Away Season 1 finale recap: Does Atlas make it to Mars?

AWAY (L to R) VIVIAN WU as YU in episode 1010 of AWAY Cr. DIYAH PERA/NETFLIX © 2020
AWAY (L to R) VIVIAN WU as YU in episode 1010 of AWAY Cr. DIYAH PERA/NETFLIX © 2020 /

Away Season 1 finale recap: 10 hours until Mars.

The Away Season 1 finale begins with the worst thing possible. The Atlas burns and explodes upon entry into Mars’s atmosphere. But they wouldn’t really do that to the entire crew so close to the end, would they? No, at least, not yet. It was just Emma’s horrible nightmare. It contrasts heavily with Matt’s pleasant dream of Emma curled into his side rousing him from slumber.

Both of these scenarios are starkly different from Lex’s morning. Isaac spent the night in her bed and she frantically tries to get him out of the house before Matt finds him in her room. She hasn’t told him they’re back together because they’re both on edge about her CCM test results, which haven’t returned yet.

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Lex peeks out her window and sees something that makes her send Isaac out a second entranceway, but not before he shows her a sweet photograph he took of the night sky with Mars visible. It’s perfect for the day ahead, the day the Atlas is supposed to land on the red planet.

When Lex finally makes it downstairs, Matt has finished making yet another giant breakfast in the hopes they can distract themselves from the day ahead.

“Have you not looked out front?”

Ignoring NASA’s warnings, Matt opens the front door to see a horde of media eager to slam microphones and camera’s into the Green family’s faces. Matt doesn’t want Lex to spend the day in that chaos, so he comes up with a better plan.

On the Atlas, the crew checks and rechecks the protocol for the impending landing. Ram warns everyone that the landing will be like “riding a comet,” they will be engulfed in flames due to the speed they will plummet toward Mars.

Emma is rattled by her earlier nightmare but tries to remain focused as she tells them they’ll be landing in Utopia Basin, 300 meters from Pegasus. Then Lu will touch down first, per the international agreement. In ten hours, they will land on Mars.

On Earth, Matt shoots off a final “I’m proud of you” text to Emma and then the cavalry arrives in the form of Melissa and Cassie. The group visits Matt’s friend from rehab, Travis, to go horseback riding. Lex tries to thank Melissa for keeping Isaac a secret, but she’s not thrilled with Lex, especially when she tries to use her pending CCM results as an excuse.

Away Season 1

Away Season 1 finale recap: Final checklists and protocols.

Back in space, Emma and Ram are doing a very tense checklist run-through. Ram tries to lighten the mood by joking that there is an issue with a solar panel. Emma doesn’t find it funny. Attempting to get her to open up, Emma shuts him down.

He misreads what’s going on, thinking she’s upset about the spacewalk rather than her fear they might still die. Regardless, Emma tells Ram whatever he feels for her she does not return. I don’t think I entirely believe that, but it’s her right to reject him for crossing a line. She is his commander and a married woman, after all.

While they do the checklist, Misha, Kwesi, and Lu take many of the dead plants for Mars. Kwesi intends to recycle them into organic material they can usual for an “even better garden” on Mars. Misha tries to make light of his impending blindness.

Kwesi gives him a little inspirational speech, remarking that perhaps his blindness isn’t all bad, maybe he’s ahead of the curve. He’ll learn to see in a different way.  Then Lu asks Kwesi to say a few words before they land, shocking Misha.

“I’m going blind, Lu finds God…”

When Emma interrupts, it’s to bring Lu a report from CNSA. They have new orders for her impending photo op. She is to leave her reflective visor down, it’ll be like she doesn’t exist. But  Emma tells Lu she has leverage here. If they want her to do pose accordingly, she can give them some terms to agree to. Lu tells Emma she wants Mei reinstated to Mission Control.

At the horse farm, Travis announces that he and OT Veronica are getting married and the whole group is invited. Then Matt makes a toast to love, and judging by the way Melissa looks at him, she’s falling for him.

Away Season 1 finale recap: Ram and Melissa contend with their romantic feelings.

After lunch, Matt finds Melissa sitting on a bench near the horses. He’s noticed something weird going on between her and Lex. Melissa finally tells him that Lex spent the night out with Isaac and he’s obviously not happy.

They start arguing, Matt says “we’re supposed to be a team,” and Melissa is about to say, “I’m not your wife!” Then she admits things have become complicated. Matt is totally clueless about her feelings.

“You really can’t see it, can you?”

But before they can hash it out anymore, the hospital calls.

At the same time, Kwesi has detected the tension between Ram and Emma. And he’s not going to let Ram just dismiss it as “nothing,” considering his two pilots are at odds before they’re about to do the most dangerous thing of all.

