Berlin Station 3.8, 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.

Reminder: SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

SERIOUS SPOILERS. I’m NOT kidding.

***

I write this in a mood of anger (about the episode) and frustrated distraction (because apparently if you want everyone to know to call you or need you at a specific time, all you need to do is specify that you need an hour to watch dedicated TV at 8 p.m. on a Sunday evening).

So, Daniel’s back, only to (apparently?) be killed again. I guess I have to watch till the end of this season to see if he’s really dead or not (3.2 taught me that lesson), but honestly, I fucking hate being jerked around like this. No, it’s not suspenseful, no, it’s not filled with thrills and chills, it’s just goddamn juvenile. Again, I thought we were supposed to care, but not in order to be manipulated. There’s no value added here. The whole script is disgustingly cynical. Anything can happen for any nonsense reason at any time. Maybe the Adeyemis’ surgical weapon sciency thingie will pop up in the hands of Hector, though, and in the absence of all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, he’ll put Daniel back together again.

This plot is six minutes shorter than usual, but in exchange, it feels like it has a lot of plot and more than enough filler. I will admit it was suspenseful even if I got sick of the constant cuts to the forest. Even so, apart from that: again nothing on events in Estonia, even though that is ostensibly the center of the plot and why we are going through all this; again nothing on Valerie’s weird friend. I suppose it could be the case that Frost wasn’t Diver, but after this, it sure looks like he was, and if Daniel’s dead I don’t know why it matters anymore anyway. Steven either is Diver or killed to protect Diver. Honestly, all this work for a character they were just going to kill off anyway? Daniel sort of became the equivalent of Clare from season 1 here. And if Daniel isn’t dead — did they forget that they already used this plot device in 3.2? At least this time it happened where we could see it.

And oh yeah — on the spoilers issue, EPIX posted a picture of the crucial scene in this episode bout two hours before it aired, on their press site. Cynical much? So what was that stupid “tell Armitage we love him” thing about this week again?

Man, I am pissed off. The best thing that could happen to this show is for it to die an unmourned death after 3.10. We’ve got all the pretty pictures and interviews, which was pretty much all Armitage’s fans got out of this one anyway.

Jesus fucking Christ.

***

Everything pre-titles is recap from previous episodes.

Hopefully this is the last time I ever have to post this title cap.

We open with Hector and Daniel being hunted through the forest in the dusk, I guess, or maybe the moon is coming out or the sun is coming up. St. Petersburg is pretty far north so … wait, why do I expect this show to make sense again?

Berlin Station Season 3 Episode 308: The Green Dacha

Don’t ask me what episode they took the press photo from, because on my screen they are barely visible. Hector tells Daniel to go to the Green Dacha (episode title!) one mile north; he is going to distract the hunters and will meet Daniel there later.

Cut to Tegel Airport, where Valerie and April seem to be returning from the South of France and Esther tells them they are authorized to see the Adeyemis before they are deported. April protests loudly and Esther explains that this isn’t something that can be affected on the federal level (as far as I know this is true — you get your residency permit via the city / Land, it’s not a federal office you go to). It emerges that the police didn’t find the Adeyemis’ prototype sciency weapon surgical thingie.

April is perplexed.

April thinks that the weapon’s been stolen by Aquinas / Bankole, the thug from 3.3, but when she gets a little too vocal about Esther’s apparent unwillingness to help, Valerie takes her aside, tells her she agrees, but that she shouldn’t speak that way to the head of the BfV. Valerie wants April to talk to the Adeyemis, find out if there’s something they’ve missed, and keep them on side. (Sorry April, they’re going to get screwed, and you’re going to be responsible; that’s life in the CIA.)

Meanwhile Valerie and Esther have more to hash out — Valerie informs Esther that her agent is back from Estonia — “in bad shape, but I guess he’s going to make it.” He looked awfully corpse-like last week in 3.7, but pretty much killing people off and then reviving them seems to happen often in this series. Weird, because it’s not like they seem to have any problem adding random new characters at the drop of a hat. (It’s like they all have red shirts on, though.) Did someone used the sciency sound weapon thingie to repair the German agent? So anyway, Valerie’s upset that Esther used German government resources to look for her agent: “you probably jeopardized his recovery.” So Esther hits back with the betrayal over the Fourteen Eyes vote in 3.7 (Esther gets a great line, probably the best one in the episode: “From now on, good luck getting anyone in Europe to listen to a damn thing you say”).

