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S03.E04: Happy Valley


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(edited)

This episode released early.  I was watching something else on Apple+ and when it finished, it rolled over to FAM Episode 4.  Wow - just wow.

Edited by Clawdette
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1 hour ago, Clawdette said:

This episode released early.

They've been doing that for almost a year now. It started with the premiere of Foundation. Based on the announcement at the time I had assumed it was a one-time thing, but it turned out to be permanent.

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Very well done. Doesn't mean I actually enjoyed it, though. First with the politics, then the protests, then cruelty. I get it, the path to the future is always born of those elements and more. It's just not my idea of a fun watch. I was glad to open up my place after I finished watching, let the afternoon sun in.

However, I loved the intro. Always love some cleverness! That said, how did NASA develop the solar sail without the others catching on?

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The second they started the sea shanty and a hatch on the ship opened I shouted "They have solar sails?!" in excitement at my TV. Such an awesome reveal. In universe that must have blown some minds. Took Ed a bit long to figure out, but then again, he didn't see that hatch open.

Speaking of Ed, so he is taking testosterone injections. I assumed it was that in the first episode, but it wasn't quite visible there. I mean makes sense, if you want to stay in shape at his age. Not sure what the show is trying to tell us with the focus on them though? That he refuses to get old? That he's vain? Don't know, I think it's just a necessity for some men if you want to stay in a physically demanding job at a certain age. We have way too much a stigma about that still. A ton of women take estrogen when they enter menopause, but for men it's often still seen as some kind of weakness.

Why are the news still in 4:3 when all the screens in the space ships are 16:9 flat panels? Guess I'm going to assume that that technology hasn't quite made it to the public en masse yet.

This week we had again instant communication when the ships were far past the moon. That really grinds my gears, especially since they made the communications delay a plot point later in the episode.

But far more annoying is coal, oil and gas workers protesting because the are losing their jobs, to the very minor benefit of saving the fucking planet from a climate catastrophy. That might just hit a bit too close to home. In germany we only have about 30.000 jobs left in the coal industry, which are highly subsidised with our tax money. That industry has been on major life-support since forever. In the last 10 years alone we lost about 120.000 jobs in wind and solar to the chinese (for reasons I can't get into because rule about politics). Yet by the discourse you'd think that it was at least the other way around, or that there were still millions of people in the coal industry. People not willing to accept that "their jobs" are killing the foundation for civilisation on this planet, even if governments provide ample opportunity for them to learn something new, is about the most infuriating thing there is. Quote from the episode: "My father worked the oil fields and his father before him, now it's all gone". Well tough titties, my dude. My grandfather bread horses for horse drawn carriages and now it's all gone! (Well not really, but you get the point. My grandfather did still plow his fields with a horse drawn plow and almost lost a leg doing so, though. Progress is generally a good thing.)

My predection about the Mars funding from the episode one thread seems to be panning out. Vice president is going to stab Ellen in the back any minute now.

The ending was certainly a nail biter and nameless astronaut lady, we got introduced to this episode, bit the dust. I assume the only solution will be to transfare the fuel under extreme risk and then make it to Mars anyway with a combined US-Russian crew. That's going to be interesting.

30 minutes ago, Anduin said:

I was glad to open up my place after I finished watching, let the afternoon sun in.

Overcast morning here... but also not raining. That's the third day this week they forecast rain and nothing has happened. My rain barrel is getting dangerously low. If only we had the scientific advancement of a space race in our world. Maybe weather forecasts would be better. 😆

27 minutes ago, Anduin said:

However, I loved the intro. Always love some cleverness! That said, how did NASA develop the solar sail without the others catching on?

There isn't that much to develope. It's a rather simple concept. The implementation is complicated and I assume a russian spy should have gotten wind of it, but then again maybe the russians got complacent, thinking that Margo was giving them all the information she had.

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1 hour ago, PurpleTentacle said:

There isn't that much to develope. It's a rather simple concept. The implementation is complicated and I assume a russian spy should have gotten wind of it, but then again maybe the russians got complacent, thinking that Margo was giving them all the information she had.

