Berlin Station 3.4, 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.


Additional warning: there is one image of a badly suffering rabbit (which I assume is a mockup) in this post. And also refrigerated chicken fetuses awaiting human consumption eggs.


Gosh, this show is slow. At least no pitch-black scenes with car chases this time (or almost none). The big news of the week was revealed in such an anti-climactic way; apart from EPIX’ epic fail in spoiling the season via its marketing, we couldn’t believe Daniel was dead because the characters didn’t really, either. Strangely low energy, the whole thing.

But this episode’s slowness is also strained. I’d been thinking, while watching — this season doesn’t have the over-detailed complexity of the first season and (despite the constant repetition of war in Estonia! war in Estonia!) it lacks the sense of urgency of the second. Well, just after I thought that, at least two attempts at complicating the plot (via Gilbert Dorn and Sofia Vesik),got dropped in, and then they add a lot of plot in the last five minutes (like flak?).  Just when I was dozing I was supposed to prick up my ears.

I don’t know how convincing I found any of it. I’m really bothered by cheap writing — the creation of mysteries by the viewing of scenes that we can’t really see — a plot device that was resorted to several times during this episode. Uch. And then there’s the whole “the audience knows more than the characters” thing that malfunctioned so badly in series 1. Double uch.

Oh, and the return of BB Yates is on the horizon. Oh frabjous day.

It’s hard to write about something this slow-paced with verve. Caution: dozy snark ahead.


In case you thought Berlin Station had finally decided to minimize the comic employment of stereotypes about smaller European nations, you’d be disappointed tonight, because the episode starts with three fisherman arguing over the catch, in the “Gulf of Finland, 60 mi off Estonia.”

They’re Finns in Estonian waters, apparently fishing illegally. All they care about is fish.

Yes — an implied replay from last season with the lutefisk and the fishery and so on. You’d think all Scandinavians and Baltic people did in their spare time was fight about fish. This is kind of dumb because they’re arguing over who caught the bigger fish (in English anyway), as if they were fishing with a single line, when that’s not how commercial poachers fishermen work. Anyway, while the cantankerous fishermen are fighting, the captain of the ship spots something on the horizon and says “What the fuck?” (in English anyway). And then we see a missile falling on the fishing boat and it blows up. I assume this is the reason for the episode title, “If You Swear, You’ll Catch No Fish” (a reference to 80s punk music), but I didn’t think it was that funny.

I mean, is this show really a spy drama, or has it now realized that it’s so bad that it’s making fun of itself? If so, should we expect to see sharks in a coming episode?

Cut to titles.

Richard Armitage looks even more anguished this week that he’s not in the credits. Poor soul. Although I’d think it would be a relief, myself.

As the show opens, the sun is rising, and we join Torres, still evading his pursuers, now near Tapa, Estonia (looking on a map, Turba and Tapa are something like an hour and a half apart, so I don’t know how realistic that is).

I’m sure the trip goes faster on dodgy gravel back roads. How good that he hotwired a car with plenty of gas.

Eventually Torres ditches the car and grabs the corpse from the hatchback and runs through the woods, tracked all the while by Russians.

I will definitely give Torres credit — he takes the “leave no man behind” thing very seriously.

It turns out he’s in Tapa because the army base there has been the location of the NATO “Enhanced Forward Presence Force” since 2016, or as they refer to it here, the “tripwire force.” (In case you’re curious, the U.S. also has similar deployments in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia; Torres encounters Brits here and the Royal Welsh were there in 2017 and the 1st Yorkshire are there as I write). The soldiers draw a bead on him, but don’t shoot immediately (good old Brits!) and he asks to speak to Major Dominic Kingsbury.

