BERLIN STATION Review: “Thomas Shaw”

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And thus, Thomas Shaw began and ended in this week’s episode of , “Thomas Shaw.” I never thought I’d say this, but, I’m actually enjoying this show. It had the world’s slowest build up – I mean, good grief, if I wasn’t reviewing this show every week I would have stopped watching after the third episode – but I’m so glad I stuck it out. This week’s episode brings us to the fall out of Hector as Thomas Shaw, the ramp up of Daniel as an accomplice in the tangled, muddy web of secrecy that’s been spun, and the inevitable fall out of Steven Frost. And my goodness, if this drama isn’t just so deliciously soapy I don’t know what is!

This episode picks up where last week’s episode dropped off – Hector is still in the interrogation room, and Daniel is discussing next steps with Frost. Despite Hector’s flawless ability to pass the lie detector test, Frost still wants to turn him in, against Daniel’s rightful hesitation that Hector’s ability to pass the lie detector test means he’ll be able to gracefully lie through his teeth to the Germans as well. Frost, however, being the selfish person that he is, is desperate for a way out of Berlin and out of hiding, and tells his German contact, Hans, that Daniel will meet his agents for the hand over of Thomas Shaw. After which, Frost will be able to go free out of the country with his wife.

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However, after Frost leaves to go tie up some loose ends, and Daniel makes to depart with Hector, the two agents are shot at, and Hector is hit in the side. To avoid the gunshots, they have to take a detour underground and out a different exit. As they are escaping, Daniel gets a picture text from Julian on Hector’s phone – it’s of his cousin, who Julian is holding hostage at the top of an old CIA tower from Berlin’s cold war days. Instead of going to the meetup site to turn Hector in as Thomas Shaw to the Germans, Daniel steals a car and takes Hector to Julian to get his cousin back.

Meanwhile, Frost is tying up loose ends with precious time he doesn’t have. As cocky as he is, you would think he’d grab his wife and get out of there ASAP to avoid the consequences should anything go wrong with Daniel taking Hector to the Germans. But no, Frost clearly has never been a great decision maker. And sure enough, when Daniel and Hector don’t meet up at the rendezvous site, Frost gets a call from Hans with the news that the deal is off. As a last resort out of desperation, Frost goes to Berlin Station in the hopes of getting some sort of asylum and way out of Germany, but the CIA clearly feels like Frost isn’t a priority amidst the bigger fish they have to fry. I can’t imagine the gut-wrenching feeling it would be to have the place that you dedicated and risked your life for turn its back on you the one time you need rescuing.

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In a last, desperate attempt to escape Berlin, Frost and his wife head to the train station to board a train to Paris. It’s of course a futile attempt by Frost, and he is arrested at the station. He hands his wife a letter and tells her to get it to his secretary, Sandra, right before he’s dragged away by the Germans. What’s in the letter and will Frost ever escape German prison? Who knows. Maybe we’ll find out in the next episode.

Back with Daniel and Hector, they find Julian and Daniel’s cousin, who is unharmed. Julian, however, is not great. He’s clearly scared, and keeps asking Hector if “it’s over.” Hector tries to reassure Julian that Julian is in the clear – he doesn’t have to worry about getting caught, it’s just over for Hector, that’s it. But Julian doesn’t believe him, and commits suicide by jumping off the ledge, right there in front of Daniel and Hector. It’s at this moment that Hector reveals that Hans Richter – Frost’s German contact – knew all along that Hector was Thomas Shaw, and told Hector that he needed to continue to be Shaw until the Berlin Station was gutting, and completely ruined. So there’s finally a surprise none of us knew – Hans has been playing Frost and all of Berlin Station this whole time. And as probably the one who ordered the sniper attack on Daniel and Hector as they were trying to leave the interrogation site as well.

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Throughout this entire episode, it should be noted that we are given the backstory of how Thomas Shaw came to be, and how it started with Hector helping Julian escape Morocco. This does a significant amount to help make Hector more sympathetic, but the reveal of Hans as manipulating Thomas Shaw is still a blindside. And while I liked the fact that, unlike the early reveal of Hector as Thomas Shaw, this we didn’t know about ahead of time, I would have liked at least a hint that there was a third party contender in the identity of Shaw, just so I had something to give a little extra mystery and tension to – something to help connect the dots between the gunshots and Hector/Shaw a little earlier. Something to bring more tension to Frost’s inevitable demise.

What will happen next now that Julian is dead, Shaw has been unveiled, and Daniel and Hector are in some ways operating on their own against both the CIA and now the Hans-controlled Germans? Hopefully we’ll find answers in next week’s episode.

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Season 1, Episode 9 (S01E09)
Berlin Station airs Sundays at 9PM on Epix

Read all of our reviews of Berlin Station here.
Read our reviews of more of your favorite shows here.


 

Tasha is a freelance writer currently based in Los Angeles. Originally from Kansas, when she’s not writing about or watching TV, Tasha is searching for the best BBQ place in LA to fill the KC BBQ hole in her stomach. 
Keep up with all of Tasha’s reviews here.

 

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One Response to BERLIN STATION Review: “Thomas Shaw”

  1. So, I don’t get why the CIA just throws its Berlin station chief under the bus, negates his diplomatic immunity, and doesn’t just spirit him out of the country. This doesn’t seem realistic to me. Wouldn’t it be highly demoralizing for Frost’s minions at the station to see their boss abandoned to the Germans like this?

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