I imagine Margo is giving them what they asked for, nuclear tech, rather than straight up volunteering, "Oh by the way, we also have a solar sail." Also, apparently no one defected to Helios during development or implementation. Somehow things are starting to feel a little more convenient for the plot rather than natural places for the story to go. Anyone else feel they can see the writers hands at work?

Actually, when the extensions popped out, I initially thought they were secondary engines. Something similar to lighthuggers from Alistair Reynolds Revelation Space books.

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(edited)
17 hours ago, PurpleTentacle said:

People not willing to accept that "their jobs" are killing the foundation for civilisation on this planet, even if governments provide ample opportunity for them to learn something new, is about the most infuriating thing there is. Quote from the episode: "My father worked the oil fields and his father before him, now it's all gone".

See also: Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Much of Western Canada's economy is so dependent on Oil that the switch over will be desruptive. To be fair, many oil workers literally know which way the wind is blowing and are now working in renewable energy, albeit not quickly enough. In the FAM verse, Helium 3 would provide and much more abrupt and, and, to many, a more traumatic transition.

(CMIIR, but didn't the excellent 2009 movie Moon also feature Helium 3?)

Minor nitpick: Margo was wearing different glasses is one scene. Maybe those where her backup glasses? 

Kelly was describing the temperature in in Houston in Celsius. So the America of the FAMverse switched to metric?

When the Russian ship was in distress, I almost screamed "It's a trap!!!". Standard Operation Procedure in all the Trek shows.

The ending was so tense and horrifying . Another way this show is like The Expanse as it reminds us that Space in dangerous and wants to kill you.

Phoenix is the nicest ship. And they have pot!

Edited by marinw
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34 minutes ago, marinw said:

When the Russian ship was in distress, I almost screamed "It's a trap!!!". Standard Operation Procedure is all the Trek shows.

Phoenix is the nicest ship. And they have pot!

Yes! I was expecting a trap too. But I'm glad they didn't go there. A natural screwup is better than deliberate maliciousness.

I swear I heard caesar salad. And then the guy ate some. I'm no expert, but you don't normally eat pot, though I know you can add it to food in some way.

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(edited)

I thought "Ceaser Salad" was code for something. I'm sure Danny found a way to make alcohol from piss or something.

Oh Ed. Never trust the Tech Bro. I did like how the ground crew refused Dev's demands to make the ship go faster  by dumping important  things like fuel. Every gram of weight has a reason for being there.

Edited by marinw
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(edited)
1 hour ago, marinw said:

See also: Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Much of Western Canada's economy is so dependent on Oil that the switch over will be desruptive. To be fair, many oil workers literally know which way the wind is blowing and are now working in renewable energy, albeit not quickly enough. In the FAM verse, Helium 3 would provide and much more abrupt and, and, to many, a more traumatic transition.

As someone from germany I might just be a bit sensitive to the issue, since the 120.000 jobs in wind and solar we lost were pretty much all in economically weak areas. So it's far worse than losing those few fossil jobs, yet nobody seemed to care. The fossil lobby is still very strong, despite how few jobs are actually on the line.

1 hour ago, marinw said:

Kelly was describing the temperature in in Houston in Celsius. So the America of the FAMverse switched to metric?

NASA has always used metric and Celsius (or Kelvin), even in our world, because imperial is just random nonsense and not suitable for science.

46 minutes ago, marinw said:

I thought "Ceaser Salad" was code for something. I'm sure Danny found a way to make alcohol from piss or something.

I thought it was pot at first, too. But at a closer look it was just salad, confirmed by the guy eating some. You don't eat pot. It tastes like crap and won't do anything for you (it has to be heated first to have any effect, so baking it into things works). I think that was just the writers playing with us for a moment. How in space a salad is as coveted as drugs are on earth.

Edited by PurpleTentacle
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1 hour ago, HDJulie said:

Who were the ones killed in the accident?  It was 3 people, right?  Were they all from the NASA contingent?

It looked like two from NASA and last person from the Soviet ship.

