For All Mankind: Rules of Engagement
March 6, 2021 11:43 AM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

A dispute on the moon prompts NASA officials to consider arming astronauts. Ed's past comes back to haunt him.
posted by ellieBOA (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Fun and wild article from Gizmodo in 2016: The Ultimate List of Weapons Astronauts Have Carried Into Orbit. I wonder if that crazy 3-barreled machete pistol will make an appearance in the show - the Russians started using it in 1982. Seems likely that if they were sending them up into orbit that they'd also send them to the moon in this timeline.

Also this Wikipedia article on the secret Almaz military space station program says that the Russians test fired a 23mm rapid fire cannon in orbit in 19-freaking-73!

So, you'd think by the early-mid eighties both sides would have definitely already placed some kind of firepower up on the moon.
posted by ssmith at 12:39 PM on March 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

Ed's meltdown was hard to watch - so unable and unused to articulate fear... "I, reacted..."
posted by monocultured at 6:54 AM on March 7, 2021 [6 favorites]

Among others, I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Aleida, first Margo's encounter, and then Aleida ditching her boyfriend.
posted by kingless at 10:56 AM on March 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

I'm really enjoying this show, though I felt the whole discussion about "wait, you'll need guns on the Moon?!" was a little unrealistic. Surely Reagan's staff would've immediately realised that implication as soon as they suggested the US astronauts take and hold the mining site?
posted by adrianhon at 3:21 PM on March 7, 2021 [3 favorites]

This is probably the first episode so far that didn't really catch my interest. So, sure, Ed can't manage to express any significant emotion, no surprise, but I can't buy allowing Gordo and Tracy going up again, if just because they're both a train wreck eve individually. He's stunted, but he's not a complete moron. Furthermore, I still can't buy Gordo's redemption.

Aleida has almost everything going against her. No matter how brilliant she may be, she sure sounds pretty much unemployable, even if she were not a brown, illegal immigrant woman making her an instant pass from the get go. She's completely dependent on Margo's generosity/guilt, which clearly doesn't sit well with Aleida. Does she bring something so unique that the space program can overlook all her negatives? Maybe they can pull this off. I'm not convinced.
posted by 2N2222 at 6:35 PM on March 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

I'd still *really* like to see any focus on the Soviet side of the aisle. I know that's not what the show's doing, and it's making us infer their motives from how Reagan's USA perceives them as the Borg, but from our perspective on the USSR's condition in the 80s, the lithium grab could seem more like an act of desperation.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 6:40 AM on March 8, 2021

Side thought: if you're arming people on the moon, swords would actually have a lot of utility up there, and wouldn't need any fancy modifications to work.
posted by COBRA! at 8:20 AM on March 8, 2021 [4 favorites]

On a more serious note: on a dramatic level, I like the payoff that the Russian astronaut bugged Jamestown, but the nuts and bolts of that bug me. Did Russians just carry bugs with them at all times when they left their compound, on the off chance that an opportunity might arise? Was he running some kind of Dune level plans-within-plans long con where he intentionally let Baldwin capture him?

(the explanation my wife and I worked up is that, when Baldwin went off to go up for the Apollo 24 rescue mission, the cosmonaut knew he had a few hours, so he fixed his rover, hauled ass back to base to pick up the bug, hauled ass back, and managed to do all of that while Baldwin was up throwing fuel tanks through space; but that's not a very satisfying explanation)
posted by COBRA! at 8:24 AM on March 8, 2021 [9 favorites]

The cosmonaut was intercepted coming out of the crater where he was snooping around their ice mine, so it would be at least plausible for him to have some spy toys in his moon buggy.

Very much a table setting and character development episode. Test pilots and astronauts are infamous compartmentalizers, but when you think about how they have been in the space race for 10+ years, it’s not surprising that the cracks are finally starting to show.

Aleida being described as the best engineer ever but totally incapable of working on a team shows that Ron Moore has opted for the One Great (Hu)Man myth described in a recent Star Trek recap. Conversely, there could be a great story on the skill of people that are essential in keeping the geniuses all working for a common cause.
posted by cardboard at 9:05 AM on March 8, 2021 [4 favorites]

I like the payoff that the Russian astronaut bugged Jamestown, but the nuts and bolts of that bug me.