Still wondering about the film subsidy they got for this.

We pick up with Steven drinking tea in Afghanistan with an “old friend” and asking about Krik’s valiant service there.

This is the guy, not like we can see his face, either. No clichés at all in this portrayal of a Taliban leader. [coughs]

Steven asks him if he knows about Krik — indeed, Mr. Taliban knows the story: “everybody knows that bullshit.” He is a moderate now, he says. And he’s got proof of what happened — which he will give Steven in exchange for Steven getting them arms to fight against ISIS.

Of course you did. Between 1979 and 1989. In the middle of nowhere during the Soviet-Afghan War. And then you transferred the VHS (?) to a DVD. Because you knew this moment would come.

Apparently this is a local “most watched” vid. For training purposes only, of course. They haven’t aired it more widely because it was enough for them to humiliate the Soviet Empire. Krik also made up the story about taking the rifle off of a mujahideen.

Back in St Petersburg:

Daniel is in this picture. Can you see him?

Daniel continues to traverse the woods.

Here, Torres, who is still “hunting,” jumps Daniel. Can you see them?

Torres gives Daniel the little girl’s phone with its depleted battery and tells him to call Berlin for the ex-fill. Daniel apologizes to Torres for not believing him, and Torres says it wouldn’t have mattered anyway, it was already too late. This entire scene courtesy of them needing some way to geo-locate Daniel.

Daniel weaves unsteadily away from Torres. Can you see him? Honestly, it’s not like they needed to have Richard Armitage here. Oh, wait, that’s been the operative principle of the entire season.

Back in Berlin, Robert is trying to get a Navy SEAL team ready to pull Daniel out, but they are not cooperating.

I wonder why none of Robert’s scenes are ever filmed in the dark. Not even the sex scenes.

As always in the secure room, THEY SLIP IN A FEW AGGRESSIVE PLOT REMINDERS IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T BEEN WATCHING THIS SHOW FOR EIGHT WEEKS NOW. (Do they think they’re somehow keeping the plot secret from us by discussing it mainly in this room?) Valerie and Robert still don’t know where Daniel is, remember. The JSOC won’t go in if they don’t know definitely where Daniel is, and the failure of the Article V vote means Krik has no reason to keep Daniel alive.

Just then, the phone conveniently rings — and we get this week’s midweek teaser spoiler — they are really happy to hear Daniel’s voice, as multiply predicted. Robert uses his magic computer to geo-locate the phone Daniel’s using, and Valerie promises they’ll use the Krik “kompromat” to take down Krik and get Daniel out. Daniel warns them about Platov.

Daniel as his phone drops the call. Isn’t that an amazing expression on his face? (Actually, if you were Krik, wouldn’t you be running some kind of cell jamming operation at this point? Hmm.)

As Robert’s about to push on JSOC, guess who calls? Of course, it’s Steven! He’s sending them a file of “kompromat” that will “finish” Krik.

Steven responds to the news that Daniel’s alive, but we can’t see it because it’s shot with his face in shadow. All the money spent on this show and apparently they can’t afford lighting. It’s a terrible shame. Maybe they could get a lighting subsidy.

Steven insists on going himself! (dun dun!) because there isn’t time for JSOC to get there. He’s only a short flight away. (Okay — I just checked. It’s roughly 5000 km from Kabul to St Petersburg. I make that five hours. I wouldn’t call that short but then I don’t jet around the world in a Gulfstream either.) Steven argues with them. He has clients there! No one will notice him! In desperation they agree. (Dun dun!) Steven is relieved. Robert is relieved. Valerie leaves, telling Robert if she’s going to get the “kompromat” out there she’s going to have to “eat some crow.” Valerie’s exit leads to another one of the kind of scenes that I hate most in this show — a convoluted introduction of another minor character, typically a red-shirt, that ultimately serves no purpose other than to display some weirdness. Also, I admit that I find the constant repetition of the word “kompromat” annoying — no one even used this word in the U.S. until the alleged revelations about Donald Trump in January 2017.

