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Away Excellent Chariots Review Season 1 Episode 4 Away Excellent Chariots Review Season 1 Episode 4

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Away Review – Excellent Chariots (1×04)

AWAY (L to R) RAY PANTHAKI as RAM and HILARY SWANK as EMMA GREEN in episode 104 of AWAY Cr. DIYAH PERA/NETFLIX © 2020

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Ram gave the crew (and himself) quite a scare on Away Season 1 Episode 4. 

After the spacewalk, the pacing of the show has slowed down a bit as it dives into the backstory of each crew member to see, specifically, how it influences them in the present.

The episode kicked off with Ram floating around the spaceship in a trance. It quickly went from “he’s” sleepwalking to “he’s a danger to himself and everyone aboard” as he attempted to open the airlock. 

The crew was alerted to the situation and attempted to stop him from successfully getting sucked out into space. There’s a reason the lock on that door isn’t easy to open! 

One dose of Ativan calmed him down so that the crew could get him under control. Ground then alerted Emma that he tested positive for the Epstein Barr virus back on Earth aka mono!

I’m pretty fascinated by space travel, but I didn’t know that a virus could reactivate a latent form a virus. However, it’s yet another crisis that the crew needed to be prepared to face.

It’s not like they can just call someone to get the medical supplies needed for this type of situation — everything they would need had to be on board.

Proper precautions were necessary so the virus didn’t get out of hand and infect the rest of the team thus sabotaging the mission. Ram was isolated in his own room as everyone began taking antivirals and dressed head to toe in protective gear. Those face shields look familiar, right?

As Ram attempted to sweat out the virus, we began to understand why Ground said no one is to notify his family until he dies because they’re not that close. 

The visions haunting him in his 103-degree fever were of his older brother, Rohit, who died after staying by Ram’s side while he was recovering from typhus. 

Ram continues to blame himself for his brother’s death as does his estranged family, and there’s something soul-crushing about knowing that they couldn’t look past what was obviously an accident to make amends with their son before he went to Mars. 

There was also a beautiful moment where Rohit told his sickly brother stories about jetting off to the Moon and then Mars, which subtly hints that his brother inspired his space travel. 

Through his guilt, it’s understandable that Ram kept telling Emma and the rest of the crew to stay away from him. He didn’t want history to repeat itself because he knew that the last time someone got too close, they ended up dead.

Emma’s concern and caretaking paralleled that of Rohit’s, and Ram was terrified it would end the same way it did before. 

The crew has proven once before that they’re all in this together no matter the risks. When Ram fell and injured his back, they ignored orders from Ground not to go in there and stepped in to help stop the bleeding even with the risk of possibly getting infected. If it wasn’t for their sacrifice, he wouldn’t have made it. 

There’s no doubt that Ram is a sweet and sensitive guy — it’s apparent even with his emboldened comments about how much he loves women — but this episode was great at giving the audience a deeper look at the man that’s needed to balance out the crew. 

Emma has a lot on her plate. Not only was she dealing with the  Ram situation on board, but she had to handle a stressed teen who got her first C back on Earth. 

The fact that Lex’s grades are slipping isn’t a surprise considering all the pressure she’s been under. Lex seems to be a pretty levelheaded teen, but now that’s she’s found a boy that she likes and relates to means she’s going to be a bit rebellious. She deserves to have her fun, but not at the expense of her grades and her father’s recovery. 

Unfortunately, skipping the makeup exam was the direct cause for Matt passing his test. You’d think everyone would be thrilled that he was discharged from the hospital, but his new friend was right — without 24/7 access to rehab and care, his recovery would hit a plateau. He was doing himself a disservice by leaving before he healed fully. 

It was a moment where you found yourself begging Matt to throw it, but you knew that he was going to do what he thought was best for his daughter and not himself. In the long run, however, it would be in everyone’s best interest for him to fully heal. 

What did you think of the episode? What do you think of Away so far?


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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

Netflix

Away Season Finale Review – Did the Atlas Crew Make It to Mars? (1×10)

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Away Home Review Season 1 Episode 10

The final episode finds fans asking one question: did the Atlas crew make it to Mars?

