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

This is a discussion post for episode 512 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 twelve.)

Original promo trailer

While watching thoughts

Date: 2017-05-24 02:53 pm (UTC)
lovingboth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lovingboth
From the 'had enough' of Elizabeth in the 'previously', straight to Pastor Tim's optimism. Who has indeed been offered a job far away, in (very newly democratic) Argentina.

ROFL at his comment that he's been 'down there' before because he went to Ecuador. Both countries speak Spanish, right?

Oooh, another 'had enough' moment as Paige drops her crucifix in the bin. And Elizabeth doesn't go 'You can believe, if you want!' but says she has to wear it until he's gone. Philip doesn't look that impressed with her doing that.

I like that the programme uses 'PNG' ('persona non grata', the phrase used when kicking a foreign diplomat out) without explaining it.

They're on the right track with Oleg, aren't they?

Bringing your boyfriend along to meet your handlers is Not A Good Idea.

I like the looks on Stan's face with 'people fall in love' and when they're given the signed photo of a team they don't really know. And the pair's reaction when told he's against war.

Cut to another uncomfortable meeting with a handler. Another great reaction, this time from Elizabeth when Claudia talks about taking the kids to the motherland, and when Claudia talks about not telling Henry until they're there.

Oleg's disillusionment is increasing by the case.

Quietly working on cutting coupons, then a 'it's working..' look from Elizabeth, before getting to work herself with an ironic 'the fathers don't always know what's right' speech.

The boss is, for once, right even if Stan isn't happy.

Unsurprising answer from her, given her comment about doing what you have to.

Doesn't look a particularly practical compass, and now they're asking Tim about whether to take the kids?! Love Elizabeth's response to his 'To..?' Not taking them would be bad, but taking them would be appalling, so Tim's suggestion is effectively 'keep on spying until they're older'. (Could they retire from their real work, but stay TAing in the US until Henry is a bit older, then leave for Russia with a cover story?)

Oh hi Henry, we were just talking about destroying your life... and Paige picks up on it.

Still not convinced by the Mischa Jr storyline, but they're persisting with it. What did 'the brother' have to say to get a 'take as long as you like' meeting during work? Or isn't Mischa Jr in a real job?

Henry's still in the house! Soundproofing must be good. Paige goes to naive again - why would they know much or care at all about whose identities they were given?

Mixed news for Oleg - the lower level of the food crime organisation is spared, but the higher is protected by someone on the Central Committee. Then his father can't get the wood, erm, steel. And is more cynical than he is. (And who knows not to ask questions sometimes.)

Pointed shot of Oleg's mother cooking in the kitchen as he goes out.

'.. after she got used to things'.

'What about you?' as if the last episode hadn't happened.

Paige getting into solo self-defence work.

'Tonight he's going to slit his wrists.. What?!?' to another great reaction. 'Even if he dies' - Philip and Elizabeth really are going to give up this work. It's still a bit odd that this is a step too far for them though, given what they have done.

(Very 80s synth work on the soundtrack.)

I like that they have to put on a 'Brad.. honey.. please..' act for people to see when going walking to the house, not least because there is a real argument going on.

Ah - someone is watching and this has all been setting up for an even bigger cliff-hanger in the second half of what's very much a double episode.

QR's Weekly Review

Date: 2017-05-24 11:12 pm (UTC)
quantumreality: (americans1)
From: [personal profile] quantumreality
- Paige and the necklace WHAT THE HELL :O

- Elizabeth reminds her the Pastor's still around though.

- Oleg always slouches.

- Hockey guy Gennadi crashes the party. Hmm. This could go sideways.

- Ah yes, and now the negotiating squeeze just to disarm them.

- It was really amusing to see Proxy Snyder Agent Wolfe lecturing Stan. I always keep thinking he's the at best weaselly semi-competent leader of a puppet regime, instead of as an accomplished agent with a head for long-game chess moves.

- "People don't usually regret coming home" pfff Claudia who are you kidding plz

- Tuan's plan bears its poisonous fruit.

