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Transatlantic – Episode 2 Recap

Scene from Transatlantic Episode 2 to illustrate recap

In the first episode, Albert Hirschman decided to stay back in Marseille and work with Mary Jayne and Varian to get more refugees outside of Europe.

Transatlantic is a historical drama based on the novel titled The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer. It follows the efforts of Mary Jayne Gold and Varian Fry who helped refugees escaped to the US during the WWII. Starring Gillian Jacobs, Cory Michael Smith, and Lucas Englander.

Streaming on Netflix

Transatlantic - Episode 2 Summary & Recap

Meeting Thomas Lovegrove

A woman named Margaux approached Varian at the hotel, requesting his help to help smuggle British POWs out of France. However, Varian had to decline because America declared neutral for this war. He was about to leave the conversation when Margaux revealed to him that the hotel is now filled with undercover police. They are preparing to raid the Spledide.

Sure enough, the raid soon happened. Varian managed to inform Paul who got word out to Mary Jayne. Paul and Albert managed to smuggle Mr Benjamin and an another academic named Julius Berger via a secret tunnel. Outside, the academics were handed over to Lisa and two other refugees. They were to escape via the passageway through the mountains.

Meanwhile, Mary Jayne and Varian got the other important people listed by the Committee out of the hotel via a car. Varian brought them to Thomas Lovegrove’s place. At first Varian just wanted the refugees to stay one night, but after much persuasion from Mary Jayne, he agreed for all of them to stay with Thomas. That night, Varian had to refuse Thomas’s advances so as to separate his personal and professional life.

With the police raid and all, the Committee is ever more reliant on Mary Jayne for money. However, her dad has already cut her off. Mary Jayne then resulted to borrowing some funds from the bank and even made out with Graham Patterson, the American consul so that he would take to her father. When Mary Jayne spent the night outside, Albert was not very pleased.


Mary Jayne convinced Varian that they should stay at Thomas's place. Photo: Netflix

Across the mountains by foot

Walter Benjamin, on the other hand, was struggling to cope with the long walk across the mountains to Spain. On top of that, he was heartbroken because he had left his manuscript behind. He had to take morphine and as as result, passed out during their journey. 

When the whole team reached the Spanish border, they were asked to stay back in the hotel while the immigration officers try to clear their passports. By the end of the episode, right before the Spanish authorities released them, Benjamin was found dead in his room. Lisa had no choice but to carry on for the sake of the other refugees.

Varian, on the other hand, had been receiving countless refugees in the office. He wanted to help them but he felt powerless and the committee was only supposed to help artists, politicians and academics. Later on, the vice of the American Consul, Hiram Bingham (Luke Thompson) met up with Varian. Hiram revealed to Varian that Graham Patterson does not actually care for their cause. Therefore, he would like Varian to keep him in the loop in the future.

Meanwhile, Mary Jayne got increasingly worried about her source for money. She confided in Thomas, and one night, Thomas brought her to see Margaux. Margaux offered Mary Jayne tons of money in exchange for Mary Jayne’s time to be a spy. At first Mary jayne refused, but Margaux convinced her that she could do it.


Additional Observations From Episode 2

  • Varian’s wife, Eileen knew Varian is gay.
  • Varian and Thomas met 5 years ago in Berlin. A Jewish man was stabbed in the hand by some Nazis in the bar. Varian and Thomas were the only two who tried to help.

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