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Review of 'For All Mankind' 4.9-4.10

Earth vs. Mars

By Paul LevinsonPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 3 min read
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"Without competition, there is no progress," Sergei says to Margot and Aleina, near the beginning of Episode 4.9 of For All Mankind, on Apple TV+. Later, he suggests that he and Margot leave the US and go to Brazil, which already has started an impressive space program (a nice alternate history touch). And ...

[Spoilers ahead ... ]

At the end of this emotionally wrenching episode, some soulless KGB guy kills him. It's undoubtedly a good move in the plot, because it likely keeps Margot here in the United States (she won't go back to the Soviet Union when she finds out what the KBG did to Sergei), but I would have liked to see the two in Brazil, building yet a fifth space program, in addition to NASA, Roscosmos, Dev's, and whatever the North Koreans call theirs. That would have made for a great alternate history, maybe even a spinoff series from For All Mankind. Plus I like happy endings. But it was not to be, and Sergei (good job acting these past few seasons Piotr Adamczyk) learned in the hardest way that sometimes competition -- in this case, between the US and the USSR -- can result in just the opposite of progress.

Though up on Mars, there may be some progress in the relationship of Ed and his daughter. Kelly. I say "may be," because even though we saw a great scene of Ed explaining why he stayed up on Mars and lied to her, what's Kelly going to think and do when she finds out what Ed and Dev are trying to do with the asteroid? It's already pretty rough up there -- or out there -- with one North Korean killing another, and the CIA and KGB agents cooperating to beat the truth out of Miles. So it's tough to say what will happen in the season finale, other that it can't be all good, and likely won't, and very likely will be worse in some way or ways than we might have expected.

***

And there was an outstanding Season 4 finale for an outstanding season of For All Mankind, firing on all kinds of deep cylinders.

First, it was great to hear The Rolling Stones' "Out of Time," with Mick Jagger sounding, I don't know, a little like Dev, or is that just me?

And here are the high points for me:

1. Aleida hugging Margot as the FBI are taking her away, after Aleida has put in the code that Margot suggested, steering the Goldilocks asteroid into Mars orbit. I agreed completely with Margot's reasoning. And I'm only sad that it took Sergei's murder to move Margot towards that position.

2. Still on Margot: will she be more vulnerable to Soviet assassins in US prison than was Sergei not in prison in the US? I don't know -- maybe, maybe not. I certainly think her chances of lasting long on her own wouldn't be too good.

3. Speaking of lasting long, is Irina on her way to getting the same treatment as Sergei, as she walks into that Putin-like leader Korzhenko's office in Moscow? Also I don't know. But it doesn't look good for her, and that's fine with me (though the actress Svetlana Efremova has been doing a fine job).

4. I'm really glad Poole survived. I mean, she's not going back to Mars or anywhere off Earth any time soon, but she's a great character, and I'll be happy to see her in cameos or whatever in future seasons.

5. Kim is reunited with his wife, who comes to Mars! This is about as close as you get to a happy ending in For All Mankind, in any season. (I wasn't quite clear who those other people were, though, who Kim doesn't look too happy about. Military from North Korea?)

6. And, last but certainly not least, Mars with the resources of Goldilocks can become a real player in the solar system.

See you back here with reviews of Season 5, whenever it's up!

my conversation with Chuck Todd ...

tv review
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About the Creator

Paul Levinson

Novels The Silk Code & The Plot To Save Socrates; LPs Twice Upon A Rhyme & Welcome Up; nonfiction The Soft Edge & Digital McLuhan, translated into 15 languages. Best-known short story: The Chronology Protection Case; Prof, Fordham Univ.

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  • Vicki Lawana Trusselli 3 months ago

    GREAT STORY PAUL!

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