Sunday, April 18, 2021

REVIEW: 'For All Mankind' - Orders for Every Mission Change After the War Escalates Severely on the Moon in 'Triage'

AppleTV+'s For All Mankind - Episode 2.09 "Triage"

The rivalry between American astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts intensifies as last-minute changes impact the Pathfinder mission plan.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 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 AppleTV+'s For All Mankind.

"Triage" was written by Bradley Thompson & David Weddle and directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan

The conflict on the moon and in space in general has escalated quickly in a few months. This season has followed a rather condensed timeframe. But it's also highlighted just how quickly these decisions get made and the potential ramifications of those actions. It was a huge deal when the American government decided to send weapons to the moon. It was celebratory when the threat of those weapons was all it took to retake the mining base. But now, those weapons inflict a vast amount of harm. Both sides suffer as a result. The normalization of that makes this the new status quo. It's what the terms of this conflict are now. Each side carries weapons and is prepared to strike whenever ordered to do so. Sure, there is the presentation of peace between the two countries. And yet, the stakes of the world remain dire. This episode provides new heights for the space program and the technology available to both sides. It also focuses on the devastating personal consequences for these actions and those who have aspired for those heights. It has been destructive to so many family units. Once more, it's the center of a huge geopolitical conflict. The accidental death of a Soviet cosmonaut had the potential to spark a new world war. Everything has certainly escalated to that posturing now. It's simply fascinating to watch the strategic moves that take place before that counterstrike is delivered. Everyone always assumes the worst as it pertains to the Soviets. They are the embodiment of evil. Communism cannot be allowed to take over the world and seem like a viable form of society. And yet, the narrative continually showcases the strength and surprises of that opposing force. Margo felt she had to warn Sergei about the potentially fatal error in the latest rocket design. And now, she realizes that ship is being armed with missiles. Everything escalates from the sheer suspicion of what the other side is doing. The consequences of that are starting to become present as well. A cosmonaut wants to defect to the United States. The Reagan administration is eager to approve that. The world at large believes it's an attempt to torture him for information even after shooting him. It's perilous. It presents a narrative where armed conflict is the only way to deliver a message to the Americans. That's exactly what occurs at Jamestown by the conclusion of this hour. The base is attacked and one astronaut is dead. The Soviets have weapons and are moving in on everyone currently at the base - which includes Tracy and Gordo, who have just reunited. Every life is in danger. Sure, Pathfinder has moved up its launch. It is in orbit now. It will serve as the beacon for what the Americans are capable of doing. Even then, it's an argument built around its military capabilities. It harkens back to Ed's days flying in the Navy. He finally gets to see and touch space. He has achieved his dreams. He is still soaring above while leaving his family distressed and alone on the ground. He doesn't know how to process anything that strays from the expected. He can't handle the news that Karen slept with someone else. He can't follow through on the same action either. His head may not be in the game. He is leading this latest innovation though. Meanwhile, Dani is in space trying to produce a symbol of cooperation between the two countries. So many things are happening at the same time. Some have the perception of being unique and visually significant. Other actions are being concealed by military might. Whomever emerges from this conflict will get to dictate the narrative for all that comes afterwards. On Earth, the news covers every single development happening in the Panama Canal. Things are more mysterious in space. The news travels less quickly. It's the bold new frontier for conflict though. It inspires hope. But it conjures so much dread as well. This mission may no longer be what the various astronauts signed up for. It's no longer the ideals that Molly hopes to get back to some day. She fights for that future. However, her marriage is just as important. She sees that clearly even though she is losing her vision overall. Meanwhile, Pam walks away from Ellen because she doesn't want to prevent her potential path to becoming President one day. Some people have the ability to plan far ahead to the future. Ellen's life is seemingly mapped out. She has a lot of support. That's necessary for so much to go right every step of the way. She needs to trust the people at every level of this mission. And yes, the forces are uniting in service of the American ideals. That still may not be enough. The Soviets still launch an attack. Military intelligence may have failed everyone. That sends everything spiraling into potential doom where people are aware of the harm their actions take. They are still ordered to do so because it's seemingly the only way people are convinced will lead to prosperity and international dominance. Lives are simply lost or changed in the process with profound sacrifices also having to be made. The space program certainly won't be heading to Mars despite how much Ellen wants that to finally occur. It's all war now.