Berlin Station 3.9, 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.

***

I can’t figure out if this episode was just a lot slower, or my lack of investment in the outcome has generally let the remaining steam out of the series for me. In any case, given that we were two hours out from the end of the season tonight, this episode felt relatively suspense- and action-free until about the last ten minutes or so. To me this tempo switch was odd — Daniel’s death notwithstanding — in that there are still a lot of unresolved plot strands.

Main developments: the folks in Berlin discover and respond to Daniel’s death; Torres gets away from Platov; Platov pursues the infiltration into Estonia; we see a demonstration of the surgical weapon thingie; Robert is sort of losing it; Berlin Station finally takes action to try to influence the course of things in Estonia. Things we still need to find out next week: what happened to Hector? where did Steven go after the end of 3.8? what is Steven’s relationship with the Russians? what is up with China? Did the Adeyemis get deported? Why is that sciency weapon thingie plot in this show? Will Estonia survive? What side will BB Yates end up on? What is the deal with Nina? Have we simply abandoned Gilbert Dorn? And what happened to Valerie’s friend from the first few episodes?

***

We open in Tallinn.

Sofia in Berlin is on the phone with her buddy, Jan, who has called because they’ve gotten phishing emails. She suspects a malware infection. As they’re talking, the electricity goes out in the city and their offices are invaded by armed men.

Time for titles. No Armitage, no Ifans.

Although we still get his picture.

After the titles, we go to Esther’s apartment.

We see the scene that EPIX and Armitage spoiled this weekend — Esther wakes up to a phone ringing and reaches for Daniel. It’s the Berlin police, calling to inform her that they have a body, found at Mohrenstr., that corresponds to the description she gave them. We see her leaving the apartment. You wouldn’t necessarily know this, but Mohrenstr. is right in the center of historic / downtown Berlin, where all the tourists go. So it’s a bit of a slap in the face for a body (we presume Daniel’s) to be abandoned there. Then again this station doesn’t look like one in Mitte anyway.

Esther (Mina Tander) identifies the body.

The detective tells her they think it’s an organized crime hit, but she identifies the body as that of Daniel Miller. Our friend Rodion observes as Esther identifies the boy and texts Platov, “it’s done.” So Platov must have occasioned the return of the body.

In the secure room at Berlin Station, Valerie and Robert are watching Krik’s arrest in Russia and debating why they have no information from their own team. They attribute the Tallinn blackout to Platov. Robert tells Valerie not to second-guess her decision to let Steven retrieve Daniel. While they are sitting there, the phone rings — it’s the police, telling them that a body has been found and it’s Daniel. They take an embassy car to the scene (weird insofar as they could probably walk there just as fast, it’s about 8 blocks).

 

However, I’m guessing they’re not actually IN Mitte because I think this station is in Lichtenburg, well east of the Mohrenstr., and that would have merited a car ride. Something was missing in continuity here.

Esther lets them through the tape barrier. The body temperature indicates Daniel’s been dead 18 to 20 hours. They rehash last week’s plot a bit — no sign of other bodies. Esther and Valerie agree that Esther can contact Daniel’s father to inform him of his son’s death once the arrangement was made. Valerie and Robert again dither over whether Robert should have left Daniel in Tallinn — this is part of a rising curve throughout the episode in which Robert seems to be approaching breakdown.

At the dacha previously known as Krik’s, Platov and the boyz are going over their plan. They’ve got various troops off the coast, and apparently Estonian MPs are giving up their weapons. One of the henchman is so silly as to ask about the financing, however.

and this happens. It gets a bit more graphic but I didn’t really want to picture that on my blog.

Platov assures him he has the money and screams for everyone to leave him.

Back in Berlin, an interlude — Bankole, the thug from 3.1 who has been tailing the Adeyemis, is pestering Dove Adeyemi on the phone, when he’s attacked discretely with a sciency weapon thingie and falls down in the street. So I guess it’s not Bankole / Aquinas who stole the weapon. Weapon, weapon, who’s got the weapon?

Cut back to the dacha, where Platov says “I’m not a fan of the easy kill” (don’t know why anyone would care) and accuses Torres (and Hector in absentia) of running a scam on Krik. Torres denies it — but apparently he’s overheard the previous conversation: does Platov need money to pay for the Estonian gambit? It turns out he needs $400M overnight. Torres offers to broker all of Krik’s art in Berlin for a ten percent cut. Platov’s not very suspicious, in my opinion. Torres uses it to get himself to Berlin as the deals must happen face to face; Platov reluctantly agrees but decides to go along.

