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Space Race Recap

Houston monitors the flight of Apollo 11 as they prepare for landing on the Moon. One guidance officer,, Wayne Ellis, hesitates and then says that they're go, while clerk Katherine Johnson watches from the gallery. The lunar lander touches down on schedule at Tranquility.

The Present

Flynn and Anthony meet with Wayne Ellis, who says that they got them there and got them back. He gives them a photo that they took of the crew, and explains that everyone in their department had a badge with a magnetic key strip. Wayne doesn't have his old badge, and says that he grew up there and plans to die there.

Later, Flynn looks at Lucy's journal and then boards the mothership with Anthony and the others. After a moment they depart.

The Past

At home, Wayne is watching the news about the launch and then goes to his patio. He sees the mothership arrive in his backyard and Flynn steps out and says that they come in peace. He confirms that Wayne is Wayne, and then Karl shoots him dead. Flynn takes his badge and gives it to Anthony. They go inside and Flynn calls a plumber. Meanwhile, Anthony says that there's a password he needs at Lockman Aerospace, along with Katherine Johnson.

The Present

At Mason Industries, Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus prepare for their new mission going to NASA on the day of the lunar landing. Rufus mutters that Flynn would use Anthony, and then says that there are a dozen ways to scuttle the mission from the ground and doesn't know which one Flynn would use. Claudia gives them fake FBI badges, and Lucy complains briefly that her cover is a secretary in the typing pool.

The Past

Karl is making a fake ID from Wayne's badge when the plumber arrives. Flynn's man breaks his neck while Flynn and Anthony continue working.

The next day, Flynn goes to Lockman posing as the plumber they killed. He goes to the desk of a secretary, Maria Thompkins, who is working on a sketch of an engine. He claims that he's there to work on a burst pipe, just as Maria's boss gives her a message to deliver. Once he leaves, Maria tells Flynn that everyone is on edge and they helped design the lunar module. Flynn compliments her sketch and Maria leaves.

Flynn goes to the computer room and gets the punch tape that Anthony needs. He pockets it and leaves.

The trio arrives at Mission Control and Rufus, posing as a janitor, picks up the trash. Meanwhile, the head of Mission Control, flight director Gene Kranz, receives word that Wayne isn't there. Meanwhile, Wyatt joins Rufus and says that he hasn't spotted Flynn. Rufus is busy staring at his idols that he knows from the history books, and is horrified that Flynn and Anthony are going to ruin it. Wyatt heads off to flight ops while Rufus continues checking Mission Control.

Anthony enters the building using Wayne's key card. Once he gets into the computer room, he puts in his punch tape and switches computer reels.

Lucy is trying to get her card to work on the scanner when a technician comes by, gets in with his key, and tells Lucy to get him coffee. Meanwhile, Anthony finishes his work and removes the punch tape, then quickly leaves.

Gene confirms that everyone is ready for the landing. Rufus spots Anthony in the gallery and goes after him, Anthony says that it was Flynn's plan to strand them in 1754, and Rufus demands his help. The older man says that it's already done, just as the comms in Mission Control go offline. Anthony runs off , leaving his briefcase behind, while Gene tells his men to find a way to get the comms back up.

In the cafeteria, Rufus meets with Wyatt and Lucy. He explains that Armstrong and Aldrin are trapped on the lunar surface and can't take off without help from Mission Control. They only have six hours of air left. Lucy warns that if they fail then the Russians could succeed with their unmanned satellite and win the Cold War. Rufus has checked Anthony's briefcase and confirmed that he screwed with the mainframe. Wyatt goes through the briefcase and finds a file on Maria, and the others who don't know who she is. the file shows that she works at Lockman, and Wyatt figures that Flynn might be trying to take down Lockman as well. He gives his gun to Rufus and tells him and Lucy to make sure the astronauts get off the moon, while he checks Lockman. A man walks by and Rufus tells Lucy to follow him as he goes after him.

Anthony returns to Wayne's house and calls Flynn to tell him that the trio escaped from 1754. He insists that Rufus can't fix the computer and says that they're under control. Anthony figures that Rufus doesn't perform well under pressure, and Flynn hangs up. He's at Lockman and spots Maria leaving.

Rufus and Lucy break into an office and Rufus tries to access the computer. He confirms that Anthony put a virus in the computer, and he can't find the source. Rufus explains that Anthony first took out the lifeboat, and he should understand how Armstrong and Aldrin feel. Something went wrong and they barely managed to get Anthony back. He was in a hospital bed for seven months and Rufus stayed with him. Rufus says that he and Anthony were like brothers, but he doesn't know Anthony at all. Lucy says that he can fix it, and Rufus insists that they need someone who knows how to work the antiques. He gets an idea and tells Lucy that the smartest person in the building works in the basement.

As they head to the basement, Rufus explains that Katherine is a NASA mathematician and calculated most of the missions. They find Katherine in the basement and say that Gene wants to see her, and ask Katherine to come with her. Rufus finally tells her that they need her help to save Apollo 11.

Wyatt shows Maria's boss a photo of Flynn and claims that he's a Communist spy, and he recognizes him from earlier. Wyatt notices the sketch and her boss explains that Maria is studying to be an aerospace engineer. He figures that what matters is what Maria is going to do, and the boss says that she takes her son to the park sometimes.

