The Astronaut Wives Club Season 1 Episode 2 Review: Protocol

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Tater-Tot Surprise and Chinese Chicken Salad are on the menu as the astronaut wives gather to support each other for every frightening launch.

On The Astronaut Wives Club Season 1 Episode 2, Betty's husband, Gus, is the next to go up, and it's both exciting and terrifying.

Meanwhile, secrets are coming out, and the women are learning more and more that they have to stick together. And so do the men.

Betty Asks for Advice - The Astronaut Wives Club

Joanna Garcia Swisher's Betty is loveable, even though she plays that perfect housewife role a little too perfectly. Watching her eyes as her husband launches into space, and then when there's trouble getting him out of the water, is one of the most emotional scenes in "Protocol."

She's the polar opposite of Louise, who I still can't quite figure out. Louise isn't even willing to offer advice to Betty, and instead tells her to bury her emotions. The difference between the launches is that Louise refuses to have people by her side, while Betty embraces it. Her friends are right there with her, despite the fact we can tell she feels alone in that moment.

Betty and Gus also seem to have one of the better relationships, at least for now. Before he launches, Betty takes the time to tell him all the reasons she loves and appreciates him, and he clearly loves her just as much. They're sweet, and seem to have a mutual respect.

Another favorite relationship? John and Annie Glenn. Annie's stuttering is causing an issue for public relations, unfortunately, and NASA is especially concerned about it. Apparently, Annie can do well if she plans what she's going to say, but being asked questions is a whole other thing.

So imagine her anxiety when the Vice President of the United States calls her home and announces he's coming to "comfort her." In front of cameras, of course.

Annie calls her husband, who tells her if she doesn't want to talk to the Vice President, then she should just not answer the door. And that's after being told that if he can't convince her to talk to him, then his launch is going to be assigned to someone else. It's completely gross that that's what he's told, by the way. Whether or not he's the right person to go up next is apparently much less important than keeping up appearances for the media.

I guess some things haven't changed since the 60s.

Speaking of the media, the news doesn't broadcast the whole story of Gus Grissom's launch, which has made him look like he messed up big time. Never mind that he nearly drowned in the ocean – America doesn't need to see that part.

But here's the best part about the installment, and it's the idea that drives the series. Everyone has each other's back. Yes, it's competitive. The astronauts all want to have their own "firsts," and the wives have to outdo each other in the spotlight. When it comes down to it, though, they realize they have to stick together.

It happens twice. First, when John is grounded because he told his wife not to let the Vice President in, the other men decide they'll all refuse to take his place. We all know how much they would love that opportunity, but their loyalty is more important.

Then, Annie sees to it that all of the couples have a chance to be in the parade, instead of just John and herself. It's Betty who seems most thrilled, since she and Gus weren't invited to The White House after his launch as they should have been.

Other Thoughts:

  • I adore Trudy and her aspirations of doing this herself one day. It's too bad her husband doesn't take that seriously.
  • The reporter, Max, is surprisingly likeable and compassionate. He's willing to go off the record, and he does what he can to paint everyone in the best possible light.
  • It's almost hard to believe these characters are based on real people. Do a little research on some of them if you're up for it, because it makes the show even more interesting to watch.

What did you think of this episode of The Astronaut Wives Club? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Can't wait to see it again? You can always watch The Astronaut Wives Club online right here via TV Fanatic!

Protocol Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (14 Votes)

Ashley Bissette Sumerel was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in September 2017. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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The Astronaut Wives Club Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Gus, if it were me in your shoes, and you believed me, that's all that would matter. The investigation, NASA, the press... that's nothing compared to you and me.


A woman who knows when to shut up. America will love me.