For All Mankind season 1, episode 8 recap: Rupture

For All Mankind experiences life’s version of turbulence as the Baldwin family faces a tragedy.

For All Mankind isn’t just a show about space travel or the remarkable accomplishments that come as a result of it. There is something much deeper and riveting at play here as we saw at the end of episode seven. Up until now, I haven’t been convinced that the Baldwin family has much of a role to play in the series. But now, everything has changed, and at the forefront of it is the incredible Shantel VanSanten who plays Karen Baldwin.

We’ve seen VanSanten in shows like One Tree Hill and The Flash, but this is a side of her talent I have never experienced before. She’s so dynamic and brings such a strong sense of emotion to Karen’s devastation. I was really in awe of her during this episode!

During “Rupture”, the goal is to keep Ed in the dark about what’s happened with his son, Shane, who is in the hospital, essentially brain-dead. It’s quite the conundrum on what should be done, as Ed is floating off in space on the moon, and is awaiting some form of rescue. He has no idea his son’s life hangs in the balance, and everyone at NASA, including Karen, are choosing to hide this from him. After all, what good could it really do?

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The hope here is that Shane will indeed recover and Ed will be none the wiser. But, of course, For All Mankind, had another story in mind. A far more devastating one, to say the least.

All the while, the other characters have their own slate of issues to deal with. Gordo is back from the moon, and given the level of anxiety he was experiencing there, NASA would not be pleased to know he’s hiding it from them.

He decides to be a bit ballsy and visit a therapist that is not connected with NASA, but I have a feeling it could backfire if the news got out he’s experiencing mental health issues.

But hey, at least he and Tracy seem to be on the path towards reconnection. Communication really does wonders for a relationship, doesn’t it? I would say so.

In order to get Ed back on Earth, Apollo 24 is working hard to get up there and get him out of there. The crew includes Ellen, Deke, and Harry, who come with a distinct set of problems in terms of their background. You see, things aren’t quite as progressive even though it’s an alternate history type of world. There’s sexism, racism, and everything in between, and with a woman, an elderly man, and a Korean man heading off on the next mission, the public isn’t exactly responding with cheers.

Meanwhile, Aleida is kicking some major butt with her work in math and science and the work she’s doing with Margo. In fact, she even manages to get into a pretty solid program that would all but guarantee her entry into space one day. However, Aleida seems to be a bit hesitant about the whole ordeal, because she’d have to leave her school and her new boyfriend behind.

While Shane is fighting for his life back on Earth, Ed is busy dealing with some Russian interference on the moon. He’s found some sort of surveillance device embedded near the ice mines. Are the Russians doing their own thing and trying to keep an eye on the Americans? Will they find some way to surpass them without their knowledge?

Do you know what really gets to me during this For All Mankind episode? At this point, Ed is trying to fight off whatever he believes is going on with the Russians, but he has no idea that the entire world is aware of Shane’s deteriorating condition. Even the Russians know what’s going on and send him a letter of sympathy, which he believes is just a hoax to get him frazzled up.

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The gig is up, however, when Karen gets another opinion and learns that Shane will never recover. At this point, there’s no reason to hide what’s going on so she does the most difficult thing she’s ever had to–tell Ed their son is going to die.

What did you think of this For All Mankind episode? Share your comments below!

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