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Pan Am Recap: It Must’ve Been Love, But It’s Over Now

PAN AM - "1964" - Life has changed on a dime for the crew of Pan Am. Since President Kennedy's assassination and as New Year's Eve approaches for the start of 1964, everyone's lives are hurtling towards new starts: Colette is caught up in a whirlwind courtship with a foreign prince, and Dean is still kicking himself over losing her; Amanda and Ted's wedding plans are racing forward, thrilling his family, but making him more nervous by the day; Kate's spy supervisor, Richard, is shot and she tries to figure out whether he or someone else is a double agent -- He warns her that the first person to ask her how he is doing will be the double agent, but the first person who does is the one person she never imagined; and Amanda makes Laura a startling offer. Meanwhile, Broyles puts Maggie in a life-threatening position-which sparks a major attraction to him -- Laura forges on, still loving the man she can't have, and Dean is put on trial for the decisions he made during the Haiti landing, on the Season Finale of "Pan Am," SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/ERIC LIEBOWITZ)
CHRISTINA RICCI, DARREN PETTIE

We’ve reached the end, folks, and it sure has been … something? Some things have definitely happened. There were words said, loves gained and lost, foreign countries visited, and historical events gracefully rammed into plot points, seemingly without reason. I feel as though we’ve been through a short war together, and though all of us came out alive on the other side, we all suffer from amnesia and a persisting sense of doom.

On what is likely the last flight that these crazies will ever take together, Ted tries to be okay with a gay wife by trying to get Dean to be okay with it. He tells Dean she’s “almost perfect,” which is sixties code for “lesbian who wants an open marriage.” Dean, as usual, is too hung up on Colette (AGAIN) to care about anybody but himself. Alas, dear Colette is in first class, being wooed by her prince. Also onboard is Captain Broyles, asking Maggie to smuggle antique jewelry through customs in what has to be the most asinine plot twist this show has made since whatever the last plot point was.

In fact, let’s get that one out of the way right now. Maggie smuggles “the jewels,” as they keep calling them, like cartoon pirates, into the country. She then insists on accompanying Broyles to his dealer, where she overhears their plan to stage a robbery and keep the jewelry without paying. Maggie calls the deal off, but later returns solo, using her impossibly tiny body to threaten the dealers into making a lucrative deal, I guess. She then lies in a bed throwing money on herself, and pulls down Captain Broyles (who spent most of the episode harassing, belittling, and shoving Maggie) on top of her. It’s the quintessential Maggie image.

Richard gets shot in the stomach, so naturally he heads right over to Kate’s house (her moonlighting CIA persona moonlights as a nurse). She gives him that Harry Potter serum that heals injuries, apparently, because he’s fine for more than a day despite having been shot. Anyway, Richard was shot by a double agent, which he knows … somehow. Whoever calls Kate asking about Richard must be the double agent, so right after that Kate runs into Mr. Anderson, who asks where Richard is. That was a close one! Anderson says that he fears Richard has “gone rogue,” which leads Kate to return to her apartment and scream at the top of her lungs about what just happened: “RICHARD I WAS JUST IN THE STREET WITH ANOTHER CIA GUY AND HE THINKS YOU’RE WORKING FOR THE RUSSIANS BUT I WAS LIKE UHHH YOU ARE, HAHA, AM I RIGHT? … RICHARD???” Richard isn’t there, and neither is the precious microfilm. Uh-oh! But then he’s back, and it turns out he was just testing Kate because he suspected Anderson all along.

Things are going swell for Colette, who dines with Prince Omar as he asks her to enter into an official courtship. This would mean six months of living in his palace, having her own staff, and (at this part I actually gasped) an unlimited clothing allowance. She’ll just have to go through a background check first, but I’m sure that’s just a formality and that Pan Am wouldn’t dare offer up a literal Prince Charming for our beloved Colette only to sweep that royal rug out from under our feet like a bunch of assholes.

But they do, almost instantly. In the background check, Omar’s people find out that Colette’s family was Jewish, and that her parents actually died in a concentration camp. She also has a brother, believed to be alive. This obviously affects Colette a great deal, but why it means calling off the courtship is unclear ( … because she’s Jewish??). They don’t even have the heart to tell us that it’s over, outright. They know we’re mad.

