In the gifs by ghisborne tumblr (Thanks!) and shared at Richard-Crispin-Armitage tumblr where I saw them. (Thanks also!) (see my screen cap below) of the Berlin Station episode 5 prelude to the love scene, characters U.S. spy Daniel Miller (portrayed with an everyman insouciance and a brooding spyliciousness by Richard Armitage) and German spy Esther Krug (portrayed with femme fatale finesse by Mina Tander) look so sweetly shy and tentative as they slowly walk around her apartment–because they have not made love together before, as they each hope they will that night. Yet for all of their shy tentativeness, the two characters on screen chemistry is undeniable in a quietly building way.
This prelude scene is sexy and romantic to me. Sighhh! For my aesthetic tastes, the prelude scene–that ends with their first desirously fevered kisses–could have then cut to an after shot of them cuddling in bed with tender kisses and whispered words of praise, if not of love–and that would have been entirely romantic enough for me. That is my love scene aesthetic. I don’t need to see the act of sex being performed by actors, to know that this is a love scene.
Of course, tv shows can get away with showing a lot more skin and such in love scenes these days—especially in Europe and elsewhere, censorship wise. It makes me wonder what we in the U.S. did not see that might be in a European version of this episode’s love scene—with the mock humping ably and athletically performed by the actors involved. For surely the writer and director have a spicier edited version of the love scene for other regions of the world as they prepare to sell this series to multiple countries.
But then I think that maybe the focus of Episode 5 showing the Daniel Miller and Esther Krug characters frantic vertical coupling—which seemed rather devoid of tenderness to me–was the point. The characters haven’t known each other long enough to develop tenderness nor even a relationship. And they are on opposing sides—their being spies for two different countries.
So there are likely ulterior motives involved for Daniel’s and Esther’s characters hooking up. Other characters’ plotlines so far in Berlin Station have implied that the spy agent characters trade sex for access and for information—U.S. spy Hector DeJean (portrayed with swash buckling gusto by Rhys Ifans) and Arab spy Zoltan Vasile (poignantly portrayed by Lenn Kudrjawizki) spring to mind. And Robert Kirsch’s character (portrayed with bubbling fury by Leland Orser) has also alluded to a flexible sex and work ethic.
Alternatively, perhaps the Daniel and Esther characters are acting on impulse, a biological need—some would say a biological imperative. Two attractive people getting it on. I comprehend that dynamic. And their spy characters’ lives and futures are tenuous at best. So perhaps the characters take what joy and pleasure that they can from life. Good for them.
And I am not a prude–by any stretch of the imagination. But the whole sexual revolution, 3rd date hookup thing, passed me by completely. I married my one true love almost 27 years ago—and going strong. So in film and tv love scenes, I appreciate romance versus an instructional manual of what sex moves happens next. My imagination can fill in the blanks, without needing to see the actors act it out for me. *wink* And the prelude to the love scene—as represented by the gif caps above–was just right for my sensibilities.
Berlin Station’s Episode 7 (titled Proof of Life) is coming up on Sunday, November 27, 2016. So with several plot arcs in play—involving personal relationships, spy conflicts, and where they collide–it should be an interesting episode. Stay tuned.
P.S. And one more thing, where was the condom usage consideration in episode 5’s love scene between Daniel and Esther? I would hope that the Berlin Station creatives would at least please direct/write love scenes responsibly, and have characters practice safer sex on screen—as an example/reminder for viewers off screen.