The Americans Try To Keep A Comrade From Being Left On The Street To Die

Elizabeth grapples with the question of what she really owes her country in the season's penultimate EPIC OLD-SCHOOL RECAP!

After some Season 6 previouslies -- mostly from the last episode -- we find Elizabeth, in a very elegant hotel, pretending to read the paper at a table with a view overlooking the lobby. Evidently her quarry is nowhere to be seen.

Philip -- barely disguised, in a baseball cap and frameless glasses -- (dead-)drops a cylindrical item, which looks like a stubby branch, onto a ledge inside a fence.

At his desk, Stan uses his computer to search the Automated Case Support system (an ancient database briefly replaced in the early 21st century by Virtual Case File). Laboriously, using only his index fingers, he enters Elizabeth's name, finding no results. Philip's name hits, but for a black arson suspect in his early twenties. Even Dupont Circle Travel is, as far as the FBI is concerned, clean. (I'm shorthanding it for you, but you must know how frustratingly slow Stan is at his computer, which even if Stan were a competent typist would still require him to erase each search one "delete" keystroke at a time.


We're all frustrated, bro.

Back at the hotel, Elizabeth watches the elevator open in the lobby; Nesterenko and his two Soviet colleagues disembark and make their way toward the front door. Elizabeth gathers her things.

Philip leaves a chalk mark on a mailbox.

The Soviets bundle up for the outdoors, Elizabeth following from an inconspicuous distance, straight into the shrieking harp of the opening credits. If only Nesterenko could hear what we do, he would feel so safe!

At the travel agency, Philip hunches over his desk in front of his dark monitor, after a moment stealing a glance back at Elizabeth's empty seat. He doesn't have long to brood about what she might be doing at that precise moment because suddenly Stan is at the front door! Philip hurries out to greet him with a hearty American handshake. Stan was in the area, thought he might stick his head in! He doesn't need a coffee! The place looks different! Philip remembers that Stan hasn't been there since the expansion and offers to show him around; fortunately, the bullpen doesn't look as desolate as it did in the last episode (though if that's because Philip capitalistically replaced the longtime employees he fired with younger ones willing to work for smaller salaries, we don't learn that this week). Perhaps having forgotten that he just confessed to Stan that the business is in the process of failing, Philip brags about the space they took over from the business next door to accommodate "all the new employees" he added, not adding at this point that they didn't all last. Rick rolls up with a question for Philip, who puts on his heartiest bro manner to introduce him to Stan: "Stan is an FBI agent, so be careful what you say." Rick plays along, acting impressed like he gives a fuck, since I guess he's seen what happens to employees who don't kiss the boss's ass enough. "We did a trip for his friends a bunch of years back," Philip continues. "You know, with all this new expansion, all our new resources, we should just dig in and see if we can help out with the Bureau's travel needs!"


Matthew Rhys does a gorgeous job conveying that Philip's forehead and eyebrows are fighting against his mouth's heedless desperation...


...while Stan twitches in brief shock. Stan might be pretty sure Philip is a Soviet spy, but is actively working against American interests really more shameful than putting his buddy on the spot like this? I'd honestly call it a push. Seriously though, Stan's like, "Sure, I can see who handles that stuff," because if that is a bluff, why not call it and see how far Philip is willing to entangle his front business with the FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION...


...and Philip seems to realize this is now not merely an awkward social interaction but a potential compromise to his cover story, and as he sweatily tries to backpedal, Rick's like, "I just need you to sign this," and Philip's like THANK GOD and deals with it, and when Rick's taken off again, Philip tells Stan what I think is actually the truth: "I'm sorry, I-- I always have my salesman's hat on here." Stan says it's okay -- he can ask around -- but Philip's like PLEASE DON'T, claiming, "I'm not desperate." So believable. Philip walks Stan back into his office, apologetically noting that he hasn't gotten around to redoing that space yet: "Good thing I didn't." Stan glances at the empty desk, asking, "She out of town again?" "Uhhhhhh, no, we-- We had a fight," says Philip. Stan asks what they fought about, and Philip (truthfully) says, "Work." Stan repeats Renee's view that Philip and Elizabeth are lucky to get to work together, and Philip rolls his eyes. Of Renee, Stan adds, "She wants to come work at the FBI with me."


