Berlin Station 3.2, first impressions [spoilers!] #richardarmitage

Continued from here. These posts will 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 becomes legally available in your region.

Also, I’m not sure about this post just because the place where I saw this episode removed it today. So I may end up password protecting it temporarily.

Reminder: HUGE SPOILERS. Read at your own risk.

SPOILERS

SPOILERS

SPOILERS

***

Last night, after seeing episode 3.1, I was wrestling with myself about liking the show or thinking it was a worthwhile use of Armitage’s talents or not. When the show is good, it’s okay to pretty good. And I am happy to see Armitage’s face on screen. When it’s bad (as, IMO, in this episode, quite apart from the ending) it’s not just enraging, it’s boring. Last season I spent a lot of time being angry about everything that was being wasted but this season I can’t imagine I’ll get together the energy to care. After seeing 3.2, I’m debating not resubbing to EPIX.

I just don’t buy that a spy show needs a rogue agent to work, so no, not interested in Torres, not interested in his backstory, not interested in getting involved in a story around yet another character (will they waste a whole a episode on this guy like they did on Yates?), not interested in what happened to him in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Syria. (I suppose it’s a consolation that BB Yates hasn’t been in these two episodes anyway, although I assume she will reappear.) Huge pieces of this episode — something like seven minutes or more — are filmed in such darkness that it’s hard to even see what is happening. Get over this style, directors, it’s really boring. There are also extremely long chase and fight scenes that I suppose are there for the boyz and the videogame generation but which I find tedious and get me to pull up Candy Crush until they are over. Not interested in the violence. I think a good story can get along just fine without showing in detail just how every single bruise is inflicted. Even in the parts of the story that are potentially interesting, the tempo is so slooooooooow. (I also have questions about the monotone “all Russians are evil” tone, but I won’t get into that here.)

In regard to this episode in particular, I agree that it looks an awful lot like Daniel’s bit the dust. At the same time — why devote *all* that time at the beginning of the last episode and this one to Daniel’s backstory if they were just going to off him permanently? And why put him all over the titles? It’s a waste of storytelling. It also creates a stupid red herring — insofar as now we will wonder what the Cold War-era backstory has to do with events in Estonia in 2018 — which would be pointless unless there’s more to it than we can see. We don’t know why Daniel was assaulted — is it because of his enmeshment in the Estonian situation with Henryk, or is it because of his awareness of the “Diver” situation? Rodion didn’t seem just to want to off Daniel, he seemed to want that picture, and Daniel seems aware that having the picture on him is a problem, as he gets rid of it. There’s the statement by the Russian in episode 1 that nothing will ever be over for them, plus there are at least three gratuitous points in this episode where the camera fixes on the image in that picture. (To some extent, this seems silly, insofar as presumably there’s a negative of the picture somewhere and so it’s not like destroying this one copy extinguishes the knowledge; the picture isn’t even very old). So part of me thinks there will be some way for the character, at least, to come back (maybe with his buttprint burned off, he’ll be played by another actor or something).

But honestly at this point, beyond showing me some very nice pictures of Richard Armitage, the writers have given me no reason to want or hope that Daniel Miller will come back. I just don’t care about the character as executed — but the way this show is written makes it hard to care about any of the characters, so maybe it’s just par for the course. Even so, given that I’ve said the end of two previous seasons that I’d feel no grief about Armitage being written out of the story, I still feel a bit of a twinge. The story had a lot of potential, and there are plenty of opportunities to show Armitage’s considerable talents, but the fact that after two hours of this season I’ve seen maybe two scenes that might merit a discussion of his acting suggests that the filming never got there either.

If he’s as dead as it seems, Daniel Miller will be ripe for some great fix-it fanfic. And: I will miss the pictures. And seeing Richard Armitage acting. So I do feel some paradoxical grief.

***

A little blow-by-blow snark, but less this time, as the light level in half of the episode made it hardly worth watching, let alone capping.

If you remember, the last episode had Daniel staying in Tallinn in order to try to keep the peace and protect Sofia Vesik. I’m not sure this reasoning is entirely plausible, but he also picked up that photo, so maybe he thinks the key to his own backstory will somehow appear in Tallinn (although I don’t know why that would be the case). But in any case, that’s where the story is going, so we all have to believe at least temporarily that he can actually influence the outcome of events in Tallinn.