Next, BB just happens to be walking past the memorial to the Berlin Wall at Bernauerstr. It’s not clear why but it is visually striking.

BB’s talking to “Jason” in Washington — she reports the situation in Estonia. Jason tries to tell her that it’s just an aging power grid, but she reports a conversation with “General Lancer” stating that it’s due to jamming. Jason switches topics and tells her that everyone is very pleased with her performance in the Estonia situation and she is up for the directorship of the CIA. Hmmm. It’s almost like you’d think the US government is being steered by Russian policy interests. Hmmm.

Still in Berlin, April bounces into the secure room at the station in order to update everyone about the sciency weapon thingie.

She’s distressed to learn that Daniel is dead. After everyone rehashes the plot of 3.8, it is revealed that there are no forensic traces on Daniel’s body. The BS gang think Platov had him killed and deposited here so as not to allow for any connection to Russia. They are interrupted by an irate “Jason,” who’s just learned that Daniel is dead and asks why he is only learning about it now. Valerie urges action on Estonia, but when “Jason” refuses, Robert loses it, pointing out that this is “the Crimean playbook.” (This show is wearingly jargony.) April then also gets upset about what the US’s word is worth. (I also admit that it’s jarring to have the CIA speak up for truth, justice, and the American way.) Jason then puts Robert “on leave” pending an investigation of Daniel’s death, as he was the last to see him. As Robert leaves, he urges Valerie to seek out BB’s help.

Sofia is still in Berlin, too.

She and April are comparing notes on what it’s like to have a good colleague / friend killed suddenly, and Sofia reasons that the phishing attacks referred into the first scene probably explain the situation in Estonia: her company’s server is being used to jam the power grid. Sofia can fix that if she can get back to the server and April reasons that if the lights in Tallinn went back on, the Russian encroachment could be exposed in progress. So Sofia tells April she needs to go to Estonia.

Cue the beginning of a series of scenes with Robert and Nina that reveal the extreme emotional duress that Robert is feeling. If I were a fan of Orser’s, I’d probably have enjoyed these more. He’s really a man on the edge and pretty convincing, actually. So first, he goes home and he doesn’t have his keys, and Nina invites him into her apartment.

All roads lead to Berlin: Torres and Platov are riding into town — Platov uses Torres’ phone to call “Helmut Reinhardt,” which rings at the CIA station. I think it’s the same computers / telecommunications guy from season 1 who takes the call, and, after a bit of hesitation that causes Platov’s driver to ready his sidearm, arranges a meeting for Torres and “Helmut Reinhardt.”

This guy. So apparently Helmut Reinhardt is a real person who owes the CIA something.

Meanwhile Valerie is observing the CIA side of the exchange; Mr. Telecommunications observes that Torres may be bankrolling the invasion. They note that they have no jurisdiction to arrest Platov, but of course Esther does, and she’s happy to be interrupted in the middle of a meeting to do it.

Nina’s apartment: she’s making pasta or maybe cabbage and trying to sympathize with Robert, who’s all over the place — confessing that he got someone killed and then denying it. He notes that his ex-wife thinks he has a strong paranoid streak. He’s apparently researched her, because he informs her that her backstory about a residency in Berlin doesn’t check out. She responds with the story that she used a different name because she was being stalked. Robert points out that this is a technique being used to get him to open up. Then he starts explaining plot, including stuff I definitely didn’t notice — when he was in the shower, he thought someone was in his flat, and the last time he was over, he saw his mail on her shelf, and they’ve been running into each other too often.

Sob story.

Back to the Torres / Platov plotline, they meet with an art specialist, and while they are talking, Esther bursts in to arrest them. While Plato is in custody, he’s visited by Kolya, who tells him Moscow wants him to stand down: “Estonia can wait.” Platov indicates he won’t.

Nina’s apartment: Robert explains the thing with the watch. Nina bent the crown to send a signal to Basarov to “open his veins.” She asks him to leave because she has to work; he doubts whether her work story would hold up. She tells him a kind of sweet story about how much she liked him and how wrong she was; he hesitates, but then reasons that maybe he should be paranoid and locks them both in her apartment.

