5. Fred Johnson Is Revealed
Despite being less of a front-burner character than other noteworthy names, Fred Johnson has been an important figure for much of The Expanse’s run. Even when he isn’t on the screen, his machinations are having an effect on virtually everyone, and his fearsome reputation – earned during his infamous massacre of 173 insurgents and over a thousand civilians on Anderson Station – ensures that every move he makes will have an impact. However, while this notoriety makes him something of living legend, Johnson the man has kept much of himself hidden.
As the Chief of Operations for Tycho Station and one of the OPA’s leaders, Johnson was forced to maintain a particular persona. A brief scene in the official Season 5 trailer sees him starting to let his guard down, though, as he advises James Holden to turn away from the brewing battle; to focus on his friends and loved ones instead of once again setting out to save the world. This seemingly uncharacteristic moment is followed (in the books, if not the trailer) by both men being pulled back into the fray, but not before it promises that deeper complexities are about to surface.
With his situation quickly changing, the time is right for Johnson’s previously protected facets to be unveiled in a way that will not only allow actor Chad Coleman to take center stage, but also place the character in a pivotal position for the next leg of the series. That hardened exterior will give way to a more nuanced core, with the man’s past coming back into the spotlight as he attempts to focus on the future.