For All Mankind – S02E07 – Don’t Be Cruel [Transcript]

Ellen is challenged by her new role. Margo's allegiances are put to the test. Karen explores new opportunities - personally and professionally.
For All Mankind - S02E07 - Don't Be Cruel

Original release date: April 2, 2021

* * *

[jazz playing]

[Paine] He said it with a straight face.

[Ellen] No.

[both chuckle]


Oh. You want one– anot–

No. I think two is my limit.

With that attitude, the Koreans are gonna eat us alive.

Are we negotiating an East Asian space alliance, or is this gonna be a drinking contest?

Can’t have one without the other. Not in Seoul.


You thought the UN delegates were party animals. Just wait.

I’m exhausted just thinking about it.


You’re gonna be great.


You were born to do this job.

You know, Tom, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something.

I think I might–

You’re pregnant.

No. [chuckles]

No. [chuckles] It’s not that.

Uh, I, uh…

[footsteps approaching]

[woman] Excuse me, Ellen Wilson? Room 147?

Yes, thank you.

Phone for you. Mm-hmm.



This is Ellen Wilson.

Okay. Thank you.

Uh… my father had a heart attack. It doesn’t sound good.

I’m so sorry.

Um, he’s in– he’s in Connecticut, right?


Use the limo. I’ll take a taxi to the airport–

No, I can’t do that. The Korean–

You– You can’t not do that.

This is family.

Go. Uh–

I’ll call you.

Thank you.

[Margo] Poor thing. She was so excited about going to Korea.

[Paine] Hopefully her father will recover, and she can join me in a day or two.

[Margo] Must have been a rough night for her.

How about you? Did you get any sleep?

[scoffs] Of course not. You know I can’t sleep on planes.

It’s a 14-hour flight.

Martini, sir.

These long international flights are the only time I can really focus.

No distractions.

Just me, my martini and the Apollo-Soyuz budget requests.

[Margo chuckles]

Some light reading, huh?

You should try reading a novel once in a while.

It’d be good for your mind to just tune out.

I just finished this one called Christine, about this 1958 homicidal Plymouth.

[Paine] Yeah. My new electric car’s tried to kill me a few times.

[Margo chuckles]

[radio chirps]

[man speaking Russian over radio]

[pilot replies in Russian]

[sighs] How are Poole and Morrison doing?

Everything going okay in Russia?

By all accounts the training’s going smoothly.


[pilot speaks Russian]

[man speaks Russian]

Still can’t quite believe it’s happening.

Our astronauts in Star City, their engineers in Houston.

I know.

[pilot speaks Russian]

I was calling to check in on one point on the negotiations for the EASA before we land.

Uh, check away.

[man speaks Russian]

[pilot speaks Russian]

For this proposed space station, are we real–


[dial tone]

Tom, you there?


[disconnected tone]

[automated voice] If you’d like to make a call, please hang up and try–

[pilot speaks Russian]

I’m sorry you missed your flight for nothing.

I blame your mother for overreacting.

It’s not nothing, Dad. You had a heart attack.

A minor incident. I feel fine.

A wake-up call.

You heard the doctor. No more red meat, no more smoking.

And you have to slow down.

Though we all know that’ll never happen.

I’m running a half-a-billion-dollar company.

We just extended into Asia. Got a new hub in Europe and another–

Uh-huh. I know.

You want me to slow down, I’m gonna need your help.

And obviously that’s not gonna happen right now.

Well, maybe you’re being a little… shortsighted.

What are you saying?

I’m thinking about leaving NASA.


I’m serious.

I wanna get to Mars, and I’m starting to think that private spaceflight is the only way to get there.


What does Larry have to say about you changing course?

Larry… wants me to be happy.

Wherever I am.

One thing I don’t have to worry about, you’ll always have a solid man by your side.

Not that I wouldn’t mind a grandchild or two.

Sorry to interrupt, ma’am, but, uh, the White House is calling for you.

The White House?

That’s what they said.


This is Ellen Wilson.


[TV news announcer] …news. Special report. Here is Dan Rather.


[news theme music playing]

[Rather] President Reagan arriving at this moment at Point Mugu Naval Air Station in California, taking him from his California vacation back to work in Washington.

A vacation cut short by the shooting down of Korean Air Lines flight 7 by the Soviets, with the apparent loss of as many as 269, all of the persons aboard.

President Reagan is expected to deliver a statement shortly.

