Previously on The Americans, “Harvest”
The clock is running out, the feeling of the inevitable is nigh. And yet, this show seems determined to twist and turn us to the very end.
“You don’t think I’m a human being?”
After their reconciliation over a dismembered body, Philip decides to come clean to Elizabeth. Were this a normal show, they could have been talking about an affair. In this show, Elizabeth wouldn’t have blinked an eye if Philip slept with someone else (she probably would have encouraged it). In this show, they are talking life or death. Philip is trying to do the right thing, extricate his wife from her entangled predicament, and possibly save her life. Elizabeth doesn’t see it that way. However, hacking a body and confessing to ratting her out proves he is loyal to her and Elizabeth looks the better for it. Keri Russell’s death mask makeup has lightened, even if her expressions are just as grave.
The job(s) must go on. Nesterenko is meeting with the Americans and Elizabeth needs ears in the room. Unfortunately, her luck has not turned.
Elizabeth plans to bug Haskard, but he has stupidly morphined his wife into a waking coma and is too broken to continue working. Elizabeth puts Erica out of her misery in a very disturbing scene involving a wooden spoon. Despite the drugs, Erica does not go gently into that goodnight. Unlike her usual slicing and dicing, this is a mercy kill. It’s calculated, but intimate. Elizabeth makes the best use of her limited time left at the Haskards and takes photos of his papers.
Elizabeth works her charm on the film geek hipster. Philip has given her mojo back and she’s able to cougar honey trap him. Of course she did. We couldn’t expect this show NOT to go there. She gets him to agree to drop and pick up a bugged box in the hotel meeting room. Hipster boy completes the job, but she finds him shaken. He stupidly gets in her car and confronts her. He found the bug. She tries to cover. He’s confused. She takes him down a dark ally. And… gives him a very stern talking to. What?
“This time I need to know.”
Elizabeth listens to the Nesterenko tapes and realizes he doesn’t seem complicit in any underhand dealings. She speaks with Claudia who tells her to off Nesterenko so they can use him as a scapegoat. Elizabeth wigs up, folds a gun in a newspaper, and walks up to Nesterenko. And… walks right past him. What??
She stalemates with Philip over his betrayal. She tells him what happened and that she couldn’t kill the negotiator. She wants to pass intel to Oleg and save Gorbachov (and maybe her life).
Elizabeth’s tenth hour turn is unexpected, but earned. She had to kill her subversive Jiminy Cricket in Erica and witnessed Glenn Haskard’s devotion and grief over the loss of his spouse. She has Philip at her back (even if he stabbed her in it a little). She realizes her employers (and surrogate mother) care little for her life. The scales have dropped just enough for her to consider the mission she’s been on, may not be the right one.
Elizabeth and Philip are on the right side, on the same side. But has she been too sloppy? Is it too late? Only Stan can tell.
“She smoked like a chimney.”
Police sketches are terrible. There is nothing conclusive the FBI can put together from looking at them. Stan tries to talk to one of his informants who had a run in with Elizabeth awhile back. He only remembers her great hair (haha, wig shout out) and her penchant for cigarettes. Stan’s Huh Face makes an appearance. Granted, this is the ’80s and smoking is still a thing everywhere, but Stan is thinking of all the butts he has seen on the Jennings’ patio.
The circling has slowed a little, but definitely has not stopped. The FBI is still keeping an eye on Oleg and plans to bring in Father Andre. Two people Philip needs to get in contact with fairly soon….
“I was raised to be loyal.”
Philip is having another in a series of bad days and his Philip Face is in full effect. Reeling from the axing, Elizabeth’s cold words and an empty office, he tries to call Henry. But Henry is off being American, so Philip visits Stavos. He apologizes and admits he’s struggling. Stavos doesn’t want to hear it, but lets Philip know he knows the business was just a front. However, Stavos knows a thing or two about fidelity. Unlike some people. He means you, Philip. So Philip does what people do when their bitter, jilted ex-employee shuts the door in their face. He buys a tailored suit.
Poor Philip. Trying so hard to succeed as an American, but realizing he just may not be cut out for it. Don’t worry Philip, you’re about to have much bigger problems.
- Elizabeth is gifted one of Erica’s paintings. She wants to keep it, knows she can’t, and ultimately does the right thing and burns it. A symbol of all she sacrifices for her job
- Rene has an interview with the FBI. Could still be a spy and perhaps the deus ex machina for the Jennings?
After last episode’s nail-biting tension, we have been given a reprieve before final storm. We were given our requisite dose of gore, wigs, questionable sex traps, and a satisfying plot twist. Definitely a more positive ending than last week, but will it do any good? I’m still not sure I want to find out. But I have to find out.
The Americans S6E8 Review Score
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Noah Emmerich, Costa Ronin, Lev Gorn