Back in Berlin, Valerie’s fallen asleep while looking at pictures of the burnt corpse. (She has a different apartment than last time; I assume this is because of the missing Berlin subsidy for this season’s filming and not for plot reasons. Or maybe she needed to clear her memory of sex with Josef.) After some remarks about ballet, the little girl Romy notices them and her mom has to distract her while Auntie Val hides the evidence. The mom tells Valerie that she needs not to focus so much on work. Valerie apologizes for leaving the photos in plain view and goes to get some eggs so they can all have breakfast.

Valerie talks to Robert while she’s grocery shopping.

But all I could think of while watching this was that when I lived in Berlin they did not keep eggs in the fridge at grocery stores. Maybe it’s changed due to global warming? I looked at the milk next to the eggs and it has a German name. (Bio Alpenmilch) Or maybe it’s because it’s a Bioladen? (organic food store) How did Michelle Forbes feel about touching that egg carton?

They’re grousing about the delay in getting the body from Estonia and Torres’ silence. Valerie is concerned about Kirsch’s failure to sleep.

Is that code for “I tweet insanely dehumanizing racist bullshit and lose my television show”?

Robert’s been looking at data from the Baltic area (maps, naval reports, drill information, etc.) and there’s nothing, which in itself makes him suspicious. He turns out to be the kind of guy who eats jam straight from the jar. (Is that what’s meant by mystery sandwiches?) They discuss whether to tell Langley that Daniel is missing — and agree they don’t have enough information and that they don’t care for “Jason.”

Leaving his apartment, Robert runs into “Nina.”

She kindly examines and rubs the jam stain on his tummy for him, but he still declines to have breakfast with her.

We turn to April, who’s talking to Valerie as she walks past the Volksbühne on her way to meet with Sofia at a safe house. (Plot thread dropped in 3.2 herewith picked up.) They’re going to work on tracking down whoever targeted Sofia. The CIA is interested in her because “we’re going to have to stitch Estonia back together, and she could be an important agent of influence.” The conversation turns to Dove — April is looking for facial recognition on the attacker, who she thinks is Nigerian but isn’t affiliated with Boko Haram or “any other known cell.” Valerie gives April some positive reinforcement.

April then talks to Sofia, who is sitting at a makeshift computer setup and reports that the attack on her was massive and highly coordinated. Sofia expresses thanks for April’s support, and a desire to go back to Tallinn to “change things.” April points out that Tallinn is dangerous for Sofia and urges Sofia to “prove it” (who is attacking her).

Robert is still looking for more information.

he’s desperate and calling the Finnish Environmental Protection Agency (I assume) and not the secret services. This Finn’s name is Cedric for some reason. (Is that a common Finnish name?) He’s peeling an apple.

Cedric laughs at Robert for not being able to get info out of the Finnish intelligence agency and reports that nothing’s been happening, except a trawler that fell off the radar — he thinks because they turned off their GPS to avoid being charged with poaching. He helpfully points at the location on the map where they disappeared.

Val pops into his office to remind us of the big picture plot — civil war taking off in Estonia! no more Russian pressure needed! — and catches Robert looking at the “world seismic activity report,” which notes an explosion precisely in the location Cedric pointed to. They give this information to “Jason” in Langley, who is not impressed.

Given that the expression “shithole country” popped up in 3.3 (in reference to Nigeria), I’m assuming this usage is not accidental. I wonder if we’re headed toward another conspiracy theory here — this time will it be that the CIA is filled with Russia sympathizers?

The scriptwriters again seem to assume we’ve forgotten the larger geopolitical problems, so Val and Robert remind us of them (Russian encroachment, NATO treaty, gambling on the non-response of the [unnamed] Trump administration). Valerie is upset so she gives us the 2018 Baltic version of the domino theory and predicts a renewed Iron Curtain and WWIII to boot. After the call ends, they again debate the wisdom of reporting Daniel missing. Valerie plans to visit “Kolya,” a Russian diplomat / spy who was expelled from the U.S. and is now the head of Russian intelligence. Robert warns her that she won’t get a straight answer from him. Then he returns to his office to brood over an analog map of Estonia and the evidence bag that holds the little pillbox Daniel stole from Henryk’s corpse.

