Monday, October 10, 2011

Pan Am: Paris & Berlin

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Pan Am's numbers were lower in week 2, but I blame the Sunday night football game, LoL. Then, they were even lower for week 3, and I am now really concerned for this show. Sunday night is a difficult slot to fill in my opinion, but they've done SO MUCH to market this show! Let's hope that the numbers go back up... Anyway, with these two episodes, the audience learned quite a few more tidbits about the Pan Am company, the era, and the characters. There's no driving arc at this point (other than the espionage thing with Kate), but I think that things will start fleshing out a little more in the upcoming episodes. 

courtesy of Pan Am on Facebook
Pan Am "We'll Always Have Paris" (S01E02): [This episode might be a little difficult to follow, but let me know what you think...] Dean finds Colette on the side of the road and picks her up, provided that she'll make him dinner, though she insists on driving. [I'm not thrilled that we're continuing to depict pilots as players, but whatever...] Sanjib calls out Dean on flirting with Colette and later asks him about Bridget's whereabouts... which are still very much on his mind, as he asks Colette to help him find Bridget. Colette knows French, so Dean takes her to a club he went to with Bridget six months ago to if a guy has seen Bridget. They also find out that Bridget had both a husband and other boyfriends, which crushes Dean despite Colette telling him that the girls often have to act like they're not married in order to work.

Laura and Kate's mother is on the flight to Paris, and neither of them want to wait on her, so they do rock-paper-scissors. Kate loses, but Laura covers for her once again. Turns out, their mom knew Laura became a Pan Am stewardess because Kate mentioned that Laura applied when she cleaned out Laura's closet, plus the magazine cover. (oh, and when cleaning out that closet six months prior, their mother told Kate that she thinks they are throwing away their education to "serve coffee to strange men" and that all of the crazy things that happened are Kate's fault.) Laura goes to talk to her mother and her mother isn't as upset as they thought she would be. After the plane lands, Laura and her mom go to breakfast, but Greg (the fiancee that Laura left) is there, so Laura leaves. [can't believe Greg was there!!] Greg goes to see Laura, and she says that she was only 22 and didn't want stop having adventures yet. [reasonable!] She tells him to let her go, and he wishes her the best in her adventures.

And the espionage arc? Kate is given a package to give to someone in Paris... turns out to be Bridget! Kate gives her the package and Bridget asks how Dean is. Bridget tells Kate that she missed taking a picture of a specific man and she tracked him down. She passed off the film to the guy in the club, but taking the picture had compromised her and she was deactivated. Now, she has a new identity - Elizabeth Reese of Kansas City, Missouri. Bridget warns Kate that what she's doing is dangerous and she could lose everything, too. [okay. the stakes are high. got it. moving on...]

What was Maggie up to this episode? When the weight check girl makes a comment to Laura, Maggie gets rude and questions the process... why is it that just the stewardesses have weight limits? On the flight, one of the first class passengers comes on to Maggie, and later forces himself on her, but she gets confrontational... like stabs him with a fork. [haha!] Maggie tells Colette and Kate about it, and the guy wants to report Maggie but the co-pilot just says she'll be reprimanded. The passenger sent room service to Maggie's room in Paris. [strange storyline in general.]

Fun Facts we learned this episode? In the 60s, it cost $350 to fly to Paris. Parents of Pan Am stewardesses can fly for free. Although this seems to be Kate and Laura's mother's first international flight, she first got a passport when Kate became a stewardess.  

Pan Am "Ich Bin Ein Berliner" (S01E03):  [The date is June 25th, 1963, for you historians in the audience.] We see Kate on a subway in NY when someone approaches her with information regarding her next task, which will be in Berlin. At the airport, we learn that it's Colette's first time to Germany, which is surprising given how long she has worked for Pan Am. [I don't know that we actually know how long any of them have worked there... though we assume for Kate that it's been at least a couple years, and Maggie longer since she has some sort of seniority...] Maggie desperately wants to meet JFK, so she tries to get in with the reporters on the plane. [hehe. I love her "whatever it takes" attitude. But I'm still wanting to know more about the guy we saw her with in the pilot...]

After they land in Germany, [what's with the fact that the majority of the episode took place off the plane?] one of the reporters hangs with Maggie and Laura, and Maggie eventually gets him to give her a press pass. [I don't know about the 1960s, but those suckers are hard to get these days!] She then begins working on getting into a party where JFK will be. Kate goes to the bookstore where she's supposed to make a pick-up, but gets into a car with someone instead, since the "dropper" (Greta) failed to make the drop and has to give Kate the book directly. [did Kate look that suspicious? Because otherwise how would Greta know that Kate was the "picker-upper"?] Greta has been compromised, but Kate doesn't know much about what to do since she's so new to being a courier. Kate makes a call to her contact, but it doesn't look like she'll get much help. So, she brings Greta back to her room and she leaves with the other girls to see the speech. Some random old guy begins to lead them "to JFK," and the group ends up climbing flight after flight to reach a room with a view of JFK. Colette falls behind (she's having flashbacks), but makes it eventually.

Kate dresses Greta in her uniform, since she wants to get her into the embassy for the party. They get in, with Kate only in partial uniform. [I thought that not having the hat would be too suspect, but who knows?] Kate points Greta to someone who she thinks will be able to help her. Later, Kate is confronted by an Intelligence Officer for bringing an East German girl inside the US embassy in a Pan Am uniform. [well, when you put it that bluntly, it does sound horrible...] While all of this is going on, Maggie learns that the President has left the party already, so she dashes out without her shoes, following the motorcade for a few hundred feet before giving up.

Colette was three when the Nazis occupied France, and her parents left her with a neighbor in a plot to flee... but they never returned. so she's not the biggest fan of Germany. [poor girl lost her family. :(] She's also a bit rough toward anyone who served the Nazis in any way, as Greta's family did with their bakery. Colette makes a few rude comments to some Germans at the party, and attempts to make up for it by singing the German national anthem, though she cracks a tiny bit near the end. [this was a REALLY WEIRD moment...] When she goes to board the plane later on, she tells Dean that coming to Berlin was a mistake. She still cannot forgive the Germans and does not know how to stop hating them.

When Maggie heads to board the plane, she sees Air Force One and decides to try one last time to meet JFK. She gives a sob story to a security agent, and once she pulls out a box of Cuban cigars, she has a chance... rather than shaking his hand, she gets to see a silhouette of JFK waving to her from the door of the plane.

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