The Expanse Forces Everyone To Confront What Side They're On In 'Why We Fight'

In "Why We Fight," the penultimate episode of "The Expanse," more than a couple characters from all sides of the war confront the question about what they're fighting for, and whether they can accept the costs. There are also unexpected alliances, both personal and geopolitical, and revelations that shake some characters to the core.

Read on for a breakdown of what we saw, including some insights from the cast about particular scenes in the episode.

Warning! Spoilers for "Why We Fight," episode 605 of "The Expanse," lie below.

Meanwhile, on Laconia

Xan (Ian Ho) is back from the dead...kind of. The strange protomolecule dogs have brought him back to sentience, and he's still Cara's brother (played by Ho's real-life sister, Emma). But he's also different.

"I feel weird," Xan says. "What happened?" When Cara tells him the truth — that he died and the dogs fixed him, he seems to take it all in stride. Cara is able to look past the protomolecule weirdness, however, and just sees her brother. They hug and we pan out and back to the solar system.

Things Are Real Bad for The Inners

We start at the ring gate, where Mars is attacking the Free Navy forces in hopes of taking over Medina Station. What they didn't account for, however, were the six rail guns Marco — with the help of Duarte's team on Laconia — had grafted on the ring sphere, which destroyed the entire fleet in mere seconds.

This interaction propels the geopolitical maneuverings of the episode — the MCRN is effectively down for the count, leaving only the struggling UNN fleet against the Free Navy. Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) knows she needs allies in the Belt more than ever.

She also shows vulnerability here, something she hasn't let come through much before. "Have I gone soft?" she asks Bobbie (Frankie Adams). "Did I try too hard to be good when I should have been ruthless?"

Bobbie seems to think so, and the two have a heated exchange, one that Aghdashloo said was one of her most memorable moments from season 6. "She's not trying to hide her emotions anymore," Aghdashloo told me during my interview with her. "On the contrary, she would like for other people to know what is going on inside her ... that monologue is like out of this world — it's a woman who is now admitting that I'm changing."

This changed Avarsarala is one who wants to become allies with Drummer (Cara Gee). And when Drummer drops off the supplies at Ceres, the UNN leader makes a strong push for them to work together, something that Drummer strongly resists.

Drummer Makes a Hard Choice

In the context of the war, Drummer is the strongest she's ever been. She's gone from hiding out from Marco to openly resisting him and having a fleet of her own. Personally, however, her world is crumbling apart. The last two remaining members of her family are going to stay on Ceres — Josep (Samer Salem) is recovering from his lost arm and Michio (Vanessa Smythe) is going to stay with him while he recuperates. "I loved you because you were builders," Drummer says to them. "I wanted us to build something together."

It's hard to build things when there's a war, however. And when Naomi (Dominique Tipper) visits her and also tries to convince her to partner with Avasarala, Drummer loses it. "This universe has no place for me," she says with anguish in her voice. And having Naomi — someone that a previous X-Ray short makes clear that she loves — force her to realize that the only way to survive this war is to ally with her oppressor is almost too much for her to bear.

But she does bear it, and the episode ends with Avasarala and Drummer coming to an agreement to fight together against Inaros. It's unexpected on all sides, but they're fighting together because it will meant less dead Belters and dead Inners. And that's what fundamentally matters for both of them, in the end.

Amos and Bobbie Have a Heart to Heart (And Maybe A Bit More?)

Amos (Wes Chatham) is also in a funk this episode about how things are in the Rocinante. He runs into Bobbie on Ceres where he's in the middle of drinking and visiting brothels and admits he's not sure if he's going back to the ship. He doesn't know why he's fighting — he doesn't think Holden disarming the nuke is right and doesn't know why he's fighting for. When Bobbie says that what matters is protecting your people — this resonates with Amos and gets him to head back to the Roci, but not before heading to the brothel one more time and inviting Bobbie to join him. (And did Bobbie join him? It's intentionally vague, but check out my post here that shares what Chatham and showrunner Naren Shankar had to say about it.)

Filip Continues to Have Doubts

On the Pella, Filip is also forced to reckon with what side he's on. Everyone is celebrating because of the victory over the Martian fleet at Medina, but Filip ends up helping his repair tech friend who ended up in the brig because he used comms to try to find out about his brother.

Filip uses his level of access to confirm that his brother is dead, and when he breaks the news, he gets confirmation that it was Marco who planted those bombs. As we pan in on his face, as he tries to console his friend, we see how much this news has devastated him. It's harder and harder for him to push the atrocities the Free Navy has done aside. How that plays out in the series finale remains to be seen.

Other Thoughts and Tidbits

  • The ships disappearing through the ring issue gets some screen time this epsidoe as well. Holden tells Avasarala about it, and we also got a cameo from season 4 — Dr. Elvie Okoye (Lyndie Greenwood) confirming that everyone who travels through the ring is taking a major risk.
  • We also get the good news that the technology Prax (Terry Chen) shared last episode may save many Earthers from starving. It takes more than one person to help people recover from a war, and Prax has certainly helped that.

The series finale of "The Expanse" drops on Prime Video on January 14, 2022.