Berlin Station, episode 8, first impressions [spoilers]

[Episode 7 thoughts are here. Squirrel.0072, don’t read this.]

TL; DR summary — I’ve a bit lost interest in anything to do with Hector or Steven. However, there’s a nice intimate scene in this episode. One might conclude after watching it that they’ve just decided to let Richard Armitage emote in front of the camera rather than saying anything. This episode gave me a little bit more convincing information about why Armitage might have wanted the Hector role, but I can’t say I’m hugely disappointed that he didn’t get it. It’s very hard for me to imagine what would let me develop any sympathy for that character at all by the end of the series — because I am just not interested in his plotline. And, as I realized, I’m not that curious anymore about who Thomas Shaw could be, because I don’t as yet see any true moral conflict built up around the issue of whistleblowing. Nothing here about Iosava, nothing about Panama — this show has too many plotlines and there are only two hours of it left. I was never convinced that Hector acting alone was Thomas Shaw, so I feel like he needs an accomplice and I am wondering whether it is Steven, even though I can’t think of a motive.

***

Gosh, I love the titles on this show.

This is particularly cool -- the U.S. Embassy with a glimpse of the Reichstag dome in the background (camera facing north), with an upside transparent image of the Reichstag facade running over it.

This is particularly cool — the U.S. Embassy with a glimpse of the Reichstag dome in the background (camera facing north), with an upside transparent image of the Reichstag facade running over it.

Episode opens with Hector taking a lie detector test at the hands of someone from the CIA, in a setting that looks like an abandoned GDR prison. I tweeted right away that I didn’t think the CIA would be interrogating someone in a setting like this. The interrogator is played by Anna Deveare Smith (from The West Wing).

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We see a flashback of Hector dumping Ruth Iosava’s body into the Spree (this is sort of a Berlin tradition — assassinating people and dumping them in the river). Hector tells the official story (Claire was dead when he arrived at the factory in Wedding) as we see Daniel and Hector proceeding separately to a destination that Hector enters and Daniel observes.

Beautiful shot of Daniel Miller observing Hector enter: Claire's apartment.

Beautiful shot of Daniel Miller observing Hector enter: Claire’s apartment.

Hector drinks some of Claire’s orange juice and falls asleep in her bed.

Cut to Robert trying to calm himself down before a call from Langley. Nice shot, theme a bit obvious.

Cut to Robert trying to calm himself down before a call from Langley. Nice shot, theme a bit obvious. However, this scene makes Robert really likeable — he’s scared as hell but manages to keep it together for the call.

It’s “Clay.” Robert tells him that he doesn’t know where Steven is and that he’s very capable of running the station.

Next, we see Patricia coming up the escalator from the basement tracks in Berlin Hauptbahnhof (a really neat place architecturally — Steinhauer is boasting about all the Berlin location shots after the show and he’s a bit obnoxious personally but this is a beautiful place to shoot in) and Danny is greeting her.

Beautiful shot of Daniel and Patricia against the background of Berlin main station.

Beautiful shot of Daniel and Patricia against the background of Berlin main station. She’s just gotten back from taking Max to Munich to visit his father.

Daniel kindly picks up her luggage and puts on his shoulder and then very ineptly tries to keep her away from Hector, but she’s not having it.

Beautiful shot of Patricia and Daniel against the exterior of Berlin main station.

Beautiful shot of Patricia and Daniel against the exterior of Berlin main station.

The interrogation story continues.

Hector is not very beautiful. I resent giving him space here.

Hector is not very beautiful. I resent giving him space here.

Hector cops to having PTSD and getting treatment which allowed him to “reevaluate himself.”

At the station, Robert reassures everyone that he has everything under control and consoles them about Claire. Back in his office, he pulls the “Antoinette” file out of his safe and glances at it — we see pictures of Valerie and her significant other and a date of 2009, before Valerie interrupts him. She’s going out to Claire’s apartment; Robert expresses concern; Valerie tells him she isn’t interested in changing the terms of their relationship just because he’s acting chief.

In the next scene we see, Hector is asleep in Claire’s bed as Valerie enters the apartment.

