Ahead of NASA’s attempt to put a man on the moon, Max Kaplan is back from San Francisco (looking incredibly hipster) to get the Mercury Seven wives’ opinions on the first lunar landing and their husbands’ time in the space program. In the doc’s opening, Annie reveals nearly stutter-less speech, Rene announces her new job as a local newscaster, and Louise declares that Alan’s vertigo is completely gone following a successful surgery.
With Apollo coming to an end and most of the Mercury astronauts out of the space game, “Landing” sets up post-NASA plans for the astronaut wives as they prepare to go their separate ways. Here’s how they all said goodbye to us (a.k.a. our final history lesson):
Rene & Scott Carpenter
At the Apollo 11 launch in Cocoa Beach, Rene admits it’s been months since she’s seen Scott. When they reunite at a gala celebrating the moon landing, Scott reveals he’s been seeing another woman for a few months, and Rene offers him a generic “I’m happy for you.”
During her new gig as a local newscaster, Rene can’t wait to tackle women’s issues on the air. So when she gets bumped to the cooking segment, Rene ditches the pineapple cake in favor of showing viewers how a diaphragm works. Eventually, Rene gets her own talk show to discuss birth control, employment, politics, and more.
Although they remain separated, she and Scott stay friends until his death.
Annie & John Glenn
Thanks to some speech therapy, a clear-speaking Annie takes up a career of her own, joining John on his campaign trail and becoming an activist for various causes, likely inspired by her encounter with protesting black students at a moon landing celebration party. Zavier (Akili McDowell)—the same space-loving kid who spoke with his hero Captain Dwight at the hand of Gus Grissom in episode 6—tells Annie that the money the government put into NASA and landing a man on the moon could’ve been put toward helping people on earth. He urges Annie not to “look the other way,” and she doesn’t—she tours the country speaking on behalf of those who don’t have voices. And though John fails to land a spot in the Senate during his first try, he wins the race in 1974 and serves for 25 years.
Jo & Wally Schirra
Wally might be over the flying thing, but he’s still down for calling the launches on TV. Just as Jo starts enjoying New York City (which isn’t Denver, where we last heard Wally was taking a job) though, Wally is called back to cover a Apollo 13 mishap and give America a face of hope. Once Apollo ends, though, Wally uses his on-screen experience to become a TV personality and business owner. He and Jo become one of only seven Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo couples to stay married.
NEXT: Apollo ends, but the A.W.C. endures