Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pan Am: Trouble in Haiti

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I rather enjoyed the fact that this show had everyone on a single mission. Yes, Kate and Colette were serving the flight in different ways, but everyone was working toward a single goal. I was kinda shocked that they just left all that luggage at an airstrip that nobody would really be able to go retrieve. And that Kate would really allow them to ditch Henry's body like that! But, I guess you have to look at the bigger picture. I also thought that they could have covered exactly what was going on in Haiti at that time... for the non-history buffs. Regardless, this was a great episode, sorry for those who missed it!

Pan Am "Unscheduled Departure" (S01E08): There's a hurricane brewing in the tropics. A new guy, Chuck, is navigating today instead of Sanjit. [I wonder why they gave us a different guy this episode? Maybe just to mess with Dean?] Todd goes to town teasing Dean about Ginny, as it's also the hurricane's name. An older man, Henry, is taking his first flight and is upset about the turbulence, so Kate tries to distract and calm him. Soon, Henry has trouble breathing and it seems that he's having a heart attack. Kate tells the cockpit that they need to land ASP... but the hurricane is hitting Florida so that's out. The choices are Haiti and Dominican Republic, and Dean calls Port au Prince. The tower there is speaking French, and they bring Colette in to translate. [there's really a rule about all traffic controller towers having to have someone who speaks English??] There's no air traffic controller there, so they'd have to land without one (they were also just ravaged by the hurricane). The runway doesn't light up until the last minute, so it's a very bumpy landing. The runway lights also go dark shortly after they stop. They open the doors and a jeep pulls up, with two armed guards. [I was really expecting something much worse to happen!]

Colette translates and finds out that there is no doctor available because there is no phone. There's a village nearby with a doctor, but since the patient can't travel, Colette has Ted and Dean give her all their cash, and she gives it to the guards, who let Colette and Ted leave in their jeep to get the doctor. Ted gets lost quickly, and then they come upon some bodies in the road. [... oh my!] A woman jumps out from the trees, gets in the jeep, and directs them. When they get to the doctor, he's very busy and cannot go, despite the fact Ted offers him quite a bit of money. The doctor is afraid that he'll be killed if he helps Americans, so the most he'll do is give them a nitroglycerin pill to put under Henry's tongue. [see, this is where the audience needs some more background on what's going on in Haiti.] Colette thanks him and they're on their way. Colette discovers that the woman's family has been butchered, and the woman is only 17.

Meanwhile, Dean measures the runway. Because it has been severely damaged, it's about 500 feet short of allowing a successful take-off. Dean starts talking about the plane being able to do more than the books say, and crunches some numbers - but the plane still needs to lose some weight. Maggie and Laura start adding passengers' weights and one passenger speaks up. [is Maggie guessing those weights??] The two guards board the plane and ask Laura for some food, to which she obliges. The whole time, Kate stays with the patient, and tells Henry that she'd love to see the Venezuela town where his wife (a redhead who lost a battle to cancer) grew up. We learn that Kate has been to 35 countries, and Croatia is her favorite so far. [this made me think of the old Goran Visnjic character on ER - Luka was from Croatia.] Henry passes away just before Colette and Ted return, bringing the Haitian woman onboard. [awww. too late. :(] Colette is sad that it's too late to do anything for the patient, but she soon has to be strong and defend the choice to bring the stowaway, as Dean refuses. She tells him that she believes he can get the plane to take off, and if he leaves her behind, he'll regret taking off without the girl. He gives in.

Dean decides that they're going to divert to Miami while the stewardesses defend the girl to the passengers who are flipping out. Dean has all of the luggage removed while the engines run to burn some fuel and lighten the load. Kate decides that they'll leave Henry's body behind to off-set the Haitian girl and appease some passengers. A military vehicle shows up, and Dean wants to leave immediately. They've dropped 6,000+ pounds, but they're still heavy. Chuck is complaining about it, and Ted tells him to let Dean do it. [Ted standing up for Dean, that's a new one!] They go for it, and barely pull up in time. [That Dean is quite the pilot! in 8 episodes we've seen 3 or 4 close calls now!] When they arrive in Miami, Kate calls Richard to help process a greencard and find a foster family for the girl, as he owes her some favors. Dean is chewed out for everything, and the stewardesses all say it was their fault for bringing the girl onboard, which stops all of them from getting into trouble. [haha yeah. My senior year of high school 30-40 kids decided to wear t-shirts one day, thinking "they can't give us all detentions." To my knowledge, all of them were caught and served detention slips.] the episode ends with Colette kissing Dean.

[Note: Pan Am is on a 3-week hiatus.]
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