For All Mankind

Last updated: Jul 4th, 2021



I finally started watching For All Mankind. The first episode was very good.

The plot was good, all the actors were good, and the special effects weren’t bad.



This was a good episode. A couple thoughts:

I like the opening credits

I’m glad they had the whole Von Braun thing, because he was not a good person in real life and going on just the show, he seemed like he was. Though, I do feel a bit sorry for the character. The actor who plays him is quite good.

The actor who plays the Rep that’s got it out for Von Braun, Saul Rubinek, also played Kivas Fajo on TNG and Carl Carlson on Eureka.

The music they played over the launch of Apollo 12 didn’t fit super well tonally speaking.

It comes as no surprise whatsoever that Ed Baldwin is back on Apollo 15 now that Von Braun is out.



Episode 3 was pretty good, but unremarkable.

The people who play Tracy Stevens and Deke Slayton are good.



Episode 4 was fairly slow, but good.

I don’t really have thoughts on it beyond that.



This episode was really good.

First off, I do not like Gordo. He’s kind of an ass. Tracy is pretty good though. (It was funny how she was completely unfazed by the fact that Wayne had been smoking weed and Karen was completely taken aback.)

Having actual character development for Karen Baldwin and Wayne Cobb was great (also, both Shantel VanSanten and Lenny Jacobson are good actors).

Ed and Molly’s talk about selfishness in the LEM was nice. It bothered me in the previous episode how Ed was trying to teach his son to ride a bike and how he just left him when Deke showed up, so I’m glad Ed brought it up.

I like that there was a time jump, I’m looking forward to seeing how things become more sci-fi and less alternate history.



Dang, I wish Gene Kranz hadn’t been killed.

In this timeline, Ted Kennedy pardoned Nixon. So did Nixon not resign and Ford never become President?

I’m glad Werner von Braun came back, I like the actor who plays him.

I though the whole “Margo’s dad worked on the Manhattan Project” line was unnecessary. It only served to prolong her conversation with von Braun and prevented them from actually talking about what von Braun did in the war, instead of just tiptoeing around it.

Also, Margo blackmailing the NASA administrator felt out of character.

Obvious parallel between von Braun/Margo and Margo/Aleida is obvious.

Overall, a pretty good episode though.



This was a surprisingly dark episode, but it was pretty good.

I don’t really have anything else to say about it.



God damn, that was a dark episode.

A very well acted episode, but very dark.



Damn, that was a good episode.

Shantel VanSanten is a good actress. Karen and Wayne getting high was amusing.

I presume it was the redshirt on Apollo 24 that died. They wouldn’t kill Deke Slayton (though you could also have said that about Gene Kranz).

It was rather lucky that 24 was at exactly the right place in their orbit that when the engine fired, they were pointed almost exactly at the moon.

Ed’s first encounter with the cosmonaut was incredibly cool.

Molly’s rescue was also very good and had orbital mechanics that at least seemed realistic.

It wasn’t that surprising, but holy hell, Ed probably just murdered that cosmonaut in cold blood.



Goddamn, that was a good episode. I cannot wait for the next season.

I’m glad Ed didn’t kill the Soviet cosmonaut.

The cosmonaut definitely got up to mischief while he was alone at Jamestown.

Aww, they would kill Deke. I thought they handled his reaction to Ellen revealing that she’s a lesbian fairly well.

The scene with Marge after they found out Deke died was sad :(

lol, Shane and Deke get memorials on the moon, but no one cares about the redshirt

Elen’s speech at the end was pretty good.

Goddamn, the shot of the Sea Dragon lifting off was glorious. I was grinning like a maniac through it. Also, “Jamestown Colony phase 3 expansion” o_O

Season 1 Conclusion


All in all, this was a very good season and I’m greatly looking forward to the next one.

From an alternate history point-of-view, it had a solid premise and followed through on it pretty well.

It wasn’t super action heavy, but it still did a good job at maintaining the tension—Ron Moore is good at that—which I enjoyed.

It was also quite good sci-fi, and it seems like season 2 is going to move further in that direction, which I’m excited for.

It also had no shortage of character development, and the acting was generally good.



The intro showing all the ways in which history diverged was really well done.

Wow, they have a lot of shuttles.

“d-mail” “ghost copy”

As with season 1, I still do not give a single crap about Gordo’s personal life.

I can’t tell if, during the scene with the CME on the moon, the squiggly lunar soil was supposed to be showing incredibly strong solar wind or the EM field.

Molly risking her life to save the other astronaut was a truly stupid decision. She didn’t even start running towards him until after the CME hit. She didn’t know if he was alive, and even if he was, it would take so long to get back that they would both be heavily irradiated.

Overall the first episode was very good. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season.



This was a very slow episode.

Apollo-Soyuz! But with the shuttle?

I still find it hard to empathize with Gordo.

Sending Gordo who seems both depressed and to be suffering from PTSD, strikes me as a truly terrible idea.

Shocker, Molly regrets her terrible decision to rescue Wubbo.



