The Americans Have To Go Home
But before they can get there, will Father Andrei rat them out? Will Stan confirm his suspicions? Will everyone get too squishy about how to deal with Henry? It's all in our series finale EPIC OLD-SCHOOL RECAP!
This recap is dedicated to Aunt Sherry, who loves TV and also loves TV commentary and criticism, because she is the very best! From all of us here at Previously.TV, and from her loving niece, Bex
Following some previouslies that don't go any further back than "The Summit," Philip lets himself into a vacant garage and waits; evidently, enough time has passed since his SHOCKING SPRINT in the penultimate episode that he no longer looks terrified (or winded) -- just very sad.
Like, we may have thought we'd seen him sad before -- virtually every other time we've seen him this season, for example -- but we had no idea how utterly bereft his face could actually get. Congratulations to Matthew Rhys for holding back, marathon runner-style, and leaving this new depth for the finale.
Outside, Elizabeth pulls up and parks. She hasn't had a chance to get fancy with her cover, so she leaves what appears to be Elizabeth Jennings's own car and steps out looking exactly like herself, but in a baseball cap, which she hasn't even bothered to stuff all her hair in. Glancing briefly from left to right, she briskly walks up the sidewalk with her go bag.
Stan's at the wheel next to his colleague, Agent Ganzel, who's been running down garages and safe houses. He and Loeb have narrowed the field of probables to fifteen, but even so, that just gets them to the point where they have to pick one to stake out and hope it's the one their target goes to on this particular day; he warns Stan to be prepared for "another possible nothing." Stan still hasn't given up on his possible something, though, and pulls over when he sees a pay phone. (The Past!) Fortunately for him, he finds one of the few phone booth phone books that hasn't been vandalized, because he doesn't know the number for Dupont Circle Travel off by heart; Rick picks up, and tells Stan when he asks that neither Philip nor Elizabeth is there. Stan then calls the Jennings house, where the answering machine picks up (and btw Philip's voice even sounds depressed on the outgoing message). Stan hangs up before the beep, gets back in the car, and continues to the chosen location.
Philip is pacing through the garage when Elizabeth walks in, and since time is obviously of the essence, he gets right to it: "They were on Father Andrei. I barely got out of there. And they're going to come down hard on him."
Elizabeth is shattered, but there's no time to brood. After exactly one breath, she says, "Let's get Paige, and then straight to New Hampshire." My first thought at this point was that they're going to hide out there like when Elizabeth was recuperating with "her aunt" in Season 1, because it never occurred to me that Henry would be a factor in the flight plan AT ALL. Elizabeth says they should call Henry now, but apparently Philip's already done a mental pro/con list on this one, and wearily replies, "And tell him what?" "He's gotta get away from the school," Elizabeth gasps. "We'll pick him up on the road, or in a town. Our best bet's probably the Canadian border." Philip lets her pant a little before shaking his head: "I don't think so." Elizabeth seems like she just thinks he has other ideas about logistics, but he tells her, "Henry should stay." Elizabeth's brow furrows in confusion as Philip says Henry's been doing well at St. Edward's: "His future is here." Elizabeth is shocked: "Leave him? Is-- Is that what you mean?" He nods: "It's the best thing for him." "To be alone?" counters Elizabeth, who after all has had two whole conversations with Henry this season and is obviously extremely attached to him and aware of his needs. Philip says, "He belongs here," but Elizabeth insists, "He belongs with us!" Philip says they'd be doing it for him. Elizabeth, in horror, says, "They would tear him to pieces!" Philip shakes his head: "He hasn't done anything. He doesn't even know." Philip, perversely, actually seems a little regretful about this -- that they never had the chance to let Henry know the truth, even as he realizes it was a blessing for Henry that they didn't. Philip goes on: "This is where he grew up. It's awful, but...." There's no way to finish that sentence, so he doesn't, and Elizabeth catches her breath and lets out a noise like, "Haa" -- as if she's about to ask how they can do this but can't even get all the way through the first phoneme. Philip works his jaw and looks down. Elizabeth, crying, turns around and walks out to the sunny street, Philip trailing with the bag, though now minus the burden of waiting to tell Elizabeth they're going to have to abandon their son...to a stellar career in the NHL -- and, because of this, some of the most fascinating magazine profiles of any personality in sport!
After the credits, Stan and Ganzel let themselves into an empty construction site, across the street from the garage they've decided to watch -- which, based on the size of the shutter to the street relative to the businesses on either side, is not the vast warren Philip and Elizabeth just left, and which, even if it had been, they were too slow to reach. Ganzel and Stan each take a position in front of a window, though only Ganzel peers through the blinds; Stan seems like he's already pretty sure this is pointless.
In an interview room, Aderholt sits opposite Father Andrei, patiently and calmly building rapport while creating the conditions that will make it most appealing for his subject to disclose what he knows, so maybe could someone show this scene to our new CIA director in the hopes that she will learn something? Thanks in advance. Aderholt knows the KGB can put pressure on people, but Father Andrei is a man of God. Aderholt asks Father Andrei to identify the man he was talking to earlier, tapping the best photo they took -- which shows Father Andrei clearly, but only the profile of Philip's disguised face, so we'd believe that Aderholt, who's spent a fair amount of time with Philip socially, wouldn't recognize Philip himself. Father Andrei claims he doesn't know who the man is. Aderholt folds his hands and suggests that he and Father Andrei have a common enemy: "Because the KGB doesn't want your religion to exist. They want to destroy it, along with anybody who practises it. You might be useful to them, Father, but don't kid yourself: they're not your friends." Father Andrei looks like he knows Aderholt is right, but remains silent. Geez, Aderholt, you didn't have to tell it like it is.
