This article has some content you might find disturbing!Reason Close-range angle on an execution.
The Americans Puts A Quartet Under Quarantine
The Illegals deal with the after-effects of possible Glanders exposure. Across town, Paige tries not to lose her mind with terror and guilt.
Call Of The Wildly Contagious
William has apparently weighed the dangers of venturing out of the quarantine safe house against the shitstorm that will follow if Elizabeth doesn't let a couple of people know what's going on, and has accompanied her to a nearby pay phone to take care of business. First, she calls her...uh, answering service and, unable to keep the panic entirely out of her voice, relays her important message: "This is Mrs. Banks. My husband and I need to postpone the deliveries for this weekend. We can't be where we need to be for them. It can't happen." "I'm sorry to hear that," says the operator. "Do you know when you'd like to reschedule?" "No," says Elizabeth. "There were two deliveries. We really-- We can't have those deliveries take place. All right?" The operator understands. EVERYBODY JUST CHILL THE FUCK OUT although I guess that's a bad choice of words if Elizabeth might start experiencing chills for real soon.
Next, Elizabeth calls Paige. Poor Paige has been sitting up waiting to hear from her parents -- it's now almost 1:30 in the morning -- and she knows that, whatever's going on, it's probably fucking terrible. She's right about that, but wrong in her suspicions that the Groovyhairs said something about Philip and Elizabeth, who are now on the run. Elizabeth, as calmly as she can, promises Paige that she and Philip will be back on Saturday, and that although the Epcot trip is off, everything else is really okay, nothing that's happening is Paige's fault, she will see her parents again, and they just have to work. Also Paige has to take care of Henry until Philip and Elizabeth return. Points to Elizabeth for remembering that Henry exists? Anyway, it's an emotionally trying conversation for everyone involved; Paige hangs up and immediately starts sobbing. Man. I give Paige shit for having shot her dumb mouth off to Pastor Groovyhair AND I STAND BY THAT, but this is rough. When I was a teenager, if my parents were ever, like, twenty minutes later getting home than they'd said, I'd start spinning scenarios about which relatives would take in my orphaned sister and me, and my parents aren't even spies. Although...they do now live in Pakistan......
But enough about me. Once Elizabeth's done, it's William's turn on the phone, but don't get too excited at the idea that you're going to find out about the loved ones he has to update on his situation. This weirdo has no loved ones!
William's just going to cut the pay phone cord, bag up the receiver, and wipe down everything that might have gotten any of Elizabeth's saliva or mucus on it. (Back at his apartment, his air purifiers hum on...lonely.)
Place Of Interest
Well, time to get back under quarantine to wait out the incubation period of this spectacularly contagious and fatal disease! Gabriel's been moved to the couch, but he's not doing great. Asked what they can do for him, William dryly replies, "If we believed in God, I'd say pray." Generally, his attitude toward Gabriel's chances of surviving are bearish: "He's not a young man, not in the best shape, infected with a deadly pathogen. He ought to be in a hospital, hooked up to an IV. We all should. I think it's hilarious." Since hospital care is not possible, they'll just have to take precautions that, quite frankly, we all probably should all the time: "Avoid touching your nose, eyes, mouth. Wash your hands thirty seconds longer than you normally do. If you have to touch each other, put on gloves. Dispose of used gloves and paper towels in a medical waste bag." ...Not sure this Airbnb would get a five-star rating from me.
Philip asks how Elizabeth's phone call with Paige went, and Elizabeth anxiously reports that Paige is pretty sure they're never coming home. Here's another precaution you should have taken, maybe: not had kids?
It's A Bereaved Family Affair
Alert Type: Extortion Alert.
Issue: Following his brother's death, Oleg's come home to the U.S.S.R. to be with his family.
Complicating Factors: Oleg hasn't stopped thinking about Nina, but even his well-connected father Igor can't do anything for a traitor.
Resolution: Oleg's not ready to take no for an answer, and presses his father to intervene on Nina's behalf. Igor says he will, on one condition: that Oleg move back to the U.S.S.R. for the sake of his desperately grieving mother. Oleg agrees.
Spoiler: Igor may not be as well-connected as Oleg thinks.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Hack N' Yak
Before school, Henry stops by Stan's to talk about computers (Stan doesn't know anything, but Matthew does and he's going to be at Stan's more soon, so he can help: hey, good job brokering that reunion, Philip!) and girls. Or, rather, women, because he wants to know the story of how Stan met Sandra. Smiling fondly at the memory, Stan says it was "a long time ago," when they were in college; they were both at the same party, and she bumped into him and made him spill his drink all over himself. He was annoyed, but then he actually looked at her, and it's a lot easier to get away with that kind of blunder -- even if, like Sandra did, you start laughing uncontrollably -- when you're very beautiful.
I mean, accurate? But geez. Stan asks whether Henry ever talks about this stuff with Philip, and Henry says no, since he's never really around. In fact, Henry's so used to Philip's absences that he apparently didn't even pay attention to whatever lie Paige came up with to explain their parents' absence and the cancellation of the Epcot trip. I might think Henry's ignorance -- indeed, his total lack of interest in what his parents are doing, ever -- is the best way Philip and Elizabeth give cover to their sketchy activities...
