Paige Wins The Super Bowl Of Treachery On The Americans
And you know what happens when you win the Super Bowl: you're going to Disney World! Specifically, the brand-new just-opened Epcot Center! Yep, that's the plan!
A Rouge Agent
Name: Young Hee. Age: Mid 40s. Occupation: Mary Kay representative. Goal: To help America's women look their best, to make mad coin in the process, and maybe to be a mentor to aspiring new representative Patty! Sample Dialogue: "And then I see my Asian friends after their department store makeover? I never knew there were so many shades of green!"
Cram It, Churchy!
Alert Type: Damage Control Alert.
Issue: Fucking Paige snitched to Pastor Groovyhair about her parents' real job, and now that she's admitted it to Elizabeth, it's almost certainly too risky for Philip and Elizabeth to kill him (or have him killed). So they've gone to meet with Pastor Groovyhair in his office to try to give some context for Paige's disclosure that makes it seem less criminal -- for instance, "One of the things that we do, like you, is work to end the nuclear threat that hangs over all of us"; "When we were hired, we were called peace workers" -- and also to figure out exactly how bad the situation actually is.
Complicating Factors: Well, you know. There are a few. First, at Elizabeth and Philip's sunny attempts to get away from that scary word "spy" and claims that "We fight for justice, for equal rights for everyone, no matter who they are or what they believe," Pastor Groovyhair's like, "Unless they're religious."
"Jewish dissidents trapped in the Soviet Union. Catholics in Poland." Tightly, Elizabeth says, "Our country isn't perfect. Neither is this one." Pastor Groovyhair chooses not to argue about that, telling them, "I cannot be a party to destruction." "What about the destruction of a family?" counters Philip, pointing out that if he reports them, Philip and Elizabeth will go to prison and Paige and Henry will end up in foster care. But they know he's a decent man and wants what's best for Paige, and he promises he's listening to them and to his conscience, and maybe they can regroup in a few days. Sounds fun!
As they're getting up to leave, Philip thinks to ask whether Pastor Groovyhair told anyone else about Paige's secret? Maybe Alice, his wife?
"Alice and I minister to each other," says Pastor Groovyhair, pretty clearly realizing in the moment that he done goofed. "She understands completely the sanctity of the congregation's confidence." Philip and Elizabeth:
Resolution: Apparently, Elizabeth and Philip go straight from this meeting to Gabriel's to tell him about Pastor Groovyhair's loose-ass lips. (Philip also returns the disease sample, Gabriel dryly noting, "Can't seem to get rid of this, can I," before setting it on the mantel.) Though Philip still thinks the answer is for them to leave immediately, Elizabeth's more certain than ever that they should just kill the Groovyhairs, and Gabriel seems inclined to agree, but he says he'll talk to The Centre about a solution that won't make it extremely obvious to Paige that her parents had her spiritual advisor assassinated because she couldn't keep her mouth shut.
Speaking of whom: in the meantime, Philip tells Paige that since Pastor Groovyhair repeated her story to Alice, she's going to have to go talk to him and stall him from going to the authorities about her parents. When he does so, he cautions, it's okay for her to tell Pastor Groovyhair how hurt she is, but that she must not seem angry about it. That's going to be hard, since she knows firsthand that Alice is a huge gossip: "When she gets around women, she always says, 'I shouldn't be saying this,' and then she says something and you're thinking, 'Wow, she's right, she really shouldn't be saying this!'"
Spoiler: Paige hasn't been trained like Philip and Elizabeth has to hide her feelings. But that's okay: The Centre's got a fun solution to this problem!
Nina's Definitely Going To Prison
There's no question that she's guilty, period end of story. There is still a question as to whether she'll be subjected to "exceptional punishment," so are there mitigating circumstances to justify an appeal? Nina doesn't seem to think so, or at least doesn't tell the investigating magistrate any. He adds that her husband spoke up for her to the prosecutor, who also believes Baklanov's claim that he didn't know what she was doing, but it's still not clear whether any of that is enough. Nina asks to see the statement Baklanov wrote on her behalf...
...and is gratified by what she reads. So that's something? I guess? God, it's been so long since I cared about Nina.
Everyone Is Going To The Epcot Center!
Gabriel, as promised, took the news of the Alice Situation to The Centre via Claudia, telling her they had no good choices to deal with it. But The Centre's got its finger on the pulse and come up with a great solution: the Jennings family's going to the Epcot Center!
Epcot Center FAQ
Q: Why the Epcot Center?
A: It's pretty far from D.C. Also, it just opened, and Philip and Elizabeth (a) are travel agents who'd therefore have a reason to check out this new travel destination, and (b) have kids who'd also enjoy such a trip.
Q: Why really, though?
A: Can't get a thing past you! While Philip and Elizabeth are out of state, Pastor and Mrs. Groovyhair are going to have a fatal "accident," courtesy of The Centre.
Q: Does The Centre think Paige is an idiot?
A: Hey, if Philip and Elizabeth stay with her, like, every second they're in Orlando, then she'll have a harder time suspecting they were involved.
