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S03.E10: Stranger in a Strange Land


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Talk about an ironic appropriation of a title. Robert A. Heinlein’s most famous novel, published in 1960, was Also titled Stranger In A Strange Land, about the first human child born on Mars of two members of the first human mission to land on Mars.

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It's bizarre to me how I'm now comfortable with the same Ed Baldwin that I always thought was a raging asshole also being the Ed Baldwin who I think is a hero. What a legend, seriously. Kelly piloting her way to the Phoenix was just beautifully done.

Super did not expect Karen to go out, but it so fits the show that she died before her family that she always worried about in the stars. Are we to take away from this that there was more of a collapse after what we saw and that's how Molly died? I'm assuming this is kind of our replacement for the Oklahoma City bombing.

Love the North Korean story, though if I were writing it, I'd have had his suicide attempt fizzle out well before he met up with the other astronauts - a bit too melodramatic for me there. Really like that he got to talk to his loved one at the end.

Thought death by bombing was going to be a clean way for Margo to get out of all of this, but now I'm super intrigued by what we have in store for Margo in Russia.

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Got full OKC bombing vibes on this one and it HURT. I was a young adult when human shitstain Timothy McVey murdered adults and children in nearly the same manner. And the sheered levels of the building - yeah, they were definitely invoking OKC.

I was shocked when they showed that Molly died. But if she did go, she went out a hero. Her walking down the dark corridor, completely at ease with the dark, was a beautiful visual.

Karen, who I had little use for UNTIL this season, I will now mourn. 

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The actor playing the North Korean astronaut was really good. Loved Danny getting exciled to the NK ship.

I still don't understand why Phoenix can't do a supply drop.

The Mayflower anology makes me squirm. Other than that, a great season finale although not quite as strong as the end of Seaon 2.

Edited by marinw
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Damn, I have to wait until next year to find out if John Lennon would still be alive in 2003 in the For All Mankind universe? Why no montage at the end like at the end of Season 2?

P.S. I really hope we find out Jimmy committed suicide after the terrorist attack which he pretty much was responsible for. 

Edited by TimWil
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Shouldn't the perimeter of JSC have had a lot more security with so much media there? I only saw the one guard that Karen talked to.

22 hours ago, TheGourmez said:

Kelly piloting her way to the Phoenix was just beautifully done.

Yes, that was stunning. That feat would have been a huge media sensation if not overshadowed by the bombing.

1 hour ago, TimWil said:

P.S. I really hope we find out Jimmy committed suicide after the terrorist attack which he pretty much was responsible for. 

I hope someone figures out his involvement (maybe that astronaut whose badge he stole earlier in the season) and he has to go through a public trial so that everyone will know what a piece of shit he is.

33 minutes ago, Accidental Martyr said:

How did Jimmy survive the bombing? It really didn’t look like he had time to get to safety.

He didn't even have a scratch on him. The show really dropped the ball there.

The irony of Margo being whisked off to Russia at the same time as Sergei and his family were making their way to the US. She looked miserable. The Soviets probably gave her a job in their space program, but it wouldn't be nearly as high up as what she did at NASA. I wonder if the FBI made her espionage public after her presumed death.

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Definitely shades of 'The Americans' with Margo's story-line going forward, which should be very interesting; though I thought for a second she was gazing down on a massive Mars colony with those buildings, which would of course have been insane.  Yet again, I don't think putting a mentally unstable person into solitary confinement for years on Mars is going to help anyone.  Regardless, Gordo's kids are unlikely to ever heal from the trauma and dysfunction caused by growing up with astronaut parents.

I wish they would not keep referring to the arrival of christian fundamentalists in North America who ultimately founded a nation based on slavery and genocide as something brave or in any way an analogy for Mars/space exploration.  Ellen's storyline ended in a good, hopeful place; and indeed, I'm glad she sees the wisdom in smashing the homophobic republican party.

Edited by Glade
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Maybe I’m missing something, but why couldn’t Phoenix simply have moved to a slightly lower orbit instead of all the messing around with the MSAM?

When Danny said “It was me” my first thought was that he was about to confess to being the guy Karen slept with.

I wonder whether the Mars rescue mission would be carried out by Russia and/or Helios. NASA would have been in rough shape between the bombing and the Republicans trying to kill it. Or would the fact that there were people up there on Mars who needed rescuing change public opinion enough to keep it going?

LOL’d at Molly’s “Where’s the Queen of Darkness?”

That was quite the O. Henry ending for Margo and Sergei.

Edited by CarpeFelis
typo
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5 hours ago, Glade said:

I wish they would not keep referring to the arrival of christian fundamentalists in North America who ultimately founded a nation based on slavery and genocide as something brave or in any way an analogy for Mars/space exploration.