Hector scares Valerie. Claire apparently was a fan of old-fashioned baking scales.

Hector scares Valerie. Claire apparently was a fan of old-fashioned baking scales. German kitchens usually have a scale because German cookbooks measure many ingredients by mass rather than volume.

Valerie tells Hector that Claire loved him. Hector said he’d said the same to Claire but she hadn’t said it back. Valerie notes that Claire told her that she loved him. Hector notes that Claire wouldn’t like them talking about their feelings about her.

Back at interrogation, Hector denies being an alcoholic and the polygraph, which has been cooperating till now, flips out.

Kellie gets a visit from Hans Richter, armed with a bottle of rosé.

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As she watches her phone being bugged.

Hans tells her he’s sorry. Kellie accuses him of allowing the lifting of Steven’s diplomatic immunity. Hans says it wasn’t him. He says he needs to find Steven himself and when he does he’ll deliver him to the CIA. Hans wants Steven to call; Kellie says she doesn’t know where Steven is and asks Hans to leave.

Next, Daniel picks his way into Claire’s flat.

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That shadow is the corner of a doorbell shield.

 

Beautiful shot of Daniel in Claire's apartment.

Beautiful shot of Daniel in Claire’s apartment.

Beautiful shot of Daniel Miller looking for secrets.

Beautiful shot of Daniel Miller looking for secrets in Claire’s apartment.

In the bottom of the breaker box, Daniel finds a hidden cache of USB drives.

Beautiful Daniel Miller thumbshot.

Beautiful Daniel Miller thumbshot.

and he opens the box

A rare Daniel Miller double thumbshot!

A rare Daniel Miller double thumbshot!

and puts one into his phone at random

and clicks on a file. What an MCP!

and clicks on a file. What an MCP!

And listens. To his own phone conversations. Someone heard the prelude to sex in Esther’s apartment. Lots of eyelash reaction.

Beautiful shot of Daniel Miller realizing how much has been bugged.

Beautiful shot of Daniel Miller realizing how much has been bugged.

He also hears his conversation with Steve and, finally, Hector testing the bug in the Berlin bar. He’s angry and he drowns the phone in a flower vase before leaving the apartment.

At the embassy, Daniel accosts Sandra to find out where Steven is. She says if anyone knows it’s Peter (who turns out to be the shoe repair guy / bugger — I’d forgotten his name) and asks Daniel not to betray the confidence. Daniel goes to the shoe repair shop and gets a message to arrive at a certain address in two hours.

Say what you want about Armitage's German pronunciation (and it's pretty good here), it's still better than the English subtitler's spelling.

Say what you want about Armitage’s German pronunciation (and it’s pretty good here), it’s still better than the English subtitler’s spelling.

Meanwhile, a clueless Robert is trying fruitlessly to call Steven.

Beautiful shot of Daniel Miller as he drives up to the place Steven is hiding.

Beautiful shot of Daniel Miller as he drives up to the place Steven is hiding.

Steven turns out to be hidden in an early-twentieth-century villa, a room behind a maze of secret doors. I’m skeptical about this. I totally believe that many houses like this had these features in the 1930s and 40s but my suspicion is that they would mostly have been renovated out in the 1950s. In any case, most people who own Berlin villas don’t have this sort of secret room, in case you were hoping to buy one. But whatever. Daniel points out it’s not the kind of house you expect a shoemaker to have, and Peter says, somewhat cryptically, “Everyone in Berlin was either on the right side or the wrong side of history.”

Steven, whiny as ever, is hidden in the house and asks Daniel why he’s there.

"I think Hector is Thomas Shaw."

“I think Hector is Thomas Shaw.”

Daniel needs help from someone “who has nothing left to lose” and is not connected with the CIA. (This is kind of a strange line given what will happen later in the episode.)

Daniel Miller has a beautiful forehead. I mean, oops, Daniel explains his reasoning to Steven.

Daniel Miller has a beautiful forehead. I mean, oops, Daniel explains his reasoning to Steven.

Steven asks for a rationale — why would Hector leak secrets? Daniel says it’s because people spend time at a black site are changed by the experience. Steven asks if Hector has changed, and Daniel says “yeah.” Steven says, “There’s only thing left to do. Prove it. Any ideas about where to start?”

