A gripping coming-of-age story and spy thriller set in Germany in the ‘80s.

“DEUTSCHLAND 83″ Recap: Episode 101 (Quantum Jump)

Martin Rauch Mortiz Stamm Deutschland 83 101 Recap

In 1983, East German official Lenora Rauch watches from her government’s embassy in Bonn, West Germany as U.S. President Ronald Reagan denounces Soviet Russia as an “evil empire” on television. She makes a call and tells her contact on the other end that she’s coming over, grabbing a coffee tin from her desk as she heads out the door.

Young East German guard Martin Rauch reprimands a pair of students who bought textbooks on the black market, putting on a stern show but laughing with his partner after the chastened kids leave.

Lenora Rauch discusses Reagan’s televised address with colleague Walter Schweppenstette, interpreting the president’s inflammatory rhetoric about the Soviets as a threat of military action. Lenora shares a piece of intelligence: Hawkish West German General Wolfgang Edel is about to be assigned a new aide-de-camp, Moritz Stamm. Lenora suggests replacing the would-be aide with a spy, but Schweppenstette balks at the lack of possible candidates given the 24-year-old aide’s young age. Lenora volunteers her own recently enlisted nephew, Martin, who fits the profile.

Lenora visits her sister Ingrid’s family as Martin comes home on leave. She gives Ingrid the coffee, unavailable in the East, and expresses sympathy that her sister also can’t get access to the right medication to treat the disease that’s slowly killing her kidneys.

The next day, Lenora and her colleagues appear back at her sister’s house, looking for Martin. They play chess with the boy while questioning him on global economic policy, also checking his knowledge of soccer (pass) and ability to play the piano (fail) — the target aide’s two listed traits.

Lenora tells her sister she’ll be able to get her to the top of the list for a kidney transplant if Martin spies for them. When Martin balks at the assignment, Schweppenstette violently twists one of his fingers back, spraining it.

In pain, Martin accepts a cup of coffee with his free hand, and gulps it down. He reiterates that he won’t go to the West just before passing out. He’s been drugged.

Martin wakes up in bed in a lavish home in Bonn. Lenora introduces him to Tobias Tischbier — the home’s permanent occupant and full-time spy. Martin makes a break for it, but Tischbier chases him down and shames him into compliance with a speech about the importance of their mission and the U.S. missiles potentially pointed at Martin’s home.

Tischbier trains Martin in basic espionage skills, teaching him how to pick locks, take hidden camera photos and secretly hand off documents.

Meanwhile, the real Moritz Stamm packs to leave and boards a train, where a female spy quietly assassinates him so that Martin can assume his identity.

The new Stamm (alias Rauch) meets General Edel by way of Karl Kramer, another mole at the base. Edel comments on Stamm’s late arrival and inability to play the piano, both of which Stamm blames upon a broken finger from playing soccer. Stamm also meets Edel’s son, Alex, a fellow soldier at the base.

Back home, the recent disappearance of Martin leads his girlfriend Annett to confront Ingrid about his sudden disappearance, but his mother remains tight-lipped.

General Edel welcomes the American General Jackson to the base to discuss America’s growing nuclear arsenal. Edel points out that Germany lies within the fallout radius of the most likely Russian targets.

While General Edel and Jackson break for lunch, Stamm breaks into Edel’s locked office and uses his microfilm camera to snap images of secret NATO documents.

General Edel hosts a barbecue for Jackson that night. After Stamm prepares the fire, Edel’s wife invites him to stay for the party.

Stamm drops the microfilm on the ground as he tries to hand it off to Tischbier. Luckily no one sees, and Kramer is able to retrieve it.

Stamm meets General Edel’s daughter, Yvonne, a beautiful young soul singer. As Yvonne performs for the crowd, Stamm hurries into the house and finally dials the East to reach Annett, risking blowing his cover. A guest from the party, and General Edel’s sister-in-law Renate Werner, overhears Stamm’s conversation and hurries out to warn others.

Stamm races her out and asks Kramer for help. Kramer gives Stamm a vial of drugs to squirt into Renate’s drink. Stamm does so.

Stamm tracks down General Edel to see if he needs any more help with the party, finding Edel checking on his pet fish. He offers to give Renate, now visibly intoxicated and dancing by herself outside, a ride home. Edel thanks him and says Stamm’s parents must have raised him well.

Kramer jokes about needing to kill the now-unconscious Renate to instill fear in Stamm for his careless mistake. The two men take Renate home.

Stamm meets Lenora in the wilderness outside his base. Lenora tells him the information he provided reveals targets of a planned attack on East Germany and that he needs to go back in and discover when the Americans are planning to carry it out. Stamm refuses, reminding Lenora that she promised him only one mission.

Lenora implies that she won’t get Ingrid the kidney transplant she needs unless he goes back for more. With that knowledge, Martin jogs off back into the West German woods.

Listen to music from the episode by composer Reinhold Heil below.

View photos from the episode.

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