Pan Am Review: Truth or Dare

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Pan Am treated viewers to a game of "Truth or Dare" this week, while Kate and Laura essentially played the game with their lives. Everything fell into place... and then fell to pieces. It was an effusive plane ride that sealed Pan Am as one of my favorite television shows.

Pan Am Still

Having Issue
The turbulent 60s were in the spotlight here, as both the Cold War and racial topics were brought to the forefront. We could see it happening, but hearing Kate say she's in love with Nico was worth the wait. The way she and Laura shared that moment, with Laura not even disturbed about Nico's communist status, was touching. Just like real sisters, when the time arises, their affection for each other trumps all else. Laura just wants her sibling to be happy.

The dramatic way in which they took Nico was startling. Kate makes working as a quasi-agent seem so easy and glamorous, but she really is in over her head. Did it truly never dawn on Kate that her apartment might be bugged? She looked completely shocked when Nico played the tape to her.

The scene as she explained she was both Nico's and working on the part of the United States almost had me in tears. Her appeal transcends both moments of confidence and utter weakness. Kelli Garner just takes my breath away. When she and Nico said goodbye, even in a coded language all their own, I lost it. Their romance was something out of a movie and I hated to see it end. Somehow, I felt like I was the one saying farewell. It was beautiful.

People don't often realize how far we have come as a nation with regard to race until you watch something like the relationship between Joe and Laura. Just walking with him in the train station caused a fight to break out. Literally. Once Laura got to know him, she was so ashamed that she allowed herself to fear him and keep him at arm's length. Before they parted, she cuddled up and said she would always close her eyes and remember him if she ever found herself afraid again.

Truth or Dare
We learned some really fun things about the stewardesses this week, as watching their girl time together is never disappointing. Can you believe that Laura took nude photos? Apparently it's against the Pan Am code of ethics, which could come back to hurt her later. She said the photographer wasn't the type to have sex with, but definitely to pose for nudes. That's something she wouldn't have done if she had gotten married!

While she never got to tell the other girls, Colette did win her dare. She talked her way into the co-pilot's seat and Dean let her take wheel. It was the first time she has ever been portrayed as genuinely happy.

Who Was Missing?
There was little Maggie, Ted and Dean. What we did see of Dean was much better in context with Colette. Even though it's moving like molasses, I have a feeling they will eventually become more than friends. There is a mutual respect there that would build a solid foundation for them.

Even though Ted's adventures with Laura have been pleasant, too much of him can be, well, too much.

When we last saw Maggie, she was telling the vice president that his girlfriend was sleeping with Dean. It obviously saved her job, but to this point it seems nothing has come down on Dean as a result of her revelation. She got to enjoy some time with her journalist friend, and we had a show with relatively short Maggie scenes. Win win!

I appreciate what Pan Am is trying to accomplish each week. This had to be the best episode to date, and if it continues in this vein, I see no reason it shouldn't be a success. Everything about it was so well-excecuted. The acting was spot on, as were the generational references. Bring on more episodes, not just more scripts, ABC!


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (95 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


So, it's now March and Pan Am has not been on in 2 weeks- did we see the last episode of the first season? There was no mention made of it, and there is another show in its place, so what gives? If you don't continue this show, someone should be shot! I am a former stewardess and my husband and I look forward to their adventures on our screen each Sun. nite. Please let us know!
Karen and Doug Dewell


all i can say is, one of my favorite episodes.
nico and kate were very lovely through out episode seven.
hope nico returns to kate realy soon. laura knows she liked joe since they met. seemed like in
the back of her mind, people were going to say something if
she was with joe; which led to a fight at the station.
it is a shame it took her till the end of the show, to realize
joe is the one she is suppose to be with, I hope Joe and Laura
get backtogether and become a couple. I am rooting for nico and kate, joe and Laura. put this show on the air realy soon.


This is such an amazing show. I feel like it gets better every week. Nico and Kate's good bye brought me to tears. I don't want their romance to end. For the first time I was proud of Laura. I want to see more Colette and Dean


oops. I meant he and Kate! :-)


Simple the best episode to date... I was heartbroken when Nico left because I love Goran Visnjic. The tension between he and Laura was intense!