Ram is all moody and like, “Emma feels nothing for me,” but as Kwesi points out, if that were true, she wouldn’t be compromised. It doesn’t matter what “manner” Emma loves Ram, she loves all of them,  and that’s going to be an extra burden for her as she navigates them through this final, most challenging, hurdle.

Speaking of Emma’s complicated feelings, Alexis sends her a voice message with her results, she doesn’t have CCM! Emma burst into elated tears at the news. Lex tells Emma that Matt already looks like he’s one million pounds lighter. She also tells her that, no matter what happens,  she’s so proud Emma is her mom. It’s probably the best message she could have received ahead of the launch.

Another version of Matt visits Emma, allowing her to discuss the fears she has. There is a hole in the ship. What if they triggered something while retrieving the ice? What if something happens to the crew? What if Matt and Lex have to watch the ship explode?

She even thinks of Columbia and its fated mission. Memory Matt tells her not to think like that. Even if the worst happens, Lex won’t be alone.

Away Season 1 finale recap: Mission Control prepares for the launch.

At Mission Control, the CNSA director issues a statement to Lu, take the photograph as ordered and they will consider her request regarding Mei. It’s unclear if that is the truth or not.

As for Matt, Darlene gives him his spot back on the main floor. She admits it should have been his all along. He’s the one who saved the day, after all. Still, she contends it’s not an apology. Matt tells her that all they can do at this point is watch,  but he’ll be ready to go first thing in the morning.

Also at Mission Control, the families of the crew begin to meet to watch the launch. Natalya and Kwesi’s mother briefly chat, exchanging details their loved ones have told them about Kwesi and Misha. Natalya even tells Kwesi’s mom about the puppet show.

Lex apologizes to Melissa for asking her to keep the secret and admits she loves Isaac,  just as Matt arrives. Acknowledging his daughter’s feelings, he tells her to invite Isaac to the launch.  As she runs off, he tells Melissa it’s okay for her to feel how she feels. And then admits how nervous he is for the launch.

Either he’ll hear Emma’s voice when the countdown reaches zero, or he won’t. Melissa reassures him things will be okay.

Away Season 1 finale recap: The Atlas crew makes their final preparations.

It’s so hard to pick which crew dynamic is my favorite, but Misha and Lu is up there. As she helps him into his suit, Lu admits that her request about Mei will likely be denied. Misha gives her some advice.

There is no Motherland, borders don’t exist. It’s a  beautiful speech that moves Lu to tears and in return, she tells Misha that he has adapted better than any of them, even with his increased blindness.  She says he might be the “first true Martian.”

At the same time, Ram helps Emma into her suit and she tries to apologize for her previous shortness. Ram tells her she has nothing to apologize for, but he does want her to admit what’s bothering her so he can offer words of comfort. Whatever happens to them, they got there together. If they die, it’s for something they were willing to die for, and none of it is Emma’s fault or burden to bear.

Then Kwesi delivers his speech as an overture, the crew settling into the ship prepped for the launch. Ground sets up some satellites so the crew can deliver a final message to their families ahead of their descent.

Away Season 1 finale recap: Houston, Atlas, touchdown confirmed

Of course, when Ground receives the message, their descent will have already begun since they’re ahead. Emma tells Matt and Lex not to worry because they’re going to be okay. Kwesi thanks his mother for everything she’s taught him throughout their life.

Misha tells his grandkids that he hopes they are proud of him, but even prouder of their mom because she’s his hero. Lu tells her son that she loves him and wants him to find something that he loves and that makes him happy, the same way she loves what she does.

Ram sends a final message to Rohit, saying “we made it to Mars.” Emma reaches over to hold his hand during the message, as Matt watches.

The entirety of their final satellite video is spliced with footage of the Atlas making its descent to Mars. And indeed, as Ram said it would,  the entire thing is engulfed in flames. The thrusters engage, and they’ve done it! The Atlas has landed safely on Mars!

“Houston, Atlas, touchdown confirmed.”

The entire crew slowly remove their helmets, each one overcome with emotion as they process their achievement.

Each member of the crew steps onto the red dirt, basking in the beauty of Mars’s “magnificent desolation.” And even better, Pegasus has safely arrived to keep them all alive.

After an agonizing wait, Ground finally receives Emma’s transmission and the room erupts into cheers. They also receive the first official image from Mars.

It’s of the entire crew. It looks like Lu took Misha’s speech to heart, after all. The CNSA director is not happy, I wonder if breaking the international agreement will be addressed next season? I do hope Netflix renews this awesome show, I’d love to see the Atlas crew’s journey continue now that they’ve finally made it to Mars.

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What did you think of the Away Season 1 finale? Do you want a Season 2? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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