The Americans

Episode Report Card
Joe R: B- | 6 USERS: A
The Spy Who Loved Me

While Nina unbuttons, Elizabeth (or whomever she's trying to be) is buttoning up. She's got an advantage now -- she could tell her "boss" about Schultz's personal business and make him not want to buy the company (though if sexual perversion were a reason for not doing business with someone, this country never would have gotten anything done) -- and she presses it. She goads Schultz into bragging about how his company if worth far more than it says on paper, largely due to classified work. She tells him she already knows about the encryption technology, but he's like, "The technology is one thing -- I figured out how to make it portable." Apparently the encryption devices fit right in the trunks of the FBI cars. He blusters that he wants $30 million for the sale, but of course he's going to have to charm some actual prospective buyer to get it.

Now Nina is buttoning up. Vasili goes to leave his office, but he turns and thanks Nina for comfort during a difficult time. So, yes, okay. Human beings -- the human condition -- we reach out for connections with people, desperately. It makes us vulnerable and desperate. Those human connections are rare enough that we're willing to compromise ourselves for them. GOT IT. Vasili then tells her the story of an agent he recruited 23 years ago. He calls the guy a "bureaucrat with a soul," even then. But now he's got the jitters. There's a funny bit of business where there's no Russian word for "jitters," so Vasili pantomimes them, because The Americans needs some GIF love too. (In truth, he looks more like a man in an electric chair, but so long as he's not on my team in charades, we're good.) Anyway, Vasili intends to calm this guy's jitters and assure him everything is okay. Nina asks if it actually is. Vasili doesn't answer her, instead just saying he hopes they can "meet again." She says "Of course," but after he's gone, she rinses the taste out of her mouth with a swig-and-spit of Vasili's old-fashioned brewed tea.

Elizabeth gets home and tells Philip that she got the intel, and they're going to need cars for the next step. She changes clothes, and when he sees the giant welts on her back, he freaks out. She doesn't explain what they're from, but he infers pretty quickly. He gets up, clearly in major Husband Mode and ready to defend his wife. For her part, Elizabeth doesn't want any part of it. "It happens sometimes," she tells him, not as a simpering excuse, but as a simple statement of fact from a woman who can take it. But Philip can't accept that. He puts on his shoes and prepares to go "deal with it." Elizabeth: "If I'd wanted to deal with it, don't you think it'd already be dealt with?" He's undeterred. She tells him she doesn't want him fighting her battles for her. He doesn't care. He marches down to the garage and retrieves a gun from his little weapons-'n'-wigs closet. (Where I refuse to believe the kids have never gone snooping for Christmas presents, by the way.) He's way more emotional about this than she is. He might even cry. She finally is like, "Cut it out. You are not my DADDY." He says, "No, I'm your husband" in a way that comes verrrry close to meaning, "So...same difference." He asks her -- accuses her, which is a great tactic -- what she thinks husbands do anyway. Elizabeth: "I wouldn't know." Seriously. Let your awesome spy wife be awesome, dude.

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The Americans




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