Craig Blankenhorn / FX

The Americans Tries To Solve Its Martha Problem

The term 'safe house' has never been more ironic!

  • Snapshot
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  • J. Walter Weather­man Lesson
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    Suspicious/Tiny Minds

    Now that they're united in suspecting Martha's treachery, they've repaired to the secure conference room to go over the records the FBI has on her -- which, it turns out, is quite a bit and very personal. Martha's never been married but, Aderholt says, "She was engaged to her high school sweetheart....He dumped her after she got pregnant." Stan assumes she placed the baby for adoption, but apparently not: Aderholt says Martha had an abortion in 1964, "back when it was dangerous." "And illegal," Stan adds, proving it's possible to mansplain even to other men. I kind of wish there was a little more conversation on this point so that those of us who grew up in a more enlightened time can get a sense of what our lives are going to be like under the New World Order when women who've had abortions will expect to face "some form of punishment"!

    But wait, there's more sexist judgment! "Do you find Martha attractive?" asks Stan. "There's something sexy about her," says Aderholt. I'm sure she'd be flattered and gratified by that grudging assessment -- or possibly she wouldn't give a shit what you think of her sexiness because she's in love with someone else. (Yes, in a fake marriage, but it's real to her!) "Not much of a romantic life, other than that thing with Amador," says Stan. "Who was murdered," Aderholt reminds us. "Yeah, I've been thinking about that too. A lonely existence. A few scattered relationships, nothing long-term." Because Stan's...doing so great in the love department...he can judge Martha on this point just because he got a lady to marry him who went on to divorce him later? Look, the fact that Martha is guilty of all the stuff they're attributing to her doesn't make this profile of her as a potential traitor any less gendered and gross -- but it does offer a useful lesson to any other women who haven't met all their expected milestones in the correct Game Of Life order!

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  • Snapshot
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  • Love, Hate & Everything In Between
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    Brothers In "Augh"s

    No one would disagree that the illegals' experience with Glanders was...not the best. But that doesn't mean The Centre is ready to give up its beautiful dream of weaponizing disease, which is how Philip has come to meet, once again, with the always pissy William. After getting rebuffed in his request for more Glanders -- his lab's almost finished its work with it and there's no way to get more samples, though William can put Philip in some tularemia today! (and not because Philip tells him if he does it, he'll "return a hero" to the USSR, at which William bitterly scoffs) -- they move on to an actual conversation, like a couple of people. Since the population Philip can actually confide in about his life is small, he apparently figures he might as well talk to William, and tells him about Martha, the agent he's been running for a couple of years and the danger he thinks she's in: "It's a feeling." "Feelings," says William. "Little buggers. So?" Philip says he thinks they should try to get her out. "And they don't want to," William surmises. "It eats you up, what we do." Philip slowly nods. "Our bosses don't know what they're doing," says William wearily. "You figured that out, right?" "She trusts me," says Philip weakly. "Yeah, that's always a problem," says William. And before Philip can answer, William's already wandering away. Anyone getting close to either Elizabeth or Philip is probably on a one-way trip to Deadsville, but for now I appreciate that these two are having something akin to a friendship. They both need it!

  • Plot Lightning Round
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    Martha's on her way to Clark's fuck pad (must be Tuesday!) when the man himself pulls up alongside her and tells her to get into the car! She's understandably confused and alarmed, neither of which are much assuaged when Philip tells her, "I think they...may know, Martha, about you." She asks how, and of course he doesn't know; he just knows he needs to get her off the street! Everything will be okay! Martha does not look so sure!

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    Philip brings Martha to a safe house -- not the same as the one where everyone was posted up when they were quarantined on suspicion of Glanders, I'm pretty sure, since that one's all full of germs and shit. Martha is creeped out by the shabby, impersonal look of the place and asks whether someone lives there, and rather than explain what it is, Philip just says no one does. Martha looks around, even more terrified, and yelps, "What am I DOING HERE?!" Philip tries to reassure her, but as much as she might enjoy his hugging her -- which is probably a lot -- Gabriel's entrance probably erases any comfort she may have derived; things aren't really improved when Philip says he and Gabriel -- who Philip called to come help them out -- need to talk so maybe she could go make them all some tea? Bro, you just abducted her off the street. Let her chill while you and Gabriel go make some tea, god! But, after briefly clutching at Philip, she does. Ugh, Martha. When will you quit being a doormat just so you don't risk your access to the D?!

