jae: (theamericansgecko)
[personal profile] jae posting in [community profile] theamericans
Aired:
11 April 2017 in the U.S. and Canada

This is a discussion post for episode 506 of The Americans, intended for viewers who are watching the show on the U.S./Canadian schedule. (Feel free to dive in to the discussion even if you're coming in late--and you should also feel free to start a new thread if it seems too daunting to read through what's already been posted first. If you're reading this at a point where you've already seen subsequent episodes, though, please take care to keep comments spoiler-free of anything that comes after season five, episode six.)

Original promo trailer

not really a review at all

Date: 2017-04-12 09:16 am (UTC)
theplatonicnonyeah: (Default)
From: [personal profile] theplatonicnonyeah
I'm still processing this one. There were a lot of emotions going around, as well as revelations.

Heaviest thing for me was Elizabeth asking: "Is there something wrong with me?"

One thing that slightly bothers be about the Mischa Jr story is why does he not question how Gabriel found him? Or maybe even who Gabriel is? Does he not fully understand what his mother was doing for a living?

Re: not really a review at all

Date: 2017-04-12 12:23 pm (UTC)
saraqael: (Default)
From: [personal profile] saraqael
Your questions about Mischa Jr cut right to why this particular plot didn't really work for me - although I did come to genuinely appreciate the character and sympathize with him. For me, what bothers me isn't so much whether or not Mischa Jr knew what his mother did for a living. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. I expect that he did know that Irina was KGB.

But let's say maybe he thought she was just an Aeroflot pilot or something similar that would explain her long absences from home all the time. And maybe she raised Mischa Jr to believe that his dad was either a defector who'd escaped to the West, or else some random American dude she had an affair with while she was in the US on (totally not KGB) work. Maybe she told him that his father was just some random one night stand and she didn't want to talk about it. Whatever he knew or didn't know, wouldn't Mischa Jr have been suspicious to discover that his mother (KGB or not) left him a whole box of amazing fake IDs and cash and instructions on how to find safe houses and passage through to the US, complete with a secret phone number to call once he got to DC? If he knew she was KGB and had disappeared, wouldn't he be concerned that the KGB might now be watching him? And if he thought that she was just some random Soviet citizen, wouldn't he wonder how she organized his escape to the West, up to and including secret phone numbers and codes to use once he got to America?

What really bothers me is not what Mischa Jr knew. It's that Irina knew that Philip was an undercover KGB agent. She had to have known that she was putting both Philip and Mischa Jr in grave danger with this half-baked scavenger hunt. She had to have known that this was a no-win situation for Philip (at minimum). She also had to have known that the KGB would intercept Mischa Jr the moment he phoned their call center using Philip's secret codes, thus making it all pointless. It made for a dramatic, emotional story, but logically none of it made any sense to me.

From a purely writing perspective, I don't think we've seen the last of Mischa Jr. His personal plot line feels incomplete to me. The season's overall 'damaged father/son relationship' story line still has more to reveal about Philip (as both son and as a father to sons). Maybe we'll find out more about what Mischa Jr knew or didn't know about his parents. Maybe the writers are making a meta point that Philip suffered emotionally his whole life because he never knew the truth about his father and now both of his sons are experiencing the same thing.
Edited Date: 2017-04-12 01:05 pm (UTC)

Re: not really a review at all

Date: 2017-04-12 05:27 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
What really bothers me is not what Mischa Jr knew. It's that Irina knew that Philip was an undercover KGB agent. She had to have known that she was putting both Philip and Mischa Jr in grave danger with this half-baked scavenger hunt. She had to have known that this was a no-win situation for Philip (at minimum). She also had to have known that the KGB would intercept Mischa Jr the moment he phoned their call center using Philip's secret codes, thus making it all pointless. It made for a dramatic, emotional story, but logically none of it made any sense to me.

Yes, which is unfortunately like everything about Irina in a nutshell. Everything she does seems to be some half-baked scheme that only make sense to her. She suffers, it seems, but she almost seems to want that for herself. The trouble is she keeps dragging all these other people with her. Her sending Mischa on that scavenger hunt (exactly the right word for it) is like the cherry on the sundae of all her other nonsense with Philip.

