Pan Am Review Episode 7 and Golden Days of Flying Contest Results

by on November 12, 2011 · 4 comments

in Contests, Guest Blog Posts, Pan Am the Show

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… Danielle returns for week 7 …

The most recent episode of Pan Am swirls around the romantic attachments of our two sister stewardesses, Kate and Laura, set to the backdrop of 1960’s race relations. The two’s traditional character roles seemed reversed, however, when the normally controlled and covert Kate finally gets vulnerable with Nico, and it’s mild-mannered Laura engaging in the risqué and bold behavior. No wonder the episode is titled “Truth or Dare” – these sisters cover both challenges!

The episode opens in Madrid, where our Pan Am crew is going to “do a favor for Uncle Sam” and ferry a group of submariners home after a 6-month deployment. That’s when Laura meets Joe (played by Gaius Charles of Friday Night Lights), an African-American in the Navy who catches her attention with his gentle humor and charm. Laura has discovered a kindred spirit in Joe as they both agree that the world, “seemed like too big a place not to go wandering in it.” They engage in a thrilling 24-hour courtship back in New York, as both grapple with the controversial (and dangerous) ramifications of their attraction. Meanwhile, the honeymoon period has ended for Kate and Nico when Nico is abruptly, and suspiciously, called back to Yugoslavia. Kate is desperate to protect him and since her contacts with the CIA are eager to turn him, Nico is kidnapped in the middle of the night and asked/bribed/threatened into spying for the United States. Kate must come clean about her role as a spy courier, and though she wins back Nico’s affection by the time the curtain drops, he’s still being sent home to what may be his doom.

My favorite Pan Am take-away of the season occurred during this episode when Dean offers the girls a remedy for the rowdy sailors onboard their flight. Apparently he can, “Decrease the cabin pressure by manually raising the cabin altitude” in order to “make boozy passengers fall asleep.” Wonder if that trick is still around!

We also learn that Laura is at risk for violating the “Pan Am code of ethics” by having had nude photos taken of herself, and I was a little surprised when Dean allows his favorite stewardess (Colette) to briefly “take the yoke” and fly the plane during the flight based on the reasoning that the sailors weren’t actually paying passengers. And finally, they allude to a special ‘Round the World flight at the end – 3 weeks long! Imagine having the same plane/seat/crew for your entire, multi-stop vacation! I dug around the internet to locate the below vintage advertisement for some authenticity:

The Real 1960′s

After listening to Laura’s sugary sweet whisper of “love trumps everything” to Kate at the beginning of the episode I couldn’t help but roll my eyes and settle in to watch what I thought would be another vanilla boy meets girl story unfold. But then when it’s revealed throughout the next 60 minutes that love and personal attachment can’t necessarily overcome harsh political realities of the day or protect against the violence caused by a racism, the candy coating on the Pan Am series begins to crack – giving it some much needed depth. Watching sheltered beauty queen Laura so far out of her element was certainly more interesting than it would have been if one of the more adventurous characters had taken the part. In one scene Laura struggles over the fact that she is compelled to lock her bedroom door while Joe is in her apartment, and the discomfort and confusion she feels about her own actions and the inherent prejudice it reveals is genuine and palpable. It was enticing to see her character break out of it’s cookie cutter image somewhat. One by one, Pan Am is winning me over – “Come fly with me?” yes, please!

And now, without any further ado, the winners of the Golden Days of Flying Twitter Contest are:

johnmoorenowFrom “good old days of travel” #PanAm, “Like” the sitting area with sofas in the premium cabin; US carriers please bring back!

byzantinist: The perceived exclusivity and glamour of air travel. #PanAm

jeffbrownson:  I would like to be able to pop my head in to see what is going on in the cockpit. #PanAm

Congrats to all of you and thank you for participating! I will be contacting each of you in order to process your vintage style Pan Am passport cover prize!

See ya next time, Danielle

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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  • jeffbrownson

    Thanks! Can’t wait for my new passport cover.

