The capsule holding the new recruits falls to Mars. The Sourjourner can be seen in the distance. Miles snaps a photo.
Palmer James is the Human Services rep, working directly under Ed. Miles is thrilled to be there. Palmer’s welcome speech doesn’t make it seem very enjoyable up there.
Ed visits Danielle, and they Hi Bob each other. He says she’s a glutton for punishment. He’s sporting a patch on his uniform — GK — for Grigory.
Danielle sees Lee Jung-Gil and calls for him excitedly. He’s not allowed to be excited or to talk with her. He gives her a cursory nice to see you and leaves. Ed explains that the North Koreans are making sure he knows his place and that he’s got a lot of eyes on him since he returned. We didn’t know much about him, but it seems she and Lee struck up a nice friendship.
Miles discovers that he’s working HVAC aka base maintenance, instead of doing fuel tech, for which he was trained. The asteroid program has been put on hold though, so they’re reassigning people.
When Miles reaches his bunk, a Russian fellow offers his black market wares for a good price. Miles is taking Parker’s bunk and finds a photo of him folded up beside it.
Danielle greets her new staff, talking about Grigory (who she calls Kuz) and how his sacrifice has to mean something.
In the middle of the night, Aleida has taken apart her TV. She hasn’t been to work in a month and barely leaves the house. Her husband is not amused, and it’s affecting the kids. She refuses to go back to therapy or to go back on medication. She also can’t go back to NASA. She’s in a bad place.
Miles gets a video message from his family, but it doesn’t really work. People haven’t been getting anything for weeks, his bunkmate says. But Danielle is getting messages. The screenshots show the difference between her role and those on the lower decks. They never seem to come out from underground. It’s reminiscent of Silo.
Showing them side by side seems unfair since Danielle more than paid her due, and Miles is brand new to this, not to mention he lied about his application.
They pass in the elevator.
When he’s fixing someone’s unit up above, a guy is listening to vid mail without problems. The guy asks him to check the toilet, too.
Karen works with robots looking into microcolonies in a test tunnel. Eli gives her the news that her science initiative is being put on hold until the asteroid program is back up and running.
Upstairs, they’re having fettuccine and roasted chicken. It looks nice. Danielle wonders how Kelly feels about Ed staying on Mars. Meanwhile, downstairs, the employees have others pay for their own meals that come out of what looks like apartment mailboxes. It’s dark and dismal. The “meatloaf” looks like an old elementary school hamburger.
One of the guys wonders why things are so different. They’re just the help, while astronauts, cosmonauts, etc., are the important people. She’s angry that people are sporting GK patches, but nobody has a Tom Parker patch, and he died, too.
Danielle has gotten a sense of frustration from below deck. Ed has no sympathy. He says they’re all just in it for a buck, and what they did was much nobler. But Danielle doesn’t agree, mentioning the comms issue down there.
Essential comms are more important. They aren’t going to fix it because Helios says the comm sat isn’t made for in-space repairs. They think it’s better to limp along with what they’ve got rather than trying to fix it.
That doesn’t sit well with Danielle, who remembers that when they heard two weeks that drew on and on, their morale was in the shitter. She supersedes orders, asking Ed to come up with a fix.
Aleida visits Eli. She apologizes for walking out. He will welcome her back with open arms when she’s ready, and she says she’s ready. He brings up mental health, and she says it wasn’t mental health.
He thinks she needs to see a professional before returning to such a high-stress position. As he talks, she flashes back to the bombing, her ears ringing, looking out of what was Margo’s office. He extends his hand to welcome her back, and in return, she quits.
Karen’s place is now Julio’s Tex Mex. Aleida heads there for a shot, finding Karen working from one of the booths. They’ve never met, but Aleida introduces herself.
They talk about what was, especially the landmark that brings Karen such wonderful memories. She shares her anger about the science initiative. Karen can’t believe Aleida just quit, but they toast to not being sure.
They’re taking 30% off the top of their paychecks down below so that Miles is making less than he made at home. Ed overhears Miles complaining, and Miles doesn’t hide his feelings when Ed approaches.
Ed reminds Miles that they are standing on another planet, and he kind of backhands Miles in the chest while telling him to take some personal responsibility. It’s really insulting.
Ed and Danielle are listening to people at work on the satellite. It’s a success, and they’re back in business.
Aleida and Kelly are still doing shots, but some of their glasses are half full, and when does that happen?
Aleida talks about Margo and how disappointed she would be in her protege. Kelly says liquid is the perfect medium for life, and that’s what she was going to find in a place it has no right to exist.
Kelly wakes up on Aleida’s couch. She vomited on the carpet, and it smelled really gross, Aleida’s daughter says. Aleida begins a proposal to find private funding for Kelly’s project. Kelly is scared, but I think she’s down. Aleida’s husband is happy.
Taking a page out of Danielle’s playbook, Ed throws a party, showing a little appreciation for the others, those downstairs included. Miles is in his room, beginning to watch all of the video messages. He cries, seeing their faces, and finally records a response.
Unfortunately, he lies to his family, saying he was fitted for his space suit and went down on the surface. Then he realizes it’s bullshit and stops the recording. The girl in the nearby bunk says it was pathetic, and they laugh. That’s when he learns that he can’t go back early without repaying Helios $150 grand. Ah! Her name is Sam. Sam takes Miles to the black market guy. It’s an underground bar with airlock vodka.
Margo wakes for another day. She sleeps on a water bottle and does simple exercises in the morning. I guess all of the injuries are just from the explosion.
Margo turns on the TV, noticing that some channels are not on. She settles on ballet. She looks out the window, and you can hear some sirens in the background. She exits the building, and there is nobody in the car nearby. The streets are empty. She’s got a puzzled look on her face.
She asks the baker what’s going on. He says it’s fine and she should go home. She discovers a large gathering at the park. The authorities are demanding that the newsman close his kiosk. People are asking about Gorbachev. What happened to him? The police get violent, dropping tear gas. They want the crowd dispersed.
Margo grabs a cop’s arm while he is beating someone, and she’s tossed to the ground. She says she’s not a part of this, but she made herself a part by stepping in.