I swear it seems like Irina dedicated her life not to the USSR but to periodically messing up the life of some boy she met at a train station.

An emotional story

Date: 2017-04-15 04:41 pm (UTC)
lovingboth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lovingboth
Yes, the emotion it brought out in me was 'Argh!'

I'm not entirely convinced that it's over.

Re: not really a review at all

Date: 2017-04-12 05:25 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
I don't think there's any doubt that Mischa knew what Philip did. He understood he was calling a coded number and what Gabriel meant by saying it was too dangerous. He can easily guess that Gabriel found him by intercepting his message. It's not like he spoke to Philip directly, after all.

Re: Elizabeth

Date: 2017-04-12 10:06 pm (UTC)
saraqael: (Default)
From: [personal profile] saraqael
I thought it was quite important when Elizabeth told Gabriel that she thought there was something wrong with her. Poor dear does not know how to deal with all of the emotions she's feeling. She looked downright perplexed last week when she called Philip just to admit that she missed him. And on top of that she's exhausted from all of the stuff she has to do. Of course there's nothing wrong with her, it's just that she's still several steps behind Philip when it comes to coming to grips with her feelings.

And now kind Gabriel is leaving them and she'll be back to dealing with "emotions=death" Claudia. Bad timing for Elizabeth to start becoming more in tune with her softer side.

handler

Date: 2017-04-13 09:49 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treonb
I was kind of hoping we'll see a new handler, and not go back to Claudia

Re: handler

From: [personal profile] saraqael - Date: 2017-04-14 01:17 am (UTC) - Expand

QR's Somewhat Scattershot Review

Date: 2017-04-12 02:22 pm (UTC)
quantumreality: (americans1)
From: [personal profile] quantumreality
Henry's scene with Stan was amusing, especially with Stan teasing him about girlfriends.

Philip discovers some unpleasant truths about his father, and realizes why some of the kids in his hometown hated him. The blood on the boots at first made me think he'd stolen them off someone else, but now I realize he must have taken them off a dead prisoner and/or had to kick a prisoner hard enough to bleed :O

What I like about this series is that psychological and psychiatric methods are often used as a way to show how P & E need to find ways to deal with their jobs. They're "on" 24/7 and can't afford to make mistakes. They also can't afford to really talk to Gabriel or Claudia, who always have to keep one eye out for perceived ideological deviation. So Philip finds that EST helps him articulate his job stress, while Elizabeth, in fake talking to a psychiatrist, finds that sometimes internalizind everything isn't always the best idea.

The whole "smash cut next episode to Mischa getting off an Aeroflot plane in Moscow" really feels ridiculous and cheap to me. Why build up a season and a half of the Mischa Jr plotline only to unceremoniously drop him right back in the USSR?

Gabriel retiring is a surprise! Yet not unwarranted. He's getting old enough to deserve becoming Pensioner such-and-such.

The real shocker though has been Paige! I wonder what convinced Paige to let her parents introduce her to Gabriel. I really hope this doesn't blow up in all their faces.

Paige being a spy and a traitor is something that will require no half measures. She's either in it all the way or she's not. She can't dabble here and there anymore, not if she's going to meet Gabriel knowing he's the point of contact they have with the Soviet Union.

I felt kind of sorry for Elizabeth in that bedroom chat scene with Paige. Paige wants to believe that the USSR is actually putting into practice Karl Marx's ideas, but Elizabeth is so out of touch with 1980s-era Soviet realities she can't do more than answer in vague generalities.

Re: Paige meeting Gabriel

Date: 2017-04-12 05:30 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
The real shocker though has been Paige! I wonder what convinced Paige to let her parents introduce her to Gabriel. I really hope this doesn't blow up in all their faces.

Why would she have to let them? I imagine they just said they had someone who was important to them that they wanted her to meet and she was more than glad to do it. She'd be curious and she wants to be close to him. This guy is basically her grandfather. I don't think there's any sense that they're bringing her to him as some sort of initiation into spying, even if that's also what it is. Plus Gabriel's going away, so there's not really much danger in her knowing him. He's just some old guy with a fake first name who used to live in this one apartment.

