Let the race begin!

Edi Gathegi as Dev Ayesa in For All Mankind 3×02 Game Changer

After the season premier ended in dramatics, viewers may be wondering, what next? Luckily, For All Mankind has fantastic writers and showrunners that understand you do not need a climatic event during every episode yet still manage to build tensions and hopes of the characters they brilliantly write about. For All Mankind is really a one-of-a-kind show. Normally, after two remarkably successful seasons, the third usually falters but not in this case. Just two episodes into the season, there is a grandness felt from every aspect all the way from the direction to the acting and writing. For All Mankind does what a show in later seasons rarely does, it expands the world while keeping the excitement and pace without losing focus on what made the show fantastic to watch.

The first episode of season three certainly came in with a bang and the second episode introduced the viewers to a whole new world of space travel: the private sector. Dev Ayesa (Edi Gathegi) is introduced in the second episode; he is an interesting addition. From his first scene with Karen Baldwin (Shantel VanSanten), viewers are in for a treat and the pair have a great dynamic the instant they share a scene. 

For All Mankind is a show that centres around space exploration, of daring and dreaming to make history and to soar past expectations, but that is not all the show is. Other characters such as Ellen and Larry Wilson (Jodi Balfour and Nate Corddry) have the oval office in mind while navigating a homophobic political environment in an arc that is about putting your dreams and ambitions before who you really are. Molly Cobb (Sonya Walger) is the chief of the Astronaut office and Director of Flight Crew Operations but has a power struggle with Margo Madison (Wrenn Schmidt) over the Mars Flight Crew. Margo’s choice is Danielle Poole (Krys Marshall) and Molly’s is Ed Baldwin (Joel Kinnaman). It sets up an interesting scene in which both women compare the attributes of both the astronauts that is edited in a brilliant way that makes you feel the competition and the urgency while highlighting each candidate’s strength. All of this comes to a head when Ed Baldwin is chosen as commander for the NASA Mars mission without any input from Margo. It is the catalyst for change at NASA with the no-nonsense and pragmatic Margo firing Molly the instant she finds out. Ed quits and that should be it, but Karen Baldwin is a business mastermind that can see the opportunity in anything.

Karen Baldwin is a big part of this new, tense space race. Partnering up with someone else who will do whatever it takes to win, Karen grabs at the chance to correct history, to fix the mistake of Apollo 10. From Astro-wife to bar/restaurant owner to entrepreneur to now working with Helois,  Karen’s growth throughout the show is excellent with a dynamic that VanSanten beautifully masters.

Comparisons with Dev have been made to the likes of Steve Jobs or Elon Musk but Gathegi brings out a charm and smooth ambition with Dev that ensure he stands on his own as a character. Dev brings a new aspect to the world of space travel by opening up to the public, without the need of government backing. Dev may be a charming character but he is a man with a mission that will stun both NASA and Russia. As a viewer, you can’t help but to cheer him on and eagerly await his next move.

The show does not give up. It does not concede to failure or setbacks, like the business venture of Polaris being reborn as Phoenix. Like Karen Baldwin, Polaris had to go through a disaster before rebirth. Where Karen went from a stay-at-home mom / Astro wife, her rebirth into an entrepreneur to the woman who helped open private space travel is truly outstanding. For All Mankind starts off on delivering on a promise: to make this season improved without losing its identity. Now that the space race to Mars is on, as a viewer it has me impatiently waiting for the next episode to see just who will be the first to claim Mars as their own.

Will it be Russia, America or a new player, private company Helios?

The MVC of this episode goes to Dev Aysea. He Is charismatic and turns the space world inside out.

The MVC of this episode goes to Dev Aysea.
He Is charismatic and turns the space world inside out.

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