Pan Am “1964” Review


It’s hard to accept that “1964” might be the last episode of Pan Am that we ever get to see. If the episode proves to be a series rather than a season finale, they did a rather uneven job of wrapping it up, leaving us with at least one huge dangling plot and several other stories that needed a little more attention.

While it seemed like getting involved in a smuggling ring should have given Maggie a lot to do, the only image of her that stuck with me past the end of the hour was of that absolutely fabulous strapless teal evening gown with the mermaid skirt. Only Christina Ricci could have pulled that number off.

Kate was forced to choose between her American and London contacts in a complicated, yet surprisingly un-compelling spy plot. She ended up backing the right horse…I think…and, if nothing else, it was a nice full-circle moment for a character who started out just wanting adventure and a chance to shine more than her pretty younger sister.

Colette was ready to let her Arabian prince sweep her off to a life of royal luxury, but thanks to a background check, she learned that her parents weren’t exactly who she thought they were. Rather than dying in service to the French Resistance, they were murdered in a German concentration camp. As the daughter of Jewish parents, Colette’s royal engagement was quickly cancelled, but she didn’t care. Her prince unearthed a photo of her family that revealed she has a brother somewhere in the world. With Dean’s help, she’s determined to find him.

Speaking of Dean, he was hauled in front of the Pan Am big-wigs to finally answer for his questionable actions in Haiti. After an unlikely plea from Captain Broyles, Dean was allowed to keep his job with only a six month suspension. If the show comes back, I suspect it will be six months into 1964.

And that brings us to Laura, Ted and Amanda…and the dangling plot line. Uncharacteristic of a man in the 1960’s, Ted seemed to have taken Amanda’s revelation about her sexuality rather well. That might have had something to do with the Kennedy assassination; everything must have seemed rather small in comparison.

But let me just pause to say that I think Pan Am dropped the ball here. Maggie spent an entire episode chasing Kennedy around Berlin…yet he’s brutally and shockingly murdered and she barely says a word about it? I wasn’t expecting to see her throw herself onto the eternal flame, but something more would have been in keeping with her character.

Back to the triangle! Ted called off the wedding, citing that he wanted a true love kind of marriage, but Amanda wasn’t ready to give up her beard. She went straight to Laura and asked her to be Ted’s mistress. Appropriately offended, Laura refused, but when she told Ted, they ended up revealing their feelings to each other. Ted was all ready to leave Amanda for good, but….surprise, surprise…she announced that she was pregnant with his child.

I call shenanigans on this one. It’s just too convenient. Amanda desperately wants to get married in order to live up to the expectations of society and a baby is the ultimate husband trap. Ted, of course, fell for it, but he never got a chance to tell the blissfully happy Laura before the end of 1963 and the dawning of 1964. Why ruin her New Year’s Eve?

And if Pan Am doesn’t return next season, she’ll never find out.

What did you think of the episode? Let me know below.