AWAY Season 1 Episode 7 Review: Goodnight Mars

Television

As AWAY progresses, the characters have to make more challenging decisions, both in the present and in the past.

AWAY Season 1 Episode 7 is brutal in decision-making, and the episode showed us the consequences of making the wrong decisions.

However, “Goodnight Mars” was not all dreary and sad. The episode also showed us long term effects of making the right decision and how rewarding they can be.

Emma already had her centric episode, but we never actually dived into her past to learn about what led to her decision-making skills today, especially since she makes one decision on AWAY Season 1 Episode 7 with disastrous results.

“Goodnight Mars” finally reveals Emma’s backstory and how she got together with Matt. Like all other pivotal moments on AWAY, it was not an easy choice for Emma, but deciding to jump from a casual relationship to a full partnership defined Emma’s values.

Especially since before this decision, the only thing Emma cared about was flying. However, something in Emma’s past changed her mind. Her biggest dream was still to go to Mars, but Emma learned you could have more than one dream.

Flight, possibility, hope. These are things I never want you to live without. What I wanted to say, but I did so very badly, is that there was a time when I thought flying was everything. When I thought Mars was everything. When I had no idea how much more there was. How much more there could be.

Emma

Whatever helped Emma come to this realization had to have been something extraordinary. What could be more special than boldly choosing to have a child, someone born from unconditional love? 

Throughout the flashbacks on “Goodnight Mars,” Emma is terrified of deciding about her pregnancy, knowing that whatever she chooses will forever change her life.

Emma seemed so sure she would not have the baby because she would have to give up flying, but her peculiar adamance demonstrated otherwise. Emma was so insistent that she did not want the baby because a realization scared her — the idea that she could have multiple dreams and want multiple things.

The concept scared her — after all, everything Emma thought she knew flipped upside down. She focused on one thing for so long, and she never allowed herself to enjoy or want anything else.

Emma’s past showed us how she transformed from a person with one value to someone with many. Her choice to keep Lex defined Emma as a character who can love many things. Before this decision, Emma was a one-dimensional figure, but she opened her eyes to a world she never knew existed with this pregnancy.

Furthermore, if Emma decided not to keep the baby and focus solely on flying, she might not have ever made it to Mars, let alone be the mission’s commander. To be a commander, you have to have a heightened sense of perception, pay attention to everything going on, and consider all possible scenarios.

If Emma continued not to care about anything except for flying, how would she equip herself with the necessary tools to become the Atlas commander? Her perception would have been so narrow and warped.

Emma may have made a simple decision in her past, but it was a decision that changed the course of her life forever, and this choice got her to Mars. Emma learned how to weigh all options, value multiple consequences, and broaden her vision once she decided to have a family.

And that is what AWAY is — a meaningful show about family and how our families impact us. They shape who we are and who we want to be. “Goodnight Mars” did an excellent job demonstrating the meaningful bond a family has.

By choosing to keep the baby, who ended up becoming Lex, Emma added the first of many new values to her character — hope. She did not want to give up flying, and she still wanted to go to Mars. Having a family is a risky choice, but Emma did not let it get her down. 

After all, having multiple dreams is the definition of hope. What could be more hopeful than having a strong vision and believing in as many things as you want?

Lu: How can this be?
Kwesi: Have you ever seen a dandelion grow through a crack in the cement? There’s a Swedish study about children who thrive against all odds. They call them dandelion kids. Uh… My mother was a child psychologist.
Lu: So you’re saying there’s no explanation?
Kwesi: Maybe it’s a miracle.

However, things are much worse in the present because Emma made a terrible choice that spiraled out of control. The timing could not be any worse, with hitting the three-quarter mark on the Atlas journey to Mars. 

Ram’s psychiatric evaluation of Emma was the first sign something was wrong with her. 

Emma’s past and present could not be more opposite — in her past, she cared too little about family, but she cared too much in the present. Concentrating too much on one value made her destructive, incapacitated, and temperamental.

AWAY highlights the importance of family, but the show also portrays how focusing too much on one thing negatively affects your choices. You are not clear-headed and calm — you are biased, high-strung, and irrational.

However, Emma’s abnormal focus on Matt and Lex was not the only thing that brought her down, as the crew eventually figured out.

Lu: How can this be?
Kwesi: Have you ever seen a dandelion grow through a crack in the cement? There’s a Swedish study about children who thrive against all odds. They call them dandelion kids. Uh… My mother was a child psychologist.
Lu: So you’re saying there’s no explanation?
Kwesi: Maybe it’s a miracle.

Kwesi and Lu were both wrong about the mysterious surviving plant, but this subplot was the perfect addition to the chaotic episode. With Emma’s erratic behavior and Lex’s accident, the audience needed some relief, and Kwesi and Lu were more than happy to provide it.

Plus, it was definitely a bonus when we discovered that Emma and the mystery were tied together. What a great way to balance out the intense emotions expressed on “Goodnight Mars.” 

Emma: I just felt so out of control when I couldn’t fix the water system. And one of our main mission objectives is to prove that life can grow on Mars. I couldn’t let us fail. That plant is our future.
Ram: But it’s also our past. It’s Earth, and you couldn’t let it go, or accept the fact that for the next three years of this mission, Matt is there for Alexis, and you can’t be. Right.
Emma: I used to be like you when I was Lex’s age. Single-focused. No one could get too close ’cause if they did…
Ram: It might hold you back, right?

Unfortunately, Emma was not the only one making rash decisions with terrible repercussions. Lex makes one herself, but sometimes, one decision can flip the entire world upside down.

Lex’s accident may have been a result of irrational thinking, but she was upset because of Emma’s response to her email about Isaac. Emma already stood on rocky grounds, and by doing so, she accidentally brought Lex with her.

Of course, everyone is responsible for their actions, and Lex is no exception — but Lex’s accident demonstrates how it only takes one person to crush an entire faction. 

Now that Lex is recovering in the hospital, and Emma is rehydrated, this mother and daughter duo will have to face many consequences when they are healthy again. And with only three episodes to go, we can only imagine how high the stakes will be.

Over to you, Fanatics!

What did you think of AWAY Season 1 Episode 7? Were you surprised about the surviving plant? How will Lex’s dynamics with Isaac and Matt change moving forward? Do you think once Emma fully recovers, she will be fit to be the commander? What do you think will happen on the three remaining episodes? 

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

You can watch AWAY online right here, at TV Fanatic!

Sarah Novack is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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