Sunday, September 6, 2020

REVIEW: 'Away' - The Atlas Crew Stands United and Hopeful as They Prepare to Land on Mars in 'Home'

Netflix's Away - Episode 1.10 "Home"

With only hours to go before Atlas' planned touchdown on Mars, Emma is confronted with everything that could go wrong, while Lu receives new orders.

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 season finale of Netflix's Away.

"Home" was written by Andrew Hinderaker and directed by Jet Wilkinson

Existential dread and anxiety has defined a lot of the storytelling this season. Everything that could go wrong actually did go wrong aboard the Atlas. Everyone is essentially right to be afraid that the landing on Mars will have its share of problems as well. The discussion was already had about just how perfect this landing needs to be when the supply ship was at this point in its journey. Pegasus went dark after breaching the atmosphere. The Atlas crew didn't know if it would be at the landing spot to ensure their survival on the planet. They had to have faith and hope in each other. They had to believe that everything will work out because the best minds in the world are navigating this venture. Emma has to be focused though. Her anxiety creeps in whenever she feels the weight of the pressure to keep her crew alive. She takes that on as her own personal burden. These five lives were incredibly separate for a long time. Their families only meet for the first time here. It's a remarkable journey they have gone on. They have experienced it together in the isolation of space. They feel a sense of camaraderie. Lu asks Kwesi for a prayer before the landing begins. Kwesi and Lu offer Misha the clarity that he is adapting to Mars in a way that allows him to see a different kind of beauty. Kwesi puts things into perspective for Ram about the tension he currently has with Emma because he admitted his feelings to her. It's an inherent case of transference. Ram has learned to form deep personal connections with his crew. When he leaves a message for those on Earth, he speaks to his brother about how he has achieved their shared dream. He holds these relationships close and that has led him to believe that something is there with Emma that isn't. She has a profound sense of love for everyone aboard the Atlas. She suggests Lu uses the upcoming picture to leverage something for herself from her government. It may not work in the end. But it's also the crew instinctively knowing each other. That sense of connection is truly apparent now. It's the core of the show. Sure, the storytelling only sometimes acknowledges that fact. It still treats Emma's family as the priority. That isn't entirely bad. It's important to see the cost of a mission like this. Matt has been able to help every step of the way. However, it's clear that his health progress truly did plateau the moment he checked out of rehab and returned to work. This is what the state of his life currently looks like. It can still be successful. He is welcomed back to the mission control floor as a genuine member of the team. His personal connection to Emma may compromise him to an extent. However, he is motivated more than anyone else to secure the safety of this mission. People have high hopes of what they hope to accomplish with all of this. Sometimes, they don't come true. China was proud to have Lu be the first human to step on Mars. They would have the documented proof to show around the world as propaganda. They cared more about the visual than the person under the mask. Lu fought back. The ultimate picture highlights the crew as a cohesive unit. They have suffered along the way. They have made sacrifices. They are still given the moments to reach out to their families and profess what they truly understand about life at this moment. Misha calls his daughter a hero. Emma reassures Matt and Lex that she trusts her team with this landing. Kwesi is grateful his adopted mother gave him a way to connect to the world. Lu shared her love and hopes for her son. And Ram spoke of the massive achievement all of this has been. It's a success too. Everything with the landing goes exactly as planned. Sure, it's terrifying for a moment because it feels like the ship is exploding. It could fall apart and kill everyone onboard. But the faith keeps everyone strong and united. It's faith in one's fellow man. Emma delivered a speech on the moon detailing the importance of the human race coming together. It wasn't exactly true then as it pertained to the mission. It absolutely is true now as the Atlas crew embraces each other fully. They have stepped onto Mars. Their families celebrate. And now, the next stage of this adventure begins. It's time to prove just how inhabitable this planet can be. That is an admirable goal that fills Kwesi with so much excitement. The family drama will likely be just as prevalent should the series continue. But it works so much more effectively as an inspirational drama about what humanity can achieve while working together. There truly are no limits for what we can build if we are united.