The Americans: Urban Transport Planning
April 11, 2018 10:03 PM - Season 6, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Philip, Elizabeth, and Paige conduct a post-mortem on the operation with Rennhull, Claudia, Elizabeth and Paige cook zharkoye, Elizabeth goes out for pizza and meets with a new target, Stan and Oleg catch up, Renee floats the idea of a career change by Stan, Philip gives his travel agents a pep talk, Sophia, Gennadi, and Ilya relocate, and Henry gets an assist.
posted by orange swan (41 comments total)
 
Now I really gotta Google those Russian recipes to make soon. Also it's amazing how they're stringing along the Renee is she a spy piece.
posted by Carillon at 10:50 PM on April 11 [1 favorite]


God, that pep talk by Phillip was cringe-worthy. This period in the 80's was when all that "team building" rah-rah management style took hold. It was a PITA to live through in the first place, but watching Phillip try it was just sad and painful.

Elizabeth killing the guy seemed kind of extreme for the situation. Was that the plan all along, or was it a snap decision when the guy told her his girlfriend worked in security at the facility? It seemed like a somewhat haphazard killing to me. One which is not going to help the mission at all.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:33 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]


No one cares about your assist Henry.
posted by drezdn at 4:46 AM on April 12 [6 favorites]


Definitely killing the guy was a snap decision. You could see Elizabeth's demeanor change the instant he mentioned his girlfriend was in security at the facility. He seemed down with not telling anyone else at work, but she knew him telling his girlfriend was a high probability. A suspicious death (this one is not going to look like a suicide) of someone who works in the facility is only going to make any infiltration job more difficult.
posted by mikepop at 6:03 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]


A suspicious death (this one is not going to look like a suicide) of someone who works in the facility is only going to make any infiltration job more difficult.

That's what I'm thinking, too. Especially now with the FBI (well, at least Stan and Aderholdt) suspicious of the general's death, who has a connection to the facility, too. This might be the setup for someone, possibly Paige, to get caught in a trap.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:14 AM on April 12


Slate's matching podcast episode is out.
In Episode 3, “Urban Transport Planning,” showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields talk about Philip’s stress levels and how spies would have identified company employees in the days before the Internet. She then chats with actor Noah Emmerich, who plays Stan Beeman, about how Stan is doing in 1987 and what it has been like to tackle a multi-season role for the first time in his career. Finally, editor Katie Ennis, who has been responsible for many of the “previously on” teasers that precede each episode, explains how they’re made.
posted by kingless at 6:40 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


While I've previously speculated that finding out Renee is a spy would be another piece of Stan's world falling down around him, maybe he wrecks his relationship by becoming suspicious of her being a spy instead.

We've never X-rayed anything good out of that briefcase in three years = next week they find out the last X-ray found some juicy stuff.

The pep talk was a bit cringe-inducing but definitely period appropriate. And as we soon see, Phillip is desperate to try anything to get the cash flow going again. He could probably sell his car, but then he'd have to tell Elizabeth they are having money issues and he doesn't want to add to her stress level as he is supposed to be handling the "normal" side of life now. Plus it sets up the contrast with the anti-pep talk Elizabeth gives Paige. I loved how after she kicked Paige out of the house and Phillip is trying to coach her on talking to Paige and Elizabeth exasperatedly says that's what she just did. Kudos to her though in her later, calmer talk for admitting that she pushed her contact too fast this time.

The conversation between Elizabeth and Philip in the kitchen about glasnost and the direction of the Soviet Union really gets at the heart of the season to me. Elizabeth has always been the one most fiercely loyal to her country, and yet right now she is on a mission from someone who has stated they will take out the leader of the Soviet Union if they don't like how he handles the summit negotiations. She is now technically a traitor to her country as well, working with those who would overthrow the government because she doesn't trust the negotiations either and she doesn't want her country to become like the United States. But as they point out to each other, neither of them have been there in twenty years so they don't even really know what it's like anymore. It looks like this point hits home for both of them.

I think it is this deviation from her core principle that will ultimately be her downfall (wherein she and/or Paige are killed).
posted by mikepop at 6:45 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Phillip is desperate to try anything to get the cash flow going again. He could probably sell his car, but then he'd have to tell Elizabeth they are having money issues and he doesn't want to add to her stress level as he is supposed to be handling the "normal" side of life now.

