This article has some content you might find disturbing!Reason Evidence of a suicide attempt.
The Americans Decide How Many Teens' Lives They're Prepared To Ruin For Mother Russia
And Oleg must face the consequences of-- Just kidding, we spent all that time on him this season only for him to skip the finale.
J. Walter Weatherman Lessong
Philip And Elizabeth Learn A Tough Lesson About How Tough They Should Actually Get
We pick back up exactly where we left off in the season's penultimate episode, with Philip, Elizabeth, and Tuan ignoring the potential danger of getting spotted by the guy who surveils the Morozovs and marching up to the front door to try to, you know, prevent Pasha's death. There's no answer to the doorbell or increasingly loud door knocks, and Philip's just said he's going to go around back and break in even if that will absolutely draw the agent when the Morozovs' car pulls into the driveway. The Eckerts all pretend they don't know Pasha's inside bleeding out and cheerfully claim they were just out for a walk and thought they'd pop in. Alexei is warmly offering refreshments when Tuan yells down from Pasha's room. The adults all get up there, and the scene is grim.
Tuan hangs back looking shocked and upset as the adults spring into action: Elizabeth races downstairs to call 911, while Philip goes to the bathroom, comes back with washcloths for Alexei and Evgheniya to press on Pasha's wounds while holding his arms up, and calls down to Elizabeth to tell the 911 operator that Pasha's still breathing, though he's unconscious. At some point, Alexei runs outside and returns with the agent...
...who uses his radio to call in an emergency report of his own, so it's not clear when the ambulance arrives whose call it's actually responding to. Evgheniya gets in to go with Pasha; Alexei stays back to pack a bag to bring to Pasha at the hospital, the agent saying he'll follow the ambulance and meet Alexei there. When the guy's gone, Philip cautiously asks who the guy with the radio is, and Alexei tells him, "Because we defect, government give us protection," because Philip is good at his job and therefore Alexei sees no issue with being very honest about this normal stuff with his good friend "Brad"!
And...also, Alexei has one or two other things on his mind, as he enters Pasha's room and gets pulled up short by the sight of his bloody bed. He pulls it together and gone over to Pasha's nightstand, where he finds Pasha's note. "He say he love us," he sadly tells Philip. "Not want to make it so bad for us, life here. He say he sorry but he cannot live in America." Geez, with skills like that, Pasha might have a future as a court stenographer -- if he has a future, that is.
BUT, it turns out, Tuan's calculations were correct all around: Pasha's parents did come home in time to find him and save his life; and Pasha's note is effective in convincing Evgheniya move back to Moscow with him. (Alexei refuses to go, despite a guilty Philip's attempts to talk him into keeping his family intact what with all Philip's own ongoing Dad Stuff this season -- and also comments that Pasha had better keep his head together once he gets there, because the kind of care he'd get in the Soviet Union is much worse than in the U.S.) After Pasha's been released from the hospital, Tuan heads up to Pasha's room alone to apologize for having suggested that he nearly kill himself, but Pasha's cool:
And then, as part of Philip and Elizabeth's wind-down of American activities, they do a little...uh...post-mortem with Tuan, telling him that it's almost time for them to file their report, and that they'll say great things about him, and also that he's probably better suited to doing other kinds of work in Vietnam. It's clear that Philip thinks he's doing Tuan a favour, but Tuan has no interest in giving up espionage or having another kind of life back home -- and THEN my dude adds, "You should know I already sent my report on the operation. I don't want you to be surprised." He says he confessed to his having broken cover to communicate with his former foster family, and he also narced on Philip and Elizabeth: "I said that you both did a lot of great things during our work together, but I had to point out there were certain lapses regarding your cover arrangements, which I told you about during the operation....I also put in my report that I believe the success of the mission was risked at the very end because your commitment to achieving our goal was overridden by certain petit bourgeois concerns." "We were afraid Pasha would die, Tuan," says Philip slowly, as if this will mean anything to a well-trained sociopath -- and, indeed, it doesn't, as Tuan notes, "But he didn't. I told you he wouldn't."
