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  1. shura

    S01.E17 Low Expectations

    Depends where on the East Coast, I guess. Here in New Hampshire you just show up for your written test with no appointment, and if you go early enough, chances are that they will have slots the same day for a driving test (that you do need an appointment for, technically). Did his license show his occupation for some reason? Or did he just call himself a doctor and the cop bought it? Anyway, I'm sure Joey has IDs for all occasions. Maybe he felt this was more of a doctor situation rather than a Father one. Mike: "Did Helen take the driving test for you?" - Peg, without missing a bit: "After all these years, are you really surprised by anything that woman does?"
  2. shura

    S01.E14: Happy Cecil

    Joey: "Now that you are not a priest anymore, I've always wanted to ask - this is all a bunch of nonsense, right?" What does Lawrence do? I remember Mike telling him that, even though he left the seminary, he should still get some kind of education. I forgot, did they ever say if Lawrence enrolled in college? Or does he just sit around commenting on things?
  3. shura

    S03.E13 Mo' Money, Mo' Problems

    Maybe it was the parking brake. After all, the whole "left-in-neutral" explanation is based solely on something said by a teenager who may be too young to drive herself. Maybe she just didn't know exactly how things work. The thing about Cooper is that he never seems bitter or resentful about his parents not being there. It's like he doesn't know that he should be sad about it.
  4. shura

    S12.E09: The Citation Negation

    Nobody would give up just because someone called their theory wrong. I took it that the paper had all the math to show that the asymmetry theory is incorrect, and Sheldon saw the math and agreed. Math is universal, you can often follow the math in a foreign language paper even if you don't understand the text. Maybe Sheldon saw a formula or a calculation there that he knew proved him and Amy wrong.
  5. shura

    S01.E02: Timmy's Poem

    Jimmy? I've been hearing "Joey" for two episodes. And it's a treehouse. That Dad let him build because he was impressed how Joey/Jimmy likes to do things with his hands. I am really liking this show, both the stories and the background. The thing that sold me in the pilot was when Joey is bumped off from the dinner table to make room for Lawrence with a throwaway line "Go eat it over the sink." Then, in a different scene a couple minutes later, when all of this has been forgotten already, Timmy is talking to Mom in the kitchen, and there, in the background, over the sink, is Joey enjoying his dinner. Mom shoots down Timmy's audition idea, starts saying something - and in the background Joey drops everything and bolts, moments before she sends Timmy out with the collection box. That is some seriously good writing.
  6. shura

    S06.E10: START

    Right, but regardless of how sincerely Philip believes in what he is saying, it is simply not true that this last mission is finally, after all these years, something that is actually of consequence. To Philip's feelings maybe, but not to Stan or even to Elizabeth. Everything they did has done real damage to the US and its people. You think Philip does not realize that as he is EST-bombing Stan with his "weaponized sincerity" (love the phrase) in an effort to get Stan to let them go? Maybe, I don't know. It's hard to imagine that, when he lists "following Americans, recruiting Americans, being afraid of Americans", he forgets to include the "killing Americans" part because he sincerely doesn't remember about it at that moment. It is something that has been bothering him, how can he forget? No, he is choosing what to say and what to omit. It is manipulative.
  7. shura

    S06.E10: START

    Just re-watched, picked up a couple things I don't think I've seen mentioned. In the garage, Philip says to Stan "All these years we watched Americans, recruited Americans - and now we finally, actually got something - and it's the fucking Russians," Finally, actually? As if everything they'd done in the previous twenty plus years wasn't that serious and didn't really amount to much? That's one hundred percent manipulation on Philip's part. On the other hand, when Paige comes out of the blue with "You have to take care of Henry!", I don't believe for a second that it's something calculated. It's Paige, she is not that good. Stan knows that, that's why he addresses her when he confronts the three of them in the garage. Her saying that has got to be what convinces Stan that Henry actually knows nothing. Last, Philip and Elizabeth are crossing the Soviet border from Poland, not Finland, the Volvo notwithstanding. The sign on the booth says "Kontrola Pasportowa/Паспортный Контроль/Passport Control" in Polish, Russian and English.
  8. shura

    S06.E10: START

    That's pretty much how I have come to think of the writers' choices on this show. They are not showing the most probable real-life course of action; if they were, Pastor Tim would have never been allowed to live after Paige's call, Philip would have never been allowed to stay in the US when he started cracking under pressure, etc. Instead, the writers chose to show things that were simply not impossible. It's not impossible (just improbable ;)) that someone in the KGB would make a judgement call to let Pastor Tim live and see how it would play out, or decided that Philip's value staying is greater than the risk of him breaking down and giving away everything he knows. And it's fine with me. I notice the improbable things and mention them, but they don't ruin anything for me. I loved the finale. When they started talking about calling Henry, I was hoping against hope they wouldn't. I knew I was going to lose it if I had to watch that scene. And then they go and show them looking at Henry's Canadian passport and discarding it... It's actually the other way, the unstressed O is pronounced as A (or, rather, as "ah") except in some regional dialects. It's just that the emphasis in Oleg is on the E the way Russians pronounce it. And when the G is not followed by a vowel, it often sounds as K. That's how you get from Oleg to Alec.
  9. shura

