Cut to poolside in Rangoon, which looks more like Palm Springs than the Far East. Kate receives her CIA assignment to deliver a camera to Jakarta, but, like all her past assignments, it's so wishy washy that we're still not biting on the idea that she's serious about this.
With the girls in bikinis, there's some playful flirting and swimming between them and some Navy officers staying at their hotel, both of which trigger jealousy and frightening flashbacks for co-pilot Ted, who apparently crashed an airplane in the Atlantic during his tenure as a Navy test pilot. This resurfaces as the root of all Ted's moodiness, pouting and daddy issues and we discover thatsharp intake of breathbefore his accident and the forced honorable discharge, Ted was gunning to join the NASA space program. We feel badly for him for a moment, until we remember that having a commercial airline pilot who randomly flashes back to a crash is not a good idea at all.
By the way, is anyone else noticing that since the Paris episode, the flight crew has been immune to jet lag?
Onwards and upwards! From Rangoon, the crew flies to Jakarta, Indonesia. Maggie (Christina Ricci) takes Laura out to paint the town red after discovering a snake in the hotel room bathroom, and we're rolling our eyes through their dancing on tables, eating curry and going cock fighting. It's a stretch to picture Maggie as the experienced stewardess they want us to believe she is.
Back at the hotel, where the crew has already dropped some retro racism (including calling it the "Orient," speaking slowly and loudly at the Indonesian clerk and saying Jakarta is "excitedly unrefined"), Ted is fixing a TV so he can watch the live launch of the Saturn IX rocket. Laura, assisting him, feels sparks of love upon seeing the childlike wonderment in his face. We're still skeptical that he won't crash the plane during a future flashback, so no love for Ted from us.
Up in the air yet again, the crew makes a rainy and bumpy approach into Hong Kong-Kai Tak Airport, a dangerous approach if ever there was one, and tempers flare in the cockpit when Ted second-guesses Dean's choice to land the plane in crosswinds instead of divert to Singapore. Granted, Dean admits it's his first time flying into the notorious Kai Tak "without training wheels," and we mentally cross ourselves and thank god Kai Tak is no longer in operation.
Finally, a tension spat after landing causes Ted to give Dean a black eye. Dean later apologizes for being such a newbie by explaining how exactly he jumped "sixty-five first officers with more seniority" to get this captain's seat so young. He was stuck in an elevator with Pan Am head Juan Trippe and spoke up! "Do you want to be part of the past, or part of the future," asks Dean of Trippe. He means, does Pan Am want all it's captains to be former World War II pilots, or to be young and exciting like the new jets? Trippe's answer is making Dean a captain.
New York - Rangoon - Jakarta - Hong Kong. What a zippy episode. Don't expect this much travel and aviation intrigue from next episode, as the preview hints it'll be full of romance and further Soviet Cold War stunts.