The problem with finally opening up and being honest is discovering all the past betrayals of someone you trusted. This episode of The Americans has apparently sent KGB handler Gabriel on his way, but his final line to Philip is simultaneously a refreshing moment of candor and a knife in the heart. Now he tells him?
This episode also opened up potential for a theory that would have colossal ramifications for the show — and could indicate how two disparate story lines may eventually converge. But we’ve got to save that for the end of the recap.
We open in the safe house where Paige has just been invited to meet with Gabriel, her mother and father’s longtime handler, who is soon to depart and retire. “I can’t tell you, Paige, how much I’ve been looking forward to this day,” the old man tells her.
Her questions are simple. They’re treating her like an adult, but the things she wonders are childlike: “Are you a spy?”
“Yes,” Gabriel says. Smiles all around. It must be a pleasure to finally just say it out loud.
“I know it’s been a difficult time, Paige, finding out your parents have withheld things from you,” Gabriel says. “To you they’re just your parents. They probably drive you crazy, because they have driven me crazy from time to time. But to us, they’re honestly heroes. They’ve saved a lot of lives.” Continue reading The Americans recap: ‘The Committee on Human Rights’
Gabriel can hardly believe what Elizabeth has learned about the U.S. government’s secret agriculture program. It’s not about blighting Soviet crops but about breeding a pest-resistant stalk of wheat.
“Stobert just wants to end world hunger? Like Miss America?” Gabriel asks her.
He knows this news must have hit Philip hard, since he killed a lab technician thinking the program was aimed at creating famines. Nonetheless, Gabriel sees a bright side: “If they’ve come up with some kind of ‘super wheat,’ think what getting our hands on it would mean to us. No more shortages. No more buying grain from the west. We could make it right.”
The mission will continue. Elizabeth will continue nurturing her relationship with Stobert, which is growing into a robust, healthy thing itself, while Philip will remain with Deirdre Kemp, a witheringly dull weed of a relationship.
Elizabeth sighs. “You’re spread thin,” Gabriel acknowledges. Continue reading The Americans recap: ‘Crossbreed’
The pace picks up a little bit in this episode as we finally come to understand the nature of the agriculture program Philip and Elizabeth are investigating and suspicions about Stan’s new girlfriend are vocalized by our antiheroes.
We begin with Philip undercover (and under the covers) with his boring Kansas contact, Deirdre, who ends their lovemaking by offering to show him her spreadsheet computer program Lotus 123 – which gives this episode its title.
During the chore of sex, Philip’s mind wanders to his childhood home and memories of his father bringing home three grim root vegetables for them to eat.
Elsewhere, Elizabeth is spending time with Evgheniya, the wife of defector and Russian farming expert Alexei Morozov, who reveals that she has finally gotten a job and will now be teaching Russian to government specialists who study Soviet agriculture.
Back at the FBI, Stan Beeman and his trusty sidekick Agent Aderholt tell their boss that the effort to recruit Soviet businessmen as spies is not bearing fruit.
“None of these guys are hungry,” Stan says. Continue reading The Americans recap: ‘Lotus 1-2-3’