Philip's Kill List Keeps Getting Longer On The Americans
Even his own wife is loading him up with more potential victims? This 'travel agent' needs to book himself a vacation!
Nothing More Than Feelings (That No One Should Ever Know About)
Situation: When Philip comes back into the house after his spat with Stan, Elizabeth asks what it was all about.
What makes it awkward? Where to begin! Philip is justifiably scared about the vial of contagion in his coat, so before he's prepared to talk about anything, he needs to remove it from his pocket VERY GINGERLY, put it in a cooler, and hide that cooler behind the dryer. (I feel like he's negating the benefits of storing it in a cooler if he puts it behind the broiling hot dryer, but whatever, I guess they're pretty sure neither of their dumb wiener kids is going to take any initiative and do laundry before they can get this goo out of the house.)
Once that's done and Elizabeth asks about the wild hair up Stan's ass, Philip sighs for five minutes and then confesses the truth -- since, I guess, now that Stan knows about est, there's no point continuing to keep it from Elizabeth. She seems mostly confused at the idea that anyone would purposely put himself in a position to talk about his feelings, out loud, but she's also curious about what he gets out of it. He vaguely explains that it teaches you how to deal with things: "Life, I guess. You know. Everything." She brings up their first aborted meeting with William, and how he said he felt something, as opposed to seeing it -- is that the kind of thing they teach? Aw, she's trying to find the tradecraft in therapy! Philip says it doesn't work like that, but when she asks how it does work, he says it's hard to explain. (To her, because she has no feelings other than rage, he does not add.)
How is order restored? Elizabeth asks whether it's something Philip would ever want her to join him for, and he takes twenty-five minutes to say, "Sure." But later, when he tells her the story of killing the bully when he was a kid, he adds that it's the sort of thing that comes up at est. "Is that good?" she asks. (UH, NO?) "They help you deal with it," Philip says, "but you have to think about it." So: I'm right, and the answer for this particular guy is nooooooo.
And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor
Enough about the disease sample William smuggled out, and where it's going next, and how William hasn't risen in his organization to the degree The Centre would want because of his unpleasant personality: look, it's a personal computer! It's a gift for the kids, "from Philip and Elizabeth," but really from The Centre! Don't think too hard about how The Centre might use it to collect data on the kids and their interests or to recruit them with
indoctrination toolstext adventure games!
The personal computer. Like Gabriel says: it's a life skill these days for any young person!
Oleg's Brother Died In Combat
And his tour was almost over, which I guess means his brother was Roger Murtaughnovich? Whatever -- I don't care about Oleg; you think I care about the brother?
J. Walter Weatherman Lesson
What's The Matter With Kids Yesterday?
Elizabeth's scrubbing through her recordings from Pastor Groovyhair's office when, what do you know, she comes upon Paige's last meeting there.
Yep, that expression seems to be exactly the right one to wear under the circumstances! When Philip comes home, Elizabeth goes straight out to the garage and informs him about their...informant: "She told him. Everything." Philip, exhaling loudly, asks whether Pastor Groovyhair has told anyone else; all Elizabeth can say is that it's not on the tape -- but she's prepared to take action immediately: "If we move fast, maybe we're okay." "You want to kill him?" says Philip, with mild disbelief, like...duh? Of course that's her solution to this problem, what are you, new? "She will run so far from here," he warns. When Elizabeth says they don't have a choice, he suggests another option: "We could try to work him." Elizabeth calls that idea "insane," but while I don't disagree with her that killing Pastor Groovyhair is for sure the most expedient option, maybe Philip's not crazy to suggest that they could turn him? After all, with his protests against nuclear weapons and activism around the shady shit the U.S. is doing in Central America, he is already a known pinko. But if Elizabeth doesn't want to do that, they could leave -- and maybe they should. Elizabeth doesn't want to do that either (I don't blame her; packing is such a pain in the ass), but Philip begs her to see reason: "You want to kill the one person in the world that she trusts?" "It's better than losing us," Elizabeth firmly replies. Guys, I hate to say it, but this is just a really tough way for you to learn this lesson:
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Elizabeth vs. Philip
Philip returns from skulking around Pastor Groovyhair's office and reports to Elizabeth that there's a retreat where he goes to write his sermons: "He'll be there the day after tomorrow." Elizabeth says she'll go check it out, and then (kind of idiotically, given the situation) asks if he's okay. "What do you want me to say?" he asks, with a mirthless chuckle. Elizabeth clicks into Extreme Pragmatism Mode: "We can get this miserable son of a bitch out of our lives. Paige will have no reason to suspect we had anything to do with this." Philip counters, "You ever try and pull her into this job, and she gets even a whiff of some of the shit we really do, she'll figure out we killed him." "Is that what you're thinking about right now?" sneers Elizabeth. "Whether or not she's going to go to medical school or law school?" "I'm looking for something good in all this," hisses Philip. "Well, you might get what you wanted," sniffs Elizabeth. "None of this is what I wanted," sighs Philip. Man, being a spy parent seems less and less fun every week.