Perhaps seeing in Tuan a kindred black-hearted spirit, Elizabeth asks Philip to excuse them, and drops some spy-ence on Tuan, reminding him that he has no idea what Philip and Elizabeth's work entails: they were running multiple ops to Tuan's one, for a start. Tuan dgaf: "I'm sorry. What I said was the truth." Elizabeth calmly goes on, saying that people who aren't in the field have no idea the kind of split-second decisions their work requires, and that The Centre trusts Philip and Elizabeth to do their jobs "extremely well": "So whatever you put in your report isn't a problem for us, Tuan. Actually, I think it's important to be honest about mistakes. But acknowledging them doesn't always keep them from happening again."
And then, perhaps not wanting "You ain't shit," essentially, to be her parting words -- before we get to this scene, we have an exchange in which she and Philip are discussing their plans to return to the Soviet Union and she muses that she wishes they could bring Tuan with them -- she decides to try to turn this into an intervention, telling Tuan, "And since we're being honest here, I think there's something you should know. You're not going to make it....It's too hard, the work we do, to do it alone." "Not for me," says Tuan defiantly. "You will fail," says Elizabeth firmly. "Something will happen. You'll get caught, or you'll die. One day it will all come crashing down. You need someone, Tuan. A partner. To do this with, to get through it with." "A woman?" he asks. "Make them send you someone," Elizabeth advises. "Take a sabbatical and in a few months I can introduce you to Paige," she does not add.
Stan and Aderholt make Gennadi sit down for a polygraph test, and despite a hiccup when he's asked, "Did a member of a Soviet security agency help you prepare for this test?," he passes with "flying colours." Doesn't sound like it's that hard, but okay.
There Used To Be This Thing Called A "Gaffe," And People Used To Care When Politicians Made Them
Paige is doing homework in front of the TV when a report comes on about Ronald Reagan getting caught on a hot mic before he started taping his weekly radio address, saying, "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever" -- the consequence being possible war, with Soviet forces being put on wartime alert just after Reagan's statement got out. Remember when shit like that used to be a BIG DEAL? Now President Grab Them By The Pussy can volunteer code word intel to representatives of a hostile nation, tell those same representatives that the FBI director he just fired is a "nutjob," and compliment an authoritarian strongman who murders drug dealers for doing an "unbelievable job" LOL ANYONE CAN SAY ANYTHING NOW, NOTHING MATTERS
J. Walter Weatherman Lesson
Bad Decision, Good Outcome
Poor Martha's walking in a park having a language lesson when her tutor steers her to a playground where a bunch of kids are running around. When one loses track of her ball and it rolls to Martha, she gives it back to the girl...
...who, it turns out, is an orphan; all the kids they're watching are. Martha's tutor has been talking to Gabriel: "We want you to be happy. Olya. She's all alone."
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Philip vs. Henry
Philip comes home to an elated Henry, because guess who just got into St. Edward's, with a scholarship???!!!?!?!? But even though Philip totally said that if Henry got in he could go, that was before Philip and Elizabeth got so messed up tracking down a war criminal that they decided to give up on America entirely and now Henry has to start getting used to being Hedeon because THE DIE IS CAST and Philip is DETERMINED TO BE A BETTER FATHER THAN ALEXEI so this family is FOR ABSOLUTELY SURE GOING TO MOVE TO THE SOVIET UNION LIKE ANY SECOND NOW. "You're not going," says Philip. "That's it. This family stays together."
Winner: Philip, but only because he's the parent and can pretty much win any fight he wants.
Wrap It Up
Paige works at the food pantry, jokily playing dumb when Pastor Groovyhair asks her about a surprise going-away party he's heard about, and as "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" starts to play...
...Renee takes Philip's place playing racquetball with Stan.
Elizabeth puts dry cleaning away, taking a moment to appreciate all her lovely clothes. (I appreciate them too. The lady can rock a boot). In Soviet Union, Liz Claiborne buy YOU.
Paige walks through the scary neighbourhood, makes it to the scary parking lot, and lets herself safely into the car to drive home without any homeless guy getting killed in front of her -- not even one!
