Pastor Groovyhair Prepares To Pack Up His Mousse And Blow Out Of The Americans
Elsewhere, Oleg tries to be a force for good; Tuan escalates hostilities against Pasha; and Henry makes asparagus!
What Colour Is Your Holy Parachute?
Alert Type: Holy Promotion Alert.
Issue: You're never going to believe this, but straight out of the clear blue sky, Pastor Groovyhair's been offered a job at the World Council of Churches in Buenos Aires! He and Alice have loved their life in this parish, but they also like the idea of their daughter Claire Louise "growing up seeing more of the world, speaking Spanish." When he tells Paige the news, she tells him, "You and Alice have been really, really good to me. Meeting you changed everything for me." True but maybe not the way he thinks!
Complicating Factors: First: when Paige comes home to tell Philip and Elizabeth the news and that expanding Claire Louise's horizons played into the Groovyhairs' decision to take the job, Elizabeth comments, "That's nice, thinking about her speaking Spanish."
"Yeah, that's-- That's what he said," says Paige, but stops short of suggesting that Elizabeth may have heard the talking points someone from The Centre said to Pastor Groovyhair when he was offered the job. She does ask how Philip and Elizabeth's people caused this to happen, and Philip vaguely says, "The Soviet Union has worked hard for peace. It has a lot of friends in a lot of organizations all over the world." Paige is like, religious organizations, tho, and Elizabeth says that some churches fight for justice, which is good enough for them!
Paige then lets out a deep sigh, reaches for the clasp of her crucifix necklace, and...
Philip calls out to Paige before she can get upstairs, and Elizabeth fishes the necklace out of the trash and returns it to her, gravely informing her, "You have to wear it until he's gone."
Carrie Bradshaw's nameplate necklace doesn't look so bad anymore, does it, Paige?
Resolution: Elizabeth and Philip stop by the church to give Pastor Groovyhair a farewell gift: a compass! "Wouldn't want you getting lost again," jokes Philip. But they've got their own business, too: they tell him they're thinking about moving back...you know...home, so how does he think that will go over with the kids? Pastor Groovyhair is stunned, but he treats the question with the seriousness with which it's asked: "I think you'll have trouble either way. It's hard to imagine all the problems that two American kids will have adjusting to life over there, but there's a lot about life here that's not so great. You can't predict what a person's life will be, and you can't deny them the challenges that'll shape them....The temptation is to put off making hard decisions, but then that becomes its own sort of decision. Paige and Henry are teenagers. At this age, the transition would be a very difficult one for them. But in a few years it won't be your decision to make anymore. I wish I could tell you what you should do, but I don't know."
If this is actually it for Pastor Groovyhair on the show, it's such a generous sendoff for him: it proves how much he really does love Paige that he shows so much respect for Philip and Elizabeth even given what he knows about their huge secret. He grants them as much consideration and attention as he would any parishioner, and shows Elizabeth was right about him: though she doesn't agree with him about God -- duh -- he's not a hypocrite. Considering how close he's gotten to getting himself killed by Elizabeth and Philip over the course of their acquaintance -- and they really would have saved themselves so much grief if they had! -- Pastor Groovyhair has brought such an interesting element to the show and been a character that people of faith should really admire and I'm going to miss him, you guys!
Spoiler: Paige isn't, and she might be a lot more pissed about having to wear that necklace than she let on.
Oleg's Still Zzzzzzzzzz
This week in Oleg:
Kuznetsov's on to Oleg's involvement in tipping off the FBI about William, but Oleg just denies it hard and is pretty convincing.
Oleg tells the Colonel he doesn't think Ekaterina -- the first supermarket manager Oleg talked to -- deserves to receive a harsh prison term since she's just "stuck in something" and is "actually trying to help put food on people's tables."
Oleg asks Yelena what the prison camp was like, and rather than ask him why he's asking, she answers frankly: "A doctor there liked me. I slept with him, whenever he wanted. Then I had food. Shoes. A thick blanket. When you went to work for the KGB, your father was very proud. I couldn't forget." This goes to the season's mega-arc about what complicity looks like and how much you can stand to take for a cause you believe in (including the cause of just...staying alive), but also, Oleg should maybe decide what kinds of sexual favours he's prepared to grant? I guess?
The Colonel tells Oleg that Ekaterina has been released. So apparently Oleg is respected at work?
And then Oleg goes back to her store and spies on her. Confirmed, she is NOT in prison!
Drinking at home with Igor, Oleg morosely shares the news about Ekaterina, admitting -- as he never had before -- that food graft is what he's been working on. Igor gives him the historical perspective on this issue: Andropov wanted to fight corruption -- "He started all that when he was fighting with Grishin" -- but that it was just posturing to keep Grishin from taking over after Brezhnev. "You're saying Andropov didn't care about corruption?" asks Oleg. "Sure he did," says Igor. "We all care about corruption. It's eating our country alive. But everyone feeds at the trough -- which is why you're going to lose, I'm sorry to say." Oleg comments that Igor isn't crooked, and Igor matter-of-factly agrees that he's not, and that he raised Oleg and his late brother to be honest. He asks if the food investigation was the reason Oleg had his room searched, and when Oleg says he can't talk about it, Igor says, "I couldn't help your mother. I had no power. No one did. Now, I can crush people if I have to. And I'll crush them for you. To keep you safe. Not because you're my son, but because you're good." And hey, we know that's actually true! Oleg says it's too dangerous for Igor to get involved, but that it's nothing to do with his current case and that Igor must stay out of it. So...Igor definitely won't stay out of it? Or is the show about to ruin this nice moment of Oleg and his father getting real with each other for once with a reveal that Igor is totally corrupt too?