This. That part of the world had been inhabited by all sorts of people for thousands of years before the Europeans showed up. That anology does not hole up at all. 

4 hours ago, CarpeFelis said:

Maybe I’m missing something, but why couldn’t Phoenix simply have moved to a slightly lower orbit instead of all the messing around with the MSAM?

I wish they would have spent a bit more time of the crew of Phoenix. It must be so weird and frustrating for them: they get to spend their time in relative comfort while Happy Valley struggles to survive. They can't go down to the Mars even though that's what they signed up for. The company that sent them to Mars is in disarray. And they only had one tiny ship capable of going to down to the surface?

Edited by marinw
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13 hours ago, MichaelaRae said:

I was shocked when they showed that Molly died. But if she did go, she went out a hero. Her walking down the dark corridor, completely at ease with the dark, was a beautiful visual.

Yes. The word "hero" is thrown around a LOT on this show, but here it is fitting.

Danny will totally find Chekov's gun.

Pam didn't find a new partner, she was waiting for POTUS, her one true love?

Edited by marinw
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2 hours ago, marinw said:

Pam didn't find a new partner, she was waiting for POTUS, her one true love?

I did think she was too conveniently available, but she had another partner in season two, didn’t she?

I am fairly confident Ellen dared Congress to impeach her and hasn’t resigned as president. I’m not sure I’d want to be Presidential Girlfriend, either. But it’s a wonderful scene to see them finally meet openly and honestly and free of a sense of shame (on Ellen’s part).

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11 hours ago, Glade said:

Regardless, Gordo's kids are unlikely to ever heal from the trauma and dysfunction caused by growing up with astronaut parents.

If Mars Baby survives until next season, the kid will have a lot of baggage.

So the the NK ship have a gun in case the astronauts decided that suicide was their only option? Cianade pills would weigh less. I remember guns in space (and on the Moon) was an issue in season 2.

It was mentioned that Kelly needed magnesium and Lee discovered that the Martian soil contains magnesium. Weird how no one put two and two together.

Edited by marinw
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The end scene with Margo in Russia in 2003 - that's the next time jump, right?  It's 8 years later?  We'll start next season 8 years later & will have to be told what happened with Jimmy, Danny, & the Martian crew. 

Edited by HDJulie
Corrected the year
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This show can be so frustrating. At times it can be very compelling The North Korean astronaut, the crew voting to stay on Mars, Molly heading back into the building. . . And at the same time it can leave you wondering "What??" Ellen thinks she can survive an impeachment vote because Dems like lesbians? Pam put her entire relationship life on hold for decades pining for a woman who was so deep in the closet that married a man an raised a kid with him?

I am still am unclear what the writers are trying to do with Margo. It feels like she gets a relatively sympathetic portrayal even though she has been in a decades long espionage effort. And that apartment in Russia had to come with an ongoing price. 

Add me to the group that thinks the Manifest Destiny theme this season was not a good look.

22 hours ago, MichaelaRae said:

Karen, who I had little use for UNTIL this season, I will now mourn. 

The day she is defined by who she is instead of who she is with (Ed, Danny, her other ex, Dev) she dies. 😥

Edited by xaxat
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wow, what an ending....I guessed Margo was heading to Russia when she told Sergei it's difficult starting somewhere new....

Loved seeing Molly back...wished we had had more of her this season.  but really, all those people just stood there and let the blind woman go back in...granted it was dark but they'd have been able to see the sparks of fire, etc. at the very least someone could have gone with her.

just glad Ed made it.  Joel Kinamman is one of my favorite actors.  It's amazing to me how he can look different in the different roles he portrays.  

It will be interesting to see what happens with Helios now.  Will there be renewed interest generated by saving those on the planet?  obviously, NASA will have to continue and the Russians will want to get their people back.  There really was no arc for Karen's character so I understand why she died.

the series continues to be great year after year, can't wait for what comes next.

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That poor NK guy. Crash landed alone on Mars and unable to communicate with Earth. Running out of food and out of sanity. Wonder why NK didn't let it be known he was up there? Guess they figured he didn't survive the landing. Regardless, seems odd they wouldn't grab the credit for putting the first people on Mars.

Lol, apparently Dev knew his people didn't have non-compete clauses when he tried to get them to leave Helios with him. But he didn't count on them being more mercenary than loyal.

Ed remembers how to speak Korean. Because of course he does.

Good grief, Jimmy finally realized he was being used by those conspiracy theory a-holes but he got it about 15 seconds too late. What a fool. Hopefully the voicemail he left for Amber will come back to bite him.

Margo got her applause from the NASA team before the sh!t hit the fan for both her and Sergei. Soon the NASA people would've been hating her guts for giving their hard work to the Russians.