Q: ...Isn't that taking a pretty big risk if The Centre still wants to recruit Paige someday?
A: For one thing, that's not such a pressing concern right now given that the Pastor Groovyhair threat is real now. For another: this whole thing where she blabbed to her pastor about her spy parents maybe makes her seem like a less appealing prospect than once she was.
Q: Man, is there any fun American activity Communists can't ruin?
A: Right? Have fun at Disney World, Jennings family! At least one of you won't spend it dreading his uncertain future!!!
Let Us Pray (Your Dumb Wife Can Keep Her Yap Shut For Once)
Who called the meeting? Paige.
What's it about? How hurt she is that Pastor Groovyhair told Mrs. Groovyhair her business.
How'd it go? Bad. She puts Alice on blast -- "She likes to talk" -- and when Pastor Groovyhair says that's not fair, Paige does exactly what Philip specifically told her not to: she gets angry. But she quickly realizes she's lost control both of her emotions and the meeting and excuses herself before she can make things any worse, so at least she's learning she's got good instincts?
On The Menu
What's On The Menu At Young Hee's?
So we know that Elizabeth is working an op on Young Hee: she's wormed her way into Young Hee's coven of Mary Kay saleswomen; she's "run into" Young Hee at the supermarket; she's manipulated Young Hee into offering to show her the sales ropes (and what do you know, "Patty" is a natural!); and she's cadged an invitation to Young Hee's big Korean family dinner. How does that go?
Chilis: Elizabeth takes a bite of one so hot it instantly makes her start panicking and embarrassing herself.
Water: Guzzling it won't help, says Don, who seems to be Young Hee's husband. The kids at the table tell her she needs to do the "pepper dance," which she gamely does.
Apparently it helps?
Cabbage: Cabbage Patch Kids, to be precise; after dinner, Young Hee and Elizabeth drink coffee and smoke, Young Hee talking ruefully about her children, who went nuts for Cabbage Patch Kids (which Young Hee complains are ugly, hee) when they saw the commercials for them on TV, but immediately lost interest in after Young Hee bought them some...until they saw a new ad and then wanted more. "That's America for you," says Elizabeth mildly. Elizabeth having earlier vaguely alluded to family problems but declined to talk more about them, Young Hee asks if she has children; when "Patty" says she doesn't, Young Hee jokes that Elizabeth can have one of hers.
Mystery Meat: One dinner later, we're still no closer to finding out why Young Hee has value for Elizabeth.
The est Case Scenario
Who called the meeting? Sandra.
What's it about? We never really find out what motivated Sandra to pop in and visit Philip when no one else is around, but it soon turns into a discussion about Tori's having seen Philip and Sandra out together and told Stan, and Stan's somewhat violent reaction.
How'd it go? Weird? Sandra is apologetic about her ex: "Stan is so into always being the tough guy." But since it would behoove Elizabeth and Philip to have a friend at the FBI right now, Philip starts laying the groundwork for Sandra to mend the rift between Stan and himself, saying he doesn't know how he'd react if their positions were reversed, and noting that if his house were to burn down tomorrow, his whole family would go with him wherever he went next, but Stan has no one. Sandra concedes that he's right, adding that she knows Matthew doesn't visit enough and that it hurts Stan not to see him. Bait? Taken.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Bro No Never Again
Aderholt and Stan are sharing an enjoyable moment as colleagues, mildly joking about a memo the Mail Robot's just spat out prohibiting the expression "the FBI feels" in official correspondence (which really is bad writing; Mail Robot's got a point), when Stan changes the subject to The Pen and who might have planted it. He tells Aderholt -- who, he reminds the viewer who may have forgotten from last season, had suspected Stan -- that he thinks something's up with Martha: he staked out her apartment and there were two nights in the past week when she didn't come home. Aderholt suggests that maybe she was seeing her parents or her sister, but Stan already knows her parents live in Colorado and she doesn't have a sister. Aderholt, a little more curtly, says she might have "a guy."
Stan immediately rejects the idea that a weirdo like Martha might have found love and hisses, "Look, I think you know this whole thing with Gene doesn't sit right. You want to find out who really planted that bug? Help me track Martha." Aderholt, however, states unequivocally that he will not be helping Stan with this project: "But I'll take her to dinner." Stan sadly makes a mental note to return the Team Nail Martha windbreakers he had made, then realizes Aderholt might still want his.
Wrap It Up
On her prison cot, Nina dreams of returning to the old fuck pad where she used to meet Stan. And there he is! And the joint's filled with giant bouquets of flowers! Nina smiles at Stan, who tells her, "I'm sorry."
Baklanov even looks annoyed to have to interact with Nina in her subconscious.
At the travel agent, Philip and Elizabeth's Russian employee gives Philip all his travel documents for the Epcot trip, and earnestly adds his admiration that Philip is making the effort to spend time with his family, because nothing is more important!
Yep, Philip's a super-duper father, all right!
In their office, Elizabeth and Philip are both tense and silent. "You still think it would be better to leave?" asks Elizabeth quietly. "I do," he tells her." "But Philip, you don't even want that," she replies. "I know you don't." Philip muses that maybe "they" could send the family "down south," to Odessa, like she always dreamed.
