Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pan Am 1.11: "Diplomatic Relations"

And the fallout from Bridget's (Annabelle Wallis) return continues with this episode of Pan Am. Dean (Mike Vogel) seems to be regretting his COMPLETE LACK OF SELF-CONTROL from the previous evening (shocker) -- seriously, I felt kind of bad for Bridget for about two seconds. It has to be pretty crushing to sleep with a guy and then he's all WHY THE HECK DID I DO THAT?! I DON'T LOVE YOU?! But I can't stand Bridget, and while I think Colette (Karine Vanasse) is entirely too good for Dean, the fact remains that she is good for him...but Dean's inability to keep his pants zipped has thrown a giant wrench in the way of any possible future for the pair. *sobs* *rollseyes* Thankfully work intervenes before Dean can do something else really stupid with Bridget -- he discovers that he's been assigned to captain the first Pan Am flight to Moscow since the advent of the Cold War. Dean's honor, however, is short-lived when his captaincy is pre-empted by the arrival of George Broyles (Darren Pettie), a hot-shot, smooth-talking WWII pilot who steals the spotlight and the captain's chair.

Kate (Kelli Garner) is now (finally) wholly committed to the spy game. When her CIA handler Richard (Jeremy Davidson) learns of the upcoming Moscow trip, he asks her to check on the status of a deep cover double agent who has dropped off the radar. I really liked the whole idea of a trip like this into the heart of the Soviet Union. Touted as a goodwill mission of sorts, when the crew arrives it is clear that their every move will be closely monitored -- a reality no one is used to, but makes things doubly difficult for Kate to slip off and check on the Russian operative. I thought this episode handled the political tensions of the time period really quite effectively.

While Dean, Kate, Bridget, and Laura are navigating the murky waters of Soviet Russia, Maggie and Ted are stateside dealing with major relationship developments during their time off. Maggie (Christina Ricci) still (shocker!) hasn't figured out how to confess to her congressman boyfriend (Chris Beetem) that she's behind the recently published -- and decidedly unflattering -- article written about him in the Village Voice newspaper. Even after her old reporter boyfriend Mike (Colin Donnell) warns Maggie that the congressman's staff is intent on discovering the source of the piece, she STILL can't seem to find the right moment to come clean -- instead attending a fundraising party as Congressman Rawlings' date, and in typical Maggie fashion getting carried away and insulting another partygoer, thus outing herself as the source behind the article. Talk about a spectacularly public break-up! It would be nice if I had some confidence that Maggie was finally going to learn from this -- but I think she is so accustomed to playing fast and loose with the truth that I don't know if she realizes there's any other way to live, you know?

In a twist I didn't see coming -- though in hindsight given the soapy nature of this show I probably should have -- Ted's (Michael Mosley) girlfriend Amanda (Ashley Greene) comforts Maggie with a hug & a KISS post-breakup, this AFTER accepting Ted's proposal of marriage AT THE FLIPPIN' PARTY. Really, I mean really? The implication to my mind, at least, is that now that we know Amanda agrees with Maggie's tearful admission that sometimes women are just nicer to deal with, that is the only reason she held off Ted's amorous advances, as opposed to holding onto anything resembling a moral principle like waiting for marriage. Disappointing, but as I said, in keeping with the show's wildly soap opera-ish tendencies. Clearly Amanda's 180-turn in her behavior towards Ted is rooted in much more than a realization that he can be a charmer. :P

My favorite storyline by far in this episode is the trip to Moscow and how that provides a showcase for Kate's growing savvy as an undercover operative. When Laura (Margot Robbie) and Bridget are detained by the KGB for some innocent photo-taking, Dean is enraged but his position with Pan Am gives him no leverage in Moscow, revealing a nice level of maturity and responsibility as regards the crew/job. Kate, on the other hand, has managed to discover that Broyles uses his position with the airline to indulge in a little black market smuggling activity, and that coupled with her intel on the double agent gives her the leverage she needs to get her sister out of harm's way. I LOVED Kate's stand-off with Broyles when she demands he use his ill-gotten gains to free his fellow crew members -- the strength she exhibits speaks to her growing self-confidence and the nice sisterly bond between her & Laura. Well done, it's about time to see Kate commit to a course of action as regards the spying side gig!

Thoughts on episode 12 coming soon...


Charity said...

I was annoyed that the only "moral" girl in the series is only moral because she's not interested in men! (Or... that's what I thought until episode 12, anyway.) Meh. =P

Lori Benton said...

Yeah, I gave up on this one too Charity. Sad. It started off so well.

Unknown said...

@Charity - I know what you mean! :P

@Lori - This one has gone ALL over the place!

Lori Benton said...

I think it peaked at episode 3 and has been on a gradual downhill slide since. I'm not sure what episode I stopped at.

I've abandoned quite a few shows this year for similar reasons. I guess my taste in TV isn't mainstream, because so many of the shows I like a lot keep getting canceled! I'm still waiting to hear about Terra Nova.

Unknown said...

@Lori - Hey, discrimination is a good thing -- something I strive to exercise, sometimes better than others. I do want to finish out reviewing this season (I am a completist, ha!). Keeping my fingers crossed for you & Terra Nova! :)