azdak (azdak) wrote,

I have become utterly obsessed with 17 Moments of Spring - or, as it is known in our household "Standartenführer Stirlitz" (pronounced with a Russian accent - aside from everything else, listening to all these beautiful Russian voices has given me a ridiculous urge to learn Russian). Night after night, I lock myself away in my work room and sit spellbound in front of crackly black and white youtube footage, the excitement mounting as the first notes of the theme tune start up. Everyone else is up in the TV room watching Germany's Next Top Model. I feel smug about my superior taste.

I have reached episode 6 now and the pace is finally hotting up. With a full six episodes to go, I feel the tension may be unbearable by the end. Already Müller is closing in on Stirlitz! He has found his fingerprints on the hotline telephone to Bormann and is secretly fingerprinting all the RSHA staff. Stirlitz's less skilful co-conspirators are starting to make mistakes. He has already had to rescue his hospitalised radio operator from the clutches of the Gestapo by swooping in, wearing his uniform and his best SS face, and arresting her himself. And Professor Pleischner, sent to Switzerland to reestablish contact with Moscow, has accidentally handed the coded message over to the Gestapo. And Holtoff, charged with investigating Stirlitz, has figured out how he managed to sabotage the V-2 development program (luckily, instead of going to Kaltenbrunner, Holtoff goes straight to Stirlitz and proposes that they elope run away to Switzerland together, and Stirlitz has the presence of mind to hit him over the head with a brandy bottle, although whether this constitutes a long term solution, I am not sure).

Meanwhile, in Switzerland, amidst the decadent luxury of a swanky hotel - you can tell it's decadent because they turn on an electric fan, and a more useless item for Switzerland in early March it would be hard to imagine - the Americans have begun negotiations with General Wolff, who has the most beautiful cheekbones in Germany and is obviously feeling a great deal of manpain about having to surrender to these capitalist swine who demand to know the dollar value of the Botticellis he has rescued from the Uffizi. "They are masterpieces of European history, they are priceless," he tells them. At this thought Allen Dulles, who has been smoking his pipe enigmatically in the background and glaring at Wolff as if he were something the cat dragged in, perks up and decides it might just be worth negotiating with Germany after all. Only don't tell the president. He wouldn't like it.

I must admit I have absolutely no clue what Schellenberg wants with Pastor Schlagg, who Stirlitz is busy smuggling over the border into Switzerland (thereby leaving his radio operator undefended - Kaltenbrunner seizes the opportunity to have her interrogated by one of Müller's Bad Cops - oh no, I can't look! Please, please, let her do SOMETHING right, even though she's a woman!). Pastor Schlagg is supposed to suggest to people involved in the negotiations that Wolff is not the general they want, they should be talking to some other generals who are not in fact interested in making peace with the West. What earthly good this is supposed to do Schellenberg's cause, I cannot for the life of me make out, but then if I understood what goes on in Schellenberg's twisted little mind, I, too, could have been head of foreign intelligence in a corrupt dictatorship by the age of 35.

Let me finish with the opening of the Wolff/Dulles negotiations, just because I can.

Tags: 17 moments of spring

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