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(edited)
19 hours ago, Anduin said:

Yes! I was expecting a trap too. But I'm glad they didn't go there. A natural screwup is better than deliberate maliciousness.

Agreed. One of the reasons I love this show. One of the Cosmonauts told Kelly that they were about to do something stupid. So now the surveying members of two ship are crammed on one ship headed back to Earth (Unless they got the extra fuel). The resentment towards the Russians is going to cause some serious morale issues amongst Dani’s crew.

Edited by marinw
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(edited)

I am liking the banter between Dani and Ed. They are rivals but respect each other.

How many cosmonauts were on the Russian ship? I think I heard 5. So if they get the extra fuel they can still in theory make it it Mars. If Phoenix is now ahead of Sourgenor maybe Ed could drop off some supplies? It would be fascinating to see the Russians and Americans have to work together.

Edited by marinw
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I enjoyed this episode, especially the Sojourner reveal. They do space so much better than family drama.

Is Margo going to get away with fucking everything up?

Was the second cosmonaut who boarded Sojourner one of the cosmonauts who attacked Jamestown, or the guy Dani shook hands with on the Apollo/Soyuz mission? It felt like it was supposed to be a big reveal when he raised his visor and looked at Soviet who had defected.

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I am liking the banter between Dani and Ed. They are rivals but respect each other.

How many cosmonauts where on the Russian ship? I think I heard 5. So if they get the extra fuel they can still in theory make it it Mars. 

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(edited)

Random thought: in our own timeline human spaceflight stalled out int he 1970s, we have stuck to Earth Orbit and will finally go back to the Mon around 2025. However, great progress has been made in sendimg probes to the outer planets. We also have some awesome telescopes, such as Hubble and James Webb. I wonder if parallel developments happen in the Fam Verse or if all the focus went to spaceships.

Edited by marinw
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(edited)
4 hours ago, marinw said:

So if they get the extra fuel they can still in theory make it it Mars. If Phoenix is now ahead of Sojourner maybe Ed could drop off some supplies? It would be fascinating to see the Russians and Americans have to work together.

I have a feeling that Ed may have to do more than just drop off supplies if the NASA flight has been badly damaged by the Russian space flight. Not a spoiler below, but a theory...

Spoiler

Everybody goes to Mars when Ed has to circle back and rescue both NASA and the Russians?

And nobody has anything to say about TONY CURRAN(!) being a member of the NASA crew???

Edited by wmdekooning
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29 minutes ago, wmdekooning said:

I have a feeling that Ed may have to do more than just drop off supplies if the NASA flight has been badly damaged by the Russian space flight. Not a spoiler below, but a theory...

But Ed can't do anything since Not!Musk has locked him and his crew out of the computer system, so Ed would only be able to circle back if Karen can convince Not!Musk to let him.

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1 minute ago, chocolatine said:

But Ed can't do anything since Not!Musk has locked him and his crew out of the computer system, so Ed would only be able to circle back if Karen can convince Not!Musk to let him.

Ah! More speculation.

Spoiler

Given what we know about Ed being the type of pilot he is from the aul's school, I can't see him not finding a crew member to dig in and disable the computer system if need be...

Karen may have to either convince Not!Musk to let him or have it put up to a vote...

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(edited)

I thought the Russian Mars ship was ugly. Brutilist architecture in space. Kudos to whomever is doing the ship design.

Edited by marinw
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You'd think Ed would know better by now than to brag too soon. Things in space can flip on a figurative dime.

Wonder how NASA was able to keep that space sail thingy under wraps? Seems like there's usually a leak when so many people are involved a huge project. Or at least there are rumors.

Danny is a nutbag. How did he pass the psych evaluation, assuming Helios bothers with such things. It must kill him to get a talking to from Ed.

Oh boy, conspiracy theory nutbags. That's the last thing Jimmy needs when he's still not able to process his parents' deaths. There's a theory afloat that he'll try to assassinate President Ellen but I'm wondering if he'll go after Margo instead. She's probably easier to approach than POTUS, plus she's directly in charge of NASA.

Wow was Dev being disingenuous with that group decision nonsense. His people knew not to disagree with him, else risk losing out in the $20K in prize money if Helios wins the race.

