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Deutschland 83/86/89 [SundanceTV] [**Spoilers**]

  • 02-07-2015 7:48pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,434 ✭✭✭ DMcL1971


    Deutschland 83 is a German television series about a 24 year-old East Germany native, who in 1983 is sent to the West as an undercover spy for the Stasi foreign service. The show is a co-production with the American channel SundanceTV. The show was originally broadcast in Germany and is now being shown on SundanceTV with english subtitles.

    I just finished watching the first episode of Deutschland 83 and it was fantastic. It's a good tight story that moves at a fast pace. They got a lot of information across cleary, in one episode. I really enjoyed the training montage. The music was fantastic with Eurythmics, Nena, 10CC, New Order and a few German tacks that I did't recognise. Also, a few blasts from the past with Woolworths and calculator watches. The english subtitles are excellent, I have watched many other foreign language shows with aftermarket subtitles that were sometimes confusing but these were excellent, very clear and correct English.

    Episode three was aired in the states last night. I've only seen the first one so far, I'll have to watch two and three to get caught up. But so far this is looking really good.

    Has anyone else watched this and what did you think?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,434 ✭✭✭ DMcL1971


    I just finished watching episode two. Wow, what a great episode, I was on the edge of my seat for the last 15 minutes. This week we had Blondie, The Cure and David Bowie.

    What is this square plastic thing with a hole in it??

    Episode three tonight I think.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,434 ✭✭✭ DMcL1971


    That's episode three done and I'm now up to date.

    Another great episode with lots of political intrigue and tension but also some humour.

    The subtitles in this show are fantastic. Not only do they make perfect sense but I love the way that they add small bits of additional information to clarify some of the story. Like when they talk about a particular real world politician the subtitles will include whether they were East or West German or whatever other side they might be on. Also when a character spoke French the subtitles indicated that our character does not understand French and therefore didn't translate what was being said as we weren't supposed to be able to understand it either. They even used the subtitles to explain a massive plot point in the very last scene.

    The scenes with the floppy disks and the computers were spot on, it just reminded me of all the compatibility problems computers used to have and it made me laugh to think that 30 years later we still have those kind of problems.

    It was great to see Martin/Moritz listening to a Walkman for the first time, it really took me back to the first time I listened to one and was blown away by the sound. I don't think I had ever heard Stereo sound or even heard music through headphones before that.

    Ireland even got a mention in this episode with some discussion of Bobby Sands and the hunger strike.

    This weeks music came from David Bowie, Duran Duran, Bob Marley, Bill Withers and The Police.

    I can't wait for next week.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 12,888 Mod ✭✭✭✭ iguana


    Great third episode. I love that the plot in east Germany is maturing. I wasn't wild about the
    unfaithful girlfriend, poor sick mother
    storyline that was all we were initially seeing from that side of the wall. I'm much more interested in this week's revelations that
    his mother, a woman with a Stasi sister, is participating in illegal activities.

    I'm most intrigued by the Alex and Tobias storyline. In some ways it feels like a plot from The Americans as Tobias is clearly working hard at creating an asset and will most likely cause poor trusting Alex awful trouble as he uses him. I love that Tobias has such a public persona in West Germany, it reminds me a little bit of the Charles Duluth character in The Americans, though the person the each pretend to be are polar opposites, they are both really working for the same side in the same ways.

    Last thought before bed. The opening credit sequence really works for me. It has such an 80s feel and reminds me of so many things I remember from my childhood without feeling derivitive. The only problem is that occasionally I associate it with this scene from another great show. :D



  • Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 54,400 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Mr E


    Fixed your video link. :)


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 12,888 Mod ✭✭✭✭ iguana


    I was just looking at this on IMDB and it's only there that I realised that the actor playing Schweppenstette (the lead Stasi agent) also played Sergei (Wolfgang's uncle) on Sense8. He plays the two characters so differently, that despite them both being ruthless East Germans that you don't want to mess with, I didn't recognise him at all even though I only watched Sense8 a few weeks ago.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,434 ✭✭✭ DMcL1971


    I just watched Sense8 recently and I didn't recognise him either.

