For All Mankind finally gives us information in Episode 405, “Goldilocks”

Ed and Danielle
Ed and Danielle /

Oh, Kelly no, don’t take your 10-year-old son to Mars. That sounds like a terrible idea. Do you remember how hard it was to get him off that red rock in the first place? I foresee doom. DOOM.

That was my first thought when watching the latest episode of For All Mankind, “Goldilocks,” which seems to be setting up a mass exodus to Mars. Dev not only wants to travel to Mars to supervise a new asteroid mining program; he wants to stay there for the rest of his life, something he doesn’t tell his frustrated business partners Kelly and Aleida. Dev has always seemed like a fictionalized version of Elon Musk, who has long expressed an interest in going to Mars. Musk’s motives are open for debate, but Dev is leaving Earth to get away from humanity. We get hints about his troubled upbringing: his parents split up, his father died early and he blames his mother for it. Later, when Kelly tells Dev she wants to accept his offer and go with him to Mars but only if she can bring her son, he tears up, which I interpreted as him being moved by Kelly’s devotion to her child, a devotion he doesn’t think his mother ever showed him. It’s the best look we’ve gotten into Dev’s character yet.

And that brings us back to Kelly’s decision to bring her son to Mars, which sounds insane to me. I want to say there’s no way this ends well, but maybe I’m looking at it wrong: maybe Kelly’s son becomes the lead character in a fifth season about the mass colonization of Mars. There’s a moment in this episode where one of the grunt workers on Mars says they’ll need to expand the colony to accommodate all the workers needed to mine a passing asteroid for a precious mineral. The hints are piling up.

That’s the inciting incident of the episode, by the way: an asteroid is passing through our solar system. It’s loaded up with a valuable mineral, and now all the governments of the world have to work together to knock it into Mars’ orbit where it can be mined. We don’t get much movement on that plot here; it’s the latest in a series of setups that have yet to pay off.

Ed and Danielle
Ed and Danielle /

What happened to Danny Stevens?

The plot of For All Mankind has moved slowly this season. However, this episode does finally tell us what happened to Danny Stevens, a revelation that’s been a long time coming.

When last we left him in season 3, Danny was imprisoned on the downed North Korean ship on Mars, punishment for him being an epic screw-up who got a bunch of people killed. Of course, Danny never would have been on Mars in the first place had Ed listened to Danielle, who knew what an emotional mess Danny was and cautioned against Ed bringing him on the Helios mission. But did Ed listen? Nooooooooo.

Anyway, we learn what happened to Danny, and it’s about what we all thought: imprisoned in that little tube, he went crazy from isolation and died, possibly by suicide. The occasional visit from Danielle, who brought rations and a Bible, wasn’t enough to sustain him, because of course it wasn’t; it wouldn’t be enough to sustain anyone, let alone a basket case like Danny.

Danielle and Ed both carry a lot of guilt over the situation, and they should, because they were torturing Danny. I mean, I don’t know if the Geneva Conventions apply on Mars, but Ed and Danielle effectively sentenced Danny to solitary confinement of an indefinite duration, which sounds like torture to me.

This all comes to a head in a heated argument where Danielle says a bunch of things that are obviously true and Ed acts like a spoiled brat. Ed brought Danny to Mars against Danielle’s good counsel. Ed should have left Mars ages ago to be with his daughter and grandson. Ed has been hiding a medical problem so he can remain on duty. I feel like this scene was supposed to be an even debate but I thought Danielle had all the good points. Ed Baldwin, you are relieved of duty. Don’t let the airlock door hit you on your way out.

For All Bullet Points

  • If Aleida is traveling to the Soviet Union in her capacity as the new head of Helios, it means she could run into Margo. Oh, who am I kidding, this is TV, she’ll absolutely run into Margo. I definitely want to see that reunion.
  • Ilya, the Soviet smuggler who’s working with Miles, finds out that Miles has been sneaking Mars rocks back to Earth against his advice. We don’t see it in this episode, but that debt is coming due.
  • We’re now halfway through the season and we haven’t seen what former president Ellen Wilson is up to. Clearly she’s not going to be a main character, but hopefully she’ll at least make a cameo appearance sooner or later.

Episode Grade: B

For All Mankind review, Episode 404: As below, so above. dark. Next

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