It's this part of what we see happening that still makes me wonder if the travel agency is a front run and staffed by the Center, or if it's a legit travel agency and P&E are the only agents there. It would seem to me that, if it were a front, there wouldn't be cash-flow problems. It would be kept above water by the powers-that-be.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:13 AM on April 12


Given the way that US gov't agencies are often shown as exploiting their assets, I'm frankly gobsmacked Gennady and Sofia were pulled out. It certainly seemed like Aderholt had executive authority on that decision, so congratulations Dennis! (And while Stan said they'd got no useful intel from the diplomatic pouch X-rays, I'd been wondering if that was how they would find out about the tech Elizabeth is meant to steal; seems that will play out another way.)

This Dead Hand op sure looks like it's going to spell a bad end for Elizabeth. The success-at-any-cost approach the hardline element in the USSR is taking makes some of the more outrageous Directorate S missions, like Viola and the 48-hour clock bugging, read as tame in comparison. They seem perfectly willing to burn a long-term, deep-cover, high-value operative to achieve a single objective. That warehouse employee and his suspicious-looking death was a sloppy mistake which could have easily been avoided through good vetting; it was only through blind luck Liz learnt her cover would be blown the minute he spoke to his girlfriend.

Really not sure what to make of Renee at this point. I'd actually like to see them subvert expectation and have her just be what she seems; Fields and Weisberg have done an excellent job so far of playing out the series in a totally realistic, yet equally unexpected way, the most obvious example being the Martha storyline. Having Renee turn out to be a Russian spy is *too* convenient, and while she could be a member of another intelligence service, that (combined with the length of their relationship and, barring Sofia/Gennady, Stan's departure from Counterintelligence) seems to lean too far into small world syndrome for this show. As someone mentioned above, it would be more interesting to see her used to drive the character side of the story -- the suspicions of the Jenningses and, possibly in the future, Stan himself, and those suspicions eroding the key relationships in his life -- rather than a plot-servicing 'everyone in Falls Church is a sleeper agent'.

For the same reasons, I'd like to see Phil and Liz's deep-cover identities revealed in a similarly low-key way: not a big interrogation-room scene or a hail of bullets-type scenario, but maybe Stan figuring it out and then having a crisis of conscience over whether to act on his knowledge; or Philip revealing everything and asking for help/mercy to get them all out of the country before Elizabeth is blown. Or, years later some little clue falling into place, and then we see his dawning-realisation face as the screen cuts to black.
posted by myotahapea at 8:44 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


It would seem to me that, if it were a front, there wouldn't be cash-flow problems.

It could be entirely possible that it was a front and there are either cash flow problems because the Soviet Union is starting the early stages of breaking up, or as a way to punish Phillip for quitting.
posted by drezdn at 10:49 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


or as a way to punish Phillip for quitting.

Since that income also supports two active agents in the family, that would be shortsighted.
posted by Gyan at 12:48 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


More comments from Elizabeth this episode about being willing to die for her cause. At this point, I feel like it must be misdirection. Either Paige is going to get caught somehow in an operation, or Elizabeth is going to realize Phillip is spying on her, or both. I don't think this season has a happy ending for the Jennings, but I think Elizabeth survives and has to deal with the consequences, whatever they may be.

Poor Glenn and his Japanese baseball jacket. Hang in there, Glenn, at least the Twins will come through for you!

I know there are a million harder things Phillip and Elizabeth have gone through as deep cover agents than throwing out some leftovers, but I was so sad for that stew. C'mon, one Tupperware of stew is not going to give you away if you keep it for a few hours til someone is hungry again! (I would not make it as a deep cover agent.)

Renee better not turn out to be a spy. That sudden "I want to be a FBI agent" announcement would have to be a pretty last ditch attempt at using Stan for access.
posted by the primroses were over at 12:51 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Renee better not turn out to be a spy. That sudden "I want to be a FBI agent" announcement would have to be a pretty last ditch attempt at using Stan for access.

But it is great fodder to fuel Stan's paranoia when he finds out about the Jennings.