I can't with what they did to get Kelly back up to the Phoenix. That was some real Star Trek b.s. IMO. But at least she and the baby survived.

So Margo escaped having her reputation destroyed before she "died," assuming the FBI would quietly close the case on her since it'd be assumed she did not survive the explosion. And Sergei and his family got a happy surburban life as The Americans.

Aleida has to live with knowing if Margo had stayed down in the command center she'd likely still be "alive." Oh well.

Not punishment enough for Danny to be put in Mars jail. He's still carrying the worst secret of all to wreck Ed with. But maybe for the sake of Karen's memory he'll definitely never tell Ed. Jimmy knows though and he's not a brain trust. And what about the gun Dani buried out there? If it hasn't been covered in sand and Danny finds it, yikes.

With the flashforward to 2003 I don't guess it matters whether Ellen resigned as POTUS or not. Her options for the future would likely be less positive if she did though.

I've seen theories that the Russians were behind the bombing and they were in the process of extracting Margo before the explosion occurred. More likely they knew time was running out and the bombing was both a coincidence and a convenient cover for Margo's disappearance. But will the CIA find out she's in Russia and send people in to grab her?

Geez, I'm ready for next season now!

Edited by Joimiaroxeu
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3 hours ago, Joimiaroxeu said:

Ed remembers how to speak Korean. Because of course he does.

So how the f*** old is Ed supposed to be then if I’m correct that he learned to speak Korean during the police action that was fought there and ended in 1953???

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19 hours ago, marinw said:

And they only had one tiny ship capable of going to down to the surface?

That’s another thing that makes no sense beyond pure plot contrivance. There should have been (at least!) a second MSAM onboard Phoenix in case anything went wrong with the first one. When you’re traveling that far away, redundancy is a necessity. It’s not like space aboard Phoenix was too limited, and since it was already in Earth orbit at the start of the mission with no gravity well to overcome, the extra weight shouldn’t have been much of a concern either. Sometimes I wonder if any real engineers were involved in the writing!

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8 hours ago, CarpeFelis said:

The wiki at https://for-all-mankind.fandom.com/wiki/Edward_Baldwin says he was born in 1932, so he’d be 62 in 1994.

Not quite retirement age, and not as old as I imagined (Math certainly not my strong suit, and not clear on the year of the Mars events). That said, no wonder he was so cranky and his bones so creaky that he needed to take shots presumably to increase his mobility.

고맙습니다…

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20 minutes ago, marinw said:

If FAM lasts seven seasons Ed will be alive in the 2030's

Does Joel Kinnaman have it in his contract that Ed has to stay alive until the end of the show and be in every season? Because, to be quite honest, I wouldn't have minded if he had crashed the MSAM and died after getting Kelly successfully to the Phoenix. From his conversations with Molly and Danny it sounded like there was a very slim chance he would survive that. I'd rather have had Ed die than Karen because Karen's story was finally getting interesting.  

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On 8/13/2022 at 4:35 PM, marinw said:

I just realized that Mars Baby is technically not a Martian as he or she was born in orbit. 

I think it would count. If for no reason than it is a fantastic narrative. One question is if the child (by the next season) will have a cult following like the Mars born main character in Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land.

49 minutes ago, marinw said:

If FAM lasts seven seasons Ed will be alive in the 2030's

I'm sure Dev will have figured out a way to transfer human conscious to robots by then.

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I suspended my disbelief that the U.S. is technologically twenty-five years ahead of us in this AU.  And I suspended my disbelief a little more that the Russians were able to keep pace because, you know, Margo.  But North Korea?  Seriously?  Where exactly did their tech boom come from?

So we see Molly alive after the bombing and helping someone else get out.  And we see Aleida in Margo's empty office that got the shit blown out of it.  And then we see the headline about naming the center after Molly the fallen hero.  Huh?  Can somebody help me out here?

It was funny watching Dev's inspirational speech to the troops get annihilated by Karen.  Money talks.

"Nobody can stop our vision of a future on Mars! Nobody!"

"What? My pay is now eight dollars an hour?"

"Screw this, back to space hotels!"

And so Ellen's House of Cards storyline comes to a merciful end.

What exactly did they pack that van with?  That was Oklahoma City-level damage and McVeigh had thirteen 500-pound barrels in his truck.

I don't know how plausible Kelly's Rocketeer launch would be in real life, but it was cool to watch.

As soon as I saw they killed off Karen, I knew Ed survived his landing. They weren't going to kill off both of them.

Next season, Margo runs into Philip and Elizabeth from The Americans.

Also next season. Trinidad and Tobago beats the U.S. and the Russians to build the first colony on Jupiter's moons.

