SPOILERS: Berlin Station – At Sea All Along -Episode 9

Where to start? This post assumes familiarity with the record as a whole, and prior proceedings – in other words, you’ve been following Berlin Station closely, so, with luck, you followed Episode 9 Thomas Shaw, and if so, you have a good memory.

Question 1 – Yes, Hector helps DeVoss escape the Moroccan black site where the prisoner has been tortured. He escapes on a freighter named Thomas Shaw. Why would a Moroccan boat owner name his boat, Thomas Shaw? Thomas Shaw is a common name. I don’t think it’s the blues musician or the inventor who gets the honor. Maybe the British politician of the earliest 20th century. But, huh?


The Boat That Took Julian DeVoss to Safety: Thomas Shaw

2. This episode had some the most appealing graffiti. I wish the series had shown more of it. I got it – Teufalsberg, some place to do with the cold war, and U.S. spy operations.



3. Something I never wanted to see again, Richard Armitage anywhere near a purple suit.



Remember this? I took it from a post of Obscura’s: I’m still calling it raisin.


I’m sorry, but even if you’re in Morocco, why would you choose to waterboard a prisoner using a ceramic jug as your water source? Those mothers are heavy. Why bother when you have a  a bucket right there? Because you can’t make a trite symbolic statement by smashing a plastic bucket.


Moroccan Water Jug. Doesn’t hold much water.

I am so sick of silly Jewish references. Shame on the writer (s). Robert the Jew ( how can we forget?) walks into a safe house to meet Golda Friedman, the Mossad recruiter, and he suggests she should welcome him with Manichewitz wine in celebration? How ridiculously corny. Pure schtick. And just what kind of soup was Golda good at cooking? You guess. I’m disgusted.

BTW, Kosher producers oversee some fine vineyards in France and other wine growing regions.

I will say that Hector has a rather decent looking apartment – if somewhat reminiscent of doctor’s office. More put together than I would have expected – and not an) inch of wallpaper.



Hans Richter and Esther Krug ambush Hector in his apartment. Mission – destroy Berlin Station as Thomas Shaw.

And isn’t this ridiculous? Also, with all the fabulous restaurants available to them “in the South of France” ( Canary Islands, but supposed to be the Riviera), why would they choose to eat in the hotel?


The time sequence in this episode could make one dizzy. All of it them were Hector’s flashbacks, except one with Esther Krug and Claudia Gartner  (remember Claudia? If you didn’t, the writers reminded us a little earlier on.)

And in case viewers were catching up a little, why not add two unnecessary new characters – the Romanian woman ( head of their office there?) and some assistant to Clay Williams from Langley.(Marina? Popular Russian name – oops).

I admit to feeling a twinge when Julian DeVoss killed himself by dropping himself off a roof – but I was distracted but this thought – a crossover thought- and it is one an actor would probably never really have, I’m guessing: was Richard Armitage thinking,  at least it’s not me this time? or was he thinking,  I wish it were me, again?  A little snarky, I know – but I am so fed up.

Once again, Daniel had lines and actions, but nothing much to say. Platitudes, reassurances, orders, stock lines. But Richard Armitage did take the stairs rather well, both up and down.

By the way, Stephen – good move. Get arrested just as you’re escaping, and give your wife a prepared note to hand to your mistress after you’re gone.

Last complaint, Valerie is getting on my nerves. She’s just a little too snarky and confrontational with Robert for my taste. I don’t think people act that way relentlessly towards one person. I thought she was a much better character in earlier episodes.

Somethings I liked – the recognition scene with Hector and Julian/Shirley. Julian Voss at the end. That location and some of the aerial shots. Wondering if Esther Krug is also trying to kill Daniel Miller.

The German twist – their intent to destroy Frost became evident earlier,(anyway, Esther’s intent did) but I didn’t expect they’d be running Thomas Shaw. Fans have suspected another party – but the way it played out was surprising. Now I’m not surprised the man who approaches bleeding out Daniel Miller seemed to have an accent. I thought so early on, but then said – must be my imagination, because that would give away a lot pretty early. But I guess I let myself forget it.

So, Daniel lets Hector go and now they’re finally even. Not quite. There has to be more to the story in Chechnya. There has to be some wrap up of Esther and Daniel and the story with Daniel’s mother.

With this show, the way they cut it up and parse it out, they can probably ejaculate a tidy wrap up. Will it be far-fetched and strained, or will viewers swallow it?



13 thoughts on “SPOILERS: Berlin Station – At Sea All Along -Episode 9

  1. The Jewish jokes are getting on my nerves as well. I had the same reaction — there are great kosher wines. No Israeli who’s working for Mossad is drinking Manischewitz except possibly for a ritual sip on Pessach. No Mossad agent has time to be making Robert chicken soup and it’s unlikely that a Jew of Robert’s age would make that joke in the first place. His father, maybe.

