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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pan Am: Christina Ricci is NOT Included in the Price of Your Ticket

Pan Am
Episode 102
"We'll Always Have Paris"

The second episode of Pan Am was a solid follow-up to the premiere. By keeping the core cast to a relatively small size, each character is getting a decent amount of time for development.  It also looks like the show is settling into a  little storytelling rhythm, foundations laid in the pre-flight scenes; the playing out of the action on board (aided by some useful flashbacks); and a varying size of wrap-up, based in whatever city we're flying to. So far, the device works.  Lets get into tonight's action. Buckle up, let's go.
 Colette (Valois, we learn everyone's last name this episode as if they realized they forgot to fully name everyone in the pilot): Colette's storyline this week is pretty much to be flirty, flirty with Pilot Dean and to be a sexy French woman. she's very excited to be headed to Paris, to be able to take in the smells of home.  She also has some serious flirty time with Dean, especially after he picks her up on the side of the rode (her taxi had broken down o the way to the airport) and make a deal with him to be his 1950's era housewife (e.g., cooks his meals, bring him drinks) if she gets to drive his sweet convertible.  She also helps Pilot Dean track down the Mysteriously Missing Bridget in a famous Parisian bar, La Palette.  She also is the one that breaks it Dean that Bridget had a whole secret marriage thing going on.  Last scene her dancing very cheek to cheek with Dean in an open square.  Both of them being "lost".

Laura (Cameron):  As in the pilot, we continue with fallout from Laura running away from home on the day of her wedding.  Momma Cameron is on the flight to Paris this week and she has come to make amends with Laura. After a sweet moment on the plane, she make it clear that she is not mad at Laura and Laura reassures her that she still needs Momma Cameron in her life.  Laura's LIFE cover has also made Momma Cameron the belle of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) ball, figuratively speaking ... I think. Once in Paris, Momma Cameron spring dumped fiance Greg on Laura and ... she runs again.  Greg eventually finds her hotel room and they have a nice heart to heart where he basically tells her to go make her own adventure.  Nice resolution to this plot (and please be over, because if this is all Laura is about, she's going to be a fast forward character for sure).  A hope in this regard is a scene between Laura and Kate where Laura shows her sister a picture she found from when they were kids; wherein the 2 sisters were standing in front of the Eiffel Tower -- symbolic of the two of them starting to live their dreams?

Kate (Cameron):  "Red-headed Cameron" (that made me laugh for some reason) has 2 plots going this week. The first, obviously, is dealing with the Laura/Momma Cameron drama.  Kate is an interesting character because she clearly is equal parts jealous of Momma C's overt affection for Laura but at the same time, has clearly turned the black sheep thing into a powerful self-confidence which allows her to be successful in her own right.  We get some flashback treatment of how Kate, as a running theme, fights Laura's battles as relates to her parents and how, in turn, Momma Cameron explicitly blames Kate for poorly influencing Laura into the reckless, hussy-like lifestyle of Pan Am stewardess.  Momma Cameron shows some love to Kate at the end of the episode; she shows Kate her passport, which was obtained the summer Kate (and not Laura) became a stewardess (a nice callback to Kate's earlier dig at her mother that Momma C didn't even have a passport, while Kate gets to see the world).  Kate's second storyline is her US intelligence mission. She is to deliver a small, wrapped gift-box to a contact in Paris.  She'll know the contact by a series of coded phrases about the wrong time.  Her contact turns out to be Mysterious Bridget!!!

Maggie (Ryan):  We continue to develop Maggie's feisty version of feminism in this episode. First, we see her take on Frau Stickinherass (Miss Havemeyer, the Pan Am den mother that does weight checks) and then, in her main plot line, she is forced to deal with a "boozy jerk." After trying to professionally put of the boozy jerk, she is forced to stab him with a serving fork when he goes in for a grope section in the galley. Maggie also gives us the name of this post when, post-forking, she make it clear she will not be mile high clubbing it with this guy.  Fratboy Ted (Vanderway), who saved Maggie from Frau Stickinherass's retribution in the flight lounge, smooths things over with boozy jerk, calming him down with a free double scotch. Maggie feels like Ted has basically told boozy jerk its okay to continue acting in his boozy jerky self and slams the door on Ted's face at the end of the episode.

Pilot Dean (Lowrey): Spends most of the episode trying to figure out what happened to Bridget; though he does a fair bit of flirting with Colette.    He flashbacks to six months earlier, when he and Bridget went to La Palette and Dean got to act all jealous of the snotty French maitre d'. He also spies a British guy (who we know as Kate's MI-6 contact) arguing with Bridget when she excuses herself for a moment.  That scene will definitely become relevant down the road (presumably when he sees Kate talking to the same guy).  Anyway, Dean gets pretty crocked in the present time after he finds out from snotty French Maitre d', through translator Colette, that Bridget was actually married.  We end with Dean looking like he might want to consummate his flirty time with Colette.

Mysterious Bridget (Pierce, but we knew that from the pilot):  Bridget tuns out to be Kate's contact of the week. When they move into a nearby church for their clandestine meeting/hand-off of the mysterious box (everything surrounding Bridget is Mysterious), we learn that six months ago, Bridget screwed up. In an attempt to correct what she thought was a botched mission, she compromised her secret identity and was sidelines by the US/British intelligence services (that was the chewing out MI-6 guy was giving her in Dean's flashback of the same event).  When Kate asks what in the box (not a head like in Seven when Brad Pitt asks Kevin Spacey the same question), Bridget reveals the documents of a new life.  For her own safety, Bridget is gone and she will now be Elizabeth Reese of Kansas City, Missouri.  God, that sounds awful.  Is this it for Bridget? I feel like we'll see her again from time to time (at the very last in Dean flashbacks).

Au revoir for now. See you next week!

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