In the last twenty minutes or so of “And Here’s To You” a whole lot happens very quickly: Karen and Danny consummate their “will they/won’t they” tension, which nobody wanted, but what we got, nevertheless. The Marines shoot two cosmonauts when they think they’re reaching for a gun, but they discover in horror moments later they were actually reaching for a translation card. Shots have been fired both domestically and in space.
Speaking of shots fired, Aleida got shot once between seasons 1 and 2, when she was homeless and dumpster diving. We learn this because she confronts Bill Strausser and calls him “Mr. Peanut,” recalling the story of how he peed his pants during Gemini 8. He up and quits, and Margo makes Aleida go and apologize to him and try and bring him back. Her opening up to someone, anyone, seems to soften Bill, and he seemingly will be back at NASA next episode — and maybe Aleida even has a new friend, which is nice to see.
Molly’s going blind, thanks to a rare form of glaucoma, caused by her extreme dose of radiation at the start of the season. She finally tells Wayne what she did, and he doesn’t seem angry with his wife, just quietly devastated by the possibility of losing her after such a long time of thinking he might lose her, but never actually losing her. Molly and Wayne are easily one of the more stable couples on the show next to Karen and Ed, and it’s looking like Karen and Ed might have reached an endpoint. Molly also tries to get as close as possible to space in her personal jet, and that just seems dangerous, but she definitely knows that.
That’s if Danny has his way, who confesses that he’s in love with Karen and always has been after they have sex–wait, what?! Danny, bless your heart, but that’s not true. Karen tells him that too, and he’s very sad about her rejection, but he takes it on the chin. We hope, at least. It’d be terrible to see Danny go off the deep end like his dad, but somehow, I think more of Tracy rubbed off on him than Gordo.
Speaking of Gordo, in “And There’s to You” he finally makes it back to the moon, and he seems relatively cool with it. He doesn’t have any major freak-outs or even minor ones. He does find out he’s bunking near Tracy, and discovers her cigarette smoking, and even partakes in it. He also reveals his master plan to win her back, which all seems a little rushed, but it’s Gordo, and Gordo is nothing if not rushed. “Catch me if you can,” Tracy teases. It’s a nice moment between two characters who have mostly been apart this season, staring at each other across a massive void.
Kelly almost meets her father, who is a cook at a Vietnamese restaurant. She does meet his daughter, presumably her half-sister, who refers to herself as an “all-American girl,” which clearly causes Kelly pain, because she thought the same of herself at the start of the season. Doubt is clearly starting to seep in on that front. While her meeting her father properly would have been nice, Kelly’s clearly not comfortable with that yet, and she probably never will be. She’s in an extremely difficult position, trapped between two worlds. Will she choose one or the other or forge her own path? Her drive towards Annapolis seems to suggest she’s choosing Karen and Ed’s world, but maybe that will change by the end of the season.
In minor storylines: Margo and Sergei have a cute moment as the two of them get stuck in the model capsule which simulates the handshake between Dani and her cosmonaut counterpart. The For All Mankind folks are clearly setting up something between these two, and Sergei also took Margo’s warning about the O-rings seriously, so trust is forming. But is that a good thing? I don’t know if we’ll ever get the answer to that.
Also, Pathfinder is officially getting armed, and Sally Ride is pretty pissed about that, but she clearly wants to be on the mission. Ellen has to choose whether she’ll be the new NASA Administrator — she’s Reagan’s first choice — or continue her newly revived relationship with Pam. “And Here’s To You” is filled with difficult choices, and some characters take a better path than others.
Of course, two cosmonauts just got shot, and one of them died burning to death in his suit, so things are about to get even more intense on the moon and back on Earth, too.
Watch For All Mankind Season 2 Fridays on Apple TV+.