Synopsis[edit | edit source]
A training accident spurs a national debate about women astronauts.
Plot[edit | edit source]
After the death of Patty Doyle, Molly Cobb sits at the bar in Outpost Tavern, where she is joined by Ellen Wilson, Tracy Stevens, and Danielle Poole, who tell her she missed the service. They try comforting her, as Pam serves drinks for the women, but Molly does not say a word until she mentions that Patty should have ejected, and that the program would probably be canceled.
Tracy gets home and finds Gordo sleeping with their kids. They discuss whether or not Tracy is doing the right thing, and Gordo tells her that their children think the world of her due to her training to be an astronaut. They both kiss and tell each other they love one another.
Edward Baldwin is on a phone call with Patty's father, who is angry at what happened, but Ed only mentions he was Patty's instructor on the day of the accident before Doyle hung up on him. Angered, Ed breaks his phone, and apologizes to Karen, who told him not to worry about it. She also told Ed the accident was not his fault, as Patty knew the risks involved in flying.
John Glenn goes to NASA, where he meets with Deke Slayton. Glenn tells Deke that there is a reason being a test pilot was required in order to be an astronaut, and told him that Patty had been out of her depth. Deke reminded him that a woman had already landed on the moon and that the women in his program had worked hard for what they had achieved. Glenn tells him that he understands his compassion after what he went through on Mercury, and remembers when he was grounded for atrial fibrillation. However, they had to consider the future of NASA, and knew that Deke had been forced into the idea of women astronauts. Deke denied this, and told him he decides who goes up or not. Glenn recognizes this, and tells him that if he were to publicly state that the women were not up to standards, nobody would question it.
Gene Kranz gives a conference to Ed, Gordo, Margo, Thomas, Deke, and others, saying that a man had been buried on the moon, which the Russians were keeping quiet. It seems they were trying to land near water. Looking at some cylinders, Gene says they might be pressurized modules, which makes Ed realize the Russians were ahead of them once again. However, Deke mentions they do not even have a site, which angers Thomas, telling him to "just pick one." Margo tells him that the base have been predicated on proximity to water ice, and they had yet to identify where they could find water ice. She was interrupted by Thomas, who did not know who she was, soon realizing she was "Wernher's girl." Gene corrected him, telling Thomas Margo was a flight dynamics officer and was making a good point. Thomas was angered by how they were always losing to the Russians, and reminded them the election was coming up, which would probably be against Ted Kennedy.
At his office, Deke is joined by Thomas, who tells him his birthday present was the female astronaut training program being canceled. Deke, however, was not happy about this since he had been working hard to get them ready. Thomas tells him that he can now put his focus back on the lunar base, where it belonged.
On October 27, 1970, Thomas is confused as to who called a press conference. At the conference, Deke announces that Danielle, Ellen, Molly, and Tracy were the first women to complete all of NASA's required astronaut training. He introduces each of them, and shakes their hand, while the press claps in celebration. Deke goes to Thomas, who tells him he had not authorized what he had done. Deke was aware of this, and reminded him that he was the one who decided who goes up, and when. Thomas congratulated him on making Nixon's shitlist.
As Octavio Rosales cleaned everything up, he found a paper and saved it, asking Aleida Rosales if she had seen the news. He gave her the paper he had picked up, which was Deke's speech given to the press. She hung it up on the wall and smiled.
Danielle gets a phone call from Clayton, who in Vietnam told her his peers had painted a spacesuit on his helmet, calling him "Major Tom." Danielle laughed and told him she missed him, telling him she sees more people coming home from the war. She wanted to tell him something, but the call was interrupted and she could not contact Clay.
Ed tries teaching Shane to ride a bike, but he keeps falling. Shane apologizes, but Ed tells him he does not want to hear it, and simply wants him to ride the bike while following his instructions. However, Deke arrives at his house, and they discuss a change in his crew. Deke tells him that Gordo is out, since the crew member replacing Gordo would be one of the female astronauts. Karen gets involved and tells him he was making a mistake all for a publicity stunt, but Deke argued they had all earned their place in the program. He told Ed he can get drunk with Gordo, and watch it on TV or go on Apollo 15. He told Ed to have dinner with his new crewmate, Molly, along with Sedge so they would get to know each other.
At dinner, Ed told Molly that there would be a lot of expectations on her, but that she should not worry about it. Ed told her it would be her first time in space, but she pointed out it would be Sedge's first time as well. Ed told her that Ed used to fly Phantoms in Vietnam, and had been flying jets ever since the Air Force Academy. Getting to the point, Ed tells Molly that both he and Sedge have a lot of experience, so if she followed their lead, she would have nothing to worry about. Molly tells him she is not worried and tells them she had been flying longer than both of them, mentioning she had gotten into Mercury 13 before Ed got into Gemini.