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    When Martha's cleared out to the kitchen, Gabriel starts reaming Philip for his impulsiveness. Philip states that he wants Martha extracted, but he doesn't exactly make an argument to that effect -- though I guess he might as well not bother, since Gabriel's not on board: "Have Martha return to work tomorrow. This never happened." "That's your plan?!" Philip spits. Gabriel is trying to improvise a response to YOUR lack of a plan, dude. Don't be shitty. Gabriel calmly says that they can go back to the way things were, but Philip, after a long and bitter pause, says, "Gabriel, Martha's seen me."

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    "How?" growls Gabriel. "It happened," says Philip. I mean, I guess? But don't make it sound like she walked in on you in the shower or something. "What we had wasn't working," he adds. "So you just decided, on your own, that you were going to show her what you really look like?" marvels Gabriel. Philip tries to defend himself, but there's not really much he can say, because he did something real dumb and knows it!

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    Gabriel and Philip are getting dinner ready -- someone figured out she deserves a break, so she's ignoring a sitcom on TV -- when "Jennifer," "Clark"'s "sister," stops by, full of cheer and carrying a bag of clothes and a toothbrush for Martha that also conveniently hides Keri Russell's pregnant midsection! "You're part of this?" asks Martha, who barely has the energy to be aghast at this point. "It's going to be all right," says Elizabeth. "I'm here for you. We all are."

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    Martha is, again, not that comforted!

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    Elizabeth heads into the kitchen and starts to get a sense of what she's walking into when she sees that Philip's removed his Clark wig, but we also get the additional information that his dramatic de-wigging only occurred, in show time, "about three weeks ago": "She was falling apart," Philip defends. "I had to." Elizabeth carefully asks, "Did you want her to? To see you."

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    Philip seems surprised to get a question from Elizabeth about his actual feelings, and stammers, "I didn't know what else to do. She needed-- I don't know." Deciding that will have to do for now, Elizabeth refills Martha's glass and tells Philip he should have told her he was bringing Martha in. When he tries to defend himself some more -- just start saying you're sorry, dude, everyone's obviously on board with dealing with it now SINCE YOU ALL HAVE NO CHOICE NOW -- Elizabeth just downs a glass of wine and informs him that it's his "shift," so he has to get home. "Um, I think it's-- I think it's better if I stay the night," Philip mumbles. Elizabeth:

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    This fucking guy. On top of everything else, now he's trying to fob off their stupid kids on her? Gabriel's like, BYE, apparently deciding that hanging out in the living room with MARTHA would be less awkward than this. "Tell her I'll see her tomorrow," says Elizabeth, not that Philip deserves her help getting himself out of this nonsense.

  • We Made A List

    New Facts Martha Has To Accept When Philip Finally Gets The Nerve To Talk To Her One-On-One Again

    • Elizabeth only brought her one change of clothes.
    • "Jennifer" is not "Clark"'s sister.
    • "Jennifer" and "Clark" work together. (He dodges Martha's question about the nature of his relationship with "Jennifer" by saying, "We've worked together a long time."
    • They work for the KGB.
    • "Clark" isn't going to ask her to do anything else on the KGB's behalf.
  • We Made A List

    Old Facts Martha Confirms For A Terribly, Terribly Guilty Philip

    • Martha's still in love with him.
    • Martha is prepared to blow up her life and go anywhere with him -- as long as they can be together.
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    • Martha's still real horny for him.
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    • Sex still can't solve all his problems.
  • Dialogue

    Martha's New America

    Aw, the next morning it's Martha's turn to learn she can't fuck away her problems either! A tough moment for any accidental traitor.

    What happens next?

    We'll, um...we'll find a good place. Won't be easy, but....

    The person who was watching me -- he just thinks that I was being followed?

    He's very good. [Is he, though? - ta]

    I know. But um, if he was mistaken? If he's wrong?

    Martha--

    Then we could go back to the way things were.

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    We could!

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    Couldn't we?

    I wish we could.

    [nods] I'm never going home, am I.

    [shakes his head]

  • Symbolism

    Shoot First, Ask Questions Later. Wait, No, Actually, Stop Asking Questions Now, And Definitely Don't Shoot Later

    The Scene: Martha is napping; when Philip tries to rouse her, he can't, so he checks her purse to make sure she didn't take a handful of Valium, but there are still enough in the bottle to rattle. But that's not all that's in her purse...

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    The Symbol: Martha's gun, which Philip weighs in his hand before tucking it into the back of his pants.

    The Meaning: There there, Martha. Don't worry your plain head about looking after yourself. This man who's lied to you since the second you met has that covered so he's going to go away and take your power from you.

  • That Happened
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    Oleg's Mom Still Isn't Doing So Well

    Oleg tells Tatiana that he tried to call home, but his father said his mother was resting and couldn't come to the phone. Tatiana reassuringly squeezes his shoulder. I guess we're supposed to care that Oleg cares enough about Tatiana to confide in her, but eh. (I'm pretty sure caring about the mom is something even the show isn't trying to make us do.)

