In the previous episode, the Helios workers decided to go on strike after the new payment and bonus system was announced. In episode 7 of For All Mankind Season 4, we find out that it has been a week since the workers have been on strike. Their decision resulted in a delay in the fuel-making process necessary to launch Goldilocks to Earth. The workers were worried that they would not only make less money but also lose their jobs once Goldilocks was launched into Earth orbit. They wanted the asteroid to be mined in Mars orbit, but none of the M7 countries agreed to the demand. Helios rejected their plea, and they went on to threaten the workers with pay cuts if they continued with the strike. With the workers refusing to negotiate, Danielle Poole decided to find a way around the problem to execute the Goldilocks mission.
What led to the blast in Happy Valley?
When the engineers of NASA and Roscosmos decided to start the fuel generators by themselves, the workers came up with a plan. All the space suits were left outside on Mars ground, making it impossible for the engineers to step outside the base. After their failed first attempt, it was decided that the engineers would reach the cryocenter from under. The plan was to drain the water from the pipe and reach their destination through it. It was not a comfortable journey, but the engineers made it to the cryocenter. The sudden progress left the Helios workers worried, but one of the workers announced that she had removed the primary gas flow regulator, anticipating the worst. While setting up the system, the engineers realized that a part was missing, and they tried to make up for it by redirecting the flow through the secondary. It was a risk, but they had no choice. Even though it looked like they had everything in order, the pipes started to rattle within seconds. Poole advised the engineers to shut down the system, but before they could hit the emergency cut-off breaker, the pipe busted, and the spillage of liquid methane resulted in a blast. The workers were held responsible for the accident. One of the engineers died on the spot, while the rest were either in a critical state or in need of medical attention. After the incident, the workers got into an argument. Some believed it was time they backed down, while the rest wanted to continue with the strike. NASA decided to deputize people with adequate military training on the base. And thus, we now have a police presence in Happy Valley. Their first order of business was to find out the culprit behind the blast.
Why did Margo return to NASA?
Irina Morozaova showed immense faith in Margo Madison by declaring her the head of the Goldilocks mission. Margo was pleased to receive recognition from her Roscosmos coworkers. After briefly discussing their plan for capturing Goldilocks, Irina asked Margo to stay back. According to Irina, it was time that they worked together with the American capture team. Since they needed a representative from Roscosmos to conduct the negotiations in Houston, Irina proposed that Margo travel to the States. Margo refused to go and instead promised to help the representative prepare for the negotiation, but Irina insisted. President Korzhenko wanted Margo to represent Roscosmos, and Margo did not have much choice on the matter. It was evident that the Russian president wanted to make a statement by sending an American defector back to her country. Irina confirmed that Margo would be provided with diplomatic immunity throughout her stay. Meanwhile, Aleida stormed out of a news program after she was asked about Margo Madison. Aleida believed it was unfair that Margo would not face any consequences for her actions. Aleida’s husband, Victor, advised her to take a stand and push back. The next day, she forcefully entered Eli Hobson’s office and requested that he not give Margo Madison diplomatic immunity. But he had no choice, considering that was the only way to execute the mission. Eli tried to reason with Aleida about how, for the success of the program, they needed to set aside their differences. Aleida will choose not to work directly with Margo, and if they do, there is bound to be extreme conflict.
What was Ed Baldwin fighting for?
Ed Baldwin did not care about the Helios workers when he was a pilot, but after his demotion, he started to frequent the underground level. All of a sudden, he could relate to the dissatisfied workers now that he had lost his stature. Ed was disappointed in Danielle Poole, and he was ready to support any cause that would make Poole’s job difficult. In episode 7, during his conversation with Kelly, he expressed why bringing the asteroid into the Mars orbit was important for him. Ed had been living on Mars for the last eight years, and he was not ready to return to Earth yet. He wanted the red planet to become a colony, and his dream was to live on Mars and help build a life there. If Goldilocks were sent to Earth orbit, the requirement for workers would be reduced, and the entire focus would shift to the mining of the asteroid. The research budget on Mars would be slashed, and only a few scientists would remain to carry on with experiments and discoveries. This was far from the dream Ed had for the planet, and that was primarily why he was siding with the workers.
What was Dev Ayesa’s plan?
Dev Ayesa finally arrived on Mars, and from the very beginning, we witnessed friction between Poole and Ayesa. With the Helios workers making demands, Ayesa was expected to solve the conflict now that he was in Happy Valley. At the end of episode 7 of For All Mankind, Dev Ayesa draws a line on the floor and offers a better deal to his employees. Bringing Goldilocks to Mars orbit was not an option, and so he offered them the best monetary concession that he could come up with. Ed advised the workers not to fall into the trap of the businessman, but Ayesa’s deal was too good to be ignored. Most of the workers agreed to cross the line, even though their initial demand was not met. They were ready to settle for compensation; after all, everyone had families to feed, and they were aware that the strike would have to dissolve one day or another. There were only a handful of workers who chose not to fall for Ayesa’s trap and continued to stick to their demands. Dev’s argument was convincing, and it was not fair to blame the workers for choosing the easier path.
But to our surprise, Dev pays Ed a visit in his room. He came to Ed for help, and as it turned out, Dev and Ed had the same dream—to build a colony on Mars and never return. He proposed that they build a society on Mars together. Enticing his employees with a lucrative deal was his way of finding out who was truly serious about bringing Goldilocks to Mars orbit and was very ready to make sacrifices. Ayesa planned to use the handful of people who passed the test to build his dream society, but first, he needed to rob an asteroid to make it happen. Ayesa is a genius when it comes to business, and he proved so once again. If the asteroid were mined in Earth’s orbit, Helios would have competitors, and their share of the pie would only decrease. However, mining the asteroid on Mars would be immensely profitable for the company. NASA, Roscosmos, and all the M7 countries would have to depend on Helios for argon extraction if the asteroid were brought into Mars’ orbit. He knew that Ed wanted to stay back on Mars, and he made good use of the sentimental connection to bring Ed on board with his plan. The ending of episode 7, “Crossing the Line,” suggests a space war, but how Dev and his team will rob the asteroid is something we only have to wait and watch.