Previously on The Americans, “Lotus 1-2-3″
Heavy are the Heads that Wear the Wigs
Our characters have been slowly changing since we met them. Their old lives don’t quite fit, anymore. This episode, everybody seems to be questioning their life choices.
Philip’s crumbling commitment is nothing new, but it has mostly been relegated to conversations between Claudia and Gabriel and Philip’s increasingly gloomy face. Last episode ended with a frank discussion between Elizabeth and Philip over the toll their work is taking on him, especially after he believes he killed an innocent man for no good reason. They are finally facing it. Philip and Elizabeth know Centre have been concerned about him, even before the Randy-shaped scales fell from his eyes. Gabriel confirms this, urging them to be cautious.
Philip’s flashbacks to his family continue, pushing him to learn more. Maybe the answers he has been looking for lies with his parents. He learns the truth from Gabriel, but it is less than satisfying. He can’t blame them for ending up where he is. The futility of this virtual search to know his father seems to mirror Mischa’s actual one.
We’ve seen more peripheral agents on the scene, this season. It makes sense they’d be keeping an eye on a ticking Time Bomb Philip.
Elizabeth is thawing and it is leaving her disconcerted. She may not be ready to admit it to her husband, but she admits it to Gabriel. Even her Super Wheat Scientist notices the change, calling her “softer”. Granted, she no longer thinks he’s the scourge on humanity, but Keri Russell plays Elizabeth with an ounce more vulnerability than before. She looks a little less confident and in control when she’s not being watched. Elizabeth also regretfully visits Young Hee’s old house. We miss her too, Elizabeth.
Past Meets Future
Gabriel is another whose time has come. As hard as it is to believe that Gabriel has never lied to the Jennings, he is shaken by having to do so, regarding Mischa. We know how upset he is because he visits the Lincoln Memorial and stares at the Washington Memorial. Nothing says, “what is it all for?” like a trip to the Founding Fathers. His retirement seems a portent for the beginning of the end. Of the Cold War. Of the Jennings’ relevance. Of the show. Unless he can be pulled in for one more job….
Who might pull him back in? Good ol’ Paige, of course. She’s been reading Marx and it has warmed her to the Socialistic ideals. The flame in Elizabeth’s heart may be flickering, but she encourages her daughter. This episode ends with Elizabeth and Philip introducing Paige to Gabriel. What torch will be passed?
Don’t Jump, Oleg
Oleg seems to have reached a turning point. He continues to be uneasy about the food corruption investigation and pressure needed to coerce information and cooperation. However, the pressure on him seems to have eased. His contact fails to make the meet (Stan’s influence?) and he burns the evidence against him. Without this, is he and his family in the clear? Will Oleg disappear from Russia? That last look at his family was a little ominous.
Smoking in the Girls Room – In a cool bit of spy work, Elizabeth makes quick work of forging a key to the psychiatrists’ office.
Mary Kay Calling – Elizabeth may be thawing, but she’s still cold. Being nice is just a waste of time
Lotharios at Dinner – Henry may take after his dad with the math skills, but he’s looking to Stan for snagging women. Let’s hope Chris isn’t a spy like Renee.
Wig Question – How does Elizabeth keep her wig all night (that no doubt included both sex and sleep) and into the morning and during Tai Chi without her man suspecting? Could this be the true super power of the Soviets?
Crossbreed – the title of this episode refers to the modified wheat strains the Russians are now eager to get their hands on. It may also refer to Paige. She is leaning towards Socialist ideals, but still holds true to her faith.
The Americans S5E6
This was another good episode delving into our characters. I do hope they pick up on the spy action moving into the 2nd half of the season. I’m very interested to see what happens between Paige and Gabriel. It feels like they are starting on the slow descent to the end of the series and with these markers of change, I foresee a satisfying conclusion.