For All Mankind season 4, episode 6, Leningrad, is all about the summit that takes place in the Soviet Union. The most anticipated aspect of the conference was the reunion of Aleida and Margo, and to our delight, we finally got to see the two characters in the same frame once again. The cat is finally out of the bag, and things might become all the more difficult for Margo Maddison. Meanwhile, Happy Valley is also witnessing change. With the sudden pressure of mining the asteroid, the Helios workers realized that it was time that they stood up for their rights.
What alternative did Eli Hobson propose at Leningrad?
Aleida, representing Helios, discussed the cost required to pull off the asteroid capture mission. The high number of spacecraft and individual vehicles required resulted in an unimaginable budget demand. Helios estimated that they needed two trillion dollars to provide the infrastructure required for the mining of the asteroid. The room buzzed with worry when the figure was announced, and Aleida quickly responded that the value of the iridium to be mined was estimated to be around twenty trillion dollars, making the investment worth it. However, the time involved in the return on investment worried the M7 nations.
Advising Irina Morozova from behind the curtains was Margo Madison. Both Eli and Irina were hesitant about investing a large sum of money in something that they would only see yield results thirty-five to forty years later. To put pressure on Aleida and Helios, Irina and Eli suggested that they drop the mission. Aleida believed there was no other way, and that was when Eli stepped in. He proposed that they bring the asteroid to Earth instead of Mars. Mining it in orbit would make it more affordable. Aleida agreed with Eli and added that the existing helium-3 infrastructure on the moon would help them start with the mining immediately. They would be saving both time and money, and they would also see the return on investment sooner than estimated. While it might not be the most ideal solution for Helios, given that they would end up with more competitors, the idea was almost perfect. They needed to chalk out the entire plan, and Margo believed only she and Aleida could solve the problem together.
Aleida, Irina, and Eli tried to brainstorm together to find an appropriate solution, but none of the ideas could be implemented in Goldilock’s capture mission. Eli and Irina decided to take a break, but Margo and Aleida were still working on solving the problem.
What resulted in Ed Baldwin’s change of behavior?
After his demotion, Ed Baldwin started to frequent the underground levels. He perhaps realized there was no point in being the controlling figure that he had become, and he decided to mingle more with the Helios workers living in the base. He no longer had as many responsibilities as he did before, and he decided to become more adventurous—after all, he had nothing to lose. Ilya was surprised to see Ed Baldwin at his bar. He was initially fearful, thinking the worst, but as it turned out, Ed was just there to have some fun like the rest. He was done secretly breaking the rules. He enjoyed the booze and even left Ilya with some tips to make his concoction even better.
Ed started to sympathize with the Helios workers, and when he received the updated pay and bonus rate list as a senior project manager, he decided to inform them about it. Samantha had gathered workers to unionize once she realized they would have to put in more hours and effort as soon as the Goldilocks mission began. While the workers did not immediately agree with her decision, it was Ed Baldwin who helped win her case. At the end of “Leningrad,” Ed Baldwin discusses the change in pay and bonus rate that Helios notified him about. The point system was restructured, and now workers had to collect ten times the previous points to make their first bonus, and the bonuses had also been drastically reduced. The only option that the workers were left with was to organize and unionize. They decided to hold a strike unless their demands were met before the asteroid capture program began.
What will happen to Ilya’s business?
Ilya was disappointed in Miles when he found out that his new trusted associate was sending Mars rocks to Earth. He had warned Miles not to do so, but he did not pay heed to it. Ilya was careful about keeping his operations a secret, and he feared that Miles’ greed would lead to the downfall of his business. He used his men to threaten Miles and tried to keep him away from the business, but it backfired. Miles sought help from his North Korean friends, particularly Colonel Lee, who wanted to bring his wife to Mars. The North Koreans roughed up Ilya’s men, and Miles challenged Ilya to cross paths with him. By the end of For All Mankind episode 6, Miles had taken over Ilya’s bar, and from what it looks like, he will be heading the black-market operations from now on. All Miles cared about was the money he could send back to his family and he did not mind hurting a few people in the process. Miles’ greed will inevitably destroy him; he will be risking it all by attempting to bring a North Korean to Happy Valley.
Did Aleida accept Margo’s apology?
Margo realized that the only way they could find a solution was if she and Aleida worked together on the problem. She begged Irina to allow her to meet Aleida, even though she was aware of the consequences. Aleida believed Margo had passed away, and Margo would have to confess about her defection to the Soviet Union if she met her. But Margo did not care about her reputation anymore; all she wanted was to work on the problem. Irina warned her that Aleida would inform the American government about it, and in that case, Moscow would be bound to announce the defection before they did. Margo was ready to unmask herself in front of the world, and she was aware that she could potentially be labeled as a spy or a traitor. But Margo was done hiding; she wanted to be present in the room and make active decisions. She believed she deserved to be put in charge of Star City’s Goldilocks capture operation. Irina realized that Margo was craving the same power and control that she once had at NASA. But the problem was that no matter how good Margo was at her job, people around her and back at home would never trust her again.
Aleida could not believe her eyes when she saw Margo in her hotel room. Contrary to what Margo had anticipated, Aleida was overjoyed to see her. All this while, she was led to believe that Margo had passed away during the blast, and the memory of it kept haunting her. Margo explained the reason behind her decision to defect to the Soviet Union. Aleida believed Margo should have owned what she had done instead of running away from it. Margo reasoned that she was not ready to be locked up in prison, and she did not have much choice otherwise. Aleida was not in agreement with Margo. She had a choice, and Margot chose her life over everyone else’s. Though Margo regretted her selfish decision, it was already too late. Aleida refused to work on the solution with Margo, but her former mentor helped her realize that her decision to not work on the problem would only lead to more regret.
At the end of episode 6 of For All Mankind season 4, Margo addresses the press, confessing that she defected to the Soviet Union. She added that NASA had drastically changed over time, and she had no choice but to leave. Margo expressed her gratitude to the Soviet government after being announced as the head of the Goldilocks capture program. Her ex-colleagues and friends watched television with utter disbelief. The woman who once headed NASA would now openly work for Star City. There is no escaping the fact that Margo Madison’s reputation has now been tarnished for life.