Emotive and explosive, the season finale is a real tour-de-force as the Mars mission comes to a fitting conclusion. Fans will adore this action-packed ending and hotly anticipate a follow-up season.
This recap of the Apple TV+ series For All Mankind season 3, episode 10 contains spoilers, including for For All Mankind’s Season 3 ending.
Season three began with a bang when astronaut Danny Stevens saved everyone aboard the Phoenix spacecraft. In the show’s finale, Danny has fallen almightily from grace, transitioning from the hero to a villain in record timing. The show opened with an explosive, exciting instalment and concludes with just as much vigor. Fans will be happy to hear that episode ten, “Stranger in a Strange Land”, is an emotive, action packed one hour twenty-three minutes of TV to bring an exhilarating end to the alt-history space opera for another year.
For All Mankind season 3, episode 10 recap
The finale opens with a ten minute segment dedicated to our latest arrival, the North Korean astronaut Lee Jung-Gil. We’re shown his story, starting off with an exhilarating crash landing on Mars. It is later pointed out that due to the timings Lee is in fact the first man on Mars. His co-pilot dies in the crash and Lee has to survive on rations and a tape player to keep himself sane. He can’t get in contact with ground control and slowly goes insane in the harsh isolation. Salvation comes in the form of Danielle and her co-captain as they discover Lee’s boot prints in the sand. Obviously, Lee welcomes them both at gun point and the timeline merges back into the present.
While there’s warfare on Mars, things aren’t much better back on Earth. President Ellen Wilson is facing impeachment, Margo Madison is warned she’s about to be investigated and very likely arrested by the FBI, and Jimmy’s new conspiracy theorist friends are plotting something truly awful in Houston.
Kelly’s pregnancy conundrum continues to perplex crew mates and the NASA team back on earth. Her pre-eclampsia means that her baby must be delivered early, specifically in the next twenty-four hours, although their base just isn’t prepared for this integral procedure. The MSAM isn’t ready either and can’t support all the crew’s weight. A solution needs to be devised quickly – the stakes couldn’t be higher.
The crew members have taken out as much weight as they possibly can from the MSAM, all that is left is the astronauts themselves. To make matters worse, their team has just taken on an additional member in Lee Jung-Gil, who joins the crew possibly against his will. Danielle suggests the crew stay behind and sacrifice a year and a half of their lives for the safety of Kelly and her unborn child. It’s a true feel-good moment as they all stick up their hands in a sign of solidarity, voting to stay on Mars for the greater good. NASA takes this proposal seriously, running the data, but still only foresees a 95% success rate. In order to safely make the full trip Kelly must be strapped to the roof of the landing vehicle, with Ed piloting from inside.
Molly is brought in to help guide Ed through the procedure and Margo speaks with her dear, old friend Sergei, who has sought asylum in Germany. She managed to get Sergei and his family out of Russia and they’ll soon be heading to America for a delightful reunion, or so you would think, but Margo’s looming imprisonment looks set to ruin this happy ending. This episode really hones in on Margo’s internal battles. She’s facing serious jail time and knows her days are very much numbered. Margo makes an emotional speech thanking her team and then retires to her office to play the piano one last time.
Danny worries about the new mission, fearing Ed will die on re-entry. He offers himself up as pilot and Ed flat out refuses. To sweeten the deal, Danny confesses to causing the drilling catastrophe, finally accepting some liability. Ed is furious and pins him against a wall, but won’t change his mind. It is his daughter, so he will be flying the MSAM.
Kelly is strapped to the suit in Poletov’s space suit and Ed fires up the engines. It’s a tense ascent as the fuel rapidly depletes on the dashboard. Trajectory is good and the separation works a treat. Kelly is flung towards the Phoenix. It’s one of those electrifying, cinematic moments that will leave a lump in your throat as she shoots towards salvation. The crew celebrate, but there is no time to waste, Ed still has to land the MSAM, which is crashing back down to Mars at a deadly speed.
Adjacent to this thrill ride is another explosive sequence of events. Jimmy realizes at the last minute that his new friends can’t be trusted and tries to warn others. They tie him up though and throw the traitor into the back of their van. Luckily Karen is on hand to rescue our wayward pal and in the process unveils barrels of explosives hidden inside the van. Jimmy is freed and they run to inform the security, but it is too late, panicked by the development, the terrorist detonates the bombs, causing devastation at the Johnson Space Centre.
Jimmy finds Karen within the rubble, but she doesn’t survive the attack, staring into the sky with her last seconds of life. Molly helps the survivors out of the building and Aleida goes to search for Margo in her office. In a shocking twist, half of Margo’s office has been lost to the explosion, blown to smithereens, and Margo is feared dead.
Ed walks away from the crash, but is informed by Danielle of Karen’s death back at base. Kelly’s child is born on Phoenix and the deceitful Danny is exiled by the stranded crew members. He’s given supplies and is sent to live at the North Korean site as punishment. Ellen visits Pam and in the last moments Sergei appears to be settled into a stereotypical suburban household. Part of me expected Margo to be hiding inside Sergei’s new home, but she’s in fact living in what appears to be a Russian residence and the year is now 2003, which concludes season three of For All Mankind. What a finale!