Philip, who's suspected Renee's identity since she conveniently came into Stan's life, is surprised to hear this. Stan just nods, amused: "How 'bout that?" "Yeah, I don't know, be careful," Philip advises, with put-on jocularity. Stan glances back at Elizabeth's desk before quietly asking, "How much in the hole are you?" Philip looks down and tells him, "I don't want to say." Stan, shrugging, says he might be able to "come up with something" from his savings; Philip says he's working on turning things around. He appreciates the offer, but he can't take Stan's money. Stan steps forward to give Philip a sturdy clap on the arm. Irrespective of Stan's current suspicions, this feels like it was a test of Philip's manhood. Fortunately, Philip passed! For once.

Nesterenko and his colleagues walk from the hotel to their office, Elizabeth tailing them. When she sees that they're going to make it inside, she stops to light a cigarette, and takes a few drags into a flashback.

In Soviet Russia, Nadezhda sits alone at a kitchen table in an apartment dark enough to mask the CGI that was done to Keri Russell's face to make her look like a teenager. (Admittedly, it doesn't take a lot. But: some!) For a while, we watch as she just sits there, looking tense. Perhaps dreaming of all the Gloria Vanderbilt jeans she doesn't own yet.

Back to present Elizabeth, irritated at herself as she shakes off the memory.

Elsewhere, Oleg goes for a stroll, right past "his" mailbox, and notes Philip's mark.

Then a chyron over some b-roll takes us to Buenos Aires, and...no. It couldn't be.


It isn't.


IT IS! Pastor Groovyhair! De-grooved!!! I mean, okay, this hair is admittedly still pretty groovy for 1987. I just can't believe the previouslies didn't spoil the good pastor's return by reminding us of the last time we saw him. Anyway, he picks up the ringing phone on his desk. It's Stan!


Pastor Groovyhair does an amazing take at Stan's reintroduction -- perhaps with a thought to the long-distance phone lines, Stan's especially crisp identifying himself as an FBI agent -- and sits in silent horror through Stan walking him back through that time they ended up having dinner together at Philip and Elizabeth's before hilariously choking out, "OF COURSE, YES, I REMEMBER YOU!" He asks if everything's okay, and Stan heartily says it's fine, he didn't mean to alarm Pastor Groovyhair. He just wanted to ask a few questions. Clearly knowing exactly what this is about, Pastor Groovyhair takes a beat before saying, "Okay!" Stan decides not to get right into it, asking how Pastor Groovyhair likes Buenos Aires. Pastor Groovyhair frowns briefly in confusion, then says it's a lot of hard work, but that he loves it. Stan asks if he ever gets homesick, and Pastor Groovyhair says there are things and people he does miss, "but this feels like home now." Stan asks after Pastor Groovyhair's wife and daughter, and instead of bothering to ask how Stan knew he even had a daughter since she wasn't born at that awkward dinner, Pastor Groovyhair says they are, thanking Stan for the query: "But you didn't call to ask me about that." Stan blinks, and twitches, and confirms that Pastor Groovyhair is right, opening by saying he knows Pastor Groovyhair is or was close with the Jennings family. Pastor Groovyhair says he was, but that he hasn't spoken with them in years. Stan gets that it's hard to stay in touch at that distance, and then, trying not to sound too intimidating, goes on to say, "This conversation should stay between us. I'm speaking with you as a law enforcement officer now." Pastor Groovyhair swallows hard. Stan adds that he knows Pastor Groovyhair is accustomed to keeping his parishioners' confidences, and would appreciate the same consideration. Pastor Groovyhair leans back heavily, but keeps his voice light as he chirps that he understands. Stan finally gets to it: "Is there anything I should know, as an FBI agent, about the Jennings family?" Pastor Groovyhair squeezes his eyes shut, because you know my man doesn't like to lie. Stan is still talking: "Anything about them that concerned you?" Pastor Groovyhair is silent a long time before "casually" replying, "Well, I'm not sure what you're looking for, but I've always been impressed with them. Paige is a very dedicated and thoughtful young woman, always so helpful at the church. Philip and Elizabeth weren't members of the church." We cut to Stan's side so we can see his reaction to this load of holy horseshit, Pastor Groovyhair adding that he knows Paige's parents loved her. "So nothing else," says Stan, disgusted. We cut back to Pastor Groovyhair so we can see him weighing his options in real time before shaking his head and shrugging, "Not really!"


