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Pan Am Recap: Neck Licking

PAN AM - "Secrets and Lies" -- Fate deals a blow to Dean and Colette's budding romance. Maggie writes a critical story for the Village Voice against her congressman's politics but doesn't count on falling for him after she submits it; though she wants to resist, the physical attraction between them is undeniable. Kate finds it hard to move beyond her last spy assignment and is haunted by the repercussions - she faces a fate similar to Bridget's if she cannot fake her way through a lie detector test. And Laura is in a tailspin as Ted thinks he's found the love of his life, on "Pan Am," SUNDAY, JANUARY 8 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.  (ABC/ERIC LIEBOWITZ)
JEREMY DAVIDSON, KELLI GARNER

It’s been a month since we’ve seen the Pan Am crew, and some of the staff got bored on their break. Maggie picked up freelance journalism, sort of, and Laura is now apparently taking photography classes. Laura needs to practice taking portraits of incomprehensibly fickle pretty ladies, and fortunately she’s got Maggie right there. Maggie is waiting to hear back about a piece she wrote on the evils of Congressman Rollings. (Burning his speech/hotel room were not enough.) Like some sort of moth drawn to the flame of crazy, Rollings himself shows up at Maggie’s door at that very moment to ask her on a date. She pretends like she’s annoyed, but she loves it.

Perhaps more urgent, Kate just shot somebody and has been standing in that hallway holding the murder weapon for God knows how long. Anderson tells Kate that she needs to run. Not even so much as a “thank you for saving my life”! Honestly, sometimes it feels like there is no real reason I can see as to why Kate is involving herself in this espionage business.

There are two sets of lovers taking nighttime strolls in New York tonight: Ted and Amanda, and Dean and Colette. Amanda won’t let Ted into her apartment/vagina even though Ted has been holding her hand ALL NIGHT. Dean and Colette, having already consummated their love in a barnyard, are on to bigger discussions. For instance, Dean wants to tell people about them, which makes sweet, sweet Colette smile.

So obviously Bridget comes back, because Kate helped clear her name and now Bridget can return to her life at Pan Am (most lenient employer ever, by the way), and probably nobody will even be that curious as to why she left, least of all Dean. At least that’s what Bridget hopes for, because she came back for him. I know he looks like Pilot Teen Ken, but what do all these ladies see in Dean, anyway?

Kate, anxious to be rid of her spy duties now that they sometimes include murdering bad guys, meets Richard in the park. He clarifies that it’s her job to help Bridget “transition” (they rely on these couriers a LOT). He also informs Kate that she’ll have to take a polygraph test in London to assure the operatives there that she was really only a witness to the murder. Her face goes, “ … a witness? I totally shot that guy. To death!” but Richard doesn’t seem to notice. He tells Kate that she’s “done good.” Richard is one of those people who you think are really mysterious and thoughtful, and then you just realize they don’t speak much because they are idiots.

Laura then calls on Ted to fulfill the “pictures of creeps you’re in love with” portion of her coursework. Ted makes use of this opportunity to ask Laura if she’s still a virgin and how, hypothetically, a man might get into her pants, or really the pants of anyone her gender, he’s not picky. He’s still annoyed about Amanda’s unbelievably prudish refusal to sleep with him after spending an ENTIRE WEEK hanging out with him. In fact, he plans to break up with her for it. Laura tells Ted that she’s not one of those girls who wants to “save herself,” and Ted practically levitates off his chair in lecherous glee.

Just as Dean is telling Colette that her girl money isn’t good around London, Bridget shows up at the Pan Am offices. She asks for a moment with Dean, and sweet Colette agrees because she is graceful and poised and kind. Dean asks Bridget why she’s here, which is a damn good question because Bridget WHY ARE YOU HERE. She was better off crying in windows. Dean is, understandably, very angry with her, and it’s the kind of anger that you only feel when you love someone. He talks to Colette on the plane and insists that they’re okay, and she’s calmed because she is a bright beacon of hope among these soul-sucking goblins she calls co-workers.

