WARNING: Contains SPOILERS for For All Mankind season 4, episode 2, “Have a Nice Sol.”
- Margo is arrested due to a military coup in the Soviet Union, which poses serious risks for her.
- Aleida quits NASA and teams up with Kelly to continue their Mars research. They seek private funding and may approach Helios or its former CEO.
- Danielle observes issues in the running of Happy Valley on Mars and aims to make the necessary changes. Miles discovers the harsh reality of life on Mars, discovering discontent among workers. Ed embodies dismissiveness towards workers.
For All Mankind season 4, episode 2, “Have a Nice Sol” reveals some harsh truths about life on Mars as Miles Dale (Toby Kebbell) begins his new career at Happy Valley. Miles and Danielle Poole (Krys Marshall) both arrive on Mars, but have wildly different experiences of the Red Planet. Where Dani is given a hero’s welcome, Miles discovers the inequality at the very core of Happy Valley. Meanwhile, back on Earth, the ramifications of the failed asteroid mission and the death of Grigory Kuznetsov (Lev Gorn) impact the lives of Aleida Rosales (Coral Peña) and Kelly Baldwin (Cynthy Wu).
For All Mankind season 4’s alternate history also gets a political update with some troubling developments in the Soviet Union that have serious implications for the freedom of Margo Madison (Wrenn Schmidt). By the time of For All Mankind season 4, episode 2’s cliffhanger, Margo unwittingly places herself in serious danger. Where FAM season 4, episode 1, “Glasnost” laid the groundwork, episode 2, “Have a Nice Sol” is where this season’s story truly begins, by exploring the wealth divide and political divisions both in Happy Valley and back on Earth.
5 Margo Is Arrested As The Soviet Union Faces Crisis
Does It Connect To Episode 1’s Mysterious Russian Woman?
Having been ostracized from Roscosmos in For All Mankind season 4, episode 1, Margo is largely absent from “Have a Nice Sol.” In FAM season 4, episode 2’s final scenes, attention turns back to Margo as she awakes on a very strange day in the Soviet Union. All the channels on the TV are screening a performance of Swan Lake, while the streets are abandoned and there’s the sound of distant sirens. Crucially, the black car that was presumably spying on Margo last week has now been replaced, heavily implying that there’s an ongoing military coup.
In “our” timeline, amidst the dissolution of the Soviet Union, President Mikhail Gorbachev faced an attempted coup by Communist Party hardliners in 1991. Known as the August Coup, it was a crucial moment in Russian politics that led to Gorbachev losing much of his influence, laying the groundwork for the rise of President Boris Yeltsin. It appears that a similar coup is now taking place in For All Mankind‘s season 4 timeline. How this will affect Margo’s secretive life in the Soviet Union remains to be seen, but by the end of the episode, she’s arrested for coming to the aid of a newspaper seller. It remains to be seen if she’ll be unmasked as a US defector, or if the mysterious woman from last week will intervene and come to her aid.
4 Aleida Quits NASA And Teams Up With Kelly Baldwin
They Have A Plan To Continue Kelly’s Research
The tragic death of Grigory opened old wounds for Aleida, who eventually decides that she cannot return to NASA. A traumatic flashback to the Johnson Space Center bombing in the office of Eli Hobson (Daniel Stern) proves to Aleida that she’ll never fully move on from the traumatic events of eight years ago. Meanwhile, Kelly Baldwin had her own run-in with Hobson, when she was told that there would be funding cuts to her research into life on Mars. Following the Kronos asteroid disaster, NASA is under orders to focus more money and resources into For All Mankind‘s asteroid mining project.
A chance meeting between Kelly and Aleida in the former site of The Outpost – now a Mexican cantina – changes both their lives. Over chips and tequila shots, the two decide to go it alone, reinvigorating Aleida’s ambitions, and providing a valuable lifeline to Kelly’s lifelong goal. While Kelly slept off her hangover, Aleida came up with a business strategy to seek private funding to keep the Mars project alive. Now that they’re seeking private funding, it seems likely that Kelly and Aleida will look to Helios or perhaps even its deposed CEO, Dev Ayasa (Edi Gathegi) for assistance.
