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


Season 3, Episode 3 of “For All Mankind” focuses on the relationship between Margo and Dr. Sergei Nikulov. It was during the Apollo-Soyuz mission that the two brilliant minds became friends, and they continued to be in touch. A friendship between a Soviet man and an American woman was atypical, yet Margo believed that their friendship symbolized the possibility of peace between the two nations. While Margo’s intent was innocent and driven by emotion, for Sergei, it was state-sanctioned. He remained in contact to extract classified information from Margo. Along with this, we also witness Danny losing control of himself. The sight of Karen Baldwin continues to affect him, and he struggles to keep his emotions in check. Kelly returns home from Antarctica to join Poole’s Mars crew, and she is scared of how her father would react to the news of her remaining with NASA instead of joining him at Helios. Season 3 is primarily about the race to Mars, and it continues to build on that dream.

Margo and Sergei Get Close To Each Other

Margo and Sergei Nikulov made it a point to meet every year at the annual IAC Conference in London. From 1984 to 1991, they remained friends, and their friendship evolved. At first, Margo noticed the ring on Sergei’s finger and assumed him to be a married man, and thus their discussion was usually limited to science. Gradually, they started to discuss other interests, and finally, in 1990, there was a romantic tension that was building between the two, and Margo noticed that he did not have the ring anymore. In 1991, Sergei tried to brush his hand against Margo’s hand, and they realized that they were both into each other. In 1992, after the conference, Margo invited him to her room. She demanded he kiss her, and he proceeded. The two shared a passionate kiss, but Sergei stopped abruptly and apologized to Margo. She was confused by what was going on, and just then, there was a knock on the door.

America And Russia Prepare For A Mars Mission

After the Helios disclosed that they would travel to Mars in 1994, NASA declared its intention to do the same. They did not wish to lose the space race again and discussed making changes to their initial plan. Danielle Poole was ready to be the first human on Mars, but her first attendant, Danny, struggled with his personal dilemma. His performance was affected by his emotions, and he took up drinking again. Karen and her involvement with Ed bothered him, and he tried to fight that thought in the worst possible way. He trespassed on what used to be their house with a woman he met at The Outpost. The police got hold of him but allowed him to leave after they learned that he was Gordo and Tracy Stevens’s son. Danielle drove him to his house and asked him to focus on his AA meetings and not on the Mars mission. She believed he was not in the right mental space to deal with the pressure and needed some time off. The next day, when Danny was about to disclose the news to his wife, he received a call from Ed asking him to join him on the Mars mission for Helios. Danny was overjoyed that he could go to Mars regardless of what NASA thought of him, though Poole believed that it was a terrible idea. The dynamics between Karen, Ed, and Danny, who will now work on the Mars mission together, might get a little imbalanced.

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

When Margo opened her hotel door, Soviet officials entered her room and demanded she disclose how they could fix the cooling system of their nuclear propulsion reactor. Margo refused to answer them and said that she would instead face the FBI rather than give in to their demand. To make matters worse, they choked Sergei to force an answer out of her. She asked them to stop torturing him. They gave her a day to think and reply. They left her with a number. Margo silently suffered. She trusted a man, and after years of knowing him, she decided to invite him to her room, only to learn that it was all a trap. Her emotions were played with, and what she thought to be love was just a mind game. For Margo, who gave her heart and soul to NASA and barely focused on her personal life, this was a major blow. It was painful to see her suffer for choosing to love a man. She took a long look at the phone number after reaching her office.

Meanwhile, the Helios offered Ed the freedom that he had never experienced at NASA. His inputs were implemented, and when he demanded to not work on a fully automated ship, they acted on it. He was in a happy place with the company and wanted his daughter, Kelly, to be a part of his team. But Kelly wanted to work away from her father’s shadow; she wanted to be more than Ed Baldwin’s daughter. She suggested Danielle allow her to join her crew. She studied the growth of microorganisms in Antarctica, and she believed that her knowledge would be of great help if she accompanied them to Mars. She could prove whether or not we were completely alone in our solar system and the theory of the existence of living organisms outside of Earth. Danielle granted her the opportunity after witnessing her passion for it. She met with Ed and Karen, who were expecting her to join them at Helios, but she expressed the reason why she wanted to work for NASA. She believed that just because her father thought it was time to leave NASA did not mean that she would have to do the same. She wanted to make her own decisions, and surprisingly, Ed was happy with her choice. He congratulated his daughter and asked her to make the United States proud.

After two years, we witnessed the three teams’ journey to Mars. Ordinary people were divided in their opinion. Some were glad about the progress, while others were concerned about the use of helium-3 in space. Nonetheless, in the “For all mankind” universe, the race has already begun. Whoever lands on Mars first would determine what would happen next on Earth and in space. Will Mars be taken over by a private company, where there will be a bid to live on Mars, or will it continue to be the fight between the US and the Soviets, where whoever gains control of Mars will have a dominant presence on Earth? But what is still unclear is what Margo chose to do about the threat from the Soviets. Did she succumb to their threat to protect her position and honor? Or, did Ellen Waverly, after becoming President, protect Margo from the aftermath of the situation? We can hope to get a clear answer in the upcoming episodes.

“For All Mankind” continues to build on the interest and suspense of the Mars mission and, therefore, the future of the world. There are multiple possibilities with every subplot. Ellen, who now is the President and a Republican, continues to hide her queer identity; Margo, the governing head of NASA, was in a relationship with a Soviet official; Danny cannot get over Karen, and their past relationship continues to be a secret from the world. Most of the characters’ worlds are hanging by a thread, and it will be exciting to see how the series decides to deal with all the possibilities.

See More: ‘For All Mankind’ Season 3, Episode 4: Recap And Ending, Explained – What Went Wrong With Mars-94?

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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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