For All Mankind – S04E08 – Legacy | Transcript

Plans are made with interplanetary ramifications. Ed begins working with an unexpected partner.
For All Mankind - S04E08 - Legacy

For All Mankind
Season 4 Episode 8
Episode Title: Legacy
Original release date: December 29, 2023

Episode plot summary: In For All Mankind Season 4 Episode 8, teams on Mars and Earth prepare for an asteroid capture mission, with unsanctioned missions also underway. The episode, filled with heist elements reminiscent of “Ocean’s Eleven,” focuses on Dev and Ed’s plan to steal Goldilocks. They aim to alter the asteroid’s orbit to keep it around Mars instead of sending it to Earth. This requires a detailed scheme involving recruiting a team, exploiting security flaws, and constructing their own operational communications center (OppsComm).
The team faces challenges, including convincing skeptical members, smuggling equipment past increased security, and retrieving a crucial data discriminator using the help of a child, Alex Poletov. The episode also explores personal storylines, such as Sergei’s decision to leave his quiet life in Iowa to help Margo, whom he feels obligated to save after she rescued him from the USSR. The narrative weaves together intense planning, personal dynamics, and the broader political and scientific stakes of the Monsterverse. As the episode ends, everything hinges on the success of the unsanctioned mission and the functionality of a single piece of technology.

* * *

[radio host] Good morning, Garden City.

This is J.R. Bonner playing you all country all the time.

And now here’s a snazzy golden oldie guaranteed to get that old ticker pumping.

“That’s All It Took” by Gram Parsons.

[country music plays]

[grunts, sighs]

Morning, hon.


Sleep all right?

Fine. You?

Was up all night. This damn hip again.

[teacher] Morning, Sergei.

Morning, Cliff.

[car alarm chirps]

Got brownies today.

[Sergei laughs]

Good stuff.

You’re a lucky man, Cliff.

[bell rings]

So here we have a 3D diagram of an electrical field.

So, who can tell me what is voltage?



Voltage is the potential difference between two points in an electrical field.


Aw. That was sweet. Look what somebody did for me.

It’s crooked on this side though.

[spouse] What do they call this flavor?

[audience laughing on TV]

[grunts] Peanut butter swirl.

You like it?


Very good.

Thanks. Maybe on Overrated Photographer’s Day, I’ll buy you a shammy for your head.

[imitates laugh]

[Margo on TV] I made the decision to defect… to the Soviet Union in 1995, after many years of dissatisfaction and disappointment with both NASA and the American government.

The space program I joined in 1966 had changed over the years to value profit above human life, and was more dedicated to spreading propaganda…

[spouse] Isn’t this the wildest thing?

They thought she died in that bombing years ago.

The one in Houston. Remember?

I have kept my silence for the past eight years…

Yes, yes. I do.

…in order to not distract from the historic work that Roscos…

[students speaking indistinctly, laughing]

[student] Uh. Mr. Bezukhov?

[laughing continues]

Mr. Bezukhov?

[clears throat]

So, uh, as you can see, the current is not always constant.

[Christine Francis] Police held back a mass of protesters so that Madison’s car was able to enter the campus.

Despite the cries from some to have Madison arrested,

NASA Administrator Eli Hobson issued a statement that he considers Madison a key player in the M-7’s efforts to capture the Goldilocks asteroid.

[horn honks]

[patrons speaking indistinctly]

Italian Roast.

[Ed] Mm-hmm.

Hey, thanks for taking the time.

Yeah. Yeah, look.

Whatever this is about, Ed, I, uh, I appreciate that you stood your ground.

You didn’t cross the line like the rest of them.

But when you come to me and you say you and Dev Ayesa wanna talk, I start to wonder how committed you were to our cause.

The reason doesn’t matter. Mars matters.

And this fight isn’t over.

Seems to me like the people have spoken and they told us to take a hike.

Uh. Sometimes it’s up to a few enlightened individuals that lead the many.

Enlightened, huh? [laughs]

[laughs] We can both agree on that Dev’s a fucking asshole.

There’s no way around it.

But he’s brilliant.

Just hear what we have to say.

Can I help you?

This establishment is hereby shut down by order of the base commander for contravening the M-7 charter.

Ordinance 3.57, prohibiting the sale of contraband.

Geez, Palmer.

Everyone was having such a good time.

All right, move it out.

This is totally out of line. You’re a sad little man trying to squeeze authority out of bullshit.

Please submit a formal written complaint to your direct supervisor, worm.

Jesus. I know they took the strike personal.

But this whole security detail thing, it’s-It’s overkill.

It’s bullshit is what it is.

[guard] Who’s your reporting officer?

