Berlin Station 2.4, first impressions [spoilers!] #richardarmitage

Continued from here. These posts contain spoilers. PLEASE do not read them if you are not watching concurrently with the U.S. broadcast but still want a fresh look at them when the show is available in your region.

One of the nicer views of Richard Armitage as Daniel Miller / Trevor Price in Berlin Station 2.4.

This season is supposed to be about the CIA plot to foil a far Right terrorist attack on the eve of the German elections. You would never know it. Seriously — I would guess that a terrorist attack takes a little more preparation than this. After the events of this episode, “tomorrow” is supposed to be three days before the election. And we’ve got six episodes to go? I wonder what they are going to do with it.

What we got today was about eight minutes of plot relating to the subject of the season, and a lot of soap opera relating to Frost and Kirsch’s power struggles, along with many aimless minutes about Yates’ past. Maybe if I liked her character I’d have found this material more interesting — but then again, this was the material that was supposed to make her interesting. Again, I feel like this is just a man’s picture of what drives women. (At least when Daniel / Trevor is playing Lena with the same kind of “I understand! I sympathize! I support you!” language, we know it’s cynical. In contrast, I think we’re supposed to actually believe this very poignant narrative behind Yates. It slows the episode way down, unfortunately.

Upsides: Heino Ferch as Emmerich! Although there were a few pathetic moments, mostly I enjoyed his prosecution of his attraction to Valerie. And while I still wonder both about Valerie’s integrity and her sanity, I really enjoyed seeing them together. Also, many Berlin exteriors. Ganz’s scenes with his daughter. Daniel’s moves at the loading dock.

Downsides: the Yates backstory, which just took up minutes and minutes; Frost’s continuing sulking presence in the story; the US ambassador still not being written convincingly.

TL;DR — I did not think it would be possible for this show to actually lose tempo over against last week, but. Mr. Armitage, please get yourself written out of this weirdly inconsistent snoozefest. It’s frustrating to me that you are supposedly starring in this show and yet they invest more time in Yates’ backstory this season than they did in all of last season on Daniel Miller.

***

Episode opens in Switzerland, 2010. Yates is telling “her story” in a meditation setting to some kind of guru.

I wish I knew if this story is supposed to be true.

She reports that her greatest fears relate to her “memory” of her mother leaving her father at the age of three. The guru tells her to follow her practice and she will have nothing to fear. As she leaves the guru and returns to her seat, the man next to her, who was just striking a triangle, tells her she’s very special.

Her seatmate, who calls her a “very special leaf.”

Back in Berlin in September, 2017, Yates is running near the river and trips, and sees this graffito:

Cut to Hanes, the US ambassador, and Frost in a restaurant. Hanes has gotten Frost’s security clearance reinstated. Hanes isn’t sure he’s getting the full story from Yates and company. Lo and behold, Yates walks into the restaurant, apparently for a meeting.

She’s wearing Valerie’s outfit from last week, except with sleeves. Apart from her meditation gear, it’s probably the most modest outfit she will wear all episode.

When Frost offers to leave, Hanes insists that he stay, and cites T.S. Eliot’s Gerontion to point out that Frost was double-crossed by his own agency. It’s a cliché that shows up frequently in spy novels, but it’s hard for me to believe that anyone who’s as much of a Trumpster as Hanes is has anything in common with Eliot beyond his anti-Semitism, or has even read him. When Yates points out that this is an occupational hazard, Hanes accuses her of “reflecting bullshit” at him by not telling him what Valerie was doing at the PfD party. She tries to argue that her people attend plenty of political functions to preserve their covers; Hanes replies that he told her to stay out of the German election. (? I don’t remember this — only that he said he didn’t care how it fell out.) He gets Frost to back him up; Frost agrees with him and attacks Yates’ record, “bouncing from station to station.” Yates says she doesn’t care about the opinions of anyone forced into early retirement. Hanes threatens to put her back on a plane to Langley if she doesn’t tell him what she’s up to and she says “not in front of a civilian,” and leaves in icy dudgeon. As she leaves, Hanes tells Frost that Kirsch will be on the same plane.

