"Pan Am" Season Finale: Not With A Fizzle, But With a Bang
Injustice. Complete and total ludicrous injustice. Right on the brink of cancellation and lingering in the “will they renew/will they not renew” limbo, “Pan Am” pulls off its best episode of the entire season.
If ever there were a 42 minute long argument for another chance, this would be it. And not in the pleading Ex type of way but, more on the "Law and Order" kicking butt and taking names caliber.
It has been a long flight with “Pan Am,” and seeing as these might be my last few grafs I type about the show ever – indulge me the hideously cheesy airplane puns I just won’t be able to stop myself from writing.
This episode took off a month after the last (I’m talking the one with JFK’s assassination, not the DeLorean experiment gone wrong from last week) and everything seemed to be smooth sailing – almost as if in a state of suspended animation. Colette was still dating her Prince Charming Omar, and Ted was still engaged to Amanda. Really?! I cannot think of a single reason he would consent to walk down the aisle to a loveless and fraudulent marriage but, apparently he imagined some up because the unholy union was still on.
But then there is Maggie. It should come as no surprise after 14 episodes of dancing on tables, blackmail, 86 different incarnations of fraud, and other general debauchery, that if there is a rule – she will find a way to break it. Channeling her previous embodiment of Wednesday Addams, there was nary a smile on her face nor a twinkle in her eye – and I suspect it had been so since the passing of Mr. President. Girlfriend was as bitter as an Adele song. And seeing as her “future died in Dallas,” the next best thing was to become a criminal. Obviously! Maggie and the loathsome Capitán Broyles were like the Bonnie and Clyde of the sky, stealing and smuggling like the best of ‘em. Their latest “mission”, if you will, was to sell some smuggled jewelry to some more-than-sketchy Portuguese men. Maggie refused to let the precious cargo out of her sight, and was able to percept when the deal was about to crash and burn… or you know, be interrupted by even sketchier men with guns. In the end, she was able to wing it and get bed-fulls of cash, dropping this nugget of truth on viewers contemplating a future in delinquency “surprise is the best negotiator.” Keeping in the line of superlatives – it also appears that cold, hard cash is the best aphrodisiac as Maggie and El Capitán Broyles got busy in a bed of cash. At least one good thing came of the terrible twosome’s new partnership – but more on that later.
Speaking of terrible twosomes, Ted and Amanda just might take the cake on this one, usurping the moniker and the status as the worst paring of people ever. Like ever. Now, I know I said Ginny and Bridget were crazy, but this chick is CRAZY. Amanda refuses to let go of the façade of a happily married family, even if she has to drag Ted kicking and screaming. Unluckily, she has a little help in that department since Ted’s overbearing and just plain awful parents want nothing more than to see this marriage happen, considering it more of a beneficial business deal than a loving relationship. Really? Does Ted come with a dowry too? This isn’t the medieval ages anymore. On a side note – was anyone else shocked that Ted’s real name is Edward? I had just assumed it was Theodore, but apparently he shares his namesake with everybody’s favorite scissor-handed neighbor, and a sparkly vampire. How odd. Anyway, Tedward was not about to be peer pressured into marrying a psycho, especially not when he discovered Laura reciprocated his warm and fuzzy feelings, and they were just one cancelled wedding away from being the most adorable couple on television. But his dreams were literally crushed by Amanda who greeted him home with news that she had a little Tedward in the oven. That’s right, her eggo is preggo. And Ted’s future with Laura is kaput. Not that he told her before the end of the episode or anything, he just let her kiss him and hold him and actually think she was ringing in the New Year with the love of her life. Awkward.
No less awkward than all the sudden sexual tension between Kate and her CIA buddy Richard. They became impromptu roomies after he showed up at her door sporting a nasty bullet wound in the side. Turns out there is a double agent in their midst, one who will do anything to attain the recordings in Richard’s possession. But now it is all up to Double-O-Kate to deliver the package to CIA headquarters. A job that became a little more difficult when Kate discovered that the double agent was in fact Anderson, as in British M16 Moscow shooting kerfuffle Anderson; Anderson who she had trusted Anderson. He told Kate that it was Richard who was the double agent, and she was left to decide just where her trust fell. Kate met with Anderson in Grand Central and proceeded to set him up and take him down, eliminating him as a threat. Her next stop was to visit Richard in the hospital, where he told her that she had earned her wings as an operative, and, if she pleased, had landed a job as a full time agent. Just call her Cameron. Kate Cameron. Has a ring to it, don’t you think?
Meanwhile, Colette was being royally wooed by her Prince Omar. They had been dating for about a month, and now he wanted to make it official. Omar offered Colette a 6-month stay in his castle during a period formally called courting, where his family could get to know her better, as well. But before the tiara was fitted, Colette had to undergo extensive background checking. This research provided a little more insight that Colette would have liked, as she learned that her parents were not killed as part of the French Resistance, but in a concentration camp, and that her name is not Valois, the nuns in the orphanage changed it to conceal that fact that she is Jewish. Oh yeah, and she has a long lost brother. These revelations proved terminal to the courtship, but Colette was able to emerge from the Taylor Swift song she has been mentally inhabiting, and realize that the only man she really needs to be looking for is her brother.
Dean, on the other hand, has realized that the only woman he needs is Colette, and now, thanks to a random trial about his actions in Haiti, he has 6 months suspension to help her out. He would have been fired, but Broyles gave a last minute testimony to the heroism of his actions and Maggie pulled some strings to get a letter from the president of the company demanding Dean keep his job. Guess he has found some friends in high places. Good for him.
The episode ended as everyone gathered in Ted’s apartment overlooking the terrible CGI 1964 Manhattan cityscape to watch the even more terrible CGI ball drop. Honestly now, I know the show takes place in the 1960s, but technology has advanced since then. If Michael Bay can make a movie where cars look like they are coming to life, “Pan Am” can make 1964 look less like a Sims game. They toasted to the New Year and celebrated what was to come, their faces looking hopeful for the future/renewal.
While “Pan Am” definitely left possibilities open to continue (as in Tedward’s baby daddy drama), they also left the episode with a certain amount of closure, so that if, in fact, this is the last episode of “Pan Am,” ever, it will be left in a good place. The New Year’s countdown was highly reminiscent of the “That 70s Show” series finale, but only time will tell in this scenario.
Well, it has been a good time. 14 episodes of crazy, hazy, hairsprayed fun, drama, and pure kitschy entertainment. I hope you enjoyed the ride, and, as always, Thanks for flying “Pan Am.”
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