    S06.E09: Jennings, Elizabeth

    I'm a bit less cynical than that. I think that Claudia was doing her damndest to prep Paige for the life, but recognized that Elizabeth's squeamishness was impeding her efforts. Claudia was trying to toughen them both up at the same time, and the failure for Elizabeth to rise to her expectations meant that Paige would inevitably fall short as well. I'll be be more cynical than that. It's most probably not what the writers intended, but in real life it could just very well be a classic example of Russian imitation of activity on Claudia's part. The out-of-touch higher-ups come up with a (stupid) idea and issue orders that everybody must follow without questioning (or else). So the middle management develops half-ass plans to implement the order, the people on the ground go through the motions of executing the plans, and nobody really cares whether the result is achieved or not, because the point is simply to demonstrate that everybody is doing something to follow the orders. BTW, what's so special about Claudia that she can't go and spray the guy with the cyanide herself? Or shoot him from a rooftop across the street? She is in on the coup plans, the excuse of having too few people doesn't work here. I think that's exactly how Stan took it, actually - just a different person with the same name. It also looked like the date of birth made the guy in the database way older than Philip, although I may be wrong here.
  10. shura

    S06.E09: Jennings, Elizabeth

    They have stuff on Oleg from his Rezidentura days, don't they? There is record of his being a spy under diplomatic cover, both the FBI and the CIA (from their Moscow experiment) can testify to that. And now that Oleg has no cover and is just a private citizen really interested in transportation optimization, they have proof that he picked up a dead drop (even if they may not know what it says). Plus, I'm sure they have searched his hotel room and found all his decoding accoutrements there. I don't know for sure if that's enough, but it doesn't seem unreasonable.
  11. shura

    S06.E09: Jennings, Elizabeth

    She is probably trained, but it is ridiculous that they chose her for the mission. Tatiana is officially a Soviet diplomat with a position at the embassy, a deputy attachée of some sort or something like that. Sending her is not really that different from having the ambassador himself do it. You have to think about risk management - if something goes wrong and she is exposed, imagine what it would look like in the papers, a Soviet diplomat tries to assassinate one of their own in the middle of the summit. Is it really worth a try? And really, there is no reason Nesterenko's assassination should be a requirement for the coup success. It's only a plot device to get Elizabeth into conflict with Claudia and the KGB. Well, if Father Victor was talking to the FBI that very day, there was at least a chance the FBI wouldn't be quick enough to have someone on Father Andrei already. Not that he made that calculation, necessarily, of course. At least he didn't wait a few days, at which point his message to Philip would be "I wanted to tell you, in person, that the FBI is following me 24/7."
  12. shura

    S06.E08: The Summit

    He must have been really depressed by the movie then. It's not exactly a movie that would inspire Soviet patriotism or reinforce commitment to die for the country. It is about people infighting and backstabbing in an effort to get some parking spaces, and it touches on the injustices of life in the USSR, things like corruption and the need to be connected to get something. Kind of like Oleg's story from last season (but a comedy, believe it or not). Not intending this to be a knock on the writing, but that's not some brilliant idea the writers had to be particularly talented to come up with. It's all real life.
  13. shura

    S06.E08: The Summit

    Question: why couldn't Claudia fudge Elizabeth's reports without having her kill Nesterenko? She wasn't going to tell Elizabeth about it anyway. If the false reports were going to convince Soviet leadership that Gorbachev must be removed, did it really matter if Nesterenko was dead or alive and denying everything? And I must say - that guy is a really good actor. I was feeling his fear there in the car. Well done. So Stan is the only person who doesn't know the Jenningses are Soviet spies, right? Pastor Tim knows. Stavos knows. The Roy Rogers guys does, too. I'm sure Renee knows as well. Next week, when Stan comes to Aderholdt, Dennis will be like, "Philip and Elizabeth? Oh yeah, I knew they were Russian."
  14. shura

    S06.E07: Harvest

    Do we really know that they lived a particularly reclusive life and had no normal interactions with friends and neighbors? They showed up at the Beemans' door with their housewarming casserole like they'd done it before, in a perfectly neighborly way. And that was before they knew Stan was FBI, so they had no reason to pretend extra hard to befriend him. Plus, for all we know, Elizabeth could have wiped the van down while Philip was driving it to the garage.
  15. shura

    S06.E07: Harvest

    Actually, a radio jammer would have helped with that, too. The FBI probably want to remain inconspicuous and keep watching Harvest in secret, so they don't really want to have too many people following him directly (a helicopter would probably be a bit of a giveaway, too). They'd need communication to call up all those hidden agents if something happens. It only makes sense to hit their ability to communicate. It really has to be in the SOP for this kind of operation, the more I think about it.