Meanwhile, Kirsch is dropping Noah off at school. Noah does not want dad to come in with him.

Gerhardt is underway with the PfD, at a porcelain factory.

KPM is the big one in Berlin, but the stuff in the picture looks more like it’s in the style of Meissen (a little town in Saxony — day trip from Berlin). Hering also has a factory in Berlin. If you go to Germany, you should definitely go on a porcelain factory tours — they are really interesting. I may be prejudiced because I used to collect the stuff, but … yeah. Ex-SO’s sister used to collect KPM Kurland, I have several pieces of Meissen’s Wild Poppy in the “Waves” form, and … I should shut up.

Of course, this is just grist for Gerhardt’s mill — these traditional arts are preserved in Germany and done by highly trained Germans whereas Germany is supposedly exporting too many jobs. (This is kind of a complaint of the 90s; nowadays there are often problems filling certain kinds of jobs at all.) High end porcelain doesn’t fit Gerhardt’s line about Germany being threatened by destructive globalization very well — basic manufacturing was more the issue. Anyway. Emmerich is along, watching approvingly, but he takes a moment to go outside to meet with Valerie.

Valerie (Michelle Forbes) tells Emmerich that the CIA can’t decrypt one file on the harddrive she bugged last week, in Berlin Station 2.4.

This was amusing. Emmerich says, “You’re the CIA. What do you mean you can’t read it?” Apparently it’s set up to need a physical decryption, a “smart card” that Gerhardt has. It needs to be pressed onto a reader that Valerie has and only then can it be read. The operation has reached a critical point — they plan to track Ganz’s purchase of the explosives tomorrow. Emmerich protests that he can’t today, too many people are around and watching. She wants to press him, but he leaves to go back to the tour.

Next we see Daniel entering the Superibérico grocery in Kreuzber (this is a grocery store- café chain that focuses on Spanish and Portuguese products).

A little rigmarole at the cash register gets him to a room with Esther and … a lot of beer kegs. Esther has not heard from Armando.

Daniel (Richard Armitage) tells Esther a bald-faced lie when he assures he doesn’t know where Armando is, in Berlin Station 2.4. I found this interesting insofar as I used to think of this as Armitage’s “pedagogical forehead” look. At the beginning of his career, it almost invariably signaled sincerity and caring.

She’s angry because she’s lost track of Armando and now has Hector back in Berlin — who, it turns out, she’s surveilling.

The conversation is interrupted by a call from Lena, who has a problem she does not wish to discuss over the phone. Daniel has to go, but Esther flounces out first.

Sorry, I can’t resist this. Ich auch, Herr Armitage, auch ich hätte riesen Super Bock drauf …  Super Bock is the number one beer brand in Portugal, which is why it’s in the back room of the grocery. Bock is a German beer style (one that Super Bock does not produce, incidentally), but the word Bock also can mean billy goat or buck (dear, elk, etc.), from which we move to the German slang phrase “Bock haben” (to desire, to fancy). Ich habe Bock auf (I’d fancy …) or more commonly, Ich habe keinen Bock (I don’t feel like it.) I love visual double entendres like this. Actual caption: Daniel (Richard Armitage) in the back room as Lena informs him of her problem, in Berlin Station 2.4.

Steven has returned to his office, where he finds Yates sitting in the conference room. They snipe at each other; she wants to show him that if he’s in her business, she can be in his. She wants his support and he wants her not to draw Kirsch into her mess. She tells him he’s bad at playing the good guy, and also — intriguing — “you have no fucking idea what’s at stake.” (Is this operation bigger than this operation? Doubtful.) She exits icily, again.

Now, I admit a moment of total surprise.

I did not know there was a horse racing track outside Berlin.