What are the odds on Stan/the FBI nabbing Henry first when he finds out?
posted by mikepop at 1:06 PM on April 12


or Elizabeth is going to realize Phillip is spying on her,

Which could lead to the darkest possible ending: Elizabeth kills Phillip (or vice versa).
posted by Frayed Knot at 1:15 PM on April 12


If this happens, my guess it will be somewhat inadvertent - Phillip will communicate something to Oleg that will end up having Elizabeth killed or he might compromise her mission in some way while trying to surveil her for example (which could also get Paige killed).
posted by mikepop at 1:25 PM on April 12


Paige being killed (or severely injured) in an operation seems like a very possible way to go, especially if her body is taken by the authorities.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:19 PM on April 12


Elizabeth is not a good mom.
posted by k8t at 8:22 PM on April 12 [5 favorites]


Frantic blood scrubbing Elizabeth has the look one gets when one is wishing one's grody safe house at least had a shower.

Philip's trying his EST spiel on Paige, who has about as much use for it as Elizabeth.

Even from a state away, Henry's still the one who has no idea what's going on and who gets no attention from the rest of the family. NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR ASSIST HENRY AND ALSO YOUR SCHOOL FEES AREN'T PAID.

Philip's parenting style: Feel how you feel!
Elizabeth's parenting style: You don't get to talk about how you feel or what you think!
I suppose the two aren't irreconcilable.

Apparently sticking to the plan and doing one's work also dictates what bed one sleeps in.

Philip: I told Paige she'd have you.
Elizabeth: I WAS TOTALLY JUST THERE FOR HER.

Sophia says Soviets know how to keep secrets. Apparently the Soviet way to keep secrets is to tell several other people the secret and trust them to keep their mouths shut.

Elizabeth makes a token appearance at the travel agency. "See, employees, I am here briefly and I am totally not spending the bulk of my time working as a spy!"

Oh Paige. Someday you're going to look back on the spy stuff and your pleated yoke jeans and wonder what you could have been thinking.

The worst thing about all those positive thinking books is that some of the people who read them have employees and children who get subjected to them. Philip's travel agency staff pep talk is every wretched company motivational meeting I have ever sat through. And why I freelance now.

How could there be nothing useful on the tightly controlled, super secret information that Gennadi couriers back and forth from Russia?

Aderholt and Beeman make such a good team. Beeman wants to bring Gennadi in before he gets back to the USSR. Aderholt counsels waiting until he gets back to U.S. soil, and he's right. Then they muse about Rennhull's suicide, and they're both circling the truth.

The priest who married Philip and Elizabeth is also happy to provide ongoing marital counselling. Philip picked a full service provider.

Elizabeth's disguises certainly keep pace with the times. She's progressed from dressing like John Denver to dressing like Mary Stuart Masterson to dressing like Elvira Mistress of the Dark.

Elizabeth's undercover operation involves eating pizza and listening to baseball talk, which she probably doesn't enjoy at all, but I suppose it beats having sex with some unattractive mark or digging up a colleague's grave in the middle of the night.

SOMETHING CLEARLY HAPPENED TO THE JAPANESE BASEBALL JACKET GUY'S WIFE AND NO ONE WILL TALK ABOUT IT.

As a Canadian I'm kind of loving that both the Russians and the Americans are readily acknowledging Canadian supremacy in hockey.

Oleg's attitude toward Stan is all, "The fact that we banged the same woman and I gave you some info about William hasn't forged the kind of bond between us that you think it has. GIVEN THAT YOU GOT HER KILLED AND I GOT BLACKMAILED WITH THE TAPE YOU MADE."

Paige is fine. She's fine. She's absolutely and totally fine. Really. She is fine.

Using a crock pot to cook zharkoye cannot possibly be in accordance with traditional Russian cookery. MUST THE AMERICANS CORRUPT EVERYTHING THAT IS PURE.

Paige definitely saw through Claudia's sour cream maneuver.

THAT POOR, INNOCENT ZHARKOYE.

Come on, Elizabeth, if the authorities have a warrant to raid your house, harbouring a container of beef stew overnight is going to be the least of your worries.

I'd actually bought into the "Renee must be up to something" theory, but now I think that like Sophia, Renee may simply be naive. All those questions of hers may be about her finding the FBI fascinating and glamorous. How could she possibly think Stan would just get her in at the FBI and then the two of them would work together?

Thirty seven is a weirdly specific cut off age for the FBI, but I suppose the idea is that training will take a few years and that they want to get new agents on deck by the time they're 40.

Ilya has the same "well, I guess my life as I know it is over" look as his mother and stepfather. Poor kid.

Sophia at least needn't regret getting to never see her jerk of a boss ever again.

Poor Gennadi. He loses his citizenship, his identity, his wife, and his stepson at one blow. BUT GUYS THIS IS WHAT NOT DOING YOUR SHARE OF THE EMOTIONAL LABOUR CAN COST YOU.

