‘For All Mankind’ Season 3: Episode 2 – Recap And Ending, Explained – Who Was Chosen To Head The Mars Mission?


Season 3, Episode 2 of “For All Mankind” continues to focus on the Mars mission. While the Soviets and the United States are invested in being the first ones to put a human being on the red planet, a private company announces its decision to be the first to reach the planet. After the Polaris mishap and Sam’s demise, Kate Baldwin sells the company, but through the process, she gets another chance at exploring her dreams. Margo and Molly continue to disagree on who should be the first commander on the Mars mission, and Molly goes behind Margo’s back and announces Ed as the commander when Margo was away on a trip. This worsens the relationship between the two women. Aleida is on the moon, a dream come true for her and her family. She fixed the engine that would be crucial for carrying astronauts from the moon to Mars.

‘For All Mankind’ Season 3: Episode 2 – Recap Summary

Kate Baldwin reaches out to the man who wants to buy Polaris. After the accident, Kate had assumed that she would not get much value for her company since it was in shambles. But Dev Ayesa offered Kate a generous sum of money, which took her by surprise. She tried to evaluate the reason for the high price and proposed a theory. She knew that his company, Helios, was testing methane engines, which indicated their intention to travel to Mars. Helios did not have a ship, and building a ship would take years; therefore, they planned to take Polaris and attach their engines to it. This was what she believed the company’s plan was. Dev agreed that the theory was indeed fascinating. Kate was overjoyed to think that it could be a possibility, but she, at the same time, expressed her doubt regarding the plan. To be the first on Mars meant that he was fighting two of the most powerful nations, and that could be tricky. Dev retorted that it was important to break the cycle of us vs. them. He did not wish for Mars to be divided into two parts like the moon was. His company was all about mutual responsibility, and only that could lead to man colonizing Mars. After sharing his dream with Karen, he promised to send the paperwork, and the deal was finalized.

Molly received a notice stating that the selection of the commander would be based on the decision of a new selection committee. She refused to accept that a committee would get to decide on which candidate was the most suitable for the Mars mission. She knew that her powers were being taken away, and that was not something she was ready to accept. She decided to go ahead with her decision regardless of what the committee thought. She informed Danielle Poole that she would be sent as the commander on the second mission to Mars, set to take place in 1998. Poole was surprised that even after having a doctorate in robotics and a vast experience, she was not chosen to be the first on the Mars mission. She assumed that it was Molly’s friendship with Ed that led her to make the decision. Though Molly strongly disagreed, she believed that Poole, with her knowledge of science, would be great for building the infrastructure of the base on Mars. According to her, Ed was meant to be the first commander on Mars since he was always a test pilot, and he would know better what decisions to take on the first mission. Poole had no other option other than to agree with Molly’s decision. She was ready to head the backup crew if any need for it arose.

Meanwhile, Ellen Waverly is busy planning her presidential journey. She has to choose a vice president to fight the election, and her husband, Larry, pushes her to elect someone who would bring in the evangelical votes. He believed that it must not be about with whom she was most comfortable to work but rather who would bring an added advantage. A moderate Republican would not have cut the deal; it had to be someone with a strong opinion, albeit different from Ellen’s worldview. He proposed she interview Governor Bergg, the founding member of the Conservatives of Jesus Christ. Even though Ellen thought it was a bit extreme, she gave it a thought and agreed to meet the man. Governor Bregg expressed that he did have a few strong beliefs, but if need be, he would make sacrifices to support his President, and he was proud of Ellen and wanted to support her on the journey. Ellen announced Bregg as the Vice President to run the Presidential election with.

‘For All Mankind’ Season, 3: Episode 2 – Ending Explained: Why Did Ed Change Sides? 

After Margo returned, she was shocked to learn that Molly had already announced the commander of the Mars mission. She reminded Molly that NASA was not the same, and she had to abide by the protocols and, in this case, the decision of the committee. Molly refused to accept it and announced that she would be the one to decide who went to space. Noticing Molly’s adamant behavior, Margo fired her from her job. She later called Ed and informed him that he would not be sent on the Mars mission. Ed was devastated. He always regretted not being the first man on the moon, and now he had lost his opportunity to be the first man on Mars.

He sat down with Poole at The Outpost and discussed how NASA has completely changed and how the good old days are gone. During his conversation with Poole, he expressed that the reason she was selected was because of various factors that he could not control, indicating that she was selected because she was black. Poole was hurt, and she left, saying that she did not expect Ed to say something like that. Ed got drunk that night and visited Karen. Even though they were not married anymore, they continued to be great friends. She was the one who could understand what Ed was going through. Ed said that he did not wish to go this way, and sadly, that was how his life was taking shape. The next day, Karen met with Dev at the Helios office. She discussed how they might need a commander for the Mars mission. He agreed that they required a reputed astronaut for the mission. Karen proposed that Ed Baldwin could be their man to travel to Mars. Dev was excited by the prospect and asked the members of his company to share their views. Most agreed that Ed Baldwin would be the perfect man for the mission, and they would be more than happy if he came onboard.

The next thing we know is that the news of Edward Baldwin’s joining the Helios mission was broadcast on television. Everyone watched Karen and Ed join hands with Helios for their Mars mission, and what was all the more shocking was that Helios was targeted to reach Mars in 1994 and be the first to step on the planet. While NASA and the Soviets planned to land on Mars in 1996, there was a private company challenging them and announcing how they would do the mission two years before the rest aimed to do it. Dev believed that every great innovation was possible only by private companies, and he was confident that Helios’s journey to Mars would lead to the ultimate colonization of the red planet.

The ending indicates that the race will only get tougher and more competitive. Also, Danny’s obsession with Karen is shown in “For All Mankind” Season 3, Episode 2, where he discusses how he continued to be in love with Karen even though he was now a married man. Danny is jealous of Karen and Ed’s friendship, and the Mars mission will only add to the hate. Poole chose Danny to be her right-hand man, whereas Helios chose Ed to be their commander. The two are aiming for Mars, though who finally ends up there is where the question lies. The private company stepping into the space game is an interesting addition to the series. How the dimension and planning of the two government organizations will be affected by it is what we are yet to witness.

See More: ‘For All Mankind’ Season 3: Episode 3 – Recap And Ending, Explained – Who Threatened Margo? And Why?

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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