Tuesday, July 5, 2022

REVIEW: 'For All Mankind' - A Disaster in Space Forces Everyone to Reveal How Much They Care About Winning in 'Happy Valley'

AppleTV+'s For All Mankind - Episode 3.04 "Happy Valley"

A surprise maneuver during the journey to Mars provokes desperate measures.

"Happy Valley" was written by Joe Menosky and directed by Wendey Stanzler

What do we owe each other? So many conflicts are driven by the egos of those in power. It's then up to then to weave a story of support. People were told the space race matters. However, those who work within the space program have grown so insular to what the national mood has become. It's a huge achievement to land on Mars. People should celebrate that. It comes at the expense of so much. Humanity is on the verge of being lost completely. It's an extension of only wanting to see others as the enemy. As such, victory must come no matter what. It doesn't matter what must be done in order to secure it. Being first is all that matters. It's the only thing anyone will remember about this time in space. The further the ships go out, the further they escape the conflicts of Earth. Communication is delayed. Decisions have to be made in the moment. That division allows so many complexities to emerge. People have already been walking that fine line. It still may not be enough to justify their behavior. Ed wanted Danny on his crew. Even two years after that decision was made, Ed is still trying to teach basic empathy to his second-in-command. That's startling. Ed wishes to conduct himself with a fine set of morals. He's enraged upon learning he can't turn around to help the Soviets in their time of need. It's the honorable thing to do. The hour starts with Danielle pulling off a maneuver that will propel America to Mars first. That's the whole mission. Everyone wants to celebrate prematurely. As the show is constantly pointing out, things can go awry at any moment in space. People have to be willing to put their lives on the line every single day. As such, it's important for the astronauts to find a way to handle the time in the vast emptiness of space. It's all in the desire to make these scientific breakthroughs. Those are then applied right back to the program. The world at large hasn't changed because America and the Soviet Union have colonies on the moon. It's made their space programs more important and prosperous. Those have largely been sectioned off from the rest of society. All the money NASA creates is thrown right back into the program. It's not shared with the rest of the government. It would be a huge betrayal if Ellen made a deal with Congress to change that. She's on the verge of celebrating this massive victory. She can return home to NASA headquarters as the country lands on Mars. It's all on the verge of collapse because people are motivated by the egos of those who've dictated the terms of this conflict for far too long. The thinking has largely gone unchanged. Public opinion is shifting because no prosperity has come as a result of these missions. It's all about being first instead of ensuring what's found elsewhere in space is brought back for the benefit of all humanity.

In space, humans can't rely on each other to help in a crisis. The Soviets make a last-ditch effort to make it to Mars before the Americans and Helios. Their ship has no identity beyond the simple mission. Sojourner and Phoenix at least symbolize what their respective crews are trying to accomplish. For the Soviets, it's all about Mars. They have to be first in order to maintain their dominance. That's the only way they process the world and its conflicts. People are genuinely scared about this maneuver. And yes, it carries lethal consequences for the crew. Their safety is less important than the landing. It doesn't matter what health they arrive in. That's how cruel and despicable the space race has become. People are no longer asked to be symbols of patriotic pride. Now, it's simply about defeating one's enemies. Dev is just like all the other people in this contest. He proclaims himself as the leader of a new collective process. He opens up the discussion to everyone in the room. Everyone has an equal stake in the outcome. He promotes a mentality of selfishness. He rewards people for doing exactly what he wants. He had a vision of this private company landing on Mars. He could show the world that governments don't set the terms for how people should live their lives. He offers the illusion of choice. In reality, he can lock people out of those controls whenever he wants. He's driving the mission forward. He doesn't trust others to follow through according to the same mentality. He can demand that obedience in any room he's in. In space, he has no control. That's why his technology is needed. He can't trust Ed to follow his commands. Ed wants to help the people in need. Phoenix has more resources to mount the rescue mission. When Sojourner has to carry it out, it jeopardizes two crews. They tear each other apart because everyone is devoted to this mission. They can't allow anything to change it now. They are all so close to success. It may be taken away from them at the last possible second. Ed knows that feeling all too well. He has to accept that fate all over again. And then, circumstances change. No trust exists within these private-public partnerships. Those who come from NASA respond with compassion to the distress call. Those without the experience and insight remain focused on what they deem important without acknowledging how complex the situation is. Life is continually evolving. People can't plan for everything. And yet, the powerful seek to accumulate more influence. As such, they have the expectations of determining the outcome no matter what. Lives are lost in the process. That's the way to achieve success. No one can be blind to it any longer in this fight between the world's governments and one private company.