You can’t go anywhere without somebody checking your ID badge, asking what you’re up to.

It’s a scare tactic. Pure and simple.

Trying to keep us in check.

Which is why I’m telling you you’ve got to hear him out.

[electricity crackles]

[Sam] I don’t know.

What the hell is that?

Hey! What’s going on in here?

Oh. Hey, Sam.

Orders from on high. They’re sealing off access to sub-levels four and five.

“Crew safety.”

Yeah. More like they’re afraid us peasant folk will find another place to organize.

You said it.

Even got us hard-wiring lockouts on the elevators.

Seems like our noble commander is learning from her partners and taking a page out of that Soviet playbook.

When in doubt, you crack down.

[technician] You guys can go up in this one.

Thanks, Sparks.

[crackling continues]

All right. I’ll hear what you have to say.

[mechanical humming]

How did Massey take it?

[sighs] Skeptical.

But, uh, wouldn’t you be?

Yeah, but she’s the key to this whole thing.

None of the others will go along with it if she says no.

At some point, we have to get on the same page about–

[Ed] The hell?



I’ve been practicing that new magic trick.

[Dev] All right.

[sighs] Kel, what’s, uh–

Hey… [stammering] …what are you guys doing here?

Tell me you didn’t forget.

No, of course not.

I’m taking a hopper to Korolev Crater to get my seekers up and running.

I told you I’ll be gone for three days and you said you’d watch Alex.

Yeah, of course.

[Kelly] All right, kiddo. Give me a hug.

I love you. [kisses]

Love you.

You’ll have all kinds of fun with your grandpa while I’m gone.

This is his medication. And the schedule. And a list of our family rules.

Jesus, Kel.

No crust. [sighs]

This is crazy. I mean, no wonder the kid’s afraid of his own shadow.

Really? You’re going to chime in on parenting techniques at this point?

You’ve never watched Alex before.

Hey. I raised two kids. Including you, remember?

Alex is different.

Yeah. Well, then maybe you should, uh, you know, maybe take him with you.

A methane hunt is full of drills and dynamite.

It’s no place for a seven-year-old, okay?

And you don’t have much else going on here anyway.

So I’m throwing you into the deep end.

Sink or swim, remember?

Oh, that was terrible advice.

But okay. Let’s do it.

Dev, I will contact you when I get to Korolev Crater.

Good hunting.

Hey, Mom.


You’ll come back, right?

Of course I will.

Three days. Have fun.

All right.

We’re gonna need a babysitter.



[Margo] Come in.

Got one of each, huh?


Lucky me.


I wanted to see how you’re settling in.


Thank you.

[Hobson] Good, good.

Well, we’re gonna be getting started soon.

I thought I might, uh, show you to the conference room.


[person 1] …the cat dragged in.

[person 2] Moscow Margo, huh?

Nuri! My God.

It-It’s good to see you.


I, um–

Uh, I heard you were project manager.



If you’ll excuse me, I’m running late.

She’s very busy.

Shall we?

We’re at a crossroads, people. So I won’t mince words.

This asteroid is far too vital to our countries to let another screw-up like that strike happen again.

Security will be airtight from here on out.

I have asked the Soviet Union’s chief project engineer for the 2003LC Capture Mission, Margo Madison, to brief us on the plan.

Miss Madison.

I know we’ve had our differences but I appreciate you all for coming.

If Sam hadn’t twisted my arm, I wouldn’t be here.

Ditto. I sincerely hope this isn’t for some fucked up game like the one you played to trash our strike.

That was an unfortunate and difficult development for all of us.

But a necessary one.

That strike had to end if we were to keep with the required timeline to capture the asteroid.

But the four of you showed that you have principle, courage and that you won’t fold under pressure.

Stop blowing smoke and speak normal, dude.

Come on.

[Dev] All right.

I’m gonna ask you to do something that’s never been done by anyone in human history.

For the benefit of Mars, for human space exploration and for yourselves, because it just might make those bastards on Earth finally take notice.

What do you want us to do?

Ranger’s engines can only effect small changes to the asteroid’s trajectory.

Just enough to bring it near Mars.

Once it is there, Ranger will again burn…

[Danielle] …for exactly 20 minutes.

When the time comes, we will slow the asteroid down.

Just enough for the gravity of Mars to bend its trajectory to speed it towards Earth.

[Dev] Unless Ranger burns for 25 minutes instead of 20.

That will slow the asteroid down even more and allow it to be fully captured by Mars’s gravity

instead of merely changing its direction.

And bring it into permanent orbit around the Red Planet.

Where it belongs.

But how the fuck does that happen?

