With only two weeks away from landing on Mars, the Atlas crew faces another life or death situation.
This time, there are not many choices left; only Ground had critical decisions to make on AWAY Season 1 Episode 9.
Not only was the crew affected by having no control over their lives, but Lex was deeply affected too since Emma is closer to death than ever before.
With every obstacle the Atlas faced, no matter how dreary the circumstances were, they always had options. Now, for the first time, they do not have any.
It is just a waiting game for Emma, Lu, Ram, Kwesi, and Misha. There is nothing else to do unless Ground notifies them of a way to extract water from the ship.
Lu: How about the uh, bladders of water that are surrounding the ship?
Ram: Through the walls?
Misha: Yeah, absolutely not.
Kwesi: Why? Why can't we?
Misha: Because it's impossible.
Emma: I'll get on it with Ground. The impossible's where we're at.
Each crew member deals with death's inevitability in their own way, demonstrating their core personalities once again. However, this time, it is different because they are at death's door -- they have nothing to lose by being honest and vulnerable with themselves.
There are no expectations to reach, no decisions to make, and no goals to set. Emma, Lu, Ram, Kwesi, and Misha confront the most intimate parts of themselves, showing how much they hid this entire time.
Lu is the most upfront of the crew. She is straightforward about death like she always has been. Lu was ready to die on Mars, but she does not want to die on the Atlas without even landing on the planet. And although Lu does not talk about her values a lot, she holds them close to her.
Her big heart is as visible as ever when Lu remains honest throughout "Spektr." She keeps things simple and to the point without beating around the bush, making her the perfect candidate to write last words on the crew's behalf.
It was worth it.Lu
Kwesi's circumstances are the most curious of the five because he reveals more about his birth family. Now, we understand why Kwesi has always been anxious about his health and the water supply -- it is because he brutally witnessed his parents die of dehydration.
However, Kwesi is not very anxious on AWAY Season 1 Episode 9. He knows what death from dehydration looks like, and now that he expects it, life does not surprise him anymore. Death is inevitable for Kwesi. So, while he values health, faith, and water, he also knows he cannot do anything other than wait to die.
At least Kwesi holds his values firmly until the last minute. Part of him still expects to die of dehydration. He wants to ensure his crewmates are as comfortable as they can be. Kwesi may be waiting for death, but he plans to die with faith by his side and love in his heart.
Even though it seems like Misha embraces death, he is actually in denial. Misha shuts down any possible while he still talks like they will survive. These are all signs of denial.
Besides, the journey to Mars made Misha realize one thing. After countless mishaps over the last several months, Misha admits that he wants to avoid death and live. This sentiment is unusual for someone like Misha, who seemingly thrives in space.
But after losing his vision, family, and crew's trust, Misha has nothing left. When you have nothing to cherish, your real values come out. You do not have anything to lose by being the most honest version of yourself, and in this state, Misha chose his family.
He chose to save sentimental handmade puppets for his grandchildren over his vodka, which he relies on desperately in trying times, proving that Misha wants to be home with his family. After decades of being an astronaut and achieving the impossible, he craves to be a full-time grandfather and make proper amends with his daughter.
So, it makes sense for Misha to be in denial. After all, if they die, Misha will die with the most regrets since he did not have a chance to make things right. Since Misha lacks hope at the moment, we can only hope on his behalf that the Atlas finds a solution before succumbing to death.
As the most accepting of the crew, Ram only has one thing left on his mind. He deals with death at the pivotal moment of "Spektr," when they have one more way to extract water from the ship.
Despite the pressure Emma and Ram face on their upcoming spacewalk, it does not stop Ram from confessing his feelings. Ram may claim he is not close to anyone, but he loves the crew as if they were his family, and he is in love with Emma.
Of course, Ram knew Emma's rejection was inevitable, but his perspective on the life or death situation is clear. He is about to embark on his first spacewalk, and he is not confident about returning with enough water for the remainder of the trip.
Since the beginning of the voyage, Ram was always the most prepared to die of everyone in the crew. Well, he was, until he fell in love with Emma. However, confessing his feelings while on the brink of death is a strong indicator that Ram is still the most prepared, even if they have a real shot in obtaining water.