In a covered parking lot, Elizabeth plate-switches and Philip hot-wires the most generic late '80s car one can possibly imagine: a dark red Ford Taurus. I mean, such was the ubiquity of this make and model that even I -- who know nothing about cars, keep misplacing the rental car I've been driving FOR OVER A MONTH because I can't remember what it looks like when I park it, and could probably not identify the car I own unless I could get close enough to look for dog hair -- immediately clocked it on sight. Enjoy blending in, kids!
Across the street from the garage, Ganzel watches nothing happen, finally letting himself sit down with a sigh. Stan takes up his post, but only to pick up his walkie and ask Ganzel if he'll be okay on his own for a couple of hours while Stan deals with something. Suspiciously, Ganzel asks if Stan's got another lead, but Stan shrugs that he doesn't think so, and that he'll get back as soon as he can.
Philip drives while Elizabeth morosely looks out the window. When Philip glances over to see how concerned he should be about her current state of mind, she tells him she killed a KGB officer: "Left her to die in the street." "What were you supposed to do?" Philip asks. Hey, you've probably got a long trip ahead of you. Save that conversation for when you finish your crossword puzzle.
In Moscow, Oleg's father Igor meets Arkady in a park (where nothing good ever happens, and this is no exception). After a handshake, Arkady immediately tells Igor that Oleg's been arrested in D.C. Igor is shocked. Arkady doesn't really have any other details, except that Oleg will probably be tried for espionage. Igor blinks, but then hopefully supposes, "The Americans -- they'll trade him back to us," to which Arkady must tell him that Oleg wasn't there for the KGB: "There won't be a trade. He could be in jail for a long time." Igor says he'll talk to Gorbachev, but Arkady says, "He's not in control of this. That's part of the problem." That's...kind of the whole problem? "They're going to come after me, possibly you," Arkady adds. Igor guesses that what Arkady sent Oleg to the U.S. to do "didn't work," like, yes, Oleg's arrest and the possibility of spending decades in prison do point in that direction. Less sarcastic than I, Arkady just says, grimly, "Yes." Igor murmurs, "I lose one son in a useless war and now this." Arkady clenches his jaw. "What do I tell his mother?" Igor asks. A shitty show would have Arkady reply "Tell him he was a hero" or some other rote baloney, but this is not a shitty show, so Arkady just gazes at Igor, silently taking responsibility for his part in Igor's catastrophe instead of trying to blow patriotic smoke. There's nothing more to say at all, in fact, so Arkady slowly walks off. Alone, Igor briefly sits on the bench Arkady had been waiting on, but finds he can't be still, and after a moment, he gets up and leaves too. In Soviet Russia...families are destroyed even when people are trying to support the president.
Stan walks into the wide open door of an apartment building and goes up to the roof, which is when we see he is, once again, across the street from a suspected crime scene -- specifically, Paige's apartment building. He watches pedestrians and sees a car coming out of the underground garage, but no one from the Jennings family.
Back in his interview with Father Andrei, Aderholt is saying, "It's not something I want to do, Father, but I'll do it if I have to. And you'll be the cause of the worst scandal your church has ever seen." Father Andrei stares back, already looking defeated, as Aderholt goes on describing how bad it's going to look if the Russian Orthodox church is revealed to be a nest of KGB vipers just because Father Andrei wouldn't inform on two little spies. "I can only guess what would happen to you personally, Father," he adds. Father Andrei looks like he doesn't have to guess. But: if Father Andrei will just tell Aderholt whom he was meeting with, none of this will go public. Father Andrei, after a sigh, says he's not worried about himself. Aderholt understands: "But the church." Father Andrei sits up as he says he has an obligation: "People trust me to take care of them. This obligation is of a man of God, as you say -- no matter how it came to be." Aderholt gives his word that anyone Father Andrei helps him find "will come to no harm," which...maybe not physically? But also I think espionage is a capital offense, so maybe? Father Andrei asks, "In your work, are there people who put their faith in you?" Aderholt says, "That's a part of what I do, too." Rapport! "But you're asking me to let down people who trust me," says Father Andrei sadly. Aderholt says he has to do that all the time: "I wish I didn't have to, but I have bigger things to protect." In other words: when he gave his word that the spies Father Andrei exposed would come to no harm, that was probably not the whole truth? Aderholt goes on, listing the things he has to protect: "For me: my country. For you: your church." Brandon J. Dirden really seems to be enjoying making "church" a three-syllable word every time Aderholt says it. Father Andrei slumps back, and Aderholt, seeing an opening in his subject's body language, leans in: "Let's not pussyfoot around. You're a good guy, I'm sure. But you're halfway out of the Heavenly City anyway. What have these people made you do? Turned you into a spy for them. Made you report on your fellow men of God -- God didn't have any of that in mind. You were meant for better things. We all were. And now, you going down to protect him? Why?" Father Andrei wilts as Aderholt's speech sinks in. "Because you like him?" Aderholt shakes his head. "Find somebody else." "We all live on the same earth," mumbles Father Andrei. "You too. It's not so easy." Aderholt tells him he's going to have to choose, now, or the church will be destroyed and Father Andrei will end up on the street. Father Andrei looks down at his lap, then back at the photos, then at Aderholt, and breathes, "There are two of them."
