Pan Am Episode 1-4 Review: Eastern Exposure

The backstory of Colette in last week’s episode worked great, because it fit with the context of the episode. They stopped in Berlin, giving her a flood of childhood memories, so the focus on her seems entirely appropriate in the context. And since she was already a likable character, it only reinforced our feelings about her.

The writers try to emulate this in “Clear Skin,” but it’s not the same situation and it ends up not being as good. For starters, Ted (and the other male characters, for that matter) hasn’t been a very good character thus far, and “Clear Skin” doesn’t really change that. We get his backstory–how he was a Navy pilot and wanted to be an astronaut, how his father allowed him to be booted out for a defense contract–proceeded on the fact that Ted is mad at Dean for being younger than he is. It’s fine material, but nowhere near as compelling as Colette’s story.

The other plots this week were very weak, with Kate trying to do her spy business while Laura almost ruins things. It leads to a big argument between them, but it’s kind of meaningless since Kate is hiding so much from Laura. Kate can’t say what she really wants to say, so their conversation isn’t exactly what they’re feeling. The traveling to Rangoon and Jarkarta plot was very generic–exotic locale, etc.

Score: 8./10

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