But first, a shot of Steven looking tired in the Gulfstream. So stressful, all this intrigue. And then, we’re back in the forest. (I’m starting to be reminded of those scenes in films from the 1930s and 40s that take place at dances, where they use the dance to make sure every character talks to every other character.) This time it’s Hector and Torres, who casually kills one of Krik’s henchmen before he updates Hector as to what he said to Daniel.

FINALLY we get back to the detention facility. I thought it was in the airport, but I guess not. April must have had a hard time getting a cab. She establishes that the device must be in the hands of Bankole from 3.3 (“mercenaries — the Chinese are too careful for this”). Professor Adeyemi tells April you can’t use the device like a gun — it has to be aimed precisely by a skilled doctor. April says she’ll do everything she can to get them out, but that she needs everything they know about Bankole and Aquinas.

So, yeah, that pointless plot detour — Valerie meets with Esther to tell her that Daniel is alive, and suddenly, they’re best friends again! And it comes out that Esther has known all along that Krik was holding Daniel (“that’s what our intelligence indicated”) and untouchable. Oh, wait, it’s an opportunity for Valerie TO REMIND US WHY THIS KOMPROMAT IS SO COMPROMISING, IN CASE WE’D HAD OUR MEMORIES ERASED BY STROKES. Valerie wants to get it on Russian state television so that it will be believed — and Esther knows just the guy, “a sleazy tabloid reporter who’s helped us out a time or two.” The Kremlin trusts him, he’ll do it for the money, and they’ll have to do it on his terms because he’s paranoid.

Brief cut to April and BB Yates in a bar. April tells her that Daniel is alive and in Russia — and that BB’s idol status for her is over since she sabotaged the summit. (I found myself wondering idly if the reason no one knows where the weapon is is that BB has it.) April accuses BB of losing track of her purpose in the job. Anyway, blah blah, BB tells April she needs to learn the job isn’t black and white, April doesn’t have all the info, BB choosing to vote as directed by the administration guarantees she can stay in the decisionmaking process.

Back in the forest, Rodion shoots and wounds Hector. Not that we can really see it, and I’m sick of these nothing screencaps anyway, so just take my word for it.

The guy on the left is the red-shirt.

Cut back to the pointless plot detour. Esther gives him the envelope. He wants a Döner with extra lamb fat. I was a bit taken aback by this — I didn’t know that was an actual order, as your basic Berlin Döner already has an astounding amount of fat, like even more than a Big Mac.

But then, they’re not IN Berlin, they’re in Budapest in a pub called Marxim that appears not to serve Döner anyway.

When it turns out that a side of lamb fat costs €5, he asks for two. This is just strange. A whole döner in Berlin costs €3-ish. Weird, weird, weird.

Based on the size of that Döner I’d say he got cheated.

He doesn’t want to take the stuff, being afraid of Krik, but Valerie convinces him that he will be safe, and also Esther says he will be seen as a hero.

Mr. Sleazy Tabloid looks at the video on a burner phone and says “holy shit.” (It’s another mystery of this episode that everyone who sees this tape immediately understands exactly what they’re seeing — don’t ask me why.) He’ll do it, he says. As he leaves, Valerie says (second best line): “Jesus, to think that the fate of Estonia and maybe the free world is resting in that guy’s hands.”

Maybe, maybe not, because he’s a red-shirt. But anyway, back to the forest! This time, it’s Hector + Platov. Platov doesn’t want to kill Hector because “he’s the only roofer who can find blood oranges in September for me.” Then Platov offers Hector a gun, and Hector splits.

In Berlin, we suddenly have lights again, in Valerie’s office!

But apparently not at the local FSB outlet.

