Martha Learns Anew How Hard It Is To Have Any Relationship To The Americans

Philip and Elizabeth have to scramble to shore up all their relationships this week, and even Paige has to pitch in.

  • Fight! Fight! Fight!
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    Martha vs. Clark

    You think you had a bad week? Martha spent hers screaming answering machine messages into a pitiless void, because Clark was gone and had no way of getting in touch with her. But she's still come to Clark's apartment, poured herself a glass of wine, taken a pill, and kicked off her shoes in the hopes that he'll actually make it...and when he does show up, she is piiiiiiiiiiissed. Philip knows this is bad and apologizes profusely throughout this scene, which Martha barely acknowledges, finally asking where he's been for the past two days. He vaguely tells her he had an emergency, to which she tartly says she had one too: Gaad made an announcement at the office about copies on the Xerox machine being unaccounted for, and what do you know, the machine in question is the one she uses to copy surveillance reports for Clark -- oh, and Aderholt asked her out. The two could be unrelated, but she doesn't know either way and had no way of reaching him. Philip asks what Aderholt talked about on their date; she replies, "Marriage. Divorce. If I'm dating anyone." She fed Aderholt her story about dating a married man, as Clark had told her ages ago she should do, but by the time she got home, she thought she was having a heart attack. Her doctor told her it was a panic attack and prescribed Valium. She concludes by saying she needs to be able to reach her husband, and Philip -- after apologizing for the 400th time -- writes a number on a scrap of newspaper, telling her she should memorize it; if she calls it, she'll always be able to reach him. But he...will need it back in the morning. "Of course," grits Martha. "I mean, why would I expect to keep anything." GUESS THE HONEYMOON'S OVER.

    Winner: Martha.

  • J. Walter Weather­man Lesson
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    Stick To Your Knitting, Junior

    While Philip's over at Clark's flagellating himself for Martha's approval, Elizabeth is at home sleeping...until she wakes with a violent start at the sound of the door, which turns out just to be Paige. Like Martha, Paige was traumatized by Philip and Elizabeth's sudden disappearance and wants to talk about it, and about their situation in general. Like, when they went bowling, Paige had a hard time trying to act normal around Henry; she also can't help worrying whenever Henry goes over to hang out at Stan's. On the latter point, she mentions having to come up with a cover story when Stan came over to ask where Philip and Elizabeth went that weekend the Epcot trip got cancelled: "And when Pastor Tim asked me if you hurt people--"

    It's at this point that Elizabeth decides the encounter group is shutting down and the Jennings household's attempt at anticipating Glasnost is over: "Stop....Maybe we should take a break. So much has been thrown at you. Maybe it's too much. We tried to tell you everything, and that hasn't worked out so well. Wouldn't you agree?" Paige is like, totally, but also, seriously, where were you last weekend.

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  • Plot Lightning Round
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    In the Soviet Union, a (relatively) chipper Oleg comes into Igor's office to find out when he and Nina can go out for cabbage rolls, and Igor's like, never? Because they executed her. He recounts all the steps he took to try to free her or at least reduce her sentence, but he ultimately repeats what he'd originally told Oleg in the last episode, which is that it's hard to help a traitor. Oleg heavily sits and takes his grief out on his father, whining that he doesn't know why he ever expects anything and snipping, "You didn't help Yevgeny either....The one official who couldn't get his son out of Afghanistan." This strikes a nerve, as Igor protests that Yevgeny wanted to fight; he was just like Igor himself in his youth, and Igor lost four brothers in the War -- and now the officials who get their own sons out of service refuse to let anyone talk about the skirmish in Afghanistan or have military honors at their funerals: "The whole country's going to shit. If that's who you are, go back to America, to your clothes and special favours. It's not what I fought for, and it's not what your brother died for." Don't look back, Oleg. The McDLT is imminent!

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    At the travel agency, Philip and Elizabeth reunite for a quick debrief. Elizabeth's not that concerned about what might happen to Martha as a result of the Xerox machine scrutiny, though they agree that Aderholt's date is a bigger deal, and that they should probably have Hans following Martha full-time. Elizabeth tells Philip about Stan asking questions about the Epcot trip, advising, "You need to make up with him." Shots! Shots! Shots shots shots shots!

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    At the FBI, Aderholt finds Stan in the secure conference room to report on his date with Martha. He's not sure he believes that her weirdness can be attributed to the fact that she's having an affair, since it's also a good cover story. Stan replies with his most notable findings from her apartment, the Kama Sutra -- "So, okay, probably a guy" -- and the gun. No conclusion reached! And Martha's not going to make it easy on them acting all normal all the time!

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    Remember Young Hee? "Patty" is back over at her place cooking and sharing family stories. Young Hee tells a cute one about her grandfather trying to wear down her grandmother to accept his proposal over a day's worth of rickshaw rides back and forth across a bridge. Patty counters with a less cute story about her mother leaving their family when Patty was a kid, and that her father's resulting depression almost cost him his job. Young Hee: "Wow, you really know how to kill a party!" The tension is defused in the moment, but don't worry, Young Hee, I HAVE A FEELING PATTY'S GOING SOMEWHERE WITH THIS.

