Be aware of spoilers!



I was able to rewatch the 2nd season on Blu-ray, like I did with the 1st season. This is really a nice release, nice cover art, 4 discs set for 10 episodes, English subs and a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English soundtrack. Nice looking Menu with scenes from the series and easy to navigate. The release is done by a smaller UK studio called Dazzler and I can only say I am impressed with this set and the only downside I can think of is that there are no special features on it, none. But that is a small price to pay for such a well presented set for a very decent price! (Although the price seems to go up weekly!)


This season, the overarching ‘feeling’ to me is the cold war! I was rather young in the 70’s but still, because you learned this at school, you definitely were aware, even as a kid and a teenager. This has been done very well in this show, how they represent the cold war, where you realize that there is constantly a threat of a nuclear war. It does remind me a bit about our current times, which are very volatile also.


We’ve jumped several years with the start of season two, it is now 1983! The Moon base, which was only one room when Ed was there with Danielle and Gordo, now it is a big facility called Jamestown. Ed is now the head of NASA; he and Karen have adopted a Vietnamese girl which she named Kelly (Cynthy Wu). Ellen and Cobb are both on the moon, residing at Jamestown. Gordo has become an overweight, middle-aged man who does lectures and such. He certainly is not happy and that business what happened 10 years earlier on the moon is still haunting him. This show really got me thinking about our reality, why did we stop going to the moon, why didn’t they continue to go? I would imagine that the way we see it in this TV series, that would be a logical continuation in real life also.

Because of a big solar flame, that threatens the moon, the Moon base crew is told to hide, because there will be lots of radiation. Cobb and Wubbo however, are outside, they found a hide-out place but when Cobb cannot connect with Wubbo, she goes out to find him, because the solar flare! She and Wubbo are out there when the solar flare hits. Cobb left her radiation monitor device inside the hide-out, to con the people at NASA. Ed however knows better, when she has returns to Earth, he confronts her. Ellen also comes back to Earth, having been on the Moon for more than 700 days! Danielle Poole wants back to the Moon also after 10 years. Gordo has a difficult time, divorced from his wife Tracy, she remarried but did not let Gordo know beforehand. When Ed sees Gordo struggling, he decides to put him on the list to go back to the Moon. Molly Cobb is beginning to notice the first signs of trouble because of her rescuing Wubbo, her eyesight is beginning to diminish.


Tensions between the US and Russia rise when the Russians have moved away the gear of the US astronauts from the mining site they had claimed. As a response the US is considering placing US marines with weapons on the moon! Margo visits Aleida who is in trouble, she is about to be deported out of the US. Margo offers her a job at NASA, but Aleida is too hurt and angry to accept it in the first place. Kelly wants to follow into her dad’s footsteps but when she tells her parents she wants to go to the navel academy, Ed loses it, forbids her to go, really goes crazy! It all comes back to how he wasn’t there for his son Shane, how he really wasn’t a very good dad for him. Karen also realizes that he took a desk job at NASA but that in his heart he wanted to go back to the moon. This was a really emotional scene between Ed, Karen and Kelly Baldwin, great television! 


Ed assigns himself the prestigious Pathfinder mission and he appoints Molly Cobb as the new director of NASA. His last act as director of NASA, he appoints Danielle Poole to be the commander of the joined mission of the US and Russia. She is the first African American woman to command a flight! While Gordo is still struggling, really has issues with the fact that Ed placed him on the list, Tracy is now on the moon, she is considered a joke, her main task is to do interviews for television. She’s having a tough time and almost gets reprimanded by her commander. She doesn’t get another chance if she fucks up again. Karen gets closer to Danny, Gordo’s son who is helping her at the bar. Ellen meets up with Pam, who used to be her lover, they re-connect. Gordo is trying to make himself stronger for the mission, his sons think he is acting kind of strange. Aleida starts working at NASA as an engineer.

Ed and Karen tell Kelly why they adopted her and that they were apart for a time after the death of their son Shane. US – Russian mission has begun but it is a slow-going process, neither of them wants to give an inch to the other. Margo and Sergei, Margo’s Russian counterpart, are bonding. Ellen wants back with Pam, she tells Wilson, her husband, that she doesn’t care of the truth comes out about her feelings towards Pam. Gordo visits Tracy’s husband while she’s up the Moon to tell him that he wants her back and he’s going to fight for her! When the Russian Cosmonauts come to the US, it is celebrated but when the astronauts visit Russia, they get a whole different treatment. Ellen’s dad has a heart attack, she must leave her boss Thomas alone. But this saves her life because the airplane Thomas boards, has been shut down by the Russians! Danielle Poole and the other astronauts are locked up in Russia, they have no contact to the outside world. Ellen gets Thomas’ job till they get a new replacement. Margo knows the Russians copied their aircraft design; she tells Sergei about a problem they had with O-ring that would become hard in the cold. Now the Russians can solve this problem also. On the Moon the US marines take back their mining site, the Russians flee. Karen sells the bar to Tracy’s husband and then she and Danny kiss.