It’s Jack Palance Kolya calling, to say he’s intercepted Rivkin. (Told ya! Red-shirt! And Serv thinks — well, if I’d known his name was Rivkin, I’d have told you the Kremlin would never trust him for long.) Valerie gets her second warning — it’s better if Krik stays where he is, so he couldn’t allow the publication of the “kompromat.” Valerie doesn’t have a lot of patience with that.

Robert and Valerie’s solution is that Sofia Vesik will hack into the Russian state tv system and put the “kompromat” there, so it can get on the most watched show. So now we know why she’s still in the story — WHICH HASN’T BEEN TO ESTONIA IN WEEKS NOW. There’s some weird reasoning here — Robert says, we want it on this show because it’s on Russian state tv and people will have to trust it. (Not to be too cynical here, but people didn’t trust Soviet state tv back in the day and I can’t imagine that has changed much just because the Cold War ended.)  She agrees to do it, “for Estonia and for Daniel.”

Back to the forest!

You can almost see Daniel this time.

And so the pairings game runs full circle — Daniel and Hector. Hector notes he’s been shot and Daniel brings him inside the green dacha, which is about 20 yards or so away. Not that we can see any of this.

This is the vid Sofia hacks into the Russian tv computer. Apparently she interrupts a fitness broadcast to do it? Interesting — this is March of 1985, at the height of Soviet force strength in Afghanistan, and about a year before the US gave the mujahideen the Stinger missiles sometimes credited with changing the course of the war.

We get to see the video, and we see everyone seeing it. This mystifies me a bit as I don’t know how you’d understand what was in the video unless you already knew. Eventually you can see Krik in very small perspective, fleeing the scene as the Soviets get massacred, but even that would only mean anything if you knew who he was. But the CIA people watch it, and Mikhailov (the alcoholic guy who lives on Nevsky Prospekt and plays with his rifle) watches it, and does an extra shot with a shaky hand …

and we’re back to the forest.

And the sun is out. Honestly, why waste full exposure on this ugly face? Rodion and Torres are with him, incidentally.

As Krik emerges, one of his lieutenants comes to get him. He doesn’t want to be interrupted but the guy insists. Turns out that back at the ranch dacha, all the goons are watching, too. Irina and the little girl abandon him and the little girl can’t even kiss her daddy goodbye. Man, the weed of crime bears bitter fruit.

And now, what we’ve all been waiting for — actually getting to see Daniel.

I feel like US tv shows usually have better fake blood than this. Maybe the Hungarian subsidy didn’t pay for the good stuff.

Almost immediately, Steven walks in! He’s so happy to see Daniel!

This is pretty good acting from Armitage, but I kept thinking it was cruel for him to have to play these scenes about Daniel’s dead mother so immediately after his own mother’s death. Also, this scene will inevitably inspire comparison among fans to the last scene in Spooks 9.8, which was a really problematic scene, too. I think Armitage does this one better, but I haven’t watched Spooks 9.8 in the last few years. It’s another one of those things one doesn’t look to rewatch.

Daniel is not happy to see Steven, and Steven plays it cool, as if he doesn’t understand why Daniel would be suspicious. He has the nerve to say “You okay?”

(Om, what do you think, Steven? Sheez.)

Steven digs himself in deeper — when Daniel asks why Berlin Station sent him, he states that he volunteered. “I know who you are,” Daniel says, and this is the result.

Berlin Station Season 3 Episode 308: The Green Dacha

Now we get to another pet peeve of mine, not just in this show — when people who are deadly enemies have long conversations before the violence occurs. IMO, how this would have happened in real life is that they’d have started with the violence immediately rather than talking first. Shoot first, ask questions later, right? But no, they gotta talk. I get that Daniel wants details. But Daniel also knows that Steven is a trained assassin (he says it in the first minute of the scene). Is he really that naive?

Daniel unveils it gradually: this is about you … about who you were … an assassin … Diver … Your name was Diver … and you killed my mother. (Prepare to die! my mind wouldn’t stop saying). Steven flails in a very typically Stevenish way. When Daniel won’t lower the gun, he decides for the talking cure — Daniel should tell him the whole story. Then Steven turns away for a second and pulls out his own side arm. Standoff!

