The Americans: Dyatkovo
May 16, 2017 10:04 PM - Season 5, Episode 11 - Subscribe

Oleg and his co-worker continue their food police work, Philip parents two of his sons and reminisces about his own father, William receives his memorial, Philip and Elizabeth are told to track down a former Nazi collaborator, Henry meets the Mail Robot, and Elizabeth declares herself ready to make a life change.

For some good reviews of this episode, check out Vox, Vulture, and The A.V. Club.
posted by orange swan (30 comments total)
 
I liked how Phillip went to Tuan when he was feeling isolated from his own son. Also is it just me or are the number of wordless scenes increasing this season?
posted by Carillon at 10:38 PM on May 16


So I only saw the last twenty minutes or so (rewatching now) but I don't think I breathed during the entire last scene. I mostly came here before seeing the whole show to see if anyone else cried.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:18 PM on May 16


Holy crap.
posted by bleep at 11:20 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


KGB doesn't mess around.
posted by bleep at 11:20 PM on May 16


Lots of sad irony in this one including that god - a third horrible ending for William. (First, dying horribly, second, having his body dug up and weaponized when he wanted to protect the world from this disease, and now this)
posted by bleep at 11:38 PM on May 16 [3 favorites]


AVClub is going to go crazy for the return of the mailbot.
posted by drezdn at 4:52 AM on May 17


AVClub is going to go crazy for the return of the mailbot

"...more trouble than it's worth."

Slate's s5e11 podcast episode has the Js and Chris Long.
posted by kingless at 5:17 AM on May 17 [1 favorite]


Do y'all think Henry will start playing junior FBI and get suspicious of his parents?
posted by drezdn at 5:31 AM on May 17


"...more trouble than it's worth."

And then E & P's barely suppressed grin when Henry tells them how secure Stan's office is.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:35 AM on May 17 [3 favorites]


barely suppressed grin

Thanks, missed that the first time through. When I watch the season again, during the long wait after e13, I'll be sure to look closely for anything funny.
posted by kingless at 5:48 AM on May 17


So Liz finally agrees with Phil! I wonder if his marriage proposal last week had something to do with it. The last time he wasn't feeling it, she told on him. This time, she sees that her actual husband is hurting and decided she can't let it continue. This makes me really happy for their relationship.

I'm really pleased that the writers have put them on the same page instead of using Phil's growing conscience to drive a wedge between them. It's so much more interesting to see what they can do together.
posted by LizBoBiz at 9:46 AM on May 17 [3 favorites]


Does she agree with Phil, though? Liz wants to go home (to Russia), which at this point is about the last thing I think Phillip would want.
posted by coriolisdave at 6:12 PM on May 17 [4 favorites]


I would say she at least agrees that he can't or shouldn't do this anymore. And she's deciding to go that direction with him instead of pushing back more. That's a big step in his direction for her.
posted by LizBoBiz at 8:25 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]


The Russian music during the scene where Philip and Tuan have McDonalds and Philip reminisces about playing airplane with his father is so Fiddler on the Roof. It's actually a happy memory for once, yet he's taking no pleasure whatsoever in it. Philip really is breaking down.

The weaponized version of the Lassa virus has been named after William. I am positive he would rather have had his face put on a stamp.

The fatalism of those KGB officers, who know full well that the people they're condemning to insane asylums aren't mentally ill, and of Fomina, who knows she's screwed, makes me shudder a little. I would not have lasted long in Soviet Russia.

Henry may be moving to Russia rather than a posh boarding school. Bet he'll love *that* parental bait and switch.

When Henry was visiting the FBI I kept expecting him to see the bulletin board with the sketches of his parents on it and casually crack the case.

Oleg spends his days policing grocery stores that have slightly better food while his family gets to shop at a special place.

Poor Matthew. His girlfriend dumped his ass for no apparent reason, the neighbours think he's a hopeless pothead ("I think the die's cast with that one"), and Stan's telling the neighbour's kid that he's the greatest kid in the world. I hope his mother still loves him.

I don't envy the person who had to create Fomina's ledger. That's a *lot* of Cyrillic writing. Her attitude reminded me of what I've read of life in communist countries, how one had to break the rules to survive. There's a joke about a communist official whose young son asked him, "Papa, what is a moral dilemma?" The official thinks a minute and then says, "If someone offers me a large bribe to do something illegal for him, I have a moral dilemma: Do I tell your mother about the money or not?"

The Soviets can't feed their own populace, yet they're wasting all those resources tracking down some poor woman who was forced into cooperating with the Nazis 40 years ago. I also didn't think it made sense for Philip and Elizabeth to break into her house at a time when her husband would soon be arriving home for dinner. They'd know that her husband is innocent and that they'd have to kill him too if he saw them. Poor Natalie/Anna had to carry such a burden for the last 40 years. I bet she was repeatedly raped as well, and she didn't even get to that. Her husband knew nothing about any of it. It was so clear that they were a loving couple with a good life (she confessed to save him; he heard what she had done and still loved and accepted her), and destroying that served no purpose whatsoever. No wonder Elizabeth is done, although I think it is largely because she sees Philip is at the end of his rope.

Sofia is either astoundingly naive to be telling Beeman and Aderholt about her hockey player boyfriend, or she's playing them.
posted by orange swan at 9:28 PM on May 17 [5 favorites]


Room 641-A: I cried. Holy shit. What a series of gutpunches. And Philip just felt broken down through the whole episode.
posted by augustimagination at 9:29 PM on May 17 [2 favorites]


Poor Natalie/Anna had to carry such a burden for the last 40 years. I bet she was repeatedly raped as well, and she didn't even get to that.

