Pan Am Episode 8: Unscheduled Departure

Title: Unscheduled Departure
Season: 1
Episode #: 1.08
Episode: 8
First Air Date: November 13, 2011 (10pm)
DVD: Available September 2012
Instant Video: Season 1
HD Instant Video: Season 1
Writer: Jill Abbinanti & Nick Thiel
Director: Millicent Shelton
Guest Stars:
Aaron Diaz as Miguel


Fan Rating: 8.64/10 (Average of all fan submitted ratings)


A wealthy passenger charms the stewardesses on a flight to Caracas; when a passenger has a heart attack, the only hope of saving him is to land in turmoil-stricken Haiti.

(Preview From ABC)
As the crew flies to Caracas, a dashing, wealthy passenger, Miguel (Aaron Diaz), charms the stewardesses with invitations to his yacht. Meanwhile another passenger, Henry Belson, suffers a heart attack, but there is no doctor on board to help out. The only hope of saving his life is to land in nearby Haiti to seek medical help. However, Haiti is a hotbed of local political unrest, reeling from tropical storms which downed trees and affected power - including the lights on the damaged runway. Colette and Ted team up to to make the dangerous trek for medical help.

(Recap From ABC)
The crew is getting ready to take off to another exotic locale. This time, they’re headed for Caracas, Venezuela, but there’s a little complication standing in their way named Ginny. No, not the seductive woman Dean’s been seeing, though the coincidence does not go unnoticed by Ted. This Ginny is an actual hurricane. Ted’s wondering which one will prove to be more destructive and we’re not sure ourselves.

In the air, we get to meet some new faces. There’s Miguel, the rich, handsome playboy passenger that Maggie’s been flirting with for a chance to get to a party on his yacht. There’s Chuck, the substitute navigator who makes Dean, Ted and us wish Sanjeev wasn’t on vacation. And there’s Henry, a sweet, older gentleman who’s flying with a broken heart. As Kate talks with him, we find out he’s a widower whose wife Blanka was from Venezuela and he’s finally taking the trip there that they had always planned to get around to. But before they can get there, Henry’s broken heart becomes more than just a metaphor—he’s having an actual heart attack! Knowing they have to get him help, Dean lands the plane the only place he can, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

It turns out that Port-au-Prince isn’t particularly well-known for its amenities. For instance, instead of a full ground crew, Dean and Ted are met by a couple of Haitian rebels with assault rifles who only speak French. Dean has no choice but to send Colette and Ted off to find a doctor while he stays to watch over the plane and passengers. Beyond its unorthodox ground crew, it turns out Port-au-Prince doesn’t have the most stellar runway maintenance, either. The hurricane has left a giant sinkhole that’s shortened the runway by about 500 feet—way too short for a fully loaded 707.

It doesn’t take Ted and Colette long to see how bad things have gotten in Haiti when they drive past some dead bodies on the road. They also pick up a teenage girl whose family was killed and who leads them to a doctor with too many seriously wounded patients to leave. He reluctantly gives them a nitroglycerin pill for Henry and Ted, Colette and the Haitian girl race back to the plane. But sadly, they’re too late. Kate spends Henry’s last few moments talking with him about the beautiful places she’s gotten to see and how they both want to help people.

The other passengers are beginning to get restless. Those two Haitians and their assault rifles come aboard to get some food and Miguel, the dashing playboy, hides behind other passengers while Laura calmly makes them a snack and sends them on their way. And no one reacts well to the news that they’re going to have to leave their luggage. Hey, if we had to choose between keeping our stuff or getting out of a hostile country without being taken hostage, we’d probably handle it better than Miguel does. Finally, the passengers question taking on a Haitian refugee, which Colette insists on, if the plane needs to lose weight to take off. Overhearing the argument, Kate thinks of a way that Henry can still help someone—by leaving his body behind.

Dean decides that they should divert to Miami. That means a shorter trip, which means they need less fuel, which means they can burn some now to lose some weight. The plan’s working great, but when a few trucks of Haitian rebels begin to show up, Dean knows they have to leave now! Chuck complains the whole way—so much so that Ted actually stands up for his Captain—and we’re not sure that they’re going to make it until the very last second. It’s a white-knuckle take-off, but the Majestic makes it to Miami. Kate’s able to get Colette’s refugee a home in the U.S. by calling in a favor with her contacts in U.S. Intelligence. The four stewardesses pull an “I am Spartacus” routine to keep Colette out of trouble for bringing the girl on-board by each insisting it was their idea. It looks like Dean is the only one paying the price when he gets a serious, and very loud, lecture. It seems to pay off, though, because at the end Colette gives him one hell of a kiss.