Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pan Am: Rangoon, Jakarta, and Hong Kong

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

This week's episode of Pan Am was really three stories, which made for a rushed episode when you consider they also flew to three countries! They went from New York to Rangoon to Jakarta to Hong Kong back to New York in just a few days. Captain Dean is strangely absent for the bulk of the episode, so we don't know what he was up to in the Orient, though we were rewarded with a lot of background information on co-pilot Ted.

Pan Am "Eastern Exposure" (S01E04): [First, the Ted storyline, since it was the most interesting...] When Ted was in the Navy, something happened with his aircraft and he crashed. Though he believed there was a mechanical error, he was blamed for drinking the night before. Ted was put on administrative duty during a further investigation, and ended up being offered an honorable discharge. His dad made the call to get him a job with Pan Am. However, his dad was in charge of the engineers who examined the downed aircraft... and something was indeed wrong with it. But, Ted's father wouldn't admit it to the Navy because their contract was coming up soon and he was worried about the renewal. So, although Ted's dad did get him his current job, he could have prolonged his career in the service, and his chance at getting into the space program, which was Ted's dream. In fact, while in Indonesia, Ted spends the bulk of his time trying to get the television at the hotel to work, as he wants to watch the first man being launched into space for more than a day. [poor Ted. He got screwed because of a mechanical failure that nobody believed except someone who was selfish... over his own son! If my kid could become an astronaut, you better believe I'd try to help him do so!]

But, there is a little more to the Ted story. He's really curious as to how Dean became a captain before he did... Dean has less experience than 65 co-pilots with Pan Am. So, Ted starts by asking Dean if Bridget helped him become captain. [how would that work? Did/do stewardesses have any pull like that??] Then, when they're facing heavy cross-winds landing in Hong Kong, Ted questions Dean's ability to land and keep 128 people safe. Dean remarks that Ted is just upset that he's not captain and that he should call his dad about it, and Ted punches him. [well, you know, when you bring in someone's parents...] Two days later, they're headed back to New York. When they land, Dean tells Ted that it was all "right place at the right time." He was stuck in an elevator for eleven minutes with an important guy, and told him what he thought of the pilot seniority system. [I'm a big fan of "right place, right time" stuff, though I can't think of a time that it's really paid off for me...]

[Second story, Kate's espionage...] Richard lectures Kate on being reliable and following orders. In Burma, Kate is given a camera to bring to Jakarta. In Indonesia, Kate goes to get instructions, but while she is out, Laura has a lizard fall on her and she freaks out. She decides to go off with Maggie after that, and takes Kate's camera. Kate waits around for the reply on a fax, and it ends up costing her quite a bit of time and money. When Kate gets back to the room, both Laura and the camera are gone, and she ends up being six hours late for the drop-off... even having to hand it over in an alley instead of the specified location. [I was having a safety concern for Kate before we saw that the guy coming toward her wanted the camera.] Kate does lecture Laura about taking the camera, and later finds out that Laura took pictures on it. Later, when Kate meets up with Richard again, he tells her that he wants to reassign Laura so that she doesn't impede Kate's business, but Kate assures him that she won't be a problem in the future. Kate's last activity of the episode? She buys a camera. [I forgot that they weren't a household item back then!]

[Last story - Laura wants to have fun with Maggie] Maggie misses Bridget, since she'd "play" with her, and now the only person willing to do so is Laura, but Kate keeps a close eye on her. [why does Kate watch Laura so closely? besides the ongoing "needing to bail her out" reasoning?] While in Indonesia, she takes Laura to a dominoes game, where she knows the dealer. [how often are they in Indonesia??] They get some curry, dance, and see a chicken fight. Laura even times Maggie to see how fast she can remove her girdle (before they land). [Maggie continues to break rules... I wonder how long it will be until she gets into trouble once again...] Laura goes with Maggie for cocktails and then moves in with Maggie.  [without even telling Laura? I wonder how that's going to work in the long run?]
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