Didn't she? Wasn't that the implication for her (paraphrased) line: "The first time, they got me so drunk I couldn't stand"?
posted by coriolisdave at 9:59 PM on May 17 [2 favorites]


That line referred to the first time she had to execute Soviet prisoners.
posted by orange swan at 10:10 PM on May 17 [2 favorites]


That whole last scene was brutally hard to watch, and I was surprised how much I was hoping Elizabeth and Philip could just let it go this one time and not murder these poor sobbing grandparents in their dining room, even though that's so not the show this is. Jesus Christ.

I also found the scene with Henry and Stan in the kitchen more affecting than I expected, particularly the way Stan matter-of-factly talks about how the FBI's made him incapable of trusting anybody, and even he doesn't always understand why.

The show itself has kind of tried to address this, but I forget half the time that Philip and Elizabeth are theoretically raising and having a relationship with a whole second kid offscreen. It made it a little jarring when Elizabeth was consoling Philip that Henry would be home from school every few months, because it feels like they only see the kid every few months now. Elizabeth's "Well, they're not getting Henry" was pretty funny, though. Oh-ho no, maybe he won't be a spy like his big sister, but no child of hers is going to be grow up to be some filthy capitalist g-man.
posted by jameaterblues at 10:28 PM on May 17


I hate to say it, but I think we just witnessed the beginning of the end of P&E's marriage.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:23 AM on May 18 [2 favorites]


I think you can draw a direct line from the scene where Philip asks Elizabeth he thinks Paige wanted them to read about what Pastor Tim wrote about her in the diary. At first she brushes it off, saying Paige already told them what was in the diary. Then you get to see about a dozen expressions go across her face in the space of a few moments. Not only is she realizing how much more Paige might be feeling/hurt than she let on, she also realizes that Paige manipulated her/Philip in the exact same way she would manipulate a target. Think back to all the scenes where Paige asks her parents about how doing certain things make them feel. The kid is learning more her mom than just how to punch someone in the throat.

On another topic, I sketched the mail robot having its feelings hurt by Stan's "more trouble than it's worth" remark and it became one of my most popular tweets overnight (admittedly, a low bar) - I guess there are a lot of mail robot fans out there.
posted by mikepop at 6:07 AM on May 18 [3 favorites]


Fomina, who knows she's screwed

I'm not convinced. She had they air of someone who knows they are going to be protected. Fomina may be wrong, but in this corrupt system there will be a point where the fish that the KGB are trying to catch will get too big for their nets.
posted by cardboard at 7:26 AM on May 18 [1 favorite]


You might be right. Dimitri was terrified of giving up Fomina's name, and she's hardly a frightening person. Nor is she stupid. For her to not be more frightened and to not have hidden that ledger does suggest that she's under someone's protection -- someone big and terrifying.
posted by orange swan at 12:18 PM on May 18


She was certainly giving off a "this is going to be annoying" vibe rather than scared for her life vibe.
posted by sammyo at 7:28 PM on May 18


When she started going off on the KGB being all high-and-mighty, I expected her to turn it around and ask Oleg just exactly how he thinks his grocery always seems to have nice food? Go investigate your grocery, Mr. KGB.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:00 AM on May 19


Stan might not trust anyone because of his FBI career, but the parents of the teenager he was speaking to are soviet spies.

I predict that in the last season, all four Jennings move back to Russia, where they will be known as The Americans, because they will have spent too much time in the USA to fit in.

Was this the season finale? Is next week the finale?
posted by about_time at 7:04 PM on May 19


There are two more episodes to go in this season, and next year the sixth and final season will be 10 episodes long.
posted by orange swan at 9:12 PM on May 19


I hate to say it, but I think we just witnessed the beginning of the end of P&E's marriage.

No, that's impossible. Everybody knows a secret wedding ceremony in a frigging sewer or something always results in a stable, long-lasting marriage.

But seriously, if Liz continues to be the "We should always murder whoever we're ordered to" one and Phil remains the "I'm having serious reservations about that" one, OR if Liz is the "Let's go back to Russia" one and Phil is the "But I can't take my Camaro" one, then the end of their marriage (and show) practically writes itself. "Irreconcilable differences" doesn't begin to do it justice. The tricky part will be delaying it for a whole season.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:02 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


Exactly. Philip has never wanted to go back, as far as I can tell, he knows that it's a dead end economically, and not where he wants his children. Can't they just leave Henry in a big basket at Stan's door? Paige is practically old enough to live on her own.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 9:09 AM on May 21 [2 favorites]


I've been thinking about this for a few days. Anna, the Nazi helper, was convincing in her denial, at lest enough to seed doubt in Phillips mind. Elizabeth, consummate agent, saw through it, and likely saw the subsequent tearful confession as little more than the same, only dressed up with tears and details meant to elicit sympathy.
It was high drama, and hard to watch, but once her well practiced story had been beaten Anna's lies were simply that to E. and she dealt her punishment accordingly.

This FPP on the blue is germane to this discussion.
posted by OHenryPacey at 3:29 PM on May 22 [1 favorite]


Wow. The line between drama and melodrama use awfully thin. But this episode was a gutpunch. I also liked the theme of other families harboring secrets.
posted by Nelson at 6:53 AM on June 2


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