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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
“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.”)
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.