    Ahh, now I've got Gale Boetticher singing Major Tom stuck in my head.


    It will be interesting to see which, if any, characters end up switching sides or becoming double agents. The main character of Martin, though he may be a loyal East German soldier, did not volunteer for the mission he now finds himself on, in fact he was literally press ganged into it. He has no special training, he is not a spy. In fact, he is literally there against his will and appears to be only doing his job so that he can help his mother get a transplant and then get back home to his Mum and girlfriend. Will he stay committed to the cause and the excitement of his new work or will he become disillusioned as they continue to manipulate him and pile on further tasks. If
    he is not the father of Annett's baby
    then he will have even less reason to go back.

    I like the way that each week Martin's plans seem to be going well only to get messed up. He bugs Mayer's suite but then Mayer changes rooms, he needs to break into Mayer's new suite but gets sent to Cologne, he breaks into the safe to photograph the report but it turns out it is on a floppy, he gets back to his room safely but is suddenly attacked, he gets a date with Linda but is allergic to her cats, he plants a bug in Mayer's new desk but the desk goes to Linda instead.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,434 ✭✭✭ DMcL1971


    I'm not so sure about this episode it had some reaally good stuff in it but there were a few things that made no sense to me.

    First the good stuff. The sub-plot of Tobias and Alexander being gay should be interesting. The near drowning scene with Linda had a lot of tension. I thought it was quite clever when he told her he was a spy for the west rather than the east. Setting up Mayer to look like a spy was a great idea. The big fight between Alexander and his Dad was very well acted. Lenora trying to turn Mayer was a nice idea.

    The first thing that didn't work for me was. The bug, I don't get how the bug worked. Firstly, this is an old recording device he bought from a guy in the street but it is capable of wirelessly transmitting from the office back to a base station in the building and then further transmit back to East Germany. Sounds pretty hi-tech to me. Secondly, I don't get how they were interpereting the information from the bug. It is an audio bug yet last week when Linda silently typed the lyrics to 'Hungry like the wolf' the East Germans somehow could read what she was typing. This week they are listening to audio of Mayer speaking, which is presumably a dictaphone recording, but Linda was listening to it on headphones, so how was the bug picking it up.

    Next, how did Martn have his grandmothers wedding ring with him? He ony found out that day, that he needed to kill or turn Linda. All of a sudden he has a wedding ring that is missing from a jewllery box in East Germany in his pocket. If they had just left out the grandmother thing, then I would have just assumed he bought a ring that day.

    Next, so Linda does a runner, Martin rings Tobias and says he can't find her, Tobias tells him to go back to the base. Martin goes to the train station and then as if by magic happens to spot Linda walking towards a wood. He chases her through the woods and she runs into the middle of a path in front of speeding car. So where did a car with an East German spy suddenly materialise from in the middle of a wood that no one was expecting them to be in.

    Despite these problems this is still a great show and I will definitely continue watching.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 12,888 Mod ✭✭✭✭ iguana


    The bug would have transmitted to somewhere nearby and the East German spys in the Brussels station would have been recieving and forwarding that information to East Germany. It was transmitting the sounds of Linda's typewriter. When Martin asked her to type song lyrics in the previous ep, the Stasi officers knew exactly what she was typing so they were able to determine the unique sound each key made when pressed. Then when she typed official documents their computers replicated them in the East.

    I don't know about the ring, perhaps Martin had it in his pocket when the Stasi took him as he was planning to propose tohis girlfriend? But the car that killed Linda had been following her through out that sequence. It was in the corner of the shot when she ran from the hotel and it was following her when Martin saw her run from the train station. All Tobias had to do was get the message to kill her through to the driver.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 31,118 ✭✭✭✭ snubbleste


    What exactly is the aunt's role, Leonora, in this?
    She seems to have a powerful role, based in the West and crosses the border frequently with ease, how so?
    Also, when Martin called Annett in the Ost from the general's house, surely the number called would show up in future, to prove Renata's theory?

