Saturday, September 5, 2020

REVIEW: 'Away' - Emma's Reckless Behavior Holds Consequences for the Crew and Her Family in 'Goodnight Mars'

Netflix's Away - Episode 1.07 "Goodnight Mars"

Emma's behavior becomes a cause for concern, Kwesi and Lu team up on a plant mystery, and Lex makes an impulsive decision with far-reaching consequences.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Away.

"Goodnight Mars" was written by Aditi Brennan Kapil and directed by David Boyd

Emma commits herself fully to absolutely everything that she does. Her internal conflict comes from her inability to satisfy her own needs of how well she should be doing. She has worked hard to be the commander of the first mission to Mars. That has been her dream for a long time. She also set out to be the best parent she could be to Lex. She firmly believed that was just as important. The moment she decided to have her daughter she knew she was going to be an active and engaged part of her life. She didn't want to give up her professional dream either. She didn't have to despite her fears that the physical demands of pregnancy would hamper her progress. She never wants to give up. However, she can't be the best at all things all the time. Even though she is millions of miles away in space, Emma is still determined to be a mother to Lex. She wants to be in control. She can't be in this situation though. The communication is spotty. The rations are dwindling. She has to command this ship with full awareness of the consequences of her actions. She internalizes a lot of these struggles. She makes a noble sacrifice in the hopes of bettering the mission. She gives a portion of her rations to the one surviving plant in Kwesi's garden. It takes a long time before anyone realizes she is doing that. They are all essentially suffering from dehydration. However, the symptoms for Emma are much worse and have drastic repercussions. She isn't in the right headspace to do anything. She is committed to every goal she has set out for herself. Her failing to meet those standards is a massive disappointment. It's a lot of pressure that she is carrying. She needs this mission to be a success. She needs Lex to have a normal and productive childhood. She wants to give so much of herself away to those who desperately need it. However, the reality of the world is that she is far away from her family and she can't return to them any time soon. Months have gone by. The ship can't turn around now. Everyone is trying to focus on how to fix the water filtration system. Misha is confined to his room believing that he is deteriorating too quickly. Emma isn't too far behind him. She makes these noble sacrifices without expecting anything in return. However, their secrecy ensures that no one truly notices the dire consequences until they actually unfold. Lu accepts that she can't be a parent for her son right now. She has still made parenting decisions during this journey. She recognized that art was still good for him. But she also knows her husband has to be making all the decisions right now because he is actually present. Emma still has this strong connection to Earth. That lifts her up in so many ways. People are on the ground fighting for her success. Matt won't let the team fail her. They are collectively working towards a common goal. It is inspiring. However, it only takes Emma saying the wrong thing to inspire an accident. She wants her daughter to have the same mindset as she does. She wants to impart all this wisdom she has accumulated over the years. It comes out horribly. Lex is distracted when she gets on the motorbike. She was lying to her parents. And now, she has a concussion as a result. Emma tries her best to apologize. She can't rationalize this behavior. She compromised herself believing it was for the best. She is essentially spreading herself too thin. That isn't good for her family at home or her crew in space. It's dangerous. She struggles to accept that. She can't let go because she has found a way to always survive and thrive with everything she does. She has faced adversity and difficult choices before. This situation is different. It is isolating and challenging the crew in ways they weren't expecting. They are still tethered to Earth. The show trusts that connection to fuel all of its drama. That's not always the best choice though. It's annoying to watch this story play out knowing disaster is just waiting around the corner. That anxious dread can be effective. It showcases the cost of parenting mistakes. Lex is hurt because of Emma's actions and refusal to let go. It's strange and weird for her. But it's also the show fundamentally centering around the family instead of forging ahead as an exploration of space and what all is possible in this expanding universe.