And at Kimmy's pot and neck rub party (idk), one of Kimmy's dumb friends asks why she can't find a guy like "Jim." Once it's established that Kimmy isn't his girlfriend (? but then again who can keep track of what their public story is to other teens), Philip says he can't date this friend because he might be moving to Japan.
Kimmy quietly excuses herself to the kitchen, and Philip follows her to let her down easy as only a father-boyfriend can: she'll be fine -- more than fine! He's seen her grow and change in such amazing ways! She's got great friends and a much better relationship with her dad! Kimmy sniffles and accepts it, and that's a wrap on--
That Montage Was Not A Closing Montage
There's still twenty more minutes to go? WHAT THE HELL. Well, at least we'll find out what's going on with Oleg and Mischa! ...WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY'RE NOT IN THE EPISODE AT ALL
Black Widow's Big Sister
Elizabeth and Paige are sparring in the garage, leading to this glorious moment.
I mean, good for Paige for taking her split lip like a champ. But good for this show's writers for sneaking in this savage bitch-slap on a character who, over the years, has richly deserved it.
Renee Shows (Us) Her Cards
Pay attention, because this might be the one of the only two scenes in the episode that actually set up anything that might pay off in the show's final season. While making dinner with Renee -- who's moved in with Stan for a month, or maybe more, while the floors are redone at her flooded apartment -- Stan tells Renee that he's thinking about leaving counterintelligence. He reminds her about that thing with his boss's boss, and how his boss had come up with that thing that might keep him in the department, but now it's looking like that thing will go on for a while, which is bad because he no longer wants to do the kind of work he's doing. Renee:
Stan explains that getting information from someone he's working with is risky, and he doesn't want to be responsible if something "goes sideways." Renee smoothly asks if it isn't the informant's choice to work with Stan, and he says it is, but that sometimes people can't really give fully informed consent to what the FBI asks of them because they don't appreciate the risks: "It just feels shitty. I'm tired of feeling shitty." Renee smiles and purrs that Stan is a good person, and that not many people care like he does. She knows he's been stressed, buuuuuuuut: "I can't help but think that your department needs someone like you, who's not afraid to push back and stand up when something's wrong. And if you don't do it, who will?"
OH SHIT, PHILIP WAS RIGHT. UH...MAYBE. Was The Centre lying about Renee's affiliation? Is she an agent for a completely other government entirely? Is she not an agent on behalf of a government but just a regular-ass criminal collecting intel to sell? What if, as Philip speculated earlier in the episode, she does get pregnant? Their baby would be Sydney Bristow II! Or if, as seems most likely, Renee actually is a deep cover Soviet agent as Philip has suspected all along, what if the final season builds to a showdown where Philip has to decide whether to throw in with her, or save his good pal Stan????!?!??!??!?!?
Wrap It Up
Philip comes home to see Paige icing her face, still pretty chill and taking the wound in stride. Philip sits down and tells her he knows that the life he and Elizabeth have isn't easy, and that Paige should have been able to grow up with "the regular stuff like...just, a dog. Or a boyfriend who lives across the street." Paige is like, "...K."
Philip trudges upstairs and finds Elizabeth reading in bed. She can tell from his face that he's in distress, and he asks to go sit with her somewhere.
And in the park behind their development, Philip tells Elizabeth he considered throwing out the latest tape from Breland's briefcase, and he still thinks that might have been the better play, buuuuuuuut Breland's just been promoted: "He's now head of the Soviet division."
As Philip knew she would, Elizabeth says that their having hooks in this fucking guy means she can't possibly abandon their mission now. But she suggests a compromise: "Maybe you should stop. You need to keep getting the recordings, but other than that, I think you should just stop. Run the travel agency." Philip says she needs him, and she murmurs, "Not for this." Kind of a subtle burn, there -- Tuan's too weak to do this shit on his own, but Elizabeth is like two spies in one body! -- but Philip really is burnt out and doesn't bother to argue that he isn't the spy cuck she's kind of just said he is. "I'm making you stay," Elizabeth tells him. "And it just keeps getting worse for you. I don't want to see you like this anymore."
Can't wait for Philip's ex-Commie spy rumspringa raging all over Season 6! SEE YOU THEN!!!