If there is still time to edit the upcoming last episode of Pan Am, my request to the writers is that it end with a spontaneous plane explosion, from which only Colette drifts away up to heaven on a cloud, haloed and robed in glittery silk. Before that, though, a final good deed: When Bridget asks Colette to talk Dean into giving her a second chance, Colette agrees.

Laura is developing pictures of Ted and hanging them up like some kind of serial killer. I mean, dark room scenes are only used for serial killers, right? That is a plot twist I could get behind. (“There’s a murderer on this airplane and we’re not landing until we find out who he … or she … is!!”) Anyway she pulls back the curtain to her living room, destroying, unfortunately, a lot of the evidence that the FBI would have had to work with. Maggie is telling her how much she really loves Chris now when Mike calls — seems he’s running her poorly written story after all, because there is no possible other thing they could fill the paper’s blank space with. It’s really a shame to think about what this could mean for Maggie’s newest inexplicable and opportunistic romance.

In the London hotel, where the Beatles may or may not be staying (history!), Colette watches Bridget place a hand on Dean’s, and that’s when we know that she knows it’s over. Bridget’s trying to explain to Dean why she was gone, but he knows there were other men. He saw them everywhere they went, like these overtly suspicious partygoers with obvious secret business with his girlfriend that they didn’t even try at all to hide. Dean says it’s over, but he’s lying like a big dumb stupid liar whom I hate.

Mr. Anderson has offered to give Kate lying lessons, because her passing the polygraph test is imperative to his career. He confessed to the shooting to protect both of them, so now he has to coach her through the lie-detector test. He tells her to imagine a different question from the one being asked so that her “yes” can feel true. She starts crying because she is overwhelmed with guilt, which Anderson finds so disgusting that he kicks over his lamp.

Though Dean tries to tell Colette that it’s her he wants, she knows he doesn’t fully mean it. She decides to leave him, and another relationship ends before it ever really started. She doesn’t want to be in the middle of Dean and Bridget, so she asks him to leave, and then she cries, which I hate. What was the purpose of all this? Pan Am is like a fisherman, I’ve decided. He sets up everything just so. He places a worm on the hook, and he throws out the line, and he lets the bait bob in the water. And then I come swimming up, and so do you, and right when we’re about to take a bite, the fisherman cranks the line back in and hightails it back to shore. He doesn’t even really like fish.

Kate passes her polygraph test despite hesitating for a million years when the interrogator asks if she did in fact witness Mr. Anderson shooting the bad guy. She tells Anderson she’ll never forgive herself, which prompts him to tell her that, despite what she and every other person with six senses and a memory tends to believe, she’s “very good at this.” She doesn’t say it outright, but her expression suggests that she agrees. Murder schmurder, you know? It’s all part of the job.

Bridget makes a final plea for Dean’s heart and tells him that she had to leave because she was working for British Intelligence (is it bad if I was sort of, just a little, hoping she’d get sniped for saying that? I mean, is she just allowed to say that??). Dean is like, “That makes sense.” Bridget tells him to look at her and tell her that he doesn’t love her, and he gets a quarter of the way there but then just licks her neck or something. They have sex. Oh, to see Dean explain this turn of events to his parents!

Ted stops by Laura’s apartment to give her a new camera because he’s thankful that she talked sense into him. Amanda’s worth waiting for because she’s the kind of girl who will make his dad feel like some pansy man, so he’s going to propose. Laura loves him and wants to be the one he proposes to, but she doesn’t say anything. Nor does Maggie, who goes to Chris’s apartment to tell him about her article (and her feelings), but doesn’t try very hard at all. There’s not so much time left for Pan Am, so they’re going to have to speak up soon to settle in for the end. I mean, how many outlandish plot twists could possibly be left?

Photo: Eric Liebowitz/ABC