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Recap / Earth: Final Conflict S1E8 "Horizon Zero"

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The Taelons successfully lobby the world governments to stop all space exploration, claiming that the Taelons will provide them all the data they require without the need to expend resources or lives. The three astronauts of the scrubbed manned mission to Mars decide to steal a Taelon shuttle and fly to Mars anyway. The commander of the mission, Captain Paul Chandler, happens to be an old friend of Lily Marquette's. He steals her shuttle but learns that all Taelon shuttles are programmed to never leave Earth's atmosphere. Jonathan Doors decides to aide the astronauts in their mission and sends Augur to try to break the navigation block, while Sandoval is closing in. Augur succeeds, and the astronauts depart on their mission.


  • Both Sides Have a Point: When Boone and Da'an are talking about the Taelons pressuring the world governments to end their space programs, Boone explains the human need to explore, while Da'an points out that there are many problems right here on Earth that would be more easily solved if a sizable chunk of the planet's limited resources wasn't being spent on unnecessary space exploration, especially since the Taelons are more than willing to provide detailed information on the Solar System. Of course, the Taelons do have ulterior motives for why humans shouldn't be allowed to travel into space on their own.
  • The Cracker: Augur manages to successfully hack the Taelon shuttle's navigation system. Since Sandoval is unaware of Augur's involvement, he assumes that the astronauts managed to do it on their own.
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  • Interservice Rivalry: Lily, a Marine, likes to show up Boone, a former Army Ranger, and Chandler, an Air Force pilot.
  • The Mothership: Chandler's photo reveals that the Taelons have been hiding it behind the Moon. It's also one of the reasons they have lobbied for the ending of all human space exploration.
  • Multinational Team: The scrubbed manned mission to Mars was supposed to consist of an American, a Brit, and a German. When Doors shows Lily a photo Chandler took on Mars, it shows the flags of all three countries planted in the red soil.
  • Red Planet: The three astronauts were preparing to fly to Mars when their mission was scrubbed. Instead, Da'an offered them to join their shuttle pilot training program. All three promptly told him to go to hell. The ending reveals that the stolen Taelon shuttle got the astronauts to Mars significantly faster than any human-made spacecraft would. Chandler gives Doors a photo of three human flags planted in the red soil: American, British, and German.
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  • This Cannot Be!: Sandoval's reaction to the astronauts' shuttle breaking out of the atmosphere, even though the navigational block should have caused the shuttle to bounce back down.
  • Wham Shot: The episode ends with Doors showing Boone and Lily the pictures the astronauts took on Mars and of the far side of the Moon. The latter includes the shot of the Taelon mothership and a giant lunar base.