As Valerie leaves work, she’s confronted by Kolya in the parking garage. He admits that he knew about Krik, although he denies any knowledge of how Daniel died. He offers to exchange full information about the planning for the invasion if she will help him stop Platov.

Then we’re back with Platov, in custody. He insists that he didn’t know di Santo (Torres) well, and was having the art appraised at the Kremlin’s behest, then gives a name of someone Esther can contact to verify the story. He denies knowing Daniel Miller (let alone killing him), and Esther threatens him horribly. (At this point I found myself wondering exactly what Frost’s relationship is to the St Petersburg oligarchs — i.e., when he says he has clients in Komarovo, who exactly did he mean?) After letting him go, she then visits Torres, who is also still in custody. She informs him that he can go, but also that she’s more or less blown his cover (he’s angry) and that Daniel is dead.

When she gets home from work, the letter from Daniel (3.2) has arrived.

She opens it in a great deal of distress and sees the picture of Henryk and (we assume — it’s not clear if she does) Steven is in it, with the word “DIVER” written across the back of it. She sobs.

Back to Torres — he’s having a medical examination. BB walks in — he remarks that a scar on her neck healed nicely. She informs him that “they” want to “bench him,” but he wants to pursue Platov, Rodion, etc. She notes that the administration doesn’t want them pursued, and after she informs him she could become CIA directory, he guilts her about her complacency and leaves, returning to Berlin Station. Valerie and April welcome him, and as they commiserate about the sidelining of Robert, BB Yates enters the station. BB concedes that her behavior in Nice was wrong and she wants to fix it; Valerie warms BB that she better be on the right side this time.

The reconfigured team.

This session seems to be mostly about the rules of engagement, and boy, do they cram a lot of new information in, all of a sudden. The troops that Kolya has confirmed to Valerie are waiting to enter Estonia won’t be wearing uniforms, so NATO can’t fire on them preemptively. Torres wants to go back to help out NATO. Valerie is more interested in the political side: Kolya told her that they’re going to call an emergency referendum and elect a new prime minister (“just like Ukraine!”). We get a new name: the new PM will probably be Igor Savisaar, a nationalist who BB thinks is being bribed by the Russians. BB has gotten “General Lancer” to observe the Gulf of Finland with a drone so they can plan countermeasures. Torres believes a counterstrike will be necessary because Rodion will be leading the Russian forces. Valerie assigns BB and Torres to deal with Rodion. April wants to put Sofia back in Tallinn, which Valerie resists because Sofia will be needed as an opposition figure to Savisaar, but April convinces her as it’s the only way to turn the power in Tallinn back on.

The people who will save Estonia from the Russians.

So they decide to go to Tallinn — I assume this one of the remaining US bases in southern Germany, i.e., they’ve gone a significant distance from Berlin. BB talks them onto a C-130 to Tallinn over the protests of the responsible sergeant, who’s condescending till he sees her ID and then becomes pretty obsequious under threat of being called by the president of the U.S.

Bear with me; six minutes left.

Back to Robert vs. Nina — he’s still ruminating about his job and his potential paranoia, but now with Nina tied to a chair and gagged. He also connects Nina to the murder of Bankole, although I thought the person who killed him was a man. Anyway.

Platov has returned to the dacha, where we see him confirming that he has the money he needs. His formerly doubtful lieutenant is impressed. Platov calls Rodion in Estonia, and tells him “you’re good to go.” The lieutenant then takes Platov to the green dacha, where they observe the big blood splat from Daniel’s body, but also track a further blood trail to the basement where we saw Hector hiding last time. They’re going to track him dogs.

In Estonia (near Tapa, I assume), Rodion and his troops are stalking through the forest. They run into a NATO unit, and there’s a standoff, until someone from the Russian side fires first — they down all the NATO troops, including Torres’ friend from (I think) his previous visit to the NATO troops there. Then, when one of Rodion’s men notes that they fired first, i.e., that wasn’t what they wanted to have happen, Rodion kills him and a few more and pronounced that “history will say they did,” i.e., that NATO fired first. The show ends on a shot of Torres’ dead friend.

One more week of this. I’m too tired to proofread this installment.

~ by Servetus on February 11, 2019.

