Pan Am Episode 3 Review and Contest Winner

by on October 13, 2011 · 5 comments

in Guest Blog Posts, Pan Am the Show

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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 ;)

In case you missed them; check out my Season Premier Review and Week 2 Post.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Pitt_Flyer

    I love this show just for the pure escapism factor. And I do think it’s plausable that the stewardesses held the keys to First Class because prior to Customer Loyalty Programs, who else would be in charge of handing out good customer service ?

  • Thanh Nguyen
  • Chadda Manish

    Thanks so much TPG!…my wife loves the idea of getting the classic pan am bag, and I definately got some husband points! Thanks again, and she also loves all the great travel we are able to do since I started reading your blog!

  • Jules

    The third episode has just been broadcast in the UK.

    There is a major plot hole with respect to the East German seeking to defect: From what we see, she has already escaped the territory of East Germany. Although East Berlin was very much under East German rule, West Berlin remained under American, British and French rule during the Cold War and functioned in most ways as a de facto exclave of West Germany (even though it was technically not the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany until after the Wall came down). The Berlin Wall existed precisely to keep the Western-controlled zone in Berlin off limits to East Germans.

    Any flight by a US airline to Berlin would have been going to Tempelhof Airport or Tegel Airport in West Berlin. Kennedy’s speech was outside Rauthaus Schoenberg in West Berlin. The airline stewardesses would certainly have been staying in a hotel in West Berlin. The US Mission at that time was in West Berlin.

    Perhaps we are meant to assume that the flight attendant had managed to venture into East Berlin (as Westerners could sometimes do at Checkpoint Charlie by showing their Western passports and paying a fee for a short-term visa). However, if the initial encounter with the East German was in East Berlin, then that East German somehow was brought into the West to get to the flight attendants’ hotel and the US Mission. If she had evaded the border control and entered West Berlin, then she did defect and assistance from the US Mission was a moot point. If an East German managed to get into West Berlin, she was able to either live there under Western rule or fly to West Germany on a US, British, or French airline.

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