Daniel decides to start in a hotel room with Esther.

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While she freshens up, he’s looking for information on her phone.

Two double-thumb shots in one episode!

Two double-thumb shots in one episode!

She’s going to be meeting Hans at 2 in the Märkische Allee (which is in Marzahn — the deep East part of the city. In any case in this episode it remains a red herring).

When she comes out, she expresses condolences over Steven. Daniel thanks her for her concern.

aaah.

aaah.

Because I can.

Because I can.

He denies knowing where Steven is. Dialogue becomes kind of James Bondish at this point (“It would have been a nice bonus but I already came once today”).

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Esther wants to know why he’s sleeping with her. “Isn’t that obvious?” he says. She says there are plenty of women to sleep with.

"Not all of them are as calculating and manipulative as you are, Ms. Krug."

“Not all of them are as calculating and manipulative as you are, Ms. Krug.”

She says he doesn’t know anything about her.

"I do know that every time I see you, you're wearing a mask."

“I do know that every time I see you, you’re wearing a mask.”

"A tough, sophisticated façade. What's behind the mask?"

“A tough, sophisticated façade. What’s behind the mask?” Mumbling intimation that it’s something he’d like to see.

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“Why are you sleeping with me?” E: “I’m working you, remember?” D: “I thought you were. But now I think you might actually like me.”

She says she’ll lower her mask when he lowers his.

Beautiful shot of Daniel Miller watching Hans Richter in the Karl Marx Allee

Beautiful shot of Daniel Miller watching Hans Richter in the Karl Marx Allee

Daniel then observes Hans Richter walking into the building next to the Karl-Marx-Buchhandlung (this was a famous bookstore — it’s also the site of the last scene of The Lives of Others, and if you know the film Goodbye, Lenin! it’s in there, too. The bookstore that used to be there has moved elsewhere, it was empty for about seven years, and recently it’s re-opened as an event space).

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The architecture on this street (now the Karl-Marx-Allee, previously the Stalin-Allee, before that the Große Frankfurterstr.) is famous as well as an example of historic design. In any case, Hans isn’t worried about any of that and he walks into a building that turns out to be a Turkish bath. But sorry, because this place is notorious I thought, huh, no way there’s a Turkish bath there.

I have a strong suspicion that we're actually in the Stadtbad Neukölln here.

I have a strong suspicion that we’re actually in the sauna Stadtbad Neukölln here. It’s nowhere near the Karl-Marx-Buchhandlung, but Neukölln is a place that you might expect to find a hamam. However, this neato building is really about a century old and precedes that neighborhood’s Turkish immigration. Also I can’t imagine you’d ever find it this empty.

Hans meets Steven, who isn’t turning himself in — he offers to give the Germans Thomas Shaw in exchange for leaving Germany free and clear.

Return to the polygraph room. Hector is asked about North Africa. He says they wouldn’t be having this conversation if Claire were still alive. She asks him about “enhanced interrogation techniques,” i.e., did he learn to torture in North Africa. He objects that it’s classified. She says she’s “read into it.” He says she isn’t.

Cut to Hector in a bar, doing shots of Russian Standard. Shirley Pimple walks up to him, concerned. They fight about whether he should be. Hector storms out. At the latest now it must be obvious that these interrogation scenes are not happening in real time.

Next, Robert and Golda meet in a tea shop.

The object I have circled here is called das Stövchen in German. Nothing this because it used to show up on Rechtschreibung quizzes a lot.

The object I have circled here is called das Stövchen in German. Nothing this because it used to show up on Rechtschreibung quizzes a lot. Richard Armitage should be glad he doesn’t have to pronounce this one.

Golda clearly wants Robert to take Steven’s place and Robert clearly does not want to. Robert insists he does not know where Steven is and so does Golda. Robert lies to Golda about his access to the Antoinette file. He asks why it’s important and she says “find it and you will see for yourself.” He steals one of her cookies as he leaves. It looks chewy. Robert reiterates that he needs to find Steven. After he leaves, it turns out that the Israelis were eavesdropping on the conversation.