At the beginning of this episode we see a scene — without frame, so we don’t know what the status of the information is — that implies that young Daniel Miller witnessed his mother’s execution.

Clear as mud, but that’s probably Diver there, seen from the perspective of boyhood Daniel.

The kid looks nothing like Daniel the adult, but probably Daniel the adult had a nose augmentation when he joined the CIA or something, in order to maintain his cover. Yup, that’ll be it.

This dream cuts across to Daniel, lying in the deserted Estonian countryside, presumably because he’s collapsed, though it’s not clear why he’d run out of town instead of into it.

Again, barely visible. Yet July is pretty sunny this far north in the northern hemisphere. Just sayin’.

In the five seconds before he observes a train passing, the sun comes up a good deal.

But what a face.

Bloody and unsteady, Daniel walks back into town and calls Val to tell her about the train — which he says had soldiers on it, not that we could tell this ourselves as it’s too dark — and that he plans to talk to Sofia Vesik.

His head is bloody, but unbowed.

Back in Berlin, Robert is showering.

Now we know why Orser never mentions Armitage in interviews — he can’t compete. If they’re trying to set him up as competition, he’s got a loooong way to go.

Shift to the office: he thinks someone’s breaking into his apartment.

Rear view of Valerie at work — would a COS wear a dress with such a high slit and no stockings?

Valerie, Robert and April have a teleconference with Torres which establishes that they can’t consider this a war situation (I assume — after having seen the whole episode — to explain why they won’t be able to intervene to help or pursue Daniel ever). Robert gives Torres a lead on the waitress (Maret). Their discussion articulates that Russia is following the same strategy here as it did in the Crimea. Sofia is about to introduce a proposal to give all Estonians the same passport and citizenship (interesting, I did not know about this situation at all), with equal employment and travel rights in the EU. Robert notes the Russians have to get in ahead of that resolution or their campaign won’t work.

Back in Tallinn, Daniel goes to Sofia’s place.

Would you let this man into your apartment?

Somewhat counterintuitively, she lets him in and glues him back together (he needs stitches but she uses “culinary adhesive”).

Not sure exactly why, but they forgot to blur this.

Then we get a return to Daniel Miller The Pragmatic, Patriotic American.

Love that profile again. I assume this is a prewar apartment, and they just have such fantastic lighting situations. Doesn’t he look great, framed against those curtains?

This exchange feels totally in character for Daniel — I’m reminded of the scene in series 1 when he’s talking to Ingrid on the roof of the Bikini Bar. (He’s trying to get Sofia to stay away from the Centennial celebrations that night in order not to inflame the situation further; she wants to solve the nationalities problems with her passport — I’m not sure why it needs a technological solution but okay –; he says that Russia won’t allow that to happen.) They agree [cough] to continue the discussion on her way to work.

In Talinn / Sopron, we see Torres try unsuccessfully to catch Maret the Waitress at work; then he sneaks into the office and gets an address off a personnel file.

At her office, Sofia gives a vague explanation of what her computer company does. Turns out that she might be able to help him identify his train. She introduces him briefly to her server guy, Paavo. It seems she can’t find his train.

Torres goes to Maret’s apartment, and masquerades as an AP reporter to get some quotes for his article about Henryk. The camera gives us a full shot of the flowers the little girl collected before, plus this — which didn’t mean anything to me but maybe does to Torres.

Is there a clue here? [ETA: the St George ribbon — thanks Anja.]

Basarov is standing guard behind the door but there’s no need for him to intervene. (Later we will find that Torres has deduced that Basarov is there, but I don’t know why unless it’s something in the frame above. Is that a scabbard, which Basarov has taken the knife out of?) Long sequence that we later realize is intended to show us the perspective from Maret’s apartment to the Centennial stage. Yawn.

Back at Sofia’s company, Tervik, Daniel is skyping with April. In order to identify the tracks they have to go back to paper maps from the 1970s!

Be still my historian heart — not every question can be answered by Google and Co.

Oh, but then Daniel *did* find it on Sofia’s software, so he decides to go out there.

