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SilverStormm

Deutschland 83

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I know we're only two episodes in, but I really love the 80s music. I hope it remains an integral part of the show. For that reason, I am glad that the show is mostly set in West Germany because I imagine that East Germany didn't get all the pop music (although obviously 99 Luftballons was inescapable!).

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I don't speak any German so I have to read the subtitles to know what's going on. In this episode there were way too many scenes with white/very light clothing or backgrounds with white subtitles.

 

I really wish we had seen more of Martin's training. I was really interested in how they turned him into a superspy/imposter in such a short amount of time, even with his previous army training.

 

I'm not entirely clear on his aunt's position/job title. I mean, it was clear what she was doing but I would be interested to know what her official job is and what her sister thinks her job is.

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I speak a little German (very little), which I think actually made it worse, because I kept getting distracted by tiny differences in what was being said and what was on the screen.

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I'm Dutch and live close to the German border, so I understand the German dialogue. I mostly ignore the subtitles and only listen to the dialogue. But I did notice one difference very early in the episode when they are discussing Reagan's speach. Lenora says "Er ruft das Armageddon auf" which is translated as "The West is on the offensive." That translation is a bit understated compared to the original German dialogue.

 

As for turning him into a superspy, I don't think he is one. He made several mistakes because of his lack of training. Off the top of my head: the phone call to his girlfriend, not knowing how to operate the telephone and the mention of Cuba, although he managed to quickly fix that last one by saying that it was the name of a club in Braunschweig.

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My husband and I watched this out mainly out of curiosity-- he speaks a little bit of German and I speak none, so we're pretty much dependent on the subtitles. But we both like spy stories, so we're in. I agree that some of the subtitles were hard to read, which is highly annoying.   

 

I'm not sure why Martin's aunt thinks he will be such a great spy-- while he accomplished one task, calling your girlfriend behind enemy lines FROM YOUR BOSS'S HOUSE seems really really really stupid. Martin, you're not going to last very long if you keep doing stupid shit like that. Glad they didn't actually kill the colonel's sister-in-law; wouldn't that have been awfully suspicious?

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I don't think it's a matter of her thinking he would be a good spy. I think she just thought he would pass as the other guy. The show didn't do a very good job of seeing that up, though.

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Now I really wish we had seen more of Martin's spy training in the previous episode because it's pretty crazy to me that he went from his post in the army to parkour and cracking safes.

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I am really surprise that Martin didn't put up much of a fight when assigned to seduce the secretary. No twinge of guilt about cheating on his girlfriend? Or maybe he felt totally guilty but he was just being stoic and German.

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Stasi tech guy(Fuchs?) speaking about the IBM pc that he's just gotten: "It's so cool!"
Schweppenstette: "Don't say 'cool.' "
Tech guy: "Okay."

Schweppenstette: "Don't say 'okay' either."

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That was the weak part of the episode for me too. Maybe on some level he knows that his girlfriend is unfaithful when he is away and was actually ok with a bit of payback.

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I could say that he knew that the Stasi won't take no for an answer. But the other episodes have shown that that doesn't stop Martin from trying to put up a fight. Refusing the mission because he doesn't want to leave his mother and girlfriend, trying to run away when he wakes up in the west and in the second episode demanding to know how his mother is doing.

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That was a pretty good episode. Well-paced, lots of action and intrigue. But, it somehow managed to have more nudity than the Americans and less sex than a Saturday morning cartoon.

 

Poor Linda, that was a crappy way to go. Definitely wasn't expecting the NATO guy to off himself. 

 

The last scene was weird. Were Martin and the daughter at a rave by themselves? Did they not have the budget for a crowd?

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Definitely wasn't expecting the NATO guy to off himself.

I expected that he would kill himself when he told Lenora that he'd rather be dead then work for her.

And did Annette really believe that Martin's mother didn't know anything about the forbidden books in her basement?

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I loved this ep so much. Baby Spy is starting to grow up.

I felt bad for both Linda and Mayer, who sadly ended up being collateral damage.

Need the next episode now!

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This show has quickly become an obsession for me. It's funny how quaint the Cold War seems now. Not many people were getting beheaded back then, and there was an order to the madness. And they are really on point with capturing the "feel" of the 80's without hitting you over the head.

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And did Annette really believe that Martin's mother didn't know anything about the forbidden books in her basement?

