Deutschland 83: Brandy Station
July 23, 2015 5:45 AM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Martin wants to stay in East Germany after returning for his mother’s kidney transplant. Alex Edel takes General Jackson hostage.

Recovering in the hospital from the kidney transplant for his mother, Martin encounters his fiancée Annett for the first time since he left. He wants to stay in East Germany now, but she tells him to go West again. Much is left unsaid. East Germany Secret Service employee Schweppenstette visits him next and insists, in a tense, father-son coded argument, that Martin return to his post. Meanwhile, Alex Edel has taken General Jackson hostage and forced him, at gunpoint, to film a seething denouncement of US military plans in Western Europe. Lenora follows the whole thing over the wire.
posted by dnash (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I thought it was really interesting how Alex's rash actions brought his family under the same kind of secret police scrutiny that's probably more commonly thought of as part of East German life. That, and the competing coverages of the downing of Korean Air Flight 007 show how the Cold War was a distorting lens to both sides.

I thought there might be an anachronism in the bit where Tischbier's guy shows him what look like Kaposi's Sarcoma lesions and says Tischbier should get tested. HIV was only first isolated in 1983 - I don't know how long it took for tests to become widely available, but this feels like a little too soon to me?

(I guess there are only two more episodes? Sad. I'm really enjoying this!)
posted by dnash at 6:00 AM on July 23, 2015

So, it turned out that Alex was crazy after all. Also, nice contrast with Martin - when he, a very green but properly trained spy fucks up, he manages to keep the game going, but Alex, who might know why he's doing it but has no clue whatsoever how, manages to become a toxic asset and quickly get the GSG9 on his arse in a matter of weeks.

In the end, this episode was all about puppets, and calling others puppets. KGB guy (Andrej?) tells Schweppenstette Moscow expects certain results from the floppy. Schweppenstette tells the decoders that the training part doesn't need to be included in the final report, and then manipulates Annett, to make Martin go back to spying, while his mother doesn't. Now, General Jackson will probably feel the need to cover for both Alex and Martin, because they are the ones that know exactly what happened (did Martin kept the tape?).
Yvonne might be the only that finished the episode better that she started. The more she runs away from both family and cult, the better she will be.

According to this, the first commercial AIDS test was available in 1985. Of course, this doesn't rule out they'd be doing some experimental test.

Depending on how it ends, I really hope they follow this up with Deutschland 84. Seems almost criminal to end a show that started and managed to keep strong to finish after just 8 episodes. Or Deutschland 85, mentioning a certain new KGB guy named Vladimir that is helping Stasi recruit foreigners in Dresden...
posted by lmfsilva at 11:38 AM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

« Older Movie: The Man with the Golden...   |  Podcast: 99% Invisible: 173- A... Newer »

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