In the COS office, Robert wants Torres’ file and Val won’t let him have it. They squabble about what let her and not him become Berlin COS. (It was the deal for Tokyo. To be honest, though, I am wondering how Robert’s son feels about that. Didn’t Robert want a transfer back to the U.S. not that long ago?) Robert and Val express guilt and worry about Daniel.

Back to trying to get Sofia to back off in Tallinn. She points out that Estonia can’t do anything to stop Russia doing anything anyway.

And Daniel is doubtful about the prospects of NATO doing anything to help Estonia. (Serv is somewhat more sanguine on that point, recent events notwithstanding.)

Daniel wants to keep the peace so NATO doesn’t have to get involved. (This is nuts. He has to know she has the much stronger argument. It must suck to work for the CIA, constantly convincing people to do things they are know are right.)

In Berlin, Robert is working his other channels for info on Torres and discovers not just his postings, but that he’s in Tallinn for “wackevac,” I assume this means an attempt to take pressure off him because he’s emotionally unstable. Robert writes “psych evac” on his legal pad. Then he gets some more info on his screen that causes him to swear, stand up and put on his jacket.

In Estonia, Daniel is now near Turba. While on the phone with April (who expects a date with the son of a Nigerian scientist), he locates the train track. April identifies a medium range ballistic middle complex from the Soviet era somewhat west of him.

In Berlin, the toxicology report on Henryk’s hair is back. It doesn’t suggest that he was poisoned, but they discuss the possibility that he was poisoned with foxglove — aha, so that’s why all the shots with purple flowers. It provides the same agent as the heart pills he was taking. (I thought this was interesting insofar as they mentioned one of the medicines my dad takes. No worries, I’m not going to overdose dad with digoxin.) April is skeptical that this is a Russian move, but Robert and Val tell her the “Crimea playbook” requires “absolute secrecy.” (OK?)

Switch back to Estonia — Daniel identifies and enters some sort of abandoned secure facility with Russian warning signs on it. Warning: at this point, with half the episode to go, the story tempo slows way, way, way down.

Of course, there’s a trapdoor he can’t get into.

So Daniel pauses to call Esther. Cue vulnerability. He misses her. He announces his plan to get her / their relationship vetted. It turns out the opening sequence was his dream (not a flashback, in case that matters). And he thinks he knows who Diver is.

Easier to let his guard down over voicemail than in a conversation.

Next, Daniel visits a kiosk to be seen.

Plot point: Daniel sends the picture to Esther.
Picture: Gratuitous thumb shot.

Picture: Gratuitous jeans shot. I know these aren’t the sexiest jeans ever but I like seeing Armitage in real people clothing.

Picture: gratuitous shot of Daniel smoke. Armitage fumans, incomparable. He doesn’t seem interested in the smoke, though, as much as in trying to alert people that he’s there and poke the bear a little. It’s interesting that they subtitle all of his remarks to them in Russian except a key sentence — I guess because they pretend not to understand Russian? I don’t understand it either except that I wondered if the last word in the sentence is “Crimea”. And the men react with sort of hostile expressions.

In Tallinn, Sofia is announcing her reasons for wanting a unified Estonian passport, when the fire alarm goes off. Rodion suffocates Paavo the Server Guy, does some malware trickery, and then sets off the C02, which is supposed to hide the murder.

And then the episode slows down even more as Daniel goes to hang out with a group of druggies (as we find out later, sniffing the dregs of rocket fuel) to get more information.

Daniel says, in response to one of them, “My country’s bleeped.” ?? Really? Wasn’t he just toasting “to America”?

In Tallinn, Sofia discovers the sabotage, and also that a huge misinformation campaign about her proposal is underway. In Berlin, April identifies that campaign as the work of Russian bots. In Tallinn, Sofia insists on speaking that night anyway. in Berlin, April is out on her date with the Nigerian, who seems to be under some kind of supervision by an ominous large guy.

She tells the standard American “Ausfahrt” joke, which would be less funny if it weren’t such a frequent, bordering on universal, American experience in Germany.

In the office, Valerie is watching the TV news and calls Torres to tell him to secure Sofia before going after Basarov (who, he informs her, has a clear line of sight from Maret’s apartment to the Centennial stage — this feels a bit like last season’s preparations to assassinate the political candidate whose name I have forgotten).

