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"Into the Abyss" is the fifth episode of For All Mankind. It released on Apple TV+ on November 15, 2019.

Synopsis[]

Apollo 15 crew changes the landing site to focus on ice searching, looking for it at Shackleton Crater. The Episode ends with "Jamestown" NASA first Lunar Base in October of 12 in the year 1973.

Plot[]

Apollo 15 reaches the moon after 4 days, 3 hours, and 46 minutes, while Deke Slayton and Margo Madison work at mission control. Molly Cobb is told she is live on all networks. Shane asks Karen why everything is about her, and Karen tells him that she is the first woman astronaut, but Shane reminds him that Ed is her boss.

When asked what she thought about being near the moon, Molly mentions it is humbling and Deke reads a letter from a fan to her. After they were off air, the Apollo 15 crew was told that ice had been located on the moon, but the data would be used for later missions, since the ice was nowhere near their landing site at Mare Frigoris. Ed told them to land them at Shackleton Crater, but Gene Kranz refused since it was too big a risk, and they did not have the gear for that kind of exploration.

Molly and Ed discussed an important change of plans.

Ed turned off their comms, and Molly reminded him that he always told them to stick to the mission, and Ed told her the mission was to find ice. Asking Frank Sedgewick for his opinion, Sedge decided he was on-board.

Thomas called Deke and Gene and told them the CIA was worried that the Soviets would place military assets on the moon, and told them that if they could get Apollo 15 to Shackleton, they should do it. Deke told Thomas that the crew would decide and left.

Molly argued that landing at Shackleton would be half-baked and last minute, which Ed compared to her training. The men told her it was important because if they did not do it, then the mission would just be a publicity stunt. Mission control told them that it was up to them, and they eventually decided to go for it.

At the Baldwin home, people gathered to watch the live transmission of the Apollo 15 mission. Wayne Cobb arrived, and gave her a mezcal. They gathered to watch as Molly and Ed neared the moon's surface. Margo measured their flight dynamics, during which everything seemed to be running smoothly.

Apollo 15 started to reach the lunar surface, headed for Shackleton Crater.

Ed mentioned that the altitude at which they were, was as low as he had gotten during Apollo 10, and Molly told him to stick with her. They neared Shackleton, which was dark, but it was time for them to find a landing spot. They found a good spot, and were able to land successfully on the moon's surface. Molly mentioned she had never wanted a cigarette more, and Ed told her she had come a long way as mission control, Karen, and Wayne celebrated their landing.

Danielle Poole greeted her husband, who had returned from Vietnam. She told him all she had really done was go to PR events as the token black girl for NASA. However, she also told him they wanted her to fly to the moon and she had been assigned to Apollo 18.

Karen congratulated Tracy on being assigned to Apollo 25, while Ellen was told by Gloria Sedgewick that she should marry Larry Wilson soon. Outside, Wayne looked up at the moon, and was joined by Karen and told her that he was very relieved to have learned that Molly had landed safely and had not been able to sleep much. He told her about a dream of his, and Karen told him it was probably best to put it out of his mind, but he tells her he needs to tell it to someone who would understand.

On the moon's surface, Molly got her picture taken by Ed after they planted the moon, and was later told the president wanted to speak to her, which she could not believe. Nixon told her he was very proud of what she had done for the country and for women everywhere, and wished her a safe journey home.

Karen asked everyone to leave so she could sleep, since Ed would be sleeping. She coldly said goodbye to Wayne, and told Tracy he was weird and smelled funny. Tracy told her the smell was due to marijuana, and left, leaving Karen surprised.

The next day, Ed and Molly broadcast to mission control live, and drove the rover on the moon's surface.

Gordo had lunch with Danielle and Clayton in order to welcome Danielle to Apollo 18.

Danielle and Clayton went to have lunch with Gordo Stevens who welcomed her to the crew of Apollo 18, and told her they would get together with Deke to go over the mission plan. Clayton noticed how fast Gordo drank while Danielle mentioned she was surprised she had been assigned so quickly, but Gordo told her that Molly was kicking ass on the moon and had really put to bed the notion that women could not go to the moon.

Gordo noticed Clayton had no Vietnam ribbons, and Clayton told him he had thrown them in the sentry's face on his way out, and Gordo told him he might have to do that as well as he downed another drink.

Karen visited Wayne's house in order to tell him her dream.

Karen visited Wayne, and told him he wanted to talk to him. She looked around at his paintings while Wayne got some tea and saw a joint next to a painting of his dream in which Karen and Ed were dead on the moon. They discussed marijuana, which Karen told him could get Molly fired. Wayne argued that it was a natural herb, while Molly reminded him it was illegal. Wayne was upset, and told her he thought she would understand that his wife could die on the moon, but while she could pretend everything was fine, he could not, adding that if he needed to smoke a joint or paint his nightmare to get it out of his head, that was what he would do. He starts crying, and Karen tells him he would not lose Molly since Ed would protect her.

