Pan Am has successfully stayed on the air for a full season, much to the surprise of some of its critics who claim the show is enjoyable but lacklustre, that the storylines are slightly far-fetched with not a lot of gusto to back it up.
While the show is entertaining and adorable, its struggle to impress in the shadow of the highly-rated Mad Men was obvious when it aired Romance Languages- a previous episode that had been skipped over to wrap up lingering storylines faster.
This episode takes us back a few events without warning, as the episode wasn’t meant to be aired out of order.
Dean: We’re back to when Captain Dean was messed up with Ginny, prior to the Collette and Bridgette love triangle. We see a completely different side of the mistress, who, when Dean tries to cut ties with her, smashes her face through a window – and still tries to reconcile with Dean. Ginny’s first lover and Pan Am head honcho finds out about the affair and threatens Dean’s job (though we, who know the future, know he stays with Pan Am).
Kate: Kate is still with Niko and we see how their relationship began to be threatened. A man knocks into Kate and tells her to leave Niko. She calls her CIA boss Richard who warns her that this may not be the last threat on their romance.
Colette: Colette accompanies a young traveller whose parents live on separate continents. He quickly mistakes her friendliness for affection and falls in love with her. She lets him down easy.
Laura: Laura, whose nude photographs emerged in the last episode, has not yet posed for them in this flashback. The episode takes us through her journey of trying to become a strong, independent woman – drinking espresso without milk and almost sleeping with an endearing photographer. She instead opts to pose for the nude photographs.
In this episode, we pick up where New Frontiers left off: After the shooting of John F. Kennedy. We quickly learn that he has died and the nation is in mourning a few weeks later. We find the cast preparing to ring in the New Year.
Colette: Colette is being wooed by the Prince she met in the latest episode, to the point where he asks to begin a formal courtship. This would mean her taking a leave of absence from Pan Am while she lives with him and his family in their palace. She is very tempted, as you can imagine, but before she makes her choice the prince’s men find some surprising news about her past: The once-orphaned French girl who thought her parents were killed in the French Resistance discovers that she was in fact orphaned for a different reason: her parents were both Jewish and killed in a Nazi concentration camp. She also learns of a long lost brother who is still alive.
Ted: Ted is having second thoughts about marrying Amanda, as he doesn’t want to settle into a marriage where neither of the two is happy. Amanda tries to make things right by asking Laura to be Ted’s mistress, that way all three have what they want. Laura politely declines (as you would) and Ted breaks things off with Amanda for good. Ted and Laura (finally!) unite with a kiss – until Ted arrives back home to find Amanda unpacking her things- she’s pregnant and staying put. She seems to think Ted will change his mind and be happy with this arrangement.
Maggie: Maggie finally takes Broyles up on his offer to help smuggle goods to and from the US, which leads to a storyline where she is literally rolling in money and kissing Broyles. Her JFK grief seemed to have passed quickly.
Kate: Finally, Kate is caught in a struggle of trust when Richard (her US CIA boss) warns her that a double agent is out there somewhere and is out to get him. He arrives at her flat wounded and gives her an assignment of transporting a microfilm to “headquarters” where it will be safe – and that anyone who asks who Richard is will be the double agent. She leaves to complete her task when she runs into Anderson (the UK CIA counterpart) who, of course, asks after Richard and warns her that Richard is the double agent and Kate has to figure out who to trust. After some consideration, she decides Richard is telling the truth and sets up a successful sting to arrest Anderson. Turns out she was right.
This season finale seems to be set up in a way that could potentially be the end to the entire series – as any good first season finale should be. The reception has been lukewarm for this show, but no one can deny the entertainment factor – it seems to be the lack of a gripping plot that people are complaining about. We’ll have to wait and see if these characters will ever see 1965.
What did you think of the Pan Am season finale? Let us know in the comments below.