    I assume Linda's killing car driver was the (only contact in an emergency) military guy from the base.

    and did you hear Alex's angry tirade at his dad? jeez deutsch is so guttural!
    everybody smokes!



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,533 don ramo


    snubbleste wrote: »
    What exactly is the aunt's role, Leonora, in this?
    She seems to have a powerful role, based in the West and crosses the border frequently with ease, how so?
    Also, when Martin called Annett in the Ost from the general's house, surely the number called would show up in future, to prove Renata's theory?

    I assume Linda's killing car driver was the (only contact in an emergency) military guy from the base.
    shes an intelligence agent, it depends on what kind of cover she has, i think people moved a little restricted back then but they did move back and forth as long as they didnt raise suspicion, plenty of families would have been separated by the wall, there were checkpoints to clear and all that, but she probably has people paid off on the western side so she can move more freely than others, hard to tell how high up she is, but she did convince her superiors to send her completely untrained nephew to go undercover as an aide to a general, so she has major pull,

    i dont think they could get records like that back then, and there would have to be suspicion in order to check the records,

    its been shown already that the east have a good amount of spies around, the waitress in an earlier episode, and there would be a lot more, i doubt the guy on the base spends his day following moritz around, yerone would have had someone from the east following her as soon as the bug was found, but she went on a random trip when it was found so the people in the west couldnt find her,

    another brilliant episode, funny when he ran into yvonne with linda, you could see the jealousy in lindas eyes, and moritz covering himself again at the end with yvonne,

    he seems to be settling into his dual life pretty easily, i do wonder how much we dont know about him so far, maybe his aunt has been working him up to this for a few years unbeknownst to him even,


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21,863 Fred Swanson


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  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 12,888 Mod ✭✭✭✭ iguana


    This post has been deleted.

    Which they could be, but presumably they would be investigating Edel secretly rather than tell him straight out. With him having a daughter in a commune and a son who is a soldier but is now becoming involved in CND/the peace movement General Edel would surely be under a degree of suspicion anyway.

    The thing that's confusing me is Martin's motivations. For the first 2 episodes he was all about going home to Annette and his mother. Then once Leonora tells him Annette is living with his mother he is able to relax and stop worrying about them. That much makes sense. But since then he seems to have been able to put aside all his feelings for Annette. He seemed to have no qualms about having sex with Linda which would have had have felt like cheating. He's not Philip and Elizabeth from The Americans, he hasn't trained since he was a young teenager to compartmentalise his sex work. And in fact he didn't keep his feelings out of it. He did appear to fall for Linda as he gave her his grandmother's ring, which he wouldn't have done if he was just working her. But he didn't seem to give any thought to his long-term girlfriend who is living with his mother. Then once Linda dies he's straight on to Yvonne, which is a dangerous game to play as she is the daughter of the man who is his cover's superior officer and a very dangerous enemy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,434 ✭✭✭ DMcL1971


    iguana wrote: »
    Which they could be, but presumably they would be investigating Edel secretly rather than tell him straight out. With him having a daughter in a commune and a son who is a soldier but is now becoming involved in CND/the peace movement General Edel would surely be under a degree of suspicion anyway.

    The thing that's confusing me is Martin's motivations. For the first 2 episodes he was all about going home to Annette and his mother. Then once Leonora tells him Annette is living with his mother he is able to relax and stop worrying about them. That much makes sense. But since then he seems to have been able to put aside all his feelings for Annette. He seemed to have no qualms about having sex with Linda which would have had have felt like cheating. He's not Philip and Elizabeth from The Americans, he hasn't trained since he was a young teenager to compartmentalise his sex work. And in fact he didn't keep his feelings out of it. He did appear to fall for Linda as he gave her his grandmother's ring, which he wouldn't have done if he was just working her. But he didn't seem to give any thought to his long-term girlfriend who is living with his mother. Then once Linda dies he's straight on to Yvonne, which is a dangerous game to play as she is the daughter of the man who is his cover's superior officer and a very dangerous enemy.

