For All Mankind Season 3 Episode 5 is the fifth instalment of the third 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. Season 3 picks up a decade after the events of season 2, meaning the setting is now 1992 – with a video montage that introduces us to this alternate milieu.
S P O I L E R S
Entitled “Seven Minutes of Terror”, For All Mankind Season 3 Episode 5 is taut, conflicted and ultimately unsatisfying instalment. The episode title refers to the descent of any craft to Mars, due to difficulty of landing safely. As is obvious, the narrative revolves around the race to descend and land on Mars between Helios and Sojourner 1 (now a joint USA-USSR mission).
The episode does a good job in dragging out that descent sequence but more than anything else, the final outcome is a point of character development for Ed Baldwin. In previous seasons, Baldwin had spurned the opportunity to become the first man on the moon with Apollo 10 and this was his chance to redeem himself by becoming the first man on Mars. However, as often is the case for Baldwin, fate is never on his side. This is the frustrating aspect of the series and especially this episode.
Thus, when Baldwin aborts the mission – in order to protect Danny’s life – Sojourner 1 lands first and the celebrations at NASA is hard to take. The series had us rooting so hard for Baldwin that we really do feel his devastating loss. Maybe this is exactly the point For All Mankind Season 3 Episode 5 is trying to make. A result of good writing perhaps but still a bitter pill.
Now streaming on Apple TV+
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