Tuesday, January 24, 2012

TV: Pan Am (episode 12)

This week was the airing of the twelth episode of ABC's Pan Am. As regular readers recall, I had high hopes for this show at the start but it seemed to be spiraling into a cliched soap opera as week's progressed. Would this week be any different?

This week's episode is entitled "New Frontiers". Some of the crew is slated for a flight to Rome while Ted and Laura are still in New York dealing with some personal issues.

Let's take a look at the details...

Our spy Kate has a new assignment at the conference in Rome, but first she has to learn how to become a pickpocket. Yes, this leads to some of the more laughable scenes of the episode. First she fails miserably with her CIA handlers. Next, she tries to pick Maggie's purse to which Maggie takes her interest as further proof she's giving off the "girl signal" (remember, last week Ted's fiancee Amanda kissed her). She then tries to pick Dean's pocket, which she does okay but he's so caught up in his own drama to notice. When it comes time to do the deed in Rome, her first attempt scores a lighter, her second attempt a pen and a coat-check slip, but the third time she manages to pocket the small tube with mircofiche plans. Ah, the glamorous life of a Pan Am stewardess-turned-spy. LOL

I mentioned Maggie being put off by Amanda's forwardness. Amanda comes to her apartment to apologize. Maggie accepts it, they hug but Amanda holds on just a little bit too long. The unshakable Maggie is shaken. She feels guilty and tells Ted. He is shocked that Maggie would imply Amanda is more interested in women than men, so she plays it off like she was joking.

This however puts a seed in Ted's mind. He stays home from the Rome flight to help Amanda pick out china and such. When he questions her a bit, she throws him off by kissing him passionately. Yes, Ted is easily distracted by a beautiful woman. We'll get back to him in a second.

Laura has her own problem. Turns out someone recognizes her in the park. She thinks it is because of her photos in Time Magazine. No, it turns out the nudes she took with a photographer a year prior has sold them to a gallery owner in the Village. She rushes there, sees herself in all her glory in huge, blown up posters. She wants them taken down. The owner who bought them feels sorry for her and offers to sell them to her for his cost - $500. Laura doesn't have that kind of money, but she knows who does. She goes to see Ted and instead talks with Amanda. She offers to give her the money not as a loan but as an investment in friendship. Laura takes the check. Amanda gets another of-so-long-and-inappropriate hug. Ted sees it and starts to wonder again.

After Laura leaves, Ted wants to know more about Amanda's past. He wonders if he needs to worry about old boyfriends. When he questions her about her talk with Laura and being so comfortable with her, Amanda goes for the buttons on her sweater. Poor Ted - easily guided by his "dumb-stick" - has sex with his fiancee though it doesn't appear to have been very good. Gee, why do we think?

The next day, the two talk. Amanda is confident the sex will get better. Ted would settle for honesty. So, Amanda gives it to him. Yes, she is attracted to women but she "loves" Ted and wants to have the picture perfect marriage with him. However, she'll be free to see who she wants and he who he wants, even Laura. Talk about bombshell! Before he can respond, something big happens - more on that in a bit.

Laura takes the money to the gallery and talks to some patrons, one of which is an art critic who thinks she is a symbol of liberated women. Turns out someone wants to buy the pictures as well - Andy Warhol. The gallery owner is about to introduce Laura to the famed artist when something big happens - you have to wait a bit more.

On the flight to Rome, a mysterious yet charming man named Omar takes a fancy to Collette. This of course bothers Dean. Who is this man who has no luggage, was wandering around the tarmac and now is hitting on his former girlfriend? Oh, and Captain Broyles who we met last episode is on the flight and wants to meet with Maggie in Rome to discuss something.

When the flight lands in Italy, Dean learns that there are a ton of smuggled cigarettes in his cargo hull. He suspects Omar, but I instantly knew that was a red-herring. After Collette spends the day with Omar, Dean questions him. Collette does not take kindly to that and invites Omar to the dinner that evening as her date.

Maggie meets with Broyles and learns he has been snooping in her files. He knows she has problems with the airline administrators and that she ratted out Dean's affair with Ginny. Broyles thinks she's the perfect person to help him with the "transport operations" he uses the airlines for. Remember last week how he brought vodka to Moscow? Maggie has to think about it.

At the party, Dean brings the police to arrest Omar. They do admit he is a wanted man, but not for crimes. Omar turns out to be a missing royal Prince who has taken off abroad to escape the prison of diplomatic meet-and-greets. Before he leaves, he invites Collette to join him at a White House dinner in two weeks.

Confused for a moment, Dean then realizes who the smuggler might be. Maggie has just told Broyles that she won't stoop to his level and join him in his criminal activities. Dean then walks up and punches the airline captain.

When they return to the US, Dean tries to apologize to Collette. She appears to be done with him and ready to move on. Just then, lots of chaos as that something big happens.

President John F. Kennedy is assassinated. That throws everyone into shock, including Maggie who idolizes JFK.

So, two episodes left to go in the scheduled run. The next one isn't until February 12th and it is the seventh shot episode "Romance Languages" that got skipped over initially. So, nothing like confusing viewers with one shown way out of order.

Then on February 19th, the final episode of the season entitled "1964". Will it wrap things up in a tight bow in case the show is not picked up for next year, or will they just go along like they have been? Given how bottom-basement the ratings have been since they have steadily fell since the pilot, I would say go with the wrap-up. It's time this show got permanently grounded.

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