Not sure if this is just Robert mourning, or if this bloody fingerprint is evidence of something. Robert doesn’t say.

Finally the show takes us back to Torres in Estonia, who talks to Kingsbury. Kingsbury knew Basarov (the sniper from 3.1) in Syria. Torres reports that Basarov is present along with Spetsnaz types. Kingsbury’s been passing on the odd activity to his superiors. They discuss how long Kingsbury’s force could hold out without NATO backup. Answer: 48 hours.

Then, the show becomes surreal. Just really strange. We’re taken back to the shoemaker’s from 1.2 and 1.8 who bugged the terrorist’s flat and sheltered Steven — and it’s the same shop. The credits at the end also show it’s the same actor (Hussi Kutlican). We’re introduced here to Kolya (that’s confirmed in a later scene), who is dressed in U.S. western attire complete with bolo tie, and picking up some polished boots that supposedly belonged to Will Rogers (a vaudevillian / humorist of my grandparents’ generation). The shoe guy doesn’t know who that is (unsurprisingly as Rogers died in 1935). They discuss whether the boots’ are really Rogers’, and Kolya quotes “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” (a 1962 film that starred John Wayne), to the effect that when legend replaces fact, the legend should be printed. The shoemaker hasn’t heard of that either, but he confirms he’s bugged the flat (presumably Robert’s?). He works for both sides and only cares about the money. I don’t know if it’s significant that when Kolya asks the shoe guy how he looks, the shoe guy apparently uses a Russian word.

I think he looks a bit like Jack Palance, moi.

I’m not sure what the point of that was: I guess to establish that Kolya is a self-aggrandizer and a liar with a thing for American westerns and old humor. But it does so in such an arcane way that most viewers younger than me will have a hard time understanding what he is talking about. Both of those pieces of U.S. culture are way out of currency except for very limited groups of people these days, a tiny subset of whom apparently write for Berlin Station.

He goes to his meeting with Valerie, whom he either is really into — or wants to convince that he’s really into her.

Her response to being compared to Amelia Earhart and Audrey Hepburn.

After some cat-and-mouse (Kolya is a moderate, he wouldn’t like it if Russia got mired in a long war, or would he, it could be glorious, etc.) Kolya insists that Russia is not causing the problem in Estonia but he will look into it. On the face of it, this seems ridiculous as why wouldn’t the head of Russian intelligence know the answer to that question? He tries to bargain for dinner and she tells him no, unless he helps her out.

She leaves and gets a call from Esther, who is looking at a German language file on Gilbert Dorn while being driven somewhere. Esther wants to know if they’ve heard from Daniel and Valerie stalls her.

At the station, Torres calls Valerie and Robert to report that he’s leaving Tapa. They deduce that he’s got the corpse as he’s headed for “the U.S. Army Hospital in Frankfurt.” Valerie and Robert agree that they didn’t want Daniel’s body abandoned in the field, but Robert will go to Frankfurt to make sure Torres doesn’t “go rogue.” Robert also asks about the meeting with Kolya. Valerie reports Kolya’s denial of Russian involvement and says she believes him [DISTRACTING PLOT COMPLICATION: I’m worried this is all too predictable given Valerie’s behavior with Josef Goebbels last season — she didn’t believe he was dirty until 2.8].

Next, we see Gilbert Dorn enter a kind of racy hookah bar.

The owner seems to know him, she’s definitely “Old Berlin” and she’s listening to his podcast, which she’s somewhat threatening about. And: I guess it’s true you really can get Eisbein anywhere in Berlin, except that this cafe is in Hungary, judging from the signs on the business across the street.

Esther is there, too, and sits down with him. (I can’t make out what she says in German. Maybe someone can help. Macallan? Is she ordering his favorite drink? Maybe that’s why the proprietress’ answer is a bit unusual for the situation — “kann ich machen”.) Esther tries to imply she only recognized his voice, but he makes her right away.

