Alex’s death and season 6 story changes explained

What is the rationale behind Alex’s exit? The enlargement, how his farewell proceeds, and how his death changed The enlargement season 6 from the books? Rocinantes second time on Amazon Prime, The enlargement season 5 is packed with shocking moments: the Earth’s almost decimation, the arrival of long-awaited alien villains, Naomi’s costume-free leap into space, etc. To trump them all is Alex Kamal’s death. Played by Cas Anvar, Alex is one of the original survivors from The enlargement‘s fateful Canterbury ice hauler, which is teased away on the Mars warship, later known as Rocinante.


As a pilot, Alex represents a vital component in James Holden’s crew, and his laid-back demeanor is so often the remedy for his captain’s passion, Naomi Nagata’s fire, and Amos Burton’s aggression. Over the course of four seasons, Alex transforms from a glorified bus driver into a reassuring presence that typically prioritizes the needs of his friends over his own problems. Viewers expected further Alex development in The enlargement season 6, but real-world events have understandably taken over, potentially forcing a change of direction.

Related: The Expanse Season 6 Episode 5 Mock a Game Of Thrones Mistake

In June 2020, several women came forward with accusations of misconduct and harassment by Cas Anvar. When The enlargement season 5 released later that year, the last episode killed Alex in a sudden way. What does it mean for The enlargement season 6, and is the TV series at all in line with the books?

Why Alex died in the finale of The Expanse season 5

Alex The Expanse season 5

Intentionally or otherwise, Alex’s death scene in The enlargement is somewhat ambiguous. Bobbie Draper leaves Razorback to rescue Naomi, and when they return, Alex has already kicked the bucket. The audience sees only a single shot of Alex’s lifeless body, while drops of blood flow past in zero gravity. The real cause of Alex’s death is left to James Holden to reveal later, as he reveals to Naomi (and the viewers) that Alex was killed by a stroke, and repeats how each of them risks the same fate every time they fly.

The possibility of having a stroke during space travel is certainly not a new concept in The enlargement‘s world. When a ship has to undergo particularly intense maneuvers or hit the gas hard, the passengers are injected with a cocktail of drugs to help their bodies cope with the pressure. This happens during Rocinante’s very first start The enlargement season 1, with Alex himself mumbling “I need some juice …before the stimulant arrives through its seat. Unfortunately, these drugs are not foolproof. The average person can only take so much “juicing” and continue a hard burn beyond that point increases their chance of a stroke. The enlargement season 5 heralds Alex’s death as Bobbie warns him that they are already “the juice to the gills“and could”iron out“during the Naomi rescue sequence.

Related: The Expanse created a pilot to replace Alex in season 6 – which is why it’s a bad idea

Thematically, Alex dies of desperate will to save Naomi. While the other three Rocinante members would often disagree for some reason, Alex Kamal generally played peacemaker and always tried to keep his family together, no matter the cost or the hardships they endured. It is characteristic of him to go all out to save one of the crew.

How Alex’s Death Changes The Expanse Season 6’s Book Story

Cas Anvar as Alex in The Expanse

Unlike the TV adaptation, Alex Kamal does not die in Extent book series by James SA Corey. The enlargement season 5 was largely based on Nemesis game, the fifth book in the series, and the pilot still knocks around long after the end of that novel. The literary Alex Kamal not only survives the war with Marco Inaros’ Free Fleet, but then goes through a time leap of several decades into a new conflict with the laconic empire. Alex would at least have survived The enlargement season 6, which means some book changes are on the way.

Alex Kamal dies while rescuing Naomi, is new to television, but the death itself is recycled from an unused scene in The ashes of Babylon (book 6). Before Alex, The enlargement season 5 includes another major character exit: the murder of Fred Johnson at Tycho Station. Fred is shot by Sakai as Free Navy rebels activate Marco Inaros’ secret plan to steal the protomolecule sample hidden in Fred’s office. In the books, however, Fred Johnson survives the Tycho incident and continues to work with James Holden and UN Chrisjen Avasarala against Inaros. The OPA leader is aboard the Rocinante during a fierce air battle with Free Navy’s Pella, and the intense flight triggers a stroke – just like Alexs in the TV version. Since Fred Johnson’s book death is no longer required in The enlargement season 6 (for obvious reasons) the plot became available for Alex to adopt instead.

Alex Kamal’s death is one of The enlargement‘s greatest book to date is changing and undoubtedly important for The enlargement season 6. Rocinante obviously required a new pilot, and Fred’s former assistant, Bull, seemed ready for the job when he drank from Alex’s coffee cup. IN The enlargement season 6’s premiere, Holden confirms, however he is now piloting Rocinante. Although Alex still has a significant role beyond Nemesis game, there is nothing in season 6 where his presence is absolutely necessary. Alex’s stories can be cut from The enlargementlast season without major consequence. The enlargement Season 6 refers to Alex’s death on several occasions – usually Rocinante characters reminiscent of their fallen friend – but never dwells on the subject for long.

Why Amazon Killed Alex – Was It Planned?

Alex and Bobbie

The story’s explanation for Alex’s death may be relatively clear (thanks to Holden’s interpretation), but the real-life circumstances are somewhat minor. We know that after the aforementioned Cas Anvar allegations began, Alcon Entertainment quickly ordered an investigation into the case. When November 2020 came, The enlargement season 6 was announced as the final race, and fans learned at the same time that Alex would not return. Understandably, the general assumption is that Cas Anvars exit came as a result of fraudulent investigation, but this has not been officially confirmed. Asked if Alex’s exit was planned from the beginning, The enlargement‘s showrunner, Naren Shankar, refused to respond definitively in any way. Shankar claimed (h / h Den or Geek) at -one The main character’s death was discussed early The enlargement season 5’s production, but did not specify that Alex was in the firing line, or that the conversations would have turned into something concrete if a protagonist had not faced real-world accusations.

Related: The Expanse Season 5 Final Scene: What Happened to the Mars Ship Explained

Since The enlargement season 5 finished filming before the Cas Anvar controversy began, some viewers have speculated that Alex’s death was inserted into the finale via remakes. This for sure appearance to be the case, with Alex’s last scene just a static frame and a few drops of digital blood flowing past. Alex’s farewell line could have slipped in during the post-production, and even when Bobbie delivers her “the juice to the gills“For the time being, the camera cuts away from Frankie Adams, suggesting that this was also added during ADR (automated dialogue replacement) to avoid filming further scenes with Anvar.

Given how close The enlargement usually following James SA Corey’s novels, as well as the sudden character of Alex’s death, it seems unlikely that the character’s exit was part of season 5’s original plan. If The enlargement had planned to kill Alex in advance, his last moments would certainly have had more effect instead of pretty much playing off-screen.

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