Stan clearly knows what's up, and also that Aderholt is not going to requisition the funds to fly him to Argentina and try to break Pastor Groovyhair in person. Disappointed...he twitches. And that is probably a series wrap on Pastor Groovyhair. Staying true to what he feels is his duty to his old friend Paige is very touchingly him.

Elizabeth watches Nesterenko's building from the cafe across the street, sipping coffee and remembering dead drops of her early years. In flashback, young Nadezhda walks down a flight of stairs and under an overpass, quickly retrieving a hand-sized package from a planter. She walks on, her face a perfect blank until she rounds a corner and comes upon the aftermath of a terrible accident: it appears to have been a collision between a motorcyclist and a mounted police officer, all three splayed out in the street; the officer is dead, but the horse and the motorcyclist are still alive and badly suffering. It's clear she's hesitating because she just put the package in her pocket, and though the motorcyclist implores her, "Help me," she turns around and walks back the way she came...though her path still takes her past the scene and forces her to confront, again, what she's trying to ignore.

In the present, Elizabeth is haunted as she waits.

At the FBI, Stan hesitantly approaches Aderholt's office, where he learns from a harried Aderholt that 1500 hours of surveillance footage hasn't yielded anything useful, and intuits from a harried Aderholt that he doesn't have time for Stan's shit right now. Still, Stan dares to propose a beer, and Aderholt's like, "...Now?" "Maybe after work?" Stan asks, trying to keep it cazh but then hopefully adding, "Today?" Aderholt is going to be there until late, so Stan's like, forget it, and starts to leave, until Aderholt suggests instead that they have lunch right now. Stan is about it.

Stan and Aderholt make their way to the elevator, small-talking about Renee's interview. Aderholt comments that the two of them will be having lunch with her soon, and Stan's like, "Great," because someone else came up with the notion that she could get a job there in HR -- OH WAIT, THAT WAS STAN, PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE PROBLEM CAUSER. Aderholt chuckles that Stan will get used to having her there, but apparently it's very important to Stan that he reserve one meal a day for himself. Aderholt says that Stan can just tell her he's busy, by which point Stan's all small-talked out and just stands there grimacing until Aderholt asks him what's wrong. Seriously, this passive-aggressive bitch. Stan blinks and twitches and comes out with it: "I know this sounds crazy. But I can't get this thing out of my head." Aderholt asks what, and Stan says, "You know Philip and Elizabeth? When I first met them, I was working on the Timoshev thing. Philip and Elizabeth drove the same make and model of car that was seen near where he was kidnapped -- different license, but--"


Aderholt is polite enough to keep his face neutral-ish, but Stan can still read him and says, "I know. It's stupid, right? I forgot about it after that. But the way she rushed out of town on Thanksgiving?...And he headed out after her, the next day? Right when everything was going down in Chicago? They left their kid here alone. Who does that, over Thanksgiving?" The elevator arrives, but Aderholt motions for Stan to come away down the hall and keep talking, which he does, telling him about his conversation with Curtis about Gregory's girlfriend who smoked like a chimney: "The other night, I found a bunch of cigarette butts behind their house. I've never seen Elizabeth smoke." Aderholt raises his eyebrows: "You went over to their house?" "Yeah!" says Stan. "I couldn't get it out of my mind. And I thought: what if?" Aderholt smirks: "So you-- You think Elizabeth Jennings was Gregory Thomas's girlfriend." Stan knows how he sounds. "Philip and Elizabeth Jennings are not Russian spies," says Aderholt confidently. Stan repeats that he knows it sounds crazy, shaking his head, before asking if Aderholt remembers what William told them right before his death, about the Illegals passing as an ordinary husband and pretty wife, with a couple of kids. "Well," says Aderholt mildly, "that narrows it to about a million people in the metropolitan area -- maybe more depending on his taste in women." Stan is disappointed by the way Aderholt's shutting him down, but the conversation ends there as Aderholt's assistant comes to send him for an interview with Agent Wolfe, and Aderholt deliberately steps away from Stan to wait for the elevator alone. Is passive-aggression something they teach at Quantico?

