The Americans Go Hunting Bugs Sooner Than Expected
'SOONER.' (They go to Oklahoma.)
What's the game? Bowling.
Who's playing? The Eckerts and the Morozovs.
What's at stake? Always at stake in these interactions is the safety of the USSR's food supply, of course. And, as always, the potential for Philip and Elizabeth to get leverage over Alexei only grows, as he turns even a wholesome family bowling trip into an opportunity to shit on the USSR, telling a story of bowling with Pasha in Gorky Park (at which mention Philip fondly smiles) that he ends thus: "Very popular in Russia, very popular. And then place went to shit....Wood cracks, ball chip. Russians can't keep something simple as a bowling alley....People don't have any power to make better. System destroy everybody who tries to make change." In Russian, Mrs. M turns on her husband: "You're the one who destroys." He tries to disguise the fight by kissing her, but even if Mr. and Mrs. Eckert couldn't understand English, it wouldn't be convincing.
Who wins? The Eckerts -- even Tuan contributes to the effort to befriend the Morozovs (and lull them into a false sense of security) by throwing a gutter ball to make Pasha, the shittiest bowler present, feel like less of a loser.
Dropping A Pin
Situation: In the car on the way "home," Elizabeth and Philip tell Tuan what he missed in the Morozovs' hissing Russian fight: that Alexei made the decision to defect without consulting his wife -- who finally gets a name! I think it's Evgheniya! -- which is part of why there's so much tension for the other members of his family every time he verbally attacks on the Soviet Union.
What makes it awkward? "One day the U.S. will destroy the U.S.S.R.," says Tuan. "Just like they did Vietnam. I'd like to see what Alexei has to say when everyone and everything he ever knew in Russia is wiped out."
So: just a reminder that Tuan's true loyalties are somewhat in question?
How is order restored? "Well, hopefully we'll prevent that from happening," says Elizabeth. "Yes, of course," says Tuan. "I just meant he's a traitor." HA HA WELL WHO ISN'T HASHTAG 2017 RIGHT
Reading In A Rookie
Who called the meeting? Philip and Elizabeth.
What's it about? After dropping off Tuan, they go to whatever garage they use to change out of their various spy costumes and discuss their evening, going from their judgment of how Alexei handled his defection -- would they have done any better if they'd been forced to go back to the USSR when William was captured? -- to a decision to tell Paige about their current op, not just because it will take her mind off Matthew, but because she'll support the idea of safeguarding a nation's food supply on moral grounds. "It's a good thing," says Philip. "She'll get it."
How'd it go? As soon as her parents come home and confirm that Henry isn't there (for which, hilariously, not even a half-assed explanation is supplied; he's just absent and no one cares to ask or offer any follow-ups) and Paige can see they want to have A Talk with her, she tenses up. But when it turns out not to be about her romantic life, she's full of questions. If this guy they're pretending to befriend was snuck out of the country by the CIA to compromise food for his own people, how can they trust anything he says? Aren't they afraid he might call the cops on them? What precautions do they take? Who does this Russian guy actually think they are? Is it hard pretending to be other people?
Shit, this might be more exciting for Paige than the sex she's not actually having!
Grim Fairy Tales
After the discussion with Paige, Philip showers off his disguise glue and takes a pensive moment to gaze into the bathroom mirror and remember the appalling deprivation of his youth.
A dirty hovel. His father's ill-fitting clothes. One pair of pants that, possibly, the whole family had to share. Maybe Philip's not actually that homesick after all.
Who called the meeting? Oleg.
What's it about? The stock at a particular supermarket.
How'd it go? Remember how Oleg's boss told him he was supposed to start looking into stores that seemed to have more inventory than others?
Apparently this meets that description. YIKES. It's hard to tell how things go: after gaining admission to the back and admiring a bag of tangerines -- very rare and exotic, apparently -- Oleg is clear and direct about his suspicions that this store's manager bribes suppliers, but she won't confirm that she does, never mind dime out any associates. Oleg says he doesn't blame her, since he knows she's doing what she must to survive, but that it's his responsibility to ensure that everyone is fed, not just her family: "How do you think it will ever end if you don't speak up?" Manager:
As Oleg leaves, the manager tries to give him the tangerines, but like his buddy Stan, Oleg is TOO UPSTANDING to let himself be corrupted...except by Nina's magic vagina, I guess. RIP Magic Vagina.
