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Guest Blog Post: Danielle returns for another week to recap episode 3 of Pan Am…
Week 3 on Pan Am seems to finally find the series shaking off some of its jet lag. My favorite comment involved the stewardess’ thoughts on catering to journalists while on flights – Maggie quips, “Journalists can be seasoned travelers and seasoned travelers can be particular. They need food they can eat in one hand and they expect to be treated as if their work is the most important work in the world!” Does this extend to bloggers? ;)
Now, back to the show…
“Ich Bin Ein Berliner” opened with the girls preparing host to a chartered flight of (the above mentioned) journalists traveling to Berlin to witness President Kennedy’s historic 1963 speech at the Berlin Wall. It’s the president’s first trip to Germany since the Wall was erected, and no one seems more excited about the affair than head stewardess, Maggie. Turns out Maggie was a precinct captain in Kennedy’s campaign and seems practically willing to hijack Air Force One in order to get a chance to meet him. Any plot that involves JFK is bound to be sexy.
However, the most compelling storyline in this episode centers around Colette. She lands in Germany with some very heavy baggage – of the emotional variety. We learn she lost her family during WWII when the Nazis occupied her homeland, France, and she’s dealing with some post-traumatic symptoms from it.
Kate spreads her wings on her second mission for the CIA and Pan Am does an admirable job of merging each character’s agenda in the third week.
Here’s the quick rundown; immediately Maggie makes it her mission to get a presidential handshake and to do so she enlists the help of a (handsome!) young writer for the Village Voice, whom she promises to move into first class for the flight home so he can enjoy, “extra roast beef and unlimited liquor.” It’s not clear whether Pan American Airways would actually allow this, but the takeaway seems to be that the stewardesses hold the keys to the first class kingdom and its perks.
Instead of joining the others in pursuit of a press pass, Kate leaves to pick up a book per her orders received just before she was assigned to the flight. While on the errand, Kate comes face to face with her German counterpart – a young female courier named Greta whose identity has been compromised and who is now on the run from the East German Secret Police, the STASI. After the CIA refuses to help the German spy, Kate takes matters into her own hands and disguises Greta as a fellow stewardess and directs her towards a powerful journalist with connections that can get her out of harm’s way. Laura was lost in the shuffle, only momentarily appearing on her own to turn down a kiss from copilot, Ted. But … Colette.
Colette is obviously unable to muster any joy at the President’s speech while suffering a stay in the homeland of her childhood oppressors. And she is not one to keep her mouth shut, either. The girls slip into a party for Kennedy at the embassy and Colette makes several uncomfortable remarks to the German officials Dean is in charge of wining and dining in order to expand Pan Am’s hub in Berlin. She follows up the testy exchange by singing a haunting rendition of the Nazi German anthem,“Deutschland Uber Alles,” in order to remind the party guests of the country’s not-so-distant past. I applaud ABC for finally taking off with some controversial and evocative material!
While this episode did not contain as many interesting real-life tidbits about flying on Pan Am, there was a lot of emphasis placed on the airline’s reputation. Apparently all if takes to gain access to a presidential party is a pretty smile and a Pan Am uniform since, as Kate puts it, “[Kennedy] likes stewardess, let’s show him stewardesses. We’re Pan Am – and who can turn down Pan Am?” Maggie also makes the argument at the end that she should be allowed near the President because of her position with Pan American. She ends up with a wave from JFK after passing over some Cuban cigars to his security detail.
I’m not sure about all of you, but I’m getting hooked and am ready for more in-flight entertainment! Bis dahin, Danielle …
So now for the moment you have all been waiting for! The Pan Am Orion Bag goes to lucky TPG reader is Chadda Manish who commented, “Me and my wife love the show actually, we think it could develop into a great series and are really hoping it doesn’t get cancelled. I love seeing what air travel used to be in the ‘good ‘ol days.’ My wife is actually dressing up as a Pan Am flight attendant for Halloween….that bag would make the costume!” Mr. Manish, you can thank me for the free “husband points” later when I contact you for mailing information ;)