But there’s really no question about it. If Netflix wants a second season, you know that the crew had to make it successfully to Mars. If the crew died, any hope of a second season would die right along with them. 

The crew geared up to initiate descent on Away Season 1 Episode 10, which came with its own set of concerns. Admittedly, the dream scene at the beginning was a cheap way of throwing us off — it’s annoying when shows do that, but at least it painted a realistic picture of what could happen if one of the 42 steps in the landing sequence didn’t go as planned. 

The hurdles Team Atlas has gone through up until now are othing compared to breaking through the atmosphere in a fiery can… which has a hole in it, might I add. 

And then… touchdown. 

As Neil Armstrong once said: “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

The Atlas crew just did what no one else was able to do before them. 

It was a victory not just for the U.S but for the world, which is why it was awesome to see that Lu decided to go against the international agreement and take a photo with the whole team. 

None of us know what went into this agreement for her to be the first person to step foot on Mars with an iconic photo, but it’s crap. This mission wouldn’t have been possible without a joint effort, so why should one country get all the recognition? Especially when the country didn’t even want the woman who made the achievement to take credit as the CNSA asked her to put her reflective vizor down

What a way to stab the person in the back who willing to die to bring honor and pride to her country.

This is her moment, but it’s also their moment. And talking to Misha about how he adapted ahead of everyone else and was the “first Martian” convinced Lu that no one can take this away from any of them.

The series wasn’t without its flaws, which explains the harsh criticism from fans who were expecting a more space-centric series, but it was a show that united instead of divided and instilled hope. For that reason, I’m looking forward to a second season. 

It was great to see the growth of each crew member as they gave a shout out to their families.  We’ve seen so much of Emma’s interactions with Lex and Matt that it wasn’t as significant as Misha telling his grandchildren to be proud of their mother because he is (Lu’s suggestion), Kwesi thanking his mother for instilling in him the faith needed to complete this mission, or Lu telling her son to follow his passion. 

Getting to Mars was just half the battle but now, Kwesi has to prove that this desert can sustain life by planting a garden. Their work is only just beginning.

At least now the crew has learned to get along and value each other in a way that allows them to work together cohesively. It’s not only promising for the future but also brings a fun dynamic to the team that we didn’t get to see previously. 

Though, I’ll be the first to admit I’m not entirely sure where the series plans to go with the romantic tension between Ram and Emma. She attempted to make it clear that she didn’t share his feelings, but if that were true, she wouldn’t feel compromised as a Commander. 

Emma would never cheat on her husband in normal circumstances, but three years is a long time. You begin to miss that physical connection with someone, so I can see them exploring some kind of emotional cheating, which yes, is still cheating. I’m not exactly opposed to Ram and Emma getting together, but I am opposed to it when you look at how secure her life with Matt has been. 

Then again, maybe they have some understanding since they knew they would be separated for so long?

I’m also unclear about Matt and Melissa’s relationship. Why did she have to develop feelings for him and worse, tell him about it? I’m telling you, the minute you leave the planet, women begin moving in on your man! 

Personally, Away would’ve been better off just keeping all romantic relationships out of the picture, especially after they spent so much time building up Emma and Matt into this solid unit. 

Other big moments in the episode included Lex testing negative for CCM, admitting that she loves Isaac, and her dad finding out that she spent the night with Isaac on Melissa’s watch. All moments potential but fizzled out against the backdrop of a Mars landing.

What did you think about the series as a whole? Are you looking forward to a season 2? Sound off in the comments below! 


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Away Review – Spektr (1×09)

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Away Spektr Review Season 1 Episode 9

Atlas is inching towards Mars, but you didn’t expect them to get there without yet water system issue, did you?

On Away Season 1 Episode 9, it’s made abundantly clear how much NASA (at least the TV version of NASA) needs to improve its water filtration system. Without oxygen and water, the crew cannot survive. You’d think there’d be better ways of guaranteeing a backup. 

You’d also expect a team of people who were smart enough to get jobs at NASA to provide some kind of solutions, but instead, it all hinges on poor Matt’s shoulders, who seems to be the only one who has any ounce of critical thinking skills. 