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4 hours ago, Joimiaroxeu said:

Still, what are the odds he'd be immediately conversant in Korean again, 40 years later? I think Ed needs to be wearing a leotard and cape because he has superhero powers.

To be fair he did call the astronaut a dumpling 😄

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14 hours ago, wmdekooning said:

Not quite retirement age, and not as old as I imagined (Math certainly not my strong suit, and not clear on the year of the Mars events). That said, no wonder he was so cranky and his bones so creaky that he needed to take shots presumably to increase his mobility.

I think younger people have a somewhat distorted view of what it’s like to be in your 60s. Hell, the reply to an Ask Amy letter recently posited that a 66-year-old woman might be “frail”. That may have been true when I was a little kid in the ‘60s, but certainly not today. It made me laugh my butt off because it conjured up the image of a stereotypical hunched-over little old lady pushing a walker around the nursing home, which better describes someone at least 80+. I’m 64 (female) and nothing creaks yet, no aches and pains, no major health problems, no mobility problems except for occasional stiffness in the ankle I’ve broken twice, 3 and 5 decades ago. So… I don’t go running, but I’m a pretty fast walker. Today’s 60-somethings are probably in generally better health than in Ed’s generation, but I doubt he was having mobility problems either.

From a comment Danny had made, I think it was supposed to be steroids Ed was taking—probably to preserve muscle mass. That was probably also where the crankiness was coming from. Well, that and having to put up with Danny’s fuckups.

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13 hours ago, chocolatine said:

Does Joel Kinnaman have it in his contract that Ed has to stay alive until the end of the show and be in every season? Because, to be quite honest, I wouldn't have minded if he had crashed the MSAM and died after getting Kelly successfully to the Phoenix. From his conversations with Molly and Danny it sounded like there was a very slim chance he would survive that. I'd rather have had Ed die than Karen because Karen's story was finally getting interesting.

Completely agree. I was really expecting him to die, basically sacrificing himself for his daughter and grandchild, to signal the end of an era and sort of baton-passing for next season. I was so disappointed when I saw that the one who died was Karen, which meant he was almost guaranteed to survive. I was reading the post-episode interview with SVS, and I find it irritating how, whenever showrunners want to kill off a character for the "emotional impact," it's always a female character who gets sacrificed, especially in this case because, as you said, Karen was finally starting to come into her own identity separate from being Ed's (ex-)wife.

I'm also probably the only one who was really disappointed they kept Pam as Ellen's endgame. I just don't understand how I am expected to root for them as a couple when we have been given nothing as to who Pam is and why exactly she is "the love of [Ellen's] life." After she walked away from Ellen in s2, I was really hoping they would give her a new love interest with whom she had a bit more spark. Their scenes together this season just fell completely flat for me. Oh well, as far as lesbian characters go, at least Ellen got a happy ending.

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13 hours ago, Dobian said:

But North Korea?  Seriously?  Where exactly did their tech boom come from?

Since the FAMverse runs parallel to our own, I would think that China would be in competetion with the Soviets and the US, assumeing 90's China in the FAMverse is econimically robust. Perhaps China was funding a shadow NK Space Program for some nefarious reason. I will say that the NK ship looked really cramped and rough.

Next Season I would like to find out more about the European Space Agency, Canada, Japan, and all the other contries that contribute to the space program without being the major players the US, Russia and apparently North Korea are.

Edited by marinw
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8 hours ago, Accidental Martyr said:

According to the newspaper on Sergei’s lawn she was killed while leading people to safety. Her body was recovered seven days later.

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That's incredibly bad narrative.  No one is going to see that and 99% of viewers aren't going to freeze it to read the fine print.  If she died, they needed to show her dying on camera, not surviving the blast intact and helping people leave.  I don't know whose idea it was to present it this way.  It would have been incredibly easy to just show her lying there like they did with Karen.

Edited by Dobian
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On 8/12/2022 at 2:19 AM, TheGourmez said:

Love the North Korean story, though if I were writing it, I'd have had his suicide attempt fizzle out well before he met up with the other astronauts - a bit too melodramatic for me there. Really like that he got to talk to his loved one at the end.

The NK astronaut was CS Lee, AKA Masuka from Dexter!

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Number one lesson Gordo and Tracy should have taught their sons: Whenever you get really angry, and you think, "What the hell. I'll just help kill people", think again. The aftermath is a real bummer.

Edited by 7-Zark-7
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Oh guess I got the timing wrong on NK.  Which only makes everyone’s rush to mars even more stupid.  And Kelly was such an idiot.

cant nasa send out more supply drops sooner than 18 months?  

boy Gordo and Tracey really f’d up their kids.  I almost hope Ed whomps both their asses.  Ed is a tough sob, of course he lived.  And of course Danny will find the gun, but what will he do with it. Geeze Dani you didn’t think to retrieve it?  18 months is a long time of isolation.

