NASA Vending Machine
We came to podcast “For All Mankind!” Dan Moren and Jason Snell have the right stuff… to watch Apple TV+’s space drama and talk about it every week.
Podcast art by Thom Zahler. Something dramatic always happens near the vending machine at Mission Control.
August 11, 2022
20 “Stranger in a Strange Land” (S3E10)
So it all comes down to this. It’s the mega-length season finale of “For All Mankind,” in which many plot threads and characters will be explosively resolved! (But what of the vending machine? Won’t anyone think of the vending machine?) We get information about our surprising new character, Dev and Margo offer final(?) pep talks, Jimmy struggles to do the right thing, Molly talks Ed through trying not to crash, and we count references to “Watchmen”, “Apollo 13”, and even “Goodfellas.” Finally, there’s the needle drop for the 21st century, but it’s showing us a rather unexpected location. See you next season!
August 4, 2022
19 “Coming Home” (S3E9)
Digging out on Mars, reinventing Watergate at home, and investigating a Soviet asset. There’s a lot going on in this episode of “For All Mankind” even before the last five minutes happen!
July 28, 2022
18 “The Sands of Ares” (S3E8)
In the aftermath of last week’s landslide, this week is all about picking up the pieces. The physical pieces, but also the emotional ones. Karen gets confronted, finally, about her behavior last season—and from an unexpected source. And Danny, this year’s Karen, reveals a lot more about his own problems.
July 21, 2022
17 “Bring It Down” (S3E7)
On Mars, it’s drill, baby, drill. On Earth, a scandal and some dirty tricks are threatened, and a betrayal is revealed. Much to Margo’s consternation, Aleida’s still on the case of the leaked nuclear secrets. And Ed is… well, he’s the most Ed that Ed’s ever been.
July 14, 2022
16 “New Eden” (S3E6)
Tension is building on Mars—and there’s a surprising twist back on Earth, too. There’s even a spy-style dead drop. Also, Kelly thinks that an air vent is louder than it really is! Most importantly, an astronaut makes an important personal decision that adds complications into the lives of both Danielle and Ellen.
July 7, 2022
15 “Seven Minutes of Terror” (S3E5)
To the surface we go! Who will touch down on Mars first? This episode has the answers, and after last week, this week’s ending is… a change of pace? Romance is in the recycled air, the walls are closing in on Margo, and Karen get an important cooking lesson from Wayne.
June 30, 2022
14 “Happy Valley” (S3E4)
This is one of the less happy episodes of “For All Mankind,” but we’re here to break it down, especially the shocking ending! Nobody said going to Mars would be easy. That wouldn’t be much of a show. Also: Dev uses democracy to hide from responsibility, Ellen reminds Margo what NASA is good at, and DJ Kelly is dropping tunes from space on her 1990s iPod.
June 23, 2022
13 “All In” (S3E3)
Somehow this week’s episode feels like a season finale. The moves of Helios have upended the plans of the U.S. and USSR and the result is a lot of action, both in terms of job offers and people switching sides, and in terms of the urgency of the people knocking at that hotel-room door. Is Ed the best person to be recruiting damaged astronauts? Is Aleida’s too loyal to Margo? And is Margo a tragic figure, or is she breaking bad? Black Hole Sun, won’t you come, won’t you come?
June 16, 2022
12 “Game Changer” (S3E2)
This episode is all about cultures, from the increasingly top-down management at NASA to whatever you’d call fusion billionaire Dev Ayasa’s management style at independent space startup Helios. Molly and Margo clash, Dani shows grace while Ed does not, and will anyone buy Karen’s lightly-used space hotel?
June 9, 2022
11 “Polaris” (S3E1)
“For All Mankind” is back and so are we! After the obligatory alt-history montage, the third season kicks off with some pulse-pounding space action, a disastrous wedding toast, and a surprising appearance by a Newton. Also, Dan and Jason speculate about when we’ll see that vending machine at Johnson Space Center again. Maybe the lady with the Newton knows.