The Expanse, season 5, episode 7, “Oyedeng” finally answers how Marco Inaros can afford to buy Mars technology: by offering the protomolecule.
WARNING: The following contains SPOILERS forThe extentSeason 5, Episode 7, “Oyedeng”.
Marco Inaros is the main antagonist ofThe extent season 5, but his grand plan to “free” the Belters had a significant plot hole that the Amazon Prime show finally recognized and, perhaps, responded to. Adapted from the books by James SA Corey,The extentis a futuristic sci-fi series that follows the conflict of three human factions: Earth, Mars and the Belt. Season 5 focuses on the rise of Marco and his Free Navy, essentially a terrorist group capable of unifying the Belt (mainly by force) after attacking Earth, causing massive devastation. In order to carry out these plans, however, Marco somehow acquires some very expensive Martian technology when he apparently lacks the resources to do so.
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In The extent, the belt includes the various colonies that exist in space on stations and asteroids; largely a working class, the Belters depend on Earth for food and have essentially become a class of indentured servants. Tensions between the three factions have been on the rise for years, and the discovery of an interstellar gateway that can allow humans to colonize hospitable planets has pushed the conflict to a breaking point.
Marco Inaros is the de facto leader of the Belters (especially after the death of Fred Johnson earlier inThe extent season 5), and his attacks on Earth are, in his mind, necessary to secure the freedom of his people. In order to carry out his great project, he needed the technology of Mars, something that the series said had been acquired through unscrupulous means, but never fully addressed. As a Belter, Marco would not have access to the kind of funds required to purchase this technology on the black market, even with the support of countless other Belters (and disenfranchised Martian officials looking to line their pockets) . If hehadWith these kinds of resources, many of the Belt’s problems could be solved with financial means.The extent, Season 5, Episode 7, “Oyedeng” focuses primarily on Naomi, but also features a key scene between Holden and Monica that explains how Marco might finance his operation (and why he doesn’t spend that money directly on the belt): he offers the protomolecule to a rich independent party.
In “Oyedeng”, Alex and Bobbie finally connect with Avasarala and Holden, relaying the information they have about the Martian technology being diverted to Marco’s army. When she wonders how Marco could pay for all of this or who else would like to see Earth suffer, Monica suggests that rather than money, he should trade something of value. She points out how Paolo Cortzar, the protomolecule scientist, was also kidnapped, and suggests that it may not be a coincidence that someone else has to work with Marco in order to track down the protomolecule and associated research.
Who could finance Marco’s Free Navy inThe extentseason 5 remains a mystery, although the most likely candidate is Jules-Pierre Mao. His daughter Clarissa mentioned in the episode “Tribes” that she does not know where her father is, and not only is Mao very rich, but he is personally invested in the research of protomolecules, he even sacrificed his favorite daughter, Julie, for the sake of the project in Season 1. Mao has shown that he will stop at nothing for his research, making him the character most likely to be involved: he has the means to fund Marco, and no has no qualms about the extreme violence and the loss of life.
Anderson Dawes is also likely involved, as he was the one who helped get Cortzar out of Tycho. Dawes has similar motivation to Marco, so teaming up to unify the Belt makes sense even if it means turning against former allies. At the same time, reporter Monica has found someone at the center of this mess, and she could very well turn out to be some sort of double agent. How the conflict with Marco will play out for the Rocinante and the rest of the main cast remains to be seen inThe extentseason 5 and without a doubt there will be more twists and turns in the last three episodes.
Next: Why The Expanse Ends With Season 6
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