Re: Paige meeting Gabriel

Date: 2017-04-12 10:16 pm (UTC)
saraqael: (Default)
From: [personal profile] saraqael
I almost think that Elizabeth and Philip are bringing Paige to meet Gabriel out of love and respect for Gabriel, not so much as part of recruiting her (though there is that, too). Gabriel is leaving them. They have a complicated emotional relationship with Gabriel. He's so proud of them and admitted how much he is going to miss them. I think they view each other as a sort of family, not just as handler/officers, boss/staff. They want him to be able to meet their daughter who, even if not fully committed to the cause, is at least sympathetic to it. So far as Paige is concerned, it's almost like giving her a grandfather figure.

And yeah, because nothing is simple on this show, there's also the recruitment angle to consider. The use of the Peter Gabriel song was an unsubtle hint that Paige is losing her religion in favor of this new ideology. They're bringing her one step further into the fold of true (socialist) believers and presenting just about the most sympathetic role model for her possible. Can you imagine this same scene playing out, but substituting Claudia for Gabriel? The dynamics would be completely different.

Re: Paige meeting Gabriel

From: [personal profile] sistermagpie - Date: 2017-04-13 04:44 pm (UTC) - Expand

Sistermagpie's First Thoughts on Crossbreed

Date: 2017-04-12 07:29 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
Oleg is getting really good at standing and brooding in Moscow. They should make a statue of him doing that. In general, loving Oleg and his mom. He and his dad are more at odds. But then, so is everybody and their dads.

Love how the show continues to circle around the scattered fathers and sons of Philip's psyche even while Elizabeth is able to get more to the point of things with Paige. Though Paige continues to be the most weirdly uninformed teenager in 1984 on the subject of the USSR. I mean, I get that she isn't going to just swallow the most extreme anti-Soviet rhetoric, fine. But she's really ready to just ask her mother if everyone is equal in the Soviet Union? You know, Orwell is commonly assigned reading in high schools, at least it was at that time. Some are more equal than others, Paige. I know she's always been drawn to authority figures but is she okay with police states? Does she know Pastor Tim would be arrested more seriously there?

Also, her answer about how she felt about Marx being anti-religion still felt a little off to me. She felt great at her baptism (echoing Marx's suggestion that religion is a drug) does not seem like the answer of someone who's supposed to have been seriously converted to Christianity.

It was sweet when she met Gabriel. Philip's being so difficult (mirroring Paige and her parents) over the past few seasons has really made him and Gabriel know each other, I think. Without that I doubt Gabriel would have opened up about his own regrets. Philip has now twice made the choice to put family emotional ties above everything--sending Elizabeth and Paige to Germany and now bringing Paige to Gabriel with Elizabeth. Gabriel sent Mischa back to the USSR in secret and now he doesn't feel he can stay.

Which made me sort of laugh, btw, the Mischa stuff. All that stuff about him showing up at the front door and having to tell Stan he's an exchange student and he's just sent back. Though maybe Gabriel will do something with him over there. Can't they do a tape exchange like with Elizabeth's mom?

Meanwhile, Philip remains COMPLETELY CLUELESS about the many flares his own kid is sending up. Even his half-hearted lecture about the Travel Agency petered out like the meaninglessness it was when Henry left the room so he could have a real conversation with Elizabeth.Like Philip didn't even feel the insult Henry tried to lob at him. It was never so clear how much of an act Philip puts on with Henry. And it was a good act when he was a kid. Philip gave him a constant, pleasant presence when he was a kid. The dad jokes aren't cutting it now. That happened with Paige too, so let's hope a confrontation is coming.

I mean, it's not that Philip doesn't care. He's shown curiosity about turns-out-to-be-girl Chris. But his whole relationship with Henry is based on being a bland suburban dad and nothing. else. He's not getting that Henry's totally picked up on what he thinks is favoritism and that he thinks his parents think he's worthless. Something he actually complained about to Stan this week. Stan, the cool uncle who just always tells Henry he's awesome.

Yet even in their little chat Stan tries to pump Henry about Matthew/Paige and Henry complains about his parents. Neither is talking to the person they really want to be talking to--even while still genuinely liking each other.

