Away wraps up its freshman season (or series finale) with a satisfying episode that ties up most of an uneven season’s storylines.
This recap of Netflix’s Away season 1, episode 10, “Home”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Through nine episodes of Away, we have learned what makes the crew members tick, the sacrifices made, the mistakes committed, and the many ties that bind. In the last episode, Ram (Ray Panthaki) unburdened his feelings for Emma (Hilary Swank), and this had caused friction between them. They are the only two pilots on Atlas, and they are not talking; well, that’s until Ram apologizes if he crossed the line (uh, duh. Has this guy never taken an inappropriate work relationship class through HR?). Emma scolds for him not realizing he crossed the line so badly, it’s so far behind him he can practically see Saturn (that’s a tailored space reference for you). Kwesi, who comes up after Emma leaves Ram in the hull of the space shuttle, seems to be the glue that holds the team together by sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong — or does it? The team can’t have the only two pilots not communicating, and he takes it upon himself to give him some advice. “Emma feels nothing for me,” Ram interrupts. Kwesi makes a counterpoint, “Ram, if Emma felt nothing for you, she wouldn’t feel compromised right now.” Personally, if they ever make it back alive, I hope Matt beats Ram up with his wheelchair.
On the ground, with less than ten hours to Atlas’s descent into Mars, Matt (Josh Charles) and Alexis (Talitha Bateman) sneak away from the 100 reporters camped outside their front door and go horseback riding with Melissa (Monique Gabriella Curnen) and her daughter, Cassie (Felicia Patti). There is some good news as Alexis finds out that she tested negative for the CCM gene that her father carries. On the flip side of that coin, Matt discovers Melissa has been keeping two secrets from him. The first, Alexis has been seeing Isaac and was out with him all night, and she is only 15 years old (says Matt); the other is that Melissa has alluded, heavily, that she has feelings for him. She apologizes and says, “This situation has become a little complicated for me.” Matt, like a typical nice guy whom every woman wants, is oblivious to her subtext, which causes Melissa to say, “You really can’t see it, can you, Matt?”
Meanwhile in Away episode 10, before the crew gets ready to strap themselves into the cockpit, Emma delivers a message to Lu (Vivian Wu) that when she takes the most anticipated photo op in history, China wants her shield down so no one can see her face. Lu and Misha (Barry’s Mark Ivanir) understand why, coming from post-Cold War countries, the game that is being played here. Emma then tells Lu that she is holding a rare card here and has leverage she can use for anything she wants. Lu tells Emma to tell her boss on the ground she will do it if they reinstate Mei. The command relays a message to carry out the plan, and they will consider it (I smell a double-cross). Then, the pairings have their moments together. Misha and Lu share a bond of an almost old married couple that is built on a strong friendship; Ram apologizes to Emma about crossing the line and begins to reassure her that their lives are not her responsibility — she needs to stop worrying and she needs to enjoy this historic moment, which led them to these crucial moments.
Before they start their initial descent, the families of the crew have been flown in Houston, and they gather to hear the messages each crew member has taped for them. Each little speech is tailored to their past flashbacks and ties in the stories we have watched for the past nine episodes. Emma tells her husband and daughter, she will be okay; Kwesi tells his mother, in Hebrew, he has always believed in impossible things because of his faith; Misha, in Russian, tells his grandchildren, he hopes that they are proud of him, but even more proud of their mother and that she is his hero; Lu, in Mandarin, tells her son that she hopes he finds something in his life, which makes him as happy as this mission has made her, and that she loves him; Ram, in Hindi, tells his deceased brother, “We are landing on Mars, Rohit.” You can then see Emma reach for Ram’s hand and hold it, knowing the story behind his message (Matt doesn’t look happy at the sight of this, and I can only imagine again he is thinking of ways to beat Ram up with his wheelchair; if anyone could do it, it’s Matt).
Between each relayed communication from the crew, the camera cuts to the current descent into the red planet’s atmosphere, with Atlas taking a tumble, with multiple 360s on the way down. The red-hot tin can now race towards the planet backward, with its jets at full blast being used in the hopes the ship will not crash into red soil below that would kill them instantly. They miraculously touch down, take off their helmets, and each crew member screams tears of joy, and Emma then asks, “Who wants to go again?” Lu and the crew climb out of their ship and Misha, who you have to feel for at this moment, can’t see a thing. He sees something though, in the distance, and asks Lu if that’s what he thinks it is? She confirms it for him, in the red desert valley that looks just like Arizona, Pegasus One is sitting, waiting for them, and in perfect shape.
Of course, there is a delay in the transmission, and mission control is waiting nervously for the word if they touched down safely or perished by burning up in the atmosphere. Finally, after a breathless seven minutes, they receive the good news— they have landed on Mars, safe and sound, and they located Pegasus One. Everyone stands and cheers, the families embrace while a giant breath of relief is let out by Darlene, and Alexis and Matt let the tears flow down their cheeks. Then, Jack announces the first image of Lu on Mars is about to come in. Lu’s boss, patiently waiting for a picture of her lone astronaut with her face shield down, and a Chinese flag sewn into her suit like a Nascar driver after winning the big race, to be the crowning achievement is her country’s history, her face turns from elation to stunning disappointment — the picture is of Lu and her entire crew, and with her face shield up for the world to see.
What did you think of Away episode 10, “Home”? Do you think they will have a second season? Let us know your thoughts below!
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M.N. Miller has been a film and television writer for Ready Steady Cut since August of 2018 and is patiently waiting for the next Pearl Jam album to come out.