    I think the thing that’s annoying me most is how often I said, “this would never happen in real life” (like the Germans acquiescing to that crazy mall operation, or their apparent not reaction to the shoot out), precisely BECAUSE US/German relations are strained around this issue of Americans acting like cowboys inside the BRD, and some fan says to me, “no, no, that’s totally believable” and in fact, now that whole thing can be seen as a part of a plot that the Germans have to destroy the US CIA station for the very reason I find the plotline implausible in the first place (“Americans acting with impunity”). The fantasy level is unbearably high.


    • Yes – totally fed up with the Jew story. Kosher sweet wine is used for kiddish after each service also , so it would be familiar to a Jew who goes to services – not Robert though. ( we have wine for some and prune juice for those who don’t drink alcohol or hate the sweet wine) I happen to like it, because it’s the best sleeping draught I know without a prescription, but it doesn’t pair with food at all. Not only are there kosher vineyards in France, but Israel produces from fine wines as well.
      Also, though I’m not so familiar with the politics involved -cowboys or not it strikes me that the Germans would need/want an effective CIA station as partners, of sorts. I guess this plot line means that it was Hand who provided the info to Ingrid about what’s his name, the first CIA agent to be outed, and Hans’ own assistant ( names totally forgotten).
      I think the reason BS and EPIX are giving away free trials for binging is that binging is about the best way for viewers to follow the 632 plot lines and remember what happened early on.


      • Prune juice (or raisin wine) for Kiddush is also a Sephardic thing. I’ve run into it once or twice.

        re: German relations with the CIA — yeah, as a German you know that there is going to be a CIA presence in Germany whether you like it or not. The issue at the moment, specifically, is that the Germans feel that since 1990 and the official end of WWII and the occupation, that the USA doesn’t have the same rights anymore (this is a long story by now). In practice there’d be some cooperation with known CIA officials in Berlin (but obvs not with those who are officially “not known,” and Hector’s in that category, but of course, now we know the BFV knew about Hector, or at least Hans and Esther did, which puts a whole new spin on Hector’s interference with the mall operation …).

        I heard someone say (have not verified this) that on the 18th they are running the episodes all day long so one can binge in preparation for the final episode.


            • I should amend. Now that I think of it, I think grape juice has also been used. In camp though, they used prune juice (Probably had other motives). Funny to think about making the juice ( whether raisin or prune) from the dried fruit rehydrated, and then getting a totally different taste than that from using the same fruit before it’s dried. But I’d never heard of raisin juice until now.


              • re: Raisin wine: I don’t like it — it’s just strange. Whereas Manischewitz (or Mogen David) doesn’t bother me — it’s what most Xian groups use for Holy Communion.

                But raisin wine has the advantage of making it easier to fulfill all the rules for kosher wine because raisins are compact and easy to transport. re: prune juice — It depends a little on how “letter of the law” the setting wants to be, because prunes are not “bore pri hagafen.” You’d say “shehakol yihyeh bidvaro” normally, but for kiddush you need something made from grapes. (I don’t know if you can say another b’rachah at that time in place of “bore pri hagafen,” maybe you can and I just don’t know about it.) It’s a bit confusing because sometimes the b’rachah is different for the juice than for the fruit as well, and some things that we consider fruits are not fruits for the purpose of Jewish law (strawberries, for instance).


  2. Last night’s episode was disappointing. Even with all the appropriate negativity about lack of character development and implausible plot lines, to which I agreed, I was still finding the show exciting. I was getting drawn into the stories and wondering where things were headed. But today I found Hector’s presence in Morocco hard to believe — how could he be torturing someone in the opening scene and then suddenly find it too cruel and unable to continue? And it went downhill from there. Stephen trying to get on a train when he is a wanted fugitive was idiotic. etc. etc.

    Random, but I wonder if women working in intelligence jobs like Valerie or Golda would wear such high heels? It has been bugging me all season.

    All that is left now is to see who still has a career and will be around for Season 2. There does seem to be the Robert/Valerie plot to resolve, as well as why Iosova was taken, but those won’t take long.


  3. I wore high heels a lot of time unless ( my personal preference) I was wearing a longish skirt, which wasn’t often. Then, I either wore high heeled boots or flats. I never liked the look of high heels with longer skirts – and I can’t get used to the look of them with shorter pants -but then, I spent most of my time in an office and I wasn’t expected to do much running. But for someone like Valerie, who was in the field, I can’t imagine choosing them for an operation where one might have to run. I think Golda is of an age where she might realistically lower her heels.
    As to the rest, I think some of the motivation for Hector in Morocco was that Julian was so obviously not a terrorist and seemed such a fragile soul – but yeah – helping him escape was also unbelievable. I think the other guy was supposed to be a government contractor, and there was some tension and competition between them.

    As you say, except for wondering who survives, career-wise and whether they live or die, is pretty much al that’s left. I think I have put together the purpose of the final operation we saw in ep 1 and the coming attractions. There is almost only one possibility.

    This episode was not exciting for me. I wanted to know what happened, but except for the German twist, it was pretty well laid out with previews. The second time I watched it ( Sling does much better with the recorded version than the live version), I was playing with my cat at the same time. That’s how bored I was. I was basically just listening.
    And, duh, that “decoding segment is such a waste.


  4. Pingback: Missed Opportunities from Berlin Station’s Creatives | Armitage Agonistes

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