REVIEW: ‘For All Mankind’ Season 3 Soars to New Heights

Reading Time: 4 minutes

For All Mankind Season 3 - But Why Tho

For All Mankind Season 3 lands on Apple TV+, today debuted the first episode of the season in what plans to be another epic space saga as humanity attempts to conquer the red planet of Mars. The series, starring Joel Kinnaman, depicts a reality similar to ours, but with one significant distinction, the Russians landed on the moon first. This event kicks off a chain reaction sparking an international space race that changes the course of history as we know it.

In Season 2, tensions between Russia and the USA hit a boiling point leading to a hostile event on the moon in which fan favorites Gordo (Michael Dorman), and Tracy Stevens (Sarah Jones) sacrificed themselves to save the Jamestown base. A brilliant season, and a finale with all the tension the universe could muster.

Season 3 takes place quite sometime after the events of the prior season with a brand new mission in mind. Be the first humans to land on Mars. This time, however, it won’t simply be a two-horse race between the USA and Russia, as an eccentric billionaire with dreams of landing on the red planet first enters the fray.

The series brings with it the terror, and tension of space exploration which is wonderfully paired with the engineering and science that’s involved in such endeavors. The show continues to lean in on these aspects as they’ve been pillars for what makes the show such a gripping, and engaging thrill ride. What For All Mankind Season 3 expertly captures is the horror of space and sci-fi in a way that doesn’t need to rely on Alien beings terrorizing unsuspecting astronauts. Look, while that aspect of sci-fi is incredibly fun, this show highlights the intricacies of trying to survive in an atmosphere that is incredibly hostile to human life. Not only is the location unwelcoming, but as the series very well documents there’s also a level of trust placed on the mechanical devices and structures that need to function perfectly to aid in the survival of these explorers. Factoring in the human element and variables behind these designs, the construction, and the maintenance of it all it’s a wonder people want to go up to space at all because there’s danger at every turn. In summary, space is a frightening wasteland and the risk involved is off the charts, which Season 3 will show again, and again.

While a normal person would quickly turn and run from this situation, we turn our attention to the brave astronauts willing to forge ahead into the unexplored. Returning for another season are Ed Baldwin, Danielle Poole, “Hi Bob”, played by Kinnaman, and Krys Marshall who are the now seasoned astronauts. Kinnaman has been a big feature of the previous seasons but gets less screen time for Season 3 which allows a lot more time for Marshall to fill his boots. Honestly, I’ve been waiting for a better, and bigger plot line for Marshall to explore and she wastes no time in showing why she deserves the spotlight. Not only does she project confidence, but she has a compassionate side that offsets a lot of male bravadoes that surround her.

In my past review of this show, I’ve been somewhat critical of the role of Karen Baldwin, played by Shantel VanSanten, as they just don’t seem to know what to do with her. In Season 2 they had her engaged in an affair with Danny Stevens (Casey W. Johnson), son of Gordo and Tracy. That whole plot line was incredibly uncomfortable and felt like more of a time-filler story in between the main plot. Finally, though, VanSanten again has found a much better story to tell in Season 3 and she really comes into her own. Whether this was by the design from the beginning, or through an evolving story I don’t know, but I really enjoyed watching her grow.

Another wonderful addition to the season is Dev Ayesa, played by the wonderful Edi Gathegi, whose plan is to shake up the space race old guard and bring some modern age innovation to an industry solely dominated by government agencies surrounded by global politics. Gathegi brings a refreshing energy to the series as we enter a new period, with the long-standing cast aging upward.

While the show continues to be one of my favorite current sci-fi shows around, the third season does hit some stumbling blocks in the overall pacing of the series. The first few episodes are a bold and frantic entry reminding me why I love this story, but midway through with various plot points all fighting for screen time it destabilizes the flow.

For All Mankind Season, 3 is another great entry into this series highlighting that sci-fi can be just as epic and tense without needing to rely on an extraterrestrial element. Krys Marshall, VanSanten, and Casey W. Johnson land more screen time and shine in their new roles. While the show does hit a stumbling block in its pacing around the midway point, it’s still one of the standout streaming shows on Apple TV+. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, For All Mankind is the sci-fi show you should be watching!

For All Mankind Season 3, Episode 1 is available now exclusively on Apple TV+, with future episodes released weekly.


For All Mankind Season 3
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

For All Mankind Season, 3 is another great entry into this series highlighting that sci-fi can be just as epic and tense without needing to rely on an extraterrestrial element. Krys Marshall, VanSanten, and Casey W. Johnson land more screen time and shine in their new roles. While the show does hit a stumbling block in its pacing around the midway point, it’s still one of the standout streaming shows on Apple TV+. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, For All Mankind is the sci-fi show you should be watching!