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For All Mankind goes out with a bang in season 3 finale [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆

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For All Mankind season 3 finale recap Apple TV+: Things are getting dicey at NASA.★★★☆☆
Things are getting dicey at NASA because of course they are.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ space opera/soap opera For All Mankind closes its confounding third season this week by introducing us to a new character and a new geopolitical rival for the beleaguered space crews.

In this week’s season three finale, entitled “Stranger in a Strange Land,” Ed Baldwin learns Danny’s terrible secret. Jimmy Stevens hangs out with the wrong crowd for just a few minutes too long. Margo’s in trouble, Kelly’s giving birth, Karen’s making bold choices, and Dev is up a creek.

None of that’s going to matter by this week’s third act, of course. Just you wait and see.

Mars is getting monotonous on For All Mankind [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆

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For All Mankind recap: It's always something.★★★☆☆
Whether on Earth or on Mars, it's always something.
Photo: Apple TV+

For All Mankind holds a few cliffhangers up its sleeve in season 3’s penultimate episode, but first it must deal with its soapy dilemmas.

Ellen and Larry are in the hot seat, Kelly Baldwin’s baby is coming along ahead of schedule, Aleida Rosales is all out of heroes, Karen and Dev might switch jobs — and Danny Stevens’ goose might be cooked!

A decent episode of the Apple TV+ alt-history sci-fi hit focuses on plot nitty-gritty and emotional turmoil, until it gives way to a typically frustrating final reveal.

For All Mankind faces Martian disaster in ‘The Sands of Ares’ [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆

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For All Mankind recap: Danielle Poole (played by Krys Marshall) tries to save lives on Mars this week on For All Mankind.★★★☆☆
Danielle Poole (played by Krys Marshall) tries to save lives on Mars this week on For All Mankind.
Photo: Apple TV+

For All Mankind has a Martian crisis on its hands this week’s episode, “The Sands of Ares.” Ed and Danny are trapped, Danielle has to come get them, and Karen, Jimmy, and Amber wait on tenterhooks for news of the rescue.

It’s all hands on deck at NASA in the meantime, in the Apple TV+ space soap. People start confessing dark things as they face down death. And there may not be enough people left to make any sense of the Mars mission when it’s over.

For All Mankind suffers from an unbearable lack of imagination [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆

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For All Mankind recap: The jig is almost up for Ellen (played by Jodi Balfour) and Larry (Nate Corddry).★★☆☆
The jig is almost up for Ellen (played by Jodi Balfour) and Larry (Nate Corddry).
Photo: Apple TV+

For All Mankind spins its wheels this week until a catastrophe in the back half of the episode. Danny’s losing it. Ed’s being Ed. Jimmy commits some low-level espionage. Ellen and Larry find themselves under a microscope. Aleida closes in on the truth. And Margo is losing everything.

A surprise cameo from one of history’s greatest monsters reinforces the lack of imagination on the part of a show whose only job is to imagine greater things.

Americans and Russians spar on Mars, this week on For All Mankind [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆

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For All Mankind recap: Looks like we made it to Mars.★★☆☆
Looks like we made it.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s For All Mankind finally made it to Mars! Still, it’s pretty much business as usual this week, what with Americans and Russians bickering and making back-alley deals, and men being boorish and short-tempered and proud of nothing.

On Earth, U.S. President Ellen Wilson must deal with gays in the military right on schedule. And on Mars, Danny’s going nuts, Ed and his adopted daughter Kelly meet, and the Russians find water — and vodka!

A perfectly OK episode of the alt-history space show is made all the more frustrating by its flashes of greatness.

For All Mankind finally makes it to Mars, and it’s depressing [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆☆

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For All Mankind recap: Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner in the race to Mars.★★☆☆☆
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner in the race to Mars.
Photo: Apple TV+

In “Seven Minutes of Terror,” Apple TV+ alt-history space race show For All Mankind returns this week to where it left off last season, with America and Russia once more holding hands begrudgingly to fix some space problems.

Ed and Karen have the same trouble with authority. Danny’s cracking up. Margo’s head is in a noose. Kelly’s got a crush. And Sojourner 1 suffers from a serious a problem.

Behind the scenes, WALL-E helmer Andrew Stanton directs this week. His brand of post-classical Hollywood craftsmanship is much appreciated, if also a sad sign of where we are as a country.

For All Mankind relishes its three-way race to Mars [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆

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For All Mankind recap ★★☆☆
Next stop: Mars. (Maybe.)
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s lunar headache For All Mankind is headed to Mars for real this time. Three competing spaceships strive to make it to the red planet first to win a huge cash prize.

NASA holds some tricks up its sleeve to beat the wilier competition, but you can’t count out the Russians just yet. They’re always willing to do something stupid to make headlines. A mostly fine episode ends on a nice little cliffhanger to boot.

Why you’d be crazy to buy the new MacBook Pro [The CultCast]

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The CultCast 550 Apple podcast: There are very few reasons why anybody should buy the new MacBook Pro.
There are very few reasons why anybody should buy the new MacBook Pro.
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: The first reviews for the new M2 MacBook Pro are … not good.

Also on The CultCast:

  • Benchmarks for Apple’s new M2 chip continue to impress, but you can expect even more amazing performance boosts later this year.
  • What the upcoming CarPlay update is really about.
  • Apple TV+ has another hit on its hands with For All Mankind.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video livestream, embedded below.

Our sponsor: CleanMyMac X

CleanMyMac X, from Ukrainian developer MacPaw, is a decluttering app for Mac that can keep your computer in tip-top shape. It includes 49 tools to find and delete invisible junk clogging your hard drive. Cult of Mac publisher Leander Kahney swears by CleanMyMac X (instead of swearing at it, as he does with most apps).

Get CleanMyMac X today with 5% off at macpaw.app/cultcast. Discount valid until June 30.

For All Mankind poses great questions, then refuses to answer them [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆

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For All Mankind recap ★★★☆☆
This must be a time machine. A completely infuriating time machine.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ alt-history hit For All Mankind makes all the right moves this week, then immediately blows a 26-point lead in the last inning.

For once, the dramatic arcs thrown at Margo, Karen, Dev, Aleida and Kelly all seem pretty satisfying and not at all cheap or hyperbolic. Then the writers ensure we won’t see how any of that plays out, instantly turning this from one of the show’s best episodes into its most frustrating yet.

But hey, at least we’re going to Mars, I guess.