The third episode of “The Right Stuff” is an interesting one, as all the main characters are starting to struggle with the pressure of the whole of the US on their shoulders, and more importantly, being away from their families.
While it was very well established in the previous episodes that Alan Shephard was a womanizer, this episode also shows us weaknesses with both Glenn and Gordon, who are both tempted while being away from their wives. It’s especially interesting to see Glenn feel temptation since he was portrayed as the boy scout through the first two episodes.
As the test launch gets closer, the pressure continues to build, especially with their families coming in to watch. The astronauts are dealing with preparing for the role, especially Alan Shephard, who continues to push himself beyond his capabilities.
Shephard is such a strange character, he’s a very grey character, he doesn’t come across as likeable at all, but you can see his drive and sheer determination to be the first man into space. The gyroscope training scenes in this episode made me actually start liking his character, while at the same time, the events of the episode showed weaknesses in Gordon and Glenn.
The focus of the episode also shifts slightly from that of the pilots and more to the men in the control room, seeing how they grapple with the sheer pressure of learning how to send people into space. I found this to be refreshing, because their job is so important to the success of the mission, but often overlooked.
One thing I’m really enjoying about this series, is the historical aspect to the show makes it stand out from anything else I’m currently watching. It has quickly become a highlight of the week. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, I love that this is a show I could easily be watching on Netflix or the BBC, it just doesn’t feel like anything else on Disney+ right now. “The Right Stuff” is able to sit on the line, pushing it a little further (especially in one scene by the pool), while still keeping within the boundaries of Disney+.
Episode 3 of “The Right Stuff” is all about showing us the cracks in the Mercury Seven, how they are considered heroes, their real lives weren’t so rosy. This episode really pushes that across, which makes them all much more realistic.
For fans wanting a little more space action, there is a great scene at the end of the episode that will no doubt have major repercussions for the rest of the series. The third episode is all about just pushing forward with the development of the major characters, applying more pressure but also giving us viewers more ways of connecting with them.
Rating 3.5 out of 5