Elizabeth overdid it on the neck breaking job with that poor guy. Whether it's zharkoye or murder, our Elizabeth is always thorough.

She's not having much luck getting that sensor thing for the Soviets, but I suppose that if she eventually kills enough people there will be no one left to guard the thing.

Philip and Oleg are giving each other that "are you the new clandestine best friend for me" look.
posted by orange swan at 8:24 PM on April 12 [6 favorites]


The shot of the stew in the sink was definitely foreshadowing. If Elizabeth is so single-mindedly focused on the rules & her mission that she would murder this sweet, innocent, delicious stew, she is truly capable of anything. AN-Y-THING.
posted by bleep at 12:10 AM on April 13 [8 favorites]


How could there be nothing useful on the tightly controlled, super secret information that Gennadi couriers back and forth from Russia?

It's not that there isn't anything useful, it's that they aren't able to get to it. Diplomatic pouches, under the Vienna Convention agreements, are inviolate, which means they are exempted from travel security measures. The X-rays they were conducting in the mens' toilets only gave a general idea of what the pouch contained -- it's not sensitive enough to read documents or retrieve any information. It seems likely that Gennady and his partner were normally ferrying just documents, and that anything bigger or more interesting was being couriered in another manner, likely in the cargo hold. This operation seems roughly equivalent to the Mailbot bug -- something that seems like a huge get but in reality is a lot of effort for very little reward.
posted by myotahapea at 1:07 AM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Elizabeth is sure stacking up the bodies. At one a week she's on track for 52 murders this year, or a significant fraction of all the murdering done in Washington DC. And all government-connected white people at that, you'd think someone would notice the serial killer in their midst.

Is Philip really spying on Elizabeth? Not quite, not yet, although he's certainly working towards that. When he went out at the end in the disguise to meet Oleg I thought at first he was going to run surveillance on Elizabeth. But of course not, that'd be crazy. Or would it? Is there a wig so outlandish that his spy wife wouldn't recognize him?

No way is Renee a spy. Her artless question about becoming an FBI agent cinches it. Any real Russian agent would already know she'd be disqualified based on her age. So unless it was some elaborate ruse where spy-Renee asked the question knowing the answer already, I think Renee is just who she seems to be. An awesome hot woman and a better partner than Beeman could ever wish for. I am still waiting for him to become suspicious of her, though, and wreck her whole life.
posted by Nelson at 7:37 AM on April 13


Phillip was pumping Elizabeth for information to report to Oleg. Being extremely charitable, he was trying to draw her out to determine if he should be reporting to Oleg. He is absolutely already spying on her.
posted by the primroses were over at 7:55 AM on April 13 [3 favorites]


The shot of the stew in the sink was definitely foreshadowing. If Elizabeth is so single-mindedly focused on the rules & her mission that she would murder this sweet, innocent, delicious stew, she is truly capable of anything.

That whole scene was a tell for the state of their relationship, right down to her throwing it down the drain.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:00 AM on April 13 [2 favorites]


Yeah Philip is definitely observing and reporting on Elizabeth. But she's done the same to him over the years, reporting back to Center what his mental state is. And he knows it. But while that's a form of mistrust and espionage it's not full on wigs-and-spotter-cars spying. I'm wondering if the show is going to go full on Mr. and Mrs. Smith silliness between them. I assume not because the show is classier than that, but the way things are escalating is awkward. In the end I care only about Paige. Elizabeth and Philip are murderous Soviet agents and will deserve whatever fate they get, as much as the show has made us empathize with them. But Paige, she's completely innocent and brainwashed. Still is, she doesn't even know that her mother is a killer Mata Hari.

(Speaking of spotter cars, wasn't it a big plot point a season or two ago about how Center didn't have enough field agents to support the Jennings' spy activities safely? It seems like Elizabeth has a cloud of 5+ agents around her now helping her out.)
posted by Nelson at 8:07 AM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Renee is definitely not a spy but she's going to be the one to uncover what the Jennings have been up to. Whether she survives to alert Stan is the question for me.

