This article has some content you might find disturbing!Reason A murder.
The Americans Reacquaints Paige With Her Scary Mommy
Philip's reaction to Elizabeth's fury about Paige's, uh, normal human frailties leads Elizabeth to wonder whether there might be some ways to solve her problems other than barking or murdering her way out of them. Plus: is Dupont Circle Travel circling the drain?!
The previouslies keep us in the very recent past -- nothing matters that happened before Season 6! no need to hit up the wiki to remember who killed whom and why when the White House still smelled like Carter! -- so let's pick up where we left off in the last episode: Elizabeth's got Rennhull aaaaaaaaaall over her. In the Secret Offsite Garage Of Spycraft Featuring The Wig Depository (I assume), Elizabeth is frantically scrubbing at her face and hair with whatever happens to be kicking around the utility sink in this joint -- a surely fetid rag and probably a warped sliver of Lava. I have to think this isn't the first time someone's come in here to get traitor brain out of their ears; it's not like I expect Elizabeth to keep doubles of all her skin care products there, but even a mechanic or whoever this garage ostensibly belongs to might keep a bottle of friggin' Gojo?
Anyway: clearly these materials are insufficient for the job, and Elizabeth is having a bad time. Girl, just get through this and treat yourself to a Korean sheet mask later. (You can pretend it's a North Korean sheet mask if that makes you feel less decadent.)
At her parents' house, Paige is sitting on the couch hating herself when Philip comes over to comfort her with a glass of water and a reassuring squeeze of her shoulder -- and, since Elizabeth's not there, decides to seize the opportunity, asking if Paige knows about this group he goes to sometimes. Paige remembers est, though Philip corrects her that "it's called The Forum now." (Later still, it will rename itself Landmark, and a young Tara Ariano, in her second real job out of college, will work at Canada's oldest magazine in the same office building as its Toronto headquarters! No one ever tried to recruit me, maybe because the degree to which I didn't want to talk to anyone before I got to my desk and ate a bowl of Honey Nut Corn Flakes was written all over my face.) Philip tells Paige that, at The Forum, acolytes are encouraged to "let" themselves feel bad, if it's what they're feeling. "I feel fine," Paige shrugs, trying to be her mother's daughter even when her mother's not there. "I'm fine," she repeats. Philip tells her it's important not to "push it away." Paige sighs as Philip says it's preferable to feel bad and get through it than not to feel anything. Philip tries to get more personal, saying that he "saw some bad things too": "It's hard to deal with it all. You have to." She starts to ask how he did, and he admits that he doesn't know: "I had your mom. You do too." Yeah, she's a real comfort, as we're about to be reminded...
...because, right on cue, Elizabeth returns, looking both rattled and, thanks to the inferior hygiene products at the Garage, mottled. Paige visibly tenses up as Elizabeth enters; Philip heartily calls out, "You okay?" "Yeah," breathes Elizabeth. Paige takes a beat and then anxiously asks, "What happened, Mom?" Elizabeth goes from 0 to Scary Mommy in two seconds flat, snapping, "'What happened'? Is you left your position and ran straight into the middle of a--" The phone interrupts her and Elizabeth shuts herself off while Philip goes to get it: it's Henry, calling to celebrate a (stupid) hockey victory over the formerly hot-shit team from some other snooty-ass honky school. Philip congratulates him as warmly as he's able under the circumstances, and quickly gets rid of Henry so he can mediate a conversation that's clearly about to get very ugly. Paige, haltingly, tells Elizabeth she heard a shot: "I didn't know if-- I didn't know what to do!" Elizabeth just ignores the part where Paige was about to say "I didn't know if MY MOTHER HAD JUST BEEN KILLED" and barks, "You were supposed to do what you were told to do." Paige tries again: "I thought you were--" "YOU LEFT YOUR POSITION, and walked straight into the middle of a meeting," Elizabeth snips. "If anybody else on the team did that, they'd be finished." Paige attempts to protest, but Elizabeth's not having it: "You don't get to talk about what you thought, or how you felt, or anything else! Not now!"
This isn't the first time Elizabeth's had to tell Paige, sugar-free, how shit is, but it's the first time we've seen her do it since they became colleagues; how much of Paige's pain here is fear of her mother's anger and how much is self-recrimination for having elicited it is hard to gauge. "Do you understand what you did?!" Elizabeth demands, at which Philip finally puts up a hand and tries to get her to take it down a notch. "This isn't great? I think there's a lot to talk about here."