The last episode will be exciting for many reasons, but especially now since Ram and Emma collected enough ice to last until Mars. Now, Ram must live with the consequences of confessing his feelings.
You know, I used to think that if my life ended in sacrifice for something great, something bigger than myself, for my country, science, history... it would be the epitome of a life well-lived.Ram
By the time Emma and Ram are ready for their spacewalk, Emma was hopeful about surviving. However, before the moment, she was the most detached of the group. Emma, who birthed hope on the Atlas, who took the craziest risks, and who always tried her hardest, had absolutely nothing to give.
But how could she? She left the two people she loved most in the world on Earth. Mars is her dream, but she developed new ones along the way. Emma is about to lose one of her big dreams, and there is nothing she can do about it.
Ever since Emma had Lex, she never believed she had to give up one dream for another, but with one last shot to survive, Emma is terrified she was wrong all these years. Emma already lost hope, so she believes that she gave up Matt and Lex for Mars, something she never thought was true.
Emma: I'm scared I'm never gonna see you guys again.
Matt: Don't think like that.
Emma: But I do, I can't help it. Misha said you can't have both -- family and the mission. That you have to leave something behind in order to survive.
However, it was never true, and Matt and Lex know that more than anyone. Once Emma allows herself to feel beyond fear again, she will realize how Matt and Lex are always with her. She never gave them up, and they were with her throughout this entire journey.
Even on "Spektr," when Emma lost hope, Matt held onto it for her. He doubled his belief on Emma's behalf. So, once Emma comes out of her shell, she will know that she never lost hope -- Matt, and even Lex, had it when she did not.
Things are not better at Matt and Lex's end, either. Lex is in a similar position that the Atlas is in -- she waits to hear if NASA found a solution or if Emma will die.
Lex has the most to lose, but she also has the most support since she makes up with Isaac. If Emma dies, Isaac would be empathetic and supportive since he lost his father, too.
Lex: Everyone keeps telling me to have faith and keep hoping. But what happens if my mom does die? What will it feel like?
Isaac: It's pretty much the worst thing you'll go through in your life. Nothing will make sense. You'll be pissed off. Sometimes you won't even know if you wanna keep living.
Lex: Yeah. That's pretty much what I thought it'd be like.
Isaac: But it does get better.
Isaac: But then that kinda messes you up even more, 'cause in a way, you want it to keep hurting. At least if it hurts, you're not forgetting them. It really sucks when you start to forget them.
We hope Emma makes it, but Emma knows that Lex is not alone if she does not. Lex has Matt, Melissa, Cassie, Isaac, her friends at school, and of course, Lex has Emma -- in her heart, where she was this entire time. Lex will be okay no matter what, but it was tough watching her attempt to grasp the concept of Emma's death.
"Spektr" contrasted all of the previous episodes of AWAY uniquely. Although death loomed nearby after so much decision-making, it was almost relieving to see that not many people had choices to make. Almost everyone had accepted the Atlas crew would die in a matter of days.
Thankfully, Matt never gave up. He did not have choices to make, but that is because he worked on the situation tirelessly. He refused to wait to see if the Atlas would live or die since death was not an option. It did not exist in any way.
Matt was the only one without choices who thought the crew would live. While darkness consumed the episode, Matt contrasted it with light. He defined life on "Spektr" by being a beacon of hope.
It is worrying to think about what would have happened if the crew died since Matt refused to give up. He may have gone into denial, but thankfully, we never got to that point, and honestly, nobody wanted to see that.
There is one more episode left on AWAY Season 1. Now that the Atlas has enough water for the remainder of the trip, they are about to face their biggest obstacle yet. They are about to make history no matter what happens, but whether they live to see it or not will depend on a healthy mix of critical choices and uncontrollable fate.
"Spektr" paved the path for AWAY Season 1 Episode 10 to be an epic finale, and we hope that they deliver, even if the crew does not make it.
Over to you, Fanatics!
What did you think of AWAY Season 1 Episode 9? Did you feel the episode's intense emotions? What do you think of how each character dealt with the possibility of death? Did you agree with Ram's decision to tell Emma how he felt?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
You can watch AWAY online right here, at TV Fanatic!
Sarah Novack is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.