What I don't understand is this: Oleg comes to the US under his own name, checks into a regular hotel and is basically hanging around DC under very thin cover. The FBI knows it, surely the Soviet government knows it ... do they believe it? Because, like, doesn't Stan just sauntering up to his room and having a heart to heart about Nina put Oleg (and his family back home) at super risk from this own government? Does Stan not care (after telling Oleg he really felt bad for almost getting him killed before?!)?
posted by marylynn at 8:41 AM on April 13 [4 favorites]


Philip should've eaten the stew and Loved it. Bringing it from Claudia's place was nice gesture and accepting it would've helped a little with that very troubled marriage. Or he should've eaten it as a manipulative move. A Master Spy eats the stew and complains that there isn't more.
posted by kingless at 10:58 AM on April 13 [5 favorites]


Elizabeth is pretty much a straight up serial killer at this point.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:29 AM on April 13 [1 favorite]


doesn't Stan just sauntering up to his room and having a heart to heart about Nina put Oleg (and his family back home) at super risk from this own government? Does Stan not care (after telling Oleg he really felt bad for almost getting him killed before?!)?

I don't think Oleg is under surveillance by his own government while he's in Washington -- not at this point at least. The FBI is certainly watching him, but they asked Stan to talk to him, so that will neither put Oleg in danger from the FBI nor will the FBI have reason to inform the Soviet government of their contact with Oleg. If the Soviet government somehow gets wind of what Arkady asked of Oleg or knows he's talking to Philip without authorization or suspects he's working with the FBI, or if the FBI finds out what he's doing and arrests him for it, then yes, he'll be in serious trouble. But for now he can receive a visit from Stan without it being a problem. And you'll notice Oleg told Stan nothing of the real purpose of his presence in the States, and he's very careful to lose his tail before meeting with Philip, so the FBI still doesn't know what he's doing.
posted by orange swan at 4:07 PM on April 13


The Twitter account for The Americans liked two of my tweets about this episode: one and two.

I didn't realize at the time that I posted my first comment that the guy who talked about watching baseball in Japan was Glenn Haskard, Erika's husband. (Poor facial recognition skills here, though I did think he looked familiar.)

Also, it has occurred to me that if Elizabeth ever moves back to Russia she'll be the kind of person who informs on her neighbours and chastises people for complaining about anything at all and everyone she knows there will loathe her.
posted by orange swan at 4:33 PM on April 13 [5 favorites]


I know it's not a perfect match, but I like to think that in that final scene Philip is wearing the Clark wig. This last one's for you, Martha.
posted by chortly at 9:17 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


Renee is definitely not a spy but she's going to be the one to uncover what the Jennings have been up to. Whether she survives to alert Stan is the question for me.

I came here to say exactly this, the first part at least. They've been winding us up on "is she or isn't she a spy" only to flip the script & have her be the one who makes them.
posted by scalefree at 2:42 PM on April 14


I can kind of see Renee going all Nancy Drew on the neighbours in an effort to live out her FBI fantasy. No one will take her seriously, but she'll actually have blundered onto the truth.
posted by orange swan at 2:54 PM on April 14 [7 favorites]


Oleg inclining his head toward the hotel room door, Stan not taking the hint, and Oleg sighing deeply as Stan helps himself to a seat was classic Stan. In their next clandestine meeting, Oleg will ask Philip for tips on how to get Stan to go home, and Philip will tell him to be glad there's no fridge in his hotel room.

ETA: Hey, I just turned this comment and my last comment into tweets, and the twitter account for The Americans liked them both (1, 2).
posted by orange swan at 3:05 PM on April 14 [2 favorites]


No one cares about your assist Henry.

He even called it a "game-winning" assist, which no one does unless they're desperate for attention. And then Phil hung up on him. Poor Henry.
posted by cardboard at 12:27 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]


Renee better not turn out to be a spy. That sudden "I want to be a FBI agent" announcement would have to be a pretty last ditch attempt at using Stan for access.

Yeah, this is the moment I knew she couldn't be a spy. If she was, she'd talk about how unfulfilling her career was until people-pleaser Stan told her about an FBI internship or something.

Renee is definitely not a spy but she's going to be the one to uncover what the Jennings have been up to. Whether she survives to alert Stan is the question for me.

That would be hilarious and it would play into one of the key narrative threads of the whole series: Stan is a terrible FBI agent and he knows it. He's been played by everyone, every source he ever works with gets nothing useful, he gets skipped over for promotions, Martha got away with sneaking peaks of his documents for years, and of course he's had an artist's sketch of Phil-with-a-mustache on his bulletin board for five years and never noticed that his next-door neighbors were spies.