- I'm not sure why P&E are doing the Pastor Tim thing. The goal is to shuffle him off to Argentina without pinging his radar. O.o

- OMFG WHEEZING Henry and Chris look like they could be siblings X'D

- "I'm Mischa's brother" WAAAAAAAAAAAT. :O

- Paige gets a lesson on spycraft via basic identity theft.

- Wheeew, someone on the Central Committee is part of the food bribery network :O

- And Oleg's dad finds out the Five-Year Plan won't let hin indent for the steel for the Baikal-Amur line for at least two years.

- A very long discussion about the problems of corruption in the Soviet Union.

- Paige trains!

- Tuan dude WHAT THE HELL THAT IS NOT OKAY.

- This, Tuan, is why impulsiveness is a bad idea.

- I really want to smack that little smirk off Tuan's face as they walk. :|
Edited Date: 2017-05-24 11:38 pm (UTC)

People don't usually regret coming home

Date: 2017-05-25 08:37 am (UTC)
lovingboth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lovingboth
I did love the 'usually' in that, but I can believe that - despite the state of what they're going back to - many illegals would not.

Amongst the things I like about the programme is that it hasn't had a discussion about the problems of having to pretend that you don't understand Russian in a context where being seen to do so could very easily end in personal (as well as mission) disaster. The end of that stress is going to be very welcome for a lot of people, even without being very uncomfortable with some of the things you've been asked to do.

My review

Date: 2017-05-25 04:50 am (UTC)
selenak: (The Americans by Tinny)
From: [personal profile] selenak
The episode had two ZOMG moments for me. One of which expected but one wasn't.

I mean, not that I knew Tuan would talk Pasha into slitting his wrists, but it was clear that storyline was going somewhere truly bad - actually my suspicion had been Pasha would snap and would attack his father/parents physically, but I suppose the show has already done "kid kills his family due to spy meddling" with Jared in season 2, so it won't do that scenario again, though of course Jared's motivation was different.

So while the cliffhanger and the last sequence was suspenseful and shocking, it wasn't completely unexpected. No, what was completely unexpected for me were Philip and Elizabeth actually asking Pastor Tim for advice with no ulterior motive I could discern, and informing him about a key fact while they were at it. (That they're seriously considering extraction. Though I suppose with Tim it doesn't matter in that he knows their identities, so IF he talks that's the big one anyway.) Where does that come from? When did they start to see Pastor Tim as an actual competent advice giver re: their family?

...Maybe when they read his secret opinions on their situation, "monstrous acts" and all? Hmmm.

Anyway. Over in Russia, Oleg's storyline at last moves on as well; as expected, now that the corruption investigation has reached higher levels, his superior gets the expected slap down, while Oleg is also being investigated, and for something he actually is guilty of (providing Stan with the intel he got from Tatiana), not something cooked up by state paranoia. He also has one of these bonding, opening our hearts to each other conversations with his father which by the rules of tv signal one of them is about to die very soon. I'm afraid it's going to be Oleg, because I can't see his storyline going anywhere else. He won't be transferred back to the US, since after that William related intel, he didn't provide the Americans with anything else, the US has no reason to ask to trade him, and he's made no arrangements to flee on his own. Granted, I think the show will continue to show us a subplot in Russia to contrast/parallel the Soviet Union falling apart with our antiheroes' lives in the US, but I suspect that plot will be given to Mischa Jr. now, with his newly introduced uncle (more in a second). Otherwise what was the point of the Mischa subplot earlier this season anyway? Meeting Gabriel can't have been it.

Re: the uncle - so Philip has a brother with children. I wonder whether he even knows about the kids, since as opposed to Elizabeth's messages from her mother he doesn't appear to have been in contact with his relations. My guess is that Gabriel told the brother about Mischa Jr., from the same impulse that made him look up Martha (and be rebuffed). Methinks we're about to learn Philip's original last name soon, especially there's also P & E dialogue referring to it, i.e. Elizabeth saying "well, they (the children) should take your last name" instead of Jennings.