At home, Gordo saw a gift baskets sent to Tracy, and opened a bottle. Tracy told him that dinner was in half an hour, and that Fred and Susie would be there soon. Gordo apologized, and told her that a few things had come up, and Tracy realized he was drunk, realizing he was not going to let her enjoy her accomplishments. Gordo, once again apologized, and told her that Deke had taken him off 15, replacing him with Molly Cobb. Tracy comforted him, and told him she could tell Sheila to go home, but Gordo told her that they were going to celebrate her for becoming an astronaut. He also told her they were going to be getting her a new corvette, but she told him that they would be sending her away the next week for maybe a week or more. Gordo did not like that, feeling they should discuss that first, but Tracy told him that he knew that she needed to go where they sent her.
At Outpost, Ellen talked Lar who told her that she would be Molly's backup. Ellen told him that Molly was the best pilot in their class, thriving under pressure. However, the man told her that Ed is a no-nonsense man, and Molly "loves a shitstorm," which meant that Ellen could likely get bumped up.
At home, Ed told Karen how he offered to help Molly, but mentioned all she gave him was attitude as if she had already been in space. Karen told Ed that she did not how he had agreed to it, but Ed simply replied that she was on his crew and he had to make it work.
Meanwhile, at a tub, Molly told her husband that Ed did not respect women and probably thought she was a lesbian. Her husband mentioned that he probably did not know who she was, and Molly confirmed this and told him that the women were invisible to the "real astronauts." Molly pondered if she was made to fly solo, but concluded that Patty would think she was being an idiot, and her husband assured her she could be part of a team.
Larry Wilson was called early in the morning, and was told by Coop that they needed Ellen at 6A.M since the training schedule for the prime crew had just shifted. However, Ellen was not with him, but with Pam Horton, who picked up the phone and later told Ellen to get ready.
During the ride Larry gave Ellen, Ellen tried explaining that she had drank to much, and both Pam and she had decided that it was better if she did not drive. Lar, however, told Ellen that both of them were getting sloppy, and she could not afford to lie to officials or she could have her career terminated. He asked her to act the way everybody was expecting them to act, and everything would be fine. When they walked into NASA, they both held hands.
110 days before the Apollo 15 launch, Ed, Molly, and Sedge got their picture taken with their spacesuits on. However, they did not smile for the photo. Shorty asked for one with Molly alone, and tried to get her hair fixed, much to her annoyance. Shorty then told her that Americans want to see a free woman on the moon, not some Soviet puppet, and told her she should smile more. He asked her to smile, but after seeing her smile, he regretted it, and told her not to.
Margo was doing some math, but felt frustrated, and calmed herself down in order to continue. At night, she played the piano with a band at a bar. Molly watched her play, and Margo caught her eye. After her performance, Molly went up to her, and told her she finally saw a side of her that she liked. Wayne told her she did a good job, and Molly introduced him as her husband, which she scoffed at. Molly told Margo that she had to invite the other girls to the bar, but Margo asked her not to since it was her alone time, telling the astronaut not to mess with her.
During training, Molly was hitting a rock, which Ed told her she needed to use her full arm with. When she dropped her hammer, Ed also told her she could not just pick it up, since if she bent in her suit, she could not get further than 20 inches off the ground. He told her to focus on sample bags, which Molly did not like.
On a rocket simulator, Molly got into her spacesuit, while Ed helped her. She celebrated not having to wear a bra in space since there would be no gravity, but Sedge asked her to please wear it on behalf of their marriages. Engineers started talking, and Sedge asked what was going on. The engineers told him that the release tube in spacesuits was made for man parts, which Molly would not be able to use lest she made a mess of herself. Molly told them that would not work, since the trip was a week long. The engineers suggested a diaper, but Ed was against that, and told them that nobody in his crew would be wearing a diaper.
Later, they both got on a rover in which Ed explained that once she figured out how to use it, they would move onto the 1/6th G-rig which would better simulate its movements on the moon. He told her to just keep her eyes on the road, to which she responded that she had learned that in driver's ed. Ed clarified, telling her she was a pilot, and all pilots had tendencies, like Gordo, to look at an instrument panel, then checks his surroundings like he is in a plane. Ed also mentions that even at 8 kilometers an hour, accidents can happen quickly and the moon's terrain would be very irregular.