This is a FANTASTIC show and the only problem with it that I see is that ABC is not promoting it enough. It had a great showing of its Pilot episode and then the promos just disappeared in my area. Hard to keep people tuning in if you don't tease them a little bit. That said, the show uses too much flashback. I hate to start an episode in the middle of the story and then have to jump back to an earlier time period to get the explanation for what's happening on screen right now. I say, start at the beginning and tell the story! I put up with the technique because I'm in love with each of these characters but, ABC will be faced with the renew or cancel decision based on this show's ratings and this is the heart of their ratings problems. Kelli Garner turned in a performance worthy of an Emmy nomination. Love is a roller coaster and our own government put her in that roller coaster. For me, it's absolutely BELIEVABLE that Kate never had the thought cross her mind that her apartment might be bugged. She believes that she's working for the "good guys" and that blackmail is not the way to gain cooperation for the CIA. After all, she willingly volunteered when they recruited her. The show is capitalizing on the naivete of our nation still recovering from the devastation of WWII and facing a determined enemy behind the Iron Curtain. We didn't want to believe that government leaders or agencies would depart from our values while protecting our freedoms. So, now Kate knows she was duped. Watch for character development where Kate may begin to doubt her trust of Richard (CIA handler) and may want out of the whole spy game, only to be told, it's too late, sweetheart. You know too much for us to let you out. Hmmmmm..... Wouldn't that be interesting? As for Nico's return. That's already set up in that Nico has agreed to be a double agent when his government has him and his family under suspicion. Kate has already risked herself to help a total stranger defect. What would she risk to help Nico defect to save his life? I'm not worried when other characters take to the back burner in specific episodes. This is an ensemble show with most of the characters in full development. An hour long episode is really only about 44 minutes or less screen time and it's hard enough to fit everybody in. Maggie's revelation to the Pan Am exec about his mistress's infidelity doesn't necessarily mean that she betrayed Dean, too. We don't know. She could've just clued him in on Ginny's behavior and left other specifics out. After all, she flies with Dean and you don't want to make the guy that flies the plane uncomfortable but, Maggie owes NOTHING to Ginny. Stay tuned.. If there is any problem with the show itself, it may be that it is trying to take too big bite for an audience. So much is going on with all the characters, you have to view it two or three times to catch all the subtleties. Some people just don't have that kind of time. On the other hand, that was the problem with the sixties. There was a lot going on. Cold War. Space flight. Race relations. Women's Empowerment. Rock & Roll. How did we all stay sane? OH! ..and for all those Collette fans (including me) I suspect next week her character will shine. It seems they need her help to land that plane and other synopsis say that Collette and Ted leave the plane after landing to search for medical help. Might we learn more how she survived her childhood in wartime? Where does her strength come from? Time to find out! ABC: PROMOTE! PROMOTE! PROMOTE! this show and find a better time slot!


I simply loved Laura and Joe. My God... passion flowing everywhere! Best episode so far. But I want to see an episode involving more Colette and I started like Ted after his leading ep. not with Laura ofcourse but they should ad up some characters to this show. Especially heart melting guys like Niko and Joe should always stay. I want them to be permanent, otherwise I'll be very disapointed with this show.


Boringly mediocre.


Nico and Kate's goodbye was heartbreaking. YOu could tell they wanted to at least hug each other but couldn't, well at least that's how it seemed to me. I did miss Maggie but was glad to see some more face time for Collette, especially since it was with Dean.


Loved this episode and the review... Kate and Nico are amazing together, and I really hope it's not the last we see of Goran Visnjic! And I want more time onscreen for Colette as she and Kate are my favourites! I don't understand why Panam isn't a bigger success!! I love the way it makes me travel back in time, such an interesting period and the characters are well layered... Then again I guess I'm not your typical viewer... Probably the only member of my generation who hates reality TV...

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Pan Am Season 1 Episode 7 Quotes

I'm in the navy Mam, rum is the remedy for everything.


Laura: Well, Dean does seem awfully fond of you.
Colette: Not that fond.