At the races, Hector is meeting a very cute (transgender?) friend to give him some money he says he owes him, which he does in full view of people who are tailing him — whom he points out to us.

Hector’s cute friend, Augustus.

Hector puts a €100 bet on a horse called Geist (Ghost — do German horses have such simple names? American ones never do) and goes out into the stands where he sits down next to Augustus. He gives him a big envelope full of money, again in full view of the people tailing him. When Geist loses, Hector says “now you’re a curse,” and takes off. The tails follow him into the stable, where he commiserates with a horse until they catch up and tell him he’ll be coming with them. He suspects they’re Esther Krug’s guys.

Then, we see Daniel / Trevor entering the Nazi bar. Lena’s a bit brittle because the police had confiscated the van — in Hamburg — that they had planned to use for the attack; she suspects Armando’s work. Daniel / Trevor says, why can’t you just buy another one? Lena says because they need to steal one that can’t be traced. (To me this makes little sense — if the police confiscated a van Lena owned, then it must have been traceable. You can’t confiscate a stolen item; you recover it. Weird. OK, whatever. Willing suspension of disbelief or script error or something.) In course of this conversation, Daniel / Trevor realizes that Lena hasn’t told her father about this.

“Wow, lotta secrets in the Ganz family.” Richard Armitage as Trevor Price / Daniel Miller in Berlin Station 2.4.

Lena wants Trevor’s help, but when he presses for more information, he realizes that Ganz hasn’t told Lena what the target is either, which he helpfully points out, pursuing the strategy of divide et impera. Lena has found a van to steal, and wants Trevor’s help because Ganz’s men would tell Ganz they had to clean up her mess. She reports that the security is “some stupid Turk” and they need to get the van to be able to do the exchange.

Cut to the loading dock of a firm that has a lot of vans. Daniel / Trevor and Lena are lurking, deciding what to do. Daniel / Trevor sees a gun sticking out of Lena’s jeans, and he helpfully shows her how to assemble and disassemble it.

It’s a Walther PPK, one of the guns typically associated with James Bond in the Fleming novels; Lena reports it’s her father’s gone. Daniel remarks that it’s a German gun, but Walther manufactures outside of Germany now, so this would actually have been a better factory for Gerhard to visit, except, wait, the factory’s in Main now. Grr.

And then I just can’t resist this from when he asks to see it:

Or this:

He really does have attractive hands.

Daniel gives it back, as he mentions, without the safety on. She isn’t watching him — neither was I, the first time, distracted by those beautiful hands — and she probably doesn’t know how the gun works. He warns her about the safety — thus taking another opportunity to rub salt in the wound; Ganz has weapons but doesn’t tell Lena how to use them?

Cut to the station, where Yates walks in and collects the troops in a conference room. Yates wants Valerie to pressure Emmerich further; Valerie defends Emmerich. It turns out that April has dug out some actual dirt on him — he was having an affair with a nurse while his wife was dying. This makes him, according to Kirsch, the next John Edwards. (This doesn’t really fly as material for coercion, scriptwriters; Germans are much less concerned about sexual morality in their political figures than Americans are.) Yates wants Valerie to use it for blackmail, and Valerie resists, suggesting she should take him to bed, and why can’t they wait? — then Yates yells at Valerie that “this is not a debate. Is that clear?”

So much for feminist, democratic leadership.

Valerie leaves, angry; Kirsch asks April to leave; Kirsch asks Yates if there’s something he doesn’t know about, and Yates snaps, “There’s a lot you don’t know about, Robert. That’s life.” Kirsch also leaves, nonplussed.

Time for a flashback to Switzerland, where Yates and her companion are whining about having to eat mung beans and how nutty the people are — it’s an operation to capture the oil tycoon friend of the guru.

They need to test out a bug they’ve planted in these strange chains of stones they are wearing — the buddy proposed marriage to Yates as the mic test. It is a very romantic proposal with a symbolic ring, and he asks her to stop taking foreign station postings and return to work in the U.S. In particular he doesn’t want her to take a posting to Belgium to fix the station there. She says they can talk about it later.

