For All Mankind - Bent Bird Television 

Five Thoughts On For All Mankind‘s “Bent Bird”

By | August 6th, 2022
Posted in Television | % Comments

Hello and welcome back, Multiversity readers, for another recap of Apple TV’s For All Mankind. “Bent Bird” is an episode that kept me wondering if Apollo 24 would make it to relieve Edward Baldwin of his solo time on the moon. If Karen Baldwin would be able to bring herself back from her son’s death? Is anything going to go right for these characters? Let’s find out!

1. Dud On Arrival
We start this episode with Apollo 24 already launched and in space, waiting to hit their final stride to get to the moon and relieve Edward Baldwin of his solo moon mission. Here comes the twist, the ship’s engine will not ignite. After Houston does some diagnostic work, they find out that the ship has a bad board in the control circuit, and they’re going to send Apollo 25 to help them repair it. This was an interesting twist because I knew there wouldn’t be a smooth switch to help Ed but not even being able to make it to the moon after making it out of Earth’s orbit is a fun twist. Harrison Liu makes the sentiment, “at least we’re not dead,” which are always the worst final thoughts before something deadly comes to fruition. It also feels like a punch to the gut for Ellen Wilson because no matter the cause of the delay, it will come back to the fact that a woman leading the team caused this issue.

2. Karen’s Realization
As Shane Baldwin’s death sinks into Karen Baldwin, she begins to slip into a depression by not wanting to leave her bed after realizing the last clothes she’ll ever buy him are what he’ll be buried in. Tracy Stevens has to head into space, and Karen is left with the other wives of the astronauts of Apollo 24 to help her. Once she gains the strength to shower and talk to them, she can barely look at them and instead goes to Molly Cobb’s husband to talk about how she feels. The truth is that with Shane’s death, she no longer has an idea of who she is or what she wants. Her whole life, she’s wanted to be a part of an adventure only to realize that she hasn’t been doing any of her own, instead just living vicariously through her husband and more as ground control than a co-pilot. This is the point we as the audience have been waiting for in that we get to see who Karen will become now that she has her eyes open to the world.

3. The Truth Won’t See Her Free
Gordo Stevens continues his growth to become a more full and likable character by sharing a breakthrough he had. Gordo wants to tell the world the truth that Danielle Poole is the real hero of their mission and not him, and she was the one who was willing to break her arm to keep the eyes off of his mental breakdown. Danielle isn’t even a little happy to hear it because she knows that if he does that, she’ll be grounded for being a liar and never get the opportunity to go back into space. Danielle knows the truth, and that is more than enough for her. It becomes almost painful to watch as this man tries to change the narrative to help her but doesn’t quite realize her position as an African-American woman who has had to work tirelessly for this opportunity, despite being more than qualified. It’s a bittersweet moment because this man has been trying to get his life in order and become a better person, and every time he opens up about it, he either gets laughed at or shut down.

4. Apollo 25
25’s mission goes from a repair job for 24 to a rescue mission for one of their own. After Molly Cobb fixes the damaged, bad board circuitry, the engine of 24 takes off like they had tried to engage at the very beginning of the episode. 25 is tethered onto it, but Molly manages to snip the cord to help keep the ship from taking any more damage. The only bad thing is it also cost her a rope back to her crew. While mission control doesn’t want them to risk two astronauts for the sake of one, both Gordo and Tracy go against Margo and push through. It’s an intense scene watching as panic sets into every character and the audience, uncertain whether they’ll rescue Molly, especially once her flashlight goes out and they have no more visual on her. Thankfully between Margo and Molly, they use the rendevous lights to find her and bring her back aboard.

5. Ed’s Space Warfare
Since the news of his son, Ed has been on the moon, letting himself and the moon case become disorganized, but he continues his duties. During a trip on the rover, he notices the crane in motion going into the crater along with a Russian rover a short distance away. Ed tries to confront the cosmonaut when he returns to the surface level, but they pull a pick ax out of their suit, and Ed leaves and lets him go. In the last scene of the episode, Ed is in the base and hears a knocking at his command base, he knows it’s not 24, and it has to be the cosmonaut because Ed messed with the rover leaving him stranded on the moon with only a little oxygen. It seems like he’s going to let the cosmonaut in, not to be cruel but ultimately ends up killing him in the airlock. It’s a crazy moment because we know that Ed has been teetering with his sanity since the news of his son, and it seems like as the day progresses and less communication he has with the outside world, he is only going to go more off the deep end.

//TAGS | 2022 Summer TV Binge | For All Mankind

Alexander Manzo

Alexander is born and raised in the Bay Area. When not reviewing comics for Multiversity he's usually writing his own review for his Instagram @comicsandbeerreport. He's also a sports fan so feel free to hit him up on twitter with any and all sports takes @a_manzo510.


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