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· Excellent.
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I didn't get the sense the Soviets have anything on Margo, other than her relationship with Sergei. They're just going to use that relationship to their advantage, without her being aware she's an intelligence asset.
Yep. All that matters is that she was willing to pass on information, apparently because of a warm relationship with Sergei. Why not try to exploit that and see what else she might give up?
 

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B) what's so terrible about passing that information on anyway? She maybe prevented one load of cosmonauts from getting blown up (or maybe not, if the Soviets figured it out on their own before an accident happened).
It's possible Buran would have launched without incident without the O-ring fix. However, the fact is she gave them the fix, they successfully launched a repaired shuttle, and that shuttle blockaded the moon.
 

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I didn't get the sense the Soviets have anything on Margo, other than her relationship with Sergei. They're just going to use that relationship to their advantage, without her being aware she's an intelligence asset.
That was also my take.
 

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This was probably the most "science fiction" episode of the show to date. That doesn't disrupt my enjoyment too much as long as the show stays within a reasonable facsimile of our reality, which even this episode did, in my book. So I'll leave the technical critiques to others who care more about that stuff. The things that usually distract me more are storytelling issues, and I have a few such nits to pick with this finale. So before I get to the stuff I liked, some minor issues:
  • It has been obvious for a while that the key to unwinding the US-Soviet tension would be the Apollo-Soyuz handshake. By the end of the last episode, though, things had escalated enough that it was starting to seem unrealistic that the handshake could plausibly trigger a resolution. Tensions escalated even further in this episode, including the outright murder of US marines by the Soviets. I think it all wound up being a little too much weight to put on the handshake, and the resolution came awfully fast from there. So I didn't think it totally worked as a fulcrum -- but I will say that the moment as shown was thrilling and full of heart. A testament to the character work the show did earlier in the season as Dani got to know her cosmonaut counterparts, and they here.
  • The sequence onboard Pathfinder, with the guns drawn, was tense and dramatic -- and also a narrative cheat for dramatic purposes. I don't know when Ed changed his mind about shooting down Buran -- it had to be between him telling Sally to target the shuttle, and him taking her seat -- but you know how you avoid all the gunplay? Ed tells her what he is doing! Maybe we are supposed to think it is pride on his part that he doesn't want her to think he caved because he had a gun on him or something. However, it's just not plausible that he'd draw his own gun and risk a disaster that would kill them all and destroy Pathfinder rather than tell her what he had decided to do. It did make for a great scene, which is why they wrote it that way, but there was quite a bit of dramatic license there.
  • And last, our old friend: Karen's affair with Danny. As expected, they never addressed it after it happened, making it a very awkward creative choice when the two of them are at the funeral together, grieving, and we're just thinking that two episodes ago they were getting it on. I thought that undercut the power of the funeral scene a little bit. And as it indeed turned out, they could have accomplished everything they wanted in the Karen arc by having it be someone else she had slept with, as many of us were saying upthread. That for me is probably the big goof of the season.
None of that dulled the overall impact of this finale; there was so much good stuff that these turn out to be relatively minor objections.
 

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I'm talking about the logistics of the scene. They went for drama over logic (which is OK; it was a good scene). If he intended to blow up Sea Dragon when he relieved Sally, why not just tell her that and let her set the coordinates instead of relieving her? If he decided that after she pulled the gun on him, why not tell her that instead of pulling a gun on her himself and risking a real disaster? The scene doesn't really make sense. But if he had done the logical thing and just told her, then we wouldn't have had a good scene, so they wrote around the logic. It's a nit.
 

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I'm talking about the logistics of the scene. They went for drama over logic (which is OK; it was a good scene). If he intended to blow up Sea Dragon when he relieved Sally, why not just tell her that and let her set the coordinates instead of relieving her? If he decided that after she pulled the gun on him, why not tell her that instead of pulling a gun on her himself and risking a real disaster? The scene doesn't really make sense. But if he had done the logical thing and just told her, then we wouldn't have had a good scene, so they wrote around the logic. It's a nit.
By doing what he did he made it clear that was him and only him that takes responsibility for his actions and the other two do not get hit with insubordination/treason/....
 

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Indeed, and besides, Sally was begging Ed to disobey orders anyway. She wasn't going to then duck her part in it he decided to do so.

Aside: did anyone else find it just slightly weird watching this scene that Sally Ride was a real person? I wonder what her family and her partner would/did think of what they had her do here.
 

