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Guide to Season 2 BERLIN STATION: Q&A w/ Ashley Judd, Keke Palmer, Bradford Winters + Episode Guide

Maj Canton - October 15, 2017



EPIX premieres Season 2 of BERLIN STATION on Sunday, October 15, 2017 from 9-11pm with a two-episode season opener. The action-packed second season opens in the thick of a New World Order that has taken root and is steadily deepening. In the wake of the Far Right tide sweeping across continental Europe, Germany finds itself on the precipice of a pivotal election. The agents of the CIA station find themselves in the midst of the election campaigns in Germany. The so-called PfD, an alt-right party vowing for votes in the upcoming election, has managed to build a very solid following and is threatening to overthrow the current government. When the CIA station learns about intelligence of an upcoming terrorist attack that might be connected to the PfD, they are on high–alert.

This past August at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Summer Press Tour, EPIX presented a panel which included new cast members Ashley Judd, who plays station chief BB Yates; and Keke Palmer, new recruit April Lewis; as well as Executive Producer/Showrunner Bradford Winters. Here are a few highlights (edited for clarity and readability) from that panel.

Keke Palmer at TCA.

Question: Keke, this is a different kind of role for you, and you play someone who is also new. Do you feel like the character? And to what extent is this really a different world?

Keke Palmer: It’s completely different because it’s like this thriller, adventure, political type of connection and it’s nothing like I’ve done before. That’s exactly why I wanted to do it. I was really excited about tackling something through entertainment that is topical to what’s going on today. Also, the action element. April is doing things that I would love to do. It’s cool to live through her.

Question: Is espionage a comparable genre to horror at all, or is this a completely different arena?

Keke Palmer: It’s completely different. That’s what I love. I’m always looking for a challenge. I enjoy doing horror but I enjoy doing espionage work, too.

Ashley Judd at TCA.

Question: Ashley, you’re a very political person. What appealed to you about being involved in a political show?

Ashley Judd: I really feel like my character is the type of woman that the world needs now. Having the station chief of the CIA in Germany be a female is way overdue. And the cast is populated with the likes of Keke, and Michelle Forbes, and Nina, so you have the four of us giving a real look at what the world should actually be like in the 21st Century.

Question: Talk to us about being a badass. Have you always been that way and why do you like it so much?

Ashley Judd: Thank you. It’s fun. It is a little scary because there are plenty of people who would like to squelch the general badassery of strong women everywhere. And I love working with EPIX, they’re incredibly supportive. I’m delighted when the executives come to set. I think that the trouble is misogyny so we’re just responding to it in empowered ways. It’s wonderful to be wanted for exactly who and what I am.

Keke Palmer as April Lewis in BERLIN STATION.

Question: Have you heard from anyone in German intelligence about your show?

Bradford Winters: I have not heard directly from anyone in German intelligence, but our entire crew is German and we have had a very affirmative response from them. And the ideas for the second season started forming sometime after that attack in Germany at the Christmas market. And it was clear it wouldn’t take a lot more of that kind of incident to really tip things in Germany’s electoral cycle. I was deeply concerned to try and get it right. One of the most satisfying experiences are just members of the crew, of the production office, of different departments, coming up to me and saying how much they loved the scripts, how true they feel to what’s happening there.

Question: Of those great spy movies from the ‘60s, what influenced you?

Bradford Winters: What appealed to me from the get-go about this project is the fact that in the contemporary landscape of spy entertainment, it had a very neoclassical feel, and it reminded me of the novels I read growing up. It’s one of the things that really does set the show apart, it seems to come from a tradition and is also fitted for a contemporary audience and world and issues.

Question: Have you had any help from the CIA or a reaction from them?

Bradford Winters: We have a consultant who used to work in the CIA. Nobody from the institution. I would imagine they try to very much keep to themselves.

Keke Palmer: He’s keeping my secret. Actually, it’s me. I’m a CIA agent posed as an actor acting as a CIA agent.

Bradford Winters at TCA.

Question: What do you think it says about EPIX that they’re responsive to the type of show you’re trying to make (i.e. unlike Jason Bourne or Mission Impossible)?

Bradford Winters: I think it speaks volumes that EPIX would take this on board. It’s a genre that demands a more pyrotechnical approach these days. So the fact that they wanted to go with a very character-leading spy drama I think is a big testament to them. We sort of happily surprised ourselves taking a turn of a thriller in the middle of the journey. It was great because we found ourselves with a leg in each sub-genre, spy drama and spy thriller, and it really opened up the show creatively. We really entered the second season with that fluidity in mind.

Question: At the end of Season 1, the surviving characters were scattered to the forewinds. Are you bringing people back together?

Bradford Winters: We are bringing people back and it was difficult. That was also the exciting challenge of it – how to disrupt Berlin Station at the end of Season 1, how do we pick up the pieces at the start of Season 2 and continue to move on with an ensemble. I think there will be fun surprises into how that gets pulled off. The idea behind the second season is the station taking power into its own hands.


If you want to know nothing about the episodes at all, skip this section. Provided by EPIX, this episode guide includes general episode descriptions and specific plot details.

Episode 201: "Everything’s Gonna Be Alt-Right"
Sunday, October 15 at 9pm ET
Under the direction of new Chief of Staff BB Yates (Ashley Judd), Daniel Miller (Richard Armitage), Robert Kirsch (Leland Orser), Valerie Edwards (Michelle Forbes) and the rest of Berlin Station embark on an unsanctioned operation to uncover a possible Far Right terrorist attack.