    The fact that he is an amateur may ultimately be his undoing, he may not have the strength to continue the deception. Seducing and being responsible for the death of an innocent would be no big deal for a trained spy but this could cause Martin to unravel. I agree, Martin was initially vocal about wanting to get the mission over and done with so that he could get back home. But is currently not showing any signs of wanting to go back. Though it hasn't been said, my assumption is that there may be multiple reasons for him staying.

    He may be starting to enjoy the freedom of the West where he is living a better and freer lifestyle than he used to at home. Exciting people, adventures, burgers, Walkman's etc.

    He may believe that his mother is still unsafe as she could be removed from the transplant list if he doesn't play ball and will need continuing treatment and medication even after the transplant.

    When he first arrived and ran from Tobias, Tobias managed to calm him down by explaining how important the mission was, indicating that if they were unsuccessful there may not be an East Germany left to return to. After meeting General Jackson and seeing how gung-ho he is and sitting in on NATO meetings he may be even more convinced that the West is a serious threat to his home.

    It would be nice if they either gave him a reason to have to stay or a reason to want to stay. Or better still reinforce his reason to have to stay while still wanting to get back to Annett and his mother.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 31,118 ✭✭✭✭ snubbleste


    Leonora is the cultural attaché at the DDR embassy in Bonn.
    I assume she'd be tailed 24h a day by western intelligence..

    Nice authentic references in the latest episode including the cover of Der Spiegel.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 12,888 Mod ✭✭✭✭ iguana


    My favourite scene in the latest episode was Ursula's visit to the base. I loved, loved, loved, her 'power suit' with it's asymetrical jacket and big ass shoulder pads. It was so 1980s. I also loved the secretary getting AIDS paranoia, refusing to shake hands goodbye and trying to disinfect herself with what looked like perfume.

    Alex has fast become my favourite character, I can understand why he did what he did at the end of the episode. But I would have preferred to have seen Tobias steer him more toward that decision. I found Tobias' handling of Alex very clumsy. He is a trained spy and getting Alex on side would have been incredibly valuable. The Stasi might have him now but having him in a 'relationship' with Tobias would have made him more malleable and it would have avoided him being photographed by whoever was watching him at the end.

    I still can't figure Martin out. Was his plan to just stay on the commune? Is he planning on being Moritz forever? He didn't seem to care too much when Tobias told him Annette was pregnant which is so weird considering for the first 2 episodes she was a huge priority to him. And I'm unsure what his spying has achieved for Ingrid. He got her on the transplant list but you don't need to be on the list to get a transplant from a relative. Would someone in East Germany need to be getting special favours in order to get the surgery itself, even with her son's kidney? Would Lenora not have been able to pull those strings? She certainly seemed to think she was powerful enough to threaten the doctors so while I can understand that she wasn't powerful enough to have gotten Ingrid a kidney from a random donor, could she really not have gotten her the surgery for Martin's kidney.

    I'm also a bit dubious about how the Ku'damm bombing worked out. Who was the guy that Martin gave the decaff to? Was it a Stasi agent or a member of the Revolutionary Cells? Presumably it wasn't Johannes Weinrich himself as it was implied that Martin killed him and he's still alive today. And what happened there, were the bombs ready and waiting for Martin to show up with the detonators and the bomber just went straight off and detonated them within a minute? I appreciate the attempt to entwine Martin's story with real world events but I feel it didn't quite make sense. It also dates events, Martin has now been in the west for 5 and a half months. Annette would most likely be quite obviously pregnant. Even if the baby is Thomas' she would be very pregnant as she slept with him within weeks of Martin's abduction.