From Moscow, still no official confirmation of the plane’s downing.

Just that there was, quote, “an accident,” but not even what kind of accident from the Soviets and nothing in the way of an apology.

In the wake of the barbaric act committed yesterday by the Soviet regime against a commercial jetliner, the United States and many other countries of the world made clear and compelling statements that expressed not only our outrage but also our demand for a truthful accounting of the facts.

What can we think of a regime that so broadly trumpets its vision of peace and global disarmament and yet so callously and quickly commits a terrorist act to sacrifice the lives of innocent human beings?

And what are we to make of a regime which establishes one set of standards for itself and another for the rest of humankind?

To the families of Congressman Lawrence McDonald,

NASA Administrator Thomas Paine and all those on the ill-fated aircraft, we send our deepest sympathy.

And I hope they know our prayers are with them all.

What the hell was that airliner doing flying over Sakhalin?

It’s not even on its flight path.

Could have been a navigational error.

Flight computer could have caused the plane to deviate from its route.

400 miles?

Maybe something was wrong with the autopilot.

Poor bastard probably never even knew he’d entered Soviet airspace.

So the pilot accidentally wanders into a protected area.

Why shoot down the plane?

It’s a commercial airliner, for God’s sake.

It doesn’t make any sense.

We’ve got spy planes flying over Sakhalin all the time.

It’s a secret air base. They’re paranoid.

I’m sorry. It is beyond inconceivable that any pilot could mistake an American reconnaissance plane with a Korean passenger jumbo jet.

I don’t buy that for a second.

It’s more likely they suspected KAL 7 was being used as a spy plane.

Was it?

[scoffs] Don’t be ridiculous.

Why would the United States use another nation’s passenger plane to spy?

We are wasting time here.

All that matters is I haven’t been able to reach Poole and Morrison in Star City.

I have tried every line. It’s radio silence.

The FBI shut down access to all Soviet officials in the US, including the Apollo-Soyuz engineers, so they’re probably responding to that.

They are holding our people hostage. That’s not okay.

[Ellen] She’s right.


[door closes]

I’ve spoken with Jim Baker at the White House.

Until the president appoints a permanent replacement, I’ll be fulfilling Tom’s duties as acting administrator.

Now, uh, reestablishing communication with our astronauts is our top priority at this point.

Maybe I should get in touch with Sergei Nikulov, see if he could help us get in touch with our people, and–

We just got attacked by the Soviets.

You’re gonna reach out to ’em and ask for help?

Sergei will listen to reason.

They have shown time and again that they can’t be trusted.

This should all run through the NSC.

Well, I think we need to pursue all available options before this turns into an even bigger incident.

Go talk to him. Hopefully he knows of a way to reach Star City.


[door opens]

Thank you.

Your call.

[door opens]

[thunder rumbling]

[slamming phone button]

[sighs] Damn it!

[speaks Russian]

Let me out!


[elevator bell dings]

What can I do for you?

I’m Margo Madison. I need to see Sergei Nikulov.

No one goes in, no one goes out. Those are my orders.

I’m the director, Johnson Space Center.

I’m sure you are, honey, but you’re not getting in.

What’s your name?

Sergeant John Perkins.

Okay, Sergeant John Perkins, I know you have a job to do, but so do I.

I’m gonna give you 15 seconds to get in touch with your superior officer, 12 seconds to explain the situation to him, 45 seconds for him to reach General Nelson Bradford and confirm I am who I say I am.

Another 15 seconds for your boss to get back to you and ten for you to open this door.

That puts you 97 seconds away from either a cold beer at the end of your shift or an open-ended transfer to Thule, Greenland.

Your time starts now.


I brought borscht.

Come in.


Did you try the embassy?

Radio silence.

[inhales, groans]

I don’t think anything will happen to your astronauts.


Somehow that’s not making me feel any better.

I know it’s a lot to ask, considering the situation… but do you have a way to get in touch with Star City?

A secret line, or, I don’t know, something that might put us closer to making contact with our people?

What can I do? I’m trapped here with no phone.

See? Dead?

[slams phone]

What if I could arrange a call?

Astronauts Poole and Morrison, they’re not a part of all this.

Nor am I. And yet here I am.

Also being held against my will, unable to call home.

Thomas Paine was killed, Sergei.

Along with 268 others.

That’s why we’re here.

I’m sorry about your colleague.