Aderholt has conducted a textbook interrogation here and yet still looks shocked that it actually worked. "I don't know their American names," Father Andrei continues. "Nadezhda and Mischa are their Russian names." "How long have you been meeting with them," says Aderholt, talking fast before Father Andrei changes his mind and shuts down again. "I've known them for three years," he replies. "I'm going to need you to describe them," says Aderholt. Father Andrei nods. Aderholt says he's sure they wore disguises, "but still." "I saw them out of their disguises," says Father Andrei. "Once." JESUS CHRIST, WE REMEMBER.
Stan continues watching the street in front of Paige's building as the music gets suspenseful. Nothing much is happening until a man and a woman walk out of the parking lot driveway, and he can immediately tell it's Philip and Elizabeth. She didn't even have time to switch out of the coat, with vaguely Vulcan shoulders, that Elizabeth's been wearing all season, and I feel like even a straight man would recognize that distinctive silhouette, with or without binoculars -- but if Stan hadn't, seeing this woman take off her baseball cap as soon as she steps into Paige's building and fluff out her Vidal Sassoon commercial hair would probably do it.
Poor Stan is completely heartbroken to have been proven right, which other than all the murders and stuff may be Philip and Elizabeth's worst crime. How dare they do this to Stan: being proven right should always feel GREAT!!! Stan doesn't take long to grieve, though, coming down from the roof and finding another spot, across the way, to watch the building's front door.
Inside, Elizabeth rings the doorbell on Paige's apartment. Paige opens the door, still smarting and bitter about her fight with Elizabeth about Jackson, but can't even get out her snitty observation that Elizabeth's brought Philip before Elizabeth interrupts to ask if her roommate Gwen is there. (By the way: we never did meet Gwen! Missed opportunity to show us Gwen's perspective on Paige's part-time job, like Anna Kendrick and the other normies in the early Twilight movies.) Paige sighs that she isn't, so Elizabeth and Philip walk in past her, Elizabeth telling her the FBI knows about them. "We have to leave, for good," says Philip. "They almost caught me." Paige is too shocked to fathom the horror of what's happening and just asks where they're going. "Home," says Elizabeth. Philip tells Paige to pack a bag, and Elizabeth adds that it should be just the essentials, and that the bag should be small. Paige is still back on "home": "You mean...Russia?!" Elizabeth starts to say they don't have time to get into it, and then proves how true it is by not even finishing her sentence, spotting Paige's knapsack on a chair and dumping it out to pack. "It's over, this is how it works," she mutters. "This is not our choice." Paige asks if Henry knows. Elizabeth focuses on the bag, Philip looking away and staying silent. Paige is like, "WHAT?," so Philip puts on a reasonable dad voice to say Henry's staying there. Paige doesn't get it, so Elizabeth adds that Henry's going to stay at school. Paige's voice breaks as the gravity of the situation starts to sink in for her: "Henry's...not coming with us?" Hoarsely, Philip reminds her, "Paige, we're going to Russia. What would he do there?" I mean...it's not like they don't have hockey. Paige has the same reaction Elizabeth did, aghast that they're leaving Henry alone. Philip says his friends -- his life -- are there, Elizabeth adding that he's almost seventeen, which is how old she was when she started to work. "He's not you, none of us are," says Paige, and I'm like YOU'RE GODDAMN RIGHT YOU'RE NOT before realizing she probably means it the bad way. As Paige continues panicking about Henry, Elizabeth tells her the FBI could be there any minute -- no one tell Elizabeth "they" might even be there already!!! -- but Paige doesn't care that they could all be on the verge of getting arrested, saying she doesn't understand what's going to happen to Henry: "How's he going to live? Who's going to pay for his college? Is he going to be able to get a job?" Philip looks extremely guilty about leaving Henry on the hook for all of that on top of the emotional damage he'll be causing by ditching him under these circumstances, as Elizabeth impatiently says, "This is hard for all of us, we all love Henry, okay?" "Yeah, do you?" snaps Paige, ignoring Elizabeth and looking straight at Philip. Elizabeth is stung by this (although...like, it's not the unfairest question imaginable) while Philip, hurt, says, "You know we do. And that's why this is the best thing for him." "It's the only way," says Elizabeth, who could earn some points from Paige by telling her she had the same reaction when Philip presented this course of action to her, but instead presents a united front with Philip and doesn't leave her comrade in the street to die, as it were. Paige starts getting hysterical about coming up with another plan, until Elizabeth yells, "WE CANNOT TAKE HIM." After a beat, Paige says, "He'll hate you." Philip says they know that. Elizabeth says they have to go, right now, and grabs the bag she's stuffed with Paige's things (which, what even? A change of underwear? She can't possibly bring anything else she owns). Paige doesn't move, so Philip has to tell her to come with them.
Stan is watching and waiting as Philip, Elizabeth, and Paige come out the front door and start making for the parking lot ramp. Stan takes a beat -- his last moment to change his mind about confronting them -- and then takes off jogging.