At another training routine, 18 days before the launch, Margo tells Molly that she went into the final trim 30 seconds late. She tells the other engineers that Molly still does not know the standard procedures. They asked both Ed and Molly to repeat, and Molly complained that Margo was a "pain in [her] ass." Molly told Ed that all she was doing was adjusting the locking harness out of the way, but she was ready. Molly started humming, and Margo asked her to focus; Cobb started entering numbers, but got a mistake, which Ed dryly confirmed was wrong. After that, Ed asked to have more under his control, which an engineer said was too late to be doing. Molly told him she had it under control, but he was firm. Margo asked Ed if he remembered why they had laid it out that way to start with, but Ed reminded her he was the commander of the mission.
After training, Margo asked Cobb what was going on. Molly told her to fuck off, since she was just messing with her. However, Margo told her that she was too busy joking to see that Ed does not trust her. Molly was confused, but Margo told her she was not good enough and she had to be in order to be the first American woman in space. Molly told her that she was who she was, and if people did not like it, then screw them, but Margo reminded her it was not about her, and that she was not just a pilot, but an astronaut.
Some time before the day of the takeoff, Gordo greeted Ed, telling him he would be going to Ellington. He apologized to Gordo for having not talked to him sooner, but Gordo told him it was okay. Gordo asked him how Karen felt about him spending a week in a little capsule with another woman, and Ed told him that his wife would be happier if his friend had been going with him instead and he would too. They shook hands, and said goodbye.
Octavio handed Aleida a bus ticket, telling her to get off at Cape Kennedy where she would be following everybody else, since they were all going to the same place. Then she would to the bus station and use the second ticket in order to get back to Houston. Octavio apologizes for not having enough for two tickets, but Aleida assures him she would be fine. They hug, and she gets on the bus.
On the day of the launch, Gordo asked Tracy where she had been the past night, but Tracy told him she had unplugged the phone in order to sleep right, but Gordo asked what would have happened if there had been an emergency with their kids and she told him that BASEOPs can get to her at any time. He asked her when she would return, and she mentioned that maybe a few days, and she might go out to celebrate in the night. Gordo replied by saying that he thought she might be worried about being a bad mother. She flushed the toilet, and turned on the shower, prompting Gordo to ask what had happened. She pretended nothing had happened, and hung up on him.
Two hours before the launch, Karen walked with Gloria Sedgewick, and mentioned she liked her seats for the Apollo 10 launch before. She greeted Wayne, who complimented her dress.
Sedge, Ed, and Molly got ready for takeoff, putting on their spacesuits. They were celebrated on their way to the Apollo 15, and Aleida made her way through a crowd gathered to watch the takeoff.
The three were strapped in, and Sedge mentioned that the send-off was big. Molly mentioned they were celebrating for nothing, since she had not done anything yet, but Ed countered by saying that she had strapped herself on top of a quarter million tons of high explosive for government pay, which was something. His joke made them all laugh. Moments later, the launch began, and was successful.
At mission control, Deke was called by the president, who congratulated him on what he was seeing on the news. As Deke thanked him, Nixon told him that if Molly screwed up, he was fired.
As the rocket began rising, Molly looked out the window, which was getting darker, and excitedly said "I'm going to the moon!"
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- This episode was in memory of Geraldyn M. Cobb, who Molly Cobb was based on. Geraldyn passed away earlier in 2019.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Joel Kinnaman - Edward Baldwin
- Michael Dorman - Gordo Stevens
- Sarah Jones - Tracy Stevens
- Shantel VanSanten - Karen Baldwin
- Jodi Balfour - Ellen Waverly
- Wrenn Schmidt - Margo Madison
- Chris Bauer - Deke Slayton
- Sonya Walger - Molly Cobb
- Eric Ladin - Gene Kranz
- Michael Harney - Jack Broadstreet
- Dan Donohue - Thomas Paine
- Krys Marshall - Danielle Poole
- Meghan Leathers - Pam Horton
- Nate Corddry - Larry Wilson
- Brian Stepanek - Shorty Powers
- Dave Power - Frank Sedgewick
- Lenny Jacobson - Wayne Cobb
- Edwin Hodge - Clayton Poole
- Noah Harpster - Bill Strausser
- Nick Toren - Tim 'Bird Dog' McKiernan
- Daniel Robbins - Hank Poppen
- Spencer Garrett - Roger Scott
- Matt Battaglia - John Glenn
- Teya Patt - Emma
- Tony Lewellen - Coop
- Teddy Blum - Young Shane Baldwin
- Jason David - Young Daniel Stevens
- William Lee Holler - Young Jimmy Stevens
- Dan Warner - General Arthur Weber
- Tracy Mulholland - Tracy Mulholland
- Darin Cooper - Businessman
- Krystal Torres - Cata