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What <i>Pan Am</i> Taught Us About the ’60s This Week

Welcome back to the Pan Am death watch. After a month off, the ABC series aired the first of its (likely) final five episodes ever, "Secrets and Lies." It was a strangely muted return, even though some pretty big things happened. For starters, Dean's ex-fiancée (and Kate's predecessor as an undercover CIA courier) Bridget returned, putting the kibosh on his fledgling romance with Colette. And speaking of Kate, the Agency finally agreed to let her go free of their clutches and return to civilian life, but at the last minute she seemed to change her mind (spy games are far more fun -- if also far more dangerous -- than simply serving drinks, after all). Elsewhere, Maggie continued her so-boring-nobody-cares romance with the pro-nukes congressman and Laura... took some pictures. That's right, it's always a thrill-a-minute ride aboard this show. No wonder it's about to get its wings clipped.

In the '60s... Robert Redford Was the Hugh Jackman of Broadway
Six years before becoming the Sundance Kid and nearly twenty years before founding the Sundance Institute and its film festival, Robert Redford was a hard-working New York actor dividing his time between TV and Broadway. After smaller roles in a few forgettable Great White Way productions, Redford hit pay dirt as the male lead opposite Jane Fonda in Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park. Directed by Mike Nichols (the wunderkind who, three years later, made the leap to movies with Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), the Manhattan-set romantic comedy opened on October 23, 1963 and ran for 1530 performances before closing in June 1967, making it Simon's longest-running hit play. Of course, had they just waited four years, Dean and Colette could have seen Fonda and Redford on the big screen in the 1967 film version of Barefoot instead of having to pay Broadway prices.

In the '60s... Guys Still Hit Up Their Female Friends for Sex Tips
After trying to pass himself off as some kind of expert on the female mind for much of the season (remember when he boasted about having read The Feminine Mystique?), Ted revealed his true colors last night, asking Laura in the most awkward way possible how he could seduce his current paramour, Amanda. Seems that despite spending almost every waking hour together since their London date, they haven't gotten past the heavy necking phase of their relationship thanks to Amanda's "strict pants-on policy." So Ted turns to the only girl that will talk to him about serious matters (or, really, the only girl that will talk to him at all) for advice and, as it turns out, Laura is actually really good at counseling dorky dudes. Hey, if this Pan Am gig fails, maybe she can become the proto-Carrie Bradshaw.

In the '60s... Real Men Didn't Like The Beatles
When we spoke with Pan Am creator Jack Orman back in September, he mentioned his plans to devote an entire episode to the Beatles' first trip to America in 1964, for which they boarded a Pan Am flight. With the show's shortened episode order, it's unclear whether we'll actually get that episode, so Orman went out of his way to rope the Fab Four into this episode instead. Early on in the hour, Dean scoffed while reading a newspaper article about the thousands of screaming fans that greeted the mop topped quartet at Heathrow following a quick trip to Sweden. ("They have girl hair," he says dismissively. Yeah, because the way you pined after Bridget was so manly.) Later on, a concierge in a London hotel complained about all the "fuss" being generated over the band, proudly stating "Give me Sinatra any day." Don't get us wrong, we like Ol' Blue Eyes too. But if forced to choose between "My Way" and "A Hard Day's Night", we'd listen to the latter every time.

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