...but Stan is a law enforcement official and also has started really caring about Henry, like, as a person (I guess someone has to), so he offers to give Henry a ride to school, stopping first at the Jennings house to check in with Paige and get the "actual" story of where her parents are and why they'd leave unattended two kids -- the elder of which can't even drive -- for several days. Paige does her best to act like there's nothing weird happening and that Philip and Elizabeth just had to go to New York to kiss up to some big client who was threatening to fire them, covers that it's no big deal that the Epcot trip is off, declines the offer of a ride to school (which no teenager would ever do, I don't care what country her parents illegally emigrated from for nefarious purposes), and refuses to engage with Stan when he mentions a trip he took to Disneyland. Only after Stan leaves, it seems, does Paige allow herself to exhale. DAMMIT IF HOLLY TAYLOR ISN'T MAKING ME EMPATHIZE WITH PAIGE.
He Kindly Stopped For Gabriel?
William's checking Gabriel's vitals when Elizabeth gets a little philosophical.What does est say about death?I don't-- Um-- I don't know, it never came up.Gabriel said that our people were with my mother when she died. She wanted me to know that she loved me. Paige knows we love her, right?Of course she does.We really have no choice with Pastor Tim......
On The Menu
What's On The Menu At The Safe House?
Soup: We've previously seen evidence that Gabriel is a good cook, but this looks like some canned-ass bullshit. To be fair, though, I can understand why no one currently residing in this joint feels like getting very ambitious in the kitchen.
Extra Salt: Elizabeth mentions that Henry had a Biology test that day; she and Philip realize that neither of them remembered to help him study, because even they can't figure out what purpose Henry really serves in this story. William can't believe they're even thinking about this trifling nonsense: "You're worried about your kid's Biology test? What do I know, I never had kids, but you gotta eat." This is why you have no one waiting to find out where you are, William, but also: good point. Just say that shit behind their backs. To...your air purifiers, I guess.
AniseAdvice: Philip says Elizabeth's not hungry. "Not hungry or you have no appetite?" asks William, with as little alarm as he can muster. This leads to an assessment of Elizabeth's current condition: the fact that only Elizabeth is feeling sick maybably means she's not infected, but rather having a reaction to the antibiotic; it affects everyone differently. But could she maybe also be GETTING GLANDERRRRRRRS????!!!?!?
Throwing Up Possible Paths For The Future
Elizabeth's just finished urping up however much soup she did have when Philip enters to check on her. She manages to burble out some possibly final instructions in between the mouthfuls of bile.If something happens--Elizabeth--Philip.It's not going to happen.Please listen. If something happens, you blame me. For Pastor Tim and Alice. Don't wait for Paige to get suspicious.I'm not doing that.Then you can just raise them here. Be Americans. Henry doesn't even ever have to know, and Paige--Elizabeth.I'm just saying if....It's what you want. What you've always wanted.
It's A Date
Throwing Aderholt Off That Sweet, Sweet Scent
Who's on a date? Martha and Aderholt.
Where has he taken her? A pretty nice restaurant that doesn't really leave much doubt as to his hopes.
Are things headed in a horizontal direction? Nnnnnno. Martha makes that clear by being so distracted by her own nerves that as Aderholt tells her how much he hates cocktail parties because of how awkward they make him feel, she doesn't register what he says at all; when she comes to and asks him what he just said, he just smiles sadly and tells her, "Nothing." But apparently Martha was using that conversational down time to strategize, because if Clark couldn't get back to her with instructions as to what she should and should NOT say tonight, she's just going to have to improvise. And what she comes up with is that she's seeing a married man. She's not ashamed; she just knows most people wouldn't understand: "They'd say, 'You're a fool for seeing a married man, he must be some kind of sleaze.' But it's not that way, at all. It's simple....There are no false promises, or lies....We're discreet, but I'm not wearing wigs and sneaking into motel rooms. It's grown-up, it's honest. It's probably the most honest relationship that I've ever had."
Speaking of wigs...Martha's lucky Clark never left his at her place, because while she's on this date with Aderholt, Stan is snooping around Martha's apartment looking for proof that she might have been involved with Gene's scapegoaty death.
Is this, on its own, suspicious? A dainty little handgun, for a woman living alone in a major American city?
Is this suspicious, for a woman who as far as anyone knows isn't seeing anyone? I mean, it's kind of creepy, and culturally appropriative, and the sort of thing that I'm sure makes Stan instantly regret this investigation...but other than that?
In a fever dream, Elizabeth remembers tending to her mother some earlier time when she was gravely ill, before Elizabeth got recruited. Her mother's wrapped in the requisite perfectly moth-eaten shawl, coughing blood into a cloth Nadezhda gently takes from her and rinses in a basin. Her mother tells Nadezhda she's a good daughter, and that if she dies, Nadezhda should go live with her cousins in Tula. Nadezhda tells her to be quiet, but her mother says it's important. Nadezhda says she's not going to die, though she doesn't seem so sure. We know, of course, that she ends up being right -- certainly more right than Mother and her Tula predictions. Maybe Falls Church is the Tula of the eastern seaboard.