Cut back to Krik, playing the piano in his dacha as the полиция appears to take him away. Rodion and Torres, looking on, agreed that he’s fucked. The police give Krik a last conversation with Platov — who promises that Krik’s plan will succeed without Krik; Platov will make sure of it. (Third wink with the fencepost that something extra specially bad will be happening next week in Estonia.) Of course, Platov is only seeking to survive, he says. Platov, Torres and Rodion take a moment to toast the destruction of Estonia before Rodion trains his gun on Torres. Platov wants to know why Torres broke into Krik’s safe — his life depends on the answer. CUT! This never gets picked up; it’s simply left hanging. Torres in danger!

Back to Daniel and Steven. Steven says neither of them “want to do this” (whatever “this” is). Then we get a garbled statement from Daniel — who says he talked to Henryk before his death (well, if so, we didn’t see the smoking gun conversation), and that his instinct says he’s right, and then when challenged by Steven, he says he’s relying on his memory.

Daniel says, “I’ve been reliving the death of my mother since I was 8 years old,” and there’s a twitch in his eye. Really painful to watch.

I feel like Steven looks a lot like Lenin all the way through this episode, for some reason.

Steven suggests it’s just an idea that Daniel has talked himself into. Daniel seems a bit shaken by that, but he persists, “No, I know that you killed my mother and you killed Lucas Becker, but what I don’t know is why.” Daniel then states that he recognized Steven’s silhouette in the photo taken the night that he saved Henryk. The tension rises and Daniel threatens to kill Steven if he doesn’t start talking.

Steven lowers his arms and says he followed CIA orders to kill a target, which is what Daniel or anyone would do. He hated having to do it and having to keep it from Daniel. He says his mother’s death was collateral damage. (He will contradict that later.) He admits knowing who Daniel was ever since Daniel’s arrival. He says he was ordered to kill all witnesses. Daniel said that Steven waited till his mother was in the car to shoot — and Steven admits —

[Honestly: this plot revelation beggars belief. The CIA runs extremely extensive background checks on its candidates; I know this because I’ve been interviewed by CIA agents twice about former students and I dated someone in college who wanted to work for the CIA and I was asked intrusive questions about our relationship. There is NO WAY the CIA would employ the son of someone who’d been the target of an operation in this way. NO WAY.]

“I hate saying this, Daniel, but your mother was not who you thought she was. She had engaged in many risky relationships, which put a target on her back.”

[at this point my mind is saying to me, Steven is Daniel’s father — and had to kill his mother for that reason — and that’s why Daniel’s father was so abusive (2.1). OK, shut up, mind.]

Daniel accuses Steven of lying — and since Steven doesn’t really much, it’s always Daniel articulating the next step. Which in this case is that his mother was the assassination target. “Why would the CIA order the assassination of a US citizen unless they were an enemy combatant or–” and Steven interjects, “or, or … a traitor” and Daniel’s hands start to shake on the gun.

Steven, oh so noble, wouldn’t have taken it to the grave, but he informs Daniel, now, “Your mother was a Russian spy.” Daniel isn’t really having it, noting that there’s always been something off about Steven. HAVEN’T I BEEN SAYING THAT FOR THREE YEARS NOW? Still shaking, he notes that his mother moved in officer circles, she would have known Diver, she was smart and would have figured out whatever it was that Steven was hiding. Daniel mentions that while Diver was active, agent were being killed on both sides of the Berlin Wall and so concludes:

Diver was a double agent.

(Which would explain why it wasn’t a problem for him to slip into Stasi HQ in 3.1. Just a note.)

“If you believe that,” Steven says, “why don’t you just fucking kill me,” and he adopts a position of surrender.

Daniel hesitates. He wants Steven exposed. Steven objects that he’ll never prove it.

I pause to note his weird hairstyle and that massive forearm.

Daniel vows to spend the rest of his life proving it, “because if there’s anything I’ve learned after all these years, it’s that the past never stays dead.”

Steven agrees, pulls his handgun out again, and shoots Daniel in what looks like the gut, sort of on the opposite site from where Porter was shot all those years ago. It’s a serious shot. Daniel looks pretty well dead, I have to say.

