"Pan Am" Episode 11 Recap: From Russia With Love
Dearest "Pan Am",
No offense, but you are getting a little crazy. As much as this reporter and the several million viewers you have each week who now soundly invest 60 minutes of their life every Sunday evening into participating in your retro ways, you need to slow it down and re-discover the slight phonetic but otherwise massive difference between the words drama and trauma.
P.S. We still love you though.
P.P.S. Bridget sucks. Make her go away.
Starting To Think That "Pan" Is Short For Pandemonium
Think they will get it on time for next week's episode? One can only hope. I still standby my "watch this show with suspended belief as if they were all vampires" theory from last week, but the thing is that this week's episode, "Diplomatic Relations" was the first which made the 1960s look downright unappealing.
"Pan Am" would be very unwise to stop relying on their advantageously era-ed setting as a selling point for viewers. It appeals to a time travel wanderlust in the deepest hearts of its viewers, one that, unless Marty McFly or Dr. Who comes knocking on their door, is only assuaged and satisfied in the bubble pop world of "Pan Am." It is like "Mad Men" but, at times, devastatingly less serious and having the unique ability to showcase many international settings in that flattering 1960s light.
So. "Pan Am" needs to make us remember why we loved this show in the first place. They should also stop borrowing plot lines from "Gossip Girl" but that is another letter for another day.
Onto the episode at hand - "Diplomatic Relations" is so ironically named that, if the show was not airing on mainstream cable networks featuring actresses people have heard of and music that was once popular, it would be hailed by hipsters everywhere. Not a single character acted with decorum or diplomacy all episode long, in fact it seemed, at times, that they were going out of their way to do exactly the opposite. Maybe the episode title was sarcastic?
Let us start with…. Kate. Oh, Kate. You make it too easy sometimes. I am starting to think Kate is suffering from "Kardashian Syndrome" - becoming aware of the giant cameras following her everywhere so she starts doing ridiculous things… just for the sake of it. Girlie just had one simple mission over in Moscow, to find out if codename Anastasia was still alive and active. It was actually even easier than that. She just needed to see if there was a potted plant in a specific window. Easy peasy, right? NOPE. Kate seems to run away every chance possible, get lost when convenient, and almost blow her cover as a CIA operative in 60 different ways. Granted, the last one was rather valiant, since Kate was never going to leave the Soviet Union with her sister detained as an alleged spy.
And what did Laura do to earn her arrest, detainment and possible interrogation - or what she calls a "story to tell at Thanksgiving"? She took a picture. Of a building. But, apparently that was enough in Cold War era Russia to get her and Bridget arrested for espionage. I say, "let the Soviets keep Bridget." She actually was once a spy and cannot keep her mouth closed about it. Literally though, she spoke to 3 different characters about it in this episode alone!! One victim of Bridget's big mouth was Laura, for whom 007 is closer to her IQ level than her involvement in any extracurricular espionage, so she didn't quite get it. Regardless, these two blondes got themselves into quite a pickle, which left Kate to contact Anastasia, pull a few strings, and blackmail a Pan Am pilot into calling for their release.
Thank goodness Kardashian Kate was there to save the day. Though I have a sneaking suspicion Colette wouldn't have been too heart-broken over leaving Bridget behind. Dasvidaniya home wrecker!! Bridget was the unfortunate character who chose NOT to read my advice to her. Instead, she chose to put Regina George to shame and be the meanest girl in town. She tells Dean that she wants to be his wife, he says he loves Colette and that their night together was a mistake. Bridget then goes out of her way to play nice to Colette's face but then plants some token of Dean's in her luggage where Colette could find it. After all, poor Colette didn't know that Bridget and Dean had… mistaked. She is heart-broken AGAIN. And as much a Dean tries to explain to her that she is the one he wants, it is not enough. And if there was a single viewer out there who didn't want to reach through their television screen to smack the smirk off of Bridget's face as she gleefully watched Dean and Colette's romance disintegrating - you have my highest compliments. I said it once, I'll say it again: Bridget sucks.
As for Colette, she was so brave and so honest in this episode that it made the eventual undoing of her and Dean's relationship even harder to watch. She went to Bridget and told her how it is in the politest way possible. She was bold and honest with Dean and said she just wanted to be with him. Now that Bridget has ruined everything I think Colette needs to channel her inner Frenchwoman and reignite animosity between the French and the British.
And Dean really did do his best. Even el Capitán Broyles, veteran Pan Am pilot and part time cigarette smuggler noticed the maturity in Mr. Lowry and let him fly the plane the hell out of Russia. They were certainly not welcome there anymore after the whole snafu with Laura and Bridget. See what I mean about the irony of "Diplomatic Relations"? See what I mean about Bridget messing everything up?
Back in New York, there were two more completely messed up relationships at play, but at least neither of them involved any KGB agents or threats of gunfire. Ted had been looking for the perfect opportunity to propose to his socialite girlfriend but coming up short. Maggie had been industriously trying to hide her participation in the article from Congressman Rawlings who was bent out of shape by the published truths. Ted thought "Oh! Maybe I'll propose to Amanda on a carriage ride through New York!" Maggie thought she really could play nice when her boyfriend asked her to a political event that evening. Ted's idea failed and he ended up at the same event as Maggie. Maggie's diplomatic relations failed and she called one of Mr. Rawlings supporters "an ignorant buffoon!!" Ted proposed to Amanda at the party; she accepted. Mr. Rawlings discovered Maggie's participation in the article and dumped her; she wept.
All this led up to the one scene "Pan Am" has been teasing for weeks now, and you can almost hear Katy Perry's lyrics in the background. "This was never the way I planned. Not my intention. I got so brave… handkerchief… in hand. Lost my discretion." Amanda lost her discretion alright, and then found it… on Maggie's mouth. It really was innocent as far as scandals go, but something tells me Ted may not be so pleased to discover the new similarity he shares with Maggie Ryan.
However, this scandal seems to hold but a candle to next week's explosion. Laura's nude photographs have become an art exhibit. And now Andy Warhol wants her as his new muse?
Check out the promo below for next week's episode "New Frontiers."
Reach writer Kelly Hanelt here
Read last week's "Pan Am" recap here.
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