‘For All Mankind’ season 2 explores the effects of the space race on the people who are a part of it. The antagonism against the Soviets has taken a worse turn, and NASA has to find a way to get its footing back. The characters reel from their past actions, and it still seems to dictate their current lives. Amidst the developments in the political circle, the Cold War raises its ugly head once again — a revelation that jeopardizes all the work that NASA has carried out in the Jamestown Base. An old face comes back in the second season’s third episode, as everyone seeks salvation from their actions. Let us have a closer look at the narrative of the episode. SPOILERS AHEAD.
For All Mankind Season 2 Episode 3 Recap
The episode starts with the news stating that four American soldiers have been kidnapped in Panama. President Reagan responds in a hawkish way and states that Soviet proxy elements are responsible for the dastardly act. Furthermore, the Cold War reaches a new high — NASA’s base, where lithium mining was going on, has been captured by the Soviets. The serious situation calls for a meeting between the top brass of NASA. General Bradford suggests that astronauts should be armed as the President wishes for the base to be re-captured. Despite Margo’s reservation in arming the astronauts, Ed and Bradford press for the need for weapons on the moon.
Meanwhile, Gordo and Danielle are back in training for their next space flight. Kelly, Ed’s daughter, expresses her interest in joining Navy school, to which her mother registers a strong protest. Margo goes to meet Aleida and offers her a job as an engineer at NASA. Aleida is angry at her boyfriend for informing Margo about her impending deportation and breaks up with him. On the other hand, it is revealed that the Soviets have had a tracking device fitted in the Jamestown base for the past nine years.
Tracy visits Ed’s wife at the Outpost Tavern, and they both have a hearty talk. She then asks Gordo to pick her up as she crashes her car while driving in a drunken state. Their ensuing confrontation the next day doesn’t go well. Ed returns home, and as he finds out about her daughter’s wish, he loses his temper. The family reaches an impasse but manages to hold their ground.
For All Mankind Season 2 Episode 3 Ending: Why Does Ed Get Angry at His Daughter’s Decision?
Initially, Ed wanted his daughter, Kelly, to study science. However, he didn’t want to impose his choice on his daughter. Perhaps Kelly’s interaction with Danny Stevens changes her mind and entices her to join the Naval school. Moreover, there is a desire within Kelly to make her parents proud. Karen doesn’t accept Kelly’s choice at first, but at Tracy’s behest, Karen understands the situation. On the contrary, Ed flips out on hearing about Kelly’s wish to go to Naval school and even tell her some harsh words.
This reaction from Ed stems from the revelation that the Soviets got the better of him while he was in a desolate state after the death of Shane. The Soviets had taken advantage of Ed’s wayward mental state and planted a tracking device on the roof lights of the Jamestown base. In essence, this fact pushes Ed to reassess the past that has deeply impacted the workings of NASA.
Due to this reassessment, he goes through Shane’s death once again and perhaps blames his profession for not letting him be with his family. This apprehension translates into fear when Kelly decides to go to Naval school. Ed doesn’t want to lose her as he is aware of the dangers of this profession. His reaction is instinctive but is mollified by Karen, who makes him understand that the past events were not his fault.
This episode is all about the effects of the past on the current lives of the characters. Tracy wants to move on with her new life, but she calls Gordo to pick her up in a moment of drunkenness. She spends the night at Gordo’s place, and the next morning, their conversation turns salty. When Gordo says that he is going to space and their flight schedule will force them to stay together on the moon, Tracy gets extremely agitated.
She feels that the decision will affect her public image as she doesn’t want to be perceived as a vulnerable ex-wife. Tracy desperately wants to make a new start through her newfound stardom and doesn’t want to risk it by repeating her past. In the end, Gordo is reminded of the flickering lights that induced his anxiety on the moon but is able to shrug off the feeling. He waits for a better future and is preparing himself for it.
Margo meets Aleida and offers her a job at NASA because she wants to amend her previous actions. Aleida is at the risk of being deported back to Mexico, and Margo sees an opportunity to make inroads with a renewed relationship. However, Aleida doesn’t want Margo’s sympathy or help — she is reminded of the time when Margo refused to take her in. However, circumstances force her to take up the job, but she decides to break up with her boyfriend as his actions brought back the haunting memories. In essence, the re-unions in this episode force the characters to face the repercussions of yesteryears.