I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It really surprised me too, especially after the initial eps. I had no idea women were going to end up being so central to it. When you think about the named male characters, it’s just Ed and Gordo who got to be actual important characters, and Deke too perhaps. All the other men, von Braun, Weisner, Aleida’s dad, Wayne Cobb, they had no journeys of their own to go through, they served as support.
Contrast that with Molly, Tracy, Karen, Dani, Margo, Ellen, Pam, and even Aleida and Marge. The women were so fleshed out and we got to see so much of them and their fears and hopes and dreams. It wasn’t just constant obstacles and uphill battles, they got a chance to solve problems and be heroes, the same as any character in this genre.
What I especially loved was that the professional ambitious woman archetype, something you usually get ONE of at most in any particular media, we saw a bunch of women who all fit it in their own unique ways. Molly, Margo, Tracy, Dani, and Ellen all wanted so much for the times, each grappling with their own demons and coming from vastly different backgrounds. It really used those first two eps as a Trojan Horse to slip in a whole ton of interesting women Doing Things.
And yessss, the treatment of the lesbian couple in the big season finale! I absolutely didn’t expect even half of as much as we got of them. I clipped a bunch of the relevant parts to make my friend watch and there were so many and so long. Excepting the brief scenes of Aleida and Ed in Jamestown, every other scene ended up being about them. Heck, even Ed’s issues were used as a dramatic foil, we were supposed to get frustrated at him ignoring the messages from Houston and then he was jerked out of his mental state by the huge, real emergency and even was able to team up with Mikhail. And to cap off Karen’s arc by bringing her into Pam’s circle too and using her to bring her into the viewing room! It was such a centering of Ellen and Pam, and such a romantic sympathetic framing for the audience, to show they’re both thinking of each other from literally across space. Throughout the season, we’d seen the template for various astronaut-spouse relationships already, and Ellen/Pam were very much another form of that in this ep, with Larry almost an afterthought. I really hope we’ll get more of them in s2.