This led to a very confusing instalment - Dean was still entangled with Ginny, and hadn't yet had his moment with Colette; Kate was still with Niko; Laura hadn't yet taken the nude photographs referenced in the last episode.
What made things worse was that 'Romance Languages' was one of Pan Am's weaker episodes; while the show's always silly, and we still got some so-bad-it's-so-good moments, largely the instalment just wasn't particularly interesting.
Kate's spy storyline, for example, has surprisingly become one of the best bits of Pan Am, but it was largely kept quiet this time around - the only moment of intrigue came when a very villainous looking man bumped into Kate and warned her to break off her romance with Niko. Sure, that was pretty tense - especially the brilliant, desperate phone call Kate then made to Richard - but certainly not enough to sustain an episode.
The aforementioned return of Ginny was fun, though, if only for the fact that she went absolutely crazy - I know it was a long time ago, but I don't remember any hints that she would react quite so badly to Dean breaking things off.
I hate to criticise women for their behaviour in romances, but really, Ginny was so above-and-beyond insane this episode. Like when she threw milk bottles at Dean, or, brilliantly, when she suddenly decided it would be a good idea to smash her head through the window (I had to rewind this and show it to someone else, just to get confirmation that it was as mad as I thought.) And then, somehow, she was surprised that Dean still wanted to go through with the break up.
Now that we've had Dean and Colette's romance, and know that Dean survived Everett's threats that he could lose his job, it was really hard to get invested in this storyline. On the other hand, it did lead to the wonderful scene on the plane after Colette realises that Maggie let slip about Dean's affair to Everett - it was all concealed anger and hidden emotions.
Unfortunately, Maggie was otherwise largely absent from the instalment, and Colette was wasted entertaining an irritating young boy who had fallen in love with her (yes, I know, his parents had divorced and it's all very sad, but he was just so hard to warm to).
The best part of the episode probably came with Laura, who begins taking some tentative steps into sexuality. She's in a situation where she can lose her virginity to photographer Graham, but can't quite go through with it (though Kate and Maggie both believe she has, leading to a great moment as she returns to the apartment in tears and desperately tries to avoid Maggie's interrogation).
Instead of regret about moving too quickly, Laura becomes upset that she hasn't moved fast enough - she's worried that she's missing her chance to be a 'modern woman'. This is an interesting enough idea, and I particularly enjoyed the cute sisterly talk between Kate and Laura when she admits the truth.
But I'm not sure that Laura's decision to take nude photographs necessarily follows - it's her attempt to take control of her sexuality and her body, yes, but it seemed to run a bit contrary to her feelings that she wasn't ready to take the next step yet. I suppose I feel like the show missed the opportunity to go just a little bit further with this storyline, though it was still entertaining.
Pan Am has always been enjoyable - even if some of that enjoyment comes from unintentional humour - but this instalment didn't show what the series can do when it's at its best.
Moving the episode so that it has become our penultimate slice of action from the stewardesses is a shame, as later episodes have been much better. It looks like the next instalment is our series finale - I hope it does justice to what Pan Am can be more than 'Romance Languages' did.
- "They're not girls. They're women." Oh my.
- It's probably an indictment that none of us really noticed that Pan Am had skipped an episode - and it shows how little this instalment moved things along. The only thing I was pleased to see resolved was Maggie telling Everett about Dean's affair with Ginny, though I feel like Pan Am could have done much more with that (besides the amazing Colette condemnation).
- Laura asking for turbulence to stop the couple joining the mile high club was good fun. ("There have been noises!" "Oh dear.")
- Speaking of Laura, I liked that the virginity storyline was tied into the fact that she feels like she needs to grow up (dealing with the naughty passengers, adorably wiping her face clean of ice cream, choosing to drink an espresso instead of hot chocolate).
- And speaking of that, I loved the bit when Laura was surrounded by Italian men... then fell off her stool. Bless.
- Ted was way more fun before he ended up with Amanda, right? Just the tiny reminder of what a sleazebag he used to be in this episode was great.
- "The usual Maggie's magic." I love angry Colette. I hope Karine Vanasse gets a fabulous role after the inevitable end of Pan Am - she deserves it.
- "Was it torrid?"