Back in Turba, it turns out the druggies are aware of the trains and the Russian soldiers, because the soldiers are preventing the druggies from using the installation’s basement. They volunteer to show Daniel what they’re talking about. Cut back to Talinn: Sofia is approaching the stage; Torres intercepts her and brings her back to her car. He runs toward Maret’s apartment. In Turba, Daniel re-enters the installation. In Talinn, Torres enters the apartment seconds to late to stop some sniper fire on the stage of the event. In Turba, the druggies show Daniel how to get through that trapdoor. Daniel calls Berlin to tell April he’s got a lead and will be in touch in twelve hours. He descends into the silo and discovers soldiers.

and seriously, this is what I see on my screen.

He has to knock someone out in order to get a picture of this:

which is stacks and pallets of something.

He gets out, but he’s attacked as soon as he gets above ground. Candy Crush time. One of the thugs looks at his passport.

Back in Tallinn, Sofia is worried the shots were for her, and Torres is pleased he was right about what was happening. They drive away.

In Turba, we see Rodion’s face. They douse Daniel in a flammable liquid and set his body on fire with a cigarette lighter. I guess this is necessary so we really believe he’s dead?

~ by Servetus on November 29, 2018.

76 Responses to “Berlin Station 3.2, first impressions [spoilers!] #richardarmitage”

  1. Ok you cleared up some of my confusion about why Daniel was wondering around Turba instead of protecting Sophia. Are you planning on watching Ep 3-10 to see what transpires or are you done now? I will say I watched it on poor quality YouTube last night so black I couldn’t see anything and thought this series would end a character like this??? It was beyond gruesome to me. I will never watch this
    Ep 2 again even if by some miracle he survives or is seen in flashbacks b/c it was soo disrespectful to the character whether Richard wanted out or not. I’m still really upset about it.
    I know you had your doubts for 2 seasons but
    I grew attached to some extent to Daniel thru the crush on Richard and in my opinion he seemed to check out of the role. Maybe not intentionally but the whole Ep 2 he looked like
    he was done for it. I just don’t know .,,

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is one reason I don’t like TV that much — if this were a book I’d flip to the end and check out the resolution before deciding to continue with the book. As it is I may watch for flashbacks, or just to learn if they have any better explanation of why he needed to die, as Rodion can’t have known he was a witness to the murder. Not sure — my emotions are kind of in a whirl at the moment anyway.

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    • why watch on youtube when you can download clear copies from airdates?

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      • As I stated, I watched this on YT before the season started and I did not rewrite it afterwards. The title is “first impressions.” If I watched it again, I’d have to write a separate post. I am an EPIX subscriber and beginning with 3.3 I am watching even with the US broadcast. But for the two weeks before the season started, we didn’t have other options. I hope that explains it to EVERYONE’s satisfaction now.

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      • I mean, seriously, if you have some objection to how I write my blog — I can also just not do these posts. Would save a hell of a lot of time.

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  2. RE question under screen shot: yes there is a clue: this ribbon thing is what Rodion pinned to the wannabe russian soldier’ chests in his pep talk scene in the bootcamp

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Aaaand I have to say Armitage looks just absolutely gorgeous in ep 2! I watched both episodes nonstop and really liked season 3 so far – had to get around the geoblock first, but the quality was quite alright. also, the scenes were not that dark on my laptop screen – maybe if you tweak your contrast settings it might get better?
    but the ending… 😮
    I was like: “they CAN’T! – but how should he survive this – no they CAN’T – but they did it in Game of Thrones too – noooo they CAN’T…!”
    seriously disturbing even now. but we will find out eventually… one way or another.
    aaand: If you can bring yourself to watch the fight scenes you’ll be rewarded by some really nice “Armitage-the-dancer” sequences. 😉 in the chase after Rodion throws Daniel Miller through the shopwindow… what I also found sadly realistic: the guy in the shop taking out his smartphone but not to call the police and an ambulance but rather to film it, presumably to post it on social media.

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    • Not sure why this comment went to trash — sorry about that!. But I did fiddle with the screen settings and didn’t get much difference.

      I don’t know how he will survive this, I really think if he does, it will seem ridiculous.

      re: filming the assault — good point.