Next: Hector standing on a street in Charlottenburg, creating a traffic jam. Daniel greets him from across the street. They are both kidnapped by a black van.

Daniel tells Hector he reeks of whiskey. Oops.

Daniel tells Hector he reeks of whiskey. Oops.

And then we see Hector and Daniel brought into the interrogation location — so yeah. It wasn’t official CIA. And this episode isn’t happening in real time order, something that Olen Steinhauer patronizingly tells us in the episode post-mortem. Honestly, do they think we’re idiots?

Beautiful shot of Daniel Miller's annoyance at being kidnapped.

Beautiful shot of Daniel Miller’s annoyance at being kidnapped.

But then Daniel is walked into another room where Steven is, i.e., this is all a ruse Steven has put together. The polygraph specialist is “a colleague, since retired.” They agree that they are both okay with what they are about to do. And now we get to watch the interrogation again from the beginning.

Beautiful shot of Daniel watching the interrogation.

Beautiful shot of Daniel watching the interrogation.

At the embassy, Sandra informs Valerie that she was “organizing the files” and the Antoinette file is missing.

At the interrogation, the polygraph expert tells Steven and Daniel “it’s not working.” She suggests they could use scopalamine. (The CIA says they don’t use it.) Steven points out it’s unsafe and unethical.

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“Do it.”

In Robert’s apartment, his son is angry that he can’t say when he’s coming home and abandons him at the Skype terminal.

Artistic scene of the polygraph expert injecting Hector with the drug. She asks for permission and he says, you’ll do it anyway (in slightly more colorful terms). Then we get the beginning of an artsy scene in which we see Hector under the influence of the drug, cut across with images of Claire’s death and Daniel watching him admit to various things.

Beautiful shot of Daniel reacting to Hector.

Beautiful shot of Daniel reacting to Hector.

Valerie walks into a bar and meets her significant other, Benjamin, so apparently it’s his bar. He orders her a mint vodka martini. They sit down and she tells him the night they met she was working a terror plot. This is possibly the most honest writing of the episode — as he asks her if she fell in love with him before or after she first said she had, and she can’t really answer. Then she says “this is really hard on me, too” and he isn’t having it. Then she says that she closed her report early, because she didn’t want to lie to him, but the guy she was investigating in his bar funded Charlie Hebdo. He’s still really angry — apparently more because she didn’t tell him the truth when he asked her directly in episode 2. He tells her not to come that night. She doesn’t drink the martini.

Cut to Sandra getting in her car and being interrupted by someone speaking German. Esther Krug wants to speak to her. Sandra says she has no idea where Steven is and that she has diplomatic status. Looked to me like Esther is somehow running her own game, separate from Hans.

Back to the interrogation. Hector admits that Claire was still alive when he arrived in Wedding, that he saw her die, that he saw Ruth Iosava there, that Ruth was murdered, that he killed Ruth and that he did so by breaking her neck — as Daniel and Steven watch.

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He really does look good in the dark. A glowering presence.

At the embassy, Robert drops the Antoinette file on Valerie’s desk. He says it’s not a threat; she says it’s unethical and he wants to keep her in line. He insists he’s trying to protect her. He tells her he is doing what is in the interest of the office, the CIA, and her. She asks him if he’s done and then asks him to get the fuck out of her office.

In her bathroom, Patricia gets a text message informing her that she will be picked by a driver — she asks what kind of wine to bring. Outside her apartment — sending the messages — is Julian de Vos.

At the interrogation, Hector is now mostly overtaken by the drugs and seeing double. He spouts a bunch of stuff about identity and people having two sides.

Patricia gets in the car with Julian de Vos and lets herself be pleased by the fact that their destination is a secret.

At the interrogation, Hector describes his ironic descent into the darkness. Lots of talking around the fact that he interrogated Julian de Vos and Hector’s possible anger at the CIA or fear of it or feeling it should face consequences. Polygraph expert says Thomas Shaw knows what the agency has done. Question I didn’t understand: “Did Thomas Shaw know that colander was an agent?” Hector reveals that he knew Houjin Lin was in Berlin. Polygraph line remains even.

