like the good Doctor, all of these characters have been played by more than one actor over their respective shows' tenure — as has the list's final member, Avasarala's husband Arjun, who was originally played by Brian George, but was recast with Michael Benyaer after season 3.

All in all, this contact list easter egg is a pretty neat, humorous nod at Arjun's recasting and the behind-the-scenes dealings of The Expanse — as well as, possibly, a joking reminder that you should never, ever underestimate the power of Chrisjen Avasarala's connections.