Friday, July 15, 2022

REVIEW: 'For All Mankind' - The Exploration of Mars Is Hampered by the Politics of Humanity on Earth in 'New Eden'

AppleTV+'s For All Mankind - Episode 3.06 "New Eden"

The astronauts move quickly to build Martian bases.

"New Eden" was written by Stephanie Shannon and directed by Andrew Stanton

Will Tyler looks out at the vast and majestic Martian landscape and experiences a life completely unburdened by the social expectations of Earth. He sees a world of possibilities. One that's completely liberating. As such, he comes out on national television. At first, all people can focus on is his declaration of his sexual orientation. They want to casually disregard the message he has after those words. He wants to uplift and inspire those who also feel like they don't belong in this world. They are equally deserving of happiness and celebration. They should be proud of who they are. It's a momentous occasion for him to be on Mars. The people on Earth want to control every single development that happens out there. They seek to flex their influence for all who will listen. The three crews aren't given the independence to do what they believe is right in any given situation. Technology permits constant communication. It's a story that is being reported every single day. The media attention can't be ignored. The people on the bases are reporting live in what has become the greatest achievement in human history. Every single detail has to be documented. It's all meant to be in service to something greater. The individuality of the people isn't allowed to shine. The news stories have covered the men and women who have embarked on the Mars mission. They are suppose to be role models. Absolutely nothing disqualifies Will from being that. Him being gay has no impact on his qualifications for this job. It throws everything into chaos because it's something everyone projects their own personal feelings onto. He wasn't required to tell anyone. It was completely up to him whether or not to come out. He also controlled how he did so. It's not some scandal that needs to be rectified. That's entirely how it's perceived though. Grigory views it as the latest example of American weakness. The various people stand around talking about it instead of offering quick and severe punishment. In his view, Danielle operates with no authority. As such, it's easy to cut her and her team out of every crucial development happening on the Martian surface. The Soviets needed the Americans to come rescue them. As a result, they required a partnership on the ground where the various research tools would be shared. Danielle sees it as an expansion of her team. This is now a joint operation. They all have to be responsible for each other. And yes, a celebration does ultimately happen. That can't mask the simmering tensions within the various fractions. Humans have landed on another planet. They carry with them the exact same conflicts. The conversations are important and necessary. It's all being done without empathy for the individual life. Instead, Ellen and Larry come up with a policy they believe everyone will hate. That will allow them to exit this scandal without having to expose how they truly feel. It's all so impersonal. Lives are at stake. People have convinced themselves they are doing the right things even though their actions are far from it.

All of this is building to yet another scandal brewing for the Wilson administration. A reporter is eager to out Larry. He has the details of his latest sexual affair. It will create an embarrassment for the President. It will strike back for believing a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy will solve all the problems in the military. Of course, it's understood the President is juggling a lot of responsibilities. She has to focus on so many issues that concern the American people. She wants to focus on her jobs bill. She can't risk losing support. That thinking only creates an environment of political gamesmanship. It's all about carefully calibrating actions instead of being passionate about any issue. Ellen reacts with so much empathy when listening to Will's full interview alone. She knows exactly what it's like to be in that position. Deke told her never to tell anyone else. She has followed that advice. And now, she has achieved the highest office in the land. She can't use it to change opinions. She has that power and is choosing not to fight for change. She's been told to accept this as being a good enough life. It isn't. It has afforded so many opportunities. But it's also incredibly distracting. It means people are too focused on Will for absolutely nothing. Their attention should be concentrated on Danny. He's the one spiraling out of control. Ed refused to see the warning signs when he recruited him for this mission. He was willfully blind. Danielle couldn't jeopardize the safety of her crew just because she has a close friendship with Danny. She cares about him too. That meant getting help for his issues. Ed would rather act as if they don't exist. It's only in space that he sees the patterns repeating between father and son. That's still an easy parallel. Gordo was chaotic and destructive in so many ways. Danny is similar. He's his own man too. He has prioritized his own appeasement above all else. He doesn't even care about the mission. He wanted the glory of being the first to land on Mars. Ed aborted the mission because he couldn't risk the life of someone he views as a son. That creates so many headaches back on Earth as Dev is fighting for the future of his company. He has to take Karen back and accept all her demands for more authority. She deserves that. It's still everyone going around in circles and choosing to be blind to the real conflicts. Information is passed around covertly. People trust and care for those on the opposing side. It's still all treated as a game. It's actually a fight for human survival. All three crews now have to rely on Phoenix to return home. Sojourner was destroyed in the rough landing. History was made. It has all come at a dire cost. That has always been apparent. The people making the decisions don't always deal with the consequences. They should at least be expected to react with empathy. That too may still be a high bar for certain individuals to overcome. That's depressing while further highlighting how the same mentality prevails even when so many are fighting to build a better world with more opportunities that don't just adhere to the status quo.