Darlene and George gave up way before they should have, which is infuriating because they essentially gave up on their astronauts before they should have. 

I can understand wanting to prepare for the worst, but that shouldn’t take precedence over finding a solution to the problem. Also, how great was their last message? “It was worth it,” perfectly sums up what the crew has been feeling throughout the trip. 

If you didn’t realize by now, the water filtration system — the system that was supposed to get them through the remainder of the two-week journey — just gave out. Kaput, as Misha would say. 

The fear of dehydration began to settle in as they realized they only had 72 hours before they began to experience symptoms that would affect their ability to get anything done. 

Matt’s first plan was to drill through the walls of the ship and siphon out the water that’s shielding them from the radiation. You’d think they’d need that water to remain in place because, you know, it’s shielding them from radiation, but regardless, the plan failed as Ram drilled through the wall and air began to leak into the crew chambers as it depressurized. Yep, that’s definitely terrifying.

Realistically, I’m not sure how accurate any of this is, but it sure kept the episode dramatic and suspenseful, so from a viewer’s standpoint, it was fine.

After evacuating to safer ground, they began to come to terms with the reality that they would likely die before they even made it to Mars. 

As Lu pointed out, she was prepared to die on Mars, but she couldn’t fathom dying on a spaceship en route. And I’d have to agree — out of all the obstacles, to die of dehydration due to a mechanical error when you could practically touch Mars from the ship is grounds for annoyance. 

However, Matt, who was determined not to lose his wife, came up with one last plan that used static electricity to pull water out of the outside of the ship. 

Of course, that required another… you guessed it, spacewalk. 

How much hell can this crew go through? Ram and Emma were prepared to do anything at this point to secure their survival and really, this was their only option. 

Again, I’m not sure if this would be possible in real life, but despite all odds, they made it work and secured bags upon bags of water. 

Great. I’m more concerned with the romantic tension between Ram and Emma. One could argue that they were on the brink of death, or, at least, mentally convinced they were going to die in space, so Ram decided to get everything off his chest including his feelings for Emma. 

And again, when they got back from the spacewalk and successfully collected water, you could blame the adrenaline rush for their near kiss. But I pointed out in my previous reviews that this seems to have been bubbling up to the surface way before, especially for Ram. 

Here’s the thing — Ram could feel some type of way about Emma, but she didn’t seem to be giving off a vibe that she wasn’t into it. It was more along the lines of “we can’t do this” because it’s wrong rather than “I don’t want to do this.” 

I find this concerning. I’m not a fan of the series diving into the love triangle trope when there’s so much more that could be explored. 

Maybe it was just a heat of the moment situation because again, both of them thought they were going to die, but we’ll see.

Now that they both survived, Ram will have to deal with the repercussions of baring his soul to his Commander. Way to make things awkward, right?

Back on Earth, Lex was a mess as she worried about her mother’s survival. And honestly, it’s a hard thing for a teenage girl to have to deal with. Nothing about her life is certain right now and every time she gets a phone call or text or hears the doorbell ring, her mind immediately goes to the worst place possible. 

It’s a good thing she made up with Isaac and he was able to get her mind off things for just a little while even if it was with church, chili and kissing. 

Otherwise, she’d just be sitting there drumming up the worst scenarios in her head. 

We’re almost at the finish line. How do you think it’ll end? Will the crew make it safely to Mars? Will they encounter yet another hiccup? Will Pegasus greet them with all the supplies necessary for their survival? 

Sound off in the comments below! 


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Away Review – Vital Signs (1×08)

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Away Season 1 Episode 8 Review

After a brief hiccup, the crew aboard the Atlas have found hope once again. 

Much of their survival relies on external factors including the safe landing of Pegasus, the rocket carrying all of the supplies they need to live on Mars along with a backup water system. 

So, naturally, when Mission Control lost all contact with Pegasus, they assumed it exploded or went off course. This meant that if the Atlas crew landed on Mars, they would have to wait five months for the next rocket filled with supplies to arrive. And with their backup system already rationed, they wouldn’t have enough water to survive. 

At this point, everyone was faced with an important decision: how important is this mission?