3 Danielle Begins Fixing Happy Valley’s Problems
Mars Has Changed Drastically Since She Left
Despite her previous misgivings, Danielle seems happy to be back on Mars in For All Mankind season 4, episode 2. Catching up with old friend and colleague Ed Baldwin (Joel Kinnaman) a.k.a. “old man Mars“, the two reflect on how far the colony has come in eight years. They have designated catering staff, barista-style coffee, and even an apple tree. It’s a far cry from the barren rock they first settled on in For All Mankind season 3. However, Dani’s fresh perspective identifies some key issues with the running of Happy Valley, that she feels are holding back the asteroid mining project.
In honor of Kuznetsov’s death, Dani wants to ensure that he didn’t die in vain, and so quickly sets about turning things around. Firstly, she tasks Ed with putting together a team to fix a malfunctioning satellite to increase the colony’s bandwith and improve communications with home. While Ed appears to have become set in his ways, Dani reminds him of how they were once left to scramble around on the frontier in their early NASA days. It’s clear that Dani was the perfect choice to take over the running of Happy Valley, even if her radical reforms are a way to avoid confronting what happened to Danny Stevens after For All Mankind season 3.
2 Miles Discovers The Truth About Life On Mars
Happy Valley Isn’t As Happy As It Seems
Miles quickly learns some harsh truths about what it means to live and work on Mars in For All Mankind season 4. Firstly, due to the delays to the asteroid mining program, he’s assigned to a maintenance job, fixing the base’s air conditioning units. Instead of being able to set foot on Mars, Miles is instead berthed in floor -3, with only a photograph of the Red Planet to look at. Things go from bad to worse for Miles when he discovers that he’s essentially indebted to Helios, who take 30% of his wages for his uniform, food, and board.
Samantha (Tyner Rushing) tells him that he can’t even quit, as he’ll owe the corporation hundreds of thousands of dollars for shipping him to Mars and back. It’s a far cry from the Disney movie idyll of life on Mars presented to the folks back home. While Dani has fixed some of the issues with communication and entertainment, it’s clear that there are still simmering resentments between the Helios workers and the M-7 astronauts. This tension has only been exacerbated by the death of Parker, who, unlike Kuznetsov, is not being publicly memorialized by the rest of the base. It remains to be seen how this disparity will play out in future episodes of For All Mankind season 4.
1 Ed Looks Down On Helios Workers Stationed On Mars
They’re Just Trying To Make A Buck
For All Mankind‘s Ed Baldwin doesn’t have time for the complaints of workers like Miles, who he dismisses as people out to make a buck. A dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist, Ed laments how people used to go to space for their country, not for comfort and financial gain. The irony of this is clearly lost on him as he wolfs down a freshly made Fettuccine Alfredo in the canteen, while Miles has to contend with a suspicious-looking meat loaf. Ed even gives Miles a public dressing-down for complaining about his wages, trying to give the new recruit a sense of perspective by pointing out that they’re on another planet that is trying to kill them.
The problem with this is that it all rings rather hollow. Ed Baldwin is now held up as “old man Mars” and has become a legend. He’s lost touch with what it’s really like to be at the frontier of space exploration, because he’s living in relative comfort in Happy Valley. While Dani reminds him of their own struggles back in the day, it seems like Ed still has some way to go to understanding the plight of Miles and the others. Ed embodies the dismissive attitude that Helios has towards its workers, despite needing them to keep Happy Valley running. As For All Mankind season 4 continues, it will be interesting to see how this social inequality plays out on Mars, and where veteran astronauts Ed and Dani will stand in the conflict.
For All Mankind season 4 streams Fridays on AppleTV+.