So Laura and Ted are in love, though, okay? That one couple is safe. (Sort of.) We all knew that was coming, and I’m glad, really. I won’t even complain (too much) about the fact that Ted only realized this once his girlfriend told him she was a lesbian. One time my friend’s boyfriend broke up with her for his bisexual ex-girlfriend and then only tried to get back with my friend when the ex came out as a lesbian. Ted is that boyfriend to me. But whatever, bygones are bygones. So when Laura tells Ted that he showed her pictures of him to Andy Warhol (wait WHAT) and they almost kiss, I cheered for them. Their world is basically ending, why not be together?

Ted trots over to Amanda’s to call off the wedding, but she tells him that she can accept his desire for monogamy and be with him only, if that’s what he needs. Still, Amanda knows he loves Laura, so she decides to enlist her services as official mistress to the sham wedding that will never be. Amanda tells Laura that Ted wants to call off the wedding, saying, “I think the main reason is you,” which: ahhh, Amanda, I’m pretty sure the main reason is you? Laura declines the offer, weird and unappealing as it may be. She stops by Ted’s to ask what the hell is going on, and he’s all, “It’s always been you, Summer. I mean, Laura.” They kiss, and it’s disappointingly passionless. Ted’s mouth looked like the mouth of a small baby rejecting food it does not want.

Dean spends some time finally getting judged this episode, but as with all too many of his other infractions, he ultimately gets off. Pan Am isn’t thrilled that he dumped that dead American in Haiti way back, and they’re almost about to fire him when Captain Broyles (feeling forgiving in his postcoital glow) shows up to stick up for Dean. Dean is saved, but loses flying privileges for six months. This is perfect, and just what he needs: more time to think about women.

Kate meets Anderson in Grand Central Station to let him know that Richard is on her couch and she’s got the microfilm. She refuses to hand it over until he tells her why she was the one chosen for the London mission that almost ruined everything. He responds by holding a gun to her stomach. Then, three other CIA agents swoop in to take Anderson down, in the middle of Grand Central Station, and Kate yells, “WE’RE ALL SPIES,” also in the middle of Grand Central Station. Then she swaggers off, insanely pleased with herself, and leaves her affiliates (?) to take care of Richard. Cool, great spy work, guys, very smooth.

There is a hitch in Ted and Laura’s newfound plan to be together, and it is slightly fetus-shaped. Amanda stops by Ted’s to tell him that she’s pregnant, and he’ll be a father, and they’ll be married immediately. Something tells me Amanda’s lying, but we’ll probably never know. I would like someone to take Amanda aside and whisper into her ear that Ted is worth neither giving up ladies nor creating pretend babies.

Before they get their New Year’s Eve festivities under way, Kate hangs out in the hospital where Richard is finally spending some time. He tells her that the world is getting more dangerous every day, and that even though she’s a girl, she can be a real agent if she wants. She’d need training, and she’d have to leave Pan Am. There was a brief window for spy sex in a hospital bed, but it fluttered away, like so many of my Pan Am dreams before it.

Dean and Ted are inexplicably just chilling in an empty airplane (as pilots do), getting drunk before the party. Ted asks Dean what he thinks he should do about his pregnant gay girlfriend (no answers there), and also tells Dean he should get Colette back. Ted heard Colette’s prince is out of the picture, so now would be the perfect time for Dean to quit circling and swoop in for her sad, heartbroken, vulnerable flesh.

The ladies are waiting in Ted’s apartment, having the most awkward girl talk of all-time (they aren’t real friends and never were), when the pilots show up, totally hammered. Dean sidles up to Colette to say, “Sorry about the prince, herm herm smug blargh,” and, ridiculously, she smiles. He even offers to use all his time off to help her look for her long-lost brother (what?). They all head out to the balcony to watch the ball drop and it is so preposterously cheesy and overwrought that I could just die. Someone actually says the words “I love us. And this.” Colette kisses Dean, and that’s the moment that I pushed my notebook off the table and said to the people on my television screen, “Just jump.” But they don’t. Colette kisses Dean, Ted kisses Laura, and everything goes slow-motion. Then it gets slower still. Then, mercifully, it stops. And then it doesn’t even hurt anymore.

Photo: Eric Liebowitz/© 2012 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.