Elizabeth's "SERIOUSLY RIGHT NOW WITH YOUR EST FUCK-AROUNDS?!" face is hilarious. "There isn't, Philip!" she spits. "It's VERY SIMPLE, you STICK to the PLAN." "I'm sorry, Mom," says Paige, tearing up. "I screwed up." Elizabeth blinks, maybe pulled up short by Paige's reminder that she's, you know, Elizabeth's daughter. "We'll talk more later," says Elizabeth throatily, seeming ashamed. It doesn't last, though: Paige hesitantly asks if she may stay there tonight, and when Philip is like, "Of course," Elizabeth disgustedly overrules him: "This is a work night. Go home." Paige grabs her things and leaves without another word -- but also without actually crying, which Elizabeth has to respect at least a little? Maybe?
When the door has closed behind Paige, Philip mumbles, "She's pretty much seen it all now." "Not all of it," Elizabeth wearily replies, trudging past Philip to the kitchen. "I told her she'd have you to talk to," says Philip, disappointed. "What do you think I was just doing?" Elizabeth says, sounding like she actually might be open to his critique. "Paige said it was a military guy," Philip pries, and Elizabeth tells him about the sensor Rennhull "had access to." Philip repeats her past-tense verb, and Elizabeth exhales a confirmation. "He was an idealist," Philip remembers. "What happened?" "He was going to kill me," Elizabeth replies. "Paige thinks he killed himself," Philip frowns. "He did," Elizabeth tells him. "I didn't have time to work him. I-- I moved too fast." She fixes Philip with her most haggard gaze as she intones, "There's trouble back home." Philip, remembering enough of his spy training not to be too aggressive, gently asks what she's talking about. "With Gorbachev," she says. "I don't know that much about it." "What do they need the sensor for?" Philip asks. She blinks, and stutters that she can't tell him before heading upstairs. Smoking is gross and no one should do it, but if ever a night called for a steadying cigarette, it's one you spent dealing with bits of Air Force scalp that have been Velcroed to your own. Rennhull: he's toasted.
So even though Stan told Aderholt in the last episode that he was not a marriage counselor, here he is having a one-on-one sesh with Sofia, trying to find out if Mars and Venus can meet in the middle or something, but she is not having it, airily telling Stan, "Don't try to change my mind." He denies that he is (fact check: false), and she grandly crosses the room to get her cigarettes, like an Aaron Spelling villainess, tossing over her shoulder that Stan is nice but that he's always getting what he wants, both from her and from Gennadi. Brightly, she adds, "My friend Bogdan, he says I'm too much listening to you! I need to listen to my heart." At yet another mention of this Bogdan character, Stan gets up, face a-twitch, and slowly asks, "You talked. To Bogdan. About me." "I trust him," Sofia shrugs. Fixing her with his eyes, Stan says, "If you told him what you and Gennadi have been doing for us, that would be dangerous. For Gennadi. For both of you."
Looking snaky and defiant, Sofia shrugs, "I'm not a child, Stan. I trust Bogdan. And we're Soviets. We know how to keep secrets. It is what we do."
Stan seriously cannot even fathom what this crazy bitch is unapologetically admitting. But I'm sure after working with her for this long that Stan is just going to trust her assessment of Bogdan's trustworthiness and let it go lol jkjkjk.
At the travel agency, Elizabeth's at her same old desk behind Philip, looking at papers, but I guess he's not letting her see the ones that show he's shitting the bed, businesswise, because she presently sets down the folder she's going through and fucks off for the day. As soon as she's rounded the corner to the exit, Philip pushes their office door closed and returns a call to a David Sato, who turns out to be the headmaster or bursar at Henry's school, and the reason he waited for Elizabeth to leave was that he has to spin a whole yarn about why Henry's tuition payment is late. Philip's glad David called about this! He was about to put a cheque in the mail! But what had happened was that the travel agency's in the middle of a big boom! That's good, but it's happening so fast! They had to put a quick offer on the retail space next door to expand! They're just having a little verrrrrrry short-term cash flow problem so maybe they could talk about restructuring the payments for the year? Tightening up, David says that St. Edward's doesn't really do that. Philip totally gets it! He's in business too! And he never lets his own clients slide on payment -- except when he knows them really well! Like St. Edward's knows Philip! Somehow it works -- if it will only be this one time, which Philip promises it will. Maybe he's hoping to get killed before the next quarter and get Henry a pity scholarship.
