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The Biggest Unanswered Questions From The Expanse Season 6

Caution! There are major spoilers ahead for the 6th season of "The Expanse."

All good things must come to an end, and that's especially true in the world of TV. "The Expanse" almost ended abruptly after Season 3 when Syfy dropped the show. Luckily, Amazon Prime stepped in, enabling it to run for another three seasons. While the series didn't complete the story told in the nine novels penned by James S.A. Corey, in Season 6, it still managed to answer some of the show's most pressing questions. At just a brief six episodes, though, there was no way the show was going to be able to resolve every single plot thread that had been left dangling across the entire series. Meanwhile, the final episodes introduced a separate storyline on the Ring planet Laconia that opened up all sorts of possibilities for a 7th season that is unlikely to happen (but maybe we can still hope for a movie?).

Nevertheless, the crew of the Rocinante lives on, if only in our imaginations. The good news is that the books are available to anyone who's looking for answers to any of the questions the 6th season of "The Expanse" left open. While there are many in a series as rich as this one, these are the biggest.

What is Admiral Duarte's objective?

Admiral Duarte (Dylan Taylor) is first mentioned in the final episode of Season 5 when Admiral Sauveterre of the Barkeith congratulates Marco Inaros (Keon Alexander) on behalf of Duarte and informs him that the Laconia system is now under their control. For book readers, this is a tantalizing morsel, as Duarte is the villain of the seventh and eighth "Expanse" novels. Although that story takes place 30 years in the future in the books, the show indicates Duarte has already started down whatever path he plans to take.

Duarte is one of the leaders of the rogue Martian faction that exchanges the Martians' advanced weapons technology with Marco for a sample of the protomolecule and the protomolecule expert Dr. Cortazar (Carlos Gonzalez-Vio). His choice to settle on Laconia appears to be strategic, as at the end of Season 5, an alien spacecraft is seen hovering above the planet.

When Duarte finally appears in the fourth episode of Season 6, he is attending a funeral but is interrupted by Cortazar, who arrives to inform him that he's made contact with the dormant alien craft, presumably by using the protomolecule. In the series finale, Duarte is shown looking up at the craft, and then later in the episode, he brushes off Marco, informing him that he has "gods to kill." While it's not clear what this means, Duarte seems to have big plans that involve using the protomolecule to gain power over alien technology.

What does Cara's brother's resurrection mean for Laconia?

Throughout Season 6, the story of young Laconian girl Cara (Emma Ho) gets more attention than that of Admiral Duarte. From the first episode, it's clear that Cara spends a great deal of her time with the native wildlife of Laconia and seems to know all the species. Yet on a trip to the forest, she discovers a new animal tentatively looking at her, which she labels a dog. When one of the birds she knows gets sick and dies, the Laconian dog resurrects it, and Cara is elated to have it back.

Shortly afterward, her younger brother Xan (Ian Ho) dies after being hit by a car. Not wanting to lose her brother, Cara takes Xan's body to the Laconian dogs in the forest, and after he's been resurrected, brings him back home. Instead of being happy to see their son alive, however, Cara's parents are terrified. Cara's father even brandishes a knife against Xan, but a gash he inflicts on Xan's hand heals almost immediately. Realizing the adults could take him away again, Cara escapes into the forest with Xan. There, the show depicts the world from Xan's point of view — a perspective filtered through the blue lens of the protomolecule.

Like others who have been infected by the protomolecule, Xan retains some of his own memories, but he's not entirely himself, either. And that means he is probably exceedingly dangerous to everyone on Laconia, starting with Cara.

Did Marco's demise awaken the mysterious entities in the Ring gate?

In Season 6, Holden (Steven Strait) learns that some ships went missing while passing through the Ring gate. Holden suspects this is the work of angry alien entities within the Ring that may be waking up because of the humans now slipping through. To Holden, this is a bigger problem than even the war between the Inner Planets and Marco. Not only does it mean some ships are vanishing without a trace, but it also means the whole System could incur the wrath of the aliens that eradicated the protomolecule's creators.

Holden's initial impulse is to tell everyone — including Marco — about the problem, but it turns out to be a good thing that he doesn't, because in the final battle with Marco, Naomi and the crew of the Rocinante use this knowledge to their advantage. Notably, Marco manages to defeat the Inners and is on the verge of victory. But as he approaches the Ring, the Roci pushes anything they can through it in order to reach the energy threshold that will trigger the Ring entities.

Ultimately, Marco and his ship dematerialize as they pass through the Ring, ending the humans' war. However, as Holden observes, this could also wake the Ring entities permanently. While things seem quiet in the immediate aftermath of the battle, could the entities already be awake? Or will something else trigger them, leading to even more problems than Marco?

Will Naomi and Filip ever reunite?

In the last few moments of the series finale, it's revealed that Filip Inaros (Jasai Chase-Owens) doesn't perish on the Pella with his father Marco, as his mother Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper) believes. Instead, he takes a ship and leaves the Free Navy before the Pella gets to the Ring. In Season 5, Filip reunites with Naomi for the first time since he was a toddler, and although Naomi tries to rescue him from Marco's toxic influence, Filip ultimately rejects Naomi in favor of the father who has always been there for him.