    I'm also thinking that Annette believes the baby to be Thomas' and that is why she seems to be about to have him arrested as she doesn't want him messing with her relationship with Martin. That said Thomas is a fool. Imagine living in such an authocratic regime and having the woman you love tell you she is pregnant with the baby of a soldier who is away doing secret stuff to serve that regime. How exactly did he think that telling her he is involved in subversive, illegal activities would tempt her to be with him. 'Oh right she's pregnant. Well what she's really going to want now is to be with a man at risk of arrest, a man who would risk her freedom and the baby's security by keeping illegal books in her home.' Oh yeah, that's what all pregnant women crave Thomas, good thinking.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 31,118 ✭✭✭✭ snubbleste


    It's an authentic Der Spiegel issue from June 1983
    http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-14021779.html

    I initially thought Thomas was sent to Annette to make her pregnant, to have the Stasi have more leverage over Martin - Martin would think the baby is his. :confused:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21,863 Fred Swanson


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  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 12,888 Mod ✭✭✭✭ iguana


    This post has been deleted.

    Yup, she has roughly the same role as Arkady in The Americans, though with much more connection to home due to proximity, so she'd have even less autonomy. The BND would be all over her every movement. Realistically I'm not sure she'd manage to do a lot of the things she does. Going to Tobias' house, meeting Martin in person as much as she does and personally approaching Mayer last week would all be incredibly risky for her. She'd send an underling to do pretty much all of those things.

    It's just my interpretation of events but it occurs to me watching how much Lenora cared about Ingrid in this episode, in spite of her words to Martin earlier in the series about her priority being her whole country not just her sister. That she may have recommended Martin as Kolobri in order to give her the leverage she needed to insist on Ingrid's surgery without endangering her own position or having Ingrid used against her.

    I wonder how much nuance we are missing in the subtitles. I think I noticed a mistake this week or at least a translation choice that didn't quite work. Did the phonecall that woke Tobias early in the episode say he was needed in Berlin/by Berlin? Because the next thing we know he was in Cologne at Yvonne's commune. He also made it back home while Alex was still in bed, which would have been possible going from Bonn to Cologne and back but not if he had to go to Berlin. I suspect we're definitely missing a lot by relying on the subtitles.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,434 ✭✭✭ DMcL1971


    iguana wrote: »
    I also loved the secretary getting AIDS paranoia, refusing to shake hands goodbye and trying to disinfect herself with what looked like perfume.

    General Edel's secretary was disinfecting her hands with '4711 Eau De Cologne', which was very popular back in the eighties. I may have even owned a few bottles myself.

    iguana wrote: »
    Alex has fast become my favourite character, I can understand why he did what he did at the end of the episode. But I would have preferred to have seen Tobias steer him more toward that decision. I found Tobias' handling of Alex very clumsy. He is a trained spy and getting Alex on side would have been incredibly valuable. The Stasi might have him now but having him in a 'relationship' with Tobias would have made him more malleable and it would have avoided him being photographed by whoever was watching him at the end.

    I agree Tobias made very little attempt to calm Alex down. Alex thought Tobias wanted him to stay in the army because he didn't want to spend time with him. All he had to do was to try and assure him that they would still be together even if Alex was in the army. Instead he just let him pack his stuff and walk out. Mind you Alex is making a habit of walking out. He left the army, stormed out of his parents house, stormed out of Tobias' and then finally stormed out of the commune. I expect next week he will storm out of the West and then promptly storm back to the East after some perceived slight.

    iguana wrote: »
    I'm also a bit dubious about how the Ku'damm bombing worked out. Who was the guy that Martin gave the decaff to? Was it a Stasi agent or a member of the Revolutionary Cells? Presumably it wasn't Johannes Weinrich himself as it was implied that Martin killed him and he's still alive today. And what happened there, were the bombs ready and waiting for Martin to show up with the detonators and the bomber just went straight off and detonated them within a minute? I appreciate the attempt to entwine Martin's story with real world events but I feel it didn't quite make sense.