Back in the present, Hector is sitting in a disheveled room, in handcuffs. Sure enough, it’s Esther Krug who confronts him.

Richard Armitage was right that Mina Tander is a reason to watch this series. Boy, can Mina Tander be mean and she gets some great lines for it, too. Berlin Station 2.04.

Esther wants Hector to leave Berlin ASAP, which he promises to do, but first he needs to get to his meeting with Ganz. She lets him go.

Back at the loading dock, Daniel / Trevor and Lena prepare to steal the van.

Unfortunately for him, Daniel / Trevor gets caught, but not without another cute thumbshot.

The security guard — who looks like he’s of Turkish descent and speaks perfect German — tells Daniel to stop, but changes his tune when he sees that Lena is running toward him with a gun.

“We’ll get it all back from the insurance,” he says. Now THAT is a German kind of sentiment. Is the English caption on his shirt Neudeutsch?

Daniel coldbloodedly urges Lena to shoot.

“They’ll have a police sketch of us up in an hour.” Richard Armitage as Trevor Price / Daniel Miller in Berlin Station 2.4.

But she still can’t do it, so first he ups the pressure.

Another one of those moments that made me think I would not want to be in the room when Richard Armitage was angry.

And then he decides to take over.

Friends don’t let friends commit homicide.

Lena can’t handle it, she puts herself into the van:

Then Daniel / Trevor marches the security man off to the side of the building, where he quickly …

…disassembles the gun again …

and then reinserts the spring:

I looked back at the first scene, and if you’re looking for it you can see that he has removed the spring, but you probably wouldn’t notice unless you were looking specifically at that.

And Daniel, straight arrow that he is, doesn’t shoot the guard …

but fires anyway to imply he has. He’s out of Lena’s line of vision, so she can’t see.

They drive away.

and she’s wearing, like, a zipper earring. Is that a neo-Nazi symbol or something? Kind of schräg.

The next scene is a categorical reversal of those scenes I always used to like in Spooks where Lucas North would be sympathetic to a troubled teenager (e.g., Ashok in series 8). Daniel / Trevor and Lena are driving past the Siegessäule and he says more or less, I thought you were tougher because you didn’t flinch when your father killed your neo-Nazi boyfriend. She responds that Armando was a traitor to the cause and he says, very touchingly:

“It’s okay to feel something, Lena.” Richard Armitage as Daniel Miller and Emilia Schühe as Lena in Berlin Station 2.4.

I would like this better if he hadn’t just tried to manipulate her into trying to shoot the security guard a few minutes earlier, albeit he tried to save her from killing anyone by removing a part of the gun. He again helpfully rubs in that Ganz hasn’t told her the target, and she responds that it’s fucked up but that her father needs her. (This constant refrain is starting to sound rather frantic and it won’t hold up as an excuse in a court. Just sayin’.) “And you?” Daniel responds. “What do you need?” (This would be a much more effective line if she weren’t young enough to be his daughter.) “A way out of here, I guess,” is her response. Hmmm. Is she only doing this to make daddy happy or impress him?

Yates and Kirsch head to a meeting with Esther at the fake used bookstore from last season — they are going to have to stall until they can promise the operation will go live.

Cut to Valerie and Emmerich at a gorgeous café near the Museuminsel.

The first summer I lived in Berlin, I lived not far from here. Aaaah.

Valerie says she didn’t want to leave things as they had ended, and that she didn’t want to pressure him but her superiors do. He concedes the blackmailable material; she says she hadn’t found it. He turns on the charm — why is such a beautiful and intelligent woman single? Why did she let him kiss her, to keep him in play?

Another gratuitous shot because it’s such a lovely setting. Michelle Forbes as Valerie Edwards and Heino Ferch as Joseph Emmerich in Berlin Station 2.4.

