Friday, January 5, 2024

REVIEW: 'For All Mankind' - Margo Receives a Tempting Offer While Ed Shares His Fears with His Daughter in 'Brazil'

AppleTV+'s For All Mankind - Episode 4.09 "Brazil"

Things start to go awry just as an important mission approaches a critical juncture.

"Brazil" was written by David Weddle, Bradley Thompson & Kate Burns and directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan

Lee didn't have a choice when surviving on Mars by himself for nine months. He doesn't have freedom on Happy Valley either. He wants to be reunited with his wife. People pledge they can make that reunion happen. He's even encouraged by the example of Ed having his family on the base now. However, no one is capable of delivering on that promise. Ilya never had any intention of making it happen. It was too big of a risk that could jeopardize his smuggling operation. He was backed into a corner by Miles when he first made the pledge. Miles believed it was possible. And now, he's the man in charge of delivering those results. Instead, he constantly teases Lee along. This is presented as his choice. In reality, it's a bunch of desperate people doing whatever it takes to accomplish their own goals. They challenge the structure in charge of Happy Valley. The security crackdowns have been imposing. Life on base has become severely limited. None of the covert actions can be hidden for very long. Yet it's all a matter of who uncovers the truth first.

Lee kills to keep his secret. He wasn't motivated to join Dev and Ed's mission out of altruism for what Mars can become. Miles already had the connection. He formed this dynamic with the North Koreans. He opened that marketplace. It provided new revenue for his operation. He built it up from what Ilya created. Now, he claims complete ownership. He took risks because he was blinded by greed. So much careful planning had to go into getting all the equipment Dev and Ed need. Moreover, it's a daunting prospect for Sam to replace a piece of technology while aboard the ship heading to Goldilocks. She didn't know how she could make that happen. A month later, she executes her plan perfectly. The system is set up to give Dev the control he needs to redirect Goldilocks towards Mars. He can guarantee the future investment of this planet. He never intends on returning to Earth. The future is Mars. No one can look back to what once was. They have to embrace the present and what can be. However, so many relationships are compromised because people are blinded by their selfish interests. As a result, uncertainty lingers over the proceedings making everyone desperate.

Ed recalls how Gordo spoke of his father during the final years of his life. It mirrors his own experience. They joined the military when they were young. They were proud of that service. It brought meaning to their lives. It presented strength and toughness. Without it, they immediately became weak. Ed is afraid of what life awaits him on Earth. He figures he still has relevance on Mars. He has lost command. He still sees a future to build for his grandson. He has big aspirations for what can emerge for Alex. The Stevens family story has ended. The Baldwin lineage is still going strong. Kelly is on the verge of a breakthrough. However, no one is truly interested in her research. She has lots of data she wishes to share with Dev. He deflects. The mission with Ed is simply too important. He must secure the future for Mars. That's pivotal right now. Everything Kelly is exploring can wait until another day. Yes, it's vital as well. Her research simply isn't under the same time crunch. She is hard at work and will provide the discoveries everyone longs to achieve. That simply isn't the urgent priority. Family is important though. Ed must be honest with his daughter. Meanwhile, Danielle yearns for the end of her service so she can return as the best possible grandmother her family deserves.

Escape isn't possible though. For far too many, this service ends in death. They may have enjoyed some time outside of the mission. They built lives beyond service. However, their commitment to this work was always prominent. Sergei imagines a life where he and Margo can escape the decades-long conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. They can flourish in a neutral country like Brazil, which is building its own space program. Their brilliant minds would provide immediate legitimacy and influence. They could finally be together. They could finally be free. They could embrace the lives they truly deserve. Time is running out to make that decision. Margo will be ordered back to Moscow by Irina the moment Goldilocks has been captured. More work must be done to move up the timetable to extract the resources and get them to market. The economy is propped up by that promise. It needs to be delivered sooner rather than later. That's the understanding of this mission on Earth. People place their economic futures on this promise. It can't be disrupted in any way. Sergei and Margo believe they are acting covertly. Aleida serves as their willing accomplice. And yet, Sergei's presence was still discovered. He's killed to avoid that inevitable betrayal by the most influential woman throughout the entire space program.

All of the plans quickly go awry. That's the nature of life. People hope they can account for any development. They can never predict human behavior. They can't foresee unexpected repercussions. Dev's team didn't know that patching into the North Korean system would weaken the quality of their surveillance. All it takes is monitoring the right person to discover what's happening in the unfinished sub-levels. That's how Lee's commander tracks down those responsible for compromising his mission. He doesn't know the full truth until Lee attacks him. Lee is motivated by something greater. Everyone believes they are behaving like that though. Those motives are often compromised. No one has the luxury to avoid investigating until after Goldilocks has been captured. The disruption to the system is precisely to disrupt those plans. Those in charge of Happy Valley knew the black market existed. It's just now necessary to interrogate Miles because he smuggled in the communications equipment. He knows just enough to prevent Dev and Ed from succeeding. He isn't loyal to them. He isn't talking just yet. The walls are closing in for the rogue figures. Those on Earth fear these terrorists are planning to destroy Goldilocks just like the asteroid at the start of the season. They can't imagine anything else. That lack of imagination limits them in some ways. The response is still the same. People just have to hold onto their convictions to achieve these desired outcomes. Even if they maintain their actions, that offers no guarantee of success. It's stressful. That will only increase during the height of the mission where a matter of minutes determines the outcome for the entire galaxy.