Emma refused to risk the lives of her crew members and while no one actually wanted to die, no one wanted to fail either. They were supposed to be the first people to ever land on Mars!

Despite orders from Ground to abort the mission and slingshot around Mars to meet Pegasus 2 in transit to get their water supply, they were determined to land on Mars and survive. 

Misha’s lack of eyesight opened up a world of possibilities through sound. It’s crazy how much you can learn just by relying on sound. 

Lu realized that while they might not have visual contact with Pegasus, they could use InSight, a rover, to determine whether Pegasus broke through the atmosphere. 

Instead of going to Emma with the idea, Lu and the team asked Ram, who is second in command, to help them out. This undermined Emma’s leadership and strained an already tense partnership. However, you can’t really be surprised that the crew didn’t fully trust her to be open to the possibility of fulfilling their mission. 

Emma has continuously wavered in her desire to make it to Mars saying time and time and again how much she wants to go home. 

Lu was even right that the decision to slingshot and reroute home came from Matt because they’d both prioritized that over landing on Mars. This realization, however, meant that Emma questioned aborting the mission. Sure, she was saving her crew, but was she doing it for the right reason?

It was a subtle coup by the crew but a necessary one that finally shook Emma out of her trance. She wouldn’t have come this far if she didn’t really want to get to Mars and it was clear that her fears and insecurities of the unknown were stopping her from going the distance. 

There’s no doubt about the risk factor — it’s a risky decision to continue on with the mission simply because they heard a “boom.” It broke the atmosphere, but it could still mean that Pegasus was still knocked off course. Still, the chances are higher that it landed and in-tact, plus, they lose more by turning back around instead of taking the plunge. After all, there was no guarantee that they’d successfully connect with Pegasus 2. 

Lu’s speech about hope is what really solidified Emma’s decision. It underlined what I said in my review of Away Season 1 Episode 7, Emma wasn’t growing as a character, she was regressing into a worse version of herself. We started off with this badass woman who had managed to juggle being a mom and a brilliant astronaut, who risked it all to achieve her dreams, and now, she’s become a shell of a human who is all too eager to play by the rules.  

History isn’t made by playing it safe. 

Emma realized that she needed to channel the same courage that her daughter, Lex, was channeling by taking the CCM test. We don’t know the outcome of her test, but whatever it is, they’ll get through it together. If I were to write Lex’s story, I’d want her to become a doctor to pursue a cure for CCM but that’s neither her nor there at the moment. 

The series has been criticized for feeding into stereotypes surrounding the crew members, particularly when it comes to Lu and her family. In one of the episodes early on, you’ll recall Lu’s husband yelling at their son because he got a 98% on a test instead of a 100%, which fuels the cliche belief that Asian parents are strict, only care about grades, and aren’t proud of their children unless they are getting A’s. 

This continued into Lu’s backstory with her father expressing disappointment that his wife gave birth to a baby girl. From Lu we gauge that he was never proud of her, which feeds into the narrative that Chinese families have long favored boy children over girls. However, as she points out, she’s going to do something that no man has ever done before. 

You’d think even getting close to Mars is a feat, but the Chinese representatives at NASA were less-than-impressed and would only accept her landing on Mars as a victory. The actual quote she says is: “I’d rather she did a hero on Mars than return home a coward.” This once again proves that failure is shameful and disappointing in the culture and thus, explains why Lu is so headstrong, disciplined, and determined. 

I’m not a fan of propagating stereotypes, so it’s at least nice to see Lu break the mold by becoming the first woman to do the unthinkable, do it from a place of hope, encourage her child to draw comic books rather than study, and fall for a woman in a culture that shuns the very idea. 

And lastly, does anyone think it’s ridiculous that Emma is now allowing Misha to handle taking care of the backup with his eyesight totally shot? If she’s entrusting him with it now, she should have just let him fix the prime, to begin with, and they wouldn’t have this whole water situation to worry about. 

Clearly, nothing has changed for him and yet, he has her full faith and is proving that he wasn’t lying when he said he can fix this system in the dark. 

What did you think of the episode? How are you enjoying the series so far?


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