Also note that Henry, as ever, does not give Stan any information. He just says he doesn't talk to Paige about that stuff. Which is quite possibly true, but compare him to Paige when Elizabeth wonders aloud about Henry. She spite up every little tidbit of information she's got that might be useful.

Love the psychoanalysis stuff in this ep. Philip's flashbacks are like some 70s TV movie with the mystery they pose, and it's great that Elizabeth now helps him work through them. He'd basically worked it out before he even went to Gabriel, but I suspect there's still more to come. It was kind of sad that Philip comes to the realization of how sad it is that he didn't really know his parents at all and this leads to him and Elizabeth taking Paige to see Gabriel. Only Paige.

It's like they're parenting on two entirely different levels now. They parent Paige as their real selves, which is more complicated and interesting. With Henry they just strike the pose of suburban couple. Not that they don't care about it, but they're not sharing themselves when they do it. Now that they've gotten a taste of being able to be themselves with their kid, they're into it and less and less able to focus on the kid who lives in another world.

But then, where does that leave Henry? For me, I think he needs to meet them halfway. This show always amuses me in that it can make me agree with the most hardliner characters, but even though I can all-too-clearly see where Henry is coming from and I'm on his side, I can also see his parents' side. (Which is how it should be, if the writing's good.) Even Stan cheerfully said that nobody knew he was smart because he didn't work. Henry's often been presented as a kid who expresses resentment when his parents aren't there when he wants to be entertained, while not much caring about them when he doesn't. Stan is entertaining. Henry acts like a ladies' man with him, Stan backs that up and finds it amusing. He gives him junk food, sex talk, games and movies. There's nothing asked of Henry with Stan. This scene was sort of a throwback, but I wonder if it'll be less satisfying for them both.

I don't mean to sound harsh in saying Henry is shown "not caring about" his parents, like he's cold. I just mean that he actually is often absorbed in a video game rather than interacting with people. Last season, on the question of when Henry would be told, P&E said that was up to Henry, and that's more what I mean. He hasn't done anything to get himself a better relationship with his parents either. Even little attempts to ask about his life make him more resentful at this point. Which is understandable and very adolescent, but are probably not a good way to get close to them. Because it's not like he's actually confronting them directly, he's just being rude, usually about some petty thing in his own life--he doesn't care about the dumb travel agency, they weren't there to watch whatever TV thing he wanted, where's the Apple Jacks, there's not enough jam on his toast. I suspect if he really said how he was feeling he'd be a lot more insightful.

I'm interested as to where it will go, though. We had the EST guy saying the "love is there" if Philip let go of the roles he's playing, we have Philip saddened to realize he didn't know his own parents at all. Unbeknownst to him his first son wanted to know him and was prevented. Philip and Henry actually are both wanting a relationship with each other, they just don't know how to have it mostly because they are both playing roles with each other.

Henry

Date: 2017-04-12 09:12 pm (UTC)
soupytwist: Joan Watson working hard on a laptop (tap tap)
From: [personal profile] soupytwist
That whole discussion of Henry is great. I think that's exactly right: both Henry and Philip want a better relationship than they have, but they don't have an honest base to start from so it's getting increasingly difficult. Whereas with Paige, they DO have something solid to base it on.

"Crossbreed" obviously on one level refers to the wheat, but on another I think it refers to Henry. Henry is weirdly in the middle: he is a Jennings but he's also the one who doesn't know anything about what that means, he has secrets but doesn't realise his family have them too, he was spending so much time at the Beemans' it was like that was his home too. He's literally a mix of Russian genes and American culture even though he doesn't know it.

Some are more equal than others

Date: 2017-04-15 04:52 pm (UTC)
lovingboth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lovingboth
I did wonder at that point how many US schools had Animal Farm on their curriculum!

