This post will analyze the the Episode 9, titled “Bent Bird”, of the For All Mankind television series using the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.
Obviously, I will be discussing plot points from the television series For All Mankind. So, check it out before reading further.
Apollo 24 has a malfunction.
Apollo 24 blasts into space leaving Milly drifting aimlessly.
Does Apollo 25 waste fuel looking for Molly or return to Earth?
If they search, everyone from Apollo 25 might die, or they might save everyone.
If they don’t search, they give up on Molly and lose only one life, but people will lose confidence in the program and morale in NASA will plummet.
Flight Chief Margo orders Apollo 25 to return to Earth, but crew refuses.
Apollo 25 rescues Molly with little fuel and oxygen left.
One more episodes left.
We’re left with Apollo 24 1000 miles off target and no communication. And one dead Russian on the moon.
Lots of nail biting action in this one, with some more hard decisions. I’m wondering if they personnel who disobeyed orders will be punished. Are the going to pull a ‘Martian’ move to get Apollo 24 back? Does the dead Russian start World War 3?
This episode really worked for me, it followed the 5 commandments very clearly. I still really enjoy the cliffhangers at the end of each episode, I think it’s a great technique the screenwriters have implemented. When I was analyzing Killing Eve on the Story Grid Showrunners Podcast, we were having a hard time separating the 5 commandments for the episode from the cliffhanger, but this series does it right I think. There are other plot threads around the main subject of the episode, but they always manage to map the 5 commandments for the episode and then slip in a cliffhanger involving one of the other plot lines.
I’ll start working on my 6 core questions post now and next week I’ll post the 5 commandments for the last episode.
For more information about the Story Grid, go to the Story Grid Webpage to find free videos and articles on how to implement the methodology.
For an example of how these techniques are used, read Jane Austin’s The Pride and the Prejudice with annotations by Shawn Coyne.
Category: 5 Commandment Episodes, 5 commandments, 6 core questions, Authors, Blog, For All Mankind, Screenwriters, Story Grid, television, tv series, WritersTags: base, cold war, jamestown, lunar, race, space, world war 3
Hi, my name is Randy Surles and I edit Thrillers and Action novels. I specialize in Fantasy, Science Fiction, and anything with a military flavor to it.