Friday, January 12, 2024

REVIEW: 'For All Mankind' - Ed and Dev Enact Their Plan to Preserve Mars' Future While Battling NASA in 'Perestroika'

AppleTV+'s For All Mankind - Episode 4.10 "Perestroika"

Tensions on Earth and Mars come to a head.

"Perestroika" was written by Matt Wolpert & Ben Nedivi and directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan

Lee held Danielle and Grigory at gunpoint when they first stumbled upon him. The weapon was eventually buried on Mars. All these years later, it is finally retrieved. A marking above the surface indicated where it was. It was taken to Happy Valley two months ago. Despite the numerous searches, it is only discovered now. It goes off during the mob violence that takes over the base. The season escalated this particular threat severely. It was previously teased that weapons were on the base. They were entrusted to the intelligence operatives who were embedded amongst the ranks. Meanwhile, the talks Ed and Danielle had with their loved ones offered the uneasy tension that one of them could be killed during this conflict. That nearly occurs. Danielle is shot. Everything shifts the moment that happens. It's startling. This weapon produces so much violence through a single bullet. That's how powerful and dangerous it is. Danielle still gets to return home to her family. However, command of Happy Valley is lost because she was too busy grappling with geopolitics to notice the unrest happening elsewhere.

The tension of the finale comes from everyone trying to take ahold of Goldilocks to advance their objectives. The M-7 nations are in a race against time to find the saboteurs hellbent on locking the asteroid into Martian orbit. Miles points them to sub-level four after being brutally tortured. He is subjected to carbon monoxide poisoning. It's absolutely vicious. He remains loyal for as long as he can. He only breaks upon learning the legal peril his wife is in back on Earth. He took huge risks in expanding the export-import business. The people in charge were fine letting the market function so long as it didn't disrupt base operations. As soon as that occurs, Miles is met with swift and severe punishment. The evidence is damning. He must choose how to align himself. He was promised billions. That's the potential that awaits on Mars should Dev secure victory. It's all built on the promise that Miles can secure the freedom of Lee's wife. That seemed impossible. And yet, it miraculously occurs. Hope prevails because it's based in the idea of independence for Mars. That expansion becomes a reality despite the many forces who stand opposed on Earth.

Margo is devastated to learn Sergei was killed. She immediately knows Irina was responsible. The Russian director is in Houston as well. She has joined Eli and Margo to oversee the implementation of the plan they spent weeks crafting. She is preparing for a rousing success. She has operated as a spy for a long time. Margo could never get her to break. Irina still becomes collateral damage. Margo devoted her life to the space program. And now, she sees the existential crisis on the horizon. It's a huge technological achievement to change Goldilocks' trajectory to send it to Earth for mining. However, she has to admit that the funding that has propelled the space program so far will now go to that specific operation. It has the potential to change life on Earth. Everyone fights over these resources. Whomever controls it dictates the terms of the future. In Mars orbit, the nations on Earth will constantly have to be looking to expand their space programs. That's always beneficial from Margo's perspective. She is willing to sacrifice herself to protect the people she loves and the work she cherishes. She committed her life to it. She won't let that disappear now. Aleida enters the code to end the last remaining hope of a successful mission. Margo accepts the responsibility.

Margo and Aleida took that action because of their devotion to human expansion. It wasn't in opposition to Earth's existence or the colony forming on Mars. They still view Earth as home. That's the only world they have ever known. The situation is more complex on Happy Valley. The disparate factions have a lot of history. That's especially true for Ed and Danielle. She knows he must be involved with this deception. She wants to talk with him directly. This goes against their shared sense of patriotism and loyalty. Ed now claims he's fighting for something greater. He is fighting to preserve his new home. He wants Mars to prosper. He rejects his claim to Earth. His family has already settled here. Kelly hasn't made her life-changing discovery yet. It's going to happen someday. It will occur on Mars. That's where the investments need to be made. They can't betray those ideals now. That would make everything that came before seem pointless. They aren't no matter what directions the space programs go in. The space race determined how societies on Earth interacted. Behavior was informed based on how people conducted themselves in space, on the moon and on Mars. The mission was always changing. Many things are now possible. People are willing to pack up their lives and set off for a new unknown on another planet. That colonization is happening. People can't be denied that choice. The politics of Earth tried to set the tone of Mars. That exceeded their authority and reach. Instead, new power players rose and took ahold of the situation as well as its many significant consequences.

And so, Goldilocks settles into orbit around Mars. Dev looks out at the sky and sees this grand achievement moving amongst the stars. He made that happen. He did so to keep his dreams alive. He finally has time to delve into the research Kelly has developed. She inspired him to engage in this path once more. He was defeated after losing control of his company. And now, Helios brought the workers together who are fighting for something greater. They will risk everything to make that a reality. Some have only had tenuous connections to the cause in the past. The divide amongst the decks boils over and becomes a unifying call for action. The strike required people in power to take notice. The workers needed to be appreciated. Ed and Sam wanted to preserve the jobs of the future. That always centered around Mars. Palmer remained suspicious of Sam ever since the start of the strike. When a disruption occurs on Ranger, he knows she's responsible. He nearly kills her. He doesn't. Instead, she prevails in the battle for survival. Dev's crew doesn't have to defect to North Korea to gain protection for their crimes. Instead, the entire base accepts the hijacking. The leadership quickly must reflect that. They are no longer beholden to what's in the best interests of the governments on Earth. They are responsible for preserving the people whose lives are on Mars. It may take more years to get the mining operation up and running. By 2012 though, that's a possibility. Some lives in this grand adventure reach their conclusion. Margo is imprisoned while Danielle retires. But the horizon still burns brightly based on the people who have been in this fight for a long time like Ed as well as the newcomers making a difference like Sam and Miles.