She says if he can’t do more for them, she’ll need to cut contact; he’s frustrated and then says there’s no way to arrange anything for today. She volunteers to arrange something.

Back at the fake used bookstore, the BfV guy (who had been tailing Hector before) explains the operation arrangements. No one involved will know the target, in order to prevent any leaks. Esther wants insurance that the CIA people are going to be up and running, and Yates gets a text from Valerie confirming. There’s still a lot of mistrust in the air and Yates leaves with a simultaneously threatening and condescending remark to Esther.

And I just have to put this in here — look at the caption on the box. There’s something like this in so many scenes in the show that you kind of assume it’s intentional. Banana boxes are something you frequently encounter in Germany — they are not very stable but they are the poor man’s choice of moving crate. It’s doubtful they could hold many books, though.

As Yates is leaving, Kirsch catches up to her to ask her what’s going on (again). Persistent fellow. Yates reveals that Hanes knows about this op. When Kirsch asks how, Yates says that Frost told him (implication: Yates suspects Kirsch is ratting them out to Frost). She notes that she could end up back in Washington — but that they will proceed with the op in order to make Hanes look like an asshole. As their conversation is ending, Kirsch gets a call from the school. Noah’s been in a fight (the first day?). He asks Yates if she’d go out with him and Noah to hold up his cover as an officer of the “Office of Regional Affairs.” Yates looks horrified; she’s not good with kids.

That conversation was so upsetting that it’s time for another flashback.

Back at the meditation retreat, Hyacinth asks Yates questions that could be New Agey woo-woo (who are you really?) or actual suspicion, in Berlin Station 2.4.

Hyacinth thinks Yates isn’t committed and Yates says she is. Yates reveals that her father gave her the nickname “BB” because a cousin shot her with a BB gun. Only in America. Hyacinth tells Yates that she blames herself for her mother leaving her and a darkness hangs over her. Yates starts to cry. Her man is standing outside the room and becomes increasingly unsettled as the session proceeds. Hyacinth tells Yates that she is hiding, preventing people from knowing the truth about her. She must live an honest life and end her lying or she will continue to lose the people she loves. Again: New Age woo-woo or real warning? I’m sure the scriptwriter loved this but I’m less enchanted.

In any case, Yates’ guy is upset enough that he breaks into the session, and Yates exchanges her bugged beads for Hyacinth’s.

Yates and her guy flee, apologizing all the way.

Back to Berlin in the present.

The Nazi bar is actually the Tiergarten-Quelle, next to the transit exit on Bachstr. Of course, they blurred it. But this is one of those bar / restaurants that serves solid German classics. (as well as craft beer). Not many of them left.

Hector and Daniel still don’t know the target, and they go into the bar to meet Ganz and Lena. Father – daughter conflict over the van; it emerges that Lena hadn’t been telling her father the truth and Ganz is angry that Trevor is involved. Hector is angry that they’re speaking German. Lena is now openly angry that her father isn’t telling her stuff. They split up — Trevor telling Lena it was good that she stood up to her father, Hector telling Ganz he should stop treating his most valuable asset like a dog, and that he has to decide whether or not Lena is going to be involved before the deed the next day: “tomorrow’s not the time for emotional baggage.”

Cut to Valerie and April observing the entrance of a building in Charlottenburg with a pretty Jugendstil portal. It’s not a restaurant in real life but the show has made it into a bit of a café. A taxi backs into a car parked there — it’s Gerhardt’s car, and this is Emmerich’s opportunity.

Afterwards, he calls Valerie — who is rather short with him as April’s there; she’s also pooh-poohed April’s inability to understand Emmerich’s resistance (“he has the most to gain” if Gerhardt goes down). He wants reassurance; she promises to be in touch again later.

Cut to the stairwell of Kirsch’s apartment, where Frost is waiting and happy to see Noah. Unfortunately, Frost and Kirsch get into a fight — Frost wants Kirsch to think again about his participation in the operation (“you’re thinking with your dick”) and Kirsch is resentful that Frost is not treating him like an adult.