Lay Your Hands on Me-S506 review "Crossbreed"

Date: 2017-04-12 09:22 pm (UTC)
saraqael: (Default)
From: [personal profile] saraqael
Philip finding out that his father was a prison guard was a terrible shock for him. His latest memory of his mother washing the blood from the boots his father brought home instantly became even more sinister. Nothing that he thought he knew about his parents was true. For all we know, given what Oleg’s mother told him about women being taken off to prison camps and forced to do whatever they had to just to survive, it’s possible that Philip’s mother was also a prisoner at that camp who took up with Philip’s father under duration. They may not even have been really married, or if they were, it may not have been a marriage of love, merely convenience. I suspect that Elizabeth was correct in suggesting that the other kids who tormented Philip were the children of prisoners. What happened to Philip’s brother? Was he killed? Is that the real reason Philip killed the kid who was chasing him? I’m pretty sure that we’re going to see more of Philip’s memories surface, and that they aren’t going to be happy or easy to deal with.

Elizabeth can roll her eyes all she wants after talking to the psychiatrist about being mugged (while she’s casing his office). I’m entirely sure that she does wish that she could make everything like it was before the mugging happened and Paige saw her kill a man. Elizabeth herself is long past feeling any trauma from killing people, but Paige was surely traumatized. Elizabeth and Philip can continue to recruit Paige into the selfless, heroic glories of being socialist justice warriors, but at some point they’ve also got to reveal all the blood on their hands. I fear that there is going to be a reckoning at some point and it’s going to be ugly.

Henry’s back being his usual chatty self with his best buddy Stan. Stan isn’t at all surprised to learn that Henry is a math whiz because he's always known that Henry is smart (unlike Henry’s actual parents). Stan also jovially teases Henry about his latest crushes at school. Henry reveals that the ‘Chris’ he’s spending so much time at school with is a girl (who he just might be wanting to date). They share a completely happy, utterly relaxed, open and friendly meal. It’s almost too easy to compare this conversation and meal to the one we just saw between angsty Paige and Philip. (My life is hopelessly screwed up from all this garbage you guys dumped on me. I am doomed to be alone forever.) Also super easy to compare Henry’s ease and chumminess with Stan to the curt flippant way he talks to his actual parents. You know, I am starting to suspect that Henry is not up to any sort of secret misdeeds or hacking. I would not be at all surprised to learn that Henry wants to become an FBI agent, just like his best pal and hero, Stan Beeman. Wouldn’t the Jennings’ view that as the best opportunity ever to get a double-agent inside the FBI? Wouldn’t Henry be crushed if his parents ended up arrested or got sent back to Russia (willingly or not), dragging him and Paige along with them?

I’m so, so, SO sad that Gabriel is leaving. At one point early on, I thought that he might just be the most dangerous person on the show. Turns out that he was just a very sweet, thoughtful, burned out old socialist with no hint of a personal life and still dragging around guilt from the things he did in the awful, early days of the Soviet era. This will leave the Jennings in the cold, hawk-like care of Claudia. God help them both. She already distrusts Philip and she’s intolerant of letting any emotional tie get in the way of the job. Gabriel’s warning that the Center never forgets and is always watching them for any sign of weakness was unsettling but true. Gabriel tolerated a lot of attitude from Philip because he knew, as Philip himself admitted to Elizabeth in this episode, that no matter how much Philip bitches, he will always come through and get the job done. Claudia, I fear, will not be so understanding. She’s not their kindly Commie grandma.

Other thoughts about the episode:
Apt choice of music for the end scenes with Oleg and Paige. “Lay Your Hands on Me” by Peter Gabriel (One of my favorites! I'm so glad they used this song.)
- Death of religion for Paige. She’s getting her new baptism into Soviet socialist ideology. “No more miracles, loaves and fishes.” Being baptized as a Christian was the happiest moment of her life, but this new ideology is taking that away from her. Pastor Tim clearly found a way to reconcile faith with politics, but the Soviets eliminated religion entirely leaving only political faith.
- For Oleg: “Watched on by the distant eyes - watched on by the silent hidden spies.” He truly is, as the song says, “living in the zone of the in-betweens.” He took an important step in trying to free himself from being in-between Russia and America when he burned the blackmail tape, but I don't know if he'll ever truly be free of the threat of being watched and blackmailed by Western agents because he made the 'mistake' of becoming friends with Stan.