From The Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics, With Love
Alert Type: Good Deed Alert.
Issue: Baklanov is plagued by thoughts of his son never knowing what became of him, or that he didn't leave his family of his own volition.
Complicating Factors: Since the tests on his wing aren't going well -- no matter what they get him, he's at the limit of his abilities -- he's pretty sure he's going to be done, in a permanent way, pretty soon.
Resolution: Nina's decided to use her one visit with her estranged husband Boris to pass him a note to give to a smuggler they know, so that guy can get it to Baklanov's son.
Spoiler: You don't get to be an Evil Empire without fostering a culture of fear.
Don't Fly With Me
Name: Unknown. Age: Late 40s. Occupation: Airline Pilot. Goal: To weasel out of an agreement to take delivery of William's disease sample and transport it on his flight, his extreme twitchiness about which draws the notice of a security guard on the airport shuttle where he and Philip meet and forcing Philip to strangle the guard to death and cram him behind the last seat on the bus -- and then, after all that...
...he fucking leaves the sample on the bus for Philip to take back home with him again! This fucking guy!
Sample Dialogue: "This time, I think my co-pilot knew something was going on."
The U.S. Government's No Longer In The Getting-Nina-Back-From-Siberia Business
So Stan informs Oleg in his car. Do we care? Even if Stan and Oleg had pulled this off, Nina would have made all their effort futile by being so noble for Baklanov. Stan also offers his condolences for Oleg's late brother. Oleg's not trying to hear it. ME NEITH.
Sick Plan, Bros
Who called the meeting? Philip.
What's it about? The vial.
How'd it go? Uncomfortable. William lives down to his reputation, as described by Gabriel, for prickliness when Philip tells him he hasn't been able to hand off "the package"; when Philip asks if they couldn't just maybe do a dead drop, William paints a picture of what would happen if any person or animal happened to get into it, never mind Philip's assertion that such a thing has never actually occurred: "Let's say this is the one time the dog or kid opens it up? Tens of thousands of people start oozing pus all over the streets of D.C."
"There's a reason these things are kept in hermetically sealed bio-containment labs," William adds. Philip gives up, moving on to the matter of the Level 4 clearance William doesn't have at his office because he's so widely loathed, apparently, and how his side is working on getting William the access codes he'd need to get into those areas. "Anything you can do to not succeed would be greatly appreciated," says William darkly. It's almost like he's lost his zeal for this work!!!
Elizabeth, your mother died. We had someone with her. She wasn't alone. She spoke of you and Paige, wanted to send a message that she loved you.
What do you mean?
Did she really say that?
Of course she did! Elizabeth, when you do what we do, it's very easy to lose your bearings. I don't want that to happen to you.
