For All Mankind S02E05

For All Mankind S02E05 is the fifth instalment of the 2nd season of a historical fantasy TV drama series streaming on Apple TV+. Created by Ronald D. Moore (Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Outlander), For All Mankind reimagines the space race of the 60s/70s as an alternate reality where the Soviet Union put a man on the moon before the USA resulting in continued focus on space well into the 1980s.

Entitled “The Weight”, For All Mankind S02E05 is a heavy (pun intended) emotional chapter, where the viewer is made to understand that the astronaut’s life is not as glamorous as it sounds. The episode achieves this by focusing mainly on two relationships. The married Baldwins and the divorced Stevenses. There is a tangential slightly askew short take on the rekindling of the Ellen Wilson – Pam Horton lesbian affair – but unless this event develops in the rest of the season, the whole sequence is grossly gratuitous.

Anyways, back to the Baldwins and the Stevenses. For Ed and Karen, it just seems like the inevitable deterioration of their intimacy as Ed’s constant flirtation with dangerous situations finally takes its toll on Karen, and she emotionally distances herself from Ed. This is a natural defence mechanism and is not particularly interesting but logical nonetheless.

What is perhaps more intriguing is the devastating experience of Tracy Stevens (from her perspective) as she finally makes it to Jamestown, the American lunar base. Essentially, she suffers a psychological breakdown and is unable to adapt to the environment. Ironically, this exact thing happened to her ex-husband Gordo in season 1.

Read our reviews of For All Mankind thus far.

Speaking of Gordo, we see him trying to get his act together ahead of his return to active duty and the moon. Presumably, the ‘space couple’ reunion on the moon is what is being set up in this episode. Good enough.

Now streaming on AppleTV+.

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