Elizabeth seemed ‘softer’ to the lab guy (sorry, blanking on his name). I fear that she’s dropping her emotional guard with this guy a bit and allowing herself to genuinely enjoy having sex with him because she found out that he’s a good guy. She's probably not even aware that she is allowing herself to be 'soft' with him. We saw how guilt stricken she still is for what she did to Young-Hee. How on earth is she going to feel if she ends up having to kill this guy now?

Stan and Aderholt found a potential defector. I’m looking forward to seeing how this is going to play out, and if/how it’s going to affect the Jennings. Who is she and why is she important to the FBI?

Really loved the scene of Gabriel going alone to the Lincoln Memorial and then finally turning to gaze out across the Mall to the Washington Monument. Love even more that the scene was silent, and that the writers did not try to use words to spell out what Gabriel was thinking or feeling. It gave Frank Langella a moment to truly shine. He is a phenomenal actor. I don’t know what I’m going to miss more: Gabriel as a character or simply the joy of observing this master actor at work.
Edited Date: 2017-04-12 09:29 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
Stan isn’t at all surprised to learn that Henry is a math whiz because he's always known that Henry is smart (unlike Henry’s actual parents).

I think it's more like Stan's not surprised because this is the first time Stan's ever given a single thought to Henry's grades while his parents have been nagging him to study his whole life. His parents are not actually surprised his smart, they're surprised his been working hard in school suddenly.

I suspect that Elizabeth was correct in suggesting that the other kids who tormented Philip were the children of prisoners. What happened to Philip’s brother? Was he killed? Is that the real reason Philip killed the kid who was chasing him? I’m pretty sure that we’re going to see more of Philip’s memories surface, and that they aren’t going to be happy or easy to deal with.

I was wondering these things too. I don't even get the timeline. So Philip's father was at home from 1940-42 to father two children? When did he fight in the war? And how did Philip not get that this was why he was being persecuted? Or did he and he just doesn't remember?



saraqael: (Default)
From: [personal profile] saraqael
It's hard to make sense of Philip's timeline now because we (and Philip) are learning that what little we thought we knew about his past was not true. His father may never have fought in the war. He may have always been an NKVD/KGB officer who worked in the gulag system. The story is making a big point about the fact that Philip is only now starting to remember these awful things about his childhood. I could get all meta and speculate that Philip's amnesia about his childhood represents the Soviet's systematic amnesia about the dark side of their own history and ideology, but I'd rather just take Philip's story on simple face value.(For now, at least. I might get all meta and philosophical about it later if the mood strikes me.) Whatever he experienced was so bad that he blanked it out (including the brother he had but never remembered or spoke about until now). Since the show is now making of a point about bringing these memories to the surface, I assume that we will find out more about him. They've circled back around to his memories about being attacked by the other children in town and of him killing one of his assailants, so I'm assuming that we're going to learn about that.

Re: Lay Your Hands on Me-S506 review "Crossbreed"

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Re: Lay Your Hands on Me-S506 review "Crossbreed"

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Re: Lay Your Hands on Me-S506 review "Crossbreed"

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Re: Lay Your Hands on Me-S506 review "Crossbreed"

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Re: Lay Your Hands on Me-S506 review "Crossbreed"

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Re: The Unknown Brother

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Re: Henry

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Re: Henry

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soupytwist: Miranda Otto dancing (dancing crazy)
From: [personal profile] soupytwist
Well, we learned some stuff this week! Mostly that more or less everyone on this show is traumatised. There was a lot of explicitly thinking about trauma and how we process it, too. EVERYONE NEEDS THERAPY OMG. Except not from the guy Elizabeth went to see.

(Elizabeth being SO good at putting the truth into a lie will never stop creeping me out a bit. I find that so much harder to deal with than Philip's ability to turn the lie into his own kind of truth.)

The stuff about Philip's dad made me think about the way Philip insisted that he would do his job, that he always HAS done his job. I wonder if that's one of the things that was making him sad about the revelations: the knowledge that his dad was doing a job, too.