Philip, Paige, and Elizabeth are almost to their stolen car when they hear a hearty "HEY!" behind them. They all stop and look back, with varying levels of acting natural, Elizabeth putting on the best performance out of the gate as she calls back, "Stan!," sounding pleased by the surprise. "Hi, Paige," says Stan, focusing on the weakest member of the herd, because this is not his first day. "Hi," says Paige uncertainly, as Philip tries to save her, cheerfully sputtering, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" and taking a few steps in Stan's direction. Stan holds up a warning finger to stop Philip: "That's a great question." "What's wrong?" asks Philip, in a small, wounded voice. "Paige, where're you guys going?" asks Stan breezily. "Home," says Paige, who probably learned early on to talk as little as possible in a situation like this. "Huh! Why?" Stan asks. "What's going on?" "I'm...not feeling good," says Paige. Superman doesn't feel good, Paige. You don't feel WELL. "Both your parents came to pick you up?" Stan asks. "That seems a little strange." "We were coming from work," says Elizabeth, her voice starting to get stern. "You were just at work," Stan repeats.
Elizabeth smiles -- just with her lips, though; her eyes stay hard -- and asks why Stan's acting this way. Stan looks at her with faint disgust, but just for a second, turning back to Paige and checking, "You're feeling sick? What's wrong?" "My stomach hurts," Paige breathes. "You're going home, from college, for a stomach ache?" asks Stan. Should've said a migraine, Paige, that shit would've been believable, as I THINK I ALREADY NOTED EARLIER THIS SEASON. Paige defensively repeats, "I feel sick," and once again, Philip gets between them, conversationally: "Why-- Why are you interrogating her?" There's a long pause before Stan asks, "Where's their car, Paige?" She looks back at the Taurus as Philip claims, "It's in the dealership getting serviced; we got a loaner." "So what happens if I call in this plate?" Stan challenges, quietly. Philip raises his eyebrows and scoffs, "Are you kidding me?" "What happens," Stan asks again. Philip says he doesn't know, and asks, "What is with you?" "Maybe you got this backstopped, but I'm not some traffic cop," says Stan. "I can find out in five minutes whether this license plate's really registered to a loaner car for a dealership." Philip, with a look of incomprehension, says he doesn't know what the problem is, and tries again to take a step forward as he says, "Maybe you and I--" "STOP! MOVING! YOU FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT!" yells Stan...
...and now he's pulled his gun. Philip convincingly freaks out like a person would who's never had a gun pointed at him before -- never mind by his best friend -- whereas Paige shrinks like a person who's never had a gun pointed at her before because she probably hasn't, and Elizabeth sort of holds her arm out to keep Paige slightly behind her, like when any of our moms stopped short driving and reflexively flung their arms out to pin us to our seats. "Lie down on the ground," Stan orders. "All of you." "Stan," says Elizabeth, as if trying to bring him back to himself, as Philip sputters, "What are-- What are you gonna do, shoot us?!" "On the ground, face down, keep your hands where I can see them, move slow," Stan instructs. Elizabeth says they're not lying down as long as Stan has a gun pointed at them: "This is Paige, Stan!" "Stop!" Stan barks. "Elizabeth, just stop. It's over." He turns toward Philip: "It's all over." Philip swallows, still pantomiming an innocent citizen's fear, and then kind of shrugs with his hands out as he relents and says....
Elizabeth gives him a sidelong look, so it's clear she wasn't about to give in that easily. Even Stan looks astonished that Philip has already cracked. "We had a job to do," Philip repeats, dropping his hands. Stan blinks, and hoarsely marvels, "You were my best friend." Oh man. I thought Poor Martha's heartbreak was the worst we'd ever get, but this is devastating. "You were mine, too," says Philip sincerely. Stan squints in disbelief. Philip goes on: "I never wanted to lie to you. Stan, what else could I do? You moved in next to me." (Maybe that was the original plan for the show, so thank god someone had the wisdom to say that would be too on-the-nose, and that across the street would be fine.) "I was terrified," says Philip. "And then we ended up as friends." "'Friends,'" whispers Stan forlornly. "You made my life a joke." "You were my only friend," says Philip, "in my-- in-- my whole shitty life. All these years? My life was the joke, not yours." Elizabeth's like, thanks.
"And Matthew?" Stan asks, turning to Paige. "Was that part of this? My son?" Elizabeth instinctively lies that Paige didn't know, but Paige interrupts to say she did: "They told me when I was sixteen. But Matthew, that had nothing to do with that! I just liked him!" Stan looks back to Philip, remembering almost as belatedly as I did, "...Henry?" "No," says Philip, shaking his head, Paige adding that he doesn't know anything. If it's a comfort to Stan to learn that his little pal is (probably) clean, it's not much of one: "All this time. I would've done anything for you, Philip. For all of you." Philip really looks like he agrees with Stan's assessment of him as a fucking piece of shit as he tells him, "I know." (Elizabeth blinks and looks down, because for her the feeling is definitely not mutual.) Stan continues flipping through his mental Rolodex for all the people he knows whose lives they might have ruined or ended, and says to Philip, "Did-- Gennadi and Sofia, that was you." Philip is confused, of course, because he never knew their names, and he stutters that "we" don't know who that is. Stan spits, "FUCKING liar," and says he saw it on Philip's face when he told him. Stan turns to Paige and asks, "Do you know how many people have been killed by Soviet agents here in Washington in the last year? Five years? Ten?" Paige squeaks that she's sorry, and Elizabeth takes over, intensely telling Stan, "We don't kill people, Jesus." "We wouldn't," Philip concurs. Gesturing at Philip, Elizabeth tells Stan, "He doesn't even do this kind of work anymore -- he quit. He's a travel agent now, that's all." True, but ouch?
