I finally got around to watching the fall finale of Pan Am, and oh my word was it awesome. The twists and turns were INSANE but for the most part I loved every second. Values-wise this show still has its frustrations, but I like these characters so much, and this episode was (for my money) a great example of what the show is capable of when at its best -- wildly fabulous, soap opera-ish storylines and compelling, likable, very human characters. And as a mid-season finale this episode worked WILDLY well, because oh my word I cannot WAIT to find out what happens next! :)
First of all I want to discuss Dean (Mike Vogel) and Colette (Karine Vanasse). Dean is lucky he's not dead or hospitalized after pulling the whole "Surprise! I'm taking you to meet my parents!" stunt. *wink* He has seemed so polished this season I forget that compared to Ted, Dean has very working class roots, coming from a farming family. I LOVED him in denim, I just have to say. He has such an adorable all-American look to him, doesn't he? :) Anyways, apparently since Colette kissed Dean after the whole Haiti debacle, they have been a couple -- probably the poorest-kept secret amongst their coworkers. *snicker* I couldn't BELIEVE that Dean's father was so ticked that Colette wasn't Bridget -- I don't care HOW bad or nonexistant your relationship with any given family member may be, you do NOT horrify a guest in your home like that! I wanted to smack him! As cliched and cheesy as Dean's apology may have been ("you're REAL, Bridget isn't"), as far as the "world" this show is establishing goes it fit the characters and the moment. Dean really is capable of being an wonderful, stand-up guy, but there's some maturity issues there, issues that I think Colette could help him with. I only wish they didn't have the baggage of previous hook-ups, but such is the nature of network TV I suppose. *sigh* (Seriously though, making love in the parents' BARN, a building they could walk into at ANY MOMENT, that's a bit much. Just sayin'!)
We are introduced to Maggie's (Christina Ricci) friend Sam (Danny Deferrari), a political activist briefly seen in the first episode, hinting at Maggie's bohemian lifestyle and political leanings. Sam cons Maggie into smuggling him onto her London-bound flight, where he plans to protest nuclear arms talks. En route he confronts a traveling senator (Chris Beetem), embarrassing Maggie on the job, and later calling her out on the fact that while she may talk a good game about wanting to change the world, when it comes down to it she just isn't brave enough. Maggie being Maggie rises to the challenge, and what starts out as a lively discussion between her and the handsome senator turns into a hookup, which leads to of all things a fire. There's no way around it, Maggie is a MESS, but I do like her spunk. I just wish the show didn't play so fast and loose with her morally-speaking. Thus far there have been relatively little consequences to her poor decisions on the job or romance-wise -- and addressing fallout could really add some depth to her character.
Regarding Laura (Margot Robbie) and Ted (Michael Mosley) in this episode, can I just tell you people how much I love them? If this show isn't renewed for a second season (and let's face it, that may be an uphill battle), I will be so upset if Laura and Ted aren't in a relationship! As immature and just plain stupid as Laura can be, she can also be extraordinarily kind and I love how she's seemed to make Ted a better (nicer) person just by knowing him (and saying no!). I loved how this episode played with the idea that Laura may have lost out on her chance with Ted, when Ted enlists her help to scare off an a girl he had a crush on as a kid that he turns out to like, and like A LOT. Amanda (Ashley Greene) is slated to appear in at least one other episode this season, so hopefully Laura will kick her to the curb (HA!).
But let me backtrack for a second -- since Dean plays hooky from work on the London flight, the Clipper Majestic has a replacement captain -- a sexist, stuck on himself PIG (John Bedford Lloyd), Captain Dennis. Dennis makes several unwelcome advances to Laura, a stark reminder of the fact that while sexism and harrassment in the workplace still exists, at least now there is more recognition of its inappropriateness and more recourse for victims of such behavior to seek, etc. I LOVED it when Laura "accidentally" spills hot coffee all over Dennis, who threatens to write her up -- but later reveals that Ted talked him out of it by telling the louse that Laura was the best thing that ever happened to him. (I DIE.) Ted has come a LONG way since this show began, and Laura's growing realization that he might be worth taking a chance on, and that she might be too late -- oh it was very well-played.
Speaking of consequences, Kate (Kelli Garner) is learning about those in spades as she's reaping the "reward" of her push to become a CIA spy. Not surprisingly it is a lot easier to join the agency than it is to leave it. Richard (Jeremy Davidson) insists that she complete one more mission in London -- delivering a fake list of spies to her contact Anderson (David Harbour), who will replace the real list a Russian is slated to acquire. I like to think that Richard is VERY UPSET that Kate wants to leave the spying game. *wink* Kate has grown up quite a bit over the course of the series, and though her pouting reaction to the harsh realities and consequences of spying can be grating, I have to admit she's got some skills and moxie as this episode reveals. I love that Anderson basically blackmails Kate into seeing the mission through by revealing that the lives of her old coworker Bridget and her ONE TRUE LOVE Niko are at stake. Nicely done, show, nicely done. Play with fire and you will get burned! If the cliffhanger from the end of this episode plays out the way I suspect, there's no way Kate is exiting the spy game anytime soon. :) I am definitely looking forward to the show's return January 8th!