Berlin Station Season 3 Episode 308: The Green Dacha

And they show it to us in the light this time.

Steven apologizes to Daniel: “I didn’t want this.”

And if you’re curious as to where Hector has been this whole time, the answer is under the floorboards.

~ by Servetus on January 28, 2019.

35 Responses to “Berlin Station 3.8, first impressions [spoilers!] #richardarmitage”

  1. In light of the recent announcement re Netflix and the anticipated Father Quart announcement and because Berlin STation was such a disappointing, frustrating, convoluted mess who used its #1 resource to its disadvantage instead of its advantage – I never thought I’d EVER say this – but thank the stars RA’s character is done; because I was done with it long ago. (Although I couldn’t resist not knowing what’s going on so I looked forward to your recaps every week). It’s a relief not having to worry and wish every week that this show would finally live up to its potential and stop trying to be so clever with all its overdone plot cast of a thousand characters.

    Liked by 5 people

    • It’s kind of weird — this whole experience has sort of put me off something I used to really like about TV, which was the whole “appointment” quality of watching a favorite series. I’ve mostly felt dread on Sunday evenings this time around.

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  2. Yes, the Netflix deal and the other movie in the fire i would say like always Richard is leaving the show. I am not sorry. It was such a waste of RA’s talents that I stopped watching half way through S2, to me the show is so poorly written. I just couldn’t take anymore of it. I bet he always has an “out clause” in all his contracts because it always seems like something is lined up for him before he goes. Do they always have to kill his character????

    Liked by 3 people

  3. […] think I’ll have even a reserve more of outrage left. Meanwhile, join the discussion at Me and Richard to express opinions on the episode. I’ll be chiming in there as well to bitch about the […]

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  4. I saw this coming waaaay back.As much as I always hate saying “I told you so.”, I’m so relieved this is finally over. Good riddance, Berlin Station!

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    • Sorry — this went to trash. Yeah, I’m not especially sad either. Next week is the SuperBowl and then I guess we’ll see.

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  5. Gee, I waited all day to read this – I wanted to see the episode before I read here, but from the noises I heard on Twitter (i.e. the virtual sound of muffled sobbing) I pieced it together before I read this. Which already says a lot. I went through this episode, ticking off all the expected plot points. Daniel escapes ✔️, rescue operation difficult ✔️, Steven Frost conveniently in the area ✔️, showdown Daniel-Steven ✔️, Steven is diver ✔️, Daniel’s escape is for nothing as Steven kills him anyway ✔️. And even though it was all expected, I switched off in the end and was really pissed off. Ok, some of that is me just simply pissed off every time RA has to exit via getting killed. But really – is that the ignominious end that the lead character of a show gets? Seriously, I think it would’ve been better (and more plausible) if Daniel and Esther had walked hand-in-hand into the sunset after season 2. As it is, this felt as if they kind of had to write an unexpected end for Daniel/RA. The whole season feels as if they somehow had to rewrite their plots – because of unforeseen circumstances. The result is unconvincing, predictable, clichéd, cheap even.
    BTW, I had exactly the same reaction to the whole showdown scene. This kind of bad writing where the showdown consists of a long confession/discussion. Like you say – ridiculously unrealistic. The moment Daniel said “no, I want you exposed”, I knew he had signed his death warrant. And surely Daniel would know that, too… All that talking is just such a cheap way out, a kind of “oh, which plotholes have we not filled yet, which loose ends do we need to tie up? Ah sure, let’s just talk about it. Filming it all would be too expensive.” GRAH!!!
    As for playing this scene where Daniel explores the circumstances of his mother’s death – cruel indeed. Or at least poignant. I hope for RA’s sake that he was able to switch off his mind.
    And now – tschüß Berlin Station. (I am deliberately not saying ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ – even if Daniel resurrects)

