Warning: This story contains significant spoilers from the Season 3 finale of For All Mankinds. Proceed at your own risk.
Another season of For All Mankind has ended in tragedy.
Season 3 of Apple TV+ dramas saw a final goodbye to original cast memberShantel VanSanten, who died in a domestic terrorist attack orchestrated by Jimmys conspiracy theorists. Sonya Walgers Molly Cobb died in the explosion at Johnson Space Center, which had been ruled out for much of Season 3 due to her NASA firing in Episode 2.
The decision to kill off VanSanten, whom the former describes as the heart and soul of our For All Mankind family, was particularly heartbreaking for co-showrunners Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi.
Karen Baldwin's story is so vast, from an astronaut's wife to a small businesswoman to a sort of big-named space corporation, according to Wolpert. However, we really wanted that bombing to have a dramatic, emotional component. And Karen's death felt like the best way to bring that about. Having her [life] unceremoniously cut short adds to the tragedy.
The EPs saw an opportunity to pay tribute to the exiled NASA icon. The moment of her walking down the hallway and disappearing into the smoke and sacrificed herself to save others felt like the perfect way to capture Molly's death, according to Nedivi. And [renaming Johnson Space Center] after her [in the flash-forward] felt like a fitting tribute to someone who had singularly altered the program.
How far in advance did you know that Karen would be killed in the final episode? I emailed Matt and Ben around Episode 7 or 8 and I said, We should talk. And Ben wrote me back the next day and was like, You instinctually knew, didn't you? And I was like, Im dying, right? And he was like, Yeah. And they literally made the decision when I sent the email.
TVLINE | What was your reaction like? It's very bittersweet. We always knew that after signing on to a program, the baton would be passed, and new characters would take over. It's this beautiful evolution of life as an artist. I never heard anyone say how difficult it is as an artist to let go of something you've made your whole heart into. And I'm shocked that I'm gone.
Do you have any inkling that Karen would be killed in the finale? It wasn't something to do with the story. It was an instinct. I'm always surprised when Karen is killed in a storm at her hotel! And then I came up with a million different versions of my character I'd still want to tell about her, but sometimes loss, as we've learned in Episode 1 of our show, propels the story and humans forward.
Are you interested in what will happen in Season 4? This morning I was texting with [co-stars] Krys [Marshall] and Cynthy [Wu] as they prepare to start Season 4. Tell me everything. What are your outfits like? What are you wearing? What do you look like as we move forward? Tell me!
Danny-Karen-Ed's quasi-love triangle is likely to be lost among the most polarizing plots in the series. It was important for me to sit back and absorb what Karen was going through. I didnt want it to happen. And I did not mind them starting a conversation. For Danny it did.
What did you think of the season finale? Make sure you grade it below, then add it to the comments!