(BTW: loved her smile when Philip asks "just the kids"?)

Paige asking where the Elizabeth and Philip Jennings identies came from and whether they consider themselves Elizabeth and Philp now was definitely a "Paige asks a fandom question" moment, though entirely fitting for her. I'm intrigued that Philip, not Elizabeth - who usually is the more Russian-identy affirming person in this marriage - says after they both said yes to the later that he still misses his original name. It fits with him being plagued by flashbacks to his early cihldhood he can't understand anymore and wanting to find out about his father, in a way, as well as wanting a Russian marriage ceremony for Elizabeth and himself - trying to find/remember who he was before Philp Jennings and not feeling complete without that part of himself.

Now, about the concluding sequence: earlier, Henry surprised his parents with a prepared dinner. (And btw, I think it's glaringly apparent that in the unlikely (by tv rules) event all four of the Jennigs clan makes it back to Russia, Henry, who worked his way into an elite school - just as his father worked his way into a the Illegal program by being smarter than anyone, according to Mischa's brother - and adores the FBI, would hate it there.) Paige, relieved that Pastor Tim is leaving, dumps her cross into the waste (and is surprised by Elizabeth fishing it out but can understand the reason when Elizabeth says "you have to wear it until he's gone"). And Tuan, told earlier by Elizabeth this whole "driving Evgenia to go back to Russia on her own with Pasha by bullying her son" thing isn't working as intended (because Evgenia suffers, but doesn't respond by taking the bait of punishment free return as offered by Tatiana last episode), surprises his "work parents" with a new and disastrous ploy. There is an "aren't you please by what I did?" element in all three, though strongest in Tuan, who can't understand why he's not complimented for the result. And without taking responsibility from Tuan - this is in a way the ultimate and logical consequence of teaching a teenager that manipulating people and causing them distress is a valid form of heroism.

When I watched the cliffhanger scene, btw, I thought Philip, Elizabeth and Tuan were passing Pascha's house after having spotted the surveillance who spotted them, but by now I've seen reviews with the assumption they haven't reached it yet? Either way, it ratches up the stakes from "are P & E willing to risk a teenager dying" (to which the answer was "no, they're heading over to stop it) to "are P & E willing to risk getting captured to save said teenager?", and with that, we're left to wait for next week.

Talking to Tim

Date: 2017-05-25 08:25 am (UTC)
lovingboth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lovingboth
I can see it - he's the one who knows their biggest secret, and they know he's not particularly happy with its effects on their children (obviously particularly Paige, but Henry's an issue too).

So talking to him about ending the secrecy is a reasonable thing to do. It's not going to lead to an increase in danger for them, and he might have some clues. It's what he's paid to do, for a start.

As it turns out, he does have an idea that's not as bad as going 'home' without them or taking them, especially Claudia-style! ('Well, here we are on our holiday to the Soviet Union.. by the way Henry, we're not ever going back, because we're actually Soviet spies. Sorry you'll miss the first - and every other - day at your dream school, but here's a Russian for Beginners book, you'll need it...')

Taking Henry 'home'

Date: 2017-05-25 08:31 am (UTC)
lovingboth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lovingboth
There is zero way he would accept it. If Philip and Elizabeth do it, they have learnt nothing from the effects on Paige.

Re: Taking Henry 'home'

Date: 2017-05-25 08:45 am (UTC)
quantumreality: (americans1)
From: [personal profile] quantumreality
If the Centre has any smarts they'll wait to extract Philip and Elizabeth when Henry's at boarding school, and make a deal to send Paige to a Finnish university after they land in Moscow.

Re: My review

Date: 2017-05-25 08:43 am (UTC)
quantumreality: (Default)
From: [personal profile] quantumreality
Tuan honestly scares me. I seriously think in other circumstances he'd easily have become a gang boss or serial killer.

Tuan

Date: 2017-05-26 10:02 am (UTC)
lovingboth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lovingboth
An assassin perhaps - there's the wonderful line in Grosse Pointe Blank about 'my psych profile fit a certain... "moral flexibility" would be the only way to describe it' and Tuan has that.