How did the Soviet bug survive in Jamestown for over a decade? What was powering it

That got very serious very quickly.

I kind of wish there was more actual space this season. The past couple episodes have almost completely set on Earth, with space just being a backdrop for character development. Character development is important, but more of a balance with the overall plot would be nice.



Ooh, Pathfinder looks cool. We didn’t get a good look at it, but the model in Ed’s office kind of looked like it had a linear aerospike. If Pathfinder is an SSTO (I’m not sure if it was mentioned on the show, or I just saw it being theorized on the internet), an aerospike would make sense.

I didn’t catch her name during the episode, but apparently the third astronaut on Pathfinder is Sally Ride. Huh

So Apollo-Soyuz is still going to be, ya know, Apollo-Soyuz

I am very concerned that Ed’s handling of the whole Gordo situation is going to backfire and royally fuck something up.

Oh no, that’s not good. Fighter pilot ejections are rough, though that one looked relatively sedate.



“Then Spock dies” oh man, that was brutal

Oh no, poor Danielle.

Molly is so dead.

Also the moon rifles and “rules of engagement for use of force on the moon” are quite something. That’s not going to end well

Tracy’s not holding up well. Granted, those “scrambled eggs” look awful.

Oh Gordo… He sure is trying, but I’m not convinced it’s gonna work.

Was that a PS/2 in the NASA office where Aleida’s working?

The sexual tension between Karen and Gordo’s older son is palpable and just… bad.



Poor Laika

I still don’t really care about Gordo

They dedicated a surprising amount of time to the androgynous docking adapter.

I don’t have much to say about this episode, but I thought it was quite entertaining.



They turned Paine into an actual character instead of just a stooge for the White House this season and then killed him. Same thing happened with Deke Slayton in the first season. I get why they’re doing it, but it still irks me.

I’m with the military guy on not telling the Soviets. It would risk compromising a bunch of US intelligence sources.

So in this universe, they actually fixed the SRB o-ring issue before the Challenger disaster?

The scene at the end with Karen and Danny was just bad. I really hope that’s the end of it.

Ah yes, the space marines should just stand around high-fiving while the cosmonauts run away. That’s definitely not gonna end well…



Every time they show a Shuttle launch, I keep thinking this is the time it’s gonna go boom. Thing was a fuckin’ death trap

Please dear god tell me this is the end of the Karen/Danny storyline. (I doubt it, there’s no way this doesn’t turn into a thing with Ed)

Oh no. That seems like an act of war. Shocker, the American space marines are trigger-happy and incompetent. Sending space marines that don’t know Russian seems, uh, truly moronic. Moreover, what happened to the whole “Rules of engagement for use of force on the moon” book that Molly gave out.

I’m really not a fan of how far this show has veered into soap opera-land. It’s always been big on the personal drama stuff, but this season (and the past couple episodes in particular), have gone wayyy overboard, IMO. The Gordo/Tracy thing is tolerable. But then they pile on Karen/Danny, Aleida/Bill, and the whole Kelly thing, and it’s just too much.



I’m sorry, I still cannot bring myself to care about The Baldwin Family Drama. I LiVe iN ThE gRaY

Ooooohhhh, NERVA! Even with NERVA, an SSTO seems unrealistic. That said, the whole Sea Dragon and Pathfinder launch sequence was super cool.

The Saturn 1B on its launch stand will never not look ridiculous. Danielle’s Star Trek quote warmed my little nerd heart.

I don’t think a single bullet hole would cause that rapid of a depressurization.



Damn, that was a good episode.

Wow, the space marines are all utterly incompetent

I really like Sally Ride

Duct tape suits? At least they didn’t have some contrived way of surviving.

The shots of the handshake on TV in all the empty rooms with the air raid sirens going was chilling

Kelly’s voice over at the end was… not great.

MARS!! 🎶 Come as you are…

Overall, this was a very good episode. It was super tense and gripping

Season 2 Conclusion


As I mentioned regarding episode 8, what I’ve disliked the most about this season is the soap-opera-ification of it all. There’s been a lot of drama for the sake of drama that only marginally contributes to plot or character development.

Like, take the whole awful Karen/Danny thing that only served to put Ed into a state of mind where you think he’s going to shoot down the Buran (similar to what they did last season with the “Ed is a bad father” bits). In that moment, it does serve to create tension. But there would have been plenty of tension without it. Was all that time in earlier episodes really worth it? I don’t think so.

An obvious comparison is The Expanse (I’m currently mid-season 5): a show that has its fair share of interpersonal conflict and drama. But unlike this show, it contributes to character development and works with the plot, instead of being this ridiculous thing grafted onto the side.

Part of what irks me is that the writers clearly do know how to do it well. The arc with Tracy and Gordo—though I was not keen on it initially—ended up being pretty good. It worked together with the plot without feeling terribly contrived.

That major grievance aside, this was a pretty good season. The plot was compelling and I enjoyed the move from just alternate reality to more science fiction-y. And I’m looking forward next season to Mars and the continued progression of that.