The second season of Mars (National Geographic; Mondays @ 9 PM/8 CT) has already had a fair share of tension. When the scientists discover that a drilling company named Lukrum wants to mine the planet for profit, they’re not happy about it. An uneasy truce is created to share water and electricity, but the miners proceed to take advantage of the scientists at every turn. The second episode picks up with Lukrum using 10 percent more water than allotted. Uncertain as to what to do, Commander Hana (Jihae) makes a plea to the head of the IMSF on Earth, Amanda Richardson (Cosima Shaw), for help. Richardson doesn’t feel she’s getting respect from her colleagues and begins to assert herself in a way that will distance herself from her predecessor. Hana doesn’t like the bossy, somewhat petulant response that suggests the IMSF and Lukrum have a different relationship outside of Mars.
This concept of being worlds apart provides the focus of the documentary portion of the show. The folks in the Arctic are drilling for oil, but there are people who want a different outcome to occur—namely, the protestors of Greenpeace. Equipped with their own ships and quick-moving watercraft, they push as far as they can—and then some—to get their points across. The two sides are never going to agree, but is there a happy medium where the two can coexist?
All the animosity between the two groups comes to a head when, at a party to celebrate the arrival of a spacecraft (and to take Amelie [Clementine Poidatz] back to Earth), a member of Lukrum inadvertently mentions their discovery of liquid water. Marta (Anamaria Marinca) immediately takes a side for science, and before long, a full-scale brawl ensues. Where is Commander Hana when all this is going on?
It turns out she has a few issues of her own to deal with in addition to Richardson’s cold and curt message to her from Earth. Hana’s sister and former head of the IMSF (also played by Jihae) is on the flight to Mars, but there’s a medical problem she’s kept from everyone. Sadly, it claims her life before she lands on the planet. But as there is death, there is life (in a weird sort of way), as Amelie chooses not to return to Earth at the last minute due to a discovery of being pregnant.
The second episode of Mars reminds me that we are not our own and are simply allotted time on Earth by God. While here, we must learn to “live at peace with everyone,” as Paul noted (Romans 12:18). That doesn’t mean we always have to agree with others, but we do have to take the initiative to coexist as best as we can. Making the most of our individual spheres of influence will go a long way to keeping harmony within arm’s reach—even though we may never get to a place where people completely agree with us or our views.
But with all the tension on Mars, the third episode is shaping up to be quite a doozy. Make sure to tune in next week and catch it for yourself!