Oleg walks around the corner and retrieves Philip's dead-dropped branch just as effortlessly as we saw Nadezhda do it in the past. What a pro!

And then Aderholt's in his interview with Wolfe and a Father Victor of the Russian Orthodox church, who's seen some shit and cannot WAIT to tell them all about it. Wolfe starts by trying to be respectful, saying he hopes Father Victor knows they have no problem with the church; impatiently, Father Victor says he understands. Aderholt says they want to ask about dealings they know members of the church hierarchy have had with representatives of the Soviet government. Father Victor says they must know he's a man of God, and shouldn't be harassed or "subjected to any kind of intimidation by those people who fail to respect my position as, first and foremost, a servant of God." Wolfe understands. Victor leans forward and lowers his voice as he guesses that he's there because he knows things that are of concern to the FBI: "But it's of concern to me too." Aderholt and Wolfe don't seem like they know exactly what he might be getting at, but they let him keep talking: "When certain people in the church, whose connections to the authorities back home are more important to them than serving God, talk about me to their own contacts behind my back? Well, I'm justifiably angry....They will tell you they've been forced to co-operate, that they wouldn't be able to join the church or progress in the hierarchy otherwise. But I haven't made these associations. I shouldn't pay the price for their moral weakness."


I don't know exactly what they brought this dude in to talk about, but judging by Aderholt's face, it was nothing close to any of this -- either that, or they can't believe he's so eager to come out with it. Aderholt asks whom Father Victor is talking about, specifically. After a moment, Father Victor names Father Andrei, and is about to name another priest when Loeb comes to the door. Aderholt tries to get rid of Loeb, but this can't wait: Oleg's tail saw him pick up the dead drop. Aderholt's instructions are for the team to search him on site and, if they find anything on him, to bring him in.

And so it is that Oleg is swarmed by a team of FBI agents -- who are all normal-sized but, around his tall ass, kind of look like humans swarming Godzilla. Oleg co-operatively holds his hands out; an agent immediately finds the false branch in Oleg's pocket, and Oleg is cuffed and led away. The downside of working for the "good" Soviet spies seems to be that they don't give you any suicide jewellery.

Elizabeth has posted up on a bench by Nesterenko's building to watch, and to remember. Back in Russia, Nadezhda opens the door for her handler and, in what is still lightly accented English, tells her about getting a signal, picking up a package as directed, and coming across the accident on her way back: "There was no one else around. I didn't know if I should help him. We are not supposed to stop on an operational run. If police arrived, they could've questioned me when I still had it." "In America, yes," says her handler. "Even in training, you said we have to act like we're there," Nadezhda reminds her. Firmly, her handler states, "You don't leave a comrade on the street to die in Moscow." Nadezhda blinks, and stands in the sudden awareness of what her inaction has wrought. And in the present, Elizabeth sits in her long-ago horror at all the instructions she probably shouldn't have followed.

At the FBI, Wolfe and Aderholt watch from behind a two-way mirror as Stan, trying to revive their old rapport, tells Oleg he wants to help him -- but Oleg knows the situation. "I can't," says Oleg simply. Stan waits, but when Oleg doesn't say more, Stan tells him the evidence between them on the table is enough to send him to prison for twenty years -- thirty, even. He remembers the wife and son Oleg mentioned and asks what could be important enough for Oleg to throw away his life with them: "Everybody's here talking peace. But since you got to town, two of our agents were killed in Chicago, one of our generals died under suspicious circumstances. Three dead at a defense contractor's warehouse. I could go on. Peace?" Oleg stares at the table. Stan asks what the message says, and who sent it. Oleg meets his gaze, but continues saying nothing before pointedly looking over Stan's shoulder at the mirror, and then back at Stan, cocking an eyebrow. Stan picks up what he lays down and twitches in reply.

Elizabeth is smoking and holding what I hope for her sake is not still the same newspaper when the office building's front doors open and Nesterenko comes out with the two other Soviets. The music gets wary as Elizabeth rises, right hand in her coat pocket, and moves toward them, following their path from the opposite side of the street. The Soviets jaywalk a few dozen yards ahead of her, crossing to her side of the street. Then a car stops where they've just come from; a female passenger gets out and briskly walks toward them.


We can't see her face, but does this bouncy blonde coif VERY CLOSELY resemble Renee's? FUCKIN' A RIGHT IT DOES. Elizabeth hastens her step to catch up before this woman gets too close to Nesterenko, and the camera closes in on this other woman's torso -- her face still out of frame, in a VERY trolly shot -- as she starts to pull her knife out of her folded newspaper just like Elizabeth was about to do when she got near Nesterenko in the last episode. Before this woman can actually do anything with the knife, however, Elizabeth is right behind her, using a handgun with a silencer to shoot her in the back and get the fuck out of there. Behind Elizabeth, we see that the shot has knocked Elizabeth's Spy vs. Spy counterpart right out of her wig...so has Renee been wigged this whole fucking time? IS RENEE THE FEMALE CLARK??!!!?!?!?!?


No. I mean, she may be, but this isn't Renee: it's Tatiana -- which stands to reason; if she was totally fine pursuing large-scale germ warfare, stabbing one guy (or trying to, anyway) is obviously no big deal.

Oleg is waiting in a holding cell without any mirrors when Stan enters and sits on the bench beside him, putting his hands on his thighs and watching him expectantly. Oleg clocks the speaker near the door before scooching up close to Stan and leaning back to address his comments to the back of Stan's head, starting with a pretty strong headline: "People in the KGB are trying to get rid of Gorbachev."


Stan does a tiny "the FUCK?!" take with just his face and neck, but since this causes him to move away, Oleg has to lean back in with his hand on Stan's shoulder to continue telling him all the stuff we, the viewers, already know. He doesn't know what the message in the dead drop says, but has surmised that it's probably about Gorbachev: "If it is--" "'If'?" asks Stan. "They need to get it," Oleg finishes. "You need to help me get it there. I can tell you how." Oleg leans back, and Stan seems surprised that's the end of his speech, recapping (save it for the professionals) that Oleg wants Stan to "send a coded message to the Soviet Union." Oleg's face is like, basically. Stan, irritated, suggests that Oleg decode the message, but Oleg says he can't: "I can't reveal who sent it." Stan, shocked anew, says that's not Oleg's problem right now, and as Oleg sighs deeply, Stan tells him the FBI is looking for the Illegals in D.C.; diming them out gets Oleg off on all of this. Oleg briefly considers this, but repeats that he can't. Stan reaches into his inner jacket pocket and pulls out a photo of Elizabeth and Philip (dressed for wildly different events, btw, with her in a jacket and pussy bow and him in a chambray buttondown open at the throat). Oleg regards the photo and, after a long beat, silently shakes his head. Clenching, Stan puts the photo away and hisses, "Let me tell you something, Oleg. Your old buddies in the KGB want to get rid of Gorbachev? I could give a shit." Oleg sighs again and, looking around the cell, acknowledges that he could spend the rest of his life there: "I don't know. But think about it. I have friends, family -- my father, my mother, my brother who died in the war -- and all of us want a better future, just like you. Peace. Food to eat. All the same things." Please don't break into "Russians" right now, bro. He doesn't, thankfully: "Do you think it doesn't matter who our leader is?" This is a little on-the-nose for our day, here in 2018, but it's the penultimate episode; I guess they had to take their shot while they still could. "I'm telling you, this is why I'm here," says Oleg soulfully. "This is why I risked all of that -- my wife, and my baby, even though you told me not to. Can you get that into your thick head?" Stan seems like maybe he can. Because what will save us, me and you, is if the Russians looooooove their children too OH GODDAMMIT.