Tom was a good man.

Frustrating at times, I didn’t always agree with his methods, but he gave everything to his job, and I respected the hell out of him.

Hmm. In my religion, when someone dies, it is custom to make the first meal you eat after the funeral a bowl of how you might call memorial borscht.

It is believed that the steam will carry the soul of the departed…


…to heaven.

Mm. Maybe it’s true.

When you get me the telephone, I will call Moscow and tell them that I’m not being tortured.

Other than weak borscht.

You know, maybe they will get in touch with your astronauts, but I cannot promise.

Thank you, Sergei.

It was another day of dramatic developments in the case of the plane shot from the sky.

The shooting down of Korean Air Lines flight 007.

The Soviets admitted for the first time one of their fighters shot down the jumbo jet and the 269 people on board.

But the Russians insisted they didn’t know that it was a civilian airliner.

The United States reacts with revulsion to this attack.

Loss of life appears to be heavy.

We can see no excuse whatsoever for this appalling act.

There is no possible legitimate excuse that the Soviet government could put forward for this, uh, despicable action.

People throughout the free world are continuing to react…

No, I understand, Senator. We’re doing everything we can to get through to them.

Yep. Mm-hmm.

President Chun Doo Hwan of South Korea…

Thank you. Yep.

…accused the Soviet Union of committing an act of indescribable…

Can you put a little sugar in there?

A-Ask him about the UN.

[door opens]

Yes. No– Yes, of course we are, Senator.

Has anyone spoken to Ambassador Kirkpatrick?

Hey. Is it a bad time?

Yes. Yes, Senator, I’m still here.

-It’s nice to see you, Pam.

You too, Larry.

How’s she holding up?

Ah, she’s a machine. The phone hasn’t stopped ringing all day.

She keeps going and going.

[Ellen] Hey, is, uh, Tower on the Ways and Means?


Yes. And, Senator, in the wake of this crisis, NASA is going to need some additional funding for security.

Can I count on your support?

-That’s excellent news.

Uh, ask– ask for ten.

Is, uh, ten too much to expect?

Wonderful, Senator. Thank– Thank you.

Um, we can talk more– more about that, of course.

No, understood. We’ll have to let him know first thing in the morning.

I’ll call Guam and relay the message.


Oh, yeah. Try to get some sleep, Clark.

I know. We’ll get through this.

Okay. Yeah. Bye.

Sorry, I… [sighs]

I don’t think I’ve spent this much time on the phone in my entire life.

Don’t apologize for doing your job.

Pretty fucking amazing at it.

Is it obvious that I have no idea what I’m doing?

[chuckles] Stop it. You’re brilliant. You know that.


Come on. Okay?


Oh. That feels really good.


Hi. [chuckles]

How are you?

I’m fine.

I am, I am. I mean, I’m… exhausted. [sighs]


And overwhelmed.


And, I don’t know, I just… keep playing it over and over in my head.

What if my dad didn’t have a heart attack? I would have been on that plane.

I would have been sitting right next to Tom. The two of us.

He would have been the last person I ever saw.

Stop thinking that.

It didn’t happen, okay?

If you were meant to be on that plane, you would have been on it.

What– Tom was meant to be on that plane?

No. I–

Right, Tom was meant to die.

I’m saying… sometimes we don’t… understand the way the universe works.

He was such a good man. [sniffles]


So misunderstood.

And now he’s just… floating somewhere in the Sea of Japan.

All of those people, they’re just floating somewhere in the Sea of Japan.

Stop it.


You’re here. Alive. With me.

And I’m so damn grateful that you are.

Come here.



[phone ringing]

[sighs] I’m sorry.

No. It’s fine.

This is Ellen Wilson.

This is the White House operator. Please hold for the president.

[line ringing]


[Reagan] Hello? Ellen?

Hello, Mr. President.


It’s an honor to speak with you.

Well, I’m sorry it’s under these circumstances.

So am I.

Tom was a great American.


I considered him a friend.

And I’ll miss him very much, as I’m sure you will too.

I will.

And I have every confidence you’ll do a wonderful job for me, Ellen.

Tom was a big fan of yours.

I’ll try not to let you down.

Are you a Christian, Ellen?

Yes. Yes, I am, sir.

Prayer sustains me in times of crisis.

I hope it does the same for you.

Yes, sir. It does.

I’m glad.

‘Cause I’ll need everyone on my team clear-eyed for what’s ahead.