And then Oleg goes out for a walk and stands on a bridge and I wonder if he's going to jump just to make absolutely sure neither of his parents gets embroiled in his American shit but that doesn't happen and THIS STORYLINE STAYS AS FRUSTRATINGLY OPAQUE AS EVER.
Mr. And Mrs. Informant
Situation: Stan and Aderholt meet with Sofia (formerly Ms. Kovalenko and is this seriously the first time we're learning her first name? This show has a name problem).
What makes it awkward? This broad shows up with her former Olympic hockey-playing boyfriend -- excuse me, now her fiancé.
Stan and Aderholt's faces are hilarious as this guy, Gennadi, goes through a whole spiel: he's not political! As far as he's concerned, it's good for their countries to get along! He hates war! And oh hey, Sofia's too shy to ask, but what she does for them is dangerous, so maybe they should bump up her pay from $500 a month to $700? And he could help too -- did they know he's a courier? FBI agents:
How is order restored? Stan and Aderholt report the encounter to Agent Wolfe, Stan noting, "It honestly sounded like the class we had on dangles at Quantico, half the shit he said." Wolfe -- who, as you'll recall, has gone to bat for Stan to keep him in Counter-Intelligence, at least for as long as he's working on this op -- tells them it's still too early for them to tell what this intrusion from Gennadi means: "The plan all along was to go way outside the Rezidentura and see if we get something. Maybe it's working, maybe it's not. We'll find out." (Nice to see Peter Jacobson playing a decent person for once in his career, right?)
Eyeing A Big Move
Who's causing a family crisis? Pasha.
How? He interrupts "Dee" and Evgheniya in the middle of a couponing sesh by coming home from school with a black eye he doesn't want to talk about.
Which relatives have a problem with it? Neither of his parents is happy about how miserable he is at school right now, but while Evgheniya is serious about ending his torment by returning to Moscow, Alexei refuses: "He has to be right to come here, so he don't believe in anything else." Elizabeth tries to work her angles with Evgheniya as a fellow wife and mother -- when "Brad" gets stubborn, she just puts his foot down, and he gets it because most of the time he does get his way! -- but when she goes back to the Eckert house and discusses the matter with Tuan (who confirms that some guys "kicked Pasha's ass today"), she tells him they may need to "rethink this."
Spoiler: Tuan is about to learn the hard way that there's such a thing as taking too much initiative.
Henry Made Dinner!
With Chris's help (and refusing Paige's, though she offered!), Henry has made dinner for his parents: "Meatloaf, pasta salad, mashed potatoes and gravy, and asparagus." And he doesn't even like asparagus! He's just so happy they said he can go to St. Edward's if he gets in!
I forget: is St. Edward's in the U.S.S.R.?
Mischa's Not Alone In The Universe After All
Back at his factory job, Mischa is told someone's there to see him. "I'm Mischa's brother," says this guy. "My brother, Mischa. I'm told you're his son." Mischa:
Wrap It Up
The first benefit for Mischa of finding out he has living relatives who are willing to see him: dinner! He banters cutely with his little cousin about the kid's future career plans ("I used to want to be a cosmonaut; now I don't know" "I think it's good to give up on being a cosmonaut -- it's very cold in space"), before he hangs a lantern on the night's awkwardness: "We're not supposed to ask about Uncle Mischa." "He lives abroad," says Mischa after a moment. "He's some kind of hero. I'm not supposed to ask about him either." "He was smarter than me," says Mischa's uncle. "Smarter than everyone at school. If you're like him, that's pretty good." "Yes, the factory job you know I work is extremely stimulating to my intellect," Mischa does not reply.
On their way to the Eckert house, Philip and Elizabeth discuss what life might be like for their children in the Soviet Union. Philip can't imagine whom they'll talk to until they're fluent in Russian, but Elizabeth confidently says they're smart and will learn fast; she even thinks Paige will like living there, when she gets used to it, and wisely, Philip is dubious about that. "Would they just go around Moscow as Paige and Henry Jennings?" Philip wonders. "Well, they should take your name," says Elizabeth. "What about you?" he asks. Smiling shyly, she nods, saving Philip from having to remind her about their secret for-real wedding.
In the garage, Paige drags out a net bag, ties a rope to it, and strings it over a beam. Uh oh?
Chez Eckert, Tuan tells his fake parents, "I think it's done. I told Pasha his parents aren't taking him seriously, because they don't believe he's really desperate. So tonight he's going to slit his wrists....He's going to do it at 7 o'clock. His parents are coming home at 7 -- 7:15 the latest. I showed him how to cut his veins and avoid the artery. He'll take a long time to bleed out. His parents should find him in plenty of time."
HIS FAKE PARENTS DO NOT SEEM THAT PSYCHED ABOUT THIS PLAN? But Tuan reminds them that they said they needed a new plan, and this came to Tuan when he was with Pasha, and it's going to work! "I worked with him on the note that he's leaving. We say it is all because he hates his life here and they forced him to live in the United States! They find him, they find the note? They'll take him back! Either way, even if he dies, Evgheniya will leave Alexei and go back to Soviet Union. If he lives, she'll bring him back home like he wants!
Phew, Paige's bag is just her makeshift sparring partner. "Take that, Pastor Groovyhair! I had my eye on a whole other necklace to wear every day!!!" she does not scream.
Philip and Elizabeth argue about what to do now to keep Pasha from DYING just to prove a point -- Philip conceding that Tuan is right; it might work! -- but it ends with Elizabeth finally picking up the phone, dialing the Morozovs, and handing the receiver to Tuan to make him call it off.
But when there's no answer, all three Eckerts put on their coats and march purposefully over to the Morozovs'...
...spy car be damned! But is Pasha already bleeding out, OR DEAD?
It's definitely the most suspenseful cliffhanger involving a character Elizabeth and Philip have known for a month we've ever seen!!!!!