Away Season 1, Episode 8 recap: Vital Signs

AWAY (L to R) in episode 108 of AWAY Cr. DIYAH PERA/NETFLIX © 2020
AWAY (L to R) in episode 108 of AWAY Cr. DIYAH PERA/NETFLIX © 2020 /

Away Season 1, Episode 8 recap: Pegasus loses signal.

As rations being to run low aboard the Atlas, the crew grows increasingly worried about the odds of their survival in Away Season 1, Episode 8. The supply ship, Pegasus, is due to land on Mars. Inside is enough food and water for the team to survive for the remainder of their mission.

Pegasus inches closer and closer to breaching Mars’s atmosphere as all of Ground waits with bated breath for the news. The crew aboard the Atlas is even antsier, as their updates are significantly delayed. Upon reaching its destination, the radio signal to Pegasus suddenly goes dead. Ground scrambles to reconnect, but to no avail.

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The Pegasus seems lost. Without a signal, it’s impossible to know what happened to the shuttle. It’s possible it landed on Mars just fine, but there’s no concrete way to be sure of that. Any present rovers on the red planet are too far away to get a signal.

Even though Pegasus II is in orbit as a backup plan, it won’t reach the planet fast enough.

At first, I thought, well why didn’t they send Pegasus II out way earlier?  But I forgot, the Atlas wasn’t supposed to be on their back-up system for so long, or at all!

Considering the Atlas is already on their back-up water system, the max it would last is another ten weeks, and that’s a best-case scenario. They’re guaranteed a slow death by dehydration.

But then Matt puts his thinking cap on and comes up with another option. If they redirect the Atlas so it slingshots around Mars, getting an extra thrust from the planet’s gravitational pull, then it could meet with Pegasus II and dock the shuttle. However, that would ultimately mean they would return home, abandoning the journey to Mars altogether.

Most of the international directors agree, albeit reluctantly, that it is the best course of action to ensure the astronauts are safely returned home. However, the Chinese are adamant the mission continues, even if it means certain death. They would rather Lu die a hero than a coward.

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Away Season 1, Episode 8 recap: The crew has doubts about Emma’s commitment.

Lu and Emma’s problems come to a head in Away Season 1, Episode 8, as Lu seems to agree with the overall sentiment of dying on Mars rather than failing the mission. No, she doesn’t want to die, of course she wants to see her son again, but she also doesn’t want to fail. We learn a little more about her background in this episode. Lu’s father was appalled that his wife gave birth to a daughter instead of a son.

It’s why she was named “Lu,” they intended her to be a boy. Her father believed his wife had jinxed them be preemptively naming her Lu. All she has ever wanted, was for her dad to be proud of her. It’s the advice she gives Misha about his daughter, simply to tell her he’s proud. But will he get that chance? Maybe.

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While doing repairs on the back-up water system, Lu is inspired by Misha’s ability to “see” things without really seeing, he can sense by touch. Lu realizes they could access an old Mars rover called InSight to sense if Pegasus entered the atmosphere. The seismometer would detect a sonic boom and if they hear it, then that means Pegasus landed, albeit it could still explode, but it’s a step toward continuing their mission.

The only problem is, the crew has doubts that Emma is as committed as she once was. Twice now she has said she wished she had returned home. So they turn to Ram,  her second-in-command, for the codes needed to access InSight.

When Emma finds out, she feels betrayed, but then Lu delivers an emotional speech about how Emma made her believe in hope when she launched herself off the spaceship, told the world to believe in impossible things, and entered Ram’s room when he was sick.

She has earned Lu’s respect throughout their journey and made her believe in something behind dignity and duty. Hope is worth taking a chance on, and the crew is ready to die on Mars if that’s where the mission takes them.

Moved by Lu’s speech, Emma tells them to use InSight. Then they hear it, a single thud that reignites all of their hopes. Not only is it a solid sound, but it only happens once, which, as Misha says, means Pegasus did not blow up. It probably is where it was supposed to be all along!

Away Season 1, Episode 8 recap: Lex gets tested for CCM.

The Earth storyline in this episode is a little slim aside from Matt trying to concoct a back-up plan. Lex talks to Isaac for the first time since her accident and dismayed when he breaks things off between them. He feels really guilty that he indirectly caused her accident, even though Lex doesn’t blame him. It was her decision to get on the bike.

Isaac thinks his dad would be disappointed in him. Lex is upset by all the unknowns in her life. Will her mom survive? Will her dad ever walk again? Will Isaac ever talk to her again? It’s nice to remember that she is just a teenage girl and she has a lot on her plate. But, as she tells Melissa, there is at least one answer she can get — whether she has CCM like Matt.

It’s a  scary possibility.  In a previous episode, Lex said she didn’t want to know. When she visits Matt to tell him what she wants, she admits it has been bothering her more than she initially expected. So, they go to the doctor together so Lex can find out, once and for all. She sends an email to tell Emma this, who seems to take it as a sign that the crew is doing the right thing. If her daughter can be brave and face the unknown, then so can she.

“We’re not coming yet. First, we’re going to Mars.”

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Learn more about the real events that inspired Away in an interview with creator Andrew Hinderaker.

All ten episodes of Away Season 1 are now streaming on Netflix.