J. Walter Weatherman Lesson
Vasili calls Nina into his office to let her know that Boris's smuggler pal took her note to the authorities. She readily admits that she wrote it, and that even though it was on Baklanov's behalf, he didn't know anything about it. "I think I believe you," Vasili tells her. But what about her husband? "How could you do that to him?" "He didn't do anything wrong," Nina replies. "This isn't a prison. He can deliver a note for me." Vasili snorts that they'll see how that goes over. "You must be pleased," Nina tells him. But he's not:
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
So while Elizabeth and Philip are debating whether or not to kill their daughter's favourite adult, their overlooked second child Henry is across the street with his, complimenting his boxed macaroni and cheese technique. (Apparently Elizabeth is so un-American that she can't even make this dish right -- according to Henry, she burns it? In boiling water? How?) Stan offers to make another box, but Henry says he needs to save room for dinner, and then invites Stan over to see his new computer. Stan, still in a fight with Philip, doesn't feel comfortable accepting the invitation, but promises to come see it soon, whereupon Henry changes the subject to a girl at school...who is actually less a girl than his science teacher. "Is there any chance that she would like me?" Henry asks. "Honestly?" says Stan. "No." (Come on, Henry, you can't ask a question like that to someone in law enforcement!) Henry accepts that, and then Stan has to show he's cool by asking for a physical description of this adult Henry thinks he wants to stick his thing in, which, not really okay, Stan. He then notices Henry's cologne -- apparently Philip AND Elizabeth are so un-American that they can't appreciate the fragrances of Ralph Lauren!!! (that, or Henry is trying to pass off a Designer Impostor as the real thing) -- and takes off to go get a bottle Matthew had but never opened. Uh oh, sealed-up old cologne is probably going to be even more rank than whatever Henry's working with now. But: it's nice to see that Henry's made a friend who'll let him in the front door so that Henry doesn't have to break in.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Elizabeth vs. Paige
Paige comes home to find Elizabeth in the kitchen, anxiously calling around trying to locate Philip; Paige can tell Elizabeth's upset. On top of the loss of her mother, Elizabeth also had a nightmare in which Paige discovers Pastor Tim's corpse, which then turns into Timoshev, Elizabeth's rapist, alive and attacking Paige, which can't help Elizabeth's state of mind much either. When Paige asks, Elizabeth tells her the news about her grandmother...
...and then apparently that loving moment, and the memory of the important meeting they shared that Communism made possible, cranks Paige's guilt up to 11, and she comes back down to the kitchen to confess: "I told him. Pastor Tim. I told him. I'm so sorry." Elizabeth does -- duh -- a perfect job faking like she doesn't already know this, demanding to know exactly what Paige told Pastor Groovyhair. "Everything? About you?" Paige babbles. "I just-- I didn't know what to do! I'm so sorry, I know I shouldn't have, but I just didn't know what to do, I'm sorry!" "This was the one thing, the one thing that you couldn't do!" Elizabeth reminds her, with rising panic. Paige knows. "Why?" growls Elizabeth. "I mean, do you not understand? Do you not understand what this means?" Paige is saved from being the target of further yelling by Philip calling and Elizabeth telling him to come home.
When Elizabeth hangs up, Paige makes a grave tactical error and tries to explain herself: "I talked to Pastor Tim about this and I--" "If I hear one more time about Pastor Tim," snaps Elizabeth. "You have to understand this too!" wails Paige. "It's not normal! What was I supposed to do?" "YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO PUT THIS FAMILY FIRST," Elizabeth barks. "THAT is what you were supposed to do." "This is killing me, Mom!" wails Paige. "It's killing me, and I can trust him! We can trust him!" Wearied by Paige's naïveté, Elizabeth sighs, "You have no idea about anything." "I'm not a liar, Mom," Paige tells her anxiously. "You have no trouble lying to me," shouts Elizabeth. "That's not fair," says Paige. "You put me in this position, you did this to me!" Elizabeth abruptly says that they'll figure it out...
...but fixes Paige with a long glare that I am shocked doesn't turn her to actual stone, because so much for killing Pastor Groovyhair and maintaining plausible deniability now that Paige has admitted she has a big fat mouth.
Winner: NO ONE.
She told me. She admitted it.
What did you say?
I said "Wait 'til your father gets home."
Well, that's it. She'd certainly put it all together now.
[slowly nods] ...My mother died.
[puts his arm around her]
We're in trouble.