Ha, I was wondering about that too. She somehow thinks that Martin's mother, WHO LIVES THERE, doesn't know about the secret book room but Thomas does? Did I miss something where they explained that Thomas is letting Martin's mother rent his house or something that would make it plausible why Annette is putting all the blame on Thomas for the secret library? I mean, Annette saw the book on Martin's mother's nightstand before she found the stash of books in the basement.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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Ha, I was wondering about that too. She somehow thinks that Martin's mother, WHO LIVES THERE, doesn't know about the secret book room but Thomas does? Did I miss something where they explained that Thomas is letting Martin's mother rent his house or something that would make it plausible why Annette is putting all the blame on Thomas for the secret library? I mean, Annette saw the book on Martin's mother's nightstand before she found the stash of books in the basement.

I think she believes he is using the Trabi  to smuggle in books from the west

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Well, I couldn't really argue with anything Tischbier said to Martin. Taking out Linda was, in fact, cleaning up Martin's mess. Baby Spy needs to get his head together.

 

Good episode. 

 

I don't know, I feel like Alex is not gonna make it to the end of this season. He's just way too headstrong and doesn't think through his actions.

Edited by Gillian Rosh
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So glad to find this show on here. Agree, Gillian, Alex is crashing around like the teenager he just denied being - but think they will work to preserve him as the only link to his father. 

 

Martin is only a tiny bit better at controlling himself but seems to be skilled in self-defense. I don't get what made him chase after that Jackal type when he knew he was expected at the hospital urgently. What impact was he trying to make --save the world first and then do the Olympic dash to mom?

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Not sure if the setups are poor or if we are purposefully being given space to come up with our own rationales. For example I want to believe Lenora put Martin forward in the hope he could handle it and increase the chance of her sister qualifying for medical help.

 

It was stupid for Martin to risk calling his girlfriend in the east from his new boss's house in the west. But it reminded me that living in the east, he couldn't direct dial anywhere, right? So, it would have been hard to resist doing that, especially if you are at a party and the call could have been made by any one of them. It was just bad luck the aunt caught him. 

 

This is my best find of summer 2015, so I am much less critical than usual.

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It was a detonater. When he went west his bombs had no detonators. Martin unwittingly supplied them.

That bombing really happened but the truth of it did not come  out until the Stasi files were opened in the 90's

Edited by JennyMominFL
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Man, Tischbier couldn't have played Alex better if he had tried. Now that Alex is mad at his dad and rejected by his new lover, he is ready to go off the deep end.

 

And poor Yvonne. The morning after sexy times, Mortiz says he is going out to get breakfast and then never comes back. It reminded me of George Costanza ("I told her I was out of soda. I went out to get some and never went back.").

 

I was really expecting the General's wife to do something terrible so I was relieved when all she did was toss his fish on the floor. Man, that whole Edel family is falling apart.

 

I half expected the kidney transplant for Martin's mother to be a ploy to get him motivated so I'm glad that they actually let him donate his kidney.

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RIP, Kramer. It's generally a bad idea for me to get attached to a show's secondary characters. It always seems to doom them.

 

Oh, Alex. You dummy. I laughed a lot during his pathetic hostage taking. He is still such a child.

 

I also got laughs from that scene between Lenora and Tischbier. When he said, " You never tell me anything," she had that look on her face that said "I'm telling you now." More of those 2 together, please.

 

But will Tischbier even make it to the end of the season, what with this lover's AIDS reveal.

Edited by Gillian Rosh
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It's interesting how they bring issues into the episode.  Tischbier's possibility of AIDS was more natural than the book talk.

 

Alex is very much a child.  Wolfgang somehow didn't notice his son wasn't home for a week?  And continued to throw people around.  Those are good choices.

 

The problem with spy organizations is there is an inherent lack of communication.  Haha.  Not only in having trouble containing Alex but also in selective reporting of the facts that could result in war.

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Wolfgang was hoodwinked by his wife who kept taking trays upstairs to his supposedly sick son. I guess we are to think it's usual for Wolfgang to avoid interaction with his son, since they mostly insult each other and storm out.

 

I'm too used to Martin with cuts and bruises and dodging bullets. But it's hard to get used to his Zelig quality --showing up everywhere to solve every technical and, now, security problem. That, together with his appeal to all women, I guess is the farce part? 

 

Really wanted a longer scene with Martin and his mom to get a glimpse of what she is all about. But, no, just a teaser about his dad, who must be one of the worst guys we already know, right? 

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I'd like to have seen more of his training also, he always looks so shifty and overwhelmed. And he asked for "steak from a cow". I don't know how he's not setting off more alarm bells....I LOVE the music, and seeing his reactions to all that's available in the West.

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Wolfgang somehow didn't notice his son wasn't home for a week?

 

I'm taking this to mean he's so focused on work he has zero time to pay attention to home matters. But yeah - it was weird that he didn't once check to see if Alex was really there, at least not until that investigator was coming to the house.