Stan considers this a moment, and then tells them again to get down on the ground. No one moves. Philip takes a deep breath, as Paige and Elizabeth watch to see what he's going to do -- which turns out to be to "yes, and" Elizabeth's basically true description of him: "I did all this stuff, Stan, I don't even know why anymore. It-- It seemed like the right thing to do for my country. My country wanted me to. And I-- And I, I kept doing it, telling myself it was important, until finally I couldn't, and I, I stopped. I'm done with that now, I have been for a long time. We've-- It was all just screwing people for-- I don't even know for what." Here's where we start to diverge from the path of honesty, but we may all agree there are things Paige doesn't need to know. "So I quit, like she said," says Philip. "Like you did!" (We're spared a more fulsome iteration of "We're not so different, you and I," fortunately, because as I said earlier, this is not a shitty show.) "I'm a travel agent, now -- I'm just-- I'm just a shitty, failing travel agent. Except I guess I'm not, because now I-- I need to leave, if I can. I have to run away from the place that I have lived for the past-- so many years, if I can. If we can." Philip's voice gets thick as he says, "Stan, I have to abandon my son. He can't come with us, because I got caught. I finally got caught, and here we are."
The camera pulls back to a wide shot of the four of them, as if we'd forgotten the situation, and by the way, Stan is quite lucky no one's trying to enter or leave the garage tonight or else this (basically mostly true) confession would probably be a lot harder to get. "And I don't even know what happens if we make it home," Philip adds. "Because after all these years of being scared of Americans and recruiting Americans and following Americans, we finally-- We actually got something and it has nothing to do with you. It's our own people. It's a bunch of fucking Russians." He tells Stan about the plan to depose Gorbachev, Elizabeth corroborating, both clearly expecting this to be a giant bombshell for Stan, who instead of being shocked just asks, "Do you know Oleg Burov?" Philip and Elizabeth check with each other, because obviously neither of them ever knew his name, and when Philip asks who that is, Stan just gets pissed off and tells Philip not to bullshit him: "We arrested him earlier today picking up a dead drop."
Aaaaand the penny (dead-)drops. Philip blanches as Stan repeats what Oleg told him about the message, and Elizabeth breaks in to say, "That message has to get back home." Stan tells her, as he'd told Oleg, that it makes no difference to him who leads the Soviet Union, even though we know that it must! Elizabeth's eyes widen in horror as Philip says, "Stan, these people, if they're not stopped? That's our whole country, that's, that's our whole future, and it's the world, and whether we get to live in peace or not depends on this." Stan clearly doesn't love being in a "we" with Philip and Elizabeth even if it also encompasses the rest of the world population, but he listens as Philip adds, "We have to tell them what happened here, because if that dead drop didn't go through? We're the only ones who can stop this now. I don't know why you should trust me. You should hate me. You should probably shoot me. But we're getting in that car. And we're driving away." Elizabeth watches Philip, letting him call the play even as neither of them knows what the hell Stan might actually do. With a deep sigh, Philip tells Stan, "I wish you'd stayed with me at est." Stan kind of looks like he does too, even before Philip says, "You might know what to do here."
Elizabeth looks from Philip to Stan, coiled in readiness. Stan's eyes go from Philip to Elizabeth as he makes one million mental calculations Noah Emmerich perfectly communicates to us. And it turns out it takes an American to reach an American, as Paige voluntarily speaks up for the first time to say, "You have to take care of Henry."
With this, Stan's ultimate duty seems to snap into focus for him. Of course he has to take care of Henry: he knows perfectly well there's no one else to do it, and Henry deserves both his protection and his love. "He loves you, Stan," says Philip, crying. "Tell him the truth."
For the third time, Philip tries to move from the spot Stan told him to freeze in, but now it's to back away from Stan, and he takes his first step slowly, keeping his eyes on Stan to see how he reacts. Elizabeth and Paige, also keeping their eyes on Stan, do likewise, and then they all turn and walk forward, if at a respectfully deferential pace, and open their car doors, as Stan watches, stunned. Philip is the last to get near his door and remembers to turn back and tell Stan, "I don't know how to say this? But I think there's a chance Renee might be one of us." I SCREAMED. Stan is clearly nowhere near being able to deal with this on top of every other fucking thing that's been thrown at him tonight. Philip shrugs, "I'm not sure," and gets into the shotgun seat beside Elizabeth. Elizabeth starts the car and navigates it toward the ramp, Stan continuing to stand in the driveway, between them and escape, his gun still in his hand, and unfathomable confusion on his face. Elizabeth, who's certainly developed her emotional intelligence in the past few weeks, brakes to let Stan have this moment and make this choice instead of, I don't know, running him over, and after a beat, Stan steps aside and clears their path. I would love to know how long it took to film that scene. It's only...exactly what the whole series has been building to since the Beemans moved into the cul-de-sac in the series premiere? And it's perfect??? I'm sure people would have been pissed if that had been the end of the episode, but as much as I think the whole 69 (nice) minutes of it are well done and an excellent capper for the series? If the credits rolled there, I would have been satisfied.
But! We're not even quite to the halfway mark. When we come back to the commercial break (and honestly, who are the masochists breaking in here to try to sell products to all the Communist sympathizers who just exhaled for the first time in ten minutes with relief that none of their pretend spy pals got arrested), Stan is still in the garage, leaning against a pillar and contemplating how he's supposed to continue living his life now.