Elizabeth has met Paige for a riverside walk, and if the idea is for Elizabeth to smooth over her EXTREME HARSHNESS of the previous day, it doesn't start that way: the first thing we hear is Paige apologizing, again, and Elizabeth very graciously accepting: "Good." Paige admits that she can't shake what she saw, and asks Elizabeth what happened. "When you meet someone -- a source -- you're taking a risk," she begins. "You know that. But you can't ever really know what's going on inside someone's head. I tried to stop him." Paige comments that "he must have been crazy," and Elizabeth muses, "I wouldn't say that. He was troubled. Desperate." "About what?" Paige asks. Uhhhhhhhh whatever it was he was meeting to discuss with A FUCKING SPY? Maybe Henry was the better prospect; at least he could use his math skillz to break codes or something. "He was caught up in something and didn't see a way out," says Elizabeth. "He wasn't thinking straight." After a beat, Elizabeth adds, "The truth is, I miscalculated too. It shouldn't have happened." Holy shit, she's admitting vulnerability to a subordinate? Look at Lady Miss est over here! Paige heavily asks who he was, and Elizabeth says he was an American general: "And I was trying to get him to give me something that we need to keep our country safe. So for me, no matter how risky it is, it's okay." Paige doesn't know what that means, and Elizabeth explains: "That no matter what happens to me, if I'm fighting for something that's that important--" "You don't care if you die?!" Paige boggles. Elizabeth stops walking as she says of course she does: "But I'm not afraid. You can't live your life being afraid, Paige; there's no point, you wouldn't do anything. You want to make a difference, you make a difference." Paige evidently decides to sidestep this rather goth framing of the line of work she's gone into and asks what's going to happen with the police investigation into Rennhull's death. Elizabeth just hopes they believe he was "troubled" and committed suicide. "What if they don't?" Paige presses. "If they don't, they don't," says Elizabeth irritably. "I don't have all the answers. What I do know is that you put me, yourself, the whole team at risk. That's why we have the procedures. That's why you can't just come running in there when you think things have gone bad -- especially if you think things have gone bad." Paige, also starting to sound irritated, says she gets it. After a moment, Elizabeth tries to take the temperature down again, saying, "You won't have to be caught in the middle of all this kind of stuff. Your job will be different. But you still have to know how to deal with things like this, just in case." Paige's job will probably also be easier when her immediate supervisor isn't her mean, mean mom.
In his office, Philip pulls a paperback copy of Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude off a shelf and regards it thoughtfully before heading out to the bullpen to rally the troops. He points to a dude named Rick and tells everyone that, the day before, Rick sold Caribbean cruises to two couples; Philip would like Rick to share three of the strategies he used to make the sale. Rick, sheepishly, says he told them the agency was offering an exclusive deal, and Philip's like, "Value!" Rick also showed them the layout of the ship so they could see where their cabins were, and Philip's like, "IMAGES!" Rick strains for a third, finally remembering upselling them on their on-board dining options and shore excursions, to which Philip's like, "UPSELLING!!!" Philip exhorts the group to think about why cruises are so important to the business (profit; repeat customers), starts a round of applause that everyone else eventually joins when he yells at them to, and asks them all to commit to using all of these strategies every time each of them talks to a customer, and seeming to realize this pep talk isn't going to end until they do, they duly promise so he can get out of their faces and resume researching places that will buy his plasma so that he can make payroll.
In the vault, Stan reports to Aderholt about his latest terrible talk with Sofia. All they know about the vaunted Bogdan is that he's a journalist of some kind at TASS. Gennadi is to return in four days -- "if he comes back," Stan adds pessimistically. He suggests that they "get the CIA to pull him out," but Aderholt thinks it's better to do it in D.C. "Four days is a long time," says Stan, but Aderholt seems to think planning it will take that long anyway, and though he's not thrilled that Gennadi is "over there" at the moment, waiting is their best shot. Stan's like, "I dunno"...