Paige really does ask ridiculously naive questions, but I got the feeling that what we were meant to take from that was that she's actually quite into Marx and also ending up SEEING GABRIEL, whaaaat. The actual reality of life in the USSR is a FANTASTIC question that she SHOULD be asking, it's just that she is not going to get a useful answer to that by asking Elizabeth. I wonder if she's going to ask Gabriel about that.

I have no idea what to think about the Misha Jr storyline, cause, well, surely that CAN'T be it? What? Gabriel going back to Russia is an interesting idea though: especially that Philip IMMEDIATELY jumped to the idea it's his fault, and Gabriel said no while also making it clear that Philip has been worrying basically everyone for quite a while now. I feel like the "living in a new build in Tampa" ending just got a lot more likely.

I wonder what Gabriel thinks he means by "I've never lied to them". Cause, Gabriel, dude, I'm pretty sure you have, in fact, lied to them. Especially if you include withholding information. That's part of your JOB, even: deciding what info agents should have, what is relevant and what's worth risking and what isn't, is part of the work! True you haven't been hiding the existence of Philip's secret first son before, but really?

Elizabeth's wig budget has seriously gone up, or she's got better at picking them. She is also surprisingly good at tai chi. Nice one, Elizabeth.

I have no idea how the travel agency makes any money whatsoever, and also their chairs are TERRIBLE. They will all have back problems within, like, minutes.

Next week should be INTERESTING!
quantumreality: (americans1)
From: [personal profile] quantumreality
I have no idea how the travel agency makes any money whatsoever, and also their chairs are TERRIBLE. They will all have back problems within, like, minutes.

Heh! I have often mentally snarked that their photocopier and toner budget must be astronomical. :P Also yeah, those chairs are pretty cheap garden variety 1980s-era business chairs.

Jae has pointed out that "illegals" were actually quite well-paid by the KGB (probably, I assume, paid in cash via dead drops). It stands to reason P&E probably launder that money through the travel agency, and that's the apparently legitimate source of their income. As long as they pay their taxes on time, who's going to connect a travel agency to secret KGB spies?

The travel agency

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Re: The travel agency

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Re: The travel agency

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Re: The travel agency

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Re: The travel agency

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Treon's thoughts

Date: 2017-04-13 10:05 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treonb
* I can't believe Mischa just went back, and I can't believe the KGB just allowed him to have his own job back. He's a known trouble-maker who is threatening one of their main assets in the US. Does Gabriel really believe that they'd just let him go?

* As for Philip's revelations, it's really depressing. I don't buy the "we're just nobodies" line. Until now we saw Philip as the victim, but now we learn that he (or his father), were the perpetrators. I don't know if or why guards really weren't paid enough to feed their families, but in any case, Philip was not hounded by gangs for nothing. Philip killed children whose only crime was doing their little part in standing up to state persecution, possibly against their own parents.

* The episode was full of unanswered questions.

Elizabeth: Are you fine?
Philip: Are you? (at this point I actually thought the big reveal would be that he's Jewish)

Paige: Is everybody equal?
Elizabeth: We have our problems. But everybody is in it together.

Philip: So, you're not keeping anything from me?
Gabriel: It's time for me to go.

* I didn't get the part with the key - was Elizabeth preparing a key for later?
Edited Date: 2017-04-13 10:10 am (UTC)

Re: Treon's thoughts

Date: 2017-04-13 04:59 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
* As for Philip's revelations, it's really depressing. I don't buy the "we're just nobodies" line. Until now we saw Philip as the victim, but now we learn that he (or his father), were the perpetrators. I don't know if or why guards really weren't paid enough to feed their families, but in any case, Philip was not hounded by gangs for nothing. Philip killed children whose only crime was doing their little part in standing up to state persecution, possibly against their own parents.

That seems an odd way to describe it even if they were the sons of prisoners. Philip's father would have been dead for years by the time those kids were beating him up and he didn't even know he was a guard. Seems more like they were just perpetuating a feud or getting revenge. (We don't know how Philip's family was living after he died--maybe mom married another guard?) Philip himself doesn't seem to have realized he was a tool of the state. Unless he's blocked it out.

In any case, that was a pretty ironic ending for them if that's what they did. They picked out a kid several years younger than they were to fight back against the state and the kid, without any help from the KGB, beat their brains out.