  • Party!
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    Putting The "Bitter Disillusionment" In "Funeral"

    What's the occasion? Yevgeny's loved ones have gathered for his funeral service.

    What are the refreshments? There's a pile of dirt, but it's not for consuming (not even if you have pica); it's for tossing on into the grave with maximum resentment.

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    Whose big public scene will everyone be talking about tomorrow? You know how it can sometimes be hard to tell when an event is breaking up? Not this one! After Igor, his wife, and Oleg have tossed dirt onto Yevgeny's coffin and everyone's hugging and offering condolences, Igor pulls out a handgun and shoots the sky. TIME TO GO, EVERYONE, YOU'LL GET YOUR CAVIAR IN THE MAIL.

  • Snapshot
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  • Character Study
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    Father Would Not Sleep With Danger

    Name: Father Rivas.
    Age: Late 40s.
    Occupation: Priest.
    Goal: To advance the cause of human rights in El Salvador -- a project so important that, as he tells Pastor and Mrs. Groovyhair after the Jenningses introduce him, he's willing to accept the help of Soviet agents to achieve it. And if they're working with one of Pastor Groovyhair's fellow clergymen (denomination notwithstanding), could Philip and Elizabeth really be that bad?!
    Sample Dialogue: "My friends. Your country pays for the death squads....But these people -- they protect us. Without them, I would not be here."
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  • Awkward
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    He Follows

    Situation: Hans is surveilling Clark's apartment when he sees Martha get off a bus and walks toward Clark's building...followed fairly closely by two cars he recognizes.

    What makes it awkward? Clark's in the apartment waiting for Martha with FBI agents potentially feet away.

    How is order restored? Hans calls Clark to alert him (in code) of the approaching danger, and Clark springs into action: he wigs up, clears out the few personal items on site, and steals through the building and out the back way in order not to cross paths with Martha.

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    Poor Martha enters the apartment calling greetings, but immediately notices that their wedding photo is gone.

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    And downstairs, Clark strolls away, totally unnoticed by Aderholt. And all he had to do was crush Martha's heart to do it! And also move pretty fast. With his schedule, I honestly don't know when he gets in the time for cardio!

  • Meeting Time
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    Oh God, You Hassle

    Who called the meeting? Paige.

    What's it about? Philip and Elizabeth having done their part to manage the Groovyhairs by introducing them to "a priest" that they totally work with on very laudable causes, they've asked Paige to make up with Pastor Groovyhair after blowing up at him the last time they talked.

    How'd it go? Not smoothly! After pacing for a while, Paige starts by ANNOUNCING that her parents basically ordered her to tell Pastor Groovyhair she forgives him for telling Alice about Paige's situation. "Do you?" asks Pastor Groovyhair. "That's what they want me to say," spits Paige. Pastor Groovyhair asks why they would do that, and Paige tells him they think he's a good guy and that they're all on the same side. He asks what she thinks, and she says she doesn't know; she finds it all very confusing: "I feel like there's this whole grownup conspiracy. You're all so sure about what I'm supposed to feel, and I'm supposed to do, but then you just do whatever you want." Pastor Groovyhair sympathetically says that must feel awful, and Paige agrees that it does. But, when he asks, she concedes that she does feel a little better about things than she did when she first came to see him: "I know they believe in something. And they love me. And they told me the truth when I asked, which maybe was a mistake." She does not add that her parents have so far held off on killing either her or Pastor Groovyhair for being such shitty secret keepers, which is pretty nice of her.

  • Fight! Fight! Fight!
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    Philip vs. Soviets

    After the near-miss at the apartment building with Martha's tails (tee hee), Philip and Elizabeth meet Gabriel (who still seems to be suffering after his illness, since he's bundled up with a scarf and supporting himself with a cane) in a parking garage. He doesn't seem that concerned about what might happen to Martha if she does end up being the subject of an FBI investigation -- in part because Hans isn't even totally certain that the cars he saw are any he'd seen before -- and says, not very reassuringly, that The Centre will do everything it can to protect her -- but, you know, the surveillance reports she's been getting are pretty important, so no one's really ready for her to stop just because she might go to prison or something. Gabriel suggests that maybe Philip could give her a camera (so she could shoot the reports rather than photocopy them), and when Philip refuses, Elizabeth says Martha could just memorize dates, but Philip leaps to his fake-ish wife's defense, sputtering, "No! If she's blown, the next operational act she does, they're putting handcuffs on her." Gabriel empathetically says it's good that Elizabeth and Philip care about people, and it's hard for people of action, like the three of them, not to do anything, but they're all going to slow down and see what happens. Translation: no one really cares about Martha except Philip.

    The subject changes to William. Philip's pretty sure they won't see him again given how spectacularly bad things went the last time they all hung out, but Gabriel comments, "Just remind him that he has been here for twenty-five years having accomplished virtually nothing. Now he has the chance to get something that may very well check the balance of power if there is a war. He does that, and we bring him home a hero." Before the McDLT?! He'll be so pissed.

    Winner: Martha, I guess, since so far no one's planning to assassinate her.