At the park, Maria sends her son Gabriel to play, and Flynn approaches her. She recognizes him from earlier and they make small talk. Maria says that there's not much anyone can do for the astronauts, and Flynn tells her that he's been fascinated by Lockman. She says that she's just a secretary and knows nothing about it, but Flynn says that she's very gifted and sure that she'll do amazing things at Lockman sometime. Gabriel comes over and Flynn asks if he likes ice cream.

Rufus writes the trajectory that they need on Katherine's blackboard, and she realizes that he's no janitor. He shows her a readout of the computer virus and says that she knows the hardware better than he does. Katherine wants to go to Gene, but Rufus points out that he won't want to listen to a janitor. He says that he can get the astronauts home if Katherine helps them.

Katherine takes Rufus and Lucy to the computer room and tells the two technicians that Gene wants to see them. Once they leave, Katherine boasts about how their computer has two megabytes of memory. Rufus gets the punch tape that Anthony tore up, and Lucy goes to get some fresh tape.

At the ice cream truck, the TV inside shows Nixon announcing that the astronauts may die on the Moon. Maria walks off and tells Flynn that it's hard to watch. Flynn asks if she's been through something similar, and Maria says that she lost her husband in a car accident. Maria notices the ring mark on his finger, and Flynn says that his wife and daughter were murdered. He explains that they never caught who did it, and sometimes he wishes that he could let go. Maria says that if anyone hurt Gabriel then she's never let go, and Flynn thanks her for saying it.

Wyatt is parked nearby and spots Flynn with Maria. A police officer tells Wyatt that he's parked in the wrong spot and tells him to move on, and spots his gun. he draws his own gun, and Wyatt takes out his FBI badge. Flynn spots him and tells Maria that he has to go. Meanwhile, the officer checks the badge and, satisfied, moves on. By the time he leaves, Wyatt discovers that Flynn has slipped away.

As they work, Katherine tells Rufus that she has to prove every day that she belongs there, and now she's putting it all on the line. Rufus admits that he hasn't given her any reason to trust him but he'd never let her down. Katherine has no idea what he's talking about, and Rufus says that she's just as important as anyone in Mission Control or the astronauts themselves.

Lucy runs into the man who wanted the coffee, and he demands his coffee. Lucy tells him that he wouldn't want to drink the cup of coffee that she brought him, and tells him to learn the women's names and figure out how to make his own coffee.

The two computer engineers reach Mission Control and tell Gene that they were told to report to him.

Katherine shows Lucy how to feed the punch tape in, and then helps Rufus access the mainframe. As he manages to delete the virus, Anthony and Karl come in. Anthony tells Katherine that it's an honor to meet her, and orders them away from the computer. Rufus reminds Anthony of when he took the lifeboat out, and asks if he will let the same thing happen to the astronauts. Anthony says that he built the time machine and won't let Rittenhouse get their hands on it. Lucy stalls for time, asking what Rittenhouse is going to do with it, and Rufus grabs Anthony and holds a gun to his head. Anthony figures that Rufus won't shoot him because they're friends, but Karl goes for his gun and Rufus shows him. He shoves Anthony away and says that Anthony doesn't know him anymore, and the astronauts are coming home. The computer engineers return and Anthony gets out when they block Rufus' shot. Rufus tells Katherine to make sure the program finishes and leaves with Lucy as the punch tape finishes loading.

Katherine goes to Mission Control and they confirm that the comms are back up. They regain contact with Apollo 11 and everyone cheers... and then applauds Katherine. Gene shakes her hand and then gets everyone back to work.

Wyatt takes Maria home and claims that Flynn was a Russian spy. On the TV, the astronaut steps onto the Moon's surface. Maria brings Gabriel in to see it, and finds Flynn injecting Gabriel with a hypodermic. He says that Gabriel was going into anaphylactic shock from a bee sting. The hypodermic contains epinephrine. Gabriel revives and Flynn draws a gun and uses Maria as a shield. He tells that he knows what it was like to lose a child and didn't want her to lose hers. Flynn says that it was good to see her again, shoots at Wyatt, and leaps over the balcony. Wyatt goes after him but Flynn gets to his car and escapes.

The lifeboat returns to the present and Denise shows them the unredacted file on Flynn. Maria was Flynn's mother, and Gabriel was Flynn's half-brother. Two years later, Maria becomes an engineer for Lockman, meets an engineer named Asher Flynn, and they have Flynn. Gabriel is alive and well and living in Paris. Lucy wonders why they aren't saving the people they love like Flynn is, and Denise insists that stopping Flynn is their top priority. She insists that as soon as they get rid of Flynn then they'll try to get Amy back.

Later, Lucy finds Rufus reading an article on Katherine. She finally got the crisis she deserved for single-handedly fixing the computers during the Apollo 11 mission. Katherine became the first female flight director, and they made a movie about her. Lucy assures Rufus that what he did was self-defense, and he says that he's fine. He admits that he'd do it again and shoot Anthony if he had to, and they could go back to their normal lives. Rufus tells Lucy that he was originally afraid of practically everything and didn't want to hurt anyone. He asks Lucy what he's becoming, and she just takes his hand.

Written by Gadfly on Nov 29, 2016

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