Previously on The Americans, ‘Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?’
Unexpected Covert Agents
Pastor Tim is at the travel agency to see Philip, and he wants to go on a trip. What’s more, he wants the Jennings to come with him. Philip declines and nosey Pastor Tim thinks Philip should treat Paige like an adult. Philip points out that he isn’t a father. Watch out, Pastor Tim. Philip schooled you once.
Henry is a spy. Or he’s a teenage boy. Hard to tell. He removes his Box of Secrets from under the floor of his closet. It’s filled with girlie pictures. He’s Henry, so one of the girlies is Mrs. Beeman. He ogles her for only a second before his bossy older sister (who gets all the screen time) calls him to dinner.
Philip-James picks up a very drunk Kimmy from a party and takes her home. She goes to the bathroom and he uses the opportunity to switch out tapes in the briefcase. He spots a sad-looking Kimmy in a photograph with her parents as he leaves. Back home, Philip wakes up Elizabeth and the two listen to the tape. The ISA is sending someone important to meet the CIA. Philip leaves to report in and try to contact Yousef in Islamabad.
The next morning he tells Elizabeth he didn’t have any luck in contacting Yousef. Their conversation is interrupted by Paige, who just happened to be in the city and dropped by for a visit. I lived outside of DC when I was Paige’s age. There is no way my parents would have let me go anywhere near the city without an adult. Then again, my parents weren’t Soviet spies. I think.
No Hotel Nookie. Yet.
Elizabeth, in a bobbed wig and a slicked-hair Philip are sipping wine at a hotel bar and waiting for the shift to change. They’re hoping for a female manager (so Philip can be the one to use his heteronormative moves), but no such luck. Bobbed Liz goes to check in.
Bobbed Liz asks the hotel manager, Neil, up to her room. But it’s just to show him a stain on the mattress. He apologizes and offers to comp her room for the night. She compliments him and bats her eyelashes. He picks up on what he thinks she’s putting down and asks her to dinner. She declines, he’s embarrassed and she puts him out of his misery by asking for a raincheck. Neil gives her his card with his direct line. Next time, Neil.
Philip visits Gabriel. Gabriel tells him they are sending someone to get Yousef within 24 hours. Yousef will only talk to Philip. Gabriel also tells Philip the Center arranged for Misha to be released early from Afghanistan on the behest of Elizabeth, but Misha turned it down. Philip doesn’t want to make Misha go home if he doesn’t want to.
Truth Bomb Dropped
Paige is up and waiting for her parents and she wants to know the truth. Her parents are never around and they have no connections or relations. Paige and Pastor Tim both feel that something is up with the Jennings.
So Elizabeth and Philip tell Paige the truth. They tell her they are from the Soviet Union and they are in the United States getting information to help their people. Smarty-pants Paige puts it together. They are spies. Her parents tell her she can’t tell anyone or they will go to jail for the rest of their lives. She goes to her room to contemplate all of this. Philip instinctively takes the phone off the hook so Paige can’t make any outgoing calls. Philip and Elizabeth’s differences with one another have abated now that the truth is out. Though this truth may not set them free.
Truth Bomb Aftermath
The next morning, Elizabeth goes to check on Paige and offers to stay home with her but Paige doesn’t want them to. Downstairs an oblivious Henry is doing a killer Eddie Murphy, but his parents shoo him out the door, anyway. Paige’s parents bring her breakfast and ask her to call them if she needs anything. She asks them to speak Russian. Her mama complies, telling her they love her.
The Jennings are sitting in the car deciding what to do next. Philip decides to they need to trust her and the two leave for their longest day in the office. Paige calls Pastor Tim and tells him that she confronted them about their screwy behavior. But she reveals nothing else.
That evening, Paige is eating a sandwich and watching television like she didn’t just find out her parents are Soviet spies. Said parents come home from work and she greets them with might actually be a smile. They look… concerned.
It’s dinner time at the Jennings. Henry is playing his electronic football game, Paige is doing her homework and Elizabeth is making dinner. The door rings and it’s lonely Stan inviting himself over for dinner, again. This time, he’s welcomed in. All is seemingly well with the world. Stan sips his beer and Paige stares creepily at him. Her parents wave away her odd behavior and they sit down to dinner. Paige takes a little longer to join them. Having an FBI agent breaking bread with her Soviet parents and bratty brother is just a little too surreal.
Checking in on…
- Stan’s Gut and The Defector: Our favorite comedy duo Beeman and The Defector are watching Tootsie. As usual, one stares enigmatically while the other is stuffing her face with theater junk food. Zinaida decides she needs to use the bathroom and we finally see that Stan’s gut might actually know a thing or two. Zinaida sticks a rolled up note under the counter. Later, Oleg and Arkaday are discussing the stealth bomber and Tatiana (remember her?) Oleg leaves and Tatiana gives Arkaday a coded note from “WILLOW” (our favorite junk food junkie defector, perhaps?) who feels threatened by one of their own (Pornstache Oleg, perhaps?) Arkaday feels it’s probably faulty communication between departments and leaves to send a cable to The Center to keep this from ruining the operation.
- Stan’s Gut and The Taffet: Walter Taffet and Stan finally have their interview. They talk about Stan’s divorce and Stan denies having an affair. Apparently, the Beeman marriage just fell apart like overcooked chicken. Taffet asks if Stan knows of anyone who might have placed the bug (like Aderholt) and Stan denies he was thinking about anyone. He walks out of the interview in thought and asks Aderholt if he’s seen Martha. Stan’s gut is likely remembering the dream about Martha fiddling with files on the Mail Robot. It’s track record is improving. And where is Martha?
- Stan’s Lack of Life: Beeman stops by the Jenning’s and Henry answers the door, playing his electronic football game. Stan’s brought him a pirated Betamax copy of Tron. In fact, the FBI has a whole library of confiscated videos. Yay Federal government. Philip and Elizabeth come home and poor lonely Stan tries to invite himself to dinner, but the Mr. and Mrs. have to leave. Stan doesn’t want to eat lasagna with the kids, so he skulks home. He’s there, sorting through the vestiges of his past life when there is a knock at the door. It’s his friend and neighbor, Henry. Henry has finished Tron and asks himself in for a game of Strat-o-matic. Henry commiserates with Stan about the weirdness of divorce. Henry is looking for a dad and Stan is looking for a life and both are big fans of Sandra, so it’s a match made in heaven.
- Nina’s Seduction: Nina is working on Anton Baklanov. This involves bringing him tea (with lemon) and a sandwich and telling him he works so hard. She speaks to him in English, admits she’s lived in America, empathizes on the difficulty of obtaining covert photos. I love this. They’re disguising what they are saying by speaking English, a foreign language in Russia, but one the audience understands.
The Jennings’ secrets are coming out. They’ve divulged their identities to Ncgobo, Betty, Martha and now Paige. They are in the hands of two innocents to keep their confidentiality. I think Paige and Martha can be trusted, but both seem susceptible to Stan and his rallying intuition.