For All Mankind season 3, episode 2 recap – “Game Changer”

By Adam Lock
Published: June 17, 2022
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Apple TV+ series For All Mankind season 3, episode 2 - Game Changer


An overly long installment is elevated by an exciting finale that sets up many possibilities for the engaging narrative to explore.

This recap of the Apple TV+ series For All Mankind season 3, episode 2, “Game Changer,” contains spoilers.

Access the archive of recaps, reviews, and news for the series.

Episode two of For All Mankind ditches the outer space theatrics for some more grounded (dare I say, down-to-earth) drama, pitting Danielle and Ed against one another, as they battle for the commander role on the first ever human mission to Mars. “Game Changer” is a slower affair, with an overly long running time, but one that still has its moments.

For All Mankind season 3, episode 2 recap

Presenters talk about the Polaris disaster on the radio. Karen Baldwin asks her driver to turn it off as she journeys to meet with Helios founder Dev Ayesa in the desert. He wants to make her a lucrative proposition, buying her damaged spacecraft for top dollar. The innovator’s plan being to use the Polaris for his own mission to Mars, hoping to beat the competition and colonize the red planet. Karen jumps at the opportunity to turn the Polaris tragedy into a positive.

Molly ignores Margo’s reservations and chooses Ed for the commander role, asking Danielle to lead the 98 mission instead. Obviously Danielle is enraged by this decision, but she congratulates Ed nonetheless. As Ed teaches his class, walking with a distinct limp after the Polaris injury, Molly delivers the good news. The students all applaud Ed in another feel-good moment from the series. Obviously, this elation is to be short-lived, as Margo has other plans for the mission.

Margo quickly fires Molly for her devious ways and re-establishes her dominance at NASA. She rejects Ed’s captaincy and promotes Danielle in his place, completely flipping the script. Ed is clearly devastated, having had his lifelong dream cruelly yanked away from him at the last minute. He even requested his daughter Kelly to join him on the mission and had started putting together his own crew list. This relentless toing and froing is a real rollercoaster of emotions for the astronauts and their families, with the filmmakers mining this storyline for dramatic effect.

The ending

Ed and Molly drown their sorrows over a bottle of whisky and the astronaut then drink drives, crashing into Karen’s abode. There’s some unfinished business between the divorced couple and a wallowing Ed suspiciously goes to visit his ex in his time of need. They share a heart to heart, which spurs Karen into action, leading to an enthralling finale. Karen reaches out to Dev, suggesting Ed commands their mission. The announcement is witnessed first-hand by Margo and Danielle via news coverage. Dev reveals to the press that Karen has joined Helios, they will be using their engines to send the Polaris to Mars, Ed will be their fearless leader and most shockingly of all, they plan to launch in ’94. This would be two years earlier than NASA and the Soviets.

It’s a clever twist that sets up lots of exciting directions for the story to head towards in the ensuing episodes. Margo gets her comeuppance and underdog Ed attains a small victory, whilst the addition of a third party in the Mars space race means lots of drama to follow.

What did you think of For All Mankind season 3, episode 2? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Apple TV+.

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