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For All Mankind EPs Explain The Major Reveal They Didn't Want To Save For Season 4, Plus That Radiohead Moment

Wrenn Schmidt as Margo in For All Mankind's Season 3 finale
(Image credit: Apple TV+)

Spoilers ahead for the Season 3 finale of For All Mankind.

The third season of For All Mankind came to an end with a cinematic finale that delivered some triumphs (including for the North Korean space farer), some tragedies, and one big reveal in the final moments about Margo. Although she seemed to have perished in the bombing that killed Karen and Molly, she actually survived and is in brand new circumstances by the time jump to 2003. Executive producers Ben Nedivi and Matt Wolpert broke down to CinemaBlend why they didn’t save the reveal of Margo’s survival for Season 4 despite considering it, and why Radiohead was the right choice for the final song.

Although it was no secret to fans that Margo had betrayed NASA to the Soviets, she was out of time to evade the authorities in the U.S., and Aleida had connected the dots. Margo wasn’t upset with Aleida, however, and the storyline seemed resolved when Aleida discovered Margo’s office completely destroyed in the explosion. Instead, the action flashed ahead to 2003, to reveal Margo waking up and heading to look out her window… at the Soviet Union! While Sergei received asylum in the U.S. with Margo’s help, she had to flee to Russia.

It was quite a twist for the final moments of the season, which had set up Margo’s presumed death but missing body as a mystery that could keep fans wondering over the break ahead of Season 4. When I spoke with the executive producers for the Season 3 finale, Ben Nedivi weighed in on whether there was any consideration of leaving her survival reveal to next season:

There was, but it's funny because now even more than when we started this show, there's such an expectation for how you're going to end each season. [laughs] And I think there's expectations of like, 'Where are we going? Are we going to Jupiter? What's the next target?' And in our mind, it felt really interesting to play on that idea in a different way. We love to subvert expectations with the show, and we do love at the end of each year to leave a little tease, not only with the song, but a little tease of where we're going and kind of showing you where the show is going the following season.

Well, the Soviet Union circa 2003 in the For All Mankind universe certainly isn’t Jupiter, and does not qualify as a happy ending for Margo! Her rather glum circumstances don’t take away from the news that she did indeed survive, and the choice of “Everything in Its Right Place” by Radiohead seemed very fitting, both for everything that had happened in the finale and the cliffhanger reveal. 

Is the show missing anything by not holding the confirmation that she lived until Season 4? Well, For All Mankind’s use of time jumps might have made that complicated, and the executive producers decided to go in a different direction. Ben Nedivi continued:

I think for us being able to land her in Russia, in the Soviet Union, not only shows you a little tease of that, but also shows you that she's still alive. We felt it appropriate to end it that way, and that little nod to her feet, hitting the ground and seeing the year and then Radiohead comes in. When we saw it cut together, we were like, 'Oh, this is the way to end the show this year.' It's moving. It's emotional. She's alive. And then you're like, 'Holy shit. She's in the Soviet Union.' It felt like a very appropriate way to end it and teasing kind of, 'Well, how's that gonna work out for her?' So I think that's something we're really keen on exploring with Season 4.

Interestingly, Margo surviving and finding refuge in the Soviet Union is actually the only big piece of information that the Season 3 finale revealed about Season 4 in 2003, unless confirmation that Radiohead evidently still releases “Everything in Its Right Place” in the For All Mankind version of history counts. Even though the mystery of her missing body isn’t a question to consider for the rest of however long the break is before the fourth season, there are arguably even more questions than answers. 

And “Everything in Its Right Place” was a pretty great way to close out the season, and helped establish the tone for that final scene. EP Matt Wolpert explained why the Radiohead song was the right pick for that cliffhanger:

It was actually in the script. Ben and I always put so much thought into what song to end the season with. We also had the Nirvana song in our script, and the Tears for Fears song in the script. Seeing it play out, it felt right. We definitely explored some other options, but in the end of the day, that sort of electronic feeling to it and the kind of melancholy complicated feeling of that song felt like the right way to end the story.

For All Mankind does end its seasons not only on songs that are fitting for closing off the story, but also setting up when the next season will pick up. Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” at the end of Season 1 previewed the jump ahead to the 1980s, while the Season 2 finale’s use of Nirvana’s “Come as You Are” revealed that Season 3 was headed to the ‘90s. With Radiohead’s “Everything in Its Right Place,” the Apple TV+ (opens in new tab) show (and the executive producers) signaled to fans that the story definitely isn’t in the ‘90s anymore, even before the reveal that Margo is in Russia in 2003. 

So, what will happen for Margo in the Soviet Union in 2003, and where are all the rest when Season 4 picks up? Well, the show was at least renewed before the Season 3 finale, but there’s no news of when it will be back for fans with Apple TV+ subscriptions. More than a year has passed between each of the seasons so far, so viewers probably shouldn’t count on seeing more of one of the best Apple TV+ shows until mid-to-late 2023. The good news is that there are plenty of TV options sooner rather than later, and you can find them on our 2022 TV premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.