The Expanse “Winnipesaukee” allows the chess pieces it’s been moving around to become more aware. Alex gets to be suspicious of Naomi’s distress call changing; Clarissa gets autonomy when she demands that off-season staff at the resorts her family stayed at get to escape with her, Amos and Erich; and Chrisjen quits her powerful job because she disagrees with the morality of Sec-Gen Paster’s decision making. Camina even gets the truth about Naomi’s status. But at the same time, very little changes in each storyline, except for Amos and Clarissa’s.

Amos and Clarissa finally get themselves launched into space after an episode of trying to fix the shuttle they found. They finally do, but not before a confrontation with security forces who are determined to take everything such as supplies and the shuttle, for themselves. Everyone’s desperate to leave Earth, and who, exactly, can blame them? Clarissa, as mentioned above, gets to declare that they’re taking the off-season staff who are stranded in New Hampshire, to the irritation of Erich and the surprise of Amos. Clarissa really is one of the stars of this episode; Nadine Nicole has been such a bright spot in a season full of darkness.

During the final firefight between the security forces and Amos’s group, Clarissa goes wild once more, and kills the remaining security forces, but manages to make it to the shuttle in time to pilot it out of there — she’s the only one who can pilot it.

Amos Burton (Wes Chatham) has come a long way from the start of the season
Wes Chatham as Amos Burton
Credit: Amazon Studios

Alex and Bobbie have a brief scene in “Winnipesaukee” where they recognize that Naomi’s changed distress call is sus, as Among Us players would say. Still, they maintain course, which is just a dreadful idea. Naomi sees this towards the end of the episode, and she decides to go back into the oxygen-free zone of her ship in order to change the message yet again. It’s a terrifying moment, not just for Naomi, but also for Alex and Bobbie, as they have no idea of the danger awaiting them.

On Luna, Chrisjen sees that Pallas Station has been bombed, just like Delgado suggested to Paster in the previous episode. Delgado and other council members recommend more strikes, and Chrisjen gives an impassioned speech that points out they are just radicalizing more Belters to Marco’s cause. She also trips up a little, mentioning that because of her husband’s death, she recognizes the desire for vengeance. Paster takes this opportunity to say they can’t make decisions emotionally. Chrisjen, perhaps for moral reasons, or just because she can tell Paster’s an idiot like every other man she’s served with, quits her position, along with some nameless others.

Just after she puts Arjun’s name on a memorial wall, her fate changes; she gets a visit from a UNN official, who tells her there’s going to be a vote of no-confidence in Paster’s leadership. They need her to step up and take the reins of power once again. Despite her resistance to being the top dog in the early seasons, Chrisjen accepts the offer and even grants Delgado a position in her cabinet. Why I’m not sure. Maybe so she can keep an eye on him.

Camina finds out that Naomi’s alive, mainly because she really unconvincingly answers Oksana’s question about whether or not Camina cares more for Naomi than she does for her current crew. It’s clear Naomi and Camina still have a deep bond even if they’ve been separated for a while. Camina wants to go after Naomi, but Oksana points out that that will just get them killed by Marco.

Marco (Keon Alexander) continues to gaslight Filip (Jasai Chase Owens) in "Winnipesaukee"
Keon Alexander as Marco Inaros and Jasai Chase Owens as Filip Inaros
Credit: Amazon Studios

On Marco’s end of things in “Winnipesaukee”, he’s just gaslighting Filip more, convincing him that 1) Naomi is alive and 2) she wasn’t trying to kill herself — she was leaving them, again. Filip seems to accept this narrative, and it’s heartbreaking to see — break free, Filip! Be your own man! Stop listening to this asshole!

The suspense is ramping up as we head towards season 5’s endgame in “Winnipesaukee,” with characters heading into dangerous territory. Still, there’s a beautiful and poignant shot of Amos staring down at Earth, as the shuttle he’s on sails away from it. He said earlier this season he was going to leave this “mudball” and never come back — and maybe, here he is, making good on that promise.

Watch The Expanse Season 5 Wednesdays on Prime Video.