Spoilers are ahead for For All Mankind season 4.
- Ed Baldwin’s age suggests that he could still be in For All Mankind season 5, despite his career setbacks.
- Dani Poole’s survival after being shot on Mars leaves the possibility open for her return in For All Mankind season 5, but her story might be done.
- For All Mankind season 5 doesn’t necessarily need Ed or Dani, as the show focuses on a larger history and introduces new characters and story lines.
For All Mankind viewers might be wondering if Ed Baldwin and Dani Poole will be in season 5 of the hit Apple TV+ series. Created by Ronald D. Moore, Matt Wolpert, and Ben Nedivi, the show depicts an alternate timeline — one in which the global space race never ended. In this imagined history, a Soviet Union cosmonaut becomes the first human to touch down on the Moon’s surface, prompting NASA to innovate and expand at a remarkable rate. Although the first season is set in 1969, each subsequent season takes place 10 years later.
While the decade-long time jumps are an effective means of chronicling the alternate space-race history, it also means that For All Mankind‘s cast of characters changes from outing to outing. Since season 1, Edward “Ed” Baldwin (Joel Kinnaman), one of NASA’s top astronauts, and relative space-faring newcomer Danielle “Dani” Poole (Krys Marshall) have figured prominently into For All Mankind‘s story. However, For All Mankind season 4’s ending has left Ed and Dani’s fates up in the air, especially as the series pushes forward another 10 years.
Ed Baldwin Could Still Be In For All Mankind Season 5 Based On His Age
At the beginning of For All Mankind season 1, Ed Baldwin is one of NASA’s top astronauts — until the Soviet Union’s team lands on the Moon first. Ed takes a lot of flack on behalf of the United States’ space-race loss, prompting him to call out NASA publicly. After some ups and downs, he’s finally chosen to command NASA’s first mission to Mars. Unfortunately, that would-be history-making moment doesn’t pan out for Ed either; Margo Madison (Wrenn Schmidt) rescinds his offer, and a thoroughly disgruntled Ed joins the multinational Helios Aerospace.
How For All Mankind Season 4 Ending Will Affect Season 5 Teased
For All Mankind co-creators Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi tease how the ending of season 4 will impact what viewers might expect from season 5.
In season 4, Ed becomes XO of the ever-expanding Happy Valley colony. Despite the problems on Mars, Ed comes to consider the red planet his home. Unfortunately, his professional life gradually falls apart; Ed continually goes against Dani, especially when it comes to the Goldilocks asteroid retrieval mission. After Ed’s hand tremors are reported to Dani, he’s removed from flight status and relieved of his XO duties. While he may not be working in the same capacity, it’s possible that an 80-year-old Ed is still living in Happy Valley in season 5.
Dani Poole’s Fate Keeps Her For All Mankind Season 5 Return A Possibility
In the For All Mankind season 4 finale, Dani is shot during Miles’ Mars riot by a familiar weapon: North Korean cosmonaut Lee Jung-Gil’s (C.S. Lee) gun. In season 3, that same weapon had been buried in the sand while several astronauts, including Dani, Lee, and the late Grigory Kuznetsov, were stranded. When the gun resurfaces in season 4, it again shows up at a time of heightened tensions. However, instead of being tossed aside, the weapon is used to injure Dani. With Dani critically wounded, the at-odds residents of Happy Valley come together.
While For All Mankind kept Dani’s future vague, the show’s creators have confirmed that Dani survived the Mars gunshot incident. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean she’ll be back for season 5. Initially, Dani agrees to come out of retirement as the commander of the Happy Valley colony after Kuznetsov is killed during a mission. Given the intensity of her season 4 arc, Dani’s story might be done. The show’s creators acknowledged that dying isn’t the only way to leave For All Mankind; in some cases, characters leave simply because they’re career changes or “their story arc is done.“
Does For All Mankind Season 5 Need Ed & Dani?
The very nature of For All Mankind‘s timeline means that characters come and go from the series, especially as it flashes forward in 10-year increments. While both Ed and Dani have been around since the show’s first outing — and while Ed is a somewhat-main character in the show’s ensemble — For All Mankind doesn’t necessarily need Ed or Dani in season 5. The show has always positioned itself as a chronicle of a larger history. Plus, with For All Mankind‘s Kuznetsov Station taking center stage, new characters and stories are a must in season 5.