Actually really sorry to lose Karen and Molly.  Karen was finally interesting this season.  

So the US loses Margo and got Sergie.  I think Russia won that deal. Alleida if you didn’t want to screw things up, you should have let it go, like Margo asked. But you may get her job, at some point.

maybe next time they go to mars send more stuff.  

Edited by Hanahope
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On 1/9/2023 at 8:24 PM, Hanahope said:

18 months is a long time of isolation.

The science that is coming out about the effects of solitary confinement makes me really worried about this — Danny’s not that sane to begin with. On the other hand, I can see why no one wants him around. No-win situation.

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adding, that I lol'd at Nixon's big portrait in Ellen's oval office.  I guess he was a hero to her because he wanted female astronauts.  and in that timeline, he didn't have watergate.  she almost had to deal with the tape recording issue.  but couldn't she and larry claim spousal privilege to prevent the release of the tape that was just of their conversation?

did larry have a role in her administration?  he was involved in some high level meetings, certainly more than any "first lady" had previously been, i'm sure.  i wondered if he was her chief of staff as well as the 'first gentleman.'

i certainly appreciate a story about the real early steps of actual space travel.  always hoped to see a moon base and more manned exploration of the solar system in my lifetime.  it could still occur, they need to really find water/ice i guess.

 

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This episode made me so angry.  That whole next generation (Danny, Jimmy, Kelly, and Aleida) is useless.  They are all complicit in getting Karen killed and almost getting Ed and everyone else on Mars killed.  Stupid, selfish, spoiled idiots.  If there is a 4th season I hope there is enough of a time jump that they are all gone. Terrible way to end the series if this is the last, leaving such a bad taste in my mouth.

I thought this whole season missed the mark.  I really enjoyed the first two, with the interesting ideas that came out of the alternate history, but these episodes were pure sci fi with little to relate to in terms of reality vs what ifs.  (Not knocking sci fi.  I was a huge fan of The Expanse and still consider it one of my fav shows ever.)  About the only thing I liked about this season was the surprise reveal of the NK astronaut beating everyone else to Mars.

Stupid kids.

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I don't think Alieda is useless or shown as useless. She saved everyone on the moon and was one the lead engineers on both Apollo Soyuz and Sojourner. I think they show her as competent, even crucial. Annoying sometimes, but crucial. I don't know how any of them except Danny is complicit in Mars issues, nor how anyone but Jimmy is complicit in Karen's death. 

To stick up for them, Jimmy and Danny are damaged kids, raised by very negligent, damaged people who the world considers heroes.  Kelly is shown as competent except for those darn hormones. And Alieda is the genius who saved Jamestown by getting snacks. 

 

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I'm so conflicted on this episode. I liked a lot of it, and it was exciting TV. Loved the North Korean's opening sequence -- it was both comical, stressful, and sad. But the overall episode I just thought was strangely handled in many places.

First and foremost, Molly DIED?! I watched the ending THREE TIMES before I figured out that, I guess, she went back in and somehow succumbed to fumes or something fell on her? I mean, it was just so damn weird. The direction and editing also don't help because we see Molly walk confidently down that hall into the darkness, then the very next shot is of Aleida emerging from that darkness around a corner toward Margo's office (in an almost identical silhouette). No sign that Molly was in danger, etc., for the rest of the episode, just that weird newspaper headline.

Also, what was with all the weird reactions? Sergei reads the headline about "fallen hero Molly Cobb" and smiles? It just felt weird. Same with the post-bombing memorial sequence, when Aleida, hubby, and little daughter (is this really a good place to bring a small child right now?!) are all at the candlelight vigil, then Aleida's husband looks up at the destroyed building and smiles. I mean, it's just so weirdly handled.

Most of all, I just hate when smart people act stupid in order for the plot to work. Like Kelly getting pregnant. Or here -- for instance, Karen seeing the creepy guy holding Jimmy's phone by a van, looking visibly shifty? She had JUST talked to a security guy. Instead of going over to the goddamn van like a stupid person (much less leaving the doors open and making a shitload of noise in order to rescue awful stupid useless Jimmy), she should have walked quietly over to security, lit a silent fire under his ass to notify everyone they could and start getting people out, THEN gotten on the damn phone ASAP to the FBI, cops, etc., to try to quietly capture/contain the terrorists. But then again, that whole plot with Jimmy was so embarrassingly bad -- I just didn't feel like it was well-written or believable.

I was saddened that Karen's last moments were her looking up at the sky. (Of course.) The sky she'd always kind of hated.