Polygraph expert asks if he is Thomas Shaw. Hector says, “No. Thomas Shaw is dead.”

Beautiful shot of Daniel reacting to Hector's information.

Beautiful shot of Daniel reacting to Hector’s information.

 

~ by Servetus on December 5, 2016.

26 Responses to “Berlin Station, episode 8, first impressions [spoilers]”

  1. Yes, RAs German sounded really good in this episode and thankfully there wasn’t that much ‘Hans’ in it because the pronunciation really started to irritate me.

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  2. I had the impression that Hector was implying that Claire was Thomas Shaw. It is either that, or he was in enough control to lie even with the drug.

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    • I had the same impression.

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    • I just don’t see how Claire could be Thomas Shaw. However, the title of the episode (False Negative) does imply that he’s not telling the truth. At the same time, though — how does he get all of this information if he doesn’t have help?

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      • As Perry points out, Claire was out of the country for the first few episodes when Shaw was leaking things. But there has to be more to the story as they are obviously building suspense. And there are still a whole lot of plot arcs that need resolution unless some are setting up for Season 2.

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        • I just can’t take the possibility that she would be Thomas Shaw seriously because she’s not a major character and she’s dead now. If that’s the case, it will be really cheap writing. (Do you know that film with Truman Capote, Murder by Death? He says something there about writers who make it impossible for readers to understand what’s going on — this would be a case of that IMO).

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          • I agree with you about it not being Claire. I wonder if the “dead” thing could be metaphorical – death of a collective, or even death of a part of Hector (what with all the dual identity stuff and the False Negative title). And there are too many unanswered questions about Daniel’s motivations to let him off the hook entirely.

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  3. I only watched twice and I think you cleared up something I was confused about – but not sure. This is it- I thought Daniel was breaking into Claire’s apartment because of the name on the bell – which I couldn’t read – but saw the first initial “C”. But then, the wallpaper was different, and I thought that at the same time, Hector and Valerie were in Claire’s apartment – so I assumed this was Hector’s apartment. But then, I wondered – do so many people in Berlin have terrible wallpaper? And the wallpaper was different from that in Claire’s kitchen ( because I really noticed it, along with that horrible fruit still life). Except for a vase of dried flowers, where Daniel was looked like a man’s apartment. So Hector was either using Claire’s apartment to store/hide stuff, or Claire was in on it – Shaw – but she was out of the country for a long time when the Shaw leaks were happening – also they were in different countries to begin with. “Shaw is dead,” could also have meant that Hector, as Shaw, is dead – but I agree that he’s not working alone – too simple.
    Those nice shots of a figure behind glass ( car window) are interesting visually – but they’ve been used twice before ( screenshot of Hector watching Daniel with Esther – trees reflected through the car window.)
    One thing I noticed in this episode was when they replayed the scene of Hector breaking Ruth’s neck. Daniel’s reaction, sort of double take, shock, was terrific. Missed it last time ( maybe my eyes were closed)
    Hard to say , because so many eps have great shots of Armitage – but this one may take the cake for spectacular shots and screencaps that we’l e seeing for years. (At least I will).
    If Claire was Shaw, working with Hector, than there’s a likely chance that Valerie may be in on it – though I can’t think of a motive for her, either. But, it seemed at times that Valerie and Claire, together, were working Hector.
    Glad to learn that my fan theory – that Hector met deVoss in a black op site, that he helped him escape and that the assignment was the hell he was sent to, turned out right. It’s almost all I’ve been right about so far. – except, I did think Hector loved Claire. I wasn’t so sure about the reverse.
    Thanks for the luscious, better screenshots.

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    • I’m also confused about deVos. Was he working for Claire? Because we never saw him with Claire. Did he kill Claudia because Claire told him to? And why wouldn’t Stephen get Daniel the deVos file? Does he know something, or is deVos somehow in on something that involves Stephen?

      What is deVos going to do with Patricia? At least the cute little boy is safely away with his father.

      What is Esther doing? I thought the conversation between Daniel and Esther was fun. It is clear they don’t trust each other.