Again with “Fräulein,” although it’s more believable coming from Dorn’s mouth than it was from Daniel’s.

Or maybe he just watches a lot of British TV. Come on. “Chuffed” from an American?

And then this. “I’m just an old spook telling stories,” to which he gets this response. In what sense is she a captive audience? I mean, I know that general knowledge of American English is falling apart in the U.S., but this is nuts. She’s “all ears,” maybe.

The important plot point out of all that is that Esther asserts that she thinks Dorn was there on the night of the immolation of the Stasi archives.

Luckily for my English usage blood pressure rating, we switch back to the CIA office at that point where everyone remembers how our idiom works. Valerie opens an envelope with a folder in it that has the word секретно (“top secret”) on it. We flash quickly to Sofia’s computer screen at the safe house. April and Sofia are busy identifying bots when their screens go dead — Valerie enters and she has turned off their Internet. The file turns out to be information about how Sofia started her hacking life in a Russian hacking group. Sofia describes herself as a “mutt” of mixed Russian-Estonian background who rejected her Estonian background because Estonians rejected her first, and found friends in a group of Russian hackers. That experience led her to develop her position on unity between Estonians and Russians. April and Valerie disagree over whether Sofia is trustworthy; April points out that the number of hits Sofia has taken in the previous make it implausible that she’s the one behind the move toward a civil war; Valerie accuses April of not being able to look clearly at a friend; they will now vet Sofia properly. Valerie sends April off to meet Dove.

I need a drink. Esther and Dorn had the same thought as Dorn is really deeply in his cups at this point, or appears to be. So does Esther but in her case I don’t believe it.

The dark truth is that Esther thinks Dorn was Diver.

He laughs and is uncomfortable and backs off the topic.

[Pause while I ask myself whether I believe this. Honestly, I’m still pretty convinced Steven is Diver. However, this does speak for it: that Dorn is telling Diver’s story because he feels under-appreciated, as he expressed to Steven last week. Also note: first incident of “this mystery is only intriguing because they didn’t let us see something,” in 3.1].

Esther takes another tack: she asks him if Diver was the double-agent who betrayed Lucas Becker. Again, you won’t know who this is unless you remember a very small detail from 1.6, repeated again in 3.1; it’s fascinating to me that they think we’re going to remember these very small details over three years, but we won’t remember the geopolitical situation in the Baltic from one minute to the next. Dorn rejects her suggestion: “Diver only did his job.” Then back to the song and dance about how the old spooks are erased from history. He tells her to fuck off and she leaves.

[Pause: he is indeed really sensitive about the possibility that he could have been a double-agent — but that doesn’t necessarily point to him being Diver. At this point — and I may be wrong — I think this plot strand is very similar to the writing from season 1 that tried to make us think that the CIA people actually thought the CIA mole was someone other than Hector, even though we always knew.]

This whole theme of “audience knows way more than the characters do” comes up again in the next scenes, which follow April through her meeting with Dove. The violence the previous night gives her an in to ask a question about “that Star Trek looking thing” she saw in his dad’s lab:

Clue 1! The tech! [Just a reminder: my flashback to 3.3]

He looks a bit hesitant but I guess he feels his masculinity suffering after she saved his ass the last night and wants to show off, so he explains it by showing her a promotional video he made.

As he explains that his father’s tool is essentially a “sound laser,” i.e., it uses concentrated bursts of sound for medical purposes, to get rid of tumors and such, April sees animals in cages and winces.

I found this questionably plausible — treating an animal this way would be in violation of the Tierschutzgesetz (Animal Welfare Act). Which doesn’t mean that no violations occur there either but Dove’s dad would lose his research funding if this were known. Guess we know now what that pink bag was about last time.

This new surgery will be highly successful and end the need for incisions or sutures and prevent infections. April is secretly taping it and we cut to her showing it to Valerie, later.

