He’s robust, he’s philosophical, and he’s vaguely problematic. We salute him.
I would like you to imagine your private favorite TV character delivering the line “I haven’t felt worry since I was 5 years previous.” Don Draper saying it, Logan Roy saying it, John Luther saying it, Jim Hopper saying it. (We’re in all probability speaking a few dude here, given the line’s wanton dudeliness, however positive, imagine, like, Villanelle or even Fleabag saying it.)
So: “I haven’t felt worry since I was 5 years previous.” How’d that go for you? Not nicely, sure? Did your private favorite TV character maybe sound a wee bit unconvincing? Brotastic? Ridiculous? Embarrassed? Embarrassing? Who amongst us, even in these superb streaming-era growth occasions, can make investments these phrases with the precise deadpan-badass tone that may hint at tragedy with out lapsing into disastrous unintentional comedy?
One amongst us. This guy.
Amos Burton is a character on The Expanse. Wait. Get again right here. Yes, those of you who do not watch The Expanse (yet) possible realize it as that hardcore science-fiction show, typically reductively described as “Game of Thrones in space,” that a minimum of three of your folks are furious with you for not watching. It’s nice, and you’re missing out, and you’re sick of being informed you’re missing out, and that’s comprehensible. Please don't maintain this towards Amos.
Business-wise, The Expanse is also referred to as the ultra-rare canceled collection that irritating diehard fans truly saved. It premiered in late 2015 on Syfy, obtained respectable scores and oft-rapturous reviews, however found itself unjustly scrapped in 2018 after three seasons for convoluted business reasons. (Syfy made cash provided that you watched the show reside, principally.) Enter Jeff Bezos, savior of the 23rd-century working (area)man, who quickly personally announced that Amazon Prime had swooped in to rescue the present. He has his reasons.
Season four premiered, in full, on Amazon in mid-December. It guidelines. You’re still missing out. Partly that is right down to its staggering scope, its rad space-torpedo special results, its rich-text sociopolitical intrigue. However more importantly, it’s right down to the very human (often) and really relatable frailty (sometimes) of its characters. As with, positive, Recreation of Thrones, a fantastical prolonged universe is simply as incredible as the expertly drawn individuals (or no matter) shifting by means of it. Right here’s a Season 2 scene the place Amos principally punches a man from Syfy straight to Amazon Prime.
Based mostly on a nine-book collection (described as “a very kickass area opera” by George R. R. Martin himself) by two writers working beneath the pen identify James S.A. Corey, The Expanse is a dense, sprawling, wildly formidable feat of galaxy-building so sprawling I'm loathe to elucidate it in a lot element, as a result of I’ll in all probability simply fuck it up. So: In the 23rd century, battle is inevitable between Earth (ravaged by local weather change however nonetheless dominant), Mars (colonized by people and increasingly militaristic), and Belters, these working-class and oft-downtrodden denizens of the asteroid belt connecting Mars and Earth to the outer planets. Also, a mysterious alien entity generally known as the protomolecule is a constant menace to either wipe out humanity or open an extra-mysterious Ring Door to new galaxies filled with uninhabited worlds, or both.
So: A ragtag crew of charismatic do-gooders spanning Earth, Mars, and the Belt flies around on a spaceship referred to as the Rocinante, moving into rad-space-torpedo-type adventures. Season four principally includes a type of new galaxies, and an Earth vs. Belters proxy warfare with heavy settler-refugee overtones. The plot is ok; the plot is impressively complicated. However at this level the entire level is to hang round together with your previous associates, be they Rocinante captain and reluctant-hero sort Jim Holden (Steven Strait), or Belter ex-freedom-fighter Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper), or hotshot Martian pilot and quasi Texan Alex Kamal (Cas Anvar), or ferocious Earth politician Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), or idealistic Martian ex-soldier Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams, and no, her character just isn't a Mad Men crossover attempt).
The Expanse, briefly, has no shortage of Favorite Character material—see also Cara Gee and David Strathairn (!!) as Belter leaders with splendidly intense accents—though this season, whereas wonderful general, is hard on many longtime favorites, whether or not it’s Holden (too mopey) or Avasarala (pressured to swear constantly to amuse the internet) or Draper (isolated in a subplot that's actually Mars kinda sucks now). Amos, against this, gets a means higher deal this season, and makes probably the most of it. I really like him very much, especially when he’s scaring the bejesus out of everybody.