  • Meeting Time
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    Comrades In Arms

    Who called the meeting? Arkady.

    What's it about? "Someone" who may need to be exfiltrated. (He means Martha!!!)

    How'd it go? Fine? Oleg and Tatiana don't know who the fuck Martha is -- when they ask Arkady what she's been doing, he doesn't say -- so they can't really get that exercised about any plan to save her from U.S. authorities by sending her to Moscow.

  • Awkward

    Clark Where?

    Situation: Stan and Aderholt's investigation into Martha -- who drew more suspicion onto herself by calling in sick today and not being home to pick up the phone or when Stan and Aderholt then went to her place to talk to her -- has brought them to Clark's fuck pad, and while there wasn't much to find there other than a couple of prints, they do have the full name he put on his list; they're following leads on the ones who are still alive and potentially in the age range that Martha might date, the most promising being a lawyer in Atlanta (though Stan remembers that Martha had said her boyfriend was "a businessman": "Are lawyers businessmen?").

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    What makes it awkward? They've come to a point where they have to bring their suspicions to Gaad, who is, of course, horrified as his mind scans through all the unrestricted access she's had to some really sensitive shit -- and for the past ten years: "That's-- That's crazy."

    How is order restored? It's not, yet, though now that Gaad's involved in the investigation, it could be restored a lot sooner.

  • Wrap It Up
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    Even though it's baaaaaasically the worst time what with Martha and all, Elizabeth and Hans provide cover while Philip goes to meet William at a port and take the handoff of tularemia he's smuggled out of a lab at work...

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    ...in an infected rat. (Expect to see those glass Biohazard jars in the housewares department at an Urban Outfitters near you within the next six months.) "Hey!" says William cheerily just before he and William are about to part ways. "What did you do? With your agent?" "I'm bringing her in," says Philip. "Good for you," says William. "When Eliza -- my wife -- was sent back, I stayed quiet. I didn't think I could take them on. I wanted to, but I didn't." And another piece of the William puzzle falls into place. Philip nods, turns around, and walks off. William watches Philip leave, squints around for a moment, and then shambles off. At least no one got infected with anything this time! That's progress, guys!

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    Gabriel's taking a pill -- note that he's still not 100%, IT MIGHT BE IMPORTANT LATER -- when Martha comes into the kitchen behind him. "You slept well, I trust?" he asks her politely. "Where is Clark," she snips back. Gabriel tells her he didn't want to leave, but that he'll be back soon, and can Gabriel make her an omelet? By way of answer, Martha glares at him suspiciously and sidles back out of the room.

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    At the office, Gaad is still right in the middle of reviewing and regretting every one of his life's choices when Stan comes in shaking his head; they're no closer on the big Clark hunt. "Martha was here when I took over the division," Gaad breathes. "I could have requested someone else -- my old secretary Janine asked if she could come back. I felt bad about kicking Martha off the desk." Stan gently says that maybe Martha just took a sick day to hole up in a hotel room with a "preferably legitimate Clark Westerfeld," but Gaad is like, "Do you believe that?" Of course Stan does not. "Nobody could have put that pen there more easily than Martha," marvels Gaad. "How could I not see it?" "We trust each other," says Stan. "She could have been working with Gene!" muses Gaad. "Or they could have killed him to protect her. She had access to everything." That's right, Gaad. You did bad and you should feel bad.

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    At the safe house, Martha puts on her coat, but when she picks up her coat, she can tell it's too light, and rifles (heh) through it looking, without success, for her gun. Unfortunately, there's no time for her to worry about that now, so she smooths her coat and stalks downstairs, straight to the front door...and then through it. Ohhhhh shit.

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    Gabriel follows Martha to the door, calling after her to come back, but she ignores him, eventually turning around to demand to know where Clark is. Gabriel -- who probably wasn't super-spry even before his brush with Glanders -- can't really do anything but keep begging her to come back and talk to him, assuring her that Clark is fine and will return and that everyone she's seen at the safe house is "working very hard to get [her] to a safe place." "Why would he leave me here with you?" she spits. Because he thought you were a sheep, gurl, he didn't know you a SHARK. What Gabriel tells her is that Clark knew Martha could trust Gabriel. "Trust you," she scoffs. "I DON'T KNOW YOU." As Gabriel canes very slowly toward her, she yells at him to get away from her: "I know what you are....You stay away from me, I'LL SCREAM! And everybody will know THAT YOU'RE KGB."

    Previously.TV

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    Ooooh, and Gabriel learns what else Clark let slip from under his toup.

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    But at the moment, Gabriel has no choice but to let Martha go, so off she stomps, TO HER DOOM.

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