But would a mob boss or serial killer go on to talk about teaching the victim self-defence once the job's done? I don't think so.

Re: Tuan

Date: 2017-05-26 09:02 pm (UTC)
quantumreality: (Default)
From: [personal profile] quantumreality
I don't know. That said, Tuan has a weird kind of doublethink going on here: on the one hand he's actively instigating violence against Pasha while musing that he should teach Pasha how to fight. Which, IDK??? It feels like the same kind of cognitive dissonance that leads to absurd pronouncements like Yzma's in Emperor's New Groove: "You should've thought of that before you became peasants!"

Re: Philip missing his old name

Date: 2017-05-25 05:44 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
Yeah, I think he's just instinctively thought in that scene that it was wrong in that moment to say that yes, this is who they were now, as if validating the idea it's permanent. He's not just Philip Jennings now.

Re: My review

Date: 2017-05-25 05:41 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
Methinks we're about to learn Philip's original last name soon, especially there's also P & E dialogue referring to it, i.e. Elizabeth saying "well, they (the children) should take your last name" instead of Jennings.

IMDB actually already revealed it. It seems the Mischa Jr. has Philip's last name, because his brother has the same name. They're spelling it Semenov. Which would be actually pronounced, I think, Sem-YO-nov.

(BTW: loved her smile when Philip asks "just the kids"?)

That's unusual, apparently too. Like it's not just her saying they're married.

(And btw, I think it's glaringly apparent that in the unlikely (by tv rules) event all four of the Jennigs clan makes it back to Russia, Henry, who worked his way into an elite school - just as his father worked his way into a the Illegal program by being smarter than anyone, according to Mischa's brother - and adores the FBI, would hate it there.)

I think they'd both hate it--especially since Henry would be learning the truth as well, but I can see Henry adapting and winding up with the kind of life he wants either way, actually. One of the things I feel like is going on with him right now is he's finding himself the same way Paige did around his age by trying out different people to be. Only where Paige was mostly herself with new beliefs, Henry more adjusts himself to different lives he could have that he finds attractive.

Re: My review

Date: 2017-05-26 12:56 am (UTC)
quantumreality: (americans1)
From: [personal profile] quantumreality
Henry adapting and winding up with the kind of life he wants either way

Let's see, it's 1984/5 in show-verse time, so Henry's got 5 years-ish to build the kind of connections he needs for when Russia goes Wild West, economically speaking, after 1992.

Could easily see Henry racking up a pile of cash and then booking it back to the USA to live in a gated community somewhere.
Edited Date: 2017-05-26 12:57 am (UTC)

Re: My review

Date: 2017-05-26 10:05 am (UTC)
lovingboth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lovingboth
If anyone's making a pile of cash, it's Oleg.

Re: My review

Date: 2017-05-26 09:07 pm (UTC)
quantumreality: (Default)
From: [personal profile] quantumreality
Oh, granted; anything Henry will do will be chump change compared to Oleg, but I wouldn't be surprised if Henry walks off with a few million bucks just by being in the right place at the right time.

Date: 2017-05-25 01:19 pm (UTC)
saraqael: (Default)
From: [personal profile] saraqael
I'm of two minds about this episode. There were good, insightful moments but also times when the characters did or said things that were too 'on the nose' because the writers wanted to make a point.

Best moments for me:
#1. Tuan's plan to kick-start the Mazarov operation by convincing Pasha to slit his wrists. Whether Pasha lives or dies is completely irrelevant. It's a win/win plan either way! I loved every single thing about this scene, from Tuan's confidence in his perfect plan, to the end when Philip went storming out of the house to save Pasha, followed quickly by Elizabth and Tuan, and all in full sight of the observant FBI agent who they all knew was parked around the corner watching everything. After all they've done and said, will it be Philip's concern to save someone else's son that is the mistake that leads to their eventual downfall? Maybe.