Now — to me it’s obvious that this is a reference to the current situation with the alleged sound bombardment of US embassy personnel in Havana and Guangzhou. Valerie weasels out when April asks her why the CIA wants to know — but it’s astounding to me that Valerie thinks April would believe her at all, given the high level of coverage this topic has received in the U.S. press. And given that these attacks have already happened, this whole piece makes me feel like the CIA people are not up on their news. Valerie says “we need to make sure that we are the first ones through that door,” but, om, om, om …. ?

Next we get the Torres debrief.

This is super confusing. I’m pretty sure “the US Army Hospital” in Frankfurt closed around 2002 or so.  Now that building is the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt. There’s a US military hospital facility in Wiesbaden (not far from Frankfurt), but “the” US military hospital in Germany is now Landstuhl / Kaiserslautern, where the Afghanistan wounded are evacuated. Maybe I missed something here. This looks a little bit like the basement of Frankfurt airport looked back in the 90s.

Robert thanks Torres for bringing the body back but says it won’t change his general opinion that Torres is a nutjob. Torres shows Robert images of “maybe the last thing Daniel saw before he died,” — and I’m telling you, they are much better images than anything WE saw. It’s a “hodge podge” of weapons, perhaps a tactic intended to divert blame away from the Russian army, which only uses regular-issue weaponry. Their theory is that someone wants to pin the coming violence on rogue ex-Spetsnaz people like Basarov (whose photo we also see — well, at this level of exposure I can see that, too). So: ANOTHER plot point created solely by the cinematographer’s failure to light something a character was seeing adequately.

Back in Berlin, Valerie phones Kolya. He refuses to comment on whether the info about Sofia is “a mind fuck,” but reiterates that the Russian government is not responsible for events in Estonia but would be pleased if it went their way. Valerie still doesn’t know what to think.

In case you were wondering about Valerie’s friend — I mean, seriously, who was? What does this strand have to do with anything? — they’re out walking and eating.

It turns out that Valerie has a past as a moshpit enthusiast and opponent of the Bush administration. I’m guessing Bush I as she’s about my age. I was not a fan of Bush I but I’ve never been in a moshpit. Just sayin’. Maybe that’s why I am not working for the CIA.

Friend doesn’t figure Valerie for the CIA agent type, and accuses her again of being too involved, and Valerie explains all of her moral conflicts (Daniel is her friend, he might be dead, if he’s not dead, she probably can’t both get him back and prevent a war) in one sentence. Her friend is horrified, horrified, I tell you. It’s not fair! Honestly, if this is just a “let’s humanize Valerie” thread, I’m not interested anymore. There are real non-spooks in the world who are not this shallow.

Nice evening shot of Berlin’s Bode Museum, though.

Briefly: Robert paces and Torres yells at him for pacing.

In Berlin, Valerie’s forwarded Torres’ photos to Langley but Jason is still not going to raise the issue up the food chain. However, under heavy guilting from her, he agrees to send someone. Upon discussion, it seems that person will be BB Yates, who is now “outside the Company.” In a café April is babysitting an impatient Sofia. April says that she believes Sofia, and she herself was an unhappy teen whose father died in Iraq, but eventually she decided to straighten up, fly right, and do good in the CIA. (???) However, when April turns to her own phone — it looks like they’ve ID’d Dove’s attacker from 3.3 — Sofia steals a stranger’s cell phone and runs away from her. April pursues her on foot and by car.

At a passport control, Sergei Basarov enters Germany (I’m guessing from the yellow signs in the background that it’s supposed to be Tegel), and is picked up by someone in a car who gives him a handgun. Basarov promises to get “her” (I’m guessing, Sofia).

Then, the autopsy results, which are only suspenseful because I have been waiting the whole episode to learn them, it’s NOT Daniel. [Third point at which we were led to believe something because a crucial piece of evidence was hidden in low lighting.] They don’t know who it is, but extensive prosthetic alterations to his body point to Spetsnaz. They also agree it’s not the Russian government creating the problem but an oligarch who’s hoping to gain the favor of the Kremlin. Possibly multiple oligarchs. That would explain the weapons situation.

