Pan Am Review – Episodes 9 and 10

So Pan Am returns on BBC2 for an hour and a half of agreeable escapism on Saturday evening. Last night’s double bill started with episode 9 where most of the main characters flew off to London.

The sister who is a spy, Kate, got her new mission. She has to take a fake list of spies and give it to the MI6 guy Anderson who will substitute it for a real list of spies. The lives of agents depend on the list getting exchanged. So I wonder why MI6 cant just make up their own list and need the CIA to send one over. Never mind.

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On the flight there is a different pilot than usual. He likes telling old war stories, but worse than that, he likes to check out the stewardesses in an inappropriate way. Laura, the sister who isn’t a spy, catches him looking down her blouse and spills coffee on him. He’s angry and says he will report her but the copilot Ted says something to change his mind.

Meanwhile the main pilot guy Dean took the French stewardess Colette for a flying lesson, which turned out to be an excuse to introduce her to his parents. Unfortunately his dad could only glower ‘Where’s Bridget? Is this Bridget?’ Colette runs off to the barn where the pilot guy ‘makes up’ with her in a way that doesn’t involve flying.

There’s another plot involving Maggie, who it turns out is the character played by Christina Ricci, where she gets together with a pro-nuclear bomb senator even though she hates his politics.

But back to the spy mission. Kate is supposed to distract the enemy agent who is a jeweller while the MI6 guy is swapping the lists at the jeweller’s office. But the jeweller goes back early and Kate follows. When she arrives she sees A Big Fight in progress. I was hoping for some Jason Bourne action, or maybe the fight in the stairwell in Casino Royale. Not quite, but I’ll accept any 1960s spy fight.

Anyway, a gun is produced and knocked to the floor. The MI6 guy is about to be stabbed by the jeweller so Kate lifts the gun and pulls the trigger. Screen goes dark. End of episode.

So on to episode 10.

As expected Kate shot and killed the jeweller. A week later she is told MI6 want her to take a polygraph test to see if she’s telling the truth about what happened that night.

The problem is she isn’t telling the truth as the MI6 guy Anderson says he shot the jeweller. He says he will be protected because he’s an MI6 agent whereas if they knew it was Kate that did the shooting they would let het take the fall. Seems a bit risky to me as she could then tell everyone she worked for the CIA, but never mind.

So Bridget s back. She wants Dean back. He says no. She makes up a story about being sick, where she got some unspecified terminal disease but ‘got better’. Dean says no. She says ok, I was a spy. Dean says no. She says tell me you don’t love me and they’re off to her hotel room.

Meanwhile down the corridor Colette is in her hotel room crumpling up two tickets for The Beatles (quite popular,I understand says the hotel reception guy) as she know Dean is off with Bridget. I thought maybe she was going to do The Acting, perhaps collapsing onto the floor thus displaying inconsolable grief. But the scene ended. Oh well.

There’s another plot where Ted wants to marry this girl and Laura’s starting to feel Conflicted as Ted has been nice to her, even buying her a proper camera for her to take photos with. Ha, Laura has changed her tune! I remember when they were in Berlin and he tried to hold her hand while listening to Kennedy’s speech.

Anyway, back to the spy story. Kate passes the polygraph as Anderson teaches her to beat it by answering another question in your head. It actually kind of makes sense but I doubt it would work in real life. Kate wants out of the spying but he seems to convince her that she’s a good agent.

I would say the episodes are instantly forgettable except I’ve remembered them well enough to write this the next day. I do think the show would be livened up with a few hijackings and mid air collisions. But its diverting enough entertainment for a Saturday night.

I note that the Radio Times listings suggest that there are only 14 episodes, so I assume there are only 4 more.