* I didn't get the part with the key - was Elizabeth preparing a key for later?

Yes, she was "sooting" the key, putting soot on it that would get rubbed off when she put it in the lock. That would mark it to make a copy later.

Philip's past

From: [personal profile] treonb - Date: 2017-04-13 06:13 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Philip's past

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Re: Philip's past

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Re: Philip's past

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Cosmetics lady

Date: 2017-04-13 10:33 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treonb
First of all, I have a feeling that Elizabeth's lesson is going to come back and bite her. "we weren't gonna buy anything, being nice would just be a waste of her time." At some point, Paige might apply that to her life.

Second, was she really selling cosmetics? If Stan's girlfriend is a secret agent of some type, this might be an attempt to check out the neighbors.

Re: Cosmetics lady

Date: 2017-04-13 05:00 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
I think she was totally selling cosmetics. Elizabeth used to be a Mary Kay salesman and probably recognized the whole pitch (and was horrified to have it show up at her house like a ghost of the past). Stan's girlfriend doesn't need to check out the neighbors that way, she already went out to dinner with Elizabeth.
Edited Date: 2017-04-13 05:00 pm (UTC)

Re: Cosmetics lady

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Re: Cosmetics lady

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Re: Cosmetics lady

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Re: Cosmetics lady

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Date: 2017-04-13 05:17 pm (UTC)
shapinglight: (The Americans)
From: [personal profile] shapinglight
Like others, I can't believe that's the last we'll see of Mischa Jnr, given how much TV time was spent on getting him to the US in the first place. I also find it hard to believe that all this 'they're giving him his old job back' stuff is true. It wouldn't in fact have surprised me if Oleg had walked past him in one of the cells on his way through the prison. We'll see, I suppose, but I think there'll be some connection down the line, even if it's just between Mischa Jnr and Gabriel.

Has it been widely known that Frank Langella is leaving the series? If he is?

A very interesting episode anyway, though I found it rather disjointed at times, and the scene at the psychiatrist's office confused me. Why did Elizabeth break in there, or did I just misunderstand the scene?

Date: 2017-04-13 06:55 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
A very interesting episode anyway, though I found it rather disjointed at times, and the scene at the psychiatrist's office confused me. Why did Elizabeth break in there, or did I just misunderstand the scene?

Elizabeth "sooted" the key--put soot on it. Then she used the key in the door. That marked the key so that she could make a copy of it later.

I think at this point they might just think it's better for them to keep Mischa Jr. in a regular life at home for Philip.

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] shapinglight - Date: 2017-04-13 09:19 pm (UTC) - Expand

The Shrink and the Key

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Re: The Shrink and the Key

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While watching (not quite so late) thoughts

Date: 2017-04-14 10:27 pm (UTC)
lovingboth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lovingboth
We know neither of them are being honest, Again.

If she is being watched, they're being very obvious.

'You're softer today' works, the 'whole other you I know nothing about' doesn't. The tongue thing is somewhere in the middle - particularly as she's honest about not doing much to relax.

Pity the show wimps out and the 'naked' people have clothes.

I wonder if Tai Chi will be her EST.

'Is he ever?'

Of course Gabriel has lied to them before. Hasn't he?

Finding the money was going to work better than trying to threaten his son. Bonus points for not replying 'that's what we're trying to find out'.

Not very good photos... Two new assets.

Ha, the cosmetics caller is bringing back the memories for Elizabeth.

Some days you can't even betray your motherland... I wonder if he will ever know why.

What a nice way to get details of a lock.

Another use of the partial truth from her.

Ah, it is a female Chris. Are those two ever more talkative than when they're together?

Pointed dramatic irony of Philip finding out more about his father from Gabriel, after Gabriel has stopped Philip's son finding out about him.

Lovely bleak look on Philip's face.

'My' country, rather than 'our'. Another tough question in this episode. Spoiling the moment by the book tip.

We've had Peter Gabriel before, haven't we?

I wonder why he didn't do that much earlier - it's not as if keeping the tape in particular had any benefits. Does he think he has any risk of being the one in the cell?

Page is looking worried... Ah, she's being introduced to Gabriel officially.

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