'The Expanse' Season 4 premiere: Is Ilus "another f-cking Eros"?

"You'll see a different side of Miller and a different shape of Miller," says Naren Shankar.

New York Comic Con hosted the world premiere of the first episode of The Expanse Season 4 on Saturday. “New Terra” finds the Rocinante crew bound for Ilus, one of the newly discovered habitable planets beyond the ring gate. The longstanding conflicts between Belters, Martians and Earthers are still very much in play in the first episode of Season 4, and the politics surrounding who gets to explore these new worlds is a hotly contested subject.

“You can’t control a goddamn gold rush,” Avasarala cautions as members of the UN council plead with her to allow more people through the gate. We soon learn that there’s more to Avasarala’s reservations about Ilus: there’s protomolecule there. Avasarala enlists Holden and his crew to find out if this new settlement is “another fucking Eros.”

It’s a thrilling and tense debut episode, with tender moments between Naomi and Holden, blistering one-liners from Avasarala, and some truly arresting visuals and environments. Watery, gray and forbidding, Ilus is an immediately unnerving place: otherworldy with milky green lakes, yet familiar enough to lure both the Belter settlers and the Roci crew into a false sense of security.

“The Belters will try to enlist you to their cause. Holden, don’t put your dick in it. It’s fucked enough already.” Avasarala says, as she urges him to go to Ilus and deal with the protomolecule situation. By the end of the episode, it’s clear that this was a serious understatement.

expanse season 4 poster
The Expanse Season 4 comes to Amazon December 13.

The NYCC panel featured Steven Strait (James Holden), Wes Chatham (Amos Burton), Dominique Tipper (Naomi Nagata), Cas Anvar (Alex Kamal), Shohreh Aghdashloo (Chrisjen Avasarala), Frankie Adams (Bobbie Draper), Cara Gee (Camina Drummer) and showrunner Naren Shankar. They were joined by Burn Gorman, who plays a new character, Holden‘s nemesis Adolphus Murtry. The discussion among the cast and crew that was all about venturing into unexplored territory: both the show’s move to Amazon and the new primary setting of Ilus.

The cast was particularly pleased to be freed from some of the limitations of basic cable, like swearing and nudity. Avasarala drops a few zesty F-bombs in “New Terra,” and told the audience at NYCC that her favorite curse word was “motherfucker,” she says with raspy glee.

“You get to see a lot more Amos this season,” Chatham added with a salacious chuckle.

While the panelists didn’t reveal much in the way of plot details for the upcoming season, Shankar did tease one particularly intriguing detail. “You’ll see a different side of Miller and a different shape of Miller,” he said cryptically.

expanse panel nycc 2019
The showrunner and cast of The Expanse at New York Comic Con 2019.

The Expanse Season 4 comes to Amazon Prime Video on December 13.