    Liked by 2 people

    • My guess is they’ve been hampered by the conflict between all the management shakeups at EPIX and the way the first season was written, with the idea of this grand trajectory they’d follow. For all of season 2 they weren’t sure they’d be renewed, and I suspect that season 2 was really what wasn’t anticipated to happen. (there’s that whole “missing episode” that I’m guessing would have served the larger plot). Then for all of season 2 they didn’t know about 3, so they tried to end it in a way that would be plausible if there was no more. Then they were renewed for 3 very late, Armitage probably begged off due to his family situation (and maybe tried to get out in annoyance over lost work like Mortal Engines), and Ifans was in a play for the majority of the time they were filming, so they were back to a possible grand narrative but they didn’t have the two main characters. I see this whole “Robert suffers a crisis” thing as a substitute for what they might have wanted to do plot-wise with the larger story. So they haven’t really provided either a consistent grand trajectory, or compelling, coherent episodic stories.

      Really frustrating that his final scene was one of two or three in three whole years, twenty nine episodes, where Armitage could show his actual talent. Probably even more frustrating for him.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It sure also didn’t help that they kept changing their writing team. I wasn’t a masive fan of season 1, but at least it had Steinhauer at the helm and there were stories in the season that made sense – even if they completely underused their lead character. Particularly in season 3 that seemed to be eroded. There is definitely some interference with RA’s personal life – and fair enough, understandable. But nevertheless, the end felt incoherent, not organic, an afterthought.
        Interesting – I had not really thought about the management changes at Epix, but that makes sense. With the funding not secure, they dithered over the show and then cobbled it together. What would be most interesting, would be to hear an insider’s view on it. RA himself preferably. (But of course, that will never happen.)
        And yes, as much as I hate RA dying on screen – he is definitely pretty good in crisis scenes like that. And I don’t necessarily mean the ‘beautiful corpse’, but what leads up to that. The little changes in modulation, the shaking of his hands, the desperate looks. In a way RA is a loss to the show. (But I am glad he is out and we can stop watching it.)

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        • I think Steinhauer is a better novelist than TV writer — I feel like he’s been part of the problem. I would love to hear what Armitage had to say about this but as you note, it’s ridiculously unlikely. Maybe in 3 years or something. That’s how long it took for him to say almost anything about the end of Spooks 9.

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  6. Thank you for these recaps. I have been holding off on resubscribing to Epix so that I could just catch up on Season 3 in one go. Now I don’t think I will bother! Agree with all of the above about a bad end for the character. I’m a sucker for the romance — I wish he and Esther could have had a happy ending!

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    • Thanks for the comment. Now that EPIX seems to be signaling they won’t revive him again, I wonder if I should watch the last two. I think it would save me $10 to cancel it now.

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  7. You’ve been interviewed by the CIA? Multiple times? Serv, what a life you have led!
    What is this Father Quark reference?

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    • When someone applies to work for the CIA, they have to list a lot of references (same with FBI). Professors are usually on the list, so most of the profs I know teaching at major universities have had at least one face to face encounter with someone from CIA or FBI personnel. What was unusual for me was dating someone who wanted to be James Bond, my first year in college. (He got an internship of some kind, but he wasn’t accepted after that, and he now operates a glass repair business in Little Rock.)

      Father Quart is the character Armitage is said to be playing in The Seville Communion. No word from the man himself yet.

      https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4194974/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_4

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  8. Ugh. I am so disgusted with EPIX and this whole series. So I was dead wrong to think the guy in the first episode, even though it was clearly Steven Frost, wasn’t Diver because – Steven Frost? But at least Daniel cleared that up in his dialogue – the old and worn trope of explaining everything. Once again Daniel Miller is shown not to be too sharp a spy ( even though he figured it out) – to put his gun down. How could he have thought it would play out? How would he and Steven and Hector escape – with Steven in handcuffs or what? Couldn’t be more pissed off – but is it worth watching the last few minutes again for the decent acting by Armitage? Nope. Agree with Guilty – not a glorious or heroic death. I hope this series gets cancelled. It doesn’t deserve to live. But I have to go back to Ep 1, because that sure looked like Daniel walking into CIA headquarters when the star for a fallen agent was being carved. The marketing team really ruined any suspense from week to week. I just want to see Steven Frost die. Can only hope Hector takes care of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • it was that same “it’s so obvious it can’t be what it seems” problem from season 1 all over again.