Elizabeth, eyes wild, drives. From the back seat, Paige asks, "You think we can trust him?" Philip confidently declares, "Yes." Elizabeth snaps back into operational mode, telling Paige they have passports to leave the country, but that they're going to have to change their looks to match their photos in them. "Change cars too," Philip adds. Honestly, just change to another Ford Taurus in beige, you'll be fine. "We need to see Henry, before we go," Paige states. "We have to see him." Philip says they can't. "We can call him," Elizabeth suggests after a moment. UNITED FRONT, LADY. Philip is sorry, but it's not a good idea. Elizabeth -- definitely not trying to make up for all the time she could have had with Henry but that she squandered on her various assassinations -- urgently says that even if authorities are listening, the family would just phone and then move. "He's sitting there, at school -- they might think it's a signal, they might jump on him?" says Philip. "He looks completely innocent right now." "Or they'll hear us and realize he doesn't know anything," Elizabeth counters, adding that everything's a risk. Her voice cracks as she says, "At least we can talk to him, before--"
"Brothers In Arms" starts playing, faintly at first, as Philip finally relents: "But we have to be quick." Elizabeth eagerly agrees. Looking at Paige in the rearview mirror, Elizabeth tells her, "You have to act completely normal on the phone, like nothing's happening." Paige mopily nods.
Stan has apparently swallowed his anguish for now, and walks back into the stakeout spot carrying two cups of coffee. He gives one to Ganzel and takes up his former spot, watching the garage door, knowing there'll be nothing to see.
In the corner of his cell, Oleg folds himself in half, and stoically waits to learn his fate.
Igor has apparently just delivered the bad news to Elina, Oleg's wife, who hugs herself and rocks back and forth while the baby stirs in his crib.
The camera swoops over the Taurus, parked at a rest area, and over a guardrail to Philip, digging a shallow hole. Elizabeth hands Paige her Canadian passport, which shows her with a short bob and bangs and big, round glasses. Elizabeth gives Philip his, and looks at her own.
Girl, why would you choose to have an ID photo taken in that hideous perm. After stuffing that passport in her coat pocket, Elizabeth opens the one still in her hands.
Of course it's the one Henry will never get to use -- or never need to use, depending on your perspective (or his), which is just as well since it's not remotely an acceptable passport photo but clearly a Jostens number from Henry's public school, years ago -- so Elizabeth closes it back up and tosses it into the hole.
At the stakeout, it must seem to Ganzel that Stan is concentrating very hard indeed on the task at hand!
Back at the hole, Elizabeth drops in her wallet. Philip does likewise. Paige gives hers to Elizabeth, who takes out the cash and chucks it. Apparently there was nothing Paige needed in her backpack after all, and that goes in too. Elizabeth pulls her suicide locket over her head and throws it on top of Paige's bag, giving Philip half a nod as he notices. Philip removes Philip Jennings's wedding ring and adds it to the (fittingly) communal grave. Elizabeth loses hers too, and then digs into her pocket so that Mischa and Nadezhda can put on the rings that were consecrated at their true wedding, and fine, I guess now I'm done being annoyed about how long that ceremony went on. Mostly.
Ganzel watches. Stan fake-watches. His walkie crackles, and without a word, he departs again.
Outside a train station, Paige, Elizabeth, and Philip -- all in the Broadway-quality wigs they acquired somewhere between D.C. and the Canadian border, well after dark, in the late '80s when shit routinely closed at like 5 or 6 -- approach a couple of pay phones; Philip still seems reluctant, so Elizabeth urges him to go ahead, and before long, he has Henry on the phone. Henry looks quizzical hearing Philip's voice, even though from what we've seen Philip calls him often -- it must be even later than I guessed, making those wigs even harder to account for -- and Philip explains that he and Elizabeth and Paige were just talking about Henry over dinner, and thought they'd call. "You know how proud we all are of you, don't you," says Philip. "Yeah, sure," says Henry easily. "And-- And how much we love you," Philip adds. Henry nods, and then asks if Philip's been drinking. Philip "admits" that he had some wine with dinner, which may be why he's "a little--" but then doesn't finish with "emotional" or "sentimental" or "maudlin," but then he's a non-native English speaker and he's under stress, so maybe those words all escaped him. "I just want you to be yourself, okay?" says Philip, finally. "Because-- Because you're great." Henry chuckles and agrees to be himself. "Good," says Philip, choking up. Henry gently cracks that Philip should probably let Elizabeth drive home, which cues Philip to tell Henry she wants to say hi. He hands the receiver to Elizabeth, who does a better job of sounding normal since she's never especially mushy with Henry, when she talks to him at all. She asks what he's doing, and with teenagerish taciturnity, he says he's just hanging out. "What your father said," she tells him, "I feel the same." Henry smiles, because he knows she's bad at this but appreciates the effort, and tells her he knows. Then she really goes for it and says, "I love you, Henry." Henry doesn't know how to deal with this declaration and/or feels secure enough about his place in the family not to care to read between the lines, because instead of returning the sentiment, he tells her he has to go. Elizabeth tells him to wait a second. As Henry rolls his eyes, Elizabeth holds the phone out to Paige, who helplessly shakes her head and whispers, "I can't." Philip quickly grabs the receiver back, whereupon Henry tells him he has to get back to his ping-pong tournament. "Okay, go go go," says Philip dadfully. Henry tells him he'll see him next week, and Philip's like, "YAH," and that's it. I guess the writers forgot he's supposed to be great at math, because any idiot in his position would be able to tell that call DIDN'T ADD UP. Thank you so much, I'm going straight from here to my new six-figure job writing scripts for Bazooka Joe comics.