  • Paris

    I don’t think either of these scenarios would lend themselves to the script writers for this show… however, reference: “Dean allows Colette to briefly ‘take the yoke’and fly the plane during the flight…..”
    (1) Flashback to 6 July 1972. Several weeks previous, I had moved from Holland to the Canary Islands to start my own business. On that date an AVIACO (Spanish carrier) DC8-52, on a ferry flight with 10 crew only from Madrid to Las Palmas, Canary Islands, to pick up tourists for a flight to Hamburg, Germany crashed into the Atlantic, with no survivors. Accident report stated: “aircraft crashed into the sea; cause unknown”. The real investigation, typically covered-up in these years when Gen. Franco still ruled, apparently stated that at least one of the pilots was having sex with one of the stewardesses, the plane was on autopilot, and it flew itself into the ocean. I cannot substantiate the source for this information, but it was common knowledge within the Spanish aviation community at that time.

    (2) My own real Pan Am experience. 1965. Working at that time in San Juan, I flew often to NYC, with Pan Am, Eastern, or Trans-Caribbean. This flight was NYC-SJU, a Pan Am 707. 9/16/65. Flying economy, on the “vomit comet”, as it was called at that time due to the frequency with which Puerto Rican passengers, many flying for the first time were susceptible to airsickness, I was seated overwing, right side. On the takeoff roll, I observed a fuel leak flowing from the trailing edge of the wing behind No. 3 engine. A former Air Force officer with flying experience (SAC), I called a stewardess and asked her to please, but urgently, to inform the captain of this fact. She obviously did not believe me, and continued doing whatever she was doing, without going towards the cockpit or to an intercom to communicate with the pilots.

    It was dark as we took off, and I could not determine whether the fuel leak continued, or not. So I decided a few drinks might calm my nerves. About halfway to San Juan, I was standing near the rear galley, chatting with the two stewardesses working there, who kept my glass refilled. (it was different in those days..) Suddenly, we encountered the worst CAT (clear air turbulance) I have ever experienced. Passengers with unfastened seat belts literally rose out of their seats, and serving carts in the galleys were emptied of contents. Amazingly, there were not any injuries that I recall. But there was an incredible “ripping noise”, like plastic, which was the wall of one of the toilets being separated from the fuselage. I saw this myself before a stewardess locked the door for the flight duration. The pilot then came on the intercom to say that “all was under control and we were proceeding to San Juan”. On landing, I remarked to a ground supervisor that this aircraft should be grounded to inspect the source of the fuel leak and any other unrelated damage from the severe CAT. Of course, no one paid any attention to my observations.

    There was a crew change and the flight proceeded to St. Croix, Antigua, and to Fort-de-France, Martinique.
    It then turned around and began its return (and final) voyage back to Antigua, San Juan and New York.

    The next morning, 09/17/65, the San Juan radio carried news of a Pan Am crash on the Island of Montserrat; no survivors. I called the local Pan Am office in San Juan to ask whether this was the same aircraft which had flown the previous day from New York to San Juan. They wanted to know “why” I needed this information, and I told them I had been on this flight, what I had observed, etc. etc. etc. Local Pan Am’s response: “please do not report any of this to the local news media”. I was by this time incredibly mad, and spent the rest of the day compiling a written report to the FAA or whatever the appropriate governmental organization was at that period.

    I received a response from them some months later, stating that as the crash had occured in a protectorate of the U.K., they did not have jurisdiction.

    Years later I was seated next to a deadheading Pan Am pilot on another Pan Am flight, and he told me what really happened. That thunderstorms were so bad that day that the pilots got disoriented and ‘lost’, and, thinking they were on an approach to Antigua, tried to descend into the Montserrat airport to a strip long enough for DC-3′s, and by the time they realized their error and tried to climb out, a mountain was in front of them. End of story.
    This obviously will not be a plot for a future episode.

  • Unknownauthor_anonymous

    all i can say is… fantastick!:)
    get laura and joe backtogether, they belong together.
    it is a shame they have to secretly date.
    hope to see more of them in every episode.

    glad things are working about between niko and kate, they also belong together.

  • Hanna

    I just finished watching this episode (S1E7: Truth or Dare)… In fact, I searched Dean’s trick on how to “make boozy passengers fall asleep” and found your article.

    I miss Pan Am! Why did they have to go and cancel it? It was so classy and whimsical! Great cast, too! I grew somewhat fond of Colette from the beginning but I also enjoyed Maggie, Laura & Ted. :) I wasn’t crazy about some of the storyline, but I think what I enjoyed the most was the elegance and grace with which the women of that time carried themselves. Traveling by air used to be so glamorous, exciting and hassle free. :)

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