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  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    NASA Vending Machine 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!

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    NASA Vending Machine 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!

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    NASA Vending Machine 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.

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    NASA Vending Machine 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.

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    NASA Vending Machine 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.

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    NASA Vending Machine 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.

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    NASA Vending Machine 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.

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    NASA Vending Machine 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?

  • NASA Vending Machine cover art
    NASA Vending Machine 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.

  • TeeVee cover art
    TeeVee April 23, 2021
    707 For All Mankind S2E10 Review: "The Gray"

    So it all comes down to this. We review the season finale of “For All Mankind,” which puts the fate of the world in the crucible and makes us ponder the power of individual decisions when great systems seem intent on destroying one another. In addition to the dramatic life-and-death decisions, the plants at the bar are dead, Kelly has finished her essay, and we’re given a tantalizing look at what the 1990s might bring. Onward to season three!

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    TeeVee April 16, 2021
    705 For All Mankind S2E9 Review: "Triage"

    Things are getting pretty serious. The clash of civilizations between the U.S. and the Soviets begins to boil on Earth, in space, and on the surface of the moon. Karen continues making interesting personal decisions. Dani reveals herself to be an old-school “Star Trek” fan. Ellen’s future complicates her present. And how about that cliffhanger?! Like we said, things are getting pretty serious.

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    TeeVee April 9, 2021
    703 For All Mankind S2E8 Review: "And Here's To You"

    Things keep getting more tense! This week Karen owns her ability to make terrible decisions, Gordo vanquishes an old nemesis, Sally Ride is not amused, there’s a meet-cute in a mock-up, and Kelly tries banh mi for the first time. Oh, and there’s a fateful incident on the moon.

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    TeeVee April 2, 2021
    702 For All Mankind S2E7 Review: "Don't Be Cruel"

    As the season builds to its climax, there’s an awful lot to process. A real-life tragedy intervenes in Ellen’s story. Margo needs to communicate information from another tragic event that didn’t happen in the world of “For All Mankind.” A mysterious Soviet engineer comes bearing gifts for Dani. The Vending Machine of Fate beckons to Aleida! And Karen is having a crisis. Meanwhile, on the moon, is someone singing?

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    TeeVee March 26, 2021
    700 For All Mankind S2E6 Review: "Best-Laid Plans"

    At last, the Soviets. We loved this whole episode, from the pointed conversation about Laika to the docking system designed out of coasters. Who makes Houston’s best borscht? Who cares! Let’s have burgers and Jack Daniels! Just don’t tell the KGB.

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    TeeVee March 19, 2021
    699 For All Mankind S2E5 Review: "The Weight"

    Wake up Elvis and get The Band back together—we’re here to take a load for free and talk about the latest episode of “For All Mankind.” We cover Tracy’s rough introduction to Jamestown, Gordo’s pool adventures, Molly’s new job, the death of Spock, and a very momentous book reading. Put the load right on us!

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    TeeVee March 12, 2021
    698 For All Mankind S2E4 Review: "Pathfinder"

    Ed trades in his golf cart for a nuclear-powered Space Shuttle, Molly gets a job offer in a bathtub, Ellen gets career advice and surprise poetry, Danielle receives harsh words that spur her into historic action, and the Vending Machine of Fate makes another appearance!

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    TeeVee March 4, 2021
    696 For All Mankind S2E3 Review: "Rules of Engagement"

    Turns out that the Soviets are America’s annoying moon roommates, moving their stuff without asking—and it might trigger a lunar conflict. Also, Tracy and Gordo continue to be messed up, Margo provides toilet paper and a job offer, Gordo’s VCR is on the blink, and the Baldwin family finally brings its issues to the surface.

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    TeeVee February 25, 2021
    692 For All Mankind S2E2 Review: "The Bleeding Edge"

    Not every episode of “For All Mankind” needs to have the drama of a solar storm. In this week’s episode, Danielle re-engages with the space program—but Ed weighs her down with the disaster that is Gordo. Tracy returns from a fashion shoot and bonds with her kids. The Baldwins and Cobbs go golfing, so that Ed and Molly can discuss what really happened on the moon and Karen and Wayne can get high and talk about their feelings. Ellen gets a new job and a new briefcase, Margo defeats a vending machine, and we learn the fate of Wubbo! Sorry, Wubbo.

  • TeeVee cover art
    TeeVee February 18, 2021
    690 For All Mankind S2E1 Review: "Every Little Thing"

    “For All Mankind” has returned for a second season on Apple TV+, and this season Jason Snell and Dan Moren will be reviewing every episode! In the premiere, we get a time jump accompanied by a montage full of alternate-history easter eggs, some good vibes on the edge of Shackleton crater, a very busy Margo coordinating flight operations at NASA, a surprising new career direction for both Ed and Karen, and oh yeah—a potential lunar disaster that forces Molly to make a difficult decision. Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing!

    (Don’t listen to this episode until you watch Season 2, Episode 1 of “For All Mankind.”)

  • The Incomparable Mothership cover art
    The Incomparable Mothership January 18, 2020 “For All Mankind”
    497 A Concerning Amount of Tootsie Rolls

    Hi Bob! We continue our early 2020 survey of late 2019 TV favorites with “For All Mankind”, an Apple TV+ series from Ron Moore about a NASA space program that has taken some dramatic turns since Soviet Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov became the first person to set foot on the moon. We discuss the show’s balancing modern themes with its alt-historical context, how purely fictional and fictionalized historical characters fare, the merits of a weekly episode drop, lunar FaceTime and fax machines, and where it all might be headed in as the show’s second season (perhaps) reaches the 1980s.