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The ongoing threat of Marco Inaros (Keon Alexander) has dominated much of the sixth and final season of The Expanse, but not all Belters are standing with him. In direct opposition stands Camina Drummer (Cara Gee), who has been steadily rising through the ranks for the entire run of this series, and is undoubtedly one of our favorite characters.
Alexander and Gee may be in direct conflict with each other on the series, but in real life they get along just fine. SYFY WIRE saw evidence of this when we caught up with the both of them during a digital press junket for The Expanse. They sat next to each other and were friendly as could be; the same could absolutely not be said for Drummer and Inaros.
***WARNING: From this point on, there will be spoilers for The Expanse Season 6, episodes 1 through 4. If you are not caught up, then swing around and go to full burn.***
Drummer started Season 6 in a very low place, and though she’s been in bad spots before, we asked Gee if this was truly the lowest place that Drummer has ever been.
“Yes, for sure,” she said. “Her family has been fractured, there's so many people who are dead, she has nowhere to go. God, the universe feels so cold and empty for her. And you really get a sense of how vast the expanse truly is. I think for her, there's a void of hopelessness.”
Things would be much easier for Drummer if she took a simpler path with less virtue, but she continually refuses every easy path that she is given. Where does Drummer get this strength from?
As Gee said, “I think that growing up under the oppression of the inner planets, the oppression that she has experienced, the traumas associated with that, I think that her singular focus is the liberation of her people and that is just at the absolute core of who she is, and everything she strives for is to that end.”
The personal costs do not matter to Drummer, and this was something that Gee was quick to add: “So if it costs her something personally, so be it,” she said. “In a lot of ways, I think she's almost, in the season, she's already dead. She's got that warrior mentality where she's going into battle already dead and will do whatever it takes to advance the cause of her people.”
Marco Inaros is also advancing the cause of his people, but he’s doing it through a campaign of terror and fear. He deals with the “oppression of the inner planets” that Gee spoke of in a completely different way, and he's proved to be a complicated antagonist. His methods are horrid, but does he have a point? Is anything he does justified, even a little?
“Absolutely. And I think that there's a lot of parallels between Drummer and Marco,” Alexander said. “And I think that despite the psychological cracks in this clearly traumatized human being who comes from a very oppressed situation where you are bound to have those traumas, aside from that, he wishes the exact same thing as Drummer does… that in his heart of hearts, his desire is for the liberation of his people. That intertwined with his psychology makes for a messy situation, but it's only messy in terms of what he's willing to do in order to accomplish that.”
This takes sacrifice all around, but Alexander made it clear that Inaros thinks any sacrifice is worthwhile, saying, “If those sacrifices allow for that and allow for the power to shift, he thinks it's worth it.”
Drummer, in direct opposition, does not think those sacrifices are worth it at all: “What I love about this show is you look at that story and depending on what your perspective is, what great nation hasn't been built on the genocide of people?” Gee said. “100 years from now, if Marco has won, who's writing the history books and what's her perspective on that going to be? I think it's just a matter of what Marco actually can stomach and Drummer can't. She could never, ever, ever. He's getting it done. I think it's justified in a lot of ways.”
Drummer takes a stand this season, and in Episode 4 she openly speaks out against Inaros in a soaring speech to the Belt. Among other things, she calls him a coward. Marco himself is no stranger to big speeches, so we had to ask both actors about how it feels when they receive these glorious acting arias to perform.
“As an actor, it's a dream come true,” Gee said. “This is a once in a lifetime experience and a once in a lifetime project I get goosebumps, truly, thinking of how fortunate we are for that.”
Alexander agreed: “Yeah, truly. And there's words sometimes that cannot help but be sung, and to have those handed... I got goosebumps right now... to have those handed to you and for the words to actually sing themselves through you, which is what I got over and over again, with a guy who loves the sound of his own voice and wants to be the vessel for his own voice, it's a dream come true. And to be handed something like that that has so much life to it already is the biggest gift for a performer, for an actor. Because then you are allowed to just be moved and…”
“Fly,” Gee added.
“...and fly with it,” Alexander finished. “And I'm eternally grateful to the writers and the producers for allowing that, for giving that operatic element, a place to live in a really grounded and psychologically realistic way.”
The Expanse Season 6 streams new episodes every Friday on Amazon Prime.