[Pause to note: it would make it more plausible that Sofia isn’t who she claims to be.]

[Pause to note: first, I don’t know why, given the constant reiterations about Article V, that it’s significant politically from the standpoint of the U.S./CIA whether it’s a Russian operation, or whether it’s a Russian oligarch or even warring oligarchs operating with the tacit approval of the Russian government. Is the point here supposed to be that NATO won’t intervene because it’s oligarchs and not the government? The only time Article V has ever been invoked after 9/11, in two operations that were supposed to prevent the movement of terrorists, one over US air space and one in the Mediterranean. As far as I know, al-Qaeda was not a state actor. Article V has been interpreted not to require that. Second, I find this macho fantasy about the power of Russian oligarchs highly questionable. Aren’t many of the Russian oligarchs de facto members of the Russian state, either formally or informally? And aren’t the ones who aren’t mostly hiding abroad hoping not to be poisoned? I don’t get why an oligarch would want to help take over a foreign state.]

Well, in any case, next week it will be all about the guns, I guess. They decide to figure out who it is they have to figure out who bought all that “hodge podge” of different guns, and of course Torres already knows exactly the weapons dealer who sold them — a guy named Birdman in Vienna. Talk about implausible plot compression, but whatever. I don’t find the Torres character believable in the first place. Valerie seems to say that finding Daniel is more important than stopping a war.

Finally — if we were in any doubt — we get a replay of the first scene with the fighting Finnish fisherman, and we get to see what the captain saw before his ship was bombed: warships on the horizon.

~ by Servetus on December 24, 2018.

41 Responses to “Berlin Station 3.4, first impressions [spoilers!] #richardarmitage”

  1. So, is daniel miller dead or not? I haven’t watched it since the end of episode 2. And I’ll only continue watching it if he’s indeed alive, lol..


    • All I can say based on this episode is the body is not Daniel. You can probably find out more from the EPIX press site which published spoilers for the whole season several weeks ago.


  2. Long long time ago there was a fight between Estonian and Latvian fishermen, catching fish across the borders. But that was veeeery long time ago. Gulf of Finland is definitely closer to Russian borders, so that makes sense they used this setting.

    No, Cedric is not a typical Finnish name!

    Russia is definitely doing infowar in Estonia! Just last week, our Propastop site found a staged beating scene photos, somewhere in Tallinn, in one of the districts, where mostly Russian-speakers live. But it was obviously staged, they found! And etc etc.,


    • I guess there’s some kind of British / French dispute over fishing in UK waters going on right now, I saw a news report on the BBC, and apparently it’s a hotly contested issue in Brexit negotiations. All the fishermen voted leave. So they probably just assumed it was a problem in the Baltic because as you know, these writers are not very informed.

      Cedric isn’t a very typical name anywhere, but it’s weird. Why not just call him Pekka or Antti? (those are the Finnish names I know)

      You have my sympathies on the disinformation campaign. Russian intelligence seems to be doing things to us, too, but not on the level of staging beatings.


  3. I had to decide whether to read your post first, then watch, or skip the viewing altogether. LOL – I thought he said the boots belonged to Roy Rogers. Also, even though he’s muscular and strong and the body was burnt , can you imagine Torres being able to run with a dead body the size of Daniel for as long and fast as he did? Also, I missed the part where Torres conveniently found a body bag in a deserted area. Maybe the bloody fingerprint on the gold case was Daniel’s? Nothing else makes sense. Daniel was beaten up and bleeding when he handed it over to Robert. This was maybe an attempt at some sentimentality – Robert staring at the last remaining trace of Daniel?Maybe we’ll see, at some later point, Richard Armitage playing yet another character held as a hostage or prisoner. ( MI5, John Porter X 3, Guy tied to a tree and a few other times). I find this season deadly slow and boring. Also, again I question Berlin Station or EPIX’s marketing of leaving his name off the credits. I’m thinking of the yet to come episode when Daniel is rescued and we see Richard Armitage’s name in the credits of that episode. Could they be that foolish? To paraphrase an old and un-PC phrase – No Richie, No watchie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have an EPIX sub so I looked at the subtitles — it’s Will. Although I suppose if it had been Roy they at least the cobbler would have had a chance of knowing who he was talking about.

