The Americans: Stealth
May 8, 2014 9:27 AM - Season 2, Episode 11 - Subscribe

Philip and Elizabeth try to figure out what the FBI knows about "illegals." Philip sidles up to Željko Ivanek. Henry and the FBI think Stan is a hero. Nina's past catches up to her (twice).

Wig count: a measly 2, but we also get a beard-wig.

Body count: just 1, but it's a necksnap.

Nothing particularly new in this one, but there are only two more episodes left this season.
posted by Etrigan (25 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Sepinwall, AV Club.
posted by box at 10:29 AM on May 8, 2014


Yay! Thanks for getting this in the queue!

A few quick thoughts before I run out:

I'm a little confused about Larrick. Does the Jared connection now confirm that Larrick killed Emmet and Leanne? Were we supposed to know this already? And if he's trying to lure Philip and Elizabeth away from the house why does he need Jared?

Do Russians always address and refer to each other by first and last name?

Also, this was only the second episode this season that didn't feature any music.

Wig count: a measly 2, but we also get a beard-wig.

I think this was Phillip's best look yet.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:31 AM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Do Russians always address and refer to each other by first and last name?

Depends on the situation.
posted by planetesimal at 10:52 AM on May 8, 2014 [9 favorites]


I'm a little confused about Larrick. Does the Jared connection now confirm that Larrick killed Emmet and Leanne?

I don't think so.

Were we supposed to know this already?

I'm sure not.

And if he's trying to lure Philip and Elizabeth away from the house why does he need Jared?

The AV Club reviewers note that we don't actually know that it's Larrick who's going after Jared -- Kate wrote that before she knew who was in her house.

Also, thing I learned while making this post: Željko Ivanek insists in his contracts that his name be spelled with the Ž in credits.
posted by Etrigan at 10:59 AM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hoping Kate's death means the return of Margo Martindale's Claudia as Philip and Elizabeth's handler.
posted by The Gooch at 11:58 AM on May 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Especially since Elizabeth is very much like Claudia, especially after her interactions with the Nicaraguan spy.
posted by planetesimal at 12:13 PM on May 8, 2014


Hoping Kate's death means the return of Margo Martindale's Claudia as Philip and Elizabeth's handler.

I hope that basically everything means the return of Margo Martindale anywhere (that isn't a crap sitcom, and yes, I fucking tried to like The Millers, because I like everyone in it, but ugh).

I get disappointed a lot.
posted by Etrigan at 2:06 PM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Do Russians always address and refer to each other by first and last name?

Oooo, I know this one! They're actually using first name + patronymic name, which is usually either Blankovich/Blankevich (son of Blank) or Blankovna/Blankevna (daughter of Blank) where Blank is the father's first name. I don't know if Russians still do this in real life, but it's pretty standard in Russian novels and films through the 20th century. For instance, in Dr. Zhivago, Lara is Larisa Feodorovna and Yuri is Yuri Andreyevich, IIRC.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:05 PM on May 8, 2014


So if you're Bob Smith and your father is Jim and you and I are friends or coworkers, I'd routinely call you Bob Jimovich.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:07 PM on May 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Wig count: a measly 2, but we also get a beard-wig.

Finally, a place to ask my most burning question about the show: How can Martha and "Clark" possibly have so much rambunctious sex without her tearing off his wig or even realizing he's wearing one?
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:14 PM on May 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


Rambunctious sex doesn't necessarily mean both people are wild with each other. Also, for instance, when Elizabeth asked Philip to show her what "Clark" was like in bed, he immediately turned her around.
posted by Etrigan at 3:18 PM on May 8, 2014


Well OK, but just running your hands through someone's hair is enough to tell you there's not an actual scalp underneath, and then you've got the sweat factor. But nevermind [willingly re-suspending disbelief].
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:22 PM on May 8, 2014


I'd rather they killed off Martha as it's kind of a tedious and sloppy storyline anyway.
posted by planetesimal at 3:26 PM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I do not care for that Larrick fellow. Not one bit.
posted by homunculus at 4:48 PM on May 8, 2014


Depends on the situation.

Very interesting, thanks!

The AV Club reviewers note that we don't actually know that it's Larrick who's going after Jared -- Kate wrote that before she knew who was in her house.


Oh, good, I thought I missed something.

I have to say that I'm missing the way the music was incorporated in season one. From "Tusk" in episode one to "Games Without Frontiers" in the season finale, it was almost another character in the show. "The Gambler" really hit that mark this season, but other than "Rock This Town" (when Phillip buys the car) it seems conspicuously absent to me.

Normally I wouldn't care about or mention gossip-y stuff, but I just now learned that Keri Russell are dating IRL. I'm not sure how this matches up with filming and what we've already seen, but it explains their on-screen chemistry.

I'd rather they killed off Martha as it's kind of a tedious and sloppy storyline anyway.

It seemed like they were going to flesh this out a little at the beginning of the season but I'm pretty disappointed in where it went.

