Rival companies, questionable practices, power issues, contagions, and a pregnancy—these have been the focal points of the second season of Mars (National Geographic, 9 PM/8 CT). Tonight brings us to a thrilling conclusion—or maybe it will provide more questions than answers.
Before we get there, we should consider the last episode and find out what we’re possibly in store for. After the virus issue was handled thanks to some smart thinking by Marta (Anamaria Marinca) and doses of penicillin, the workers at IMSF must deal with something completely beyond their control—the actions of their leaders on Earth. Russia has entered into a deal with Lukrum Industries and Roland St. John (Esai Morales). This threatens the IMSF and forces Secretary General Amanda Richardson (Cosima Shaw) to do something to get Lukrum’s attention. Her main option is to levy sanctions on the company to get them to end the agreement. It sounds difficult in theory, and it is. In flashbacks to today, we’re reminded that when big companies get huge, there is little (if anything) that can stop them—even when it comes to governmental control and oversight. This episode, more than its predecessors, calls out these large companies for their past actions and questions what (if anything) can be done to limit their control.
Of course, the Lukrum colony on Mars is continuing its mission but needs more power to make it happen. Olympus Town, headed by Commander Hana (Jihae), agrees to this, but when she and Robert (Sammi Rotibi) take a trip to check out a possible source of water, her assistant commander Mike Glenn (Gunnar Cauthery) refuses and completely shuts Lukrum off from all electricity, placing their entire colony at risk of death. Javier (Alberto Ammann) defies his orders and gets them back online just in time. Hana and Robert, alas, do not find water, and on their way home discover the mutiny that has occurred at Olympus Town. Mike soon finds himself relieved of duty. In addition, Robert tells Hana that because he’s not being allowed to create and build things by the IMSF, he’s leaving IMSF to help Lukrum. There have been hints at a possible romance here, but they’re effectively quashed when the two have their last meeting,
Javier has an additional issue. Amelie (Clementine Poidatz) begins to experience contractions at the thirty-week point, forcing her to make the decision to have a caesarean for her baby. Things seem to be going smoothly, until she briefly sees a rather large bluish-colored baby (?) being carried out by another doctor. Her cries go out into the nothingness of space as the credits roll.
Industry and science have always had a very delicate relationship. Science wants to discover and prefers things to be pure and unexploited so they can better humankind. Industry wants to discover as well, but is willing to create, process, and market so they can better humankind while making lots of money for themselves and their shareholders. Take one of the two out of the equation and humans suffer as a result. Just like in a marriage, there must be some give and take from both sides in order to make the partnership work. Ecclesiastes says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” (4:8-10). There will always be tension between the two groups, but they must learn to co-exist and work with each other.
So then . . . what will happen to Mike? How will Robert like Lukrum? Will there be a power play for Richardson’s position at IMSF? Will someone finally discover liquid water? Will Amelie get to hold her baby? We’ll have to find out tonight when Mars concludes its second season.