Deutschland 83: Brave Guy
June 25, 2015 5:04 AM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Martin is sent to break into the hotel room of a NATO analyst to steal a report, which turns out to be something different than the East Germans expected. Along the way he has another encounter with the General's daughter, and a run-in with a hotel waitress.

From Sundance.TV:

Just as Martin Rauch is beginning to enjoy his new life in the West, he is ordered by Tischbier to break into NATO head analyst Hendrik Mayer’s hotel room to steal a top secret security report. He refuses to do so until Tischbier promises to help his mother, Ingrid, who is suffering from diabetes back home in East Germany, where treatment is scarce. When Martin finally steals the NATO report, his superiors in East Berlin cannot read it because it’s not saved on paper, but rather on a floppy disk. This technological hiccup turns into a humiliating struggle to keep up in the dawning era of the computer, a key example of the diverging paths of Communism and Capitalism.
posted by dnash (10 comments total)
Curious that Tischbier was the leader at the peace rally. Made me wonder if that's just his cover, or if maybe he's some sort of double agent?

The East Germans did use the term "floppy disk" so they at least know what one is.
posted by dnash at 5:12 AM on June 25, 2015

The AV Club recap led me to this important piece of history: Able Archer
posted by dnash at 5:18 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Curious that Tischbier was the leader at the peace rally. Made me wonder if that's just his cover, or if maybe he's some sort of double agent?
I commented on that a few hours ago on the first episode thread: His bio on the official website describes his role as a spy/mole "to stimulate peace and anti-nuclear movements and to stir up trouble from the Left. His cover job is as a popular law professor at the University of Bonn where he is a hero to young idealists who attend peace rallies" . I just don't know if it makes much sense to have who seems to be an high-profile leftist anti-war activist contacting directly another spy working as a top military aide.
(Noticed the rally could use some Smiling Suns. I'm not sure if the trademark holders would oppose if it was used here)

I think this episode hints that Moritz might cozy up to the West if he discovers they're doing nothing for his mother and Annett is over him, while Alex sees the German militaristic machine (which he grew up into) as nothing but willing pawns/sacrificial lambs for the US and grows more infatuated by the GDR thanks to Tobias.

Also, good on Moritz from going to copyright infringement to theft. He surely would steal a floppy. But who was that woman spying for? Another East German spy ordered by the waitress to give Moritz a plausible excuse/kill him? Deep Soviet spy looking for the same thing?
posted by lmfsilva at 12:36 PM on June 25, 2015

Ah, thanks, I saw your comment over there but hadn't yet followed the link to the website bio.

Yeah, who the woman waiting in his room was is curious. I wonder if they'll get around to explaining? I imagine she was onto him as an Eastern spy after the steak-ordering incident, so was she maybe American?

(I found myself comparing that scene to, say, a James Bond movie. Because it's such a Bond thing to find a naked woman in your hotel room trying to seduce/kill you. But whereas Bond would've rapidly and silently dispatched her and had the body folded neatly in a drawer before anyone noticed, poor Martin/Moritz is so new at this that it becomes a big messy thing that has to get explained away somehow. )

Oh, and the bit with the old friend of Moritz who shows up but is apparently too drunk to notice it's not quite him... Surely the real Moritz has other friends/family who at some point are going to wonder why he's not calling or writing, which adds a layer of tension to "how long can he keep this up?"
posted by dnash at 2:21 PM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think this may well be a modern absurdist masterpiece.
posted by juiceCake at 6:09 PM on June 25, 2015

He was drunk, Martin was also well beaten up and kind of looks like Moritz. He didn't freak out one bit, or tried to overcompensate, which helped. While untrained, he has the instincts to avoid the worst outcome on most situations.
posted by lmfsilva at 9:45 PM on June 25, 2015


I've had this song stuck in my head since watching the first episode, so just trying to make y'all sing along. (even tho the opening credits is the Englisch

I thought the scenes of Martin in Mayer's hotel room were well done in regards to pacing and editing. His ineptitude and nerves heightened the tension instead of seeming comical. The waitress/spy totally surprised me; who is she?! She DID make the perfect cover for Martin's crime and I'm baffled as to whether she's coincidence in that regard or a totally new dimension. Spy shows always get me into the "trust no one!" camp, so while Martin was making googly eyes at Mayer's secretary I was yelling at him to look away! she's probably evil!
Maria Schrader is absolutely terrifying, and I wanted her in more scenes this episode.

posted by missmary6 at 12:34 AM on June 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've been listening to Major Tom (Coming Home) on loop all afternoon.

Help. Me.
posted by lmfsilva at 8:23 AM on June 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Did they ever explain why Martin hasn't been asked by the General to play the piano, now that weeks have passed and the cast is off his fingers? Would he still be healing, or could it be explained away as a type of injury where future playing just isn't possible?
posted by wheek wheek wheek at 3:36 PM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm guessing the General might have more pressing issues (daughter escaping, a son that doesn't seem to respect him one bit and oh, nuclear war looming) than to bother him with piano recitals. It might come to haunt him back later on, but since he couldn't play on arrival, the general was more "heh, whatever" than "fuck, I really want to hear him play".
posted by lmfsilva at 6:00 PM on June 29, 2015

« Older Movie: You Only Live Twice...   |  Podcast: Radiolab from WNYC: E... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments