Will Someone Rid The Americans Of Their Troublesome Priest?
(Yes, he's a pastor, but that's not how the quotation goes.) When Pastor Groovyhair runs into trouble on his mission trip, Paige suspects her parents' bosses were involved...and so do her parents.
Plot Lightning Round
This week's episode wastes NO TIME in showing us how Operation Fake Fuck is starting to play out, as we rejoin "Patty," having dinner at Young Hee's. The hostess is her usual self, telling a cute story about a disastrous ski trip she and Don took with the kids, and while Patty does a PRETTY good job of paying attention and laughing at the appropriate points...
...she also steals a look or two at the silent and painfully guilty Don. When Patty comes to the punchline of her story, she sets Don up to deliver it...
...but he misses his cue and says he can't remember what he said before EVEN MORE GUILTILY excusing himself from the table to go do some work. Young Hee is slightly deflated that her usual comedy partner went up on his line, but she recovers with the same combination of good humour and repressed rage that makes her such a great Mary Kay saleswoman!
Back home, Paige decides to multi-task, making dinner and asking Philip about his Soviet childhood.Was your mom a good cook?...She made a soup I liked.
She sounds...great? Paige remembers that Philip had said his father died when he was six, and as Philip throws an anxious glance toward wherever Henry is, Paige assures him that Henry's "on his Walkman." (That is going to end up being the best $100 a couple of spies ever spent, given events later in the episode. Henry Jennings is going to be the only kid in America whose parents are worried that the volume on his headphones isn't loud enough.) Paige asks what Misha Sr. did for work, and Philip tells her, "I come from a city called Tobolsk, in Siberia. It's surrounded by forest, and he was a logger." When Paige asks whether Philip liked it there, he chuckles ruefully and explains, "We didn't think that way. There were things there that I liked, but my dad worked very hard, and when he came home, he was tired. My mom, she was-- She was very tough." "That's what Mom says about her mom," says Paige. "Well, that's the way you had to be," says Philip. Huh, I wonder if Paige will ever be able to appreciate what it's like to have A TOUGH MOM.
At the door, Patty and Young Hee say goodnight, and though we don't hear what she says, Young Hee does seem a little subdued.
Philip explains to Paige that things were very difficult in the Soviet Union after the war, and that people had to be tough. Then he tells a cute story about a time his boss at his job at the rake co-operative tried to short him his pay, so Philip's mother went down there. Philip smiles a little wistfully: "And then he paid me all of it." Fuckin' A right he did.
Speaking of mothers who GET SHIT DONE: Elizabeth doesn't look particularly happy as she leaves Young Hee and makes her way to her car, but she does look resolute. Look the fuck out, Don.
I've Got A Triple Word Score On "Fuuuuck"
Who called the meeting? Gabriel.
What's it about? Moving forward on the Level 4 plan.
How'd it go? Gabriel's in a cheery mood, and not just because he's killing Philip at Scrabble: he's telling Philip and Elizabeth about the new asset he recruited ("She's a librarian. Mid-forties. You wouldn't even notice her if she sat on your lap" HEY, I RESEMBLE THAT REMARK, EXCUSE YOU, GABRIEL!!!) after seeing a copy of The Militant in her bag: "She and the older man plus Hans gives us enough of a team to move forward with William." Gabriel says William's been monitoring shift changes at the lab and could be ready to move forward as soon as "a few days; at worst, a few weeks." He turns to Elizabeth and asks how close she is to getting the codes. Who, this steely-spined operative with no regard for capitalists' lives or feelings?
"Close," says Elizabeth quietly. "How close?" Gabriel presses. Philip tries to cover for her reticence, but Elizabeth hardens and claims she could get the codes in "maybe days." Philip, still thinking about what William told him the last time they met and not wild about this op, reminds Gabriel, "Last time, we did nearly start an epidemic....It's supposed to be ten times worse." But Gabriel is The Militant: "The best deterrent is strength. Even their president says that." Oh, Gabriel. That demented fucker says a lot of things.
He Represents The Lollipop Guild
Name: Wolfe. Age: Early 50s. Occupation: FBI Counter-Intelligence Supervisor; Munchkin. Goal: To battle crime by being a micromanaging hardass, apparently. Sample Dialogue: "Check your margins, please."
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Alice vs. Spies
Henry's just ducked out of cleaning up after dinner when Alice Groovyhair shows up at the door, vibrating with fury and terror, and wastes no time telling the Jenningses why: "Tim is missing in Ethiopia."
It seems Pastor Groovyhair and an Alan Woods, one of his fellow missionaries, went to a village near the Eritrean border and haven't been seen since -- and, not unreasonably, she suspects that his new spy friends had something to do with it: "Tim wants to believe the best of everyone, but I know what you do and I know that you have people all over the world." With some urgency, Philip tries to get her to lower her voice, since Henry is upstairs, but Alice DGAF. Philip tries to argue that Ethiopia is a dangerous country and that anything could have happened, but Alice knows all about it: "I called the embassy for help, and they told me to call the State Department, and they told me that Ethiopia is a client state of the USSR, and there are Soviet troops everywhere." Elizabeth tries to tell Alice she can't think Elizabeth and Philip were involved, but Alice snaps, "I know how the world works! I made a tape. I gave it to a lawyer. It's addressed to the Justice Department. It says exactly who you are." Oh shit. At this, even Paige has to try to intercede, but Alice rolls right over her: "If Tim doesn't come home, or if anything happens to me, that tape goes to the Justice Department." Philip tries to stop her as she stalks out, but she moves fast for a pregnant lady. Pretty smart move? She's obviously got good reason to suspect that this is no a random occurrence, and if she's right, pre-emptively going to the authorities might not be wise for her or her unborn baby.
Alice is especially vindicated in her accusations by the fact that even Elizabeth and Philip don't seem totally sure she's wrong.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
I Want To Bring A Female Computer Expert In Her Fifties Or Sixties Into Our Lovemaking
Oleg and Tatiana have just finished boning again -- she even managed to make noise this time, for which Oleg teasingly shushed her (it's important for a couple to have shared private jokes AND WHAT COULD BE MORE PRIVATE AMIRITE) -- after which there's some small talk about her never having tried Twinkies (overrated) and then some big talk about her needing him to do something sketchy for her: "I need someone from your department in Moscow to come here....A female computer expert. Would need to speak perfect English. Ideally fifties or sixties." Oleg comments that this is a very specific request, and she tells him she can't say more. Oleg seems like he might not actually want more details as his first response is to tease her -- "Oh, you'll lie with me! You'll talk about Twinkies with me!" -- but Tatiana gets real with him anyway: "Have you already guessed? Why I'm here? Or has Arkady told you? Let's just say I'm in one of those departments we don't talk about." "Twelve?" he guesses. (Really just always a bad number, I guess.) "You can't tell Arkady I told you," she warns him. Oleg tells her not to worry about that, but asks why she has to be there: "The Americans don't have a bioweapons program. We have treaties against that." Instead of throwing this naïve fool a "bless your heart" -- which I guess Soviets can't do anyway -- Tatiana tells him they're making vaccines, and that it's her job to get the samples. "If they protect them like ours, it must be hard," Oleg comments, somewhat idiotically. She tells him it is: there's a military facility she hasn't been able to get into: "But they can't help being Americans. They subcontract out to a private lab. It's taken a while, but we've got someone well positioned in there." "You're good at this, aren't you?" Oleg asks. Tatiana wins me over forever with this answer: "Yes." YES. No false female modesty! Like a boss! Working an asset with no regard for morality! Like a boss!
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Elizabeth vs. Paige
After Alice leaves and Philip has confirmed that while Henry heard her yelling, he didn't hear what she said (and, like a NORMAL teenager, didn't care to come down and find out what kind of churchy spat might be going on, and accepted Philip's partial report on why she was there), Elizabeth says she feels bad, and Philip agrees: "Of course, with the baby coming?" Paige doesn't say anything, which is suspect enough for both her parents to look at her expectantly. At first she tries to get out of giving voice to her own suspicions, but finally asks, "I mean, is there any way...?" Philip's like, "Paige...," but Elizabeth grits, "Let her finish. 'Is there any way' what?" "I don't know," says Paige, already regretting having made any noise at all. "Say what you want to say," Elizabeth urges her. Philip tries to get between them, but it's no use, as Elizabeth demands, "'IS THERE ANY WAY' WHAT?!" Paige defensively says she doesn't know what kind of people the Soviets might have in Ethiopia: "I wonder, okay? I don't know!" Elizabeth calms down at this, since Paige isn't actually directly accusing them of anything. Philip says, "We don't want this. This is a disaster for us." "For you?" asks Paige, getting bolder. "This is pretty good for you, actually. That's the thing. He goes to Africa all the time. But now, all of a sudden, when you're so worried that he knows your secret, he disappears?" Elizabeth tells her that's crazy: "You think we kidnap people and, what, that we kill them?" WELL, I NEVER. THE VERY IDEA. Paige doesn't know; she just thinks it's weird that it happened in a Russian-controlled country. Elizabeth insists that it's not true, but Paige -- still not sounding that crazy at all -- says that she has no way of knowing, and that even if they had been behind Pastor Groovyhair's disappearance, they couldn't tell her that. "We couldn't make this happen even if we wanted to," says Philip. LOL, THAT KIND OF MAKES IT SOUND LIKE YOU TRIED, BROSEF STALIN. This somehow doesn't pacify Paige, who leaves the room at this...
...and of course, as soon as Paige has gone, Philip is like, "...IS there any way?" "No," says Elizabeth firmly. "Not without telling us." They're both frustrated that this chance occurrence has chancefully occurred after they "bent over backwards" not to mess with the Groovyhairs. "And does she really think we'd be so stupid that we'd leave Alice?" Elizabeth adds, hilariously, like she's insulted not by the accusation but at the sloppiness of the op, if it is one. Ever the gangster! "Unless they have something planned," suggests Philip. "Stop," sighs Elizabeth. "You're as bad as she is." Philip says they must have people in Ethiopia, so he'll ask Gabriel to see what he can find out: "At least it's something we can offer Alice." "Now I'm thinking we may have to run," says Elizabeth. "I thought I could live like this." Stupid Pastor Groovyhair! Just feed starving people and don't get cute with your field trips! Unless this actually was the Soviets and there's nothing you could have done to avoid getting totally killed anyway!
It's A Date
Who's Her Daddy?
Who's on a date? Since it's been months and months and months since he's heard from Martha, her father Bill (remember HIM?!) has come to town to talk to her old co-workers about what happened to her. (Originally he was only going to see Stan, but then Stan rooked Aderholt into joining them to spread out the awkwardness.)
Where have Stan and Aderholt taken Bill? Some bar that's empty enough to allow them to talk openly about how this long-missing, as far as they know probably dead lady was a covert KGB agent.
Are things headed in a horizontal direction? Well, no. Bill still refuses to believe she could have been a Soviet spy: "You're acting like she's the criminal. She's not. This is Clark, or whatever his real name is. Martha is the most honest, loyal kind person in the world." Aderholt gently tells Bill it's often a decent person who's most susceptible to expert manipulations of the sort Martha would have been subjected to. After insisting that Martha was too smart for that (ehhhhhh), Bill begs, "Promise me you won't give up." For a long moment, neither agent says anything, but finally Aderholt can't take it and fills the silence, telling Bill it's an ongoing investigation: "I assure you, no one's giving up."
Uh, Stan might be? But he doesn't say anything. Anyway, as to the original question: Bill is far too upset to give either of these younger fellows so much as a reach-around.
Paige comes home from her meeting with Alice in an understandably foul mood, which is not helped by the noise of Henry, in the driveway, compulsively tossing a tennis ball at the garage door over and over AND OVER again; like Elizabeth, she wonders if he couldn't actually damage the door doing this, and as the scene continues, the noise of the ball gets faster and louder and more insistent as if to remind us that they're not going to be able to keep the knowledge of Henry's parents' real job from him very much longer...and if the show's going to keep making its writers come up with pretexts for him not to be involved in these conversations, maybe giving him really dumb activities is their way of protesting? Maybe next Henry could get a job as a landscaper, requiring hearing protection from his leaf blower! He could get really involved with ham radios! Uh oh, better keep Henry away from that economy pack of Q-TIPS!!!
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Paige vs. Parents
When Paige meets back up with her parents in the kitchen, no one greets anyone, Elizabeth going straight to a question about whether Paige saw Alice today. Paige says she did, and then takes a long pull on the juice she's just poured herself.
Forced to by Paige's sulky silence, Elizabeth is like, "And?!" Paige says they prayed. Philip reports that they talked to colleagues of theirs in Ethiopia and that they're looking into it, so Paige should tell Alice they're doing everything they can. "What if she sends the tape?" Paige asks, more scared than confrontational. "We might have to leave," says Elizabeth. "You and Dad?" Paige asks. "All of us," says Elizabeth. Paige asks where they'd go.
I mean, honestly, Paige. Where do you think? They're not here spying on behalf of Belgium. "Wait," says Paige. "Are you serious?" "We're not there yet," says Elizabeth soothingly. "ARE YOU SERIOUS?!" Paige demands. "Henry too?" Philip says they couldn't leave him behind. Elizabeth: "If we can keep Alice calm--" But it's too late; Paige is already losing it: "I don't want to listen! Everything you say is crazy! Go back to Russia?! I've never been to Russia! What, are we going to speak Russian? What are you going to do there? You can't be Russian spies in Russia. Then where are we going to go? What country? Who are you going to lie to? Who are you going to make disappear?" "PAIGE," Elizabeth finally yells. "We have nothing to do with this?" DON'T YOU, THOUGH?!
Thailand's Got Something For Everyone!
Remember how Gaad told Stan he and his wife were going to be traveling in Thailand and then Stan told Philip? Well, Philip done told someone else, because here we are in the Gaads' hotel room as they enjoy his retirement.
Q: Does Thailand seem like a nice place to vacation?
A: Yes and no. Gaad's wife Linh heads out on her own to go shopping, so it's safe for unescorted women, which is more than you can say for some other travel destinations.
A: But as soon as she leaves, this dude and a couple of henchmen let themselves in.
Q: What do THEY want?
A: Russian Adam McKay assures Gaad, "We're not here to hurt you. We have proposal for you." Gaad orders them out, but Lead Goon tells Gaad if he doesn't listen, he'll be making a mistake.
Q: Does he listen?
A: Not as such: he runs part of the way through a door, falls, and ends up with a shard of glass impaled in an organ that bleeds A LOT.
Then he dies, and the Soviets are like, aw, fuck.
Unbreakable Kimmy Breland
After switching the tapes in Kimmy's dad's briefcase, "James" has to put in some porch time with Kimmy, who tells him something shocking: her dad doesn't work at the State Department at all! He works for the CIA! Philip feigns surprise and asks how she found out; she says he just told her. She adds that everything in her life makes sense now that she knows -- his travel, how he acts at home. After a pensive moment, James tells Kimmy he doesn't think she should have told him: "It's a secret. Telling it breaks your father's trust. It could bring you and your dad closer together, but only if you keep it." Nice of Philip to look out for his counterpart and try to head off the problems Philip's been having around this very issue with his own DUMB WIENER KID. Anyway: Kimmy's still a factor. Consider yourself reminded.
Wrap It Up
Paige stops by Stan's in search of Henry (did she check nearby caves? Maybe he's far from CONVERSATIONS the rest of his family has about STUFF because he's taken up spelunking!!!); but Matthew tells her he's not there, and invites her in, saying his dad is working all weekend. (Is it common for a secondary joint custody holder to blow off so much of the time he or she gets with his or her child? I guess I forget sometimes how much less parents cared about spending time with their kids in the '80s -- or, rather, how much less social pressure there was for them to pretend they liked to.) Anyway, he invites her in, and as he's making her a coffee, she asks him in her necessarily mysterious way whether he thinks it's cool that his dad is an FBI agent. Matthew shrugs that Stan never used to talk about it much, but now that Matthew's around more, Stan talks about everything: "I think he's trying to show me he's glad I'm here or something." Apparently, Stan even told him all about his drinks with Bill. Hey, Paige is better at spying than she thinks -- she gets some hot intel without even trying or knowing that she did! Speaking of people who knew Paige's parents and have gone on to disappear: Paige tells Matthew she has to get to the church for an update on Pastor Groovyhair, and gives Matthew the background on the situation. Matthew offers to drive her...
...and when Paige gets there, it's a miracle! Paige's youth group pal Zach comes over to tell her that Pastor Groovyhair and his idiot buddy Alan are fine! They ran out of gas and got lost, but they're fine! Paige mentions that Matthew and Zach both play guitar and suggests that Zach tell Matthew about Youth Choir, and before Matthew can be like, I'm good, Paige has hurried off to check in with Alice!
In Pastor Groovyhair's office, Alice is in a much better mood -- still weepy, but now with relief, of course. She apologizes to Paige for how much she's been crying lately, like, it would be weird if you didn't??? Alice says Pastor Groovyhair will be home tomorrow, and jokes, "This baby must be thinking, 'What is going on out there?'" Paige still looks so worried that Alice tells her she's never been scared like that before: "Please tell your parents I'm sorry." "It's-- It's okay," says Paige. "They understand." They're going to cry with relief too, probably.
Elizabeth uses a pay phone to call in for Patty's messages, and sure enough, there's one from Young Hee: "What we talked about is getting worse." She knows something is wrong but, starting to cry, says she doesn't know what. She really wants to talk to Patty. Elizabeth hangs up, stone-faced with resolve. Poor Young Hee. She must be going through so much Mary Kay mascara.
Paige reports back to Philip and Elizabeth about Pastor Groovyhair's groovy adventure; after relaying Alice's apology, she adds that she feels bad about what she said, too. Elizabeth and Philip:
BRRR. "It was just so weird," Paige adds. Elizabeth sits next to her and says, "The hardest thing we do in our jobs is trust. We never know for sure if other people are telling us the truth. The one thing Dad and I have is we tell each other the truth." (Well, NOW they do, mostly, but Elizabeth doesn't add that part.) "And now that we've told you about us, you're part of that," says Philip. "We can't always tell you every detail about our job, but we will tell you what we can," says Elizabeth. "And we won't lie to you," Philip concludes. "I don't think we should ask Alice for the tape right now," says Paige. She says she was going to, but she didn't bring it up since the news of Pastor Groovyhair's recovery was still so new: "I just felt it would be better to wait." Both her parents think her instincts were sound. And then, now that this can of worms has just had its lid replaced, Paige opens a new one: "When are you going to tell Henry? I mean, you are going to tell him at some point, right?" "A lot of that depends on Henry," says Elizabeth. Like whether he's even going to be home to have the conversation what with his new commitment to that very very loud drumline he just joined!
Arkady is having a meeting with Tatiana when an assistant enters with an envelope for him. "Everything okay?" she asks after a moment. "An operation didn't go as planned," Arkady tells her. PROBABLY referring to the attempt to recruit Gaad, or however that was going to end up, but MAYBE referring to Operation Trim Groovyhair??? "Maybe it never should have been planned in the first place," Arkady adds darkly. HMMMMMMM.
And then Aderholt, at the FBI, is telling Stan the little he knows about Gaad's passing. Stan guesses it was a heart attack, but Aderholt doesn't even know the cause of death. And they can't talk about it any further now because they get called away for an announcement from Wolfe.
And THEN Gabriel is pouring tea for Elizabeth, who's evidently just finished telling him about Pastor Groovyhair. "We did have people looking for him," Gabriel tells her. "Sometimes, the best move in this business is having a little bit of luck." Having luck is not so much a "move," but okay. Elizabeth still can't believe Pastor Groovyhair did something so dumb as to wander around Ethiopia with no idea where he was going, but says at least he was trying to feed people. "A good Christian," Gabriel agrees. Well, enough of this chitchat WHAT ABOUT THE CODES ALREADY. Elizabeth is slightly hesitant in answering as to her timeline, but when Gabriel notices and asks her about it, she blinks her Eye Of The Tiger back on. "You know," Gabriel tells her, "it's possible for people like us, who give everything to our country and the world, to forget ourselves." Elizabeth drawls that he sounds like Philip after est, but Gabriel's serious, and asks what Young Hee's family is like. "They're close," says Elizabeth. "And loud. Big. You'd like them." "You like them," Gabriel surmises. "I suppose I do," she admits.
Under Gabriel's steady gaze, Elizabeth wonders, "What if we couldn't get in this way?" "You've already done the hard part," Gabriel points out. She corrects him: "No. The next part's the hard part. After that, they'll never recover." "Elizabeth, your feelings matter," says Gabriel. "No, they don't," says Elizabeth immediately, trying to harden again. "Or they shouldn't." But Gabriel semi-overrules her, saying that before they take the last step -- destroying Young Hee and Don's marriage -- he'll ask if there's another way in: "Do you want me to ask?"
Elizabeth blinks, looking down, but the prospect of sparing her friend's heartache is too appealing for her to pass on it just to seem tough, and after a long beat, she gives Gabriel a tiny nod, telling him, "Yes." How will the quest for unimaginable contagion be affected by Elizabeth's feeeeeeeeeelings?! I GUESS WE'LL SEE!