Same here. It's a good plot twist, but I was wondering how this was pulled off. Sure, they were snooping around and it's plausible they would have some kind of clandestine surveillance equipment, but unless I missed something, I thought this was supposed to be an audio bug. Which of course would be useless on the moon, and probably easily spotted if it had been planted on equipment headed back to living quarters. Maybe they were actually planning to seize any opportunity to get inside Jamestown? If it had all been a ruse, it was a pretty clever one. Or maybe he had enough time to run back to the base when Ed was up sending the fuel and they don't lock Jamestown? Thinking about it, Ed seemed to leave the place unattended regularly when he was up there alone.
posted by 2N2222 at 4:24 PM on March 8, 2021 [2 favorites]

I like the payoff that the Russian astronaut bugged Jamestown, but the nuts and bolts of that bug me.

It also had a battery that transmitted a signal for ten years.

I’m not against character development stuff, but I felt like this episode dragged a bit and could have used more space stuff.
posted by snofoam at 4:51 PM on March 8, 2021 [5 favorites]

I think the bug was loosely patched into the lights wiring. I don’t see how it wouldn’t have caused broadcast interference.

I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Aleida, I have mixed feelings about this having grown up in this era with brilliant friends held back by shifting status due to shifting rules and borders. But it stinks of Ron Moore’s BS.

However hub and I disagreed over her being recast or not — either she had a hell of a pandemic year or they recast her. (Of course they recast her.)

I think ginger protagonist is being set up to bounce (or try) Gordo or Trace from the flight assignment. (Gordo does mean fat but I think it’s a good prosthetic and makeup job).

Nice Zenith laptops.
posted by tilde at 8:21 AM on March 24, 2021

We last saw Aleida in season 1, and wasn't there a decade-long time jump from season 1 to 2?
posted by Pronoiac at 1:48 PM on April 4, 2021

Yeah, I’m behind on the show, but if anyone’s still reading this, what the heck was that business at the end with Gordo and the red light?
posted by Naberius at 9:09 PM on April 26, 2021

Naberius: Gordo saw some blinking red lights in the distance on one of his walks, at the end of s01e06. That led to some paranoia about Russian cosmonaut activity.

This was a nod to it, but it was only a VCR.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:12 AM on April 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

Oh right. Were those supposed to be a hallucination? I thought those were real, and he didn’t start to actually go off the deep end until the ants. Given his reaction here, I guess I misread that.
posted by Naberius at 9:25 PM on April 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

I don't think they were ever fully explained. At the least, it was adjacent to a rough period for Gordo, so it may have felt like a stress flashback.
posted by Pronoiac at 5:53 PM on April 28, 2021

Um....Tracy, drunk and late all the time to your sims should really get you kicked off the flight. And crashing your car. And sleeping naked at Gordo's. Gordo's the "easy" husband now?! Oh, sweetie, no. Why you going off the rails, hun?

"Whip It," played to Gordo trying to zip his suit, was an appropriate delight.

You keep the toilet paper in the kitchen? I have a small-ass bathroom and even I can keep mine closer. Also, how have the mighty fallen to have a stranger come in and bring you TP and it turns out to be your mentor. And Aleida turned into an attitudinal jerk. Yaaaaay. Can't wait to watch that storyline :/

"Bullshit. You make crew decisions based on your golf score and how big a dump you took that day." DIED LAUGHING AT THIS. Seriously there's no good reason other than "friendship" to let Gordo back into space this soon while he's out of shape, and to make him and Tracy be up there at the same time? Bad idea on many levels. There's no justification to this I can come up with.

Good job, Kelly! I'm not sure why they're both so freaking freaked at Annapolis (geez, it's the military in the 80's, not a death sentence, and their kid died in a totally different way). I'm surprised Karen went into the military. Like I'm sure she'd follow Ed anywhere but space, but she doesn't seem like the military type?

This was probably the one episode after the first two I wasn't all that into.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:19 PM on February 21, 2023

I can't believe they are letting Traci continue.
posted by tofu_crouton at 4:16 PM on November 5, 2023 [1 favorite]

Thought same, back in the day.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:51 PM on November 5, 2023 [1 favorite]

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