One day his "Gosh can I be an FBI agent too?" girlfriend will tell him she's discovered that his neighbors are spies, and he'll truly go over the edge.
posted by mmoncur at 2:34 AM on April 16 [4 favorites]


Even worse, Stan will wrongly suspect Renee for an illegal with dire consequences.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:24 AM on April 16


Stan is a terrible FBI agent and he knows it.

Nonsense.

He's been played by everyone

Only by the Jennings. He doesn't know his neighbours are Soviet spies, but let's remember he initially suspected Philip and snooped in his garage in the dead of the night, and found nothing. The Jennings cover has been solid. If they'd made any missteps at all, he would have caught on. Otherwise I can't see anyone else getting away with much for long where he was concerned. Stan was the one to figure out Zinaida was working for the Russians. He was the first one to suspect Martha was up to something. Nina tried and failed to turn him. I no longer believe Renee to be up to anything, so she hasn't played him.

every source he ever works with gets nothing useful

Oleg gave him pieces of information that he put together to identify William. He got some things from Nina before she told Arkady she was being blackmailed. Other sources have proved fruitless, yes, but then he wasn't the one directing the operation. He's often shown that he has better instincts for how conduct an operation than his superiors. When he and Aderholt were told to approach Soviet employees to offer them money for information, he was vocal about how ineffective it was, but told to keep doing it anyway. He successfully fought the CIA on trying to turn Oleg, because he knew Oleg and understood that they wouldn't be able to turn him and would just get him killed.

he gets skipped over for promotions

He moved to a different department on his own initiative. If Aderholt got Gaad's old job, it was because Stan had removed himself from the running, not because Stan was passed over.

Martha got away with sneaking peaks of his documents for years

They weren't Stan's documents. They were department documents that Martha had access to because of her position as a senior-level secretary. Stan was the first in that office to suspect her. And remember when Martha's apartment was searched? Stan was the one to zero in on the only helpful piece of info they found: a picture of Martha and her parents by the bridge that Martha returned to in her despair and terror after running away from the KGB safehouse. He and Aderholt went to that park, but just missed seeing Martha.

and of course he's had an artist's sketch of Phil-with-a-mustache on his bulletin board for five years and never noticed that his next-door neighbors were spies

That sketch doesn't look much like Philip. And again, he has no reason to suspect the Jennings. Let's remember Gaad actually saw Elizabeth at Stan's party and didn't recognize her when she later attacked him. Aderholt, who was also attacked by Elizabeth, has met both the Jennings through Stan and hasn't recognized Elizabeth or connected Philip to that sketch.

Stan certainly has his flaws, and he knows it, but incompetence is not one of them. Stan's doing as much or more with the tiny clues he has as anyone else in his office. We're used to movies and TV shows about espionage that show government intelligence agents having access to accurate information on everything, but the reality is that they often don't know what they're doing and make lots of mistakes because they're blundering along in the dark.
posted by orange swan at 1:20 PM on April 16 [6 favorites]


Basically everything orange swan said about Stan. But also:

Stan has shown himself to be an adept counter-intelligence agent. There may be some truth to the idea that he's specifically not an ideal FBI agent, but only in the sense that he's independent, mouths off to superiors, has gone above his boss's head, etc. So he's pretty damn good at the counter-intelligence part of his job, but he's kind of a lousy "company man."
posted by duffell at 2:43 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Seems like we are headed towards a scenario where Oleg is going to go out and meet up with Phillip, but someone will snap photos of it. Stan (or Renee!) will recognize that the person he’s meeting with is Phillip. Those disguises seem good enough only to throw off police sketches, not for photos. Especially in Phillip’s case; Elizabeth looks a little less like herself when in disguise, but Phillip is Phillip. Oleg isn’t connected to the people that know Stan lives across from the Jennings. Phillip isn’t connected to people that know Oleg is meeting with Stan.

I feel like Philip is going to die (because he’s a nice guy), Elizabeth is going to prison (because she doesn’t fear death), and Paige is going to Russia like Martha. Henry is going to have a 80s style spinoff comedy. We really aren’t getting many clues.
posted by about_time at 1:11 AM on April 19


about_time, it speaks to the quality of the writing and acting on this show that I found myself nodding along with your statement that Philip is a "nice guy" until I remembered a few minutes later that he has literally killed several totally innocent people in cold blood.
posted by duffell at 4:43 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


While we wait for tonight's episode, here's my second Americans comic.
posted by mikepop at 7:31 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


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