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Indeed, and besides, Sally was begging Ed to disobey orders anyway. She wasn't going to then duck her part in it he decided to do so.

Aside: did anyone else find it just slightly weird watching this scene that Sally Ride was a real person? I wonder what her family and her partner would/did think of what they had her do here.
There were many more "Historical Figures" portrayed during Season 1. Gene Kranz, Buzz Aldren, John Glenn, Wernher von Braun as well as Deke Slayton and more that I am not recalling. In the Season 1 finale, Deke's reaction to Ellen's coming out to him was a very powerful scene.

As far as Sally Ride in this timeline, who knows how here character has evolved differently. Deke's character has only had a short amount of time to be affected by losing the "Space Race". Sally Ride was born in 1951, so she was a teen-ager when the Soviets beat the US to the moon. While she became an astronaut, there is no info on how the character has differed from our reality.
 

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I'm aware, of course, of the other real-life figures in play here. Molly Cobb is another one (based on Jerrie Cobb), as was Thomas Paine. Some of their fictional counterparts got stories not dissimilar from their real lives (Slayton, for example, came out from behind a desk and named himself to a mission, the real-life US-Russia "handshake"; Cobb really was a member of the Mercury 13). Curiously, most of the fictional counterparts who have had story time have met with unnatural ends: the show has killed Slayton (in a space accident), Kranz (in an explosion); Paine (on KAL 007); and Cobb doesn't seem destined for a happy ending.

As for Sally Ride, obviously we are watching a character, and so they can have her do whatever they want. But it's a character deliberately taken from a real person, so I was just musing on what that real person's survivors would think of what they had her do here.
 

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I'm aware, of course, of the other real-life figures in play here. Molly Cobb is another one (based on Jerrie Cobb), as was Thomas Paine. Some of their fictional counterparts got stories not dissimilar from their real lives (Slayton, for example, came out from behind a desk and named himself to a mission, the real-life US-Russia "handshake"; Cobb really was a member of the Mercury 13). Curiously, most of the fictional counterparts who have had story time have met with unnatural ends: the show has killed Slayton (in a space accident), Kranz (in an explosion); Paine (on KAL 007); and Cobb doesn't seem destined for a happy ending.

As for Sally Ride, obviously we are watching a character, and so they can have her do whatever they want. But it's a character deliberately taken from a real person, so I was just musing on what that real person's survivors would think of what they had her do here.
If I came across as critical, that was not my intention. I had the same thought a year ago about Deke Slaytors descendants seeing him portrayed.
 

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Agree with most all of that review with the exception of him ripping the Danny/Karen "relationship". I realize I'm in the minority here, but I still don't understand the hatred of that. (maybe it's because I'm a perv :eek:)
I don't necessarily HATE it, though I think there are better ways they could have gone with the same impact both for Karen herself and the marriage. Instead they made it unnecessarily creepy when they didn't have to.

Edit: I should add that not only did they make it creepy, but they didn't address the repercussions of doing something like that, how it would affect Gordo and Tracey and so forth. In fact, they essentially wrote the whole thing off with the death of Gordo/Tracey and then the time jump (unless next season they have her involved with him, which would be interesting how they write that, but my guess is that was it, it won't be mentioned again).
 

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I don't necessarily HATE it, though I think there are better ways they could have gone with the same impact both for Karen herself and the marriage. Instead they made it unnecessarily creepy when they didn't have to.

Edit: I should add that not only did they make it creepy, but they didn't address the repercussions of doing something like that, how it would affect Gordo and Tracey and so forth. In fact, they essentially wrote the whole thing off with the death of Gordo/Tracey and then the time jump (unless next season they have her involved with him, which would be interesting how they write that, but my guess is that was it, it won't be mentioned again).
Sometimes things happen without repercussions other than the fact Ed was pretty grumpy during the last mission. Next season is 10 years or so later so we will find out if they are even together or if she is gone from the story altogether. She has sold the bar.

Frankly it would not surprise if this came from some personal experience with somebody in the writers room.
 

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Sometimes things happen without repercussions other than the fact Ed was pretty grumpy during the last mission. Next season is 10 years or so later so we will find out if they are even together or if she is gone from the story altogether. She has sold the bar.

Frankly it would not surprise if this came from some personal experience with somebody in the writers room.
I'll bet they aren't together if they are still in the show (though I'm guessing their daughter will be involved in the space program somehow, so they will be there). But again, I'll be shocked if it ever came out who she fooled around with.
 
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