No time was wasted trying to explain to new viewers who is who or what happened during Berlin Station Season 1, and I appreciate that.
There was never a lot of emotional baggage or wasted scenes before, and Berlin Station Season 2 Episode 1 jumped right into the fray of the latest operation in Germany.
An alt-right political candidate intends to win in her run for office, and she'll ensure her victory by taking on a violent partner to...swing the election? I'm not sure, but I like the possibilities.
There are quite a few new faces in Berlin. BB Yates is the new station chief. She's brought in when things have gone so bad they need somewhat of a cleaner to get things working right again.
I would have thought she would be a play by the rules type of gal, but if she has rules to live by, she appears to have written her own book. That became apparent when she was playing along with another new face, Richard Hanes.
Hanes is an ambassador and voice for the president. From what he was saying, the president wants things to roll smoothly for the alt-right candidate, Katarina Gerhardt. Something about that doesn't sit well with viewers, nor does it sit well with Yates and Robert.
Robert was practically turning inside out in his skin while Yates assured Hanes everything was going to be fine, just fine. They'll do whatever the president wants. Then she told Robert afterward he needs to pay a little better attention because she was blowing smoke up Hanes' ass.
Like any skilled intelligence operative, she'll make nice with the people above her and then do what she thinks is right for her station. There wouldn't be intelligence if their only job was to do exactly what they were told.
Yates and Robert are already finding a working groove that feels better than how things ended between Robert and Steven Frost.
Steven is still not sorted out. He hasn't been fired, but he doesn't appear to have a functioning role within the CIA, either. Hanes offered him a job spying on Berlin Station, and unless I've lost my own ability to sniff out a rat, Frost is a rat.
Frost wasn't pleased to hear a "bull" was brought into to fix the mess he'd already made of the station. What kind of a buffoon would admit he'd left the place in such utter disarray?
It's the best place to be, I guess, when being recruited to spy on the group you left behind. Was he ever a good spy? His conversations with Robert left little to the imagination. From assuring Robert he'd told Hanes to stick the job offer up his ass, his next line of questioning was nothing but alarm bells.
Frost just finished saying Robert was the very best. Why would he suddenly be willing to turn on his new station chief and give up information about current ops to Frost?
Frost is a desperate man. I can imagine at some point this season he'll be on the wrong side of Berlin Station and wishing he'd made any other decision than the one I think he's already made.
With Yates came April. She's a young agent willing to do just about anything to get ahead. While she seems competent, she took a chance that put Valerie onto the radar of Gerhardt's top advisor. He knows where she lives.
He only knows about Valerie because she had to put herself into his line of site to keep April safe. Could they have waited five minutes and tried again? As it happens, yes. Joseph Emmerich was only dropping off some papers. Valerie not vacating made more of a mess than necessary.
Oddly, I liked Emmerich. Even while standing in front of Valerie, his threats weren't as I'd have expected. Maybe he'll be vital in helping bring down Gerhardt. If so, then I'll apologize to April and her first mission snafu.
The meat of Operation Stop Gerhardt lies with Daniel.
Daniel is deep undercover as Trevor Price. The team has already discovered the man who will be helping Gerhardt with her violent tendencies, and his name is Otto Ganz.
Much like Philip Jennings on The Americans, Daniel has taken on a new identity to get in with Otto's daughter so Trevor can get close to Ganz. The hot guy always has an in with the young daughter, right?
There was a lot of discussion about how far the team needed to be willing to go to get Daniel what he needed to prove to Ganz he was the guy he needed on his team, and it's a conversation I'm sure happens every day in government.
So how is Daniel supposed to convince Ganz he can provide him with weapons if he can't put them in his hands?Robert
While there are no easy answers, in this case, Lena Ganz admitted she had no money to pay for the guns Daniel curated, so they went nowhere. That's not likely to happen again as the story progresses.
What I'm most interested in now is what kind of violence could help secure Gerhardt the election. Top on my list is Ganz and friends acting like a group of left-wing crazies and shooting up the town, somehow proving the need for a woman like Gerhardt in office.
Typing that proves how little I know of German politics. The exact opposite would hold true between the right and left in America. Any gun violence would propel the left into position rather than make the right look like the clear winner.
There isn't any violent scenario in connection with an election that makes any sense to me. What about you guys? Are you latching onto a plan that is escaping me?
Even if getting the guns was a test for Lena, it's inherent to the overall plan. It has to be, or else Trevor Price wouldn't have brought in his old friend Andrew Chevalier.
Daniel: I need you to listen to me very carefully. Twelve years ago in Chechnya, you created the identity of a gunrunner named Andrew Chevalier, and I need you to wake him up right now.
Hector: How did you find me?
We'll get to that later. The people behind me will kill us if you don't play along. My name is Trevor Price. Look pleased to see me, maybe you can go so far as to hug me. Just don't fuck this up.
Hector: If they don't kill you, I will.
I was wondering how they were going to bring Rhys Ifans back into play, and his entrance couldn't have gone any better. Ifans and Richard Armitage have such a great working relationship on screen that the loss of that duo would have been an incredible shame.
Who knows how long Hector will be around? Living the quiet life in the middle of Nowhere, Spain can't possibly suit him. He's going to have an itch scratched that will bring him back into the fold in some way or another even if he made more of a mess of his agency than Frost made of the station.
Berlin Station is back and firing on all cylinders. The new characters made themselves at home instantly, and the action began without a hitch. There is no doubt this now seasoned spy drama will be as good as or better than its freshman season.
What did you think of "Everything's Gonna Be Alt-Right"? Hit the comments with your thoughts on the premiere, the new characters and the return of Hector DeJean!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.