Happy Valley doesn’t have anywhere near the computing power of NASA or Roscosmos.

So we’ll work out that burn command down here.

NASA will uplink the data to Ops-Com at Happy Valley. They will then relay it…

…with our secure comm system using our high-gain S-band antenna.

Ranger will pick up the signal, confirm its validity with this discriminator box to make sure that it came from us.

[worker] We’d have to hack into the Comsat.

Or maybe physically take control of the satellite dish array.

Even if that were possible, we still need Ops-Com to let us know when Ranger reaches her burn point.

Unless we build our own.

Our own what?

Our own Ops-Com.

So we can send our own signal.

If the discriminator gives it a go, it’ll forward the command to the engine control system, and Ranger will initiate the burn for Earth.

[Sam] The only way we can extend the burn is by getting control of the discriminator box on the Ranger.

[worker] She’s right.

If the incoming signal doesn’t have the right authentication packet, Ranger’s comm system won’t even look at it.

So the key to this whole thing is that discriminator box.

Finally, when Ranger launches in two days we’re gonna need someone on their crew to swap it out for our own.

An inside man.

Or woman.

Sam, when the time comes, you swap out that discriminator for our carbon copy.

[laughs] Okay. Let me get this straight.

You want me to just swap out a mission-critical component in the middle of the ship, surrounded by the crew.

Sure. No biggie.

If we’re to pull this off, we’re gonna have to do things we’re not comfortable doing.

Even if I could, they’re not gonna let me back on that crew. Not after the strike.

Never say never.

She’s gone.

Uh. Hold on. I-I’d rethink that.

Sir, that’s Sam Massey. She’s one of the leaders of the work stoppage.

I’m aware of who she is. And I’m sure you’re aware that if I were to discipline, demote or penalize in any way a labor organizer, I’d open myself up to massive lawsuits and a PR nightmare back on Earth.

No. I-I still don’t–

Ravi. What do you think?

You’re in command of Ranger, it’s your crew.

Massey was on Kronos. We could use her experience.

If she can park her attitude.

[Danielle] All right.

Let’s keep her on.

Massey’s heart was in the right place. And if anything, it’ll be an olive branch.

But I want you to go up there with them. Keep an eye on things.

Aye, aye.

Well, we need a crackerjack engineer to build out our control room.

[Sam] Rich might do it.

And we’re gonna need an electrician to pull power into our Ops-Com.

Edmondson’s the best there is.

Sparks? Will she do it?

I can ask.

[Dev] Right. First things first.

If we’re gonna build our own Ops, we need the right equipment.

Consoles, processors, servers, comm relays–

NASA’s redundant to a fault. I mean, every piece of equipment has a backup.

But they’re all stored up on Phoenix under lock and key.

We need a way to get all that down here undetected.

[chuckles] I-I think I know the guy.

[Ed] Okay, good.

So are we doing this?

That went well.

I think so.

Eli has an interesting sense of humor.

He means well.

How’s your family?

How’s Javier? Is he still playing the piano? Last time I saw–

Let’s, um, get something straight.

When it comes to the work, I will support you when I think you’re right.

And I will disagree with you when I think you’re wrong.

But you don’t get to ask me about my family or my son again.


[door opens]

[Ed] Alex, it’s Poppy.

Oh, hey. How’d it go?

Wonderful. We’ve been having great fun together.

He helped me prune my blueberry plants and my kumquats.

Well, Joanna. I-I can’t thank you enough.

Alex. Come on. It’s time to go.

Where is he?

He’s right back here.

He was a moment ago.



All right. You go that way. I’ll go this way.






[device beeps]

This is Ed Baldwin. I’m looking for–

[Joanna] Got him!

Alex! You can’t-You can’t just run off like that.

What were you thinking?

Where’d you go?

I was looking for you.

You what?

I was looking for you.




Hey. Hey.

All right. It’s okay.

It’s okay.

[Ed kisses]


Come on.

[radio tuning]

[show host] …that which you’ve been…

[jazz music playing]



Right in here.

Very good, ma’am.

[Miles] I don’t know. Look, to get this stuff off of Phoenix, not only do I have to get in on a cargo module undetected, I gotta get it past Madam Mussolini’s new security measures down here.

What? Are you telling me you can’t do it, or you won’t?

My guy can get it off Phoenix. But getting it out of the loading dock down here, there’s the problem. See all this shit’s flagged high-security.

So if it turns up in the dock, they’re gonna put it in secure lockup.

Where I got no access. No one does.

I mean, maybe there’s a way around that.

But I don’t know.

It seems dicey. What I got going on right now, you know, it’s low-risk.

I don’t have that long left on my tour.

