‘For All Mankind’ Season 4 Ending Explained & Finale Recap: Will There Be A Season 5?


For All Mankind Season 4 started with the promise of an uprising, and it delivered. The dissatisfaction of the Helios workers and the sudden discovery of an asteroid composed of iridium became determining factors this season. The future of Mars was at stake, and some chose the red planet over Earth to call home. In For All Mankind season 4, we watched the most unexpected turn of events with Margo Madison joining Roscosmos. The shift in the political climate of the Soviet Union was an important talking point this season. Dev Ayesa once again proved that there was no businessman or innovator better than him. While the entire world planned on bringing Goldilocks to Earth orbit, Dev calmly made up his mind to steal the asteroid. The unforeseen friendship between Dev and Ed for the sake of planet Mars was also an interesting addition. In episode 10 of season 4, we watch the last leg of the asteroid war, with NASA getting a whiff of the ghost operation. Will Ayesa and Ed win the asteroid war, or will it be the end of Mars exploration?

Spoiler Alert

How did the Secret Service agents find out about the ghost operation?

In episode 9 of For All Mankind, the secret service agents (CIA and KGB) got hold of Miles Dave and brought him in for questioning. He was tortured for hours, but Miles refused to speak the truth. He knew that if he could manage to keep the agents guessing for a few more hours, Dev and his team would be able to pull off the plan. After attempting to scare him with some punches, the agents decided to increase the carbon dioxide level in the room to suffocate Miles into confessing the names of his team members. Even after enduring extreme pain, Miles did not give away any information. The agents realized that Miles was ready to sacrifice his life for the cause, and their only way to get to him was by getting his family involved. They showed him pictures of his wife and added that they were aware of his import-export business. Since his wife was also involved in the business, they would make sure that she ended up in prison for the next five years. Miles lost his temper when they added that his kids would be sent to Child Protective Services, and he ultimately gave up. He confessed that the people they were after were hiding in sub-level 4.

Ed Baldwin had too many things on his plate, especially with an injured North Korean commander in the area. As it turned out, Commander Cho did not die, as was presumed, but he was in a critical condition and needed immediate medical assistance. Ed and Commander Lee decided to get him the help he needed, even if it meant risking their operation. Meanwhile, Dev Ayesa signaled to his team that they were exposed and that they immediately needed to leave. By the time the security people reached sub-level 4, the team was gone. Danielle Poole was surprised to see the elaborate arrangement that the hijackers had come up with. Eli Hobson was frustrated when he found out about the secret operation. He could not believe that an entire team was planning on stealing the asteroid. William comforted him, stating that they had gotten back control of Ranger’s discriminator and were back on track for the Earth burn.

What was Ed’s and Dev’s alternate plan?

Ed and Dev, along with their team members, stayed in hiding at the North Korean base. It was the only area that was out of reach for everyone else. Commander Lee was the man in charge of the North Korean base after Cho’s injury, making it easier for the team to settle there. The North Korean soldiers were not happy about the foreigners in the room, but they respected Lee’s instructions. After losing control over Ranger and not having access to their operation room, Dev and Ed had lost all hope for a minute. After getting so close to their objective, they were not ready to give up so easily. When Ranger started to make Earth burn, Ed noticed the high-gain S-band transmitter. He realized that he could use the transmitter to communicate with a North Korean commander on Ranger, who would be able to pass a message to Sam. Dev immediately knew what Ed had in mind. Their plan was to communicate with Sam Massey and convince her to disconnect the flight decks from the engines manually. NASA would fail to stop their own burn, and they would eventually be completely cut off. Dev believed he would have complete control over the burn if Sam managed to engage the override and plug in a transceiver tuned to Ayesa’s frequency. The problem was that the override switch was outside the ship, and Sam would have to conduct an EVA during the burn. It was a risky operation, but it was their only way to bring the asteroid to Mars.

Commander Lee communicated with his scientist officer, Park Chui Moo, on Ranger, and he was asked to hand his radio to Samantha. She did not expect to hear from Dev on Ranger. He instructed her to move to the cargo bay area, and he explained the plan they had come up with. In order to pull out the override switch and insert the transceiver that Park gave her, Massey put her life in danger. Danielle Poole instructed Palmer to step outside the ship and handle the Sam situation. Poole also tried to talk with Ed once she figured out that he was hiding in the North Korean camp, but Ed was not ready to negotiate.

Why did Margo and Aleida decide to switch teams?

Houston panicked when they figured out what Sam Massey was trying to achieve. Their only alternative was to upload a shutdown command that would bypass the safeguards and shut down the engines at the end of the Earth burn. Aleida was in charge of inputting the command, and she had quite a rough day to begin with. Margo was concerned about Sergei’s safety and had asked Aleida to have a word with him and convince him to leave Houston. When Aleida reached the motel Sergei was staying at, she was told that he had shot himself the previous night. Margo was miserable when she learned about Sergei’s death. It was obvious that Irina was behind his murder, and in the heat of the moment, Margo confronted her. She realized there was no room for her to complain, and she eventually composed herself. 