      And how many people will be left in Berlin Station after all the scandals come out? Everyone we know about has a secret. Who will remain for Season 2?

      The doorbell said Claire Atani. I thought they were the same apartment, but I could be wrong.

      Not only was the wallpaper in Claire’s kitchen really ugly, but it was installed poorly and my eyes were fixed on the wrinkles. But at least that makes it feel authentic.

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      • it’s the same apartment (or in any case, the show implies that it is).

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        • Must be, I realize now, and that added a whole new plot dimension for me – although it is possible that Hector just stashed stuff in Claire’s apartment – just that we never see him in her apartment, that I can recall. (Big place!) There was an in bed scene, but then, I don’t think we saw her bedroom last night. Maybe Claire was working with Hector as Shaw, and maybe that’s what she meant when she said, as she was dying, ” I’m sorry”. Just not sure where she would get the intel on her own.

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    • re: wallpaper — this is one of the big complaints Germans have had about this series, that they’re picking a certain kind of interior that isn’t all that representative of Berlin anymore and arguably hasn’t been for ten or fifteen years. I found myself thinking, too, about whether that apartment really would have been Claire’s. You can really learn a lot from Berlin interiors (see my comments about Esther) and hers seemed kind of mixed up.

      In most of Germany, you would not see an interior like this anymore (except a cheap pension — for some reason they tend to keep their decor longer). Germans are above-average style conscious compared to most Americans and their living circumstances are important to them. Often a rental contract in Germany will include the requirement that you “renovate” when you vacate (which means, paint all the walls and correct to neutral any other decoration that you’ve done). Adults also typically own their own appliances and often even their kitchen cabinets and take them during a move, as Germans tend to be particular about these things. (And Germans tend to move much less frequently, partially because it’s more of a hassle, probably partially because renter protections are so much more advantageous to the renter in Germany.) Claire has a refugee background, and she seems to be a student of some kind, which might explain the run down decor of this place, but in my own contacts I found that refugee families are often even more desirous of having a well-appointed living space. And certainly she’s not trying to draw attention to herself — so I suppose she might pick a place like this, which sort of screams “poor lefty graduate student.” I didn’t look at the exterior closely but I think they’re trying to suggest she lives in Kreuzberg — an area in West Germany that is now a hipster magnet.

      The housing market in Berlin has been weird for a long time. Atypical circumstances applied to living in Berlin after 1945 because of the fuzzy end to the war there (city occupied by four countries, the blockade, the Berlin Wall, a series of patchworks to allow the city to function, but no final treaty till 1990). West Berlin was boxed in on all sides, so the post-war housing shortage in Germany created by WWII bombing was even more severe there as the city space could not expnd. Landlords could get high rents for horrible apartments; there was little or no incentive to improve properties with the housing shortage. When West Germany had a military draft (almost all of the second half of the twentieth century), you couldn’t be drafted if you were from Berlin or a resident of the city due to the city’s treaty status. A certain kind of person thus gravitated to the city (there were two large universities in West Berlin). In this atmosphere large sections of housing in West Germany became unlivable and in the 70s/80s the city proposed a program for urban renewal, which led to a culture of squatting in Kreuzberg. Prices were also a bit higher in West Berlin for normal goods because it was harder to move things there (although life in the city was heavily subsidized by the German federal government because of the Cold War “competition”). This level of disrepair didn’t apply to all of Berlin — West Berliners who were not students lived “normal” German bourgeois lives in which cleanliness and good order in housing were important. But the housing shortage affected everyone and it often meant that indoor renovations did not keep up, particularly as the manufacturing economy fell apart in the 70s. It was sort of unclear what Berlin actually lived on, apart from subsidies, in that period.