So when I get back Earthside, I’m gonna be with my family, sitting on a nice little nest egg.

You are thinking so small, Dale. You know, my former partner, he thought small.

Was always worried we’d lose what we built up.

So he was on the defense. Just like you’re doing right now.

And if I let him make all the decisions, we’d still be working out of our garage.

But we went from having a few thousand dollars to our name.

Now I’m worth billions.

So, I ask you, Miles, do you wanna be a millionaire or a billionaire?

Billionaire, huh?

I had to break through to him somehow.

Yeah, better go get Alex from Joanna.

[sighs] He is a good kid. He’s so smart.


Hey, you two seem to get along pretty well.

We haven’t really clicked yet.

It’ll come. You know, my dad and I, we had our moments.

He was an engineer, right?

Oh, yeah. He loved to build things.

He had all these models. Put them all over the den.

I’m a model freak too. It’s, uh, very calming.

You know, he had this one of a Gemini spacecraft sitting atop a Titan II rocket.

And I knew it was his favorite.

So when he was gone, I would take it down off the shelf, play with it when he wasn’t around.

But one day, I broke it.


He peeled the bark off me for that.

[laughs] I bet he did.

But then he went out and he bought a new model kit.

And he made me rebuild it piece by piece, while he looked over my shoulder and instructed me.

And I felt so close to him that day.

That’s nice.

And when we were done, that was the first time that he told me about the birds that fly backwards.

The what?

Every winter you see whole flocks of them flying north for the winter.

Do you know why they fly backwards?

Um, not a clue. [chuckles]

Because they want to see where they’ve been, because that’s how they know where they’re going.


I like that.

You know, someday, young Alex is gonna look back at you the same way that I look back at my dad.

So just be yourself.

Share your passion.

That’s the greatest gift I ever got.

[car alarm chirps]

[lock clicks]

[Sergei] Hello, Miss Rosales.


Perhaps you don’t remember me. I’m–

No, I remember you.

What the fuck are you doing here?

I’m sorry, but…

I’m sorry for startling you, but…

You shouldn’t be here.


Please, just give me a minute.

You’re the only person who might understand.

I begged her for that engine design, but she would not help me, no matter how much I pleaded with her.

There was no way we were going to be able to launch at ’94 without it.

I was, uh, told by the KGB to go to her at the IAC conference to do whatever I had to to get the design… but I refused.

So my handler sent two men into her room.

They threatened to report Margo to the FBI unless she cooperated.

And still, she would not give them the engine design.


that is when they began to strangle me in front of her.


Margo didn’t tell you about this?

[sighs] She–

She sacrificed everything along with her honor to save my life.

For eight years… she let us think she was dead.

For eight fucking years she never tried to reach out to tell us that she was okay…


…that she was alive.

How-How could she?

A defector in the Soviet Union is a glorified prisoner. A bird in a cage.

I know. I know… I just… I don’t know how to forgive her.

I understand.

But where would you be today without her?

Think about this.

She believed in you, Aleida.

Just as she did me.

Please. Please.

Help me to speak with her.


Yeah, I thought you were asleep.

I’m scared.

You’re scared?

There’s nothing to be scared of. You’re safe in here.

Hey, what are you scared of?

You’re not afraid of me, are you?



I love you, kiddo.

But you-you look like a bear.

I-I-I look like a bear?


Maybe I do.



You know, when your mom was your age, she was afraid of the dark too.

You know what I used to do for her?


I used to read her a story.

Would you like me to read you a story?

So this is a story about a sailor.

But in a strange land far, far from home.

His name is Jake Holman.

“Chapter one.

‘Hello, ship,’ Jake Holman said under his breath.

The ship was asleep.

Didn’t hear him.

He lowered his big, canvas, 30-year bag to the ground and stood there in the moon shadow of a brick wall and had his first long look at her.

She looked stubby and blocky, top-heavy down there at the edge of the black, rolling river, and she was all mountain.

Moon-white except for her slender black smokestack, that rose very high, high as her two masts.

Four guy-wires slanted down from the stack like streamers from the maypole.

She had a stubby, shielded gun on her open bound and a double, man-high hand steering wheel on her open fantail aft.

But in between, she looked more like a house than a ship.

Her square, curtain windows and screen doors opened on a gallery main deck like a long, narrow veranda.

And on the pipe rail boat deck, under taut, white awnings.

It was after midnight.

They were asleep down there, all but the watch.”

You’re welcome to have a seat.

[Aleida] They told me you’d be up here.

Chairs are different.

What you got?

[clears throat]

It’s, uh…

updated state vectors from our tracking stations.

Seems there’s some variation from our predicted path and what the network is seeing.