We have to show strength in the shadow of catastrophe, or all is lost.

I understand.

Thank you, Ellen.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Good night.

[line disconnects]

[dial tone]


[computer beeps, whirs]

[Bradford] Got a minute?

[Margo] You know I don’t.

Were you able to get Nikulov to help out with our situation?

He said he’d do his best, but we still haven’t heard from Poole and Morrison.

I expected as much.

I still had to try, Nelson.

Well, maybe this will help you see what they’re really about.

The Pentagon just received these reconnaissance photographs.

It appears that the Soviets have put their Buran shuttle on the launchpad.

[Margo] I didn’t think it was that close to launch-ready.

Neither did we.

-This doesn’t look like Baikonur.

That’s because it isn’t.

It’s Sakhalin Island. They have a secret military facility there.

The same secret military facility that KAL was flying over when it was shot down?

These weren’t taken by–

Of course not.

These photos were taken by an SR-71 Blackbird.

The KAL was a commercial airliner.

You’re telling me KAL was flying over the same island Buran is being launched from, and these two events are not connected?

That’s not why I’m here.

I need you to take a look at these and tell us if the Buran can be armed.

After KAL and after what’s going on in Panama, we’re… concerned that they might be trying to introduce a new weapon.

[Margo] Where did you get these?

It’s confidential, I know.

This is so bizarre.

It’s like I’m looking at plans for our shuttle.

The orbiters are exactly alike.

That’s what happens when the KGB steals the plans for our shuttle right out from under us.

It’s the same, down to the payload bay.

So it can certainly be armed, just like ours can.

[Bradford sighs]

Hang on. Look at this.


The solid rocket boosters.

They’re an exact replica of ours… but from two years ago.


That’s where we found the O-ring problem on Challenger.

And Sakhalin gets a whole lot colder than Florida.

So if they copied our boosters to that extent, it’s just a matter of time until this thing blows up.

We’ve gotta warn them.

Margo, they’ve got smart people over there.

We caught the O-ring. I’m sure they caught the problem.

You don’t know that. Not for sure.

You’re right, I don’t.

But I do know that this thing has the potential to be armed for use against us.

Now, they can drop munitions on any point on Earth… with no warning.

And don’t tell me they don’t have that potential. Not after KAL.

Yes, I understand.

But if they decide to use Buran as a weapon at some point in the future, that’s their choice.

We have a choice right now to save human lives.

Dozens of civilians, engineers, scientists, they could be killed.

We have the power to prevent that.

I’m not gonna take that risk. I’m sorry.

The answer’s no. And this remains classified.

[newscaster] Russian officials have denied that his country intentionally shot down a Korean Air Lines 747.

The United States government, in cooperation with the government of Japan, has decided to spread the evidence before this council and the world.

It is available on the videotape, which will be played.

[pilot speaking Russian]

[translator] Roger.

[Russian continues]

I’m closing in on the target. I’m in lock-on.

[pilot continues speaking]

[translator] I’ve executed the launch.

[pilot continues speaking]

The target is destroyed.

At approximately 1600 hours, the Soviet pilot reported that he fired a missile, and the target was destroyed.

[man on TV] Japanese radar operators…


…had tracked the progress of the Korean plane…

[Danny] Chardonnay and two Shirley Temples for table three.

Oh. Looks like you got a leak.

Yeah. Damn it.

And the toilet in the men’s bathroom is clogged again, so…

Want me to take a look at it?

Would you please? That’d be great.

I should have just replaced the whole system when I remodeled, but I was trying to save a buck, so…

Howdy, Miss Karen.

Hi, Sam.

Hey, boys, why don’t you find a seat right there.

He sure has been coming in a lot since your mom’s been gone.

Mm. Maybe he misses her.

Probably more like a good way to remind potential investors that he’s married to an astronaut.

Or that.

I need three Scotch and sodas.

But one, only do a splash of Scotch in, ’cause Sam only likes to look like he’s pounding them back.

No problem.

Thank you.

[Sam] I hope this kid’s not giving you too much grief.

Oh, of course not. He’s doing a great job.

Well, I’m sure. He is a good kid.

Yeah, he is. How’s Trace?

I haven’t spoken to her in a couple days.

Apparently, uh, the moon is a very busy place.

Yeah, tell me about it. [sighs]

How’s business?

We’ve had the best month yet.