Episode 202: "Right Here, Right Now"
Sunday, October 15 at 10pm ET
In an episode set completely in Spain over an intense 24-hour period, Daniel (Richard Armitage) enlists the help of an unexpected ally to further his mission with Otto Ganz (Thomas Kretschmann).

Episode 203: "Right to the Heart"
Sunday, October 22 at 9pm ET
Valerie (Michelle Forbes) works to obtain intel on the Far Right while Robert’s (Leland Orser) teenage son Noah (Brandon Spink) arrives in Berlin and asks questions. Meanwhile, Frost (Richard Jenkins) agrees to the Ambassador’s request to spy on Berlin Station.

Episode 204: "Do the Right Thing"
Sunday, October 29 at 9pm ET
BB Yates’s (Ashley Judd) past is revealed while she juggles keeping Berlin Station’s Far Right operation covert or revealing it to Ambassador Hanes; Daniel (Richard Armitage) discovers a lack of trust between Otto Ganz (Thomas Kretschmann) and his daughter.

Episode 205: "Right of Way"
Sunday, November 5 at 9pm ET
The Station’s sting operation to catch the Far Right in an arms deal goes horribly awry, with Otto Ganz (Thomas Kretschmann) escaping. Meanwhile, Robert (Leland Orser) and Frost (Richard Jenkins) make plans to investigate the money trail behind the PfD’s nefarious dealings.

Episode 206: "The Right Hook"
Sunday, November 12 at 9pm ET
Robert (Leland Orser) and Frost (Richard Jenkins) travel to Norway to investigate the illegal money trail leading to PfD. BB (Ashley Judd) and Valerie (Michelle Forbes) devise a new plan involving a member of the Far Right while Daniel (Richard Armitage) deals with the psychological consequences of his mission.

Episode 207: "Right and Wrong"
Sunday, November 19 at 9pm ET
April (Keke Palmer) weighs telling Robert (Leland Orser) about Hector’s (Rhys Ifans) assassination plot; Daniel (Richard Armitage) tries to arrange safe passage out of Berlin for Hector with help from Esther (Mina Tander).

Episode 208: "The Righteous One"
Sunday, November 26 at 9pm ET
Hector (Rhys Ifans) is wanted by German authorities for the assassination of Katerina Gerhardt, but Berlin Station begins to discover there is more at play than a jaded ex-CIA officer.

Episode 209: "Winners Right the History Books"
Sunday, December 3 at 9pm ET
Berlin Station continues to search for the truth behind Katerina Gerhardt’s assassination and Nick Fischer’s (Scott Winters) role in it, as a protest outside the US Embassy and calls to turn Hector (Rhys Ifans) over escalate.


Season 2 of BERLIN STATION opens in the thick of a New World Order that has taken root and is steadily deepening. In the wake of the Far Right tide sweeping across continental Europe, Germany finds itself on the precipice of a pivotal election. As Bradford Winters explains it, “Knowing that the writing, the shooting, and the airing of the second season would coincide with the electoral cycle in Europe at large, it seemed like a ripe opportunity to not only explore what was happening in Europe, but use that to address what was happening in America at the same time.” Richard Armitage, as he is going undercover into the hard core of right-wing extremism, has his own perspective: “One of the subjects that we're dealing with this season is when politics swings too far to either side. Intelligence services are faced with a difficult situation because they have to maintain their position as an institution while politics is kind of running away from them.”

In the CIA, there is an iron rule that a deputy chief of station can never succeed to a leaving chief. So, after Steven Frost’s departure, there was not only an opening. It was also clear that the show in Season 2 needed a strong new chief. The producers found her in Ashley Judd. Her arrival as the new head of station holds more than the usual old boss – new boss scheme. BB Yates comes in determined to change the culture of Berlin Station. Another new face is April Lewis, a rookies fresh out of Langley, played by Keke Palmer.

The Season 2 cast of BERLIN STATION.


Michelle Forbes has also been seeking to expand her role since Season 1: “I went to Bradford [Winters] and I was like, ‘Brad, please get me out from behind this desk. All my co- stars are going to these beautiful locations. They're on Museum Island and these cafes, and I am stuck behind this desk." Her intervention did not fall on deaf ears: “Sending Valerie out into the field became a top priority this season, “ says Brad Winters, “She carries such an amazing presence in the workplace, there was a great desire to let Valerie, and Michelle, sort of spread wings.“

Michelle Forbes and Keke Palmer in BERLIN STATION.


So with BB Yates as station chief and Valerie Edwards leading the rookie April Lewis audiences can also look forward to new female dynamic in the show.

Ashley Judd in BERLIN STATION.


BERLIN STATION shot Season 1 in the city of Berlin in winter. For Season 2, the production team made a major decision: That season, as it is taking place about six months after the events of Season 1, were to happen in summer. Bradford Winters explains: “Most of us come to the spy genre the stereotypical grey, Baltic winter in mind. Which is what I think made the Season 1 so true to form in kind of a neoclassical way. For Season 2 we really wanted to subvert that and have opportunity to show what's it like to come in on a spy genre set in Berlin when it's blue skies and trees are flowering.”