    I'm also a bit confused about the detonators. Martin delivers the two cans to the un-named guy, a few moments later the bomb goes off and Martin chases and presumably kills him. He then opens one can and destroys the device inside. Firstly it is never stated that the devices in the cans are the detonators. In fact Fuchs tells Stepanov and Schweppenstette that they gave Carlos his bombs but not the detonators. I am assuming the cans contained the detonators though it is not stated. Secondly, there were only a few moments between him receiving the cans and the bomb going off. Seemed way too quick.
    This post has been deleted.

    Kramer told the General that Moritz had been injured in a bike accident, that he had been hit by a car and would be out for a week. So that should cover him for any scars or bruises.
    iguana wrote: »
    I wonder how much nuance we are missing in the subtitles. I think I noticed a mistake this week or at least a translation choice that didn't quite work. Did the phonecall that woke Tobias early in the episode say he was needed in Berlin/by Berlin? Because the next thing we know he was in Cologne at Yvonne's commune. He also made it back home while Alex was still in bed, which would have been possible going from Bonn to Cologne and back but not if he had to go to Berlin. I suspect we're definitely missing a lot by relying on the subtitles.

    Yeah there was something strange going on there. The phone message was received early in the morning and said 'Get back to Berlin ASAP. Right now? Yes, right now. Get Moving'. However everything that happens after that suggests that the message was that Martin was to get back to Berlin not Tobias. Perhaps the translation should have been 'Get him back to Berlin ASAP. Right now? Yes, right now. Get Moving'. Because Tobias then arrives at the commune in Cologne and it was still morning. There was no way he could have got to Berlin and then back to Cologne. He then tells Martin 'You have an official invitation to the East German capital' and 'You must go to Berlin' and 'Get going now. You're urgently expected' and 'If you don't go to the station now you won't make it'. All of that fits with Martin urgently needing to get to Berlin not Tobias.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 17,321 Mod ✭✭✭✭ The Black Oil


    Just watched the first episode and enjoyed it. Saw this thread popping up now and then, figured you guys were lashing through the episodes, but I see that not many have aired. I like the mood of it, the state is of course unapologetic about its intentions and operations, and how it arrives at those. The mini spy craft montage was fun. Methinks Stamm's going to have to watch his six.

    Plus yeah, 80s. :pac:


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  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 17,321 Mod ✭✭✭✭ The Black Oil


    'Dafuq is this?' reaction to the floppy disk was gas. :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,434 ✭✭✭ DMcL1971


    'Dafuq is this?' reaction to the floppy disk was gas. :D

    I reckon this whole computer thing is just a fad. :D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21,863 Fred Swanson


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  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 17,321 Mod ✭✭✭✭ The Black Oil


    A walkman in episode 3. Mad stuff, Ted.

    The only question mark I have so far concerns military protocol. Is it the norm for an aide de camp to attend sensitive meetings involving the big wigs? I do like that they've made it so the American general makes the effort to speak German.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,434 ✭✭✭ DMcL1971


    You are flying through the episodes today Black Oil, you'll be caught up to us in no time.

    This show brings back a lot of fond memories for me. Not the fear of nuclear war bit, but the music, the technology and the fashion.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,533 don ramo


    i think the problem with the operation for his mother is that the drugs needed to make the operation successful have to come from the west so there is a very limited supply, anti rejection drugs and all that, so thats why its so hard to get a place on the transplant list,

    some interesting dynamics being thrown up, its actually getting rather hard to follow at times, but then clicks into place once you think, which is an aspect i like, but as has been mentioned some of the subtitles might lack a little accuracy, it did seem like that was a fuse in the coffee can, but the lads said they supplied the explosives, unless another person supplied explosives and moritz was tricked into supplying the fuses, and yeah it all went down pretty quick i must say,