      carrying the corpse — I thought that was implausible, too — maybe a corpse is lighter if some of the water has been sauteed out?

      he gets the bag from the back of a car he breaks into in 3.3. I did not put that detail in my summary but they filmed it.

      I have the impression that very few of Armitage’s fans are watching anymore. There were maybe two people tweeting about it last night during the show, and one of them was RA US who is also Leland’s Legions.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Are unfertilized refrigerated chicken eggs fetuses? Asking for a friend.


    • oh, man, poor sparkhouse1! The answer is that usually they are not, but they can be. The kind of eggs the average mortal buys at a US supermarket (produced in a battery) aren’t, because there aren’t any roosters in those settings. Organic eggs sometimes are, because free range chickens frequently run with a rooster or two because it’s thought to be good for the hens’ wellbeing. So unless they are candled presale, there’s a chance they could be embryos. But it’s a small chance.

      Back in the day, before industrial egg production, my grandmother worked as a candler briefly. She said it was an interesting job but that the smell was horrible.


      • I remember cracking a few fertilized eggs back in the day. A little off putting.

        Liked by 1 person

        • yeah — this whole thing is actually the reason for the style of egg preparation in kosher cooking. If you use an egg (which is neutral, considered neither neither meat nor milk) you have to crack into a separate glass dish (because glass is considered impenetrable, and it’s easy to rekosher the dish if you mess it up) and verify first that there’s no blood spot in it, which might be an embryo. There’s a complicated technical explanation here if you’re interested:


          • I never thought about a fertilized egg not being kosher. Would the egg with a spot on it therefore have to be thrown away?


            • Ahh, the answer would be no. Unless purchased from a free range producer I would guess.


            • it would depend if (a) you thought there was a reasonable likelihood it meant the egg had been fertilized, i.e., exactly, if it were a free range egg or (b) how you were cooking the eggs, because under a certain amount, a non-kosher ingredient is considered insignificant (this is why some orthodox Jews will still eat cheese with animal rennet in it). So like, if you boil eggs you have to boil at least three because in that case any single blood spot would not reach the barrier of significance.


  5. What kind of show leaves the supposed ‘star’ name off the credits – even if he/she is not in the particular episode? Oh, right, so we think he/she is dead. Which is totally STUPID. Because all the people watching the show in the first place because they like the ‘supposed star’ will NO LONGER watch the STUPID show if they think their hero/heroine is DEAD and no longer in the stupid show. This show is stupid. And don’t get me started on BB Yates. Do any of these characters lives matter to any viewers? Do any viewers actually care about the plot premise? Are any viewers actually surprised by any of these plot twists or the continuing stupid ruse of ‘is this character who we really think they are’? Tedious. All these people in the show and all their little plot points aren’t clever or suspenseful. It’s just tedious. Get Daniels’ butt back in the game cause we’re running out of pretty pictures for your blog.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think it’s a trope of spy tv that you’re always wondering about the “real” identity of the characters. It’s a rare show that doesn’t do that (Spooks was an exception, that was why it was so successful, because you could love a character, and it’s why series 9 was such a disaster, because they just torched all their audience loyalty by making Lucas North into whatshisname). However, in this show, I don’t think they do a very convincing job — they don’t fill the empty space left by these superficial characters with anything else.

      I find myself spinning conspiracy theories. Like, what if Steven is actually one of the people funding the pro-Russian cause in Estonia?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I miss Lucas North. And Ros and the Spooks gang.