#2. Claudia telling the Jennings that she'll work with the Center to extradite them. It'll take two to three years for them to adjust back to life in Russia - longer for the kids of course, but it'll be so great! Just don't tell Henry what's happening until after they get there! Don't want him fussing about it beforehand (and potentially flipping out and blowing their cover).

You know, I actually believe that Claudia was sincere and that she'll try to get the Jennings sent back to Russia. What I find so fascinating is the way she casually tells them that it will take them 2-3 years to get used to living in Russia again. That is a damn long time. It's a good reminder that these two Russian officers have now spent their entire adult lives living in America as Americans. Plus, if it will take these two Russians years to get used to living in Russia again, think about Martha and scale back any expectations that she'll be happily blending in and building a contented future for herself any time soon.

And then there was Claudia's throwaway tag line, "...longer for the kids of course." Philip and Elizabeth are about to do to their own kids exactly what the Mazarov's did to Pasha. We've seen how well that's working out. I've seen some viewer comments around the internet that appear to be really glossing over the magnitude of what this will do to Paige and Henry. Why, they'll be happy little Russians in no time flat! Just give them a couple Russian language lessons and they'll excel because they're such nice, smart, gregarious kids. Yeah...not so much. This will be horrible for them. Sure, they're not going to live in the jungle, but their futures will be irrevocably changed for the worse. This is the very thing that Philip said he wanted to avoid back in the first episode of this show. He wanted his kids to have a better future which would only be possible in the West. Now he's planning to take that bright future away from them because he wants to go back to his home. None of this will end well.

#3. Stan and Dennis reactions when Sofia waltzed in with her new fiance, the Soviet hockey star/intelligence courier. This was low key, comedy gold, 'The Americans' style. Noah Emmerich and Brandon Dirden played that scene so well.

#4. Mischa Jr. connecting with his uncle (Pyotr Semenov per IMDB). So now we know that Philip's brother is alive and well. Young Mischa's storyline was so bungled and pointless all season long that I wondered what the point of it all was meant to be. I'm still not sure, but at least he's tied into Philip's story in a more organic way now. I'm interested to see where this is going to lead.

Scenes that should have worked better, but just felt too forced and 'writerly' to me:

1. The Jennings seeking advice from Pastor Tim about the feasibility of taking the kids with them to Russia. I actually like Pastor Tim quite a bit as a character. I think he gave them wise counseling in this scene. When it comes to taking the kids to Russia, they are damned if they do, damned if they don't. It'll be hard for the kids because of their ages now [they're practically adults], but life is hard and parents can't shield their kids from all of the challenges life throws at them because that's just how life is. Whatever the Jennings decide to do, they'd better decide fast though, because in a couple more years those 'kids' will be legal adults and the Jennings will not legally be able to force them to leave the country. Right now, since the kids are still minors, the Jennings can do whatever they want.

2. "The Jennings are dead people!?! - Well, Philip Jennings is." Jeez writers. A little too heavy-handed with the symbolism and foreshadowing here, don't you think? Nothing about that scene worked for me, from Paige's bizarre announcement that she can finally sleep again to the whole, "Yeah, we're dead Americans but we miss being our own real live Russian selves, too."

Special mention to Oleg's entire storyline which has felt boring and dragged out more often than not (to me). Oleg and his dad had a warm, father/son bonding moment and then Oleg went out into the grim, lonely, cold, blue-lit empty streets of Moscow to stare off into the distance and brood. Can something please happen? Can he be arrested, or find out that his dad is involved in the food black market, or decide to join the resistance or ... something? I like Oleg. I'm glad he's been featured so much this season, but I hope that his entire plot line this season hasn't simply been exposition to show how dreary and corrupt life in the Soviet Union was in the 80s. That was apparent after just one or two episodes.
Edited Date: 2017-05-25 01:22 pm (UTC)

Moving to Russia

Date: 2017-05-25 05:52 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
And then there was Claudia's throwaway tag line, "...longer for the kids of course." Philip and Elizabeth are about to do to their own kids exactly what the Mazarov's did to Pasha. We've seen how well that's working out. I've seen some viewer comments around the internet that appear to be really glossing over the magnitude of what this will do to Paige and Henry. Why, they'll be happy little Russians in no time flat! Just give them a couple Russian language lessons and they'll excel because they're such nice, smart, gregarious kids.