    i also think the phone call tobias got was also translated wrong, probably get moritz to berlin alright, and when he got home it was clearly later in the day and alex just seemed comfortable laying about the place, i dunno if tobias wanted to frustrate alex on purpose, to see how hed react and had someone follow him, maybe planning on blackmailing his father or something,

    funny how when he chased yerman down into the subway he jumped down the same side street from a few episodes ago where the general edel ordered the whores for the american general :D, and edels wife is class, went upstairs and waited for the general to see the fish, and the secretary :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,434 ✭✭✭ DMcL1971


    don ramo wrote: »
    funny how when he chased yerman down into the subway he jumped down the same side street from a few episodes ago where the general edel ordered the whores for the american general :D

    Yeah, I noticed that too. The ramp and subway in Berlin this week, were a redress of the same location which was supposed to be Brussels in episode three.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 17,321 Mod ✭✭✭✭ The Black Oil


    Just caught up with the fifth episode. Martin fairly clobbered yer man down the train tracks, eh? They went from a very violent scene right back to the hippy place "no violence". I do like the little details, as mentioned, the general's wife with the fish, etc. They're pretty much giving everyone something to do.

    As for how it compares with The Americans, the pacing here is much more accelerated, imo. Also, until the end of 1.04 (the death of Linda) I would have said this is not quite as ruthless, but is perhaps now only a few shades behind in that department.

    Between the two they could probably create a spin off. Comardes in the Nip. :pac:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21,863 Fred Swanson


    This post has been deleted.


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  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 12,888 Mod ✭✭✭✭ iguana


    This post has been deleted.

    I was more amused by his face when he looked out the window at the end and saw Martin with Yvonne. Tobias is a **** spy. He had the opportunity to have a very, valuable asset in Alex and he didn't even try to calm him down when Alex was disillusioned by him. Then Alex went off and destroyed his value to them by going to see Lenora. Climaxing in an absolute cluster**** of an 'operation' by Alex, that results in two pointless deaths.

    I'm so disappointed with how that turned out. I was looking forward to seeing a Martha/Clark type relationship between Alex and Tobias. It would have made the emergence of the virus that was played for laughs last week, as a real threat all the more devastating. As Tobias would be faced with continuing to possibly risk infecting Alex in order to maintain his asset.

    I do really like this show but I think the characters aren't drawn deeply enough and their actions don't always make sense in so far as what we do know about them. When did Martin stop caring about Anette? I could understand if he had second thoughts about her after she made it clear her main interest in him was the new apartment and possible car he could get her. But he went from being desperate to be with her, to utterly indifferent in ep 3 for no reason. Why did Tobias let Alex storm out? He was working him as an asset since they met, then just let Alex believe he was trying to fob him off when it would have been a really simple matter to calm him down. Why does anyone who was at the brothel think Jackson is just going to let this go? An allied soldier, the son of his contact, went AWOL, committed treason and caused a woman's death. Then two other soldiers show up, try to cover it up and one ends up dead later that day!!! Jackson isn't going to let that pass, he'll find a way to cover his own ass and then he'll have Alex arrested and Edel, Kranmer and Martin investigated.

    Some of this show is great. But I want to get to know the characters and their motivations better. Some of the problem may be that none of the actors have the skill of Matthew Rhys, who has shown himself to be stunningly talented and able to demonstrate the feelings of the character within a character with just an expression. So, for example, what Martin is feeling when Moritz is doing something isn't clear. But I think it's more that the writing is too inconsistent and much of the show is plot driven with characters having to do whatever fits with that rather than be true to themselves. (And also the loss of nuance in the subtitles.)

    On a positive note, once again I loved Ursula's outfit. The tennis outfit she was wearing during Edel's hulking out reminded me so much of something from my Deutsch Heute school books.:cool:


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