The much-anticipated series Space Force premiered May 29 on Netflix, and subscribers were immediately obsessed. The show, which comes from the same brains that brought you The Office, is another workplace comedy — but this time around, it deals with the United States Armed Forces's sixth military branch, the U.S. Space Force (which is a real thing, BTW). Steve Carrell plays
Michael Scott Mark Naird, a general who's been tasked with leading Space Force even though he's hilariously unqualified.
If you have watched (or have been watching) the show, you might have noticed that there's an ongoing mystery that seemingly doesn't get solved by the end of the first season.
Why is Mark's wife Maggie in prison?
We're first introduced to Maggie (Lisa Kudrow) when Mark is given the task of leading Space Force. This means he'd have to move from Washington, D.C. to Colorado, and Maggie isn't thrilled about this. The show flash-forwards one year later, and Maggie is mysteriously serving a harsh, 40-year prison sentence (she does get to grow her own radishes, so it's not all bad!)
Did we somehow miss the part where she commits a crime and is convicted of something? Apparently, we're not supposed to know why Maggie's in prison. That's the whole point.
Maggie being in jail for such a long time must mean she did something very, very serious — but the mystery of it all is the joke. Similar to how Creed is just randomly a psychopath in The Office, Maggie is just randomly in prison. It also puts Mark in a more stressful position (not only is he leading Space Force, but he's a newly single parent), which makes the show that much more ridiculous. Here's showrunner Craig Greg's explanation that he gave to Collider:
“Well, both Steve and I think that it’s very funny to just hear little hints of it, and not know the full story, that it gives her character a certain mysterious energy. The original conception was thinking just in terms of how much pressure is put on Steve’s character, that in the military often the wife of a senior officer is an important part of the team. So that they’re expected to raise the kid, but also to be the political advisor, and organize the families on the base."
To think that in addition to taking on this incredible new challenge, which would be incredibly difficult under the best of circumstances, he also now has to deal with the fact that his wife’s in prison, and his daughter is going off the rails, and he hasn’t really parented her before. It just seems like a great way to put more pressure on him, and to have such a funny situation for her to be in. She was the perfect Martha Stewart-ish wife, and ended up following the Martha Stewart path even more than she thought.”
Some viewers are frustrated with Maggie's incarceration.
When you watch an entire season of a show, you do expect answers. So, it's understandable that some folks are annoyed that we don't find out why Maggie's in prison.
I've just gotta know...what crime did Mark's wife commit. #SpaceForce— Love, Respect, Empathy, & a Fist! (@observer_smilin) May 30, 2020
I'm roughly three minutes into the third episode of #SpaceForce, and I still don't know why Mark's wife is in prison. Chekov's gun, people. Don't put something dramatic into a story unless you're going to build on it.— Andrew Bjork 🧢 (@DrewwwBjork) May 29, 2020
Will we find out in Season 2 (if there will be one)? Maybe, maybe not! Space Force is currently streaming on Netflix.