When Aleida discussed their plan to write the commands, Margo mentioned how the entire Mars operation would stop if the asteroid entered Earth’s orbit. Margo was reminded of her mentor, Wernher von Braun, a Nazi scientist who escaped to the United States. Margo remembered that when von Braun was arrested, he stated that progress can never be free, and the words stuck with her. Even though they were not the same, the present situation helped her realize that sacrifice was needed if they intended to keep the space program alive. None of the countries would invest anymore if the asteroid was brought into Earth’s orbit, but if it could be avoided, all their struggle would be worth something. Margo was betrayed over and over again, and she no longer cared about doing what was expected of her; instead, she wanted to do the right thing. Margo and Aleida came up with the command that would help them rewrite the one that would be generated from Houston. Aleida announced that she would input the codes because Margo had too many eyes on her. At the end of episode 10 of For All Mankind season 4, Houston failed to shut down the engines, and Dev and his team celebrated as Ranger failed to change the direction of the asteroid, and Goldilocks ended up making it to Mars orbit.

Why was Margo Madison arrested?

After the failure of the asteroid mission, Irina Morozova immediately knew that Aleida was somehow involved. She accused her of generating the restart command, and Aleida fumbled. She tried to explain her innocence, but Irina knew that she was lying. Margo stepped up to protect Aleida and admitted that she was the one who had inserted the command. Irina was surprised by the turn of events, and she immediately stated that there would be consequences. Margo’s diplomatic protection was revoked, and she was arrested by the FBI. Margo had lost her will to keep on fighting after Sergei was murdered. She was not ready to return to the Soviet Union and continue to work for Roscosmos after they manipulated her and destroyed the life she had built. All Margo cared about was keeping the space program going, even if it resulted in her arrest. She had nothing to lose anymore, and she was ready to spend the rest of her life behind bars. The ending suggests that Morozova will face consequences for her one wrong decision. Maybe if Sergei had not been killed, the mission would not have been impacted. Her decision to use Margo Madison backfired, and she was answerable for her misjudgment.

Did Danielle Poole survive?

Houston granted the military presence on base permission to force their way into the North Korean base. Danielle tried to stop Mike Bishop and his team, but they were no longer operating under her orders. Chaos broke out when the Helios workers decided to protect Ayesa and his team from the security forces. They had tolerated the abuse for far too long and were no longer ready to bow down. Ayesa’s decision to bring the asteroid to Mars orbit would eventually benefit the workers, and that perhaps motivated them all the more to protect the hijackers.

At the very beginning of episode 10 of For All Mankind season 4, the North Korean gun that was kept hidden is discovered, and in the end, it causes the maximum damage. As the workers and the security forces fought amongst themselves, a member of the security team pulled out the gun. A worker tried to stop him from using the gun, and it resulted in a firing. The bullet hit Danielle Poole, and she was immediately taken into the operating room. Even though their beliefs were opposite, Ed did not leave Dani’s side during the most critical moment. It took Danielle to take a bullet for the workers and security forces to realize the consequences of their actions. They were trying to build a new society on Mars, and they had a chance to start afresh and see beyond the usual dichotomy. At the end of the last episode, we find out that Danielle Poole survived the bullet injury and made her way back to Earth. She was reunited with her family and her dream of seeing her grandson was fulfilled.

What is the future of Mars?

The mining ground on the Goldilocks was named after Gregory Kuznetsov, the astronaut who lost his life during the first asteroid capture mission. We also find out in the end that the treatment that Miles Dave faced in Happy Valley was revealed to the world, and NASA was accused of abusing detainees on Mars. This suggests that the presence of the US intelligence agency on Mars will be limited and under control. Happy Valley became home to hundreds more as family members of those living on the red planet for work were allowed to travel to Mars. Episode 10 ends with Dev Ayesa taking a walk around the Korolev crater, suggesting that finding life on Mars will be his next mission. For someone like Dev Ayesa, there is no end to making discoveries, and he will continue to play a crucial role in the development of Mars. Since the investigation into the hijacking is still ongoing, the chances of Ayesa returning to Earth are low. He had always wanted to make the red planet his new home, and from what it seemed, he was going to stay there for a long, long time.

What can we expect from season 5?

For All Mankind Season 4 ends on a conclusive note, and while there is scope for another season, it will surely be a stretch. From what we know, chances are there will be more seasons, and perhaps Kelly’s discovery can become a focal point of season five. Life on Happy Valley will definitely be an interesting addition, with families staying at the base. Maybe Aleida will assist Margo during her trials, and hopefully, we will get to see more of her. Ed will finally get to live his dream and he will play a crucial role in building the Mars society. At this point, the series is getting monotonous, and we can only hope that in season 5, we will be introduced to a bunch of new characters to take the story forward.

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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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