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  4. Serv, you couldn’t have said it better for me with this paragraph:

    But honestly at this point, beyond showing me some very nice pictures of Richard Armitage, the writers have given me no reason to want or hope that Daniel Miller will come back. I just don’t care about the character as executed — but the way this show is written makes it hard to care about any of the characters, so maybe it’s just par for the course. Even so, given that I’ve said the end of two previous seasons that I’d feel no grief about Armitage being written out of the story, I still feel a bit of a twinge. The story had a lot of potential, and there are plenty of opportunities to show Armitage’s considerable talents, but the fact that after two hours of this season I’ve seen maybe two scenes that might merit a discussion of his acting suggests that the filming never got there either.

    Sad but oh, so true.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I don’t get it, really. I suppose none of the characters have really gotten a story line that let them act much — maybe Rhys Ifans is the exception — but why have all these talented people and then waste their gifts?

      Liked by 2 people

  5. This might be not the most popular opinion but please, please, please Epix don’t go any deeper down the Bulls**t hole and bring him back after that ending of ep 2!!!!
    Because that would be SO incredible and even for your low standards a new low.

    On the bright side (at least for me) I realized while watching ep 2 that this don’t upset me any more like season 2 did and I am able to see the humorous side of it all because there are so many hilarious things to witness.
    Like the super secret spy patrol during which the super secret spy has nothing better to do than to phone his girlfriend. If he’d aspirated an ‘I love you’ at the end of that call I might have fallen off my couch 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • Herba I wish he had! The diehard romantic in me would have at least gotten a smidgeon of satisfaction that he could have told her how he really felt. If I had a bday and my hunky chunky luscious bf were in bed listening to some creepy recording on his IPad instead of jumping my bones I’d be freakin pissed!!
      No Herba I don’t think he’s back or he’d been spotted in Budapest or Berlin or Vienna filming later in the summer or September 😢😩👎

      Liked by 2 people

      • Well. at the end of that bed scene he’d got a grip and did the right thing for a lover 😉
        I guess I still don’t get the Dansther thing and that call was way to much in that situation and for an professional spy – weird!

        I don’t know if he had been spotted because he is really good hiding himself but I hope you’re right!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Maybe he think she knows more than she said, and so he was also poking the bear there, too.

          But I have to stop doing this to myself — I always came up with these convoluted lists of possibilities and the show never went in any of those directions. It’s been very WYSIWYG.

          Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah — the only way I think they can get him out of this mess is by saying that it was a druggie who was set on fire — but that would be such ridiculous sleight of hand, as the whole scene where that happens is shot in near darkness. If you want to trick me, fine, but don’t do it by putting the whole scene in a black box.

      I’m still feeling some weird grief (I noticed it today), but I am having a similar reaction to you: had this happened last year I’d have been enraged.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I was hoping it was the druggie going out in a blaze of glory. I thought maybe they switched pants, since Daniel’s were accidentally doused with ice water. How’s that for reaching?

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        • Someone told me that the label on the jeans of the person they set on fire is different from Daniel’s jeans. I don’t want to watch it again to find out, though.

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      • I watched the scene again today and I can’t think of a way to pretend it was one of the drugies because they show Millers face repeatedly during the beating. How someone else could end up on that ground is beyond my imagination

        Liked by 2 people

        • Herba I’m with you. Although I’m not going to watch that Ep 2 ever again. All of it was disturbing and I felt like that wasn’t even Daniel there except the smoking which I thought he quit in S2. I think that’s him on the ground now whether he rolls away right before the match is thrown at him I do not know but I think that won’t be the mystery of the season more like who is Diver and how is that character tied in to the rest of this mess. Those hips are unmistakable too.

          Liked by 2 people

  6. […] bereits ausführliche Inhaltsangaben bzw. erste Eindrücke zu beiden Folgen, zum Beispiel hier, hier und hier. Wer nicht gespoilert werden will, möge bitte den Links nicht […]

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  7. I have to add that his Russian is way way better than in Spooks 👍🏻 Some words are almost perfectly pronounced.
    Also, I want him out of the show but not by being burned alive.
    And, not all Russians are evil 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • I need to grade and I teach today but I wanted to at least respond to this briefly: I’m happy his Russian pronunciation is improving!