Let me take a look.

[clears throat]

I’ll, um,

go over these figures tonight and let you know what I think.


[Miles] All right, let’s go over this plan one more time.

After what happened at the fuel plant, you all know they’ve got these goddamn security checkpoints all over the base, including the loading dock.

And nothing or no one goes in or out of that room without a once-over.

So we can’t just waltz in and grab all this stuff off the shelves, we got to be a little more clever about it.

So we’re gonna forge a requisition for everything we need on our list.

My guy on Phoenix cargo haul is gonna swap the package in for something a little more inconspicuous.

All the electronics we need, they’ll be inside the containers labeled cereal, cotton rounds and dehydrated milk.

Each one of ours will have a green and yellow bar code.

The security assholes, they’re all former military.

So stay alert and stick to the plan.

[guard] Hold up.

Req form, please.

Gonna need you to open up this box.

I don’t know if I could’ve held my cool like that, Miles.

Tienes huevos, cabrón.

Thanks, man.

Ilya always said, “Cover your bases.”

All right. Looks like Christmas in here.

Welcome to Ops-Com 2, gentlemen.

I prefer “Ghost Ops”.

Sounds way cooler.

[Rich] What? Where’s it at?

What the hell?

Man, come on.

It’s supposed to be here. Wha–

I’m guessing it’s supposed to be more than just cornflakes in there.

What was supposed to be in there?



[Dev] Okay.

So, if it’s not there, then where is it?

It’s here, but it got sent to the secure lockup.


My guy on Phoenix must have screwed up the boxes.

Yeah. Fortunately, it just looks like a shipping error.

Can we get to it somehow? Maybe bust the lock or something?

[Miles] No, it’s electronic. It’s gnarly as hell.

There’s no way we could get through that.

There might be one other way, but–

No, it’s too small.

What’s too small?

Intake vent.

It’s 12 inches across. None of us are going to fit through it.


Listen. Hey.

It’s okay if you don’t wanna do this.

It’s okay. I want to.

[Ed] You sure?

You sure, sure?


[clambering in vent]

He’s gonna be okay.

[distant clambering]

You see the plate, Alex?

[Alex] It’s kinda dark.

Ah, this is stupid.

[banging in vent]

[Alex] I’m in the room!

Okay. Okay, buddy.

Now look around and see if you can see that box.

[Alex] Okay, um–

Wha-What is it?

[Alex] There’s a shelf and the box is on the top of it.

Okay-Can you reach it?

[Alex] No.

[sighs] Shit.

All right. Just come on back out here.

We’ll find another way to get it.

[Alex] I think I can reach if I climb a bit.


Okay, but-but be careful now, Alex.

Th-That could be tricky–

[Alex crashes]


Alex, you okay?


[Dev laughs]

[Ed] All right.

Look at that.


There he is.

[Dev] Hey, little man.


Look at you.


You are a brave boy. You know that?

You’re a brave boy.

You scored big, little man.

[Ed] Yes, you did.

Yes, you did.

[crumples note]

Closing time. Gotta give you the boot.

[sighs] Okay, uh, thanks. Thank you.

Sorry about your friend.

If you’re in town tomorrow, stop in for our early bird special.


[crickets chirping]

[car alarm beeps]

[Margo] Sergei.



I’m glad you came.

I, uh–

This can’t happen, Sergei.

You have a life here now, and I have a life over there.

No, no, no, no, no.

You don’t understand.

It was difficult for some time, but I’m finally starting to–

You are not safe, Margo.

The woman you know as Irina Morozova, the head of Roscosmos, she was my handler with KGB.

From the beginning.

All those years, she was the one who sent me to United States, the one who destroyed both of our lives.

You cannot go back there, Margo.

[Danielle] Ranger, Happy Valley.

We show a good departure burn.

No significant residuals.

[Ravi] Copy. Pre-valves are confirmed closed.

Departure burn is complete.

Trajectory for 2003LC intercept on target, people.

[astronaut 2 on radio] Sinclair, please double-check the surface contact angles.

Make sure we don’t need to increase cable tension.

[Sinclair] Copy, scooter. We should be fine, but I’ll take another look.

[astronaut 4 on radio] Reading you five by on VHF.

[astronaut 5 on radio] Actually, let me know when you have an updated state back quickly.

[Sinclair] Doppler shows closing rate 12 meters per second.

[astronaut 5] Got it? Guidance has accepted.

[Sinclair] Yeah, sure. Control turn to auto.

[Ravi] Copy, Happy Valley.

Please confirm S-band, comm.

[astronaut 5] Confirming RTS…

RTS S-band at 1.53.

Fuck me.


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