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The Americans – S4E7 – Travel Agents

Previously on The Americans, “The Rat”

Images: FX

Images: FX

We were shown Martha from everyone’s viewpoint, including her own. Reality proves to be brutal. Melancholia prevails. Sigh.

Martha v. Philip

Martha’s Philip: Philip is finally truly and completely honest with Martha. Elizabeth urges him to lie to her to get her on the plane, but Philip respects Martha too much. He may not be willing to leave Elizabeth and his kids to be with Martha, but he does love this woman and feels protective and responsible for her. What he has done to her and what he has left her with weighs heavy on his heart. Even so, this show has done such a good job of fleshing out his character and loyalty to Elizabeth and his family, there is no question as to who comes first.

Philip’s Martha: She is hysterical without her Clark. Without him, she realizes she has nothing in this world. She gave up everything for a man she loved and finds out she does not even have the man. As heartbreaking as the last scene was, how much worse would it have been to see Martha alone in Russia realizing he had lied to her, once again? As her fantasy world falls apart, Philip’s honesty proves his love for her wasn’t part of the façade. Regardless, I wonder if she wished she jumped.

Martha v. Elizabeth

Martha’s Elizabeth: Elizabeth only sees Martha through her love for Philip. How Elizabeth has thawed. She expresses real concern for Philip, reassuring him Martha will be okay. Telling him it wasn’t his fault. Gabriel told them to get rid of Martha if she creates a fuss. But when Elizabeth finds her in the park and Martha does indeed start yelling, Elizabeth does not shoot her. Elizabeth had every justification to kill her. She could have put her down for jealousy alone and no one would really know. She keeps Martha alive for Philip’s sake. To kill her would devastate him all the more. She and Martha both love Philip and she uses that love to get Martha to come with her. Just as with Pastor Tim, Elizabeth’s love has her choosing the harder road. Elizabeth is vulnerable with Philip. She says she’d understand if he wants to leave with Martha. She just wants him to be happy. Unfortunately, I don’t think Philip’s happiness will come that easy.


Elizabeth’s Martha: She knows Elizabeth and Philip care for each other. “Are you sleeping with my husband?” was the most ironic line of the night. Elizabeth’s denial doesn’t really make up for Philip’s silence last episode. So she knows on top of everything, she wasn’t the only one sexing her husband. Then again, at least she doesn’t know they’re married. Or about the kids. Or what Elizabeth really looks like.

Martha v. The FBI

Martha’s FBI: A group of smart people realize how dumb they have been. Stan and Aderholt morosely do the grunt work while Gaad gads about looking sad and lost. His career is over. The sucker punch is driven home when they find the marriage certificate. A KGB agent married Gaad’s secretary. They are shocked and bewildered.


FBI’s Martha: If they only knew the delicate garden path Martha was led down to arrive at this moment. One slow step at a time into the deep end of the pool. Probably some of the happiest steps in her life led her to some of the most devastating. It could happen to any of them. It probably will.

Notes and Such

  • They’ve dropped Directorate S. mentions quite often Rezidentura this season. Will the (hopefully) live Martha or the dead rat be the point of intersection? Both are heading to Moscow. Will Oleg finally meet Stan’s Other Man?
  • Tatiana and Oleg played travel agents. If Elizabeth and Philip go on the run, will Oleg and Tatiana be Stan’s new neighbors? Maybe he won’t recognizes Oleg in a wig.
  • Gaad wants Stan to use his weight with Oleg to get information on Martha, but Stan refuses. The second time the blackmail tapes were brought up.
  • The true latchkey kids drink beers and bond a little. Why not? They’re parents will never know.
  • The (replaced) operator asks Philip about her predecessor. Awkward. Let’s hope she lives to drink her borscht tomorrow.
  • So many pay phones this episode.
  • Again, no one sleeps.

Spotlight on Directing

  • The camera shots from Martha’s POV added to a sense of tension and confusion.
  • They took time and lingered on the depressing deconstruction of Martha’s apartment. It was so sad to watch and remember the happier, kama sutra times.
  • They used the same long shot of the bridge with Martha and with the FBI agents. Stan’s supposition she might have jumped mirrored our own concern
  • There were some beautiful, emotional shots this episode. Philip and Martha on the bed. Elizabeth in a mirror, with her wedding ring.


I Want to Know (aside from the obvious)

  • What’s going on with Young Hee?
  • Will we ever return to Anton Baklanov?
  • What’s on Pastor Tim’s mind?
  • Does Matthew know Henry is wearing his cologne?
  • Will Paige make the moves on Matthew?

Spy Baby

It’s growing


The Americans S4E7
  • 8/10
    Plot – 8/10
  • 9.5/10
    Dialogue – 9.5/10
  • 8/10
    Action – 8/10
  • 9.5/10
    Performances – 9.5/10


I must have sighed twenty times during this episode. It was so sad, so inevitable. I don’t know if it would have been easier on Martha if she died like Nina did. The performances were heartfelt and genuine. I don’t ever want to watch this episode again, but I’m glad it exists.

User Review
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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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