Dang, Margo. Nationalize Helios? At least Ellen had the political savvy to shut that idea down.

Dang, Dev. You basically turned Phoenix into a flying prison with your surprise "software update."

Whoa, didn't see that ending coming. But how absurd that the ships would again need to get close enough together to collide. This show is treating outer space like it's a three-lane freeway, with Phoenix running on cruise control in the HOV lane.

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11 hours ago, Joimiaroxeu said:

You'd think Ed would know better by now than to brag too soon. Things in space can flip on a figurative dime.

I knew something was about to go pear-shaped as soon as Ed started to gloat.

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23 hours ago, wmdekooning said:

Karen may have to either convince Not!Musk to let him or have it put up to a vote.

Someone on another site pointed out something I totally forgot.

If the NASA ship is in trouble, Ed on his end and Karen on her end HAVE TO do something to make certain that Phoenix provides assistance. Their daughter Kelly is on the NASA ship <Duh duh dahhh!!!>

Dev has no choice…

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1 hour ago, wmdekooning said:

If the NASA ship is in trouble, Ed on his end and Karen on her end HAVE TO do something to make certain that Phoenix provides assistance. Their daughter Kelly is on the NASA ship <Duh duh dahhh!!!>

Spoiler

In the season 3 trailer, there are a couple of shots of Ed talking to/comforting someone who bears a close resemblance to Kelly. And the different spacesuits shown on Mars seem to indicate that all three teams make it. 

<Duh duh dahhh!!!>

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19 hours ago, xaxat said:
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In the season 3 trailer, there are a couple of shots of Ed talking to/comforting someone who bears a close resemblance to Kelly. And the different spacesuits shown on Mars seem to indicate that all three teams make it. 

<Duh duh dahhh!!!>

Spoiler

You’re going to Mars! You’re going to Mars! You’re all going to Mars!!!

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Quote

This week we had again instant communication when the ships were far past the moon. That really grinds my gears, especially since they made the communications delay a plot point later in the episode.

I just assumed they weren't showing us the 5 minute delay - not that there wasn't one.  Like, we see NASA receive a communication and respond and when they switch back to Sojourner, its five minutes later and we see them receive the response.

Quote

Was the second cosmonaut who boarded Sojourner one of the cosmonauts who attacked Jamestown, or the guy Dani shook hands with on the Apollo/Soyuz mission? It felt like it was supposed to be a big reveal when he raised his visor and looked at Soviet who had defected.

I thought it might be the guy from Jamestown but I'm not sure.  I agree, it did look like a big reveal.  This guy seemed too hostile to be the one Dani shook hands with; it would create more tension if its the guy that killed Americans trying to get the defector back.

Quote

If the NASA ship is in trouble, Ed on his end and Karen on her end HAVE TO do something to make certain that Phoenix provides assistance. Their daughter Kelly is on the NASA ship <Duh duh dahhh!!!>

Even if not for Kelly, I think Dev has to do something.  Its one thing to tell Nasa its their responsibility to rescue the Russians; it would be an entirely different matter to leave both the Russians and Americans stranded in space when you could help.  Aside from it being psycho-levels of cold hearted, it would be a public relations nightmare.

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On 7/2/2022 at 9:06 PM, Joimiaroxeu said:

Whoa, didn't see that ending coming. But how absurd that the ships would again need to get close enough together to collide. This show is treating outer space like it's a three-lane freeway, with Phoenix running on cruise control in the HOV lane.

Wouldn't the ships have to be fairly close so that the cosmonauts could transfer over to Sojourner?

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On 7/6/2022 at 5:53 AM, maczero said:

Wouldn't the ships have to be fairly close so that the cosmonauts could transfer over to Sojourner?

Yes and my point was that I didn't like them using that manuever again. It's been done enough AFAIC.

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Dev knew Ed would veto the order.  Ed won’t like that.  Karen won’t either.
 

Someone, likely Alieda, will figure out just how similar the two ships are.

Leave it to the soviets to mess it up for everyone.

 

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