On the moon, Molly wished they could find ice, not just rocks. They radioed mission control and told them that if there was ice, it is either down deep, or in the crater. Mission control told them that now the mission was to pack their things up and go home.

Gordo, Danielle, and Clayton take shots at Outpost. Gordo asked Clayton where he was posted in Vietnam, and Clayton told him that in Da Nang. Gordo told him he knew some chopper pilots in Da Nang, and added that he was too young to serve in Korea, and space had kept him out of Vietnam. Clayton told him he played it well, and Gordo told him that his father had been a marine in the South Pacific and he had read of his experience, which he qualified as horrendous and was curious to see how he would handle it. However, Clayton told him that he had never been curious enough to give up his astronaut pin and try it himself. Gordo asked him what he meant, but Clayton told him he was better off not knowing. The conversation started getting heated, and both men stood up to fight one another, but Danielle told Clayton to leave. Once he did, Danielle told Gordo he had been out of line since the point of going to Outpost was for Clayton to get his mind off what he had been through.

Karen and Wayne sat at the latter’s home. Wayne thanked her for staying, but Karen dismissed it, saying Ed had been shot down in Korea, leaving her without knowing if he was alive or dead for a week. During that time she started having a nightmares, which was still going on whenever Ed went to space. In the dream, Karen is running through a jungle where she is being chased by an animal until she reaches a clearing in which she sees a dark panther which is eating Ed, who is still alive and looking at her.

On the moon, Molly thanks Ed for vouching for her not to have a diaper as they clean their spacesuits. They get ready to go to bed, and Ed lets mission control know. He talks to Shane, who he tells he did something special for that day. He tells Shane he wrote his name on the moon’s surface, which would now remain there for many years.

Molly tells Ed what he did for his kid had been great, and Ed tells her that it was bullshit, since he was good for gestures, but on everyday things he was not so great. Molly told him that she never had a kid since it seemed like a lot of work. Ed told her he was not a good father, since he could not teach Shane how to ride a bike, which was different from teaching Molly. He told her about how he left Shane alone when Deke had come around, which led Molly to call him a selfish prick, which she also called herself due to her ignoring Wayne being afraid of her going to the moon. Ed told him Karen had been going through the same, but Molly concluded it was necessary to move the ball forward for mankind.

On day 3 of being on the moon, which was the last day, Thomas was confident Molly and Ed would find ice, but was surprised to hear the best bet was to send Apollo 16 with climbing gear. However, Thomas has having none of it since the Russians would beat them again. Gene stated they should waste time, and told mission control to get them inside, but Deke mentioned it was three times deeper than The Grand Canyon.

Molly and Ed considered using their rover as a winch in order to go down the crater.

Molly and Ed looked down and said it was very steep, meaning they could go down, but they did not know if they would be able to go back up. They thought of using the rover in order to make a winch out of it. Ed told Molly to always keep both hands on the rope in case anything happened, but Molly mentioned she weighed half as much as he did, and asked him to trust her.

Karen opened the door for Wayne, who brought her a painting. The painting was of a panther like in her dream, which was over Ed. She thanked him for it, and told him they should go to the TV in order to see the impromptu events which were unfolding.

Molly was in place for descent, and started going down, now out of Ed’s sight and inside the crater. Her transmission was cutting out, but managed to tell Ed she would be slowing down, as she was now heading into the dark. She turned on a light and told Ed to go lower. She started hitting when she was thirty meters from the baseline, but did not land a good blow. Ed asked her if she was okay and she told them she needed to adjust, but had just found bedrock. She went down another 20 feet. However, in mission control they mentioned Molly’s oxygen consumption was greater than expected and would only be able to keep that rhythm up for another two minutes.

They reached the end of the line, but Molly was only able to find basalt. Mission control told her her oxygen consumption was too high, so she needed to head back up. She refused, but Ed told her he would be bringing her back up. Ed warned her not to make him drag her up, and mission control started getting worried. Molly was able to hit a rock and told Houston to look at what she had got, which appeared to be ice; also showing them a lot more where it had come from.

Deke told Ed to bring Molly up, which he did, and they managed to safely return to the LEM. When they were inside, the public was told, and Karen hugged Wayne, who was relieved they were fine.

Gloria told Wayne and Karen that the press was on the Baldwin’s front lawn, waiting for a statement.

Before takeoff, Ed took a picture of Molly with the ice she gathered.

On the LEM, Ed felt relieved to be able to breathe, and Molly told mission control that they did not know how lucky they were. Mission control told them that they did, since even Margo was smiling, which Cobb asked someone to take a picture of. They were instructed to rehydrate and breathe for fifteen minutes. During this time, Ed took pictures of Molly with the ice, which she mentioned was melting. They lifted off, and left.

Two years later, on October 12, 1973, NASA managed to land the Jamestown Base on the edge of Shackleton Crater, ready for Apollo 21.

Cast[]

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