**SPOILERS** On December 18, the final episode of Berlin Station Season 2 aired in Canada. A third season has now been announced, although it is not clear who will be returning. The first five episodes of Season 2 were fairly uneven, as I described in an earlier post. But as in Season 1, the pacing and excitement really picked up towards the end, making it fun to watch, even if it wasn’t always plausible or palatable. I think that all of the talent are capable actors, but the writers and directors take things to places that often don’t work for me.
Again, for my own easy reference, I’m listing the writers/directors (per IMDb) of each of the last four episodes, as well as recording some observations on each:
Episode 6: The Right Hook: Directed by Sarah Pia Anderson; written by Nina Braddock and Bradford Winters.
- This episode is once again a little slow, as Steven Frost and Robert Hirsch take a trip to Norway to follow a lead on the money. This side-trip has some beautiful scenery but is really annoying, taking us away from the main action in Berlin and unfortunately adding to the implausibility of the whole plot.
- I find myself also not believing that BB Yates would actually try to save Robert’s job — maybe for sentimental reasons?
- Daniel Miller’s breakdown is somewhat understandable, I suppose, as anyone would find it upsetting to be sitting beside someone who is suddenly shot in the head, but he is supposed to be an experienced spy. He is also feeling terribly responsible for everything (including the projected results of the election?), leading us to believe once again that maybe he is not very good at his job. There is also an attempt to manipulate the audience into feeling bad that the man who was a right-wing terror-monger is dead. (Daniel’s freak-out in Esther’s apartment seems pretty over-the-top. But don’t worry… a kiss will make it all better!)
Episode 7: Right and Wrong: Directed by Sarah Pia Anderson; written by Zach Craley.
- The suspense and excitement is building again in this episode, making it quite gripping to watch in spite of some of the dumb stuff in the script. (It’s really only when I think about the shows again afterwards that the implausibility of a lot of the plot elements really hits me.)
- Starting from the previous episode, April Lewis is now playing a significant part in the action and it’s good to see Keke Palmer do well with the additional screen time. Apparently, though, April is not quite sure whether or not to let a murder take place. Really?? I understand that Hector DeJean is unbalanced and has extremely questionable morals and so is a good wild-card character, but I find it harder to believe the same of April Lewis.
- Still not feeling the BB Yates/Robert Kirsch “We’ll always have Berlin” thing or the Steven Frost thing.
- What I do find really impressive, though, is that apparently Daniel Miller’s type of breakdown/PTSD can be cured overnight through sex with the right woman! Wow! Who knew! (Truthfully, I would prefer a much deeper exploration of Daniel Miller’s and Esther Krug’s relationship to see if it actually makes sense, but then there are few deep explorations in this show.)
- And what is with Daniel Miller’s continued wish to save Lena Ganz? As Esther Krug says, “Come on! The girl is a neo-Nazi, not a charity case!”
- I do like the Valerie Edwards/Joseph Emmerich story-line. Throughout, with both of them, we see the struggle between their beliefs and their real feelings for the other person. Michelle Forbes does an excellent job of moving between the loving woman and the devious no-nonsense spy.
- Ends in a bit of a cliff-hanger, as we are not sure whether Hector has in fact shot Katerina Gerhardt.
Episode 8: The Righteous One: Directed by Guiseppe Capotondi; written by Tony Basgallop.
- Lots of tension in this episode and a good pace is kept from start to finish.
- Apparently, Hector DeJean has had a crisis of conscience and does not complete the murder. Instead, he has a chance to be a hero and try to stop another would-be shooter. With that chance failing, though, he has the means to see that justice is done (although his motives are personal).
- Really liking the scenes between Valerie and Joseph and seeing Valerie’s thought processes and emotional realizations. Really good scripting and believable acting by both of them. I love the way Michelle Forbes’ face changes from solicitous partner to determined spy as soon as Valerie moves away from Joseph. (And I LOVE her blouse!)
- How is BB Yates still here? She missed her flight and no one is having a problem with this? How does she have intelligence that presumably she shouldn’t have if she is on the outside?
I’m finding, unfortunately, that the dialogue and cheesy music with Daniel and Esther sometimes leave something to be desired, although some of the scenes like the one on the right are cute. And Daniel is now trying to make sure Esther’s job is secure? Seems to have lost sight of what it means to be a spy. A bit of a personality change from Season 1. (The pictures are pretty, though.)
- I enjoyed the Robert Hirsch character a lot more in Season 1 than in Season 2. They’ve toned him down and made his personality pretty bland, unfortunately.
- Good tense scenes with Daniel, Hector, and the shooter, and then later Robert and April. Interesting ending, leaving me wanting to know how the season ends.
Episode 9: Winners Right the History Books: Directed by Guiseppe Capotondi; written by Bradford Winters.
- This final episode of the season keeps the exciting pace going, with so many plot twists and turns that they are hard to keep up with. They also didn’t make a lot of sense!
- A lot of the dialogue is pretty bad, this being Bradford Winters’ doing, I guess.
- Steven Frost finally has some usefulness, leading to the neat way that Hector is saved and sent off into the sunset. Clever.
- I have a hard time watching Joseph being in such a humiliating position as Valerie’s intelligence asset, but I suppose it makes sense.
- To have the whole season plot boiled down to a ring of international “super-Nazi’s” is pretty stupid….
So, Season 3? I don’t know. I think part of the reason I am not so into this show (even though the pace is exciting) is that I don’t particularly like the Daniel Miller character. I’m not sure why that is exactly, but maybe partly that he is less decisive and confident than makes sense to me. I’m sure I’ll watch the third season if Richard Armitage is in it. Although, really, if it involves scattering the station’s spies to all different parts of the globe as they try to track down the various “super-Nazi’s”, that doesn’t sound too great to me.