...but then Aderholt gives him this look like, "Bitch, you gave up the right to argue when you fucked off to CID," so Stan just rubs his eyes and asks, rhetorically, "Have we ever gotten one good thing off that x-ray?" Aderholt calls him "a goddamn broken record," and Stan shoots back that it's been three years: "How many times d'you think he can fake a shit in an airport crapper without them figuring it out?" First of all: STAN! Language! Second, I guess that guy at the sink was his Soviet minder and not another FBI agent? Guys, I don't know, I'm not Saul Berenson over here. "And now her with this Bogdan?" Stan continues. "She says to me, 'We know how to keep secrets.'" He lets out a bitter laugh. "What, is she kidding me? She has no idea what a target she just put on his back." Aderholt shrugs that maybe Bogdan's okay, but Stan's not wild about Sofia telling his business to a guy who works at TASS. "She works for TASS, she's okay," says Aderholt, like, is she though? 'Caaaaaause it kind of seems like she wants out of her marriage so bad, if the only way to do it is to get her husband killed, she's okay with it. Stan gives Aderholt a look that pretty much says all of that, and Aderholt gives him a look back like, okay, yes, fine, and then changes the subject to the general who committed suicide in the park. Stan nods that he heard about it, and rather darkly adds, "Not the place I'd do it." Aderholt declines to ask Stan the obvious follow-up of "WHAT IS?," instead telling Stan that the dead general had no history of depression, and was "one of the key guys working on SDI." Aderholt remembers that Stan brought Rennhull in a few years ago, and Stan reminds us that "he shot a guy who accused him of being a Soviet spy. Other guy looked like a complete lunatic. But now he shoots himself." Aderholt slowly nods before changing the subject AGAIN, to their "friend from out of town," asking whether Stan's been by to see him yet. Stan says he hasn't. "Soon would be good," says Aderholt. Hey man, last time it was "if" Stan went to see him, not an order. If you want Stan to wear 37 pieces of flair, why don't you just make the minimum 37 pieces of flair?
And then we're with Elizabeth as she walks through a graveyard with Father Andrei, last seen secretly marrying Philip and Elizabeth in a scene so long that, in a parallel universe, I am still watching it. Now he's reporting to Elizabeth about shady donations the church has received, and from whom. Elizabeth volunteers, "I've been teaching my daughter about us. Our culture, and history." "And tradecraft," she does not add. Father Andrei says he teaches a class that includes several children who've never been "home": "It's strange when they have to learn it from books." Elizabeth says she thinks Paige is "getting it," and Father Andrei warmly says he'll have to learn Elizabeth's tricks, before asking how things are with Philip. Elizabeth seems surprised by the question, and flicks through her mental file folders for an acceptable response, landing on, "He's not sure I know how to handle her." Father Andrei notes that it's the sort of thing parents fight about, and she nods, before murmuring, "It's more than that. He has his life, and I have mine now. And she's with me." Father Andrei says he'd like to see Philip: "Maybe next time he can come?" Elizabeth says Philip quit; Father Andrei knows, but says he could still come, pointedly asking her to tell Philip that Father Andrei requested he join her. These two haven't been getting along in a secular context, but sure, adding God to the mix will help.
And then it's spy times. Paige isn't disguised at all unless you count her toque, but Elizabeth is very Ann Wilson in a black wig and a very glam pink shadow/blue liner eye look. She parks, and asks Paige, "You good?" Paige is good.
Elizabeth doesn't look certain, but Paige assures her that she is. Marilyn, Norm, and that white guy we saw with Paige in the Italian joint back in the season premiere are also covering the scene and buzzing each other's walkies, as we see Haskard, Nesterenko, that older guy who turns out not to have been James Cromwell at all, and a bunch of other people heading out for lunch together and boringly arguing about which city has the best pizza. Eventually Elizabeth finds her way to the neighbouring table -- never showing Haskard anything but her back, of course -- as the subject turns to baseball. Haskard has been a Twins fan since he was a kid, and believes the Twins are going to the World Series (which they did, and won) thanks to Kirby Puckett; Haskard's apparently spent a small fortune on Twins memorabilia over the years. When he mentions jackets, Martin, an American guy at the table, says that now Haskard wears "that weird Japanese jacket" when he watches games -- BAD MOVE, because it sends Haskard into a very emo remembrance of Erica buying it for him when they lived in Japan. Everyone apparently knows that Erica's sick now because they all get awkward and stare at the table until Martin tells the Soviets that they should see a game while they're there. He'll have a World Series party! Two of the Soviets politely decline, but Nesterenko says he'll go, suggesting that if he can understand baseball, maybe he'll understand America better. At the next table, Elizabeth looks disgusted. All I know is, don't take him to The Pick-Up Artist instead. Martin says they could just use a way to unwind from "all this stuff," and Belinda, another American, agrees that they have a lot to do before Shultz gets back. Elizabeth sips her Coke, hears all, and tries to understand, TRIIIIIIIIES TO UNDERSTAND.