The Mars stuff was exciting, in order to get Kelly and her stupid baby onto the Phoenix, but meh on the actual character stuff. I did like that Danny confessed to Ed about his role in the drilling catastrophe, but seriously, nobody figured that out anyway? I mean, Danny was visibly a tweaking zombie at that point, spacing out or raging out and everyone knew he was unstable. (But of course that's the other Smart People Being Dumb weak spot of this season -- I never bought that Nick would put him in charge of the LIFE OR DEATH of that entire party by maintaining watch. Like, Nick couldn't shuffle those papers or do that report 15 minutes later? Ugh).

I loved that Sergei got out, and found Margo's final speech very moving and well-acted. We knew it was a goodbye even if they didn't (although it was apparent that Aleida did). Speaking of which, I did love Margo's kind, matter-of-fact admission to Aleida, and her apology. There was so much affection there and she gave Aleida the reassurance she needed to come up with solutions and focus on the work. I was surprised and pleased that there was no huge drama scene over the revelation -- this felt much more real.

I was so sad at Aleida's revelation (I kept going, OH SHIT THE WHOLE PIANO'S GONE!) after the bombing, so I admit I was tickled that Margo ended up in Russia. And a little sad for her, too, of course. I can't help it, she's one of my favorite characters, and I will still be sitting here next season, shipping her and Sergei and hoping they find each other.

On 8/12/2022 at 12:19 AM, TheGourmez said:

It's bizarre to me how I'm now comfortable with the same Ed Baldwin that I always thought was a raging asshole also being the Ed Baldwin who I think is a hero. What a legend, seriously. Kelly piloting her way to the Phoenix was just beautifully done.

Thank you! I have always disliked Ed. He's such a morose, dour asshole who always looks 5 seconds away from punching people. When he finally became violent at Karen and Kelly last season, I was like, "Yep, I've been waiting for confirmation that he is an actual abuser." I just don't like him.

BUT -- is he also a hero? Sure, he absolutely is. He's undeniably, consistently brave. And he has softened in his old age. Now he only wears that tight mean expression 75% of the time instead of 95% of the time.

On 8/12/2022 at 9:26 PM, KarenX said:

I hope they moved the Hey Look at Me Over Here hand gun and tire iron before they left Danny in exile.

Oh my God! Of course it will show up next season. LOL. It wasn't like they were subtle about marking its burial site, and let's face it, Danny has a LOT of time to kill over there.

On 8/12/2022 at 10:41 PM, chocolatine said:

The irony of Margo being whisked off to Russia at the same time as Sergei and his family were making their way to the US. She looked miserable. The Soviets probably gave her a job in their space program, but it wouldn't be nearly as high up as what she did at NASA. I wonder if the FBI made her espionage public after her presumed death.

I suspect the entire thing is secret and very very under-rug-swept. I'm interested to see whether Margo was officially exchanged via FBI-Russian agreement, or whether the Russians got her out independently. Because that affects whether the FBI actually thinks she's dead as of 2003.

I'm kind of hoping she's in a position to witness something, inform the Americans, make some kind of deal, and get back to America. And Sergei!

On 8/12/2022 at 11:34 PM, Glade said:

Yet again, I don't think putting a mentally unstable person into solitary confinement for years on Mars is going to help anyone.

THIS! Putting Danny, their resident sociopath and visibly unstable drug addict, in that tin can for months on end, by himself, with minimal distractions and only bare-bones life support -- who thinks this is a good idea?! Jiminy Cricket, seriously, Dani?! He needed to be put under guard, given basic (and minimal) duties at the main HAB, and locked in every night. But still allowed around the group for his own mental health.

On 1/10/2023 at 8:55 PM, ahisma said:

The science that is coming out about the effects of solitary confinement makes me really worried about this — Danny’s not that sane to begin with. On the other hand, I can see why no one wants him around. No-win situation.

Sticking him over by the goddamn NK capsule to go slowly even more insane, with Chekhov's Martian Gun (helpfully marked with the big black piece of iron) at hand is just ridiculous to me. He needs to be at the main site, and under guard. Period. 

On 8/12/2022 at 11:34 PM, Glade said:

I wish they would not keep referring to the arrival of christian fundamentalists in North America who ultimately founded a nation based on slavery and genocide as something brave or in any way an analogy for Mars/space exploration.  Ellen's storyline ended in a good, hopeful place; and indeed, I'm glad she sees the wisdom in smashing the homophobic republican party.

Thank you! What is it with this show and its adoration of stupid horrible genocidal xenophobic slave-owning Colonialists? Every time they do this, it just feels like the show pandering to the lowest common denominators among the viewing audience.

On 8/13/2022 at 4:59 AM, marinw said:

This. That part of the world had been inhabited by all sorts of people for thousands of years before the Europeans showed up. That anology does not hold up at all. 