Name: Anatoli. Age: Late 50s. Occupation: Something to do with TASS? And/or something to do with Amtork (sp? guys, I tried to Google it). Goal: Unclear. Whatever it is, Stan and Aderholt are so eager to discuss it with him that they track him down at a diner and in a men's room. It is an eagerness he does not share. Sample Dialogue:
It's A Date
Young Girl, Get Out Of Your Mind
Who's on a date? Matthew and Paige.
Where has he taken her? Dingy and therefore probably amazing pizza place. Oh, the flavors your pie will pick up from that million-year-old oven! (Does it show that there's only one pizza place in my town and it's Domino's?)
Are things headed in a horizontal direction? No. At first, that's because Paige is so anxious that even Matthew notices and (very gently) presses her to tell him what's wrong. But then...
Using her parents' technique, Paige successfully hypnotizes herself out of possibly telling Matthew anything like the truth, instead saying she has a History paper to finish, which she's worried about since she got a B on the last one. Matthew, relieved, says he can help her with that. Lucky for him she's not going to infect him with any of her real feelings!!!
Just Like Mom
Who called the meeting? Paige.
What's it about? How things went on her date with Matthew just now.
How'd it go? Paige is upset not because she was in any real danger of saying anything to Matthew that she shouldn't, but that her parents' trick worked: "I looked him right in the face and I lie about why I was so tense. It was easy. He had no idea. It just felt gross." "Do you think it would have been fair to tell him the truth?" Elizabeth asks rhetorically. "To put that burden on him?" "So that's how it's going to be," pouts Paige. "Just, for the rest of my life, I have to be fake with my boyfriends." Elizabeth says it's not being fake: "Being in a relationship is complicated. You don't share everything. You hold back what you need to. Everybody does." When I watched this episode with my spouse and asked whether that was true, he took a VERY LONG TIME to answer and was doing something with the hand I couldn't see but IT'S PROBABLY NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT, RIGHT???
J. Walter Weatherman Lesson
That's Not The Wallet Inspector!
Having made it to Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, Mischa follows his late mother's directions to an apartment and asks for someone named Luka, who's supposed to help him get into Austria. Unfortunately for Mischa, sometime between when Irina wrote out his instructions and the present, Luka's been arrested, and this Vaso who's replaced him doesn't seem to have any attachment or loyalty toward Irina: after reading her letter, he helps himself to what seems to be the majority of Mischa's cash and rifles through the rest of his meager possessions trying to find anything of value. Is this guy even going to take Mischa on the trip he's just had the privilege of overpaying for? Unclear!
Here's An Idea
Don't Blow Off A Meeting With The CIA, Oleg
For one thing, whatever you did instead of going, they definitely know.
For another, their way of playing hardball is to let you know they've got a tape of you telling state secrets to Stan. Duh.
J. Walter Weatherman Lesson
Hoarse And Buggy
Gabriel having told them that the bug she brought back from the greenhouse is some fancy kind of midge that could carry spores to damage Soviet grain crops -- they don't know precisely what kind of pest they are, just that they're bag -- and that it was shipped from Canberra to a lab in Oklahoma six weeks earlier, Philip and Elizabeth have gone there to see what they can find out. Amid the butterflies and bats and stuff, Elizabeth's just IDed the terrarium she thinks contains the cousins of all the little buggers she spent hours washing out of her hair last week when their lookout crackles their walkie; they hide, and a guy enters and takes off his coat, evidently settling in to do work and not just popping by to pick up his address book or something. When he notices a terrarium full of moths or butterflies going crazy, he reaches for the phone...
...which is when Philip steps out of the shadows to stop him, Elizabeth not far behind. Surely knowing that these aren't just office robbers, he tries to get rid of them by handing over his wallet and car keys, but of course they aren't interested, and want to know whom he's working for. He claims that, as a lowly lab tech, he doesn't know, but Philip sees on his ID that he's actually Randy Chilton, the lab's Deputy Director. Caught, he babbles that he's not allowed to talk about the work they do at all, never mind what the midges are about. This forces Elizabeth to slam Randy's head into a tank so that he admits it's a pest that eats wheat! And the lab was hired by something called Agricorp! This lab was just contracted to breed the midges! They've sent 30 to 40,000 eggs so far, but it's not that many! If they'll let him go to his Rolodex, he can tell them where he sent them! The next shipment's in two weeks! They don't ask what the midge eggs are being used for, they just breed what they're told to! "You should've asked," says Elizabeth.
Randy thus dispatched, Philip and Elizabeth cover their tracks and drag Randy outside, putting him into the trunk of his car and checking in with their lookout.