In season 4, episode 2 of For All Mankind, Danielle Poole and the Mars team safely land on the red planet. Miles Dale was visibly excited by the possibilities that the new planet offered, but he soon figured out that life on Mars was no cakewalk. There was a clear divide between the workers and the astronauts, and this dynamic is going to play a decisive role in season 4 of For All Mankind. We also saw a glimpse of the resistance that Danielle will face if she goes against Ed’s decision. He has been living on the red planet for eight years and has his own way of getting things done. Meanwhile, the past continues to haunt Aleida, and she soon finds out that she is not the only one suffering at NASA.
Why was Miles Dale disappointed?
Miles had great expectations from his new place of employment. He left his old job in the hopes of something more stable with good pay, but the reality was quite different from the one he was promised. He was employed by Helios to work as a fuel tech, but instead, upon arriving at Happy Valley, he learned that there was no requirement for the job anymore, and he had to work maintenance. The failure of the asteroid mission resulted in a change of plan, but Miles was not ready to accept it. At the same time, he had no choice but to comply with what he was offered. There was no view below ground level, and a sense of disappointment started to set in as Miles settled into the room he had to stay in for the next two years. He only had a bunk bed of his own, and he shared the room with four other crew members. Miles was absolutely devastated when the videos sent from his home failed to load. He traveled so far knowing that he would have access to the videos of his family, but even that did not work out.
We soon find out that life in Happy Valley is not the same for everyone. While the videos sent by Miles’ family lagged, Danielle faced no problem with the connectivity. She had a clear view of the outside from her room, unlike Miles, who had to settle for a Mars poster. Danielle had a room of her own, whereas the workers had only their bunk beds. The floor Danielle lived on accommodated her every need and more, but the story was not the same at the underground level. The food and beverages served to those on the ground floor were of far superior quality than the ones that the workers received. Even on the new planet, class differences found their way. Miles realized how different the two worlds were when he was called to the ground floor for a maintenance job. He watched an astronaut enjoy videos of his family while Miles still had no access. The lives of the astronauts, cosmonauts, scientists, and pilots were completely different from the lives of the workers living at Happy Valley.
Tom Parker’s death was an example of how insignificant the workers on the Red Planet were. He, too, lost his life on the asteroid mission, yet it was cosmonaut Grigory Kuznetsov that everyone spoke about. Miles did not shy away from expressing his disappointment when he learned about the pay cuts. He traveled to Mars in the hopes of earning bonuses, but instead, he was making less than he used to on Earth. Ed heard Miles complain, and he reminded him that it was never meant to be easy living on a planet with a challenging environment, and for that, everyone had to accept certain personal losses. The answer was not what Miles had hoped for. We can already anticipate an uprising in For All Mankind season 4, and Miles Dale will possibly play an important role in it.
Can Danielle Poole bring about a change?
It did not take Danielle Poole much time to notice the lack of parity, and she decided to discuss it with Ed Baldwin. But Ed believed one had to make sacrifices to live on Mars. During their initial visits, they, too, had to spend tough days on the planet, and he did not think that the experience of living in space was meant to be comforting. Ed also did not seem to have respect for the workers since their goal was to earn money, whereas, in the past, he and his fellow astronauts had risked their lives for their nation. Their jobs were a lot more respectful, whereas the ones living underground were simply helping them get past minor difficulties. But Danielle was not the same as Ed. She immediately spotted the problem areas, and she was not hesitant to bring them to light. She was aware of the bandwidth issue and how difficult it was for the crew to live without any contact with their families. Ed believed there was no solution to the problem because repairing it involved risk. But Danielle was not ready to take no for an answer; she ordered Ed to come up with a solution with his team of engineers, and she was ready to take the risk that it involved. The repair work went smoothly, even though Ed doubted Danielle at every step of the process. This goes on to show that Danielle will be bringing about significant changes in Happy Valley, and Ed Baldwin might not be too happy about it.
Why did Aleida and Kelly decide to work together?
After taking a long break from her job, Aleida returned to NASA, but soon after stepping in, she realized that maybe she was not yet ready to go back to work. The haunting memories of the blast continued to traumatize her. With Eli Hobson constantly commenting on her mental health and the overall impact of the past, Aleida decided on the spot that she wanted to quit. After leaving Hobson’s office, Aleida went to grab a drink at the bar. She noticed Kelly Baldwin seated in a corner, and she walked up to her.
Kelly, too, was going through a rough phase. She had invested all her time and energy into developing a technology that would help find life on Mars, and she was ready for its implementation, but Eli Hudson pulled back the project. The failure of the asteroid capture program resulted in a lack of funds, and Kelly’s project was put to a halt. The indefinite delay in her robotics research had a devastating impact on Kelly. Meanwhile, Aleida did not know what she wanted to do after quitting her job. She could not return home to tell her husband that she had lost their safety net, but at the same time, she knew it was impossible to work at NASA. Aleida never stopped thinking about Margot, and after losing her to the blast, she felt all the more lost.
Aleida and Kelly poured their hearts out to each other, and the next morning, Kelly woke up at Aleida’s place. She was greeted by Aleida’s husband and daughter, and she found out that Aleida had been awake the whole night. And she came up with a way to keep Kelly’s project going. At the end of episode 2, Aleida proposed that Kelly leave NASA to seek private funding, but that was not something Kelly had in mind. She had grown up always wanting to join NASA; it was her dream. For Kelly, NASA and the people working there had become family, but at the same time, the project she had been working on was her passion, and she had to make a choice. Aleida promised to be there with Kelly in her journey to find funding in the private sector, and it seems it is just the beginning of their new career path.
Is Margot in danger?
Margot’s morning started as usual with a brief exercise and a cup of coffee. But as she turned on the television, she noticed something strange. Apart from a ballet performance, no other channels were available. She tried to use her telephone, but it was not functioning. Margot stepped out of her apartment, and to her surprise, the agent who always kept a watch on her was gone. Margot knew this was not an ordinary day, especially after the owner of the bakery refused to indulge in a conversation with her. The constant sight of ambulances got her tensed, and as she walked to the newspaper stand, she noticed a crowd. Soviet policemen wanted to shut down the newspaper stall, but the owner refused to comply. Margot learned that an emergency shutdown had been declared, and only important businesses were allowed to remain open. The public expressed their frustration with the police, and it resulted in complete chaos. The police started to charge at the common people, and Margot tried to stop a policeman from harming the stall owner. At the end of the episode, Margot is arrested by the police. Does this hint at the fall of the Soviet Union in the For All Mankind world? How Margot will escape from the arrest and whether or not the woman who offered to help her will step forward is something we have to wait and watch.