“A Little Faith” turns to Kwesi’s backstory as we learn the origins of his faith, and when science can’t come up with the answers, faith fills in the gaps.
This recap of Netflix’s Away season 1, episode 6, “A Little Faith” contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Away has started to announce the flight attendants are coming down the aisle before they make their final descent. In Away episode 6, “A Little Faith” we have come to Kwesi, the botanist they brought on their trip, to tell his backstory and find out what drives him, but not necessarily the sacrifice he made to take on this mission.
Ato Essandoh is a fine actor and a reliable one in mainstream television shows, though his take on Kwesi is a little innocent for my tastes. His backstory, though, is the most interesting one. His story flashes back to Kwesi as a young child learning how to grow plants in the backyard in a Jewish household in England. He was adopted by a man who was a gardener, named Sisi (played with great integrity by Bex). He dotes on the man whom he doesn’t know all that well, because he is the only father figure in his life, and he speaks his native tongue, Fante. Kwesi, at a young age, is having a crisis of faith. His family was killed in Ghana, and he was brought to England. His black father and his white mother pray in Hebrew before every meal, and he wonders why his family never had a God to protect them.
Matt gets a message from Emma that WRS has failed and heads into mission control to know why everyone is sitting around and not saving his wife. After berating the staff, he is pulled aside by Darlene (Gabrielle Rose). She lets him know he is to close to the situation as the stress from the job almost killed him, and if he has another stroke, Emma may scrap the mission again to come home—he is an at-home consultant only. He heads home, worried about his wife and checking his phone he is startled by a driver who is riding his bumper and rolls into a ditch. He calls his daughter to let her know he is going to be late, and he is waiting for AAA when Alexis and captain eyebrows, Isaac (Adam Irigoyen), drive over to get him out. Matt, understandably, is wondering who the older guy is in with his daughter but needs his help to get out of the car. We learn that Isaac is a perfect gentleman, carries Matt out of the truck, and we find out his father was a medic—who was killed in Afghanistan. Matt lets them have some time in the driveway and go inside, shortly after telling Alexis more about his father, they share their first kiss.
Meanwhile in Away episode 6, the ship pipes have stopped working and there is no running water. Kwesi lets Mish (Mark Ivanir) know, who is losing badly at chess to Lu, who is no longer in check—he didn’t realize it because he couldn’t see the piece she used right in front of his face. When Misha looks over the issue, he has some grim news for the crew. They have no running water and the prime or the “heart” of the ship, needs a transplant. Before he touches anything, Emma insists on telling Houston and Misha to get another eye-exam, because Lu threw him under the bus about his mistake before chess. After pumping out two days of water, they have two hours to fix the problem after shutting down the system. Kwesi assists Misha while Ram is a surgeon, so he takes out the prime, and Lu makes sure all the pieces are sorted and not lost. As Misha works on the filtration system, he discovered the pumps have been contaminated, and he needs to pull everything from the backup. Lu though, always the Debbie downer, now is nervous and claims Misha should stop before he damages the system permanently.
Emma puts her trust in him, and they go ahead with the repair. Though hours later, a screw floats by his face, and he didn’t see it. He is confronted by the team as he thinks Lu is holding up two fingers instead of four, and Emma orders the backup to be put back together and strip the prime for parts if needed. Misha, sitting to the side and taking jabs at everyone who is struggling to fix the issue, begins to bicker, and everyone gives it back. This has Kwesi, finally showing some gumption, but a rare sight to watch him lose his composure, yells at the crew to stop. He tells them all they must have faith and there is a reason this team was brought together. They all swallow their pride to fix the issue as a team, but the backup filtration system is only working half as well as the original and wanted to fix the prime in case this very thing happened. Ram tells Misha they had been right to scrap it for parts since it was damaged beyond repair. Misha though makes a point of telling him, “Not everything that is damaged is useless, Ram.” They will have to ration their water if they want to make it to their final destination.
The final flashbacks of Away episode 6 have Sisi bringing young Kwesi a plant called The Flame Tree that resembles the Papaya plant Kwesi’s family had in his backyard in Ghana. He wants them to plant it in their garden to honor his family. He doesn’t want to force Kwesi to accept them as their parents or even their faith but to give him the complete picture before he makes his own decisions of what path he chooses to take. Finally, the Kwesi flashback comes full circle. Sisi has passed away and Kwesi, now a young man, says a prayer in Hebrew with his mother. They place a plaque honoring his memory right next to The Flame Tree, fully grown like Kwesi—we see Kwesi has chosen a path his adoptive father planted for him and that is the source of his faith. As he has learned, and what we can only imagine will be useful as they travel to Mars when questions arise that science cannot answer, faith will fill in the gaps.
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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.