Like, nobody with a brain right now gets misty-eyed at mentions of the Mayflower and we get this awful monologue about the bravery of its people finding "a new world?" They didn't find a new world. They arrived at somebody else's very, very old world -- and destroyed it.

On 8/13/2022 at 12:25 AM, CarpeFelis said:

That was quite the O. Henry ending for Margo and Sergei.

Yeah, it's very cleverly done. One of the things I did like about the writing this episode.

On 8/13/2022 at 3:40 PM, Joimiaroxeu said:

Good grief, Jimmy finally realized he was being used by those conspiracy theory a-holes but he got it about 15 seconds too late. What a fool. Hopefully the voicemail he left for Amber will come back to bite him.

I don't see how he can avoid it. He was a known associate of theirs, they had been at his house and witnessed by Amber multiple times, and he had the stolen statues of his parents, as well.

I really, really hope to see him in prison when S4 starts up. Unfortunately, that will mean even more weird hair and makeup for the actor, but oh well.

On 8/14/2022 at 1:00 AM, CarpeFelis said:

That’s another thing that makes no sense beyond pure plot contrivance. There should have been (at least!) a second MSAM onboard Phoenix in case anything went wrong with the first one. When you’re traveling that far away, redundancy is a necessity. It’s not like space aboard Phoenix was too limited, and since it was already in Earth orbit at the start of the mission with no gravity well to overcome, the extra weight shouldn’t have been much of a concern either. Sometimes I wonder if any real engineers were involved in the writing!

1000% agree. The science on this show really frustrates me because some of it is so terrific, but then it's like they just handwave it where they need to "because, plot."

My problem is, they shouldn't have it both ways. Either commit to trying for scientific believability (even if it's a stretch here and there), or admit it's all BS and they should stop patting themselves on the back for the "science" of the show. (This bothers me so much.)

On 8/14/2022 at 2:45 PM, chocolatine said:

Does Joel Kinnaman have it in his contract that Ed has to stay alive until the end of the show and be in every season? Because, to be quite honest, I wouldn't have minded if he had crashed the MSAM and died after getting Kelly successfully to the Phoenix. From his conversations with Molly and Danny it sounded like there was a very slim chance he would survive that. I'd rather have had Ed die than Karen because Karen's story was finally getting interesting.  

I really wanted Ed to finally kick the bucket (heroically, doing so for stupid weepy Pregnant Kelly) and for Karen to survive. Ed's story was just on endless repeat at this point anyway, while I was genuinely interested in Karen's next steps. Grr.

On 8/14/2022 at 3:47 PM, Dobian said:

So we see Molly alive after the bombing and helping someone else get out.  And we see Aleida in Margo's empty office that got the shit blown out of it.  And then we see the headline about naming the center after Molly the fallen hero.  Huh?  Can somebody help me out here?

Thank you! THIS was exactly my issue. It was terribly filmed, edited, and handled.

On 8/14/2022 at 11:16 PM, Accidental Martyr said:

According to the newspaper on Sergei’s lawn she was killed while leading people to safety. Her body was recovered seven days later.

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This was a ridiculous way to reveal this. No other revelations? No images of them finding her body? Not even a cut back to the guy she rescued outside and him going, "She should have come back out by now" and people looking worried? This was so badly handled for a major character death. Molly deserved better.

On 8/15/2022 at 4:24 AM, Niuxita said:

I'm also probably the only one who was really disappointed they kept Pam as Ellen's endgame. I just don't understand how I am expected to root for them as a couple when we have been given nothing as to who Pam is and why exactly she is "the love of [Ellen's] life." After she walked away from Ellen in s2, I was really hoping they would give her a new love interest with whom she had a bit more spark. Their scenes together this season just fell completely flat for me. Oh well, as far as lesbian characters go, at least Ellen got a happy ending.

This is a great time to say it, but I've never liked Pam, and I have had zero investment in Ellen and Pam's Great Love Story for several seasons now. Pam repeatedly acted like an asshole about Ellen staying in the closet, and then made the decision FOR Ellen at the end of Season 2. It doesn't help that to me, the actresses have no chemistry, and the way the two of them play their scenes, it always feels like Ellen is head-over-heels for Pam, who barely tolerates her.

Add to this the fact that Ellen's entire political storyline basically culminated in her and Larry selling their souls and colluding as fast as she could with conservative, racist, bigoted, homophobic assholes to serve her own political ends, and I honestly don't care about her anymore. I was glad she came out finally this season, but she really only did that to serve herself, since she and Larry were basically doomed at that point. I mean, every time they showed her gazing at that giant portrait of Nixon, I laughed. Ellen was a wonderful astronaut who quickly sold her soul and was from what we've seen, a terrible President.