And then Stan's knocking on a hotel room door which is soon opened by Oleg.
Maybe Oleg didn't look to see who it was before opening the door because the peephole is like four feet lower than his chin, but if I'm him I am not opening that door...at all? It's not like Philip's showing up there, and I assume Oleg is smart enough as ex-Directorate S not to compromise the joint by ordering room service. Well, too late now: he stares at Stan for a while until Stan's like, "Gonna invite me in?" and he apparently decides he doesn't have a choice and stands aside so that the two of them can just get this over with. It's honestly hard to tell who hates it more. Stan starts by explaining how he tried to stop "everything that went down in Moscow." Oleg's unimpressed, but his apparent hopes that this will be the end of the meeting are dashed when Stan walks further into the room and informs Oleg that he's moved over to the Criminal Investigative Division: "Bank robbery, money laundering, drugs." Oleg doesn't care. Stan sits and changes the subject to Oleg's new hustle in urban transport planning, expressing doubt that Oleg would come all this way to take a college course -- plus, if the class was so great, why didn't Oleg get here until three weeks in? Oleg claims his father asked him to come but that Oleg refused, and then decided he needed time away from his wife. Stan's like, seriously though, why are you here, and Oleg sticks to his story...
...before changing the subject to Nina -- without saying her name -- and asking if Stan ever thinks about her. Stan reluctantly admits that he does. Oleg says he sometimes used to think he saw her in Moscow, to which Stan has no response. Oleg says that "they" had a tape of his conversation with Stan and threatened to use it against Oleg if he didn't co-operate. Stan is, again, sorry -- and really sincerely seems to mean it. He adds that he "fought them every step of the way," which Oleg doesn't buy. Stan blows past that, though, to try to get Oleg to appreciate how much peril he's actually in right now: "You are here without a diplomatic passport, Oleg. Whatever you're doing here, don't." He punctuates his warning with a curt nod and leaves Oleg to totally ignore him while also still resenting him.
Haskard surveilled, Paige and Elizabeth regroup at Claudia's, where all three are companionably cooking traditional Russian dishes Claudia describes as "peasant food." Elizabeth says that the dish they're currently working on is one her mother used to make and that they'd eat for weeks. Paige asks if she didn't get sick of it, and Elizabeth replies, "That wasn't an issue," without adding "DIPSHIT" at the end. The Jennings ladies each bring over their cutting boards, loaded with what I think are onions and carrots, and Claudia walks Paige through the steps of the recipe before briskly asking, "Rough couple of days?" "I'm fine," says Paige quickly, before changing the subject back to the meal, asking how this is different from solyanka. Claudia says that solyanka is a soup; what they're making is zharkoye, a stew and therefore thicker.
Watching Claudia, in full baba mode, share this taste of home with Paige, Elizabeth seems genuinely happy for the first time this season, and excitedly suggests, "Maybe we should teach her how to make golubtsy." Speaking as someone who grew up with Ukrainian cousins: YES, DO THAT, THEY ARE SO GOOD. Claudia says her grandmother used to make that. Paige asks what it is, and Claudia says it's beef in shredded cabbage. (Better known on this continent as cabbage rolls.) (Again: so good.) Elizabeth says they're served with sour cream on top, which was hard to get back home. Claudia asks Paige to go to the store and get some, and Paige is like, there's a container in the fridge, and Claudia's like, we can always use more, and finally Paige takes a damn hint and gives Claudia and Elizabeth some privacy. When she's left, Claudia gives Elizabeth a new target and ID -- a supervisor at the warehouse where Altheon, the sensor manufacturer, does quality assurance. "This really does smell good," says Elizabeth wistfully. "I know," says Claudia. I can't believe I got to the end of this paragraph and none of you brought me any cabbage rolls. Rude.
