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Pan Am feels the effect of a missing episode

'Pan Am' starts stories associated with the Kennedy assassination by reminding us of the episode they pulled from the schedule.

- Season 1, Episode 12 - "New Frontiers"

Hey, boys and girls, you remember that one episode where Laura posed for nude photos? You don’t? It was the same episode where the whole Maggie/Dean/Ginny storyline was resolved. Wait, that’s right, we never saw that episode of Pan Am, titled “Romance Languages.” It was originally scheduled to run seventh in order, on November 6th of last year. Instead, ABC aired “Truth or Dare,” and just hoped we wouldn’t remember that we last saw Maggie ratting Dean out to the brass to save her job (I was blown away when it was actually brought up in this episode). Or that, when the nude-photo storyline came back around, that we wouldn’t remember that we never saw it. Yeah, ABC … it didn’t work out well for you.

It is nice to see that Kate is finally getting the training that is so critical considering her constantly growing responsibilities. When she was just a simple courier, it was one thing; now that she’s turning assets and picking pockets, there is a certain skill set that she should have. One thing that she’s proven she doesn’t necessarily need to “learn” is the seduction side of espionage. The way she worked her mark in Rome was textbook. The most important aspect to that particular assignment is confidence, something that she hasn’t necessarily had until recently. She is growing into the role quite well.

Ted’s story with Amanda worked itself exactly to the place I figured that it would. I was surprised, though, at how open she was with Ted about the type of arrangement that she was looking for. She came across in a much more positive light than I expected as well. I think the kindness with which she approached Ted went a long way in that regard; she does seem to genuinely love Ted on some level. The only thing that kept us from seeing his obvious response was the news broadcast that clued the audience into the fact that the episode’s last scenes were set on November 22nd, 1963.

For fans of other period television dramas, Pan Am has a lot to live up to when focusing their stories on the Kennedy assassination. I’m not the biggest Mad Men fan around, but that show did an outstanding job of showing the emotional gut punch that the country took that day. Maggie will likely be the character whose eyes we see that story told through. I’m really looking forward to how things will play out. It will be decidedly more interesting than her being recruited into rough and tumble world of international smuggling.

The focus on Dean’s response was a little puzzling, though. While there’s no reason why anyone shouldn’t have been affected, it was enough of a moment for Colette to feel the need to comfort him – something he was entirely undeserving of. Sure, he’d told her just moments before that he would take the step back that she needs, but that doesn’t make up for his actions — sleeping with Bridget, not necessarily the bit with Omar. He has a long way to go to truly make his actions, if Colette will ever give him the opportunity.

Without belaboring the point about the missing episode anymore than I already have, it is difficult to buy into Laura’s story. We don’t know what prompted her to take the pictures in the first place. Seeing the evolution of where the decision leads — potentially being a model for Andy Warhol, is difficult when you don’t know how the story started in the first place.

Looks like Pan Am is taking a couple of weeks off, with ABC’s airing next week of A Smile as Big as the Moon, and staying far away from new programming against the Super Bowl the week following (Though considering the game is featuring the Giants and the Patriots, I think I’d rather watch Pan Am). We have to show a little patience to see how our favorite flight crew reacts to the passing of President Kennedy.

Notes & Quotes

  • Was that Laura’s old camera, or the one that was confiscated in Russia?
  • “She says I’m in love with two women – and I don’t even think that’s possible.” – Dean
    “Technically it’s possible to love three women … although I’m not going to go into the specifics.” – Ted
  • 20 out of 535 only rounds down to 3% if you round the wrong way.


Photo Credit: ABC/Eric Liebowitz

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

3 Responses to “Pan Am feels the effect of a missing episode”

January 23, 2012 at 5:40 PM

I didn’t think the missing episode was a problem. (If you hadn’t harped on it over all your reviews, I wouldn’t have even noticed there was a missed episode.)
I liked that this was the way we found out about Maggie outing Dean. If we would have seen that, I think it would have hung over the Dean-Colette relationship in a negative way.

Also, doesn’t bother me that we didn’t see her take the pictures. We know the character enough to know why she would take them.

I wasn’t expecting the assassination story to end the episode, but there was plenty of foreshadowing throughout the hour. I was glad to see Colette go be with Dean. She’s upset with him, but what he did is forgivable. And, she had been moving towards that over the last 2 episodes. A tragic situation like this is the time you want to be with those you love the most. Regardless of what happened, they do still love each other.

January 23, 2012 at 9:35 PM

I agree with Carla, the missing episode was not a problem. We knew about Laura’s nude photos because that topic came up in “Truth or Dare”. In fact, it gave Kate the opportunity to play the indignant big sister telling Laura, “…you’re NOT the kind of girl that poses in the nude.”

The JFK assasination was handled perfectly. That event hit the country out of nowhere and that is the way the writers introduce this profound event in “Pan Am”. They even employ the fact that early news reports left the impression that Kennedy was alive and being treated at a Dallas Hospital. The truth was kept from the public for nearly an hour until Government officials could figure what their next move should be.

In keeping with this chaotic time, I would hope that the followup episode would include the uncertainty of “who” killed the President (there were at least 3 suspect groups that had motive, ALL of whom would have different consequences for the country if they were held responsible.) …and, the shock of the murder of Lee Oswald on live television. Up until that moment, no one could predict what the country might witness when TV cameras can broadcast news on the scene “live”. This was the event that began to erode our “innocence”.

So, what I read into Colette’s actions concerning Dean is this: Colette is an empathetic soul. What she has had to suffer due to war or men who would lie to her about their availability, she accesses that pain to comfort others. Dean is no different. They grew close as he mourned Bridgette’s unexplained disappearance in the Pilot episode. He was drunk and broken when they danced in the streets of Paris. She asked him, “What are you doing?” when he took her hand because she knew he was drunk and trying to block out his pain. She let him lean on her because he needed comfort. THAT is what Colette does. She offers comfort to people who are suffering.

Now, the news for everybody in that room is bad. Previously, Dean opened up his hand and told Colette that he knows he cannot protect her anymore. He gets it. Love is freedom, not control. He will respect her decisions. She kissed him, acknowledging that she is grateful she doesn’t have to fight him anymore for her freedom. That makes her “free” to return to him when she deems necessary. Moving closer to Dean while listening to the news about JFK is simply making herself available to someone she cares about during an uncertain time. Nobody knows how this event will unfold, how bad it will get. Colette knows the situation could get very serious for her American friends. …it could even mean a declaration of war. No one knows.

I’ve always felt that concerning the Dean/Colette matchup, he needed her much more than she needed him. She is strong/stoic type and deals with her pain silently and alone. She doesn’t open up easily. He was left shell-shocked by Bridgette. Dean was fortunate that Colette was there to take him home and she let him lean on her. He doesn’t speak French! He calls on her when he needs a French interpreter!

This relationship will truly mature and solidify when Colette finds herself needing Dean and letting Dean take care of her by her own choice.

January 24, 2012 at 7:27 PM and Wikipedia both list the missing episode “Romance Languages” to be aired next, on Feb 12th. Won’t that throw things off?

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