Chekov's Wallclock? In S1, when Stan goes to the travel agency for the first time, he mentions the clock on the wall and says his mother has the same clock. I'm sure it's not really anything, but for a man (and TV show) that doesn't really mince words it still stands out to me.

And since we're getting a late start here, I just want to give a shout-out to the car chase from last season. I think it's the best car chase I've seen on TV and was literally on the edge of my seat the whole time.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:01 PM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


That was indeed a pretty awesome TV car chase and I'd rather see more of that than so much cheesy soft porn, honestly. Though the former certainly is cheaper to shoot.
posted by planetesimal at 6:46 PM on May 8, 2014


The scene where Paige walked in on them, and Elizabeth lifted her head over Philip's ass and glared at her, though? Pretty much the greatest sex scene in TV history.
posted by Etrigan at 8:26 PM on May 8, 2014 [9 favorites]


I tell you what, I'm like a puppy about to get smacked every time Stan Beeman comes onscreen. I *know* it's going to happen, about to happen, sure to -- OH THERE HE GOES, SHOWING EMOTION WITH A SUBTLE TWITCH OF HIS CHEEK.

Ugh.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:16 PM on May 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


This season sure is a slow burn. I wonder, since Larrick already knows Elizabeth and Phillip, why he didn't just send a coded message calling them out for a meet so he could ambush and wack them? Or just have the cops descend on them when they are searching Kate's place.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:06 PM on May 9, 2014


How can Martha and "Clark" possibly have so much rambunctious sex without her tearing off his wig or even realizing he's wearing one?

In the previous episode to this, I thought Elizabeth and Phillip's discussion of how Martha thought "Clark" was such an an amazing animal in bed was pretty funny, especially in that Elizabeth seemed to wonder why he wasn't like that for her. I was very surprised that neither mentioned the possibility that perhaps Martha was simply used to such lackluster, ordinary sex that anything even slightly enthusiastic in bed would be considered wild and amazing to her.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:12 AM on May 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Philip takes out his aggression on Martha and would kill her without hesitation if necessary, I think.
posted by planetesimal at 3:42 PM on May 10, 2014


Man, I wasn't expecting the Fanfare threads to go wide so soon; I just binge-watched the season over the last day or so. Whew. (I kept putting it off because last season was sooooo good, I was afraid this season wouldn't live up to it).

Wigs - When Phillip ripped it off after the Elizabeth/Clark scene, it didn't come off easy, he had to wrench at it and the anchors on his real hair were still there, afterwords. I assume the Russian spies get high quality wigs that clip on, and don't have a second "scalp". Advanced wig technology.

Larkin's Plan - I got the impression Larrick is going after the people he thinks killed "his friends" based on what he said to Kate, with a hearty side of the death to the people who have an upper hand on him. I don't know if he's blaming the KGB in general, thinks Phillip and Elizabeth specifically killed them, or doesn't care if he's wrong since he wants to be free of their control and get some revenge.

So I think Larrick wants to use Jared as a way to trap anyone who comes after him on the theory they'll be the folks who killed LeAnne and Emmett.

Martha- I think Martha is supposed to be a drag. She's dragging Phillip down, but he needs her, so he has to keep her on a eternal pendulum of love and manipulative abuse. This season has been about the forces that eat away at Phillip and Elizabeth - Paige's teenage rebellion and religious awakening, Henry's break-in, multiple overlapping tasks that don't end in 100% success, Martha as the shadow wife/tool (and Elizabeth's jealousy), Elizabeth's rootlessness and Phillip's unspoken concerns and subsequent decisions, the newbie handler, the barely controlled asset, the unsettling murder of other illegals. Toss in Elizabeth's fear, and it's a hard combination.

I love Margo Martindale/Claudia, and I particularly like how she plays the tip of the iceberg that Phillip and Elizabeth see, while conveying the layers of emotion, motive, and control just under the surface. So I'm all for her coming back if that would be possible.

Whew.
posted by julen at 8:23 PM on May 10, 2014


LeAnn and Emmet weren't Larrick's friends. Remember when he told Philip and Elizabeth that he would have killed LeAnn and Emmet if he could figure out where they lived? Further, he said he was just a couple of meetings away from discovering that.

The friends he refers to are the army guys at the Martial Eagle camp who Philip and Elizabeth killed.
posted by chrchr at 9:10 PM on May 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, of course. Thanks!

(That's the danger of watching it in one fell swoop. Less time to dwell on episodes in between and get everything set). He did say he was 2-3 meets away from knowing their home address so he could kill him, and the publicity around the murders means he knows where Jared is.
posted by julen at 9:27 PM on May 10, 2014


The message to get Jared out was definitely left by Kate, not Larrick. After Kate gets her gun from the towels we see her sitting down and peeling all the remaining toilet paper from the roll. When Elizabeth and Philip are searching the bathroom the camera very deliberately pans from Elizabeth to the toilet seat being up and back again. Kate has done this out-of-place thing to hint that there is a message nearby.
posted by unliteral at 6:55 PM on May 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


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