Pan Am Recap: “Ich Bin Ein Berliner”Posted: October 9, 2011
Let’s start with the biggest storyline: the crew flies to Berlin at the same time as Kennedy and because Maggie is in love (read: “obsessed”) with the President, she wants to meet him. Big freaking deal. There’s nothing in this storyline to make me care. Maggie’s behavior just doesn’t go with the whole “beatnik rebel” image they’ve been trying to paint for her in the last two episodes.
Not to mention, all it takes is a case of Cuban cigars for her to get a wave from the Kennedy silhouette (unintentionally hilarious scene, by the way) – I mean, how shallow is that?
As usual, Kate’s spy storyline is an attempt to bring some sense of suspense into the episode, but it’s another unintentionally hilariously scene, to see her and the German girl tottering about in their high heels and gloves. It also gets wrapped up too easily and too neatly, and I’m surprised Kate doesn’t even get a slap on the wrist for helping an East German spy.
Laura, now that her runaway bride storyline is concluded, seems to have nothing else to do other than wandering around, mouth breathing. Her storyline (if you can call it that) with Douchy Co-pilot comes out of nowhere, and goes nowhere. And when he says she’s “different from the other girls”, I go, “Oh really?” because I sure don’t see it.
Colette’s storyline actually has some good beats – or at least it got a reaction out of me. Like when she grills the German girl about her parents during the war, for example, I don’t agree with her, but at least I cared. The moment when she sings the German national anthem, on the other hand… call me ignorant, but I don’t quite see the significance of it. True, it’s uncomfortable, but it’s hardly Victor Laszlo singing La Marseillaise in Rick’s cafe.
And overall, Colette’s story is too generic “parents had to leave during the war and never come back.” That’s the problem with Pan Am: they only represent the period in very broad strokes, and don’t get in deep enough to give us a story with emotional resonance.
Well, “high on fluff, low on drama” seems to be a norm with Pan Am from now on, so I might as well stop bitching about it. I also need to stop bitching about how the sets don’t look like what they’re supposed to be. I can only hope that if the show becomes successful, they’ll have more money to spend on production design.
To close on a random note, every time I hear “Ich bin ein Berliner”, I can’t help but think of the “Ich bin ein nerd” scene from The It Crowd.