Stan returns to the FBI to meet Aderholt, who motions for him to join him in the Vault. A handful of agents are in there quietly working, but Aderholt kicks them out with a head cock and they all quickly take off. Stan sits at the head of the table; Aderholt takes the seat next to him and lays out the sketches based on Father Andrei's description.
It seems Father Andrei took a lot of time carefully observing them because there is a 0% chance anyone who'd ever seen Philip and Elizabeth wouldn't ID them off these sketches; the artist even captured Elizabeth's hard eyes. Stan convincingly looks shocked -- I mean, he might actually be shocked that the church lead panned out, or that the sketches could be this good (seriously, they could be the basis for the opening credits of the Jenningses' Thursday night sitcom on NBC) -- and tells Aderholt, "I said it, but I didn't really--" "I know," says Aderholt sadly. "I should've listened." Stan shakes his head, and then tells Aderholt he went by Paige's apartment earlier, "just in case. No one was there, but-- I'm gonna kill 'em." Kudos to Stan for being able to access the memory of how he used to feel about this whole situation...an hour ago. Aderholt says they're watching the house, the travel agency, and Paige's building: "We're watching Henry at school, too. He's the only one who's there. I'm sorry." Aderholt has to get back, and with a reassuring hand on Stan's shoulder, leaves him to absorb this brand-new information in privacy.
Now in a nondescript station wagon, Philip pulls into the parking lot of...a roadside McDonald's. It's not just a good time for the great taste of McDonald's -- virtually any time of the day or night is -- but will be Philip and Elizabeth's last time to enjoy it, even if they do successfully escape arrest, for over two years -- and since they can't possibly know that Moscow's ever getting a McDonald's, fuck yeah you get yourself a large fry while you still can. Elizabeth says she'll wait, and when Philip says he'll be there in a minute, Paige gets out to order. Alone, Philip looks at Elizabeth and despondently suggests, "Maybe I should stay." She turns to look at him sharply. "Just for a year or two," he adds. "Live in New York, or out west. Figure out a way to see him every so often and...explain a little." Not sure how he thinks this would ever possibly work if the plan is for Stan to take care of Henry, but it seems like Elizabeth knows this is just sweet, beautiful, emotion-drunk talk as she gently replies, "I understand if you want to try. I'd stay too, if we could all--" She nods. Philip gets out.
"With Or Without You" starts to play as Stan opens his front door and quietly enters the house. The lights on a small Christmas tree, which I'm guessing Renee decorated in his absence, illuminate the foyer Americanly.
Even more Americanly, Philip collects three bags of McDonald's and pauses in his egress to glance from the car of fugitives waiting for him in the parking lot to the cheery family of four dining in. Once, that was him! Plastic trays and Happy Meals never looked so tragically aspirational.
Stan slowly moves into the bedroom, where Renee sleeps. He smiles fondly at her innocent face, and she snuggles in, without waking, as he pulls the covers up to her chin.
Then Stan sits, heavily, in the chair next to her side of the bed, frowning with the memory of Philip's warning, because would any truly innocent woman go to bed in this much makeup?!
Having mentally admitted defeat, Philip leaves the antiseptic American wholesomeness of McDonald's and carries the bags to the car.
The next morning, Stan's in civvies as Aderholt directs the team gathering evidence at the Jennings house. Stan walks to the end of the driveway and looks back at the house, his many happy memories of times he spent there now tainted by betrayal and self-recrimination.
On a northbound train, Philip, Paige, and Elizabeth each sit alone.
Speaking of betrayal and self-recrimination: Stan crosses the street to his own house, where Renee waits for him at the end of the driveway and silently enfolds him in a hug. When she releases him, he pats her arm to let her know he's okay, and gets in his car.
Fucking Renee. Inscrutable to the last.
The train pulls into a station, where two U.S. Border Patrol officers in cowboy hats are waiting to get on and start checking passengers' passports against the FBI circulars. Not sure why these wouldn't be Canadian officers since that's the country they're entering, but fine: Philip's up first, as U2 fades out, and though the officer looks pretty carefully from his "Mikhail" circular to a faintly irritated-looking Philip and back again, he doesn't see the resemblance and moves on. One down.
Elsewhere in the train, Elizabeth has wisely put glasses on as she pretends to read, and waits her turn to be scrutinized. Because we live in patriarchy, Elizabeth knows not to look annoyed at all but to gaze straight up at the officer with a faint, complaisant smile, and between this and the fact that none of her past disguises had a wig like this one and a straight man can't be expected to have enough imagination to put this perm on the face he's checking against, he hands her back her passport and continues through the car. That's two.
The train starts to move, and since we see Philip glide past the officers back on the platform: HOLY SHIT, THEY ALL MADE IT! As "With Or Without You" starts to play again, we cut to Elizabeth in her seat, white as paper and allowing herself to gasp with relief, until she glances up in time to see the officers aren't the only ones who just got off the train.
Paige is on the platform, too. I SCREEEEEEEEEAMED. NEVER IN ONE MILLION YEARS DID I SEE THIS COMING. We cut back to Philip's seat, at least a car behind Elizabeth's, as he also spots Paige on the platform. Elizabeth watches Paige recede as long as she can before sinking back into her seat. Philip storms through the car to find Elizabeth and sit next to her so that, if nothing else, they can share this silent horror together.
Stan walks into the St. Edward's ice rink, where hockey practice is underway, and knocks on the plexiglas.
Alone on the platform, Paige makes her way to a bench, sits, and ponders her next move. Hope she kept a little of that cash Elizabeth took off her.