Putting those trinkets in that case, now that was a great idea.

Yeah, believe it or not, those things earn almost as much profit as anything else in here.

Well, I believe it.

So, you ready to sell me this place yet?

Mm, the answer’s still no.

All right, that’s too bad.


‘Cause with just a little push, this place is about ready to explode.

Could franchise it. Go national.

Oh, well. Maybe next time.

Or maybe today.

What’s that?

I said maybe I’m ready to sell you the bar today.

[glasses clatter on bar]

Are you serious?

Well, depends on what you’re offering.




300 then.


350. This is the Outpost, not the Ritz.


With the trinkets in the case, it’s worth at least that much.

Plus, it’s only gonna appreciate over time.




[chuckles] What?

I’m– I’m so– I’m sorry.

Did I just sell you the Outpost for $390,000?

Not until you shake my hand, you didn’t.

That’s all it takes?

Well, this is Texas, darling.

A handshake means more than a notary.

All right.

We’ll get that paperwork signed next week.



[speaks Russian]

[speaks Russian]

[speaks Russian]

[door closes]

[lock clicks]

May I come in?

Who are you?

I am engineer. Come. Sit down.

I’ve been locked up in this room for almost 48 hours with no explanation.

Sit down.

I need to talk to my people.

Sit down. Let’s have a drink. Slice of meat.

I don’t wanna sit down. I wanna get the hell out of here.

Do you like vodka?

Do I have a choice?


[vodka pouring]

[vodka pouring]

I have never met American astronaut.

Tell me, how did you get in program?

Are you parachutist?

No. I’m a pilot.


An engineer. Like you.

And did you always want to go to space ever since you were a little girl?

When I was a little girl, women weren’t allowed to go to space.


When I was little boy… no rockets had ever left to space.

Still… I dreamed of reaching stars.

Well, here we are.


Are you gonna tell me why I’m held prisoner here?

This is not a prison.

Sure as hell feels like one.

You have never been to Soviet prison.

Being in gulag… is like worst dream.

Torture. Starvation. Cold.

So cold.

Men frozen to death.

Forced to betray their comrades in order to survive.

Every day… you wonder, will you be next, lined up against wall?


To fallen comrades.


You know our customs.

I had a good teacher.


Do you know these people?

What people?

The names on the door.

I didn’t realize those were names.

Yuri Gagarin.

Valentina Tereshkova. Aleksei Leonov.

Anastasia Belikova.

Yuri Gagarin slept in this room?


We leave them there as symbols to remember.

Soviet flag on the moon. This is symbol too.

I remember in planning, we had calculation, how close should flag be to lander.

If only a meter too close, when lander takes off, it will…

[whooshing sound]

Fourteen years later, Soviet flag still stands on the moon.

I know grown man who weep in Soviet Union at that.

Powerful symbol.

When I first heard about Soyuz-Apollo… I thought… [exhales]

…Ronald Reagan, he is clever man.

Symbol of astronaut and cosmonaut together in space.


Of course, I knew we had no choice but to agree, because we would look cynical if we did not.

But also… because maybe… maybe… it could change the world.

It can’t be anything if I don’t ever leave this room.


When you finally go out this door… do it with your head up.

[door closes]

[lock clicks]


[phone ringing]


[sighs] Oh, Molly. Thank God.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s me. It’s me.

No, no, no. I’m okay, I’m okay. Yeah. I’m alone.

What the hell is going on?




[swearing in Spanish]

[grunts, swears in Spanish]

[Margo] Try a little negative pressure.

Nice trick.

You want something to wash that down?

We got some good news.

Finally reached our astronauts in Star City. They’re okay.

That’s great.

Come on.

Before I change my mind.

It’s brandy.

I know.

Oh, you do?

I mean, I’ve never had it before, but– [chuckles]

Asbach Uralt. Prewar.

The best.

It’s strong. [chuckles]

I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this… happy.

Yeah, I am. Sometimes… people can surprise you.

Restore your faith in humanity.

Tell that to Bill Strausser.

What’s going on?

He’s the biggest jerk of all time.

He’s harmless.

A lot of these guys are lacking in social skills.

Good at the work, bad with the people.

Why is he like that?

Bill’s… complicated.

He can definitely be condescending at times and stuck in his ways, but… he’s a very good engineer.

And committed to his work like no one else.

Too committed sometimes. [laughing]

What’s that mean?