Even though she mourned the loss of her son, in the 6th season, Naomi seems to have made her peace with her choice not to sacrifice herself for motherhood. On the other hand, meeting Naomi leaves Filip remarkably conflicted. In the season's early episodes, this causes Filip to act out and rebel against his father. Later, he starts to realize that Marco lies and manipulates people, including him, to get them to do what he wants.

By the time the final battle of "The Expanse" arrives, Filip has grown so disenchanted with Marco that he finally breaks free from his father and even decides to take his mother's last name. This leads to the inevitable question of whether mother and son will ever reunite. Will Filip search for Naomi? Or will he keep his distance, making his way in the universe on his own?

Whose footsteps will Filip follow in?

While Filip ends the series by rejecting his father, that doesn't mean Marco's influence doesn't loom large. After all, he spent his entire childhood as a member of Marco's Free Navy, surrounded by people who believe in the Belter cause and Marco's violent tactics. In fact, in the 6th season's fourth episode, he loudly proclaims his loyalty after Camina Drummer (Cara Gee), a fellow Belter, transmits a message announcing she's reclaimed supplies Marco took from non-Free Navy Belters. In response, Filip brands Drummer an enemy and claims the Free Navy must pursue their adversaries until they're either victorious or dead.

Filip is still young and torn between the beliefs of his father and his mother. While his desertion of the Free Navy indicates he's embraced his mother's more nuanced and peaceful way of thinking, old habits die hard. So although it seems that the System may be entering a time of relative peace, Filip could still be swayed to join another fraught cause. And if he does, which way will he go? Will he look for unity and common ground like his mother? Or will he follow in his father's footsteps and become a violent authoritarian?

What's next for the crew of Rocinante?

Holden and the crew are all back on the Rocinante, including Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams), the ship's new pilot. While they're enjoying a period of relative quiet, they still have to decide on their next move, and "The Expanse" has shown that the Roci always manages to become involved in universe-shattering events.

When Holden and Naomi speak at the end of the episode, Holden mentions they could become security for freighters passing through the Ring or consultants on one of the Ring colonies. But he also brings up the fact that they still haven't tracked down the missing protomolecule sample stolen from Fred Johnson in the 5th season. This is the sample that Admiral Duarte possesses on Laconia, and while Holden doesn't know this, his concerns about what happened to the sample — especially if it fell into the wrong hands — likely loom large in his mind.

So while the Roci crew has a number of options, it seems like sooner or later, Holden will want to pursue the protomolecule again, which would put him on a collision course with Duarte and whatever he's doing with the alien technology on Laconia. Although Holden spent less time dealing with the protomolecule over the last two seasons of "The Expanse," it seems like this plotline could have become a major part of his and the Roci's story once again had the show continued.

Will the Inners continue to share power with the Belters?

One of the outcomes of the war with Marco is that the Belters gain a seat at the negotiating table, but that doesn't mean everyone is happy to have them in a position equal to Earth and Mars. Holden uses the negotiations to maneuver Drummer into the position of president of the newly formed transport union, the independent organization installed to oversee transit through the Ring. As he observes in the series finale, this pisses off quite a few people. The Belters have historically been oppressed by the Inner Planets, and despite recent progress, a lot of prejudice and suspicion still exists between Earth, Mars, and the Belt. So the question becomes: Will the Inners continue to share power with the Belters, especially when the Belters now control the transport union?

Over the course of the show, Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), the current UN secretary-general, has not only learned to see the value in working together with others toward common goals, but she's also developed a much softer stance toward Belters. However, Earth's next leader may not share this position, especially given that Marco, a Belter, devastates the planet. Of course, both Earth's and Mars' forces are greatly depleted, so it would be a challenge for them to take on the Belt now even if they wanted to, but it's hard to say what could happen in the future.

How will Clarissa Mao handle her failing health?

Amos Burton (Wes Chatham) brings Clarissa "Peaches" Mao (Nadine Nicole), Holden's one-time wannabe assassin, onboard the Rocinante at the end of Season 5. In Season 6, Clarissa does her best to redeem herself for her indiscretions and eventually wins over Holden and Naomi and becomes an accepted member of the crew. Yet Clarissa has been having health problems ever since she used the augmentations implanted in her body early in the season. So when she once again feels sick during the series finale, she checks her health in the medical bay and is diagnosed with complex endocrine collapse syndrome, a condition with no approved treatment and a life expectancy of only five years.

Given the battle the Roci's about to engage in, perhaps it's not surprising that Clarissa doesn't mention her failing health to the crew before the fight. However, though she stays on the Roci following the conclusion of the war, it appears she continues to keep her medical condition secret. What will this mean for Clarissa moving forward? She still feels incredible remorse for the lives she took in pursuit of Holden, so perhaps she feels she's getting what she deserves. But it's also possible Clarissa could find a doctor or experimental treatment that could help her to extend her life. Will she continue to suffer in silence and accept her fate, or will she decide to fight for her life?