‘For All Mankind’ Season 3, Episode 9: Recap and Ending, Explained: What Was the President Wilson Controversy?

After the disastrous landslide, all humans on Mars work together to restore the MSAM so they can return to Earth. Danny heals through the restoration process and is dedicated to fixing Popeye, the MSAM. “For all Mankind”, episode 9 of season 3 also deals with the first Martian, the offspring of Kelly and Alexei Poletov. The news caused a stir on Earth, with people coming up with various ways to celebrate the unexpected. Along with this, President Wilson continued to be in trouble after Congress indicated his knowledge of Larry’s extramarital affair. The episode ends with an unexpected twist, making life on Mars all the more complicated. While the first half of the season engaged in the competition between the Soviets, Americans, and members of Helios to be the first human on Mars, the second half is a bit of a pain. “For All Mankind” tends to be preachy, and it’s now established that in all perils, America/NASA will come to the rescue, as usual. Of course, there’s nothing to complain about, given that it’s an American show, but it would be great if the space exploration dream wasn’t dominated by little dramas.


The first Martian

Ed Baldwin can’t wait to get his grandson home and he takes care of Kelly while they’re stuck at the NASA base. The conditions on Mars could be a risk to the unborn child, but it’s a truth they’ve all had to live with. Kelly is due to give birth after boarding Phoenix in two months, though the pressure suit she will wear when launching the MSAM remains debatable. Back on Earth, some celebrated the news, while others found it controversial.


President Wilson controversy

Congress was after the NASA fund, and they wanted President Wilson to support their interests. Ellen knew that once Congress had direct authority over NASA’s budget, it would limit as many space programs as possible. As an astronaut, she couldn’t let that happen. She added that she would veto it if necessary, showing how absolutely against it she was. Congress wanted to meet the needs of workers who had lost their jobs to the new energy source, helium 3. While Ellen’s passion for exploration was commendable, she also had to solve the crisis the people of his country.

Congressman Dick warned Ellen that if she did not sign an agreement on their proposal, then her husband’s secret would become national news since he had lied about it under oath. Lying under oath resulted in imprisonment and Congress would later impeach President Wilson for trying to hide the truth. He mentioned that his office at the White House consisted of a tape recorder that recorded every conversation that took place in the room, and they checked the tapes the day Larry was questioned about his affair. Ellen was shocked to learn about the tape recorder and she knew they couldn’t get away with it. Larry offered to go out in public. He wanted to do the right thing instead of coming up with plans to cover up the truth as usual. He thought he was already the laughingstock of the public and that his coming out would be another reason to make the public laugh. But he knew his confession would help Ellen not be impeached, and he wanted to protect his position.

The White House held a press conference and Larry took the stage to speak his truth. He struggled to find his words, and that’s when Ellen joined him on stage. She took over the stand and said she was gay and had been since the day she was born. She confessed to lying to the American people, believing no one would accept her for who she was, but in the process she lost her true self. She forgot to fight for the rights of the most vulnerable populations, who need her support more than ever. She also failed to defend the rights and dignity of Will Tyler. Many celebrated her exit in the form of rallies and marches, while the rest staged counter-protests, believing she would be a dangerous influence. After her announcement, she signed an executive order allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the military. Will Tyler would receive a Presidential Medal for his service on Mars and his courage in standing up for gay rights. Ellen Wilson’s courageous stand not only helped her live with herself, but also strengthened the lives of gay Americans whose voices would no longer go unheard.


Aleida digs deep

Aleida could not let go of her doubts about a NASA member’s association with the Soviets. Her garage became her lair to unravel the mystery, and she had a wall plastered with information and photos to substantiate her case. She invited Billy to her lair and asked him to take a look at her theory regarding Margo Madison’s involvement with the Russians. She hoped it would turn out to be wrong because Margo was her mentor and she hated herself for doubting her, but Bill pointed out that her doubt was justified. He advised her to talk to the FBI as it was a security breach they needed to investigate, but Aleida was unwilling to report it to them. The next day, Bill introduced her to an FBI agent, and he had already briefed her on the whole situation. Aleida was irritated by Bill’s courage to make such a crucial decision on the matter without consulting her. She refused to cooperate with the FBI, although she was informed that the FBI had already begun to investigate and it was an open case. Aleida was completely torn; she didn’t wish to ruin Margo’s life, but she did it nonetheless. Maybe approaching Margo directly would have caused less trouble, but now the matter was out of her control.


Season 3, Episode 9: The Ending Explained

The rendezvous radar was destroyed, and without it the MSAM would be unable to dock with Phoenix. Upon opening the box, it was found that the main integration board was destroyed and the spare part was in Phoenix. They had to find a spare as soon as possible or they would lose the launch window and be stuck on Mars. Sojourner had no rendezvous radar as they had no docking plan; therefore, they had to look for other sources. The Soviet commander informed the Americans that they had Kars units all over the surface of Mars; these are sample return probes that were launched. The only problem was that the nearest Kars unit was 1500 km from the NASA base, which meant they could only get it after a month of travel. As this was not a viable option given that Kelly Baldwin had to be in Phoenix in time, they investigated the dating system locations that the Russians were selling to other countries. The closest belonged to the People’s Republic of Korea. Taking the docking system from North Korea without their permission was a risky operation, but they still had to go ahead.

As Danielle Poole traveled to the North Korean probe site, she was informed that Kelly Baldwin was in critical condition. Her heart was beating faster than usual and she was unconscious. Doctor Mayakovsky determined that she had preeclampsia. Therefore, Poole needed to return with the Kars system as soon as possible. After reaching the site, they noticed that there were footsteps on the surface, indicating the presence of other people. As they tried to figure out the situation, they were met by a North Korean man with a gun in his hand.

The secret existence of North Koreans on Mars will add to the problems of others. This also meant that there was a fourth contestant who managed to survive on the planet unbeknownst to the others. But what remains important is that Poole gets the Kurs unit, especially for Kelly, who had to board Phoenix at the right time to give birth.


Learn more: ‘For All Mankind’ Season 3, Episode 8: Recap and Ending, Explained – How were Danny and Edward saved?


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