On 8/15/2022 at 7:37 AM, Dobian said:

That's incredibly bad narrative.  No one is going to see that and 99% of viewers aren't going to freeze it to read the fine print.  If she died, they needed to show her dying on camera, not surviving the blast intact and helping people leave.  I don't know whose idea it was to present it this way.  It would have been incredibly easy to just show her lying there like they did with Karen.

THIS! Thank you. I hated the show's handling of this.

On 7/27/2023 at 4:27 AM, Haleth said:

This episode made me so angry.  That whole next generation (Danny, Jimmy, Kelly, and Aleida) is useless.  They are all complicit in getting Karen killed and almost getting Ed and everyone else on Mars killed.  Stupid, selfish, spoiled idiots.  If there is a 4th season I hope there is enough of a time jump that they are all gone. Terrible way to end the series if this is the last, leaving such a bad taste in my mouth.

I agree with you on this (so, so much), although I do still like Aleida and was moved by her storyline and conflict with Margo this season. I also didn't think Aleida did anything egregiously stupid or silly, unlike everyone else you mention.

But Danny, Kelly, and Jimmy drove me bonkers this season. I was most disappointed in Kelly, who was such a cool, smart character who instantly devolved into several embarrassingly bad tropes for the second half of the season.

She was brave in this episode, and it was nice to see her competent again for a few moments, but honestly the final image of her and the baby looking down beatifically at Mars enraged me all over again. I hate the baby subplot so much and what it did to Kelly as a character. RDM always confuses pregnancy with revelation.

Edited by paramitch
Part of my reply on Ed vanished
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I finally finished my binge watch of all three seasons today. Which was poor timing, because it was very hard to watch the bombing of the JSC on the anniversary of 9/11.

On 8/13/2022 at 12:01 PM, xaxat said:

And at the same time it can leave you wondering "What??" Ellen thinks she can survive an impeachment vote because Dems like lesbians?

It's not really about the Democratic party being the more gay-friendly party; it's about who would replace her if she were convicted. We heard multiple times about how her VP is far more conservative. Now if she had committed high crimes and misdemeanors, that would be one thing, but as she pointed out, what she did doesn't rise to that. So the Democrats will overlook her lying about her personal life because she's preferable to her VP. The fact that she will owe them doesn't hurt either.

A pregnant Kelly being strapped to the top of a space vehicle was so ridiculous that it was actually awesome. I have no idea how the show will top that one in the next season.

I would have been fine with it if Ed had been killed off. Back during the stuff about Dani getting the first Mars mission, Ed said something about how he'd be pushing 76 at the time of the second Mars mission. So either he's gonna be in his 80s or we'll learn that he died during the time jump. I wonder if Karen's death will open the door for Dev to stay on at Helios and take power again. The board wanted him gone when they thought they could replace him with Karen.

I'm glad that Margo wasn't killed off. Her defecting to Russia opens some intriguing storyline possibilities. I expect Aleida will be running NASA now, and she and Margo will end up working together again on another one of those U.S.-USSR joint projects.

I really hope we don't see anything of Danny and Jimmy next season. This show kills off so many people; no need to keep these two around!

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On 9/11/2023 at 9:17 PM, Black Knight said:

I expect Aleida will be running NASA now, and she and Margo will end up working together again on another one of those U.S.-USSR joint projects.

If this show tried to stay more realistic, I'd say there is no way the Soviets would put Margo in any role where she would interact with her American counterparts again, but given how this show is, of course she will.  I would not be half shocked if she's suddenly the new General Secretary of the Communist Party, for reasons. 

Quote

This is a great time to say it, but I've never liked Pam, and I have had zero investment in Ellen and Pam's Great Love Story for several seasons now. Pam repeatedly acted like an asshole about Ellen staying in the closet, and then made the decision FOR Ellen at the end of Season 2. It doesn't help that to me, the actresses have no chemistry, and the way the two of them play their scenes, it always feels like Ellen is head-over-heels for Pam, who barely tolerates her.

Yes.  The idea that these two are great loves is kind of ridiculous.  To me, it was more like Pam was Ellen's first real girlfriend, and Ellen has romanticized the relationship into something it probably was not because she has limited experience in dating women. 

I was mixed on the episode.  I never really understood the conspiracy theories about NASA and Gordon/Tracey, or why they would get to the point of essentially having this be this reality's Oklahoma City Bombing.  I did feel for Karen.  I felt like she deserved a happier ending, instead of essentially being another victim of this show's NASA-associated death curse.  The same with Molly.  

And seriously, isn't Ed supposed to be in his 60s by this point?  Putting some grey in the actor's hair while leaving everything else the same does not really do a convincing job of aging someone. 

I did enjoy Danny being sent to Mars jail, so there was that.      

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