      To complicate this (although I don’t think it applies to Claire’s situation in this case), housing was also scarce in East Berlin and the command economy meant that state planners were responsible for making decisions about style. So you’d have some choices about your wallpaper, but not infinite choices, and the issue wasn’t price but availability. (This was true for all consumer objects — there’s been a lot of research in the last ten years about how they made decision about clothing styles, for instance.) The East German state put up big housing units to replace the destroyed houses, and these were usually predecorated in a style that we would probably consider petty bourgeois today. When the Wall fell, it was often not entirely clear who owned properties that had been seized by the state (either in the Nazi period or the GDR period) and that led to a culture of squatting in parts of former East Berlin. (I know there was also pre-1989 dissident squatting there, but I don’t much about it.) Again, it was by no means the standard, but a lot of properties were heavily run down and awaited renovation that occurred across the 1990s. And of course, once the Wall fell, a lot of West Germans moved into the East German parts of the city that suddenly became hip (Prenzlauer Berg was the first one).

      All of which is to say — why any apartment in Berlin has any particular decor (or heating, or appliances — there were still a handful of coal-heated apartments in Berlin in the last decade) can be a complicated story. I think what a German viewer would object to here is that 25 years have passed since the fall of the Wall and much of Berlin’s housing stock has been renovated and gentrified. Particularly a young person would be much less likely these days to have such a run-down living situation, even in Berlin. It could be argued that the showrunners are clinging to an outdated view of the city and that Claire’s apartment demonstrates this.

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  4. I like the idea of a renter having and being able to take her own kitchen cabinets and appliances with her when she moves. In the U.S. and especially NY – rents increase based on how good quality that stuff is, and how many cabinets are there. Sometimes yu can negotiate with your landlord so yu can use your own stuff, or upgrade to better things, but more often, you’re faced with the choice of spending money for someone else’s later use, or settling for what’s there. The German way, you make some good purchases, and the fittings are taken out of the equation. I like it a lot.

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    • I hadn’t realized how long that answer had gotten. Sorry about that.

      My issue with it was that it made renting (as opposed to subletting) difficult. For a transient like me (a year here, a year there) it was a pain in the ass. But for a population where 60 percent are renters and most of them will be for their entire lives, it makes a lot of sense.

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      • Wallpaper! It opened the floodgates. I’m laughing though, because in like circumstances, I go off on New York – maybe without the detailed background in every case. I never thought about it or knew about it, but if that were done in New York, I would have had much better/nicer kitchens in every apartment. It’s eating away at me! Wait – no – I’m doing it now in Mexico. I just got to buy my very own water heater.

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        • Most Germans would have nicer kitchens than this, too — again pointing at this signalling “student apartment.” Although German refrigerators are usually a disappointment if viewed from the American perspective. Kellie and Steven’s kitchen looks a lot more like a modern German kitchen that a normal family would have.

          I’ve been interested in the assortment of mid-century porcelain that I’ve seen so much of in this series as well. LOL.

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  5. Yes,You Can! 😀 Thank you for the visual “spoilers”,Servetus!

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  6. I’ve enjoyed your account. Thank you.
    Haven’t made it to episode 6 yet – or 8 for that matter – due to the instability of the putlocker. My phone keeps throwing me off the line (can you say this in English?). However, I’m beginning to take in your point about too many plot lines. The actors themselves said that half the time they didn’t know what they were doing. This may be a feeling we as viewers share. Some viewers may enjoy this; there’s even a type of filming called ‘fragmented filming’. I don’t know if it applies here, but I suspect there’s a desire from the filmmakers’ and scrip writers’ pov to make the story line fragmented as an artistic approach. Now, this viewer doesn’t really appreciate this approach; if I’m not presented with some sort of ‘closure’ in episode 10, I’ll be seriously disappointed, because I’m very entertained, so far.

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    • I think there’s a different between what’s going on here and the sort of intentionally edgy film techniques (at least most of the time — e.g., in the title sequence; I think that’s an example of what you’re talking about). They may excuse what they are doing in those terms, of course, but if you need a comprehensible narrative you need a critical minimum of information about all the plot lines. I don’t think they get there, or a lot of times there’s a sort of “just in time” approach that is becoming more common these days (in books too) but I don’t especially appreciate.

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  7. […] 8 thoughts are here. Squirrel.0072, don’t read […]

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  8. So Thomas Shaw is dead, meaning now that Claire has died, he, aka Thomas Shaw is also dead. That was my interpretation.

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    • Thanks for the comment and welcome — I had to go back and reread to remember what happened. Well, see what you think after the last two episodes.

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