Ironic moment: Kirsch (Leland Orser) harangues Robert for consulting on processed foods when this is the snack he’s making his son, in Berlin Station 2.4. Seriously, you can get really great bread in Berlin, even if an American teenager won’t eat it.

Kirsch thinks Frost wants Yates out so he can get his old job back (not a possibility); Frost wants Kirsch to think about what’s happening; Kirsch assumes that if Yates goes back to Washington he will be acting chief again; Frost says that won’t happen; when Kirsch asks, Frost leaves, sulking, and tells Kirsch to ask Yates.

Cut to Yates, who’s sitting in her apartment in Berlin, crying, and listening to the proposal from the earlier flashback on headphones. And then flashback — she and her man are driving through the valleys of Switzerland. She’s talking to her dad in Montana on the phone. She’s holding out her hand with the ring — she’s agreed to marry him. They’re staring at each other. They get head on by a Swiss semi truck. Ouch! Yates survives the crash and it’s implied that the guy doesn’t. The last image is of the beads.

This weird — they can’t be bugged, can they? The accident that wasn’t an accident? Honestly, this show has me paranoid.

Cut to Kirsch and Noah sitting in an outdoor restaurant — when Yates shows up. She plays the friendly, innocuous boss. Some banter about divorced parents, new city, etc. Then Kirsch asks Yates about Hanes. “No one’s going anywhere, Robert,” she says.

“Thank you, BB,” Robert (Leland Orser) says in Berlin Station 2.4.

In her office, Valerie shreds all the paper to do with Emmerich. (Like this matters — it’s all on someone’s harddrive now anyway. Symbolic, I suppose.) Then she goes to his apartment.

Poor Joseph — he spends most of his nights alone in his bachelor pad with his books! (why? honestly. Unless he wants to.) Valerie thanks him for his help. He said it was exciting and asks her if that’s why she does it. Valerie says no, she does it for the same reason he’s a politician — to effect change. She informs him she shredded his files; he tells her his marriage was over before his wife died. She doesn’t want to know about it. He asks why she came over and she says:

“Because I wanted this.”

And then, finally, the information we’ve all been waiting for — the target.

it will be the Oberbaum Bridge. If I were cynical, I’d say this is because it’s a trademark of the city, but the way Ganz explains it, it’s a good target for a PfD demonstration. And it connects Kreuzberg, one of the formerly more politically radical parts of the city, with Friedrichshain.

Ganz was doing it to try to spare his daughter. And of course, Daniel and Hector are listening in.

and Hector wants to send Ganz to hell.

Back to Yates. We see her in her office, pulling some files out of a safe, before — Flashback! She took the Brussels posting after all.

Although I’m pretty sure this is not the US embassy in Brussels. Not even close. I’m getting paranoid.

She fired her secretary (maybe because she looks like Hyacinth).

Back to the present — Yates walks through the embassy to Hanes’ office, where she tells him about the operation and that Gerhardt financed it. She gives him the files. He asks her why he was kept out of the loop and she replies they didn’t have time or know if there’d be support. “To stop terrorism?” he scoffs. She points out that the PfD was involved and he didn’t want interference in the German election. (Honestly — did he say that in so many words? I need to go back and check. I really thought he said he didn’t care how the Germans voted.) He says, to prevent this from being like Latin American in the 1970s (which is a really cynical thing for someone of his political persuasion to say, and her response points that out). He thanks her and she said she only did what he forced her to; she points out that lives are riding on this. She’s worried he wants to shut it down: “You’re not going to tell Washington?” she says. He avoids an answer but says that if she succeeds they share the credit but if it fails, he wants her to resign. “Kirsch is off the table,” she replies, but when he nods and reaches out his hand to shake, she turns away.

Flashback: she’s in  Brussels, telling her deputy there that she had to fire the secretary for security reasons (I guess).