  • J. Walter Weather­man Lesson

    Eskimo Brothers In Mourning

    Oleg having called his father's bluff and returned to the U.S., he's now on a tour of informing relevant people about events back home. First, he told Arkady, who was shaken but also assumed -- correctly -- that Nina did something to screw herself over. Now, Oleg meets Stan for one of their bro hangs and, with no preamble, announces, "Nina's dead. They executed her a few days ago."

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    Stan is stunned into silence, and Oleg seems like he feels bad that he was so blunt. Stan mumbles that he knew, when he joined counter-intelligence, that he might lose an asset like this, but-- "But Nina," Oleg finishes. "When my father was young, they fought the Nazis. They were heroes. Now my brother's killed,a nd they can't even say the name of the war that he died in at his funeral." Everyone is sad that a sacrifice so dire had to be made by a lady so pretty that they both boned.

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  • Phone Call
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    I Just Called To Say This Stinks

    After finding Clark's apartment denuded of the literally one thing that indicated a specific human lived there, Martha did as Clark had directed and called his answering service -- and now, hours later, he's finally had the chance to call back the laundromat pay phone she's been haunting since then. He apologizes again, some more, for missing their meeting and asks if she's okay.

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    Martha asks Clark if he can come see her the next night, but he thinks they should stick to their usual Tuesdays. "Well, then, you've got to be there!" Martha yelps. "I know," Clark sighs. "I love you." "Tell me Tuesday."

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    Hmmmm, how can the #1 sister wife possibly turn Philip's head from the real needy one?!

  • Wrap It Up
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    Philip and Elizabeth come home and immediately go check on Paige, lying in bed with the light off. But she's awake, and tells them without turning her head, "He was nice. And you're right, he cares about me." "Good," says Philip, and then Elizabeth hangs out there in the doorway watching Paige for an unnecessarily long time until Philip is like, "LET'S GO, CREEP."

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    As promised, Sandra's letting Matthew come over to Stan's more...and here he is! He seems confused to see Henry not just hanging out at Stan's but playfully bantering with him about which is the best place to get pizza from, and really, who can blame him? It is weird!

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    At home, Elizabeth and (a distracted) Philip also think it's weird that Henry and Stan are so tight, because neither of them had a loving parent and therefore they can't use their imaginations to guess what Henry might want from Stan that he isn't getting at home. They also touch on Martha, Elizabeth opining that by the time Philip sees Martha next, they should know for sure whether she's being followed, and that maybe Gabriel's right that Hans got paranoid. "It can move too fast," says Philip darkly. Elizabeth agrees...for whatever that's worth at this point.

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    Sent by Elizabeth to fetch Henry for dinner, Philip has a calculatedly self-abasing meeting at the door with Stan first, opening with, "Stan this is stupid. I should have told you about est and about talking with Sandra. I just-- I think I knew it might bug you, and although nothing weird happened or ever would, I-- I was a wimp. And I'm sorry." "You're an asshole," says Stan, but with the encouraging hint of a smirk. He goes on to explain that he doesn't have a lot of friends, and to find out that one of the few was secretly talking to his ex-wife.... He trails off, but duh. He knows Philip wouldn't really do anything: "You're a good guy. Her I'm not so sure about." After a tension-breaking chuckle, Stan asks whether Sandra said anything about him, and Philip says she wondered if she'd been too hard on Stan and should give him more time with their son. And since that has evidently worked out great, it's all the more reason for these two to quit being in a fight. Mission accomplished!

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    From the den, Henry calls out to Philip, who wanders in just in time for Matthew to read him a Trivial Pursuit question -- "Who was the first non-human to win an Oscar?" "That's easy -- Lassie," says Philip. Wrong! Stan correctly says it's Mickey Mouse. Should have taken more General Knowledge classes on your off nights from your bowling tutorial, Philip. Henry asks to stay for dinner, and Philip agrees...just as a car horn sounds outside and Stan says he has to go to work, leaving Henry and Matthew together. Great night...for Matthew...to come by and see his dad for twenty minutes?

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    Elizabeth peers out the window to watch Philip walk out with Stan and shake hands with Aderholt. Perfect time for "Under Pressure" to start!!!

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    Martha takes a Valium! And sticks, like, her entire hand in her mouth doing so. Just put the pill on your tongue, freak!

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    Philip comes home from meeting his cool new friend Aderholt! Elizabeth knows exactly who he is; she recognizes him from that time she kicked his ass last season! Philip says he's the one who took Martha out for dinner! After he reports that Henry's staying at Stan's for dinner and sits there mopily for a second, distracted talk of dinner peters out...

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    ...and then Elizabeth walks over, deliberately hikes up her skirt, and it's PETER'S IN, AM I RIGHT?

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    Stan and Aderholt stake out Martha's!

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    Martha lies awake in bed! Not the best ad for Valium, if you ask me!

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    And back at the Jennings manse, the unhappy couple is still going at it!

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    If this montage is anything to go by, they bone for, approximately, ever.

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    And it looks good for a while, until they both have to face the cold truth that they haven't actually fucked their problems away. Quick, someone turn this frame into a pro-abstinence poster for teenagers!

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