The President is so satisfied with Ellen performance, he offers her the job she already has temporarily. She is happy but on the other hand this makes it even more difficult to quit NASA and go back to Pam. Kelly has found her biological dad working in a restaurant, she doesn’t make contact when she realizes he has a new family of his own now. Gordo is going back to the moon, he tells Tracy what he told Sam, her husband. Her response: catch me if you can! Danny and Karen have sex! But what for Karen is sex, is love for Danny, which she cannot handle. Aleida is having a difficult relationship with co-worker Bill Strauss, On the moon at 357 Bravo, US marines shoot two cosmonauts, one dead, one wounded, when the cosmonauts, who don’t understand English, open a crate to take something out. The US marines act fast and shoot but one cosmonaut was trying to take out a translation document!


The US marines brings the wounded and the dead cosmonaut to Jamestown. As a response to the incident, the Russians blockade the moon. The Pathfinder, with Ed in command, is ordered to go up earlier than planned because of this incident. Just before his flight, Karen tells him that she slept with another man! He tries to take revenge by sleeping with another woman but cannot go through with it. Molly has found a doctor who says has a cure for her glaucoma, but her husband believes he is a charlatan and threatens to leave her if she would go through with it. Two cosmonauts come to Jamestown to see the wounded comrade. They want to take the wounded comrade with them, but the US doctor says that he’ll probably die during the trip back, so they turn down that request. Angry both cosmonauts go back with only the dead comrade. When the wounded Russian wakes up, he asks asylum which is granted! Of course, the Russians do not believe that their comrade has asked for asylum! When Pam learns that Ellen is president material and that she would be in the way, she decides to leave Ellen, writing her that she is going back to her former girlfriend. Gordo and Tracy grew closer together again while on the moon. Meanwhile, the Russians attack Jamestown, shooting through the glass, which kills one man but then they come in with 4 or 5 Russian to cause even more havoc.

The Russians have taken over Jamestown and have parts of the station not pressurized to control the situation. Gordo and Tracy are also locked up in a room without suits so they cannot leave. They threaten the commander of Jamestown not to say something about the coup when NASA contacts Jamestown. Meanwhile the US / Russian mission is not moving forward, they are both in space, but the Russians keep asking again and again for a delay. It seems the handshake is not going to happen. When the US marines try to take back Jamestown, there is shooting and something important has been hit! Apparently, there was a second reactor in order to make weapons on the Moon which meant there was no failsafe. If this isn’t fixed, there will be a nuclear explosion killing everybody in Jamestown. Gordo remembers that the Antenna they used to communicate with might still works, he succeeds and contacts NASA, when he learns of the possibly of a nuclear explosion and what must be done to solve it. He and Tracy go outside with nothing more than a helmet and all taped in, to try to prevent the explosion. They succeed and manage to get back inside but their wounds were too severe.


Ed and his team also have weapons on board, they are in disagreement weather or not to use them. But Ed finally does use the weapons, but not to destroy the Russian space vessel the Baran but to destroy the uncrewed Sea Dragon 17 meant for resupplying Jamestown. His decision ultimately means he has averted another war, because what follows is that the US / Russian crews decide to continue their mission, against the orders but the astronauts and the cosmonaut decided it was the right thing to do, it was a success and it moved the whole world, including both the presidents of the US and the Russian president. In the final moments of the last episode, we see that the Russians are coercing Sergei in contacting Margo so they can use her in the future.


Final Word:

Again, it has become a bigger blog than I intended! I still have major difficulties writing blogs which have such a strong seasonal arc as For All Mankind has. There also are a lot of spoilers in it, so I have added a spoiler warning at the top of the page. Season two is a fantastic season, I think a bit better than the first season but not by much. What you also will notice if you pay attention is that it does have some Star Trek influence in the form of writers: Ronald D. Moore, who is also the creator; Joe Menosky; Naran Shankar (also The Expanse, Farscape, Almost Human). The Okuda’s also are on the creative team. There is also a Star Trek: Enterprise actress who has a recurring role as news reader on the television: Grace Park. Highly recommended!

Screencaps: Google search

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