As played by Wes Chatham, an affable Georgia native and Hunger Games veteran whose younger sons have amazing hair, Amos is an skilled spaceship mechanic and laconic robust man whose biceps are bigger than many different characters’ heads. He is from Earth. Particularly, Baltimore. (There's something so unique and soothing about the best way anybody on this interstellar-warfare show says Baltimore.) He has, as a consequence of a mercifully vaguely described traumatic childhood, an rigid moral code combined with a near-complete lack of empathy. (Therefore the not feeling worry since he was 5 years previous.) He’s engaged on it, and softening considerably; he represents The Expanse’s most troubling and engrossing multiseason character arc, a hard-punching murder robotic slowly learning to really feel. He's ferociously loyal but hilariously awkward, homicidal but terrifyingly pragmatic about it.
That’s where the deadpan part of the badassness is available in. His love curiosity in Season 4, a fellow Earth-born soldier sort named Chandra Wei (Jess Salgueiro), is technically on the opposing aspect of this season’s particular battle, and threatens to shoot Amos if it ever comes to it, a menace he takes, as he takes most issues, in disturbing stride.
That is the face everyone makes when talking to Amos. From the beginning he has capably crammed each the Robust Guy position and, one way or the other, the Comic Aid position, his constant threats of violence so dispassionate they don’t fairly register as threats. “I’m not gonna mislead you: Both method this plays out, you’re lifeless.” “In case I have to kill you, I just needed to say thanks.” That kind of factor. “You’re not that man,” he counsels a mild-mannered botanist he befriends in Season 2, convincing him not to shoot the extraordinarily evil man he’s about to shoot. The botanist shakily lowers his gun and walks off, his innocence intact. The extremely evil guy is relieved. After which, from Amos, the sorta-punch-line: “I am that guy.”
Which is hilarious, in a sci-fi-badass type of approach. Another wonderful thing about The Expanse is that something legitimately exciting is all the time occurring. Slightly than your typical takes-six-episodes-to-get-going enterprise, the present leaps from tense standoff to tense standoff, and there’s Amos all the time within the thick of it, gun educated on any person and anyone else’s gun educated on him, delivering the ridiculously hard-boiled dialogue such a state of affairs calls for. “You bought a clear shot, back of the top—take it should you need it.” Imagine your personal favourite TV character saying that, even. It’s not that Chatham ever winks, or quips, or mugs for the digital camera to rebuke you for taking this at all critically. What makes him comedian is that there’s no real aid.
As myriad YouTube tributes have proved, you possibly can body Amos as an solely ultra-dark character, with grim hints of a child-sex-trafficking previous neither the present nor the books have delved into long sufficient or deep sufficient to really feel exploitative. (If Season 5 follows the books, we’ll comply with him back to Baltimore, the place he'll grapple with what Chatham has described as his character’s “mother-figure-plus-lover state of affairs that he had. It might get just a little weird.”) There is something completely inappropriate about Amos, as both a dwelling human and a story system. Considered one of his funniest early moments, during which he describes Naomi to Holden (who's Naomi’s boyfriend) as “like a sister to me,” concludes as follows:
There’s that look once more. As The Expanse has deepened and widened, Amos has gotten his philosophical moments, his little speeches, from “Everybody leaves unfinished business—that’s what dying is” to “The best way I see it, there’s only three sorts of individuals on this world: dangerous ones, ones you comply with, and ones you should shield.” That Chatham can dole out these nuggets of knowledge while holding a machine gun is additional spectacular. But he was born to Kick Ass and Be Problematic. If this have been the kind of show that impressed a lot of hand-wringing assume items, the dramatic conclusion of the Amos-Wei romance would encourage an entire bunch of them: It’s ugly and squirmy and in addition, as all the time, furiously logical and moral, based on his uncomfortably vivid and distinct brand of morality. Right here is our last take a look at Amos in Season four.
Yikes. Good. What a monster. What a gent. Then he punches a guy (presumably, however come on) to dying. It is sensible in the event you watch the present. It’s the right Amos moment, really, in the event you watch the present. He’s going to keep on supplying those moments, in his inimitable awe-inspiring and mortifying approach, till you lastly agree to observe the show.