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The Americans - S5E7 – The Committee on Human Rights

Previously on The Americans, “Crossbreed” 

Images: FX

It adds up

Last episode ended with Paige meeting her surrogate grandfather and it was everything we could have wanted. She feels included and special. He sings the praises of her parents. Even surly Philip managed to smile at the end. It was a sweet scene to start the farewell to such a great character. His exit signals the beginning of the end for the Jennings.

Her interactions with Gabriel allow us to see a vulnerable side of Elizabeth. One we much needed in earlier seasons. The ice queen is beginning to visibly thaw before us and we need Gabriel less to bring this out in her. The spy life takes its toll on everyone. Even you, Elizabeth. The last scene between Gabriel and Elizabeth was mostly business, but the body language and the tone of voice spoke of great affection.

It is clear Gabriel thinks of Philip as his son. However, as often with father and sons, Philip and Gabriel haven’t always been on easy terms. Their last scene was indicative of the entire relationship. Philip asking questions, Gabriel answering them as frankly as he can, but often not frankly enough for Philip. Frank Langella’s recounting of the atrocities he committed in his youth was moving to everyone but Philip, who listened, implacably. He also seemed nonplussed to learn Renee is (probably) not a spy. The only time he seemed moved was after Gabriel left, leaving him to ponder the man’s last words.

“You were right about Paige. She should be kept out of all of this.”

From the cheery dinner scene with Gabriel to her newfound love of Marx, things seem to be looking up with Paige. Her mother sees the breakup with Matthew just another mature decision. Maybe she’ll turn out like Tuan, after all. But what do parents know, anyway? Especially, these parents.

Paige said she was never happier than when she was baptized, yet this episode she looks hesitant when Pastor Tim asks if she still prays. She is also still under the misconception the American government is evil and trying to ruin Russian agriculture. Her dear parents do nothing to clear this up when she expresses her outrage. Talk about bad parenting. Gabriel reminds Philip to keep her out of it, but her parents have failed to keep her out of it.

Last episode, Elizabeth told the psychiatrist of the mugging encounter, from what can be thought of as Paige’s perspective. The psychiatrist called it a traumatic experience. One to be recognized and dealt with. Elizabeth may have rolled her eyes, but I have a feeling this trauma (amongst all the others) will mean a darker turn for Paige.

He’s not here

Henry did not appear in this episode. However, I believe all this Paige nonsense is a red herring to keep us off the sleeper agent, Henry Jennings. After all, while we had our eye on Paige, Henry get super smart at math and developed a way with the ladies. Perhaps all the video games were a means of brainwashing him? Maybe this girl “Chris” is the real honey pot. Or maybe Beeman will turn him into a double agent, next season. “Henry? Our Henry?” Yes, Elizabeth, you were prophetic with that comment.

No it isn’t Philip. Not for Me.

Philip and Elizabeth go hillbilly redneck in the wilds of Mississippi. Elizabeth’s Super Grain Scientist plants his latest experiment and goes on to meet a lady for a clearly romantic liaison. Elizabeth is chuffed. She thought she was his only one. As they dig up the super plant to take it home, Philip tells her it’s okay to care. But for Elizabeth, the fact she does is highly unsettling. Does not compute.

Spy Stuff

  • Elizabeth breaks into the psychiatrist’s office and steals a file on the Committee on Human Rights….
  • Gabriel takes the Super Plant back to Russia. It’s a sign of hope.
  • Philip is really not doing so well with the Ms. Lotus 1-2-3. She’s definitely not Martha.
  • Oleg seems to be off the hook thanks to Stan, unbeknownst to Oleg. But Stan will be on the hook after this one last assignment.
  • Stan trying to tell Renee about his work situation without telling her about his work situation was a fun bit of comedy
  • Beeman and Aderholt get a response. Yet another parent concerned about her son
The Americans S5E7
  • 8.5/10
    Plot - 8.5/10
  • 9/10
    Dialogue - 9/10
  • 8.5/10
    Action - 8.5/10
  • 9/10
    Performances - 9/10

"The Committee on Human Rights"

They picked up the pace on the espionage and integrated it nicely with the farewell of a dear character. I would love to see Gabriel in Russia. Maybe he’ll bring Mischa back into the picture. Maybe Martha, too.

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About Mallika Chakravarti (99 Articles)
Mallika is a digital marketer, yoga teacher and nutritionist. She spends her fun time writing, podcasting, consuming vast amounts of media and wishing she could fly. Mallika can currently be found thinking of something else.
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