At home, Philip is morosely studying financial statements when Elizabeth returns, quietly excited to tell him she's brought him something, and pulls a little Tupperware sandwich box out of her purse. She knows they're not supposed to have it in the house, but she removes the lid and shows him the zharkoye. Philip is clearly as moved seeing it as Elizabeth was helping to make it, and after leaning in to take a big whiff, he regretfully says he just finished a bunch of Chinese food. Elizabeth sighs, smiling sadly, and flaps her arms, repeating that they can't keep it in the house. She's taking it over to the sink to dump it out when Philip stops her to have a bite, and tells her it's delicious. This taste of their past is clearly emotional for them both, and Elizabeth is as happy to have shared the dish with him as she is hurt that he's barely touched it, but they don't exactly discuss it, Elizabeth hoarsely saying, "We cook. Claudia and Paige and me. And we watch movies from home and listen to music and talk. It feels-- And then, I walk out of there and it just hits me in the face. Here." Unspoken is both her disappointment that Philip doesn't get to share these visits with them, and also her awareness that he's always been more ambivalent about the evils of their imperialist home than she has. "Yeah" is all Philip says in reply. "I hate it, Philip," she says sharply. Philip takes a very deep breath before admitting, "Honestly, the way things are going, I think in a couple of years, we'll have Stan over here for zharkoye." Elizabeth looks horrified and incredulous as she asks what he's talking about. "Things are changing, back home," Philip explains. "Opening up. And it's not just politics -- it's, it's the young people. It's music. It's different. I mean, they're talking about opening a Pizza Hut in Moscow! You see the papers." "What, the Washington Post?" spits Elizabeth contemptuously. (a) Cute meta-moment given that Matthew Rhys just played Daniel Ellsberg in The Post. (b) Girl, I feel that: I cancelled my subscription when they announced they hired Megan McArdle, too. Philip nods. Elizabeth, wearily, says, "All this talk about Perestroika and Glasnost -- the Americans eat it up. They want us to be just like them. I don't want to be like them! And neither do the people back home!" Philip, cocking his head, tells Elizabeth she hasn't talked to anyone "back home" in more than twenty years, and since she can't tell him that, actually, she just talked to General Kovtun a couple of weeks ago, she blinks and snaps, "Neither have you." Philip looks very sad, but doesn't argue.
Then we cross the street to Stan's, where Renee is telling him a boring story about her job, which is so boring we don't even hear what it is. She eventually stops and thanks him for pretending to care, before admitting that she's jealous of how much he cares about his job. In fact, she's thought a lot about how nice it must be for Philip and Elizabeth to work together and have so much in common. In fact, she's been thinking she might want to become an FBI agent too!
Stan makes a face of hilarious flummoxation before telling her, as gently as he can, that he totally thinks she'd be good at it, but that the cutoff age for new agents is 37. Renee thinks they must make exceptions, and Stan knows everyone, he could put a word in for her! But Stan even more gently tells her that it doesn't work like that; he's sorry. Renee's like, "Hm," but goes back about the tidying up, maybe making the slightest of eye-rolls, and like, if she were another Illegal, surely she would know about the age cutoff, right? WHAT IS THIS BROAD'S DEAL?!
Back across the street, Philip mopily brushes his teeth, and then wanders toward the bed, where Elizabeth peacefully, or probably exhaustedly, slumbers.
Philip reflects upon how adamant Elizabeth is about not ending the Cold War and frowns that their paths could have led them so far away from each other -- in his case, toward a car phone.
Then Philip's back in his Ned Flanders getup, parking a very unremarkable car and looking miserable.
And Elizabeth's back in that bitchy wig from the premiere yet is very warm and friendly as she welcomes into a hotel suite a guy named Evan, who thinks her name is Tracy Huffs. She makes sure to show him her ID without his asking, and requests to see his. That done, she invites him to sit and explains what's happening: Altheon is conducting a security audit; Evan didn't do anything wrong, nor has he made any mistake. She's just a consultant looking to review security procedure and make recommendations! As he's signing the confidentiality agreement she's provided, she explains that a lot of his colleagues will also be interviewed, but that it's "imperative" they not know it's coming up, and that Evan not discuss this meeting with anyone, and Evan's like, "Totally," and thus the show sneaks in another bit of radical critique: in capitalism, workers are expected to keep bosses' secrets and inform on their colleagues because it's in the interest of the system that workers not build solidarity -- effectively making spies and (class) traitors of us all. Elizabeth hates this country and it really never stops giving her reasons to! Anyway, back to the meeting. In her capacity as a consultant for Altheon, "Tracy" and Evan are going to go over security -- lapses at the warehouse with the procedures that are already in place, or protocols that aren't being properly observed. Evan is ready!