      I have a lot of gut responses to the question of how the Russian characters appear in this show and it would take me a while to unravel them, insofar as I think there are political questions that are separate from the dramatic questions in the show; i.e., I do personally think the Russian annexation of the Crimea was unlawful and I’ve been surprised at the NATO (non-) response and I think it’s fair to say both that there are concerns in Estonia about what could happen next on both sides — but at the same time the Cold War has been over for 30 years, so dramatically, why are we still relying on pictures of Russia / Russians that are based on US relations with the USSR over thirty years ago? Why are the only Russians we see in this show either KGB, Spetsnaz / paramilitaries, or people who want to support secret military activities in Estonia? I think that there’s a kind of “shorthand” operating here for the Western audience in which there’s an unquestioned continuity between the “Soviet villain” of Cold-War era drama and the Russians we see on TV now, and I don’t find it either accurate or helpful in the current political atmosphere.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad you said all of that. I think the whole storyline is stale and boring and far from “cutting edge”. If they would stick with why Daniel’s mother was killed and weave maybe another aspect to the rise of the alt right in Europe due to migrant issues and economic issues and Russia’s threat internet wise or something like that it would be fresh. Crimea is just terrible and NATO did nothing, just rolled over and ignored the situation… that’s another post though. sorry…

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        • They’ve never said where Daniel’s mother was from. If he was 12 in 1985 (am I recalling that right?) she could very easily have originally come from the Baltic. Or she could have been a descendant of one of the German women who went into these territories as a consequence of the Heim ins Reich initiative or the BDM Osteinsatz. She could have had a past that connected her to this area, very easily.

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          • His cousin Patricia is German I thought he discussed w Esther somewhat about his mom
            and then when Esther brought him to the site where mommy was killed Daniel realized she was trying to manipulate him. 🤔

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            • Yes, the show says directly, I think, that she was (West) German — but in that generation that could mean a LOT of things about where she was originally from geographically. There were 14 million German refugees in West Germany after the war. (I’m sure you’re aware of this.) She could have been Prussian / from Poland, from the Baltic, from Romania, from Bohemia …

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          • The “Heim in Reich” policy took German women (and men) out of the Baltics into Germany, not vice versa.

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            • I don’t believe I said “Heim ins Reich” sent Germans to Estonia. I said, “she could be a descendant of a woman who went into one of these territories” — there were ethnic Germans in the Baltic before WWII, who might have moved in the period. Movement went both ways — ethnic Germans on the fringe moved back toward the German heartland, Germans from the core parts of the empire moved out into the colonized territories.

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      • I haven’t been too impressed with Berlin Station since the middle of the first series. I watched the first ep of season 3 and didn’t like what I saw. No chance of watching the 2nd ep so far and after your summary Serv I don’t think I’ll bother. I have a lot to say about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine which has the potential of leading us into a desastrous war. Much as I hate Putin who is a ruthless dictator I have to say that Ukraine politics are rather dubious to me as well. This isn’t the place for a political discussion though… I really hope we will see RA in something more challenging and interesting soon…

        Liked by 1 person

        • I agree it’s hard to love the Ukrainian leadership. Even if I prefer that Ukraine retain its independence and don’t care for Putin, either. (However, given the US leadership at the moment I can’t point fingers.)

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    • I think his Russian was so sexy!! He should speak more of it!!

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      • it’s a sexy-sounding language.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Very very sexy!! I would love for him to do a Russian character. He would have a blast with it!!! I didn’t mind his German either. The American is hard b/c he’s a low talker and I was straining to hear what he was saying, Ep 2 was all black and grainy when I view it on YT and I refuse to watch that episode ever again. Nightmares from it now..

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  8. Let’s see his characters have been hung, stabbed, shot, jumped from a roof, and we may now add burned? I am taking a pass on this season. The last one really bugged me. Keeping my fingers crossed a Netflix project due to film in Manitoba will have him in some capacity. We had Henry Cavill and Theo James and I am hoping for a British trifecta in my favour.

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  9. A few comments: the alien passports. I read the article linked. I understand it might be an issue for younger Russian speakers. At the same time, if they have the motivation, they will find a way. Today, the state offers free language courses. It is a difficult language, but I have witnessed several foreigners master the language in a year, so not impossible. Older people, they feel more comfortable with the alien passport, as it allows them to cross the border easily, and most of them do live close to Russian Federation. But I do agree, it has stretched too long and RF uses this situation every once in a while to say how our state bullies the Russian native speakers.