Back to Yates in Berlin. She’s walking in her heels down the same street where she ran earlier in the episode, toward the place where she tripped.

Flashback: she’s in Brussels, watching a TV monitor that’s showing the arrest of Hyacinth.

Berlin: she’s covering the eye on the wall near where she tripped with black spray paint.

***

Continues here.

~ by Servetus on October 30, 2017.

33 Responses to “Berlin Station 2.4, first impressions [spoilers!] #richardarmitage”

  1. […] Continues here. […]

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  2. […] my own title. For a full description of the plot for last night’s episode, I refer you to Me and Richard.  If you haven’t watched it and don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading […]

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  3. Thanks for the recap. B.B. Yates really grates on me. She’s so confrontational, even when she doesn’t have to be. It’s a stereotype that’s bugging me. Following that line of thought, this is the second time a female character has chosen bright red as the color of the day. It’s not considered a power color. I think even a serious show has to have some humor in it or snappy dialogue. Last week there was a throw away line when Hanes refers to Robert as Captain Kirsch. This week, I guess there was a joke about John Edwards, but it might be considered outdated or obscure. I see we are both pondering how this current plot is going to stretch out for 6 more episodes, considering the election is only days away.
    B.B.Yates firing her secretary – yes – the resemblance to Hyacinth is the only thing that makes sense – or to show she’s not afraid to make change when she gets to a new station – but why pick the secretary? I guess this gives some credence to the story she told about her mother? It was too painful?

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    • Why did this go to trash? Weird.

      Anyway — I just didn’t buy that Germans would care as much about a John Edwards style story as Americans did. Particularly because a big component of that was Edwards’ lying about it.

      I thought the jokes were visual and obscure — like the “bananas” carton under Esther’s Krug’s elbow or whatever.

      re: how they will time the election — what I really hope is that they DON”T do another multi-perspectival angle a la 2.2 and 2.3 where they go over the same action more than once.

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      • Does EPIX not care anymore about this series? How effing stupid is your promo team if widely published episode summaries for the entire series almost totally ruin the suspense, intrigue, mystery? What kind of technicians are they using if ( and here I’m assuming) sound quality on an HD TV first showing broadcast isn’t sharp? Plus the diminished promotion altogether. Maybe the powers that be came to see what we saw last year. Fortunately, this series is going to wind up a minor blip on Richard Armitage’s career IMO – no harm, no foul. I wonder if he’s disappointed also? They will be the sting of cancellation, and then, just move forward.

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        • they had been making press photos available the week after an episode (who does that?) but today they totally disappeared. I guess they objected to fans using them?

          The synopses are ridiculous, the show is hard to understand. I can’t see, at this point, how it won’t be canceled. I don’t know how he will feel about it but he did get two sojourns in Berlin out of it, so there’s that positive memory.

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  4. Good grief, that BB Yates sob story was a yawn fest. What is it with station chiefs and their self-indulgent, messy back stories? And even worse: the BB Yates tragedy was somewhat a tired old rehash of James Bond losing Mrs Bond on their honeymoon excursion…
    The visual jokes were great – that was the German crew having fun, I guess… Particularly the Super Bock. Apart from the word play you mentioned, there is also “einen Bock schießen” (to commit a blunder – could be construed as a reference to the Armando fiasco), or “den Bock zum Gärtner machen” (as in “set the cat among the pidgeons’ or ‘asking for trouble’).
    And oh, was it nice to see Berlin in spring time…

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    • as Herba said, we needed all that learn why she doesn’t have an office assistant?

      good point re: Fleming / Bond.

      I knew “einen Bock schießen” but not the other one!