Really? I've seen the opposite, people talking about them moving to Russia like it would be sending them to a planet without oxygen. Like how could any normal child be expected to adapt?

I mean, it would be horrible. It's horrible for Pasha. But there are plenty of kids who have done it and eventually flourished. So it's basically a really hard thing that's not impossible. People do this to their kids.

I actually appreciated Pastor Tim in this ep more than ever just because he didn't get hysterical over the idea and say it was just impossible. Maybe he's glossing over the difficulties too much. I get that it probably made for a better scene for him to only speak in these generalities that P&E could have said to each other, but really you'd think the reason they're asking him is to get his perspective as a former American teenager. Could he have handled it?

But this is a guy who probably believes in mission trips long term where parents take their kids out of their American lives and plunk them down into wildly different places.

The only place they really got into the nuts and bolts was in the car when Philip was like "Who will they talk to?" But that quickly got back to the name thing. They really haven't started thinking about this concretely yet.

Re: Moving to Russia

Date: 2017-05-26 12:59 am (UTC)
quantumreality: (americans1)
From: [personal profile] quantumreality
Also Pasha's being extra victimized by a cold-blooded intelligence plot to maneuver his parents back home. Absent that I think he'd be doing a lot better.

Re: Moving to Russia

Date: 2017-05-26 02:40 am (UTC)
saraqael: (Default)
From: [personal profile] saraqael
I wouldn't go so far as to say that the Jennings kids would 'flourish' in Russia. Even the native born Russians weren't flourishing and the political elites could still get a bullet in the brain if they stepped out of line. Taking the children to Russia was equivalent to robbing them of their future and replacing it with a very different, far more limited future.

At the same time, if that's to be their fate, so long as they are still minors, Philip and Elizabeth get to decide for them. I agree with you that they haven't really starting thinking through all of the realities they'll face, but they clearly are starting to think about it. As is fitting with the fact that the family is the foundation of this show, they are debating what the right decision would be for the kids. Take them? Leave them in the US? What they do with their American kids has always been the biggest open question on this show.

Re: Moving to Russia

Date: 2017-05-26 02:54 am (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
Just to be clear, I actually just meant that Henry could flourish as a person, not that he'd specifically have a flourishing life in Russia. He wouldn't have to stay there forever, but having picked up some skills he might live somewhere else. I wasn't picturing him being a Russian billionaire or anything.

Re: Moving to Russia

Date: 2017-05-26 10:18 am (UTC)
lovingboth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lovingboth
Obviously there's oxygen there and plenty of children do 'get migrated' by their parents for one reason or another.

Paige: might well go for it, partly out of curiosity. She's also closest to being 18 (how old is she supposed to be?) But assuming she gets to keep her US passport and is allowed to leave by the authorities, she's out of there when she sees the reality that Oleg has been discovering. In the US, she can protest against the unfairness, there she'll find out it's a ticket to a mental ward. It'll be a betrayal for her.

Henry: would be vastly more betrayed, because he'd have the 'we've been lying to you since birth' stuff that Paige has been adjusting to as well as having his biggest dream snatched away from him.. and for what?

About the only way I could possibly see Henry being even vaguely ok with it is if he goes to his dream school, sees what rich people's kids can be like and decides that the workers' revolution is inevitable by himself.

Philip and Elizabeth would be far better off going on another holiday with Paige, faking their deaths and leaving him to be adopted by Stan.

Re: Moving to Russia

Date: 2017-05-26 05:24 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
Philip and Elizabeth would be far better off going on another holiday with Paige, faking their deaths and leaving him to be adopted by Stan.

I wouldn't leave a goldfish to be adopted by Stan.

