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Tara Ariano

S02.E05: The Deal

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Major downgrade in the handler department. I mean, no one could really compare to Margo Martindale, but this lady...I kind of felt like they overdid it by trying to make her so green. Like, she says that Phillip and Elizabeth are so important and the Centre wants to keep them happy and safe, and Claudia was the best they had. So they replaced her with this terrified 20-year-old? Phillip had to tell her how to do her job. Not promising.

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Wow, that car ride to the ship was very painful. I would have gagged the Jewish scientist before putting him into the car.

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margol - I felt that way too, until I realized that would be visible from another car, and would look suspicious.  I would have drugged him and thrown him into the trunk.

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I predicted it would be Mossad, but mainly because i couldn't think of anyone else it could be. I did fail to notice that the woman was the girlfriend, though, so no points for me.

The final deal seemed pretty cold but it actually makes sense. The soviets can use someone involved in stealth research. And as for Israel, well back then the dominant political party was getting mostly askanzi votes, whereas their closest rival was getting most of the sephardics. And so the israeli government was actually pressuring Washington not to accept jewish russians (who are askanazi) as immigrants so that they would go to Israel instead and help keep the party in power.

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Maybe I was imagining it in my own dirty mind, but I got a hint of a sexual element in the introduction of the new handler. She kept emphasizing that TPTB want to make Phillip happy. Happyhappyhappy. She did everything but tilt her head and call him honey. My impression was that Phillip got the message and was contemptuous of it.

What an amazing show this must have been to direct--first here, then there, then Elizabeth is one identity, then she's another. . .such talent, all 'round.

Edited to add: This might help explain the otherwise odd decision to send a young, pretty new handler who seems out of her league.

Edited by picklesprite
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kierstyn, I did not think of that. Yes, gagging him and putting him in the trunk would have been a better option.

I just love this show. The acting is so good. There are just a handful of shows with really good acting.

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I think the scene with Martha and Elizabeth was my favourite. Elizabeth's expressions were hilarious, especially when Martha was telling her about her sex life. Wait, wild? Wild? Wtf?

The ass wiping made me laugh. No one said being a spy is always glamourous!!

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I'm wondering if the scenes with the Mossad agent and the scientist will come into play later on if Philip directly considers the defection question again.

I think the death of Leann and Emmet is also meant to play into growing doubts P & E are having about their roles.

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I'm still trying to figure out what Oleg is really up to with his meeting with Stan. Does he want to oust Arkady and become the chief by turning Stan? Is he looking to defect?

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I kinda thought he was looking to pull Stan into informing on the FBI, using Nina's safety as leverage, in order to ultimately oust Arkady. But maybe he'll just request more detail on Nina and their history than the files provide to somehow get rid of Arkady that way? I thought The Centre was aware of the truth about the beginning of Nina and Stan's relationship, but now I'm not sure.

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I love this Show! It's plotting and construction are among the best around, so I was particularly interested  to read dr,pepper's post as to the motives of the Israelis in letting the scientist go back to Russia. My recollection of those horrible Cold War days is that Israel was so concerned about protecting itself and developing pro-active capabilities, that it would never relinquish  a resource like the scientist and the potential he represented-- not even for 1500 "votes"-- so the plot wasn't credible for me on that point, but I bow to dr.pepper's knowledge

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Picklesprite said:

Maybe I was imagining it in my own dirty mind, but I got a hint of a sexual element in the introduction of the new handler. She kept emphasizing that TPTB want to make Phillip happy. Happyhappyhappy. She did everything but tilt her head and call him honey. My impression was that Phillip got the message and was contemptuous of it.

I got the same sort of vibe, and I'm not a fan of this person. How is someone so ... green really is the most charitable word ... supposed to handle seasoned spies? I hope she doesn't stick around.

Also, I laughed so hard at Arkady in the radio room. "Is the building on fire? ... Is Ronald Reagan scaling the walls in his cowboy hat?! NEVER KNOCK ON MY RADIO ROOM DOOR!"

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l don't know what Oleg is really up to, but he seems to want to be a star, which he surely would be if he could pull in a big spyshark like Stan. Talk about a "high-value asset"! From a plotting point of view, this is such a brilliant turn. It never occurred to me that Stan might be targeted like that. I love it. This is not going to end well for. . .someone.

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I think the scene with Martha and Elizabeth was my favourite. Elizabeth's expressions were hilarious, especially when Martha was telling her about her sex life. Wait, wild? Wild? Wtf?

The ass wiping made me laugh. No one said being a spy is always glamourous!!