      I had an apartment one summer in the HU’s apartments for guest scholars — v. close to the Museuminsel — such a beautiful stroll every morning toward the HU. Sigh …

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  5. This may be trivial, but how is it that Daniel/Trevor and Hector were able to listen in on Lena and Otto on their walk? The writers always point out with giant sledgehammers whenever a bug is being planted, but this time nothing.
    I completely agree with you that one would never guess that Armitage is a star in this series, as his role seems more of a supporting one. It seems that almost every other character gets more screen time and more back story. We know absolutely nothing about Daniel Miller and with each episode I care less and less about his character. I think the most interesting pair this time around were Valerie and Emmerich, though I’m not sure about her motivations or common sense.

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    • We didn’t see that bug being planted. Maybe they were worried that if we saw it, it would be discovered, as that is what has happened with practically every other bug they’ve used this season.

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  6. ‘Murat’ rocks 😉 And yes, ‘security’ is neudeutsch für ‘Sicherheitsdienst’ by now.

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    • I was thinking that the showrunners were trying to make a point, i.e., many Turkish-Germans are in the third generation by now, so the stereotype doesn’t apply to them. Then I thought, no, it was probably accidental.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. […] from here. These posts contain spoilers. PLEASE do not read them if you are not watching concurrently with […]

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  8. […] is not the main focus of this episode, some special mentions: As Servetus already remarked in her review of 2×04, the crew of BS seems to be having some fun with the props and backgrounds in the […]

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  9. I’ll never get what the point was of the extended back story? did they have no other script ideas? Why did she get more backstory in length than all the other characters put together in the entire last season and the present. Nonsensical, pointless and honestly boring rather than sympathy inducing. She’s supposed to be brought in for her professional skills not her sob story. So far neither have impressed, quite the contrary. I’m tired of Frost.
    And yes on the Valery and E story, at least there is palpable chemistry there and a hint of danger, they act it well and the suspicion remains. Well done that. In contrast i perceive zero chemistry between Robert and BB.
    The interesting scenes are with Ganz and Lena and Daniel and Hector but there is not enough of it in the episode. At least it is moderately well written in terms of continuing that story line.

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    • I think the deal is that Kirsch is supposedly attracted to Yates’ “strong woman” qualities and she can tell he’s interested and decides to sleep with him because she’s drunk. I don’t think chemistry really comes into it.

      And yeah — this long backstory is completely inexplicable. I wonder if they had to agree to this in order to get Judd to sign on. But even more, I wonder if these writers ask at all about how women see themselves. I agree that this backstory strongly undercuts any impression that Yates is the trained professional she claims to be.

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      • too bad an opportunity missed; only Valerie and Esther save their characters somewhat, but it’s slim picking, April also grates on me (and her unpractical nails do too, i’m sorry!)

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        • Interesting — I actually almost put a cap in my last post on how I admired her nails.

          I think if I worked with April she would annoy me, but I think it’s a really effective depiction of a type, and Palmer inhabits it perfectly.

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          • maybe , but they’ve written her convictions in so badly that it made me want to pull my hair out; no way would an eager young agent bent on changing the world for good be ok with political assassination; And while the nails are pretty nobody working on screens constantly and with urgency would wear them 🙂 And USB sticks again.. ffs….
            I have a big issue with the technology talk they gave last season and going off the grid and the un-researched and erroneous tech spiel they are giving this season… one of the many irritations 😉

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        • (although, as you’ll see when you read the 2.7 recap, I have issues with April’s plotline)

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          • i know i’m getting thee, just watched it but want to get to 2.6 so i can vent properly 🙂 At this point i’d be happy if Daniel stumbled in his apartment and hit his head on the corner of the table and went into a coma and got written out or something.

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  10. oh and i thought the van scene was well written and well acted, i did notice he pulled the spring out first time, but still forgot it for a while when he was pushing Lena until he grabbed the gun back from her. He caught me out by his insistence which was rather scary.

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  11. Bug: I saw the taking out of the spring. That is the recoil spring. Problem is, the gun is clocked, the recoil spring is for reloading after first shot.

    The gun was ready to fire the first shot.
    That’s a fuckup by the technical staff.

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