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It may seem strange to some of us, including myself. I may be a bit closer to my mother, but when I lived with my parents there is no way my father would not have seen me for a week (or even a day) if I was sick. But it seems that General Edel is the kind of father who would not see his son for a week and not realize that something was wrong.

And could Alex also have AIDS? He did have sex with Tischbier, so he could be infected.

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And could Alex also have AIDS? He did have sex with Tischbier, so he could be infected.

 

This was my other worry when Felix (Tichbier's boyfriend) revealed his diagnosis.

 

Then again, the very sight of Alex stresses me out. He is such an unpredictable, reckless character.

Edited by Gillian Rosh
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Annett is in on this too - ack!

Does that mean when she called to report the books and she said she had a message for her boyfriend, she meant someone else? I will give her credit for being committed enough to have Martin's kid for the sake of the cause.

German hospitals in the 80s were so civilized that Martin got to wear regular pajamas instead of a generic hospital gown!

Alex at Lola's was both hilarious and terrifying. That kid is really not thinking straight. Loved that after the rescue, the minister said he had to get to his meeting. Priorities, man.

I laughed when Tischbier whined to Lenora about how she doesn't tell him everything. We're on a need to know basis, Tischbier!

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I wonder if Martin will have some kind of a switch and become a double agent or something. He doesn't seem very committed to the East German cause. And what's with him and all the girls? He has no secret orders to hook up with Yvonne, so I guess he really likes her, but he sure didn't think twice about starting that back up, even after finding out he's having a kid with someone who's supposedly still his girlfriend, right? That, plus he seemed to fall in love with Linda in about five minutes too, although I guess that's just because he's inexperienced with all this phony seduction stuff.

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I've been catching up with this series on "On Demand" - I too have been wondering when Martin will become a double agent - The plot is already getting more complicated but it would be even more interesting if he did that.  I can't see how it won't happen eventually.  I think it's inevitable at some point.  He has to have a turning point or be backed into a corner first.  I wondered how genuine he was when he told Annett how awful the West was when he told her how he didn't want to go back there.  I kind of think he has more reason at this point to think that of the East.

 

I also like how well they are doing with the wardrobe and the interiors.  Most American shows would not be so faithful to the period or if they did try they would overdo it.  I noticed that they're even trying to do the makeup right!

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I agree with the praise for the show. It's engrossing. And I also enjoy the music. I don't really know or remember much about 80's music, but I was hoping for some Scorpions. Maybe their big hits came a little bit later.

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Thanks John for this. You inspired me to create a "Deutschland 83" inspired playlist on Spotify. I added more Police and some Cars and old Peter Gabriel. It's been my soundtrack at work today. Good stuff!

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What a great idea, Kat! Thanks for the inspiration and thanks to John for the music run down. I was in high school and college during the '80s. I'm pretty sure the nostalgia from the music adds to my new love of the show.

I saw a commercial for this show while watching Sundance. I found it on demand and was immediately engrossed. I'm glad I didn't know about the subtitles or I might not have bothered. The subtitles haven't taken away from my enjoyment at all. Although it is true, you can't turn away if your German language skills are lacking.

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Damn. So much happened in this ep.

 

Alex never looked more like a kid than when Tobias a) broke up with him, and b) told him he had to get tested for AIDS. 

 

Really enjoyed Martin in this ep. He was just like fuck it, I'mma do me. He may live to regret that, though.

 

Schweppenstette was cold showing Annett that picture of Martin and Yvonne. Not sure how much sympathy I have for Annett though, since it's thanks to her that the Stasi snatched up poor Thomas.

 

Schweppenstette did make me smile when he was doing his awkward dad dancing at the end. I really like the actor who plays him.

 

Can't believe the finale is next week.

Edited by Gillian Rosh
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Things are getting tense!  I love it.  I don't know what outcome Martin was realistically expecting.  I guess he wasn't really thinking.

 

Even though I can't stand Wolfgang, I did appreciate the "That sounds disgusting.  I have to try it."

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So much happened and so many characters are into the spying game that it seems the finale will be almost complete chaos.  I think I did read that one of four East Germans was engaged by the Stasi in spying on others, so maybe this is closer to reality than I can imagine. 

 

One thing I kept thinking about this episode was how due to the escalation of the mutual E/W suspicions, the introduction of the AIDS epidemic and the breakdown of various relationships under these stresses, the usual humor was missing. 

 

Another odd or out of character behavior was how hostile Martin's mother seemed to be to having the Stasi administrator (her former prof) to lunch--was that supposed to signal us that he is Martin's father? 

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It's kind of hard to see what the possible set-up would be for a second season at this point, if everyone knows Martin is the mole now. Unless he somehow becomes a double agent or something.

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