In episode 8 of For All Mankind, we find out what Sergei Nikulov was up to after shifting to the United States. The former director of Roscosmos is now a high school physics teacher. He married an American citizen and was living a routine, ordinary life. He took a break from his routine after seeing Margo on television. He was surprised and overjoyed to learn that Margo Madison was still alive, and he decided it was time that they met. Meanwhile, at Happy Valley, Ed Baldwin tries to convince his trusted Helios workers about Dev Ayesa’s proposal. They were determined to bring the asteroid into Mars orbit, and they needed a practical plan to execute it.
How did Ed Baldwin convince the workers to join Dev Ayesa?
After Dev Ayesa dissolved the strike, Sam refused to trust him again. But Ed was persistent about the new plan, and Sam soon realized there was no better option. The strike resulted in the sudden deployment of a military presence, and the movement of the workers was restricted. Sam decided to hear out Ed, even though she was skeptical about the entire ordeal. Dev believed it was critical to bring Sam along because the workers trusted her, and once she showed faith in the project, the rest would join him. Apart from executing a space robbery, Ed also had to look after his grandson, Alex. So, the first order of business for Ed was to find a babysitter. He was afraid of disappointing his daughter once again, but at the same time, the asteroid mission was far more important than spending all his time looking after his grandson.
Dev Ayesa and his team finally met to discuss the details of the plan. They decided to build their own Ops-Com and replace the discriminator with their own copy. Sam was assigned the task of swapping it, and she was aware of how difficult it was going to be given that there would be people all around the ship. Dev Ayesa made sure that Sam Massey made it to the ship. Initially, the team was hesitant about taking her on board because she was the face of the strike, but Dev explained that he would face massive backlash if he discriminated against a labor organizer. Danielle agreed that having Sam Massey on board would work like an olive branch.
With Mike’s help, Dev’s team brought every part they needed on base, except one—the discriminator. Someone messed up the boxes, and they ended up in a secure lockup. The only person who could fit into the vent that led to the secure lockup was Alex. At the end of “Legacy,” the little boy was ready to assist his grandfather on his adventure. He found his way through the vent and managed to enter the lockup. Ed and Dev had given up when Alex informed that the box was beyond his reach. But Alex was determined, and he managed to climb and get the box that his grandpa needed. Alex was happy to finally spend some time with his grandfather, and he started to enjoy the old man’s company.
What changed Aleida’s mind?
Sergei reached out to Aleida after he found out that Margo was back in the United States. After protesting against Margo’s arrival, Aleida decided to keep her relationship with Margo strictly professional. Margo tried to reconnect with her old colleagues, but everyone made it clear that she was not welcomed at NASA. Aleida refused to talk to Sergei when she saw him at her driveway. He begged her to hear him out, and he finally told the entire truth behind Margo’s decision. Aleida always believed that Margo was selfish, and it was her greed that resulted in her providing the Soviet Union with the engine design. She was surprised to learn that Sergei had requested the design multiple times, but Margo chose to play it fair. The KGB specifically requested that Sergei attend the IAC and take whatever action was necessary to obtain the design from Margo. But Sergei had refused the proposal, and the KGB got their men to threaten Margo to get access to the design. Even after she was told that she would be reported to the FBI, Margo did not budge from her decision. The KGB began strangling him, and that was when Margo stopped them and agreed to provide the engine design. Sergei explained to Aleida how grateful he was to Margo, the woman who sacrificed her life and honor for Sergei’s wellbeing. Even after finding out the truth, it was not easy for Aleida to accept that Margo had chosen to stay in hiding for eight years. Sergei could relate to Margo’s situation, and he knew how difficult it was for her loved ones to bear. Sergei tried to remind Aleida of the value that Margo brought into her life. All Sergei wanted was to speak to Margot one last time, and Aleida knew that she was the only one who could make it happen. Aleida agreed to deliver a coded message from Sergei to Margo.
Is Margo Madison in danger?
Margo was not keen on meeting Sergei again. She flushed down the message she received from Aleida, and Sergei was left waiting at the diner. At the end of For All Mankind episode 8, Margo decides to have a clear conversation with Sergei, and she meets him outside the diner. Although Sergei had hoped for a happy reunion, Margo made it evident that she had no interest in mending their friendship. She was finally content with her life in the Soviet Union, and she did not wish to jeopardize it by being in close contact with Sergei. But, as it turned out, Sergei was not there to rekindle their romance but to warn Margo of the danger she was in. He informed Margo that Irina Marazova was a threat and not a friend. She was Sergei’s handler with the KGB. It was Irina who had instructed Sergei to travel to the United States and had destroyed both his and Margo’s lives. Margo realized that Irina had been the puppeteer all along, and she had been used for all these years. Irina would continue to manipulate her if she returned to the Soviet Union, and her only option was to escape.
If she stayed in the United States, she would end up in prison the moment the Soviet Union stopped supporting her. She had also publicly criticized the US government and NASA, making it almost impossible for her to settle back in the States. If she chooses to run away, she will have to spend the rest of her life as a fugitive, and both the Soviet Union and the United States will be after her. The only viable solution is perhaps a diplomatic route. Margo is an incredibly talented woman, and she will always remain resourceful. If she approaches the right people and confesses the truth, then maybe she will have a solution she could actually consider. Just when Margo Madison thought she had everything under control, in For All Mankind episode 8 of season 4, she finds herself in a tough spot again. It is not just Margo Madison who is in a difficult situation; Sam Massey, too, has to live up to a challenge. If she manages to make the swap, Dev Ayesa would lead the asteroid war, but if she fails, not only will her career be completely ruined, but she might as well have to face time in prison when she returns to Earth. We can assume that Sam will make a go for it, and all we know is that the space war is going to be an absolute thrill.