This recap of the Apple TV+ series For All Mankind season 3, episode 3, “All In,” contains spoilers.
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The three-way space race heats up For all mankind, as NASA and the Russians speed up their launch dates to challenge Helios for that 1994 departure. very important launch date looming. It’s another slow and steady installment, with the sci-fi excitement of the first now a distant memory.
For all mankind season 3 episode 3 recap
A clever editing launches the debates. Margo and Sergei meet every year in the same elevator at the same IAC convention in London. With each pass, their clothes and hairstyles change slightly, while the simmering flirtations develop. In 84 it is an awkward encounter, whereas in 91 they touch hands. Their unusual relationship continues at the latest convention. Helios founder Dev can be seen with softly talking guests, while Margo and Sergei head straight for the hotel room with a bottle of liquor at the ready. There is no problem this time.
Meanwhile, Danielle and Danny are asked to speed up their training and recruiting process, compressing the timeline to fit the launch window. The stress is high and Danny Stevens is not doing well. He’s back to drinking and seems happy to be cheating on his new wife. The astronaut meets a woman in a bar and the two skinny dip in a stranger’s pool, just like you do. Danny is later arrested, but escapes any jail time on the status alone. Danielle worries about the struggling alcoholic and forbids him to continue stealing. Ed and the Helios team are quickly on site to rush in and grab the astronaut.
Helios themselves are making giant strides with their mission. Ed and Karen are guided around the new and improved Polaris by Contractor Dev. He made many adjustments to the spacecraft, hoping to make it more efficient and safer than before. Ed is impressed with the potential of this spacecraft and the vast progress. It is, after all, completely different from NASA’s cramped spaceships. Ed is concerned about the automated ship, however, and disagrees with Dev’s approach. Fortunately, Dev is happy to make adjustments.
Ed’s daughter, Kelly, returns from Antarctica and asks to join the NASA program. It’s a shock for Danielle and later for Kelly’s parents, but a decision that actually makes a lot of sense. Kelly argues that NASA will be more science-focused and that they don’t want to go to Mars just out of nepotism. She wants to be appreciated for her own contributions. Danielle accepts his offer and eventually Kelly’s parents are also discussed. They are simply proud of the accomplishments of others. It’s a feel-good moment, with Ed and Karen happy that their daughter is becoming independent. Other members also change teams or reject offers. Bill Strausser is poached by Helios and accepts, while Aleida refuses Karen Baldwin.
Back to Margo and Sergei at the Convention, and that awkward first kiss. Things pick up after the initial small talk, though Sergei stops early, confessing his anxieties. He tries to persuade Margo to provide him with the NASA engine designs, but she flatly refuses. Things take a sinister turn and Sergei’s buddies arrive to intimidate Margo. All this leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, because Margo is threatened by the Russians. They show her incriminating photographs with Sergei, stating that she will be seen as a spy or a traitor in the United States. Margo will not move, even when Sergei is strangled. The Soviets give Margo a number to call if she changes her mind.
The episode ends with a sudden jump in time. All three missions are launched in the same two-week window, all heading to Mars. It’s a fairly detached sequence, with the show happy to jump back in time without hesitation. Ellen Wilson is now the president and she phones Margo to congratulate her on the successful launch. Hopefully the series will deliver action again, as we head to the Red Planet and an impending showdown between the three competing crews.
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You can watch this series with an Apple TV+ subscription.
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