CliqueClack TV

Pan Am’s world is a little less grey

I might be the only one who even noticed 'Pan Am' seemingly skipped a whole episode worth of story, but it really bugged me.

- Season 1, Episode 7 - "Truth or Dare"

Do you remember how, in last week’s episode, Maggie completely threw Dean under the bus to save her precious career with Pan American? Apparently, instead of showing us how that particular story ended, Pan Am instead decides to jump an episode into the future, where Smash Williams has come to teach Laura about race relations in the 1960’s. Was it really necessary? It seems to me that more is lost than gained by a decision like this.

For as much as The Playboy Club was supposed to explore racial tensions in the 1960’s, Pan Am did more with the theme in one episode than TPC did in the several that it got on the air. Laura is a naïf, but she has a heart of gold. Her admission to Joe of her own bias was an interesting twist – in similar stories, usually someone in Laura’s shoes feigns ignorance of the world around her. Instead here she admits that she was scared when she didn’t have reason to. It was a sweet story, reminiscent of the similar one told on Leverage this season. Plus, any excuse for the always brilliant Gaius Charles to be on my TV screen is a good thing in my book.

All things considered, it is difficult not to feel for Kate. She was never trained for what she was directed to do for the CIA. If she had, perhaps she wouldn’t have fallen in love on the job, or have been naïve to expect her handler to respect her private life in this situation. It isn’t a matter of Kate being unintelligent – in fact she’s proven herself to be incredibly quick on her feet. No, this is about being in over her head, and losing something special to her because of it. Niko’s goodbye was heartfelt and emotional – and had a nice call back to their first date and “walking like a man.” If Kate gains anything from this experience, I hope it is the CIA taking her more seriously, and giving her the tools and training she needs to do whatever it is they ask her next.

I’ve never really understood why networks sometimes decide to air episodes out of order. Sure … on sitcoms or other non-serialized shows it has little-to-no impact. But on a show like Pan Am, where what happens one week is often a direct result of what happened the week before, it makes no sense. From what I understand, we were supposed to see “Romance Languages” instead of “Truth or Dare.” Little things like Laura’s relationship with the photographer – and his pictures, whatever fallout there was from Maggie’s outing Ginny and Dean, and Kate and Niko’s very pre-CIA abduction relationship will all likely be story points. What was so much better or worse about this episode that it was worth borking up your narrative?

(Though, my criticisms might be misplaced, as the previews do not seem to match the episode description for “Romance Languages”)

Notes & Quotes

  • [Playing truth or dare] Truth. I took nude photos! [long pause] I was supposed to wait for the question, wasn’t I?” – Laura
  • “Flying makes me a little queasy.” – Joe
    “I’m not sure rum is the remedy for that.” – Laura
    “I’m in the Navy, ma’am. Rum is the remedy for everything.” – Joe
  • I didn’t think the sailor would take Kate’s advice so … literally.
  • I don’t want to get picky, but when Dean talked about the sailors being sworn to protect Colette’s right to the pursuit of happiness … is she an American citizen?


Photo Credit: ABC/Eric Liebowitz

Categories: | Episode Reviews | Features | General | News | Pan Am | TV Shows |

15 Responses to “Pan Am’s world is a little less grey”

November 7, 2011 at 12:45 PM

You are completely right. For whatever reason, they decided not to air Romance Languages. Who know why? It was quite obvious, they completely forgot about Ginny.

November 7, 2011 at 2:09 PM

The November sweeps period runs October 27 – November 23. ABC has already tried the second episode of the “Ginny” arc (October 30), so they probably wanted to see if they could do better by finishing off the “Niko” arc first.

It didn’t work (Nielsen rating of 1.8). The odds of a second season are not looking good. “Romance languages” has been rescheduled to air on November 20.

November 7, 2011 at 2:17 PM

A good point, but you’d think they would want to pack in as many Niko episodes as they can in Sweeps considering Goran Visnjic is the most recognizable TV star on the show right now (or right then … or, at least until Nov. 20th, right now).

November 8, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Aren’t the American Music Awards scheduled to air on Novmeber 20th?

November 8, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Looks like you’re right…

There’s nothing on ABC’s media site about any episodes after the 13th’s.

November 7, 2011 at 3:01 PM

ABC did a lot of last minute changes re: the episode order, and it showed. The beginning of the show seemed somewhat disjointed and ‘choppy’ to me,but after awhile it seemed to smooth out and I was ok with that. Personally, I would like to see more Collette and less Maggie. I like the two respective love stories of the Cameron sisters.

November 13, 2011 at 3:48 PM

“Romance Languages” has been removed from episode lists altogether now. Having an episode listed as airing tonight and not another until December 14th (according to wiki). As much as the episode smoothed out eventually, they left a pretty decent plot line just hanging–are viewers supposed to assume that there were no consequences to the information Maggie gave the VP. It was obviously poignant information for it to have saved her job and if it wasn’t related to Ginny and Dean, is the assumption then that she came up with something entirely different, a lie?
I love Pan Am, I really hope it does get a second season. And I agree, more Colette, less Maggie.

November 13, 2011 at 10:31 PM

Looks like no review tonight because I’m on vacation. I’ve been able to catch some of this episode as I’ve just gotten back to my room.

If they made the decision because they wanted to get this episode aired during Sweeps, then it finally makes sense. This is the best episode since the Colette-centric one.

December 11, 2011 at 11:24 PM

According to some snippets of information that have leaked out, “Romance Languages” was pulled by the show runner because there was dissatisfaction with how the B-story presented on-screen (a young teen falling for Colette) as well as the pace of the episode overall moving too slowly. Yes it would have resolved the Ginny storyline. Maybe if there is a Pan Am DVD in the future the episode will surface.

December 11, 2011 at 11:40 PM

It’s also the episode in which Laura posed for the nude photos.

December 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM

laura was probably into joe since day one, but, didn’t know
what others would have thought, if she was just having
a conversation with him.

i hope they are a couple. maggie wanted to stay with pan am, she was there a lot longer than the other girls, and would have to spill the beans about dean and his bosses girlfriend, if maggie was going to save her job.

kate did what she had to, hope she and nico are still a couple.

February 13, 2012 at 4:05 PM

This past Sunday’s episode seemed like it was left out from about 4 or 5 episodes ago.

February 19, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Exactly – this explains how Laura came to do the photos, plus Dean and Colette hadn’t yet hooked up. They really screwed up.

February 19, 2012 at 5:30 PM

I sort of think that is the correct answer:
“They screwed up.”

February 22, 2012 at 8:17 PM

OMG I’m so glad I found this discussion. I can’t believe they aired the eps out of order. I could not figure out what was going on. I thought I had missed something. I was checking my DVR, listings, everything seemed right and yet I knew everything was out of place. Dumb move.

Powered By OneLink