Elizabeth quietly lets herself into the apartment as Claudia is bustling toward the table with a batch of ukha. She invites Elizabeth to join her, but Elizabeth declines, and Claudia amiably tells her to suit herself before asking her to sit. Elizabeth says she's not staying, slowly striding toward the table and taking a long beat before announcing, "Nesterenko is alive. I stopped it." Claudia rears back just a little in surprise, and Elizabeth adds that she also contacted "Gorbachev's people" and told them Claudia's plan: "It's over." Claudia squints, "Do you realize what you've done?" Elizabeth gazes at her steadily. "They'll take apart The Centre's leadership," says Claudia. "The people who supported you all these years. They'll put them in jail. All of us." Elizabeth doesn't contradict her, but tells Claudia, "There's still time for you to get out. Go somewhere. I'm sure you could get by anywhere." Claudia smirks bitterly, because of course she could, and sniffs, "Do you think you're doing me a favour?" Elizabeth frowns. "I had so much faith in you," Claudia breathes. "Even when things were bad between us, I never lost faith in you." Elizabeth looks down. "You always reminded me of the women I fought with in the war," says Claudia, "the way you put country over self. But now I see you never really understood what you were fighting for." "I'm still fighting for those things," says Elizabeth hoarsely. "Maybe you started too young," Claudia condescends. "I thought I knew you." "You lied to me," Elizabeth counters. "If you knew me, you'd know never to lie to me." But Claudia's still trying to guilt Elizabeth with her eulogy: "The work you put in. The sacrifices you made. Our time with Paige? It was all for nothing, Elizabeth. You destroyed it all today." This one seems to wound Elizabeth, though she stays silent. Claudia continues: "The damage you've done is indescribable. Far worse than all the good you've done over these years." Elizabeth, a good soldier and rule follower, lets land these painful blows before asking Claudia where she'll go. "Back home," says Claudia. "To fight for what's left of my country, I'm not afraid. We took it back from our enemies before; we'll do it again." Elizabeth at least seems reassured to hear that Claudia's still a tough-ass bitch, even if she now considers Elizabeth one of those enemies. "And you?" Claudia asks. "What's left for you now?"


For a Russian, Claudia's got a killer "bless your heart" lip purse. Elizabeth's face falls. "Your house?" Claudia needles. "Your American kids? Philip?" HER DESIGNER CLOTHES, CLAUDIA. Elizabeth sucks her cheeks, duly chastened. Claudia looks at her pityingly, and then reaches for the crock of soup, ladling some into her bowl, breaking a piece of the good bread she'd already cut, and dismissing Elizabeth with a look before tucking in. Elizabeth stands there a moment, shamed, and then lets herself out. I love that we cut back to Claudia, still eating and looking as unconcerned as she did when Elizabeth was there, so that we know this wasn't a performance solely for Elizabeth's benefit. Forget the USSR; this broad should go colonize Mars.