    On a more positive note, I like how they have used common Estonian names there instead of international ones that we also have, and they got the õ letters right this time 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I suppose the whole question of being able to work in the EU or not is going to take on more importance?

      I don’t know what will happen — but these sketchy passport situations were a major contributor to international tensions in the 20th c. interwar period — there’s a chapter in Hannah Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism about it.

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  10. Judging by the fact that Epix have deleted the second episode from their YouTube Channel, I wonder if someone unwittingly got the cat out of the bag or if they’ve just realised they were giving away too much too soon.

    I wonder if they have a different cut of the episode to air in two week’s time- I’ve read on Twitter they changed certain important details from Season 1 before they released it on DVD.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ok…. last night I saw episode 6 of season 1 (as we are that far back here in UK) and…I am reading your spoilers anyway because after only 6 episodes I am bored to death…
    Last night I put my books down only when Richard’s voice called me back to the TV screen. But he does not save the whole thing.

    When you said that the show doesn’t make you care for any of the characters you were spot on. Of all of the characters (and Daniel Miller excluded) I have only got a liking to Leland’s Robert. The others are so badly defined that they seem cardboard-cut figures on screen.

    And am I the only one who could never stand Esther? She is not even engaging as a turn-coat spy. How the writers thought they could sell the whole Esther-Daniel as a relationship instead of casual sex is beyond logic scratches head Their chemistry is bad, despite the actors playing them are hot and sexy. Doh.

    I’ll keep watching BS1 because I have nothing better to do on a Thursday evening but now I know why in UK the show was not bought for 2 years.

    P.S. It is funny the acronym of Berlin Station is BS lol

    Liked by 3 people

    • A girl after my own heart. Your post sounds very much like what I thought and said when BS 1 aired, and it still remains true when it comes to the two following seasons.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Valerie becomes a lot more likeable in season 2. Kirsch is one of those things: you either love him or you hate him.

      In terms of the fandom — I think there have been several responses.

      –people who love the relationship and love Mina Tander’s performance
      –people who hate the relationship and hate Mina Tander’s performance
      –people who like the actors involved but don’t find the relationship credible (I’m probably in this category — I think they’re doing fine together, I just think the script consistently fails them)

      I’ve been through this before with all the Genevieve O’Reilly hate (which I thought was unreasonabe in its intensity) around Spooks 8, so I am trying to hold the line and keep my reactions to Tander and the character and the relationship separate from each other. My general feeling is that Armitage seems to be enjoying his scenes with her (she was the thing he wanted to bring back from Germany with him, when asked in 2016).

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am with you here, I think that script fails them completely. I haven’t seen Tander in anything else so I cannot judge her individual acting talents vs. the script, but given that the script fails everybody else too, I guess that Tander is not exempt. She has a hot banging body though, so does Armitage. It doesn’t come out well on screen and it is probably the script that makes it so (regardless of the fact the 2 actors worked well together). For some reason, the chemistry Daniel had with the German journalist seemed more real. My opinion here, of course.
        I don’t get Valerie either. I will probably watch all episodes anyway, as both seasons have been acquired by 4More. Jury’s out…

        Never seen Spooks and has no clue who O’Reilly is lol

        Liked by 1 person

        • See I think Daniel and Esther are the best thing in both S1 and S2. I like the chemistry between them and I wish Daniel has spoken more German w Esther in their mind duals 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • Lol I don’t know how to explain it and maybe I come across as too technical here: their relationship is not realistic in the least. It is one of my gripes with movie/TV screenwriting that they put those damn romantic/sexual relationships in contexts where it’d be really difficult to have any. It sounds like a childish approach to the general theme of a series based on spies. They’re all turn-coats, Esther and Hans in episode 6 clearly have an agreement to have him on their side. Daniel even gets that (in episode 5) but does nothing? Well if I had a guy whom I knew being treacherous, with the heck I would continue to see him 😂

            Liked by 2 people

        • I agree re: Ingrid Hollander, I think Armitage is at his best as an actor when he’s in conflict with someone, and the script always brushes the potential conflict with Esther under the rug. (This is part of my “they’re too much alike” criticism of the relationship: they’re both supposedly extremely patriotic but you’d expect that would create more problems for them than it actually does).

