Sprechen Sie Deutschland 83: Ein Loch im Eimer

Lisa Tomaschewsky, Nikola Kastner, and Jonas Nay on Deutschland 83
Deutschland 83 (Photo: Conny Klein / Sundance)

After a nearly-flawless tenure in the spy game, Martin/Moritz runs into serious trouble in the latest Deutschland 83 episode.

Things had been going pretty smoothly with Martin Rauch’s military maneuvers as Moritz Stamm. He successfully completed three missions, including bugging the hotel room and general office area of NATO chief Henrick Mayer. He even managed to find himself a girlfriend in Linda, Mayer’s secretary. Unfortunately, this week things went pear-shaped in a list of Do’s and Don’ts for those of you interested in pursuing Cold War espionage.

  • DO reinforce the wiring of your recording device. I don’t care if the world’s worst guard dog is interfering with installation, the cleaning staff vacuuming near Linda’s desk should not be able to completely dismantle your device and expose that eavesdropping is afoot.
  • DON’T reveal too much about your relationship with your targets. Remember, Stamm was to woo Linda for access to Mayer’s office, not develop genuine feelings. This circumstance applies both to Moritz (don’t sleep with your co-workers) and to Martin (don’t compromise your mission). As the investigation into the bug begins, Moritz assures General Edel that his fling with Linda was just that. Edel presses further, trying to determine if perhaps Linda could be the mole. DO take advantage of possible deflections.
  • DON’T get handsy at the critics screening of a German end of days film. Alexander and the Peaceniks1 still don’t see eye to eye about strategy or the effectiveness of peace rallies. Tischbier has taken a shining to Alex and invites him to a screening for a movie similar to The Day After (according to Deutschland 83‘s co-creator Anna Winger). As we see buildings tumbling to the ground on the movie screen, Tischbier tries to feel up Alex. First, that doesn’t look like a make-out movie. Second, Alex kind of freaks out and runs out of the cinema hyperventilating. Ah, to be in college again.
  • DO follow your heart, even when your superiors tell you to turn or eliminate your target. Moritz gets those instructions on his daily jog/dead drop. He returns to the hotel where Linda is staying and invites her on a picnic. There’s making out, drinking, more making out, then swimming. There’s some more kiss-chase in the water, and we quickly learn swimming is not Linda’s sport. Moritz dives underwater and manages to hide from Linda and she starts to panic. As she searches for her boyfriend, she develops a cramp and the panic escalates. At this point we see Moritz hiding behind a platform listening to the screams. I’m not sure if this was his plan all along–it’s barbarous to say the least, both in execution and pre-meditation. We discover Moritz has soul, as he decides to swim out and help Linda.
  • DON’T worry about the Annett/Ingrid/Thomas storyline. Aside from Annett telling Thomas to leave and never come back after confronting him about the library, there isn’t much movement on this front this week.
  • DON’T use a marriage proposal as a way of turning a target. After some adult situations post-beach rescue, Moritz gives Linda his grandmother’s ring. Now that they are official, Moritz comes clean about his role as a spy. Linda isn’t shocked exactly, instead mentioning she didn’t realize her fiance was so exciting. Hehe.
  • DO keep your cover story as close to the truth as possible, especially if it involves third parties (and do your research first). Stamm goes through a more formal deposition about the bug found in Mayer’s offices. There is more detailed discussion about his relationship with Linda, which he stresses was a rebound “palette cleanser” after she and her boyfriend split. Stamm adds that the fling ended when Linda decided to get back with her ex. He mentions that the desk where the bug was found was originally supposed to be Mayer’s, but at the last minute he gave it to Linda. In other words, he’s trying to set up Mayer as the mole and does a pretty good job of it.
    Back at the hotel, Linda is packing up having learned about the leak. Moritz tells her what he testified and advises her on how to proceed. However, with the way Moritz described it, if Linda doesn’t flip on Mayer, she could be on the hook for the leak. Moritz leaves the room for a second and Linda bolts. After some chasing into the woods, Moritz catches up with Linda and tells her everything will be fine if she just cooperates. There’s just one problem: it turns out Linda did have an ex, and that ex was Mayer. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl. Because of that intimacy, she knows Mayer isn’t the mole, she knows she isn’t the mole, and that only leaves one more person in the triangle. The engagement is off.
  • DON’T try to stop a car in the woods when your former fiance is chasing you. Especially when that car is driven by one of Martin’s superiors. Linda tries to escape, but the car runs her over with no remorse. We don’t see the driver, but we do hear him instructing Martin to bury the body.
  • DON’T bring your mother into this. Alexander and joins his parents at home to celebrate Frau Edel’s birthday. However, the general and the son get into a heated argument about the possible war, peaceniks2, communist propaganda, alleged Nazism…it gets tense. The Nazi comment pushes the elder Edel over the edge and he moves to slap his son. Mama Edel intervenes and gets whacked instead. Edel the Younger is thrown out of the house. It is not a happy birthday.
  • DON’T compromise yourself. This means you, Mayer. He meets with Lenora who offers him a spot on Team East Germany. He declines, which was expected, so Lenora shows him some photos of him and Linda in flagrante delicto. The next day we see Mayer enter his office, arrange some items on his desk, look at a picture of his young daughter, then swallow his gun. Yikes.
  • DO arrange alternate accommodations. Stamm, with nowhere to go, joins Yvonne/Devita at the commune for some meditation and what looks like a rave. The two start making out. Meanwhile, Alex heads to Tischbier’s estate and they start making out. I’m certain these are bad ideas for everyone involved.

Coming up on Deutschland 83: the AIDS crisis adds to the tension. Oh my.

  1. Adding that to my potential trivia team name list…  
  2. General Edel’s word, not mine this time!  

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About Mike McComb 615 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv