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Pan Am takes a look back through its unaired episode

I promise not to complain about how this episode should have aired in November, in its proper production order. Well, at least, not TOO much.

- Season 1, Episode 13 - "Romance Languages"

If you tuned in to Pan Am this week expecting to see the follow up to the last episode, which concluded on the afternoon of November 22nd, 1963, you were probably a little disappointed. I imagine hope doubt that story will be told next week in “1964.” Instead, we saw a little bit of flashback to the episode “Romance Languages,” which was pulled from the schedule back in November.

Admittedly, I have been jumping up and down on this schedule change for quite some time now. There were several storylines that started, ended, or were impacted by the events in this episode. Sure, Laura’s decision to pose for Graham was addressed in “Truth or Dare,” but it seemed like a throwaway mention at the time – I actually think that “New Frontiers” would have worked better at this point without the audience and Laura’s fellow stewardesses knowing about the photos. Also, the state of Kate and Niko’s relationship before he was co-opted by the CIA makes a little more sense knowing that she was roughed up, and then ignored orders to break up with him. The biggest gap, however, was the denouement of the Ginny/Dean relationship, and the fact that someone knew just how far Maggie went to keep her job.

It’s a bit odd to attempt to review the serialized stories in this situation. That being said, it is now very clear exactly how big of a bullet milk bottle that Dean dodged by breaking things off with Ginny. When she first woke up in the hospital, the way they had Erin Cummings made up, she could have been waking in the middle of a Stephen King story. The milk was all fun and games, but when she put her head through the glass window, Dean should have hightailed it in the other direction. That direction, lest we’ve forgotten, is straight to Colette – but only until he screws things up by behing an idiot.

Colette, perhaps, is a bit wiser in the ways of love after her time in Rome being chased by the unlikeliest of suitors, a twelve year old. I can’t imagine it is an easy thing to do, breaking a pre-teen’s heart that way. She had a rough go of it in her first attempt, but eventually worked things out. She’s a trooper, though. Personally, I would have had a much different reaction to waking up in the middle of the night to someone standing over me like that.

Not to belabor the point (Who me? Belabor a point? Never!) but I’m a much bigger fan of Laura’s story with the photographer now that I’ve seen the backstory. Things went pretty much as one would imagine: that her decision was about being a more modern woman, but on her own terms. However, the point that she first decided not to sleep with Graham, but then returned to pose for the pictures was a salient detail lost in the shuffle.

Next week’s episode, “1964,” is being billed as the “season” finale. You shouldn’t take that as a sign that Pan Am is coming back for a second season. Until ABC has made a decision about next year (which will not happen until they know until after Pilot Season), they’d be silly to tag the episode as anything but. Despite my whining about the schedule kerfluffle, I’m a big fan of the show, and would like to see it return. I could easily suggest some cost cutting measures if it would help. Anything I can do for the cause!

Notes & Quotes

  • “Laura, what’s wrong?” – Kate
    “Sex … did you see them? The couple in row nine; they’re almost having sex in their seats.” – Colette
    “Right next to a nun!” – Maggie
    “They’re still at it?” – Laura
    “They’re getting kinda acrobatic.” – Kate
    “Well at least they’ll be able to confess their sins immediately.” – Colette
  • “Why are the crazy always the most fun?” – Dean
    “Ah! Let’s get something straight: they are all crazy. All you can do is choose a degree on the crazy-o-meter.” – Ted
  • I loved when the kid dropped the “We’ll have a bottle of the, um, old red wine that you decant at the table.”


Photo Credit: ABC/Eric Liebowitz

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

4 Responses to “Pan Am takes a look back through its unaired episode”

February 13, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Okay, it makes much more sense now. I, too, am a big fan of the show and hope that it returns. I am a little irritated that this episode did not air in the proper order. Not sure what the thinking was there…. Anyway, I love it and really hope it’s back for next year. Disappointed they pulled the plug on this season so early and really wish they had picked up where they left off with the JFK assassination… Thanks for the post!

February 13, 2012 at 12:14 PM

I found I couldn’t enjoy the episode at all. When I figured out that it was an epi that was aired out of order, I got irritated enough to shut it off.

I know that at this point, expectations of Pan Am aren’t high. But when networks jerk shows around and air things out of order, can they expect anything other than decreased viewership?

February 22, 2012 at 8:23 PM

What is with all the weird virginity talk in this ep? Laura implied to Ted once before she wasn’t against extra marital sex, implying that she wasn’t a virgin. Now we discover she is?! And Ricci’s character had that torrid affair with the right-wing dude she hated and yet she was asking Laura “what it was like?” And Laura’s sister confesses to her that she’s not a virgin! No way she would have kept that secret since “high-school.”

April 13, 2012 at 4:50 PM

I enjoyed the show only because it was Pan Am, however it was sometimes a bit trite and not quite the way I remember it. I started in 1961. The stories didn’t have any depth. Remember, these flights were 5 to 10 hours in the air (before the 747SP – could be 16 hours) and it was like a small town in the sky. The very young Captain, was not believable. Many of our Cockpit crew were quite a bit older than the cabin crew. The pilots would have gone on strike if someone junior had jumped ahead on the seniority list and become Captain out of seniority order, just wouldn’t happen. Ricci’s character might have been hired for Hughes Air West, but not Pan Am – What with all the Ass Wiggling. You really do need some new writers. I believe this was suppose to be 1963. Kennedy was President. Everything changed after the Kennedy assassination, THE PILL came into vogue, the war was in full swing. We were flying into the war zone in Vietnam. We had many hijacked airplanes to Cuba. We had aircraft blown up in Rome in the desert. Our crews ended up in war zones. Stranded on Wake island. Hit by lightening. Births on board. Some countries didn’t like our ( USA) politics and would park us on the ramp for hours, without a ground AC
with temperature over 100. Just to mention a very few things that did happen during that time. Hope you bring it back with more realism. You can still have the sex – it happened a lot. Oh. I never heard of anyone getting slapped on the ass to check for a girdle. It could have been a great series.

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