        Liked by 2 people

        • yeah. I miss really caring about the show — I think it’s part of what’s contributing to my current fangirl malaise. Last night I was busy with making dad’s dinner and getting his pills and everything and I sat down at 7:40 and thought, I know there’s something I forgot to do, and it was like, oh, yeah, I have to watch that show still. Even last year I managed to be interested in plot developments even if they were implausible.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been thinking about the pacing and slowness of this show, as you’ve mentioned before. I’ve noticed this in other stuff I’ve watched in the past too. I can’t help but wonder if some of these shows suffer because they’re stretching out what should have been a 4 hour miniseries, into a 10 or more hour tv show. They could probably tell all the story they need to tell in a miniseries format and it would be better writing and more interesting for the viewers, ultimately…


    • I think that’s a really good point. If they made this BBC style in (say) four or five episodes, it might be a really different effect. I remember season 1 thinking there was too much plot for 10 hours and in season 2 that there was too little even for 9 hours. I think the problem in this series is that they’ve really failed to make us care that much about any outcome, whether Russian annexation of Estonia, the crumbling of NATO, or Daniel’s fate.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have really enjoyed your blog posts in the past (thank you for clearing up the plot line in Sleepwalker) but truthfully I am going to stop reading your “spoilers” and reviews about Berlin Station. I have come back to read them because of a sort of morbid fascination with what your “review” and perspective will be each week. But it is so clear that you really hate this show that I’m wondering why you are wasting your time even watching the episodes. Have a great Christmas and I do look forward to seeing your other posts.


    • You don’t have an actual argument about anything substantive — instead, you go straight to judging that this writing is a waste of my time.I’ll spend my time on what I please, thank you very much. It’s my life. If you’d like to spend your time elsewhere, certainly feel free. Curiosity killed the cat, you know.


  8. I don’t mind the show. It’s not great, but it is ok and has interesting locations. My standards are fairly low. I have to confess I mostly watch reality tv. I would not watch BS if I was not lured into it by RA. But there is nothing much on, opposite BS. I DVR it so I can repeat certain parts if I don’t “get it” the first time. It probably doesn’t make a difference, (at least not to the fishermen) but they were blown up by a torpedo.


    • I went through a big reality TV phase in 2016 — great stress releaser. I thought a torpedo was underwater?


      • It looks like the torpedo attack in ww2 movies where you can see the wake approaching the targeted ship, from the ship’s pov. BS version looks kind of egg shaped, dark grey, smallish, crap CGI. Hard to see, even on large screen. Maybe it is sound wave secret weapon.


  9. Re Esther: She wants to have what Dorn is having and a ‘Märkischer Landmann’ (traditionell im Osten hergestelltes Schwarzbier).


  10. It looks like the torpedo attack in ww2 movies where you can see the wake approaching the targeted ship, from the ship’s pov. BS version looks kind of egg shaped, dark grey, smallish, crap CGI. Hard to see, even on large screen. Maybe it is sound wave secret weapon.


  11. Great post and I found myself chuckling in agreement with some of your observations. I’m still hanging in with the series, but after watching this episode and wondering where the writers are going with the storyline(s), I would probably give it a miss but I’m interested in finding out if Daniel actually makes a re-appearance.

    Really loved your observation about Valerie and the eggs – I found myself interested in the roll Valerie was eating during one of the scenes and contemplated if it was a vegan roll. (What does that say about my level of concentration on the plot??!). Another observation …. why was Valerie taking top secret work home and leaving photos of dead bodies lying on her kitchen bench? 🙂


  12. Oh boy….just gonna watch it again until RA appears and surprise with Hector! The only thing I’ve found interesting is the “sound laser”. It’s already been tested in medical surgery. Thanks lovelots.


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


  14. […] for Basarov to have the razor and knowing who Nina is (although he arranged for the bugging in that weird scene in 3.4). In exchange, Kolya gives them the body of Esther’s agent. And Robert starts to decompensate […]


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