In the stands, Henry morosely shakes his head as Stan, his true father, squeezes his knee. My first dumb thought was that Stan had just finished saying the three other members of his family had been killed somehow before remembering, oh right, the FBI is at the house, this is going to be in the news, even Henry isn't clueless enough to miss this one. But maybe this pouting -- as opposed to shock and horror -- is true to how a sixteen-year-old boy would absorb the news that HIS FUCKING PARENTS HAD BEEN SOVIET SPIES SINCE BEFORE HE WAS GODDAMN BORN? IDK THIS REACTION SEEMS A BIT SMALL TO ME, and maybe that's part of why good old Keidrich Sellati only has three other credits on IMDb: he's...not that good. Sorry to tell it like it is on his series wrap scene? And possibly the wrap scene on his whole career? Time will tell!
The song starts to fade out again as the camera pans up on Elizabeth waking up in bed next to Gregory, turning over and nestling into him. She then props herself up on one elbow, and as he reaches over to pat her stomach, she smiles and says, "I don't want a kid anyway." Yeah, lady, we know. She takes the cigarette from his hand and takes a deep drag, looking around his bedroom walls at a couple of pieces of abstract art. When she turns around to stub out the cigarette in an ashtray on the headboard...
...we see that Erica's Olympia Dukakis portrait -- FUCK IT, THAT'S JUST WHAT IT IS NOW -- is hanging behind the bed. Elizabeth, startled, scans from the eyes down to the disappointed mouth, and then rolls back over to look at the nightstand on Gregory's (now empty) side of the bed, where stands, in what seems like a poor imitation of Erica's style, a small portrait of Henry and Paige as they looked at the start of the series -- with expressions so reproachful it's hard not to imagine they heard what she just said. Or that this is just how they look because they always knew it, whether she said it aloud or not.
And then Elizabeth, still in the perm that matches her Canadian passport photo, wakes up with a start, on a plane. She looks across the aisle to where Philip sits, on the opposite side of the cabin, staring out at the blackness outside his window. (Am I the only person alive who will also remember another TV series finale that featured a scene of a husband and wife sitting separately on a plane? Shout-out to my fellow subjects in King Of Queens Nation!!!) Elizabeth, still heartbroken about her children, tears up with reassurance that she's not going to be entirely alone for this next phase of her life, as Philip feels her gaze and looks back at her, for the briefest moment he seems to feel is safe. Elizabeth takes his cue and turns back, eyes front.
Paige, who somehow got herself back to D.C., lets herself in to Claudia's empty apartment. She stands for a moment, looking around the room where she learned more about her mother than in the first seventeen years of her life, and then goes into the kitchen. She returns to the table with the bottle of vodka from the freezer and a shot glass, sits, and pours herself a belt. No olive oil first? What a poor student. Here's hoping there was a lesson about how to get through an FBI interrogation, and that she remembers that one better.
As the Tchaikovsky opus Claudia once played for Paige starts up again for us, we rejoin Elizabeth and Philip, approaching a Soviet border crossing in a blue Volvo. Philip looks, typically, sad, but Elizabeth is bright-eyed and seemingly alert to any possible outcome they might be about to face. When she rolls up to the border guard, we don't hear what she tells him, but even though she doesn't show him any ID, he motions to a colleague we don't see and goes into his booth to make a phone call. Elizabeth watches, steady, as he checks her story, and then comes back out and impatiently motions for the gate to be raised. And thus do Nadezhda and Mikhail re-enter the Soviet Union.
Elizabeth drives through the dark. It seems as though the Soviet Union is as good at assuring the safety of its highways as it is at maintaining its food supply.
As the sun is coming up, Philip has taken the wheel and steers them onto a muddy rural road, where Arkady is waiting to greet them with respectful handshakes. Philip and Elizabeth get into the back seat and fall asleep leaning on each other as Arkady stoically drives on.
Night has fallen again by the time we see Arkady's car driving through a city. Philip wakes up and sees the lights of the skyline indistinctly through trees. Not seeming to believe it, he asks Arkady, in Russian, to pull over, which he does.
Philip wakes Elizabeth as Arkady pulls to a stop on a bridge in front of what I think is the Moscow State University. As if still in a dream, Philip and Elizabeth get out of the car and walk slowly to the railing of the bridge, looking out at the lights of a city I'm going to say one of them barely hoped she'd ever see again, and that the other was probably mostly glad to have left. Philip starts to tell Elizabeth about the colonel who brought him there, years ago, to invite him to go to the U.S., but he can no longer remember the officer's name. "He said it'd be a hard life," he recalls. "Didn't want me to think it'd be some big adventure." Presumably Elizabeth heard much the same thing when she was recruited, since she said almost the same thing to Paige not very long ago. "I said I wasn't afraid of that," Philip continues. Elizabeth gets teary as she muses, "Who knows what would've happened here. I probably would have worked in a factory." Elizabethly, she then corrects herself: "Managed a factory." You KNOW my girl leans in. She starts to say, "You might've--" But then her imagination fails her, or she decides not to guess "fucked up a Soviet travel agency." They look at each other. "Maybe we would've met, on a bus," she says fondly. Philip smiles at the thought. "They'll be okay," Elizabeth states. Philip doesn't look so sure, and says, "They'll remember us," which may or may not be his way of contradicting her. "I mean, they're not kids anymore. We raised them." Elizabeth nods and agrees. "Feels strange," murmurs Philip. Elizabeth looks at him again and says, in Russian...
That's the end. And it's perfect.