“We’re human beings with the blood of a million savage years on our hands, but we can stop it! We can admit that we’re killers, but we’re not going to kill today. That’s all it takes… knowing that we won’t kill today.” — James T. Kirk, “A Taste of Armageddon”, Star Trek: The Original Series, as quoted by Dani Poole in For All Mankind’s “Triage”
Welp. A lot happened all at once in For All Mankind’s “Triage,” and most of it not good. Where do we even start? Let’s start with the two astro-spouses who had all the domestic drama this week, despite the fact that there were some much more pressing matters at hand. Karen and Ed might be splitting up, and it looked like Molly and Wayne would be splitting up, until they weren’t thank goodness. Sometimes Ed and Karen can be exhausting, but Molly and Wayne have always seemingly been in a deeply supportive relationship for them both.
Karen admits to Ed she slept with someone but doesn’t tell him who, and this is on the eve of his now-armed Pathfinder launch which just seems…bad, Karen. Bad. She wants counseling, and she accuses Ed of living in a black and white mindset while he’s supposed to be living in the grey, with her…Karen seems to be regressing, but she is right–Ed lives pretty solidly in the mindset that he’s the good guy.And he follows through on her accusation, as he attempts to sleep with a random woman before the launch, but he is unable to go through with it. Honestly, that’s probably a good thing, but it does show how Ed can’t break free of his very standard moral mindset.
Molly’s trying to “Triage” her failing eyesight, even going so far as to sign up for an experimental treatment to halt her coming blindness. Wayne thinks the treatment is bull, and he tells her that, in a strange boldness from him, but he’s clearly desperate. He doesn’t want to lose her, but he’ll leave if he has to. Thankfully, the idea of losing Wayne breaks Molly’s will on the possibly hazardous treatment. She comes back as he’s in the process of moving out: “Hope you got a thing for old blind ladies.” “Are you kidding? White canes and dark glasses turn me on.” At least Molly and Wayne are thriving…kind of.
Pam and Ellen also split up, once again, because Pam overhears Larry talking to a Reagan strategist about Ellen’s future–she could be the first woman President, the guy says. Pam decides to leave and claim she wants to be with her partner who she left at the beginning of the season to be Ellen. This breaks Ellen’s heart, and it does beg the question — are any of the queer folk on this show ever going to be happy? I kinda hope third time’s the charm for Pam and Ellen, next season or even next episode, but somehow…I think this is the end. Hopefully, Ellen can move on and find someone else! Or become this timeline’s the first woman President. Both would be good, either would be fine.
Tracy and Gordo are rekindling their relationship in “Triage”, just as the events of the previous episode come back to bite everyone on Jamestown in the ass. The Russians are rightfully pissed that two of their cosmonauts have been downed, one fatally. The cosmonaut who lives shocks everyone when he wakes up and claims asylum. But then the Russians come to Jamestown and rain hell, resulting in the death of at least one astronaut and the breach of the base. That’s how we end the episode, setting up one helluva of a cliffhanger for the season finale to resolve.
There’s one last part, though, which is honestly the most important. Dani and her Apollo-Soyuz mission finally start, and despite all the death and chaos and pain, she gives one of the most inspirational lines of the episode — not that it came from the pen of Ronald D. Moore or Bradley Thompson and David Weddle, the writers of “Triage”. The words, which kicked off the review, are actually from Star Trek: The Original Series, specifically, Robert Hamner and Gene L. Coon, and the episode was “A Taste of Armageddon” which is about a simulated war that demands actual lives. Hmm, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Dani launches on the Apollo spacecraft, and her Russian counterparts on Soyuz, just before the attack on Jamestown.
It can only be assumed that the season finale will end in pain of some kind for most of our main characters, but I’m hopeful a few — Dani in particular — will triumph.
Watch For All Mankind Season 2 Fridays on Apple TV+.