Away continues its device with the grand tradition of giving women “bangs” in flashbacks and this time, Hilary Swank is on the receiving end.
This recap of Netflix’s Away season 1, episode 7, “Goodnight Mars”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
We have gotten through the first six episodes of the Hillary Swank adventure series, Away, and we get the feeling this is the toughest stretch of the trip for the crew — that is what Matt (Josh Charles) is saying anyway. Including a reminder of this from his wheelchair-bound therapist, Dr. Putney (Michael Patrick Thornton). Matt’s wife is alone, millions of miles away from her family, and her daughter will not message her back. When Matt asks Alexis (Talitha Bateman) why she hasn’t replied, she already did three days and that’s when Alexis shows her the messages from her Mom—she is signing off as “commander” and the messages are long, rambling sentences of mostly nonsense.
The last time we checked in with the crew their water filtration system had failed, and they were able to get it back to work, but only at half speed. This means they have been rationing their water. Since then, Emma has been acting irrationally because she has not been sleeping, and the crew feels she is suffering from the guilt of being away from her family. Lu (Vivian Wu) tells the crew that she made peace with the fact that her son will only have one parent for three years, and Emma has not come to that realization yet. Things get worse from there as Matt, who has formed a pen pal relationship with Misha (Mark Ivanir), asks him if Emma is okay, and if he could ease his mind. Misha, being the good soldier for once, tells Matt they are all under stress, but she is fine. Meanwhile, Lu and Kwesi (Ato Essandoh) are marveling at the one dandelion that has survived without water for a month in his defunct space ship garden. As two scientists tend to do, they debate, they argue, and they hypothesize how this could have happened. Kwesi, of course, think’s it’s a miracle, but Lu says there has to be some rational explanation when animals and plants adapt to survive. Ram tells them to make a bet, for Kwesi’s prized Mars bar he has been holding to eat when they touch down on Mars (insert eye roll), and the game is on. Kwesi believes it is a miracle, but Lu thinks it has spontaneously adapted, but if Kwesi is right (by the way, no one seems to know, including the viewer, how he can prove it), Lu has to believe in miracles.
Unfortunately, Alexis decides to defy her father and continue dirt biking with Isaac. If you watched enough television shows, you know what is going to happen next—Alexis takes a fall off the bike. She is sent to the hospital with Isaac waiting in the lobby. Matt and Melissa (Monique Gabriela Curnen) rush to the hospital and Melissa tells Isaac if he is there when they come back out, if Matt doesn’t kill him, then she will. Fortunately, Alexis has a mild concussion and is fine. Though, before they entered the hospital, Matt messages Ram (Ray Panthaki), because it should come from him, to let Emma know that Alexis has been in a car accident. While the team debates if they should tell her, of course, Emma walks in and overhears everything. Misha pulls the metaphorical band-aid, and Emma is understandably upset but is not herself because she is clearly close to a mental break. When she leaves, the crew, well, mainly Lu (she is always trying to change the command) urges Ram to take over until Emma gets through the dark void she has put herself in, because she is unfit to lead the mission.
Suddenly in Away episode 7, “Goodnight Mars”, Lu has come to a realization: Emma is dehydrated because she keeps giving her rationed water to the plant to survive. She is right, Emma is acting erratic, short-tempered, and distracted because she is severely dehydrated. Emma laments the only thing she can do is cry; Ram points out, “Without tears?” He administers a saline drip, then she goes to bed and gets some sleep while Ram sighs in the hallway over the woman he can’t have.
What about the flashback? Well, we had one; it was Emma’s. This takes place back when Matt and Emma had been dating—we know this was years ago because Swank’s character now has massive bangs. It doesn’t matter what decade you flashback to; the guy will always look the same, but the woman playing the earlier version will always have bangs to signify young days. Emma finds out she is pregnant with Alexis and tells Matt she is not going to keep the baby. Why? Because this will derail everything, she has worked for, and she won’t be able to fly, just like their friend Melissa, who is now pregnant with the yet to be born Cassie (Felicia Patti). When Emma is ready to fly her air force jet, they ask her if she has anything that would prevent her from flying, like pregnancy. She tells them, no, but, after thinking it over, she changes her mind, and climbs out of the plane with plans to start her family.
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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.