No, nothing.

There was just an… an incident a long time ago.

Probably shouldn’t have mentioned it.

Oh, come on. Now you have to tell me.

There was a night when he’d been at his console for 23 hours, and he refused to leave it. Refused.

I guess he got caught up in all the excitement, and he…

[chuckles] He peed his pants.

All over himself. Everything.

Just… wet.

[laughing] Wet.

Oh. [laughs]

After that, people started calling him Mr. Peanut.

Why Peanut?

I have no idea, but that was his nickname from that day on, and it followed him for years.


People would leave peanuts on his console, peanut butter.

Even a doll with a– a diaper on it.


I almost feel bad for him.


I know. But listen.

If I can find a way to get along with Bill, so can you.

You need to find a way to work this out with him.

He’s not gonna be the last difficult person you come across in your career.


You’re probably right.

[male reporter] The Soviet Union continues to mobilize their Pacific fleet, harassing vessels that stray near the theorized crash site and blocking attempts to search for the remains of flight KAL 007.

The United States responded by dispatching warships from the Seventh Fleet and has put Air Command on 24-hour alert as tensions continue to rise in the North Pacific.

[crickets chirping]

[Ellen grunts]

[Larry] You have to push the button.

Let me do it.


Bless you.


I couldn’t sleep.

Me neither.



How you holding up?

[sighs] I don’t know.

I don’t really know which, uh– which way is up.


Everything’s just so… overwhelming.

And I can see what’s coming.

Bradford’s already pushing for the military to have a stronger hand.

And that’s how this slippery slope becomes an avalanche, and we suddenly look around, and we’re a part of the Department of Defense.

It happens all the time.

There’s a crisis, and then the military swoops in, and they take control.

It’ll be the end of NASA as we know it.

You can kiss Mars goodbye. For a decade, at least.

I– I can’t let that happen.

Well… what are you gonna do about it?

I don’t know. [exhales]


Can I just point out one thing?

Sure. Please.

You’re the fucking administrator of NASA.

Acting administrator.

So start acting like it.

You’re not watching from the sidelines anymore.

You’re in the game, for Christ’s sake.

What exactly do you expect me to do?

You have to prove to them that you’ve got things under control.

Show them how tough you are.

How far you’re willing to go.

Then you’ll have their trust.

We all play different roles with different people.


Something Tom once told me.


You know what this is about?

The president has decided to arm Pathfinder.



Just like that?

We’re putting missiles on a shuttle?

Well, at this point he really has no choice.

The Soviets are being very provocative. It’s a defensive measure.

Until it’s not.

We’re also moving up the retaking of lunar claim site 357 Bravo.

It will happen within 48 hours.

[Molly] But– What? It’s still daylight up there.

The whole idea was to use the cover of lunar night to maintain the element of surprise.

Not to mention, these guys haven’t finished their training.

The president has been fully briefed on where we’re at with the mission and is comfortable moving forward.


Ellen, can’t you talk to him? Get him to listen to reason?

He needs to understand, this is–

These were my recommendations, Margo.


Hello, Sergei.


I’m going back to Soviet Union while it is decided whether Soyuz-Apollo still is to continue.

I’ve heard.

I just wanted to say thank you for your help.

You’re welcome. [chuckles] I’m glad to do it.



…as soon as all this gets resolved, which I’m sure it will, I hope to see you again and continue planning this mission together.

Yes. I as well hope this.

It might be a good thing to take a step back actually.

Look at things with fresh eyes.

See if we’re missing anything with these docking module specs.

Missing anything? What do you mean?

I just keep wondering if we’ve overlooked something.

For instance, about a year ago, we discovered a defective component in our shuttle design.

A flaw with the O-ring seals in the boosters.

What flaw?

One of our engineers discovered that the ring would harden in cold weather and fail to seal the joints.

I mean, temperatures at Merritt Island rarely drop below 40.

So… you can understand how we initially missed it.

Yes, I can understand this.

Thank God we found it.

Because if temperatures were to dip unexpectedly, there would be a substantial risk of failure.

So… I just wonder what, if anything, we’re missing with these docking specs.

Yes, I wonder too.

I would take a look at it while you’re away.

Well… I have to go. I have a meeting.

But I hope to see you again.

Yes. I hope so… too.


[“Follow” playing]

[Ed] Hey, Kel.

You hungry?

I’m making bean sandwiches. Your favorite.