Father Andrei is waiting on a park bench when Philip -- in a driving cap, glasses, moustache, and bulky parka -- shows up to meet him. Father Andrei says it's good to see Philip, and asks after Elizabeth; Philip assures him that she's fine, just busy with work. Father Andrei comments that it's been a long time, and asks how Philip is. "I don't know," Philip admits. "Better in some ways." Father Andrei notes that Philip's "left the work behind," and Philip says he doesn't miss it: "It wasn't good for me." Father Andrei pats his vestments as he jokes that quitting was never an option for him, and Philip chuckles that he knows. They get up to stroll, Father Andrei moving on to ask about the Jennings marriage. "She thinks I broke some of the vows I made," says Philip. Father Andrei asks if he did, and Philip says yes: "I haven't been as honest with her as I should've been." Father Andrei says he's been counseling married couples for a long time, and has also had "the privilege" of dealing with Elizabeth a lot over the years: "She's not a person who trusts easily." Philip agrees. "Then there must be something between you she thinks is worth staying for," Father Andrei suggests. Philip thinks that may be true, but says "she thinks bigger than that....She cares about the whole world." Father Andrei considers this so long that Philip has to ask him what he was going to tell Elizabeth, if she'd come. "I've heard a rumour that Father Victor was going to speak to the American authorities," says Father Andrei, casually. Philip stops and looks up, alarmed: "Which authorities?" Father Andrei hems a little before saying it's the FBI. Philip recoils, asking when. Father Andrei thinks it's today: "Father Victor's always been jealous of me. I think he suspects my ties to your people back home." Philip nods, and starts scanning the park for possible agents as Father Andrei rambles on about Father Victor using this pretext to get rid of him, like, if this whole operation falls apart because of a couple of bitchy priests who can't keep quiet about their drama, it's KIND OF going to rule? Father Andrei finally notices Philip's look of horror and asks, "Am I in trouble? I'm always very careful." "They may be watching us," Philip warns. Father Andrei subtly glances about. "If you don't get picked up, you should try and get home as soon as possible," Philip adds, talking fast. "Buy a plane ticket -- today, if you can. TAKE CARE, FATHER." Philip walks away, not fast enough to seem suspect, and Father Andrei turns around and walks in the opposite direction -- not terribly fast, but certainly faster than he should for someone who thinks of himself as "always very careful."

Alone, Philip heads out of the park to the street, noting all the people along his path to see if they seem to be engaged in surveillance. He makes it to the corner and crosses the street, walking a bit more briskly AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN BREAKING INTO A FULL-ON TOM CRUISE SPRINT. Reader? I screamed. An agent outside the park pulls out a walkie to say that the suspect's on the move as he starts to give chase. Philip continues running, not looking left or right. A second agent appears from somewhere and joins in the pursuit. When he rounds a corner, Philip pulls his hat off and drops it in a trash can. Neither of the agents seems to have eyes on him as he runs into an outdoor basketball court, loses the glasses, and puts on a watch cap he's pulled out of his coat pocket, which he then unzips. He's already out the other side of the basketball court, no longer matching his original description except insofar as he's still a white guy with a moustache (which I guess you can't really discard wherever) when the two agents run into the same entrance Philip just took. The first agent looks up and down but doesn't see anyone...

...because Philip's already out on the street and out of his coat, hailing a cab and covertly catching his breath. I think by this point I still hadn't.

Elizabeth is back in her smoking sweater at the kitchen sink, splashing water on her face, when Paige lets herself in the front door. Elizabeth pretends to be pleased as she says she didn't know Paige was coming over, to which Paige tightly replies, "Here I am." Elizabeth can tell she's all wound up for some kind of showdown and waits as Paige says her friend Brian came over the night before -- that's the intern Elizabeth thought Paige had boned for information. Elizabeth smiles wearily and seems about to try to apologize for that when Paige cuts her off to snip, "We actually like each other, just so you know." Elizabeth nods: "Okay." But that's not it. Brian had been at a party with some other interns (sounds unbearable!) and was telling Paige about this one guest; Brian didn't know him well, but he was super-wasted and puking, so Brian and some of his friends were trying to help get him safely home: "And this kid is falling all over himself -- sick, and crying -- and he starts talking about how he slept with this older woman. He felt like she tricked him or something. He said she ruined his life. Now he's quitting and going home. He works for Sam Nunn. This happens right in the middle of the summit." Paige stares, but Elizabeth's impassive, so Paige has to demand, "Was it you?" Elizabeth really must be rattled from her conversation with Claudia because she takes way too long to scoff, "Don't be ridiculous!" Paige must be getting the good training, because this doesn't work: "...Was it?" Elizabeth glares silently -- again, too long -- before huffing, "No!" Paige studies her face a moment before remembering, "It was all in that book. And the way you got so weird about Brian?" "We talked about that book!" Elizabeth reminds her. "If you lie to me now, after everything? I will never forgive you," Paige threatens.