And then we're at the airport, where Stan sits in a waiting area, pretending to read the paper, next to that other agent who entered the bathroom while the x-raying was taking place in the last episode and whose FBI agentitude is still visible from space. Eventually, Gennadi and his Soviet minder come around a corner near the men's room, and Stan and his colleague leap up to stop them before they go in, Stan comically pretending he's not sure how to pronounce Gennadi's name as he says it. "I understand you want political asylum," Stan says slowly. His minder steps forward to say they have diplomatic immunity, and Stan says he's not there to arrest them, repeating that Gennadi has requested political asylum. Gennadi quickly figures out how shit is and confirms that he wants asylum, heading out with Stan and his partner. The minder takes the pouch and hauls ass.
Sofia's flouncing around her desk at TASS when Aderholt walks in looking for her. She freezes. Her boss comes out from a back office and tries to throw his weight around, but Aderholt ignores him, telling Sofia he understands she wants political asylum. Sofia goldfishes her mouth and looks across the bullpen at a guy who must be Bogdan, and who continues making a phone call as he meets her eye and gives her the slightest "no" shake of his head. When Sofia's boss tries to tell her not to listen to the agents, she seems unsure, but Aderholt repeats his question and she catches her snap like Gennadi did, getting up and playing along with Aderholt even as her boss screams at her not to go. Maybe these are both bad options for Sofia? This guy seems like a real Scott Rudinovich.
And then we're at an elementary school. A principal comes to the door to retrieve Ilia.
My dude may only be like eight, but it's clear he knows that he's not getting a surprise trip to a carnival.
As Stan and Aderholt bring Gennadi into an interview room, Gennadi's very anxious to find out what's going on. Poor Stan, who never wanted to know so much about any of these people, has to tell him about Bogdan, and how Sofia's loose lips are to blame for the destruction of Gennadi's life as he knows it, and also that she wants a divorce. "She says this all the time," Gennadi hisses, before saying he needs to talk to her. Stan says she doesn't want to talk to him "right now," but I have to say, I don't see that changing, especially now. Stan explains that they'll be staying in separate places while the FBI figures out how to fix Sofia's fuckup. Gennadi, bereft, asks about Ilia (who is, in case you didn't remember, Sofia's son from a previous relationship), and Stan's next unpleasant duty is to tell Gennadi he's not going to get to see him, like probably ever again. Gennadi begs Stan to intervene, which of course Stan can't, even when Gennadi leans in and intensely dictates the message he wants Stan to relay: "I want, if we go, we go together. Tell her I love her, I love Ilia, I'm alone without them. Here. Alone." Stan reluctantly says he'll try.
Philip walks along a sidewalk, pausing ever so slightly at a certain point to give the zipper on his beige pervert's windbreaker a tiny pull upward.
Back in the hotel suite, Evan's been talking long enough to have removed his coat, enjoyed the better part of a Coke, and drawn Elizabeth a diagram of the warehouse so that she can see the areas where just about anyone could possibly get in without proper credentials. So useful! As they're preparing to part, Elizabeth reminds him not to talk to anyone at work about this, because employees' knowing about the audit would skew results for the consultants, and Evan says he totally gets it: "I bet my girlfriend already knows about it -- she works in security."
Elizabeth's eyes go dead for just a second before she cheerily asks his girlfriend's name and, when he tells her, says she's great.
Evan is proud of his great girlfriend and pleased that she had a good meeting with "Tracy," the consultant.
And literally four seconds later, Elizabeth is pouncing on his back as soon as it's turned and efficiently choking him to death...
...to the purring tones of Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me To The End Of Love." Bye, Evan! You seemed like an okay guy, but on the other hand, you were also a snitch.
Darkness has fallen as Philip makes his way to a park for another meeting with Oleg.
And by the looks of it, Oleg is totally unsurprised that Philip's ready to sell out his wife and psyched to bro down with his comrade. Too bad Philip couldn't save him any of that dank zharkoye.