          Liked by 1 person

        • O’Reilly is an Irish actress that they cast in Spooks to play a CIA agent that ends up entangled with Richard’s MI5 character, Lucas North. For several reasons she got on many of us fans’ nerves, including her fake American accent that kept changing from you minute to the next.

          Liked by 2 people

          • I don’t understand why they didn’t hire an American actress for the role, there are some Americans working in UK productions…

            Like

      • I am in the ‘like the actors but not the script’ category too and I can’t see the relationship because for me it never was developed properly to get to the stage it is now….

        Liked by 2 people

  12. Just a thought ( if RA would decide to leave the show) please tell me they wouldn’t pull a “soap opera” stunt and have him burned and come back in with a “new face”………..

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Thanks for posting the second episode. I had to fast forward through it. I’m not certain that was Daniel, but I watched that scene believing it to be him. It looked like the victim was still alive when they lit him. I thought I saw his head move when they were dousing him. I read your scene by scene, and to tell the truth, I may rely on those for the rest of the season, ( as I did with Wolverine) just to get to the point where Daniel may reappear. It bothers me that, if it was Daniel, the writers didn’t give him a very heroic death. As is often the case, I think Daniel makes poor choices as a spy – he’s not a good spy. Re: Diver, do you have as hard a time as I do imagining that the Steven Frost we have come to know could be Diver – even though he appears to be the character in the cap and trench coat? If Daniel is dead, and no one else knows of his childhood memory, who’s left to put 2 and 2 together, unless Esther decides to investigate?

    Like

    • Perry yeah I think it will be Esther b/c she’s the closest to Daniel and what role would Mina have then in the series? She did film more than Richard did so I think a grieving Esther will track down Diver. Jenkins seemed to allude to
      a huge secret from S1 that is unsuspecting will be revealed in his interview snippet so maybe this is it.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s difficult for me to think of Steven Frost as a ruthless, yet successful, assassin. He was completely bungling in Season 2 during the road trip to Norway. He could be covering all along for CIA re: Diver. Everything we’ve seen of the flashbacks in S.3 are consistent with how I view his character ( sneaking in to rescue someone and ditch the file, watching Daniel’s mother’s lover) but I can’t see him as a really competent killer.

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  15. I went through all the TV plot near deaths to think about how Daniel might still be alive. Mistaken identity? It is intentionally dark, but it sure looked like Daniel as he exited to the surface and during the fight scene. Someone comes in and rescues him? I think this is possible, although he would be badly burned. Only a dream (as in Bobby’s death in Dallas)? This seems too cheesy to be likely.

    [edited to remove spoilers for future episodes — thanks for understanding!]

    If this is the end for Daniel, which seems weird at Episode 2, I don’t see any purpose for flashbacks since what is interesting is what comes after this.

    This is for your piece on Episode 1. I enjoyed the comment about Daniel walking like an American. Before reading your synopsis, I had also observed that the episode put a lot of focus on Daniel from behind walking, and I don’t recall them doing that before. I noticed he walks in a heavy way, and he points his toes outward. This is definitely not Richard’s regular dancer walk.

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  16. […] it’s here (3.1) and here (3.2). […]

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  17. Wonderful to read your first impressions again and to drool over the pics. I enjoyed much of the first two episodes: yes, to actually see Armitage at last (even with beard). the faster pace ,striking visuals ( lots of RA, the pit of pigs) the music and the Estonia setting) but there was such jarring idiocy too: Daniel knowing where to go with his trolley, which keys to use, his ability to jump over fences, which Rodion hasn’t, Sofia letting him into her apartment (although yes who wouldn’t), his scouting of top-secret Russian bases unchallenged until the end… There was an odd moment though with Robert, on the train, when he tells Valerie that he doesn’t know what happened to Daniel. Robert seemed evasive and the way he was filmed suggested this too. Finally, yes, I had suspected that Orser avoids mentioning RA in his interviews, so you’ve confirmed it and now he has a copy-cat shower scene – hilarious.

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  18. […] with the U.S. broadcast, and you want to join our conversation, it’s here. (spoilers, […]

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

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  20. […] Berlin Station 3.2, first impressions [spoilers!] (published November 20, 2018). I’m not sure why, after two years, I’ve suddenly become […]

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