Finding a new place to live is not as simple as choosing a location on the map and navigating there. It’s important to make sure a job is lined up to provide a steady source of income. Having a physical place to live is also critical, just in case extreme temperatures develop or the weather decides to be uncooperative. Reliable transportation becomes a big deal when it comes to getting the kids to school or shopping for groceries. If any of these are neglected, the move can become a catastrophic failure.
In the case of our band of intrepid explorers in the National Geographic Channel series Mars (9 PM/8 CT Mondays), losing one of their own is bad enough. However, their preeminent mission is to find a suitable location to start a colony on the red planet. If they fail, the International Mars Science Foundation (IMSF) will send a ship—but instead of it containing passengers, it’ll take the five astronauts back to earth, making the dream of life on another planet a pipe dream again.
The speed of the episode is ramped up from the previous two and focuses more on the future drama than the present reality. It’s still not a foregone conclusion that all will work out since the workshop wasn’t designed for five astronauts and their needs. Tensions are boiling over and faith is starting to wane. Hana Seung (Jiahe) is learning her new role as Mission Commander and has to put it to the test when an overloaded circuit starts a fire. She succeeds, but the mission is further placed in limbo as a result. A potential candidate for habitation is found by Hana’s sister Joon Seung (also played by Jihae), but will there be a source of water to make it work? It’s pretty riveting drama.
Back in today’s world, there’s a focus on the ExoMars satellite, which will help to construct a 3D image of the planet (currently, we’ve only covered 3% of the surface–surprising). Teaming up to take the project into space are the European Space Agency and Roscosmos, Russia’s version of NASA. Hopefully, the satellite will do much of the work necessary to find a future colonizing mission a safe place to inhabit—and an opportunity to “unite people in a peaceful way.”
Such an endeavor is not easy—there’s always a fear of the unknown. The investing group funding the expedition has allowed the crew’s updates to make them quite scared. Ed Grann (Olivier Martinez) attempts to quell the discord by noting they don’t have two things key to success—foresight and faith. His faith comes from investing 90% of his net worth into the project. Failure, for Grann, is simply not an option. There is a biblical parallel to this situation when Jesus tells his band of nervous and scared disciples to simply believe in him. He adds some foresight to the conversation when he adds, “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3 NASB). For Jesus, knowing what’s coming can only serve to increase faith. And after his death and return to life, the disciples invested 100% in the project of bringing humankind to God—80% wouldn’t have been enough. We have to keep a similar mindset when looking at the future—even if we have zero clue what’s going to happen in the next fifteen minutes. Being with God will be enough.
At the end of the third episode of Mars, the groundwork is laid for a permanent colony. It makes the final three episodes of the series destination television. What will home be like for the new residents? What new challenges will arise? The only way to find out is to watch for yourself.