Fever Has Broken, Like The First Feeeeeever
With Elizabeth on the road back to probably not dying, William and Philip have a chance to chat like bros.How long have you two been together?Over twenty years.Long time.Yeah.How many kids?Two.That's nice, what you have. Everything going okay with the kids? I saw her face when she called home.No. Things are hard right now.You're so lucky. You don't know. You don't know what it's like to do this job and not have anybody to talk to about it, except a series of handlers who don't give a shit.My daughter is in a very bad place because of us. Because of this job. She could sense that something was off -- you know, the late hours, no family ever around. Elizabeth wanted to tell her who we were, and I didn't. We fought about it for months, and then we did.Nobody sane would do this work.[looking toward Elizabeth] She would.You?I'd be normal.With Elizabeth, though.[nods]
Wrap It Up
Gabriel and Elizabeth are better! Gabriel's got some residual photophobia but he's basically fine; Elizabeth never had the disease, just a bad reaction to antibiotics. What a baby. Gabriel thanks William for nursing him, to which William sniffs, "I was coerced." This guy really is a curmudgeon's curmudgeon.
In the kitchen, Elizabeth raises the subject of the Groovyhairs. "Epcot next weekend, we'll keep close tabs on them until then." But Elizabeth's brush with death (?) has caused her to change her mind about killing them, since Paige would never get over it. But she doesn't want to run, either, which means they have to try to "work" the Groovyhairs: "It's one more thing." "It's a hell of a thing," Philip corrects her. "It is," she agrees. But I guess in this household they do what the lady wants, a.k.a. Love It Or List It rules.
Elizabeth and Philip decide not to wait until Gabriel's back on solid food before informing him that they've decided to abandon the old, smart plan and embark on this risky new one instead. Gabriel can't with these boneheads, telling them, "You would be living in a burning house." "What's new?" snorts Philip. Gabriel remains his usual calm, deliberate self, but it's clear he really can't with them voluntarily taking the more difficult path when a relatively easy one is available, and tells them when he was younger, he was afraid all the time. "Everyone was afraid during the war," says Elizabeth, somewhat idiotically, and Gabriel replies, "This was before the war. We were killing each other every day. I told myself that I would be safe if I just did what I was told, but none of us were safe. Every day, I'd think, 'Is it today? Is it going to be me? Is it my turn?' It's not an easy way to live." He takes a pointed pause. "But it's your choice." Gabriel's not mad. He's just disappointed. Philip asks if The Centre will see it that way, and Gabriel wearily says he'll get them there, adding, "Perhaps they'll see the value in sparing Pastor Tim and his wife if they believe their deaths will make Paige unrecruitable." Elizabeth and Philip both make "Oh right, that" faces, at which Gabriel reminds them, "I need to offer them something," Gabriel explains. Yeah, fucking duh. Everyone's got a boss, ding-dongs!
Philip and Elizabeth come home and Paige practically knocks them down like a dog when its master comes home from deployment in Iraq. She (quietly) babbles that she didn't know whom to call or what to do, for which Philip and Elizabeth are very sorry. "You can't do that to me again," says Paige urgently. "I have to--"
That's when they're interrupted by a distracted call from the next room. Hey, remember Henry? He's also here, dicking around on the computer, and asks when they're going to Epcot: "Next weekend?" Elizabeth tells him, "We'll see," and Henry -- like all children -- knows what that means, but Philip says they can have fun now...
...yeah, I guess bowling is fun! Elizabeth bowls her sixth consecutive perfect strike, because of course she does. Paige leans in conspiratorially to ask, "Did they teach you to bowl?" Elizabeth puts on a cartoony Russian accent to reply, "Vital part of training," and the two crack up over their cute little secret. Hm, maybe Paige would be good at turning Pastor Groovyhair....
In prison, the investigating magistrate hands Nina a piece of paper! She cries...with relief! The magistrate proudly nods! That must have been some letter of defense Baklanov wrote!
Nina, back in her almost polished clothes, walks back out to the floor of the research facility, where she's greeted with smiles all around!
Baklanov waits in a bright hallway -- like almost TOO bright? -- where Nina hands him a piece of paper and shows him two plane tickets! Their ordeal: it's almost over! They cry and hug!
And then a loading bay door rolls up and Nina and Baklanov step out into what is almost certainly a far too bright snowscape -- but then again, maybe that's just what it looks like when you're about to get on a plane in Siberia or whatever!
...And, I mean, maybe it does, but all that was a dream. Nina's still in prison, and a guard is coming to tell her she's being transferred and watch while she puts her meager possessions in a plastic bag. She's led through some hallways and to a desk, where an official very formally reads that her appeal has been denied. But that's not all: her sentence of death remains unchanged, and will be carried out "shortly."
Which in the Soviet Union apparently means "immediately." At this point, why fuck around? Farewell, Nina. This is a pretty grim way for things to end, but you know how people say sometimes you bring heartache on yourself? That's virtually never been more true in the history of the world than it was for you.