‘For All Mankind’ Season 4 Episode 1 Recap & Ending Explained: What Happened To The Asteroid Mission?


For All Mankind Season 3 ended with a bomb blast at JSC, and we lost two important female characters on the show—Karen Baldwin and Molly Cobb. After a five-month trial, in season 4, episode 1, we find out that the terrorists responsible for the bombing were declared guilty. We also witnessed the reelection of Ellen Wilson after she came out publicly in the first episode. The Soviets and the Americans came to an understanding to organize joint space missions. Meanwhile, jobs on the moon are on the rise, but workers face challenges and opt for strikes. The Mars crew safely returned to Earth a year later. In season 3, they unanimously decided to stay back to help Kelly return to Phoenix to deliver her baby. The North Korean man stranded on Mars finally returned, and the country celebrated his victory. After failing to win the confidence of his team, Dev Ayesa started the New Robotics Company. The end of the Cold War marked the beginning of a new era, and Happy Valley symbolized the unity between the countries.

Spoiler Alert

What was the asteroid mission?

Ed Baldwin continues to be an integral part of the Mars project. He and Grigory Kuznetsov embark on the asteroid mission that was set to change the course of life on Mars. While Ed took over the control room, Grigory was assigned to make contact with the asteroid. The mission was another milestone for the Mars Alliance, considering it involved a Soviet cosmonaut, an American ship, and a suit made by a private company. The asteroid mission aimed at giving birth to a self-sufficient Mars colony through the mining of the resources on the asteroid. Celebrations broke out at the space center when Grigory made contact with the asteroid. The dream of a self-sufficient Mars colony was closer than ever before.

What happened to Margot Madison?

Margot Madison had no other choice but to move to Moscow to escape a possible arrest. Season 4, episode 1, captures the mundane life of Margot Reynolds. A secret Russian agent notes down her movement as she leaves her apartment and walks into a bakery store. She has picked up the language well and has become a regular at the store. She continues to take an interest in learning about space missions, and a part of her surely misses the life she once used to live. Margot, a woman of immense power and responsibility, had become a forgettable face in a foreign country. For the last year, Margot has been trying to make contact with the President of Roscosmos, Lenara Catiche. After helping Margot escape from her country, Catiche does not seem to want to get Margot involved. 

At the end of season 4, episode 1, a frustrated Margot is found seated at her usual spot. She tried to be of help to Roscosmos, but they were clearly not interested in getting her involved. Stuck in the same rut, Margot perhaps reevaluated her life when a stranger approached her. She became suspicious of the woman when she started to speak in English. The woman claimed to know Margot, and she stated that she had her best interests at heart. She suggested that she could provide the help that the Russian government could not. Before leaving, she asked Margot to remain patient if she hoped for a change. The stranger left behind a number for Margot to contact. Was it a private company trying to connect with Margot? Or was it someone from her country willing to help her find a way to return to the States?

Who is Miles Dale?

In Season 4, episode 1, we are introduced to a new character, Miles Dale. After losing his job at rig construction, Miles had to settle for a delivery job. The lack of decent-paying work and a steady source of income resulted in his family falling apart. His wife, Amanda, had already signed the divorce papers, and they were living in separation. Clearly, Miles was not ready to give up on his family yet, and he was trying to make things work somehow. As Mandy asked him to sign the papers, Miles dug into his belongings, stuffed in the garage, to find a decent shirt. He had an interview and wanted to look presentable. He believed the job could change his life. They could once again have their own place instead of Mandy having to live at her father’s. But for Mandy, it was not just about the job and their financial situation but also their relationship, which had suffered over time. She did not think a job could fix everything between them, but Miles refused to accept their reality.

While Mandy wondered if the job was another bad scheme, Miles confirmed that his source was reliable. Miles planned to attend the job interview at Helios, where his friend was currently working. He learned that Helios was hiring people with offshore rig experience, and he knew that he would be a perfect fit. Traveling to the moon surely sounded wild, but Miles was ready to give it a go. Mandy was concerned since Miles had not worked at a rig for five years, but Miles was confident about the job. There was a part of Mandy that seemed to look forward to their future together, but it was because of her past experiences that she did not want to get her hopes high. 

At the interview, Miles lied about his educational background and landed the job. However, it was not the moon that he now had to travel to, but Mars. The moon mission he was supposed to be assigned to was to take place two years later, but Miles could not wait for so long. He needed a job immediately, and he was ready to take on any challenge. He was thus offered to join the Mars cruise, and the minimum duration was two years. The benefits of the job were primarily why Miles readily agreed to it. Even though their relationship had been rocky, the thought of Miles traveling so far away was daunting for Mandy. The two ended up spending the night together, though Mandy warned Miles against getting his hopes up about their relationship. Miles brings in the perspective of an ordinary person living at a time of intense space exploration.

What happened to the asteroid mission?

The plan was to hold the asteroid in Mars orbit and gather resources for a self-sustaining human settlement on Mars. They were one step closer to the achievement after the contact was made, but soon things started to fall apart. Cables were connected all across the asteroid, and it was finally time to get the asteroid into the Mars orbit, but warning signs soon started to go off. The cables came off the surface, and the tension in the cables resulted in instability. The asteroid wobble started to get more concerning with time. An emergency disconnection was announced, but Grigory decided to head outside the control room and restore the cable tension, a risky move that he considered necessary. The situation kept getting worse, and Grigory and Tom Parker were left helpless. One of the structures came loose, and it swung in Parker’s direction, but he could not move since his leg was stuck. Grigory watched Parker die a horrific death. In the end, Ed instructed Grigory to return to the airlock, but he announced that a structure had collapsed on his leg and was impossible to remove. Ed decided to head out and help Grigory, but once Grigory noticed a hole in his suit, he knew that he would not make it anyway. The only option Ed Baldwin had was to cut loose to keep those on board alive. It was heartbreaking for Ed to leave behind Grigory, but he had no choice. The asteroid mission ended up being a failure.

The new administrator of NASA, Eli Hobson, invited Danielle Poole over to Molly Cobb Space Center. Danielle had chosen to distance herself from NASA for the last seven years. After the failure of the asteroid mining program, Hobson started a probe into the accident, and he believed certain actions were taken that broke the protocol. Hobson wanted Danielle Poole to replace Colonel George Peters and take over the command. The asteroid mining program was crucial since a lot of countries had made investments in Happy Valley in the hopes of getting a good return, and Hobson believed that the only person who could see to it was Danielle. While the prospect was inviting, Danielle was unsure if she was ready to take on the challenge again. Danielle had lost people in the missions, and she was afraid of reliving the pain all over again. 

At the end of For All Mankind season 4, episode 1, it is confirmed that Danielle Poole has joined the Mars troupe and is heading over to Happy Valley. She conquered her fear and chose to give Mars another chance. How will her reunion with Ed turn out? And what changes will she make as the new commander? This is something we are eager to watch. Season 3 did not quite clearly disclose what happened to Danny Stevens. All we know is that he started living in recluse, but was that the end of Danny? Did he commit suicide on Mars? Hopefully, we will get answers to our questions in season 4. Losing Kate was devastating for Ed Baldwin, and his decision to live in Happy Valley reflects his mental state. Even though Kelly repeatedly calls her father and requests his return, Ed does not seem to be ready to face reality. There is a lot at risk if the asteroid mission fails, and considering we have too many experts in the field present at the same time, it might as well lead to more disagreement and chaos. Season 4, episode 1, leaves a lot of room for the story to develop.

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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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