Deutschland 83 – ‘Atlantic Lion’

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Episode Three

CONTAINS SPOILERS 

The East have the floppy disk, but Schweppenstette has no idea what it is, let alone what to do with it. Lenora tells him “Stick it into a ‘personal computer’. This is the future comrade”.

But they still have a problem. The technology in the East isn’t advanced enough to even read it, especially with Reagan banning American electronic sales to the East. They manage to gain a suitable American computer illegally, but find the information on the disk is coded.

Lenora arranges to meet up with Moritz at a petrol station on his way to Brussels for a NATO meeting. She tells him that Ingrid is on the shortlist for a kidney transplant. She then, without much warning, takes Moritz’s blood with a needle! She says that they need to see if he is a match for Ingrid so he can donate a kidney. Lenora herself has been tested and unfortunately isn’t a match. She then tells Moritz the East want him to seduce Linda to get information about Mayer.

There are discussions in NATO HQ. The Soviets have a lot of nuclear weapons development in different countries. This is why the US wants to develop their own nuclear weapons and even consider a pre-emptive strike. But Mayer firmly believes this would be suicidal. Even if the Soviets didn’t retaliate, if the wind blows in the wrong direction the fallout would contaminate West Germany and the rest of Europe. Jackson says that America believes it can win a war in Europe, but Mayer disagrees, saying he’s considered every possible scenario and they all lead to basically the end of the world.

Moritz has began to date Linda, taking her gifts and pretending to like stuff she likes, having been informed of her interests from Lenora’s background check. They go to an Art Deco shop, and she shows him a rosewood desk she has ordered for Mayer’s office. Moritz then buys a Walkman for Linda, and a mini recording device which he intends to use as a bug. After some awkwardness when he and Linda run into General Edel and General Jackson, who are both with prostitutes, they go to Linda’s flat.

Linda loves cats, and has a couple. Moritz is allergic to them, and he has to pretend he isn’t, which isn’t easy for him. At her balcony, Linda opens up to Moritz. Her work stresses her. “If you read the documents I type up at work you wouldn’t sleep at night”. She’s also very lonely. Most of her colleagues have families so don’t have time to go out at night, and she only has her cats for company most of the time. Moritz kisses her, and they sleep together.

During the night, Moritz goes back to the Art Deco shop to plant the device on the rosewood desk. He has an encounter with the owner’s fierce-looking Doberman – who is named Pom Pom (!) – but manages to pet it, put the device on and get away without being noticed. He goes to meet Linda the next day, and finds she has the rosewood desk! She says that Mayer gave it to her.

Meanwhile back in East Germany, Annett has moved in with Ingrid to help her out. Living together means that they find out each others secrets though. Ingrid works out that Annett is pregnant, and Annett sees that Ingrid is letting Thomas borrow her car on a regular basis. Furthermore, she finds out that Ingrid is reading George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, wrapped in paper to hide the cover. This book is forbidden in East Germany.
Soon, she finds a secret room behind a bookcase. That old cliché. But it is very fitting here, as the room is filled with books, all forbidden in East Germany!

‘Atlantic Lion’ was one of my favourite episodes of this series. One of the most enjoyable, and had a lot of interesting parts to it.

There were quite a few moments of the characters speaking in English in this episode, which was kind of fun, but a little odd in some ways, having got used to everyone speaking in German.

While not part of the main plot, the continuing arc of Wolfgang and Alex’s strained relationship continues. While they certainly don’t see eye to eye most of the time, this episode showed that father and son have similar attitudes to peace protests, seeing them as futile, that regardless of whether the media or even the public pay attention to them, nobody with any power over decisions will pay any attention to them. Alex also notes that with the army training, gas masks will do no good in a nuclear strike.

This line, from Lenora about Linda made me laugh. “An obsession with Art Deco has got her deep in debt”.

This was even more of an ’80s nostalgia episode than most. ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’ by Duran Duran is something of an ’80s period drama anthem, and it gets played a lot during this episode. Moritz asks Linda to type up the lyrics to ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’, which they have decided is “our song”. As the bug is planted on Linda’s desk, the song lyrics are being recorded, typed up and sent to the East!

Another common thing with ’80s and even ’90s nostalgia is seeing the now obsolete technology like Walkmans and the computers. Seeing it in the 2010s you see how far technology has moved on since then. This is even more the case with this series, as that at the time this is set in the technology is fairly new and cutting edge. The newest computer the East have is the Robotron 5120. Even the name of it sounds very cheesy ’80s, even more so with all the bleep sounds and the minimalist graphics it has.

What I loved most about this episode was Moritz being shown a Walkman and given one to listen to. He’s never even heard of one before, and he finds out he loves it while listening to ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’. It is kind of endearing seeing Moritz discover the joys of such a simple but fantastic things, and I can relate to it as I spend a lot of time with my earphones on listening to music, as you might have guessed from the blog title. Moritz with his headphones reminds me a bit of Cassie drifting away listening to her headphones in SkinsPure. 

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