Re: Moving to Russia

Date: 2017-05-26 09:08 pm (UTC)
quantumreality: (americans1)
From: [personal profile] quantumreality
Stan's not the worst guy to be Henry's guardian, though actually Aderholt might be better.

Re: Moving to Russia

Date: 2017-05-27 01:54 am (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
There's a lot of people in the world worse than Stan, but he's still a single workaholic who wasn't able to show up for his visitation schedule with his own son. Why would anyone want to give him a teenager to raise? No reason Henry would have to live with a character on the show just because they're a character on the show. Stan adopting Henry would be like a sitcom ending.

Re: Moving to Russia

Date: 2017-05-27 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treonb
It's horrible for Pasha because he doesn't have friends, and his only friend is actually a Soviet spy whose only mission is to make his life so horrible, he'll force his parents to go back to Russia. But having no friends is not a given.

If P&E take their kids to Russia, they'll give up a lot of creature comforts, but the material life is not everything. The problem as I see it, is that we have not seen any indication that Russia has anything else to offer. Elizabeth is full of ideological zeal, but we don't see that in Russia itself.

That, and the fact that their parents raised them without any awareness of their Russian heritage.

Re: Moving to Russia

Date: 2017-05-27 09:29 pm (UTC)
quantumreality: (Default)
From: [personal profile] quantumreality
P&E will probably be given sinecures if they get back home and Henry & Paige will almost certainly be given preferential slots at any academic institute they want to go to, though. They are, after all, ideological heroes for going into the belly of the capitalist enemy, et cetera.

I wonder which of the two kids (Paige or Henry) would figure out how to work that to their own advantage more quickly, though.

Re: Moving to Russia

Date: 2017-05-27 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treonb
I don't see why the kids would be given preferential treatment than Martha. Their parents are heroes, but they themselves are suspect.

Re: Moving to Russia

Date: 2017-05-27 11:30 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
They're children of heroes--that would count. Especially since they're a family that would all be living together. Oleg gets special treatment because of who his father is.

Re: Moving to Russia

Date: 2017-05-28 07:28 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treonb
True, but Oleg's father is not a hero, he's a very powerful man. Like he told Oleg, he can now crush people. So it makes sense to be careful around a guy like that.

As much as Paige and Henry might be the children of heroes, why would the USSR trust them? They might get into good schools but they won't be trusted with sensitive info or going out of state.

Re: Moving to Russia

Date: 2017-05-28 02:39 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
I thought we mostly were talking about them just getting into good schools etc. If there was some question of them getting sensitive information presumably they'd be as trusted or not trusted as any other citizen who might or might not be trustworthy. And if they were leaving the country their family would be there as hostages.

Basically they wouldn't be trusted more than anyone else but they would have special status.

Re: Moving to Russia

Date: 2017-05-28 03:55 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treonb
I thought we mostly were talking about them just getting into good schools etc.

I'm looking ahead :-)

In any case, I think they'd be trusted far less than any other citizen. They pose a serious risk if they defect.



Re: Moving to Russia

Date: 2017-05-28 04:18 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
So does anybody who's got access to sensitive information in the USSR. I mean, Paige and Henry would basically know that their parents were Illegals, but those Illegals are now gone, and so is the one handler Paige met. She might also know some vague ideas about the wheat mission and that they were getting a weapon back in 1984 (but that weapon was stolen anyway).

Remember they've already trusted 15-year-old Paige with this information when she was living in the US and the parents were there too, so it's not like they'd never risk it.

cliffhanger

Date: 2017-05-25 10:10 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treonb
What is so dangerous about what Philip is doing? They're friends of the family, and their son just told them Pasha is thinking of committing suicide. Marching over is suspicious, but wouldn't it be natural to run over?


Re: cliffhanger

Date: 2017-05-26 10:20 am (UTC)
lovingboth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lovingboth
'Tuan told me to do it'?

Even without that, they're about to attract big attention to themselves and we don't know how good the airline cover is.