      Steven Frost — I still can’t tell what’s the character and what’s bad acting on Jenkins’ part.

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  9. I am an emotional wreck …angry, frustrated and sad. Is he really dead? I am having a hard time believing that they killed him off. As the main character, it seemed his parts were minor and not central to the plot. But I am so happy to hear that he’s got some upcoming projects!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Daniel & Frost were sure talking for someone else to hear (and Frost was sure emoting) . Us? Don’t think so. Hector? As a witness to Frost’s confession, but it doesn’t really matter if Daniel is dead.

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    • it’s true that Daniel’s open emotionality was a contrast to most of the rest of the show. Chalk it up to a week as human prey?

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  11. Gotta wonder if/how they ” save” David. Or whether/if Hector’s knowledge of Steven’s role in these events will be played out.
    Back to Alcoholic Guy Doing Compulsive Kalashnikov Maintenance While Drinking Vodka (isn’t this mandatory among us who favor that rifle?): Like the Russian Playwright who stated ” If you introduce a weapon in the First Act,It Must Be Used By The Third” will HE be the weapon or the wielder? Will he be the Oswald or the Ruby?
    Yeah,it’s an unnecessarily convoluted show,but I appreciate it for what it is. And attempts to be.

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    • Thanks for the comment. Do you mean Daniel?

      I hadn’t thought about the possibility that Mikhailov would try to assassinate Krik — but if they are going to build that in, it’s yet another plot strand. I mean: Estonia? Estonia?

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  12. Yes , I DID mean David. Typos and sleep deprivation tend to hang out together.
    Yes, I agree-way too much ” dead but he got over it” bits; but I enjoy the show for what it is.
    And bonus points for the gratuitous use of the David Bowie/Trent Reznor ear work in the opening credits.
    I will keep watching and see where it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a pile of…..
    I never thought I say that but please Epix, whatever you’ll do next don’t revive him again!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree. Just let him go, lol. I have never watched the episode of Strike Back where Porter gets offed – I could never watch that – Porter was such a solid guy, he will live on forever in my mind out there in the wilds. I really don’t know if I want to watch Daniel’s final episode of Berlin Station, either. Such an ignoble end to his character (he sure looks pretty in all those screen caps here though).

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      • If I were you I wouldn’t watch it to be honest!
        His last episode of SB was hard to watch, his scene was really short and you could feel that they had to write him out and wouldn’t have written it like that if he hadn’t landed Thorin and wanted out.
        I am not sure if it’s the same with BS and he wanted out or wanted to do lesser filming for season 3 because of his mother’s illness at least, but for me this was so badly written that I really don’t want him to stay any more

        Liked by 1 person

        • I only watched that bit of SB once — to confirm it happened — and I’ve never gone back. I was not at all interested in the further plot of that show. If this show continues to play in “Berlin,” it could have been of greater potential interest to me but it’s not worth the price if Armitage isn’t in it.

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          • I watched one or two seasons after RAs exit because of the guest stars but was a bit thankful that RA landed Thorin and hadn’t taken part in the ‘new’ Strike Back because it sure changed quite a lot.

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  14. Your recap captures the episode perfectly Servetus. BS is such an odd programme, it has great cinematography, imaginative set-pieces, maturity in some senses but in other ways, it’s like a children’s adventure story. We have two men, running for their lives from extremely dangerous soldiers, in vehicles, with dogs, flame-throwers, heavy weaponry, yet Daniel and Hector are able to outrun them, stop to crack jokes with Torres and manage to reach the green dacha, And why would they be safe there? Perhaps it has a magic force-field protecting it because it must be one of the most obvious places to be found.

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    • I guess Krik et al don’t know about the Green Dacha? LOL.

      I wish they had found a few writers of the caliber of Bogdanski as cinematographer. OTOH the fact that he’s doing this job suggests that he can’t fill his time completely with film work, which is a shame.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Somehow I hope that next episode Daniel will wake up, in bed together with Ester, and it turns out that whole season 3 was just a bad dream.

    Liked by 1 person

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

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