Elizabeth smiles wistfully at the thought: "By the water." But after allowing herself one pleasant moment imagining it, she reminds Philip of the reality: "And then what? With two kids who don't know anyone, don't know the language. You don't think they'd hate us then? And what about us? I mean, everything that we've built here. Our work. Those things matter. Don't they matter to you?" "It all matters," says Philip. "Elizabeth, it all matters. But for the last two days, I've had an alarm going off inside me: run run run. And it's not going off inside of you, so we stay. It seems Paige loses, whatever we do." As Elizabeth takes his hand, Philip concludes, "We have to meet with Gabriel."
Well, this meeting's going to be kind of unproductive, because Gabriel's on the floor, apparently dying. Elizabeth asks if he's choking, but Philip guesses, "He must have fallen," judging by the puddle of blood near Gabriel's head. But when Gabriel manages to roll over and choke, "Get out, get out, GET OUT!," shit gets real rough real fast.
Elizabeth says he might have Glanders, which would be bad, because THEY TOUCHED EVERYTHING. Like, Philip even put his fingers in the puddle of actual blood, like an idiot. And if they're contagious now, says Philip, maybe they shouldn't leave. Philip and Elizabeth have a brief noble-off over who's going to go out into the world to get help (and maybe spread an incredibly mobile and hardy infection) and who's going to stay in the apartment (basically getting engulfed in cooties through every orifice). Is it still a noble-off if both options are fucking terrible?
It ends up being a moot point, apparently, as we see Philip and Elizabeth meeting William in the middle of a field in a park and explaining the state they found Gabriel in and what they'd left him with a couple of days before. "How close did you get to him?" asks William warily. "We touched him," says Elizabeth. "He was coughing." "There was blood," adds Philip. "He must have fallen." Oh, okay, no big deal...
NOPE, BIG DEAL: William immediately takes off running, and I don't know if (a) this is William's panic run; (b) this is just how this maladjusted crank runs; or (c) this is how Dylan Baker runs, but it's hilariously weird. His knees...they go up so high.
It doesn't take long for Philip to tackle William, whereupon he pins William under his knees and spits right in his face. "Asshole," hisses William, wiping his face as soon as Philip lets him back up. "You should've wrapped Gabriel in plastic and burned his body." That...does not sound great.
William brings Elizabeth and Philip back to his incredibly antiseptic apartment -- and by that I mean both that it's bereft of personality and style and that every soft surface is encased in plastic and several air purifiers are running. (He also asks Philip and Elizabeth to take their shoes off, but maybe he was just fostered by Canadians.) As he opens a cabinet with his elbows and extracts a serum and syringes, he explains that he's been vaccinated against so many things working in his field, he's...all fucked up, basically. He's got a shitload of allergies -- "Dust, butter, sausage, candy, you name it" -- in addition to which he's lost his sense of smell and his body no longer produces natural lubricants. So if you were pondering a University of Phoenix degree to enter a career researching infectious diseases, maybe stick with becoming a paralegal instead? Anyway, he has a vaccine he thinks might work, and after he injects himself, Elizabeth presents her shoulder for an inoculation of her own. "I always thought I'd get infected in a lab," mutters William, "not in a park in the middle of the night who were supposed to be on my side." Also, what he's giving all of them -- Chloramfenicol sodium succinate -- is a broad-spectrum antibiotic; the Glanders sample he smuggled out for Gabriel is resistant against...everything, from the sound of it, but this is their best shot at not having their guts turn to tapioca, I guess. So: fingers crossed? I mean, cross them now; no one may have the strength to later.
So then, maybe-immunized, all three return to Gabriel's. He appears not to have moved since Philip and Elizabeth left him, but he's not dead...yet. While Elizabeth and Philip keep their distance by the door, William gets a thermos out of the freezer; he guesses that's how Gabriel got exposed. He turns on the oven and puts the thermos in to kill whatever disease goo is in it, and then gets out his case of possible-cure and gives Gabriel a dose in the neck.
At home, Paige does her homework, and gazes fondly at her extraneous younger brother, obliviously playing Gorf on the Commodore Vic20 like he doesn't have a care in the world, because he doesn't. Paige, you were like him once. See what comes of excessive curiosity? Now you have to spend your nights worrying about what Alice is going to spill if someone pours her a third small glass of rosé!
William collects all potentially contaminated items in a biohazard-safe bag and tells Philip and Elizabeth they're going to have to be quarantined for a minimum of thirty-six hours.
NOOOOOOOOOO BUT THERE ARE SO MANY INCREDIBLY PRESCIENT ATTRACTIONS THAT ENCOURAGE VISITORS TO DREAM ABOUT THEIR LIVES OF TECHNOLOGY-ASSISTED LEISURE IN THE NOT-SO-DISTANT FUTURE! GODDAMMIT, WHY CAN'T WORLD POLITICS BE MORE LIKE THE WORLD SHOWCASE?! THERE'S CHOCOLATE FROM ALL AROUND THE GLOBE!!!!!