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The Clarissa Line From The Expanse Season 5 That Means More Than You Think

Contains minor spoilers for The Expanse season 5

One scene from The Expanse season 5 is even deeper than fans might think. The sci-fi series' penultimate season puts its characters through the wringer — testing their allegiances and forcing them to make numerous life-altering decisions. As a result, many of the show's previously established character relationships are deepened and altered in surprising ways throughout the season.

One of the relationships that grew the most in The Expanse season 5 is the one between Wes Chatham's Amos Burton and Nadine Nicole's Clarissa Mao. The two characters go on an intense journey together — a journey that challenges their own ideas of morality and justice and brings the two of them closer together. The connection between Clarissa and Amos is true to the books by James S.A. Corey from which the SYFY-turned-Amazon series is adapted, right down to many of the details of their journey across the broken Earth. In at least one scene, however, the show goes even further than the novels did to bring these two unlikely allies together.

Clarissa's poem in The Expanse season 5 resonates with Amos

One of the most interesting moments in The Expanse's fifth season is when Clarissa recites a poem to Amos that she wrote while she was in prison. The poem in question goes, "I have killed, but I am not a killer. Because a killer is a monster and monsters aren't afraid." 

So she's not exactly inaugural poet Amanda Gorman, but the simple lines contain multitudes of meaning within the context of the series.

The scene is effective, for starters, because of what it tells us about Clarissa's growth. The character committed some heinous crimes in the show's earlier seasons, and Clarissa's poem is proof that she hasn't let herself off the hook for her past actions. In fact, she feels tremendous guilt over what she did, and is afraid of what her past actions say about her future. But the poem also takes on a deeper meaning when applied to Amos.

While Clarissa's poem acts as a way to remind herself that she's not a monster, it doesn't do the same for Amos. If Clarissa's definition of a monster is someone who isn't afraid, then Amos — who has said previously in the show that he hasn't felt fear since he was a child — is a monster in Clarissa's eyes. That adds another tragic wrinkle to Amos and Clarissa's already complicated relationship, which itself is defined by their shared hope for redemption.