Re: cliffhanger

Date: 2017-05-26 04:30 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treonb
We know Tuan told him to do it. Pasha thinks Tuan suggested it as a ploy to get his parents to listen to him. Teenagers don't always think things through.

I accept that they might not survive too much police attention, though.

Re: cliffhanger

Date: 2017-05-27 09:30 pm (UTC)
quantumreality: (collider)
From: [personal profile] quantumreality
Also, isn't it a criminal offence to do or say something that could reasonably be understood as inducing someone else to harm themselves?

If so, Tuan done fucked up good.
Edited Date: 2017-05-27 09:30 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-05-31 08:42 pm (UTC)
shapinglight: (The Americans)
From: [personal profile] shapinglight
I watched this episode for the first time today just before watching the finale.

I now wonder if this may well be the last time we see either Mischa Jnr or Oleg.

I wanted them to do more with Mischa Jnr and am still puzzled that they actually went to the length of getting him to the US, only to send him back home straightaway. A bit of a waste of time, IMO. On the other hand, if this is the last time we see him, I'm glad he was able to connect with his father's family like he does in this episode. I also thought it was a nice touch that he stopped helping himself to more fish when he realised his aunt was not taking any for herself but instead giving it all to her husband, son and guest.

Oleg may well be back in season 6, but I had a sense of finality from his scenes in this episode. I'm just glad he had a good scene with his father first.

Date: 2017-06-01 02:36 am (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
On the other hand, if this is the last time we see him, I'm glad he was able to connect with his father's family like he does in this episode. I also thought it was a nice touch that he stopped helping himself to more fish when he realised his aunt was not taking any for herself but instead giving it all to her husband, son and guest.

That was great. But my feeling about him meeting the brother is the opposite. I'm really sick of getting stories about people who are technically related to Philip but not actually connected to Philip in any living way in place of backstory for Philip. I've now met a son, a brother, a sister-in-law, a nephew, a girlfriend and a girlfriend's dad. Only two of those people actually met the man at some point and only one of them gave an actual line of information about him.

Date: 2017-06-01 08:06 am (UTC)
shapinglight: (Philip and Elizabeth)
From: [personal profile] shapinglight
Well, we have learned who Philip's father was, I suppose? I agree it would be good to learn more about when he was (presumably) in his super-patriotic phase and when he lost touch with his brother. We know him only as this disillusioned man who is going through the (increasingly) repugnant motions because he can't see a way out.

Though you saying this makes me want to re-watch the show from the beginning again. I will try to do that before season 6 airs.

Philip's father

Date: 2017-06-01 04:59 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
But we didn't learn who he was. We learned he was a prison guard instead of a logger. No idea what his personality was like except that he occasionally played with his son. And he really died too early for Philip to form a clear relationship with him anyway.

Date: 2017-06-01 08:12 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treonb
interesting point about Mischa. Though it's very weird if all they wanted to show was that family is important and the reality you have is more important than the pipe-dreams you don't.

I'd expect the main characters to go through such a revelation, not somebody introduced just for that.

Date: 2017-06-01 12:20 pm (UTC)
shapinglight: (Philip and Elizabeth)
From: [personal profile] shapinglight
I'd expect the main characters to go through such a revelation, not somebody introduced just for that.

Yes, it still does seem a waste of screen time, all those scenes of his journey to the US. If this is the last we see of him, I'm going to assume the show writers had something different in mind when they began filming, then decided it wasn't going to work and felt this was the best way to finish off Mischa Jnr's story.

They don't do Q&A's do they?

Date: 2017-06-01 05:03 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
But it's not even like this was his family before he met them either. I mean, Mischa said he was going to the US because he "had to know." So he had to meet his father either to see him and just experience him or ask him something or whatever.

How does meeting a guy that shares his DNA but hasn't seen him in years and doesn't talk about him much help? Did he just want some family on his dad's side? If so that's fine, but it doesn't mean much to me. Unless I'm going to get to hear the brother tell stories that explain Philip to *me* I don't care about how Irina's stupid life decisions ended up.

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