Elizabeth kind of looks like she would welcome the removal of this burden, but then insists, "Paige, I swear to you, I'm not!" Paige gets upset at the knowledge that her mother is lying directly to her face, and says that, looking back, she's always known: "Every time, every lie, my whole life. And I know now." "I had nothing to do with that boy," says Elizabeth, choking up. "No wonder Dad can't stand to be in the same room with you," Paige snips. Uh, Paige, last time we saw you and Philip in a room together, he didn't seem too psyched about it either. "Excuse me?!" sputters Elizabeth. Paige says that Elizabeth lies about everything: "How many times? How many men? Were you doing this when I was a baby?! You're a whore. Does Dad know he married a whore?" Focus on the spy-shaming, Paige; this is getting into dicey territory for someone who considers herself an ultra-progressive! Elizabeth barks at her to stop it, but Paige won't: "You don't want to know the truth? The truth is, that moment you told me who you really are? I should've done what Henry did: get as far away from you as possible." "THAT'S ENOUGH," Elizabeth explodes. She takes a moment to gather herself, and then says, "It doesn't mean anything to me." Paige winces. "I wasn't brought up like you were," Elizabeth tells her. "I had to fight, always, for everything! People were killed, they died, all around me! If I had to give everything so that my country would survive, so that it would never happen again, I would do it gladly, we were proud to do whatever we could. Sex?" She scoffs contemptuously. "What was sex? Nobody cared. Including your father." Paige, regretting the bravado with which she had stormed in, deflates and shuffles out without another word. However much Stan might worry about what working with Renee might do to their relationship? It really probably can't be worse than what working together has done to these two.

Speaking of Stan, let's go back to the Vault, where Aderholt is directing everyone to work on garages and safe houses to the exclusion of all other areas of investigation. As everyone else clears out, Stan quietly asks Aderholt, "Now, we're assuming if he's running, that's where he goes?" Aderholt says "he" doesn't know the FBI knows about them. Surveillance photos from the park aren't in yet. "The priest" will be there in ten minutes.

Alone, Elizabeth smokes -- inside, because her whole life has gone to shit, so does it even matter anymore if the house stinks? In her memory, her handler is telling Nadezhda, "You must make the right choices over there. But the most important thing: we do not want you to lose who you are." Nadezhda, bright-eyed, seems like she has a very firm idea of who that is, but when her handler has left Nadezhda to sit back down at the table, alone, everything seems less clear.

And then, in the kitchen, Elizabeth's phone rings. She stubs out her smoke and goes to answer it. "Hi," says Philip, at a pay phone. "I was hoping to make it home for dinner," he says, enunciating precisely, "but things are very topsy-turvy at the office."


Guys, I think this might be some kind of code. After a long beat, Elizabeth says, "I'm sorry to hear that. Try not to wake me up when you come in." Philip takes a long blink and hangs up.

And back at the house, Elizabeth hangs up the kitchen phone, allows herself about five seconds for this to sink in, and then hauls ass to the Secret Basement Of Spycraft. She moves the dryer aside, removes a vent from the wall, opens a secret compartment in the back, and pulls out a duffel bag. She moves everything back where it was, sets the bag on the folding table, and then enters the numbered combination on the fuse box Stan had tried and failed to open, yanking the door ajar and pulling out license plates, Canadian passports, and both Canadian and American cash, loading everything into the bag. Suddenly remembering, she goes back to the top shelf of the fuse box safe, pulling out her and Philip's secret wedding rings and shoving them in her jeans pocket. Grabbing the bag, she hurries back out of the room, snapping the light off. And that's a series wrap on...this duplex? D.C.? The Americans, about to become The Canadians? At least some of this will, we must assume, come out in the series finale next week. Let's hope we all survive until then; I might still be screaming about Philip's sprint EVEN NOW.

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