Yeah, I’ll be there in a minute.

All right.

[song continues]

[song continues]

[song continues]

[door opens]

[song fades]

Did Ashley leave?

Oh, yeah. She took off, but she said she’d see you tomorrow.

Or… I guess that’s technically today. [chuckles]

Want a beer?

[chuckles] I shouldn’t, but yes, please.

[bottle opens]

Are you really outta here next week?

Oh, I can’t believe that the summer’s already over.

I’m gonna miss you around here.

To a great summer.

Aw, and an even better school year.


And to you, Mrs. Baldwin.


Karen. Karen.

Thank you.


So… how you feeling about everything?

I mean, with selling this place.

Honestly… I feel ready… to move on.

You know, ready for a new chapter.

[inhales deeply]

Truth is, the place isn’t mine. It never really was.

Well… then we should celebrate.

Well… isn’t that what we’re already doing?

In honor of my last week, I decided to donate something to the Outpost jukebox.

[chuckles] Really? Well, that was very thoughtful.

[“Don’t Be Cruel” plays]

What is this?

Billy Swan.

The country singer.


You recognize that?


No. Hold on. [chuckles]

Oh, my goodness.


Danny. [chuckles] Oh, no.

Isn’t it great?

[laughs] Yeah, it’s– it’s different.

[song continues]

Come on.

[song fades out]

[crickets chirping]

[Ed sighs]

[Karen chuckles]



Have you been drinking?


[Ed] Mm.

[“Don’t Be Cruel” resumes]



[song fades out]

How soon can you prep and fuel the LSAM?

I suppose in a few hours. Why? What’s going on?

The president wants to retake the claim at 0800 tomorrow.

Jesus. Why– Why are you telling me this?

You think Charles is ready to pilot the LSAM?

No. No. Not yet.

If I– If I knew he needed to be ready so soon, I would’ve, uh–

[Helena] Can you do it?

You’ve flown with us before. You know the mission better than anyone.

I can’t order you to do it. It’s dangerous.

We don’t know for sure they don’t have weapons, and if they do–

I’m in.

Okay then. Prep the LSAM for launch.

We gotta load our gear and get ready to roll out in 17 hours.

Yeah, let’s do it.


[Reagan] Thank you very much.

Ladies and gentlemen, today I’m proud to announce that we have reestablished contact with two American heroes.

Astronauts Danielle Poole and Nate Morrison, who were being held in the Soviet Union after the Korean Air Line 007 disaster.

Like the Americans who began this country, history has asked much of the Americans of our own time.

Much we have already given.

Much more we must be prepared to give.

But we also must remember the future does not belong to the fainthearted.

It belongs to the brave.

One of these brave Americans, Acting NASA Administrator Ellen Wilson, has led the effort to bring our astronauts home.

And I’m proud to announce they are currently on their way to free soil in West Germany.

Let us have faith in Abraham Lincoln’s words, “That right makes might. And in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”

Thank you. God bless you, and God bless America.

[Charles] Fuel at 60%.

[Tracy] Copy 60.

[Tracy] Beginning descent to avoid radar.

[Charles] Forty meters.


[Charles] Down at seven.

Dropping like a stone.


[Tracy] Canyon in sight.

[Tracy] Final approach to canyon. Ninety seconds to drop point.

[Helena grunts, exhales]

[Charles] Holding at five meters. Steady at five meters.


[Tracy] We have canyon entrance. Hang on out there. Some tight turns coming up.

[marines gasping, grunting]

All right, commencing final run.

Sixty seconds to drop point.

[humming “Ride of the Valkyries”]

[humming continues]


[all humming]

[humming continues]

[Tracy hums]

[humming continues]

[humming stops]

[Tracy] Approaching final turn. Ten seconds out.


Landing site’s not clear.

[Charles] That drilling rig wasn’t on the sat map.

[Charles] Should we abort?

[Tracy] Negative. Going downrange.

Drop point located. Begin descent.

[Charles] Ten meters. Down at eight.

[Vance] Just like the drills, folks.

Immediate dismount, clear the vehicle and form up on me.

[all] Oorah!

[Vance] Let’s do this. Weapons free.

[Tracy] Two meters. Kicking up a lot of dust.

Hold on.


Tracy Stevens, you are a badass.


[“I Fought the Law” playing]

[Vance] We have the site.

I repeat, we have the site.

[song continues]

[song continues]


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