26 Responses to “Berlin Station 3.9, first impressions [spoilers!] #richardarmitage”

  1. Once again, thanks for summarising it all.
    Not sure whether I need to warn for spoilers in comments, but just in case…) So – DM is well and truly dead then. So dead in fact, that they are not even showing the corpse to the audience? Interesting. (RA couldn’t get out of there fast enough…)
    Just a stupid question – why are Platov and Rodion involved in bringing back the body and leaving it in Berlin city centre of all places? I mean, ok, he died in that green dacha in the forest, but Frost was the killer. So does that imply that Frost and Platov/Rodion/Krik are in league? Or did Frost just kill and then leave the body, for the Russians to find it? And why would they have gone to the trouble of shipping the corpse all the way from Estonia to Berlin?
    Sorry, BS just always confused me. I am totally with Armitage on that! (great little edit!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • “RA couldn’t get out of there fast enough” LOL. Me neither. After the second episode this season I was beyond done. Thank goodness he quit this tedious show. I have a feeling the producers didn’t appreciate his long emails (as he has indicated others such as Bryan Fuller has) and he wisely moved on. Thank Richard Armitage for leaving and sparing me any more of this drivel.

      Liked by 3 people

      • One more week. Maybe it will somehow make sense then.

        Like

        • I laughed. Out loud. (Sorry). But your continued optimism regarding this show actually making sense is funny. I mean endearing. Ok, no. It’s funny. I have no comprehension of what is going on. I can’t keep track of the people in the show. The ones I do have an interest in have such little screen time. It is so much work manufacturing interest and enjoyment of something that should be pleasurable to watch. Now that he is for sure dead, even though I eagerly each week can hardly wait to read your synopsis of the latest episode – this time I totally skimmed the entire thing. You put so much work into it and are so kind to share it with us….but this show is so TEDIOUS! Now the pictures don’t even hold interest anymore. (No Daniel Miller = no interesting pictures). I admire Leland Orser’s perseverance but not even he holds my interest anymore. He’s a lovely man I’m sure but it all seems so….desperate.

          Liked by 1 person

    • corpse: we get a glimpse of the back of its head. (It’s clearly not Armitage.) But no, not like last week.

      You’ve hit on this week’s troublesome plot point — why bring Daniel’s body back to Berlin at all? The stated explanation in the show (“so it’s not connected to Russia”) is really flimsy and it’s not clear why Valerie would even believe her own explanation. As far as the Russians know, the CIA thinks Daniel is still alive, so why not simply allow that fiction to persist?

      I think they were implying that Frost is somehow in league with Platov (Frost does say twice that he has clients in that region), but if that’s true, why not just let the Russians kill Daniel rather than the wild goose chase all over Afghanistan? I could hypothesize that Frost gets the “kompromat” in service of Platov, but then it would make even more sense for Platov to kill Daniel as a quid pro quo (although of course that wouldn’t allow Daniel that whole long speech where he explains the plot to us). In any case in the scene where Platov and his lieutenant go to the green dacha, it doesn’t seem like they know Steven had been there. Rodion seems to know that Hector is the source of the “extra” blood spatter. (It also raises the question of why everyone is saying “go to the green dacha” in the previous episode, as if Krik, Platov et al were ignorant of its existence.)

      Like

      • Oh sorry. I was writing my comment while you posted yours – but we are on the same page as to how ridiculous some of this is. I didn’t think of your idea that Frost might be working for Platov.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for explaining this. So I was on the right track with my objections.
        Honestly – ok, I didn’t invest any more time or thought in this show, but nevertheless, I am so done with it. The only reason because I was willing to support it (and to grieve Daniel) was because this was (supposedly) a leading role. But BS has lived up to its unfortunate abbreviation almost from the first scene…
        Also, I am not surprised that there is no announcement for S04 so far. Ok, many of us are probably not going to continue watching, anyway, but with the convolution and convulsion continuing, I suspect a lot of people have grown tired…

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Ugh. The writers must think we’re all morons. Sometimes it’s the small things that get you. I looked it up and it takes 17-19 hours to drive from Tallin to Berlin depending on the route and you have to go through 4 countries. They say he was dead for between 18 to 20 hours. So, basically a long shot. They would have had to find the body almost immediately and then left on a dime. With everything about to break in Estonia, why would they send Rodion, of all people, on this job? And how did he get back in time for the scene with the NATO troops? Are we to think they would fly? How would that play out? Not likely they would have a plane at their disposal and even so, how would they sneak into Germany that way? It makes little sense. And why would Esther have the Berlin police on the lookout for Daniel’s body? Didn’t she know he was in Estonia? Also the speculation as to why they would need to get his body to Berlin is not credible . A disappeared body of a CIA agent in Estonia or any of the four countries they have to drive through would be much easier than taking that risk. But the writers were willing to sacrifice sense for a scene giving us Esther with Daniel’s dead body.
    Also, why did the Germans and/or CIA let Platov go back to Estonia with all they know? Why not take care of him in Berlin and then, well, I guess they could drive 19 hours and dump his body back in Estonia. His story about having art appraised flies in the face of the scenes where we saw the auction. They caught him in the act of selling someone else’s art on the black market.
    And, after how BB left Berlin Station in disgrace in Season 2, how did she rebound so quickly, and now be considered for Director, with the same administration?
    BTW, I checked again, and the Nigerian’s murderer was a short person, someone in a hoodie, so hard to tell if it was male or female, but to me, the hands, though gloved, looked small, so it could be Nina.
    I am so done with this series – well, except for next week.
    Thanks for staying up late to post this. I was waiting for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • i assumed they flew from Petersburg to Berlin and then had a driver waiting in Berlin (as someone had met Basarov that way a few episodes ago). The question of how Rodion got to Tallinn is more pressing; you’re right that he wouldn’t have been able to drive in that space of time, and Estonian airspace is supposed to be dead, so it would again have to be a clandestine flight. Tbh, less plausible than all that for me was Rodion’s attack on the NATO people in the forest, b/c I didn’t understand why the NATO people would let themselves be ambushed like that. (Also, given NATO’s record on actually defending people, the thought that they’d take an offensive stance in a situation like that immediately after the Article V “no” vote was laughable).

      re: Esther, that could be explained with her having put out a bulletin a few episodes ago. It’s not the most implausible BfV-related plotline we’ve seen in the last three years, at any rate.

      I didn’t find it implausible that the Germans would let Platov go if they felt couldn’t charge him with anything. She said “the Kremlin is protecting him,” which I assume menas there was diplomatic pressure.

      I agree that the BB Yates plot is implausible, esp if it’s a woman.

      And I didn’t have the energy to go back and check out who killed Bankole. I find Robert’s apparent naivete that his own flat could have been bugged silly — with that little security on his door. I mean, he works for the CIA.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A note from the local, again.

    Nice night view on our Parliament – Riigikogu.

    The writers must have done their homework to suggest the next PM would be someone called Saviaar. We have indeed a politician with that last name, and his son (Erki, not Igor), but when you read the “Controversy” section of the article below, it makes sense to use that name. Obviously, it is only relevant to Estonian viewers (or readers, in my case).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Savisaar

    Like

  4. Thanks lovelots Serv. No need to watch it anymore. I will be relying on your post instead for other Daniel’s details.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Nice summary!

    Even though I’ve quite liked the season as a whole, I feel that some areas of this season have been a bit lax – the diver storyline, over-complicating things, and how many unanswered questions have dragged out through the season – surely all can’t be answered in the final episode?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It wasn’t Daniel’s ear on that corpse. I guess TPTB don’t know or care where a majority of the audience came from–RA–and that was sloppy and insulting. And where did he get burned and tortured? Supposedly, he was shot by Frost…

    So, next epi we see Esther waking up in her own bed and we hear the shower running…it’s Daniel or Bobby Ewing, or even Bob Newhart, I don’t care at this point, just make it all come to an end with someone having had a horrible nightmare. Besides me…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ok, unless I missed something; how did Platov know that Daniel was at that house. Torres told Hector, Hector told Daniel and they met up and only other person who knew Daniel was there was Frost. Makes me suspicious that Frost is more Russian then American. And, Esther won’t rest until she gets whoever killed Daniel.

    Like

    • To me, it’s implausible that Krik, Platov et al would not have known about that house and searched it, if it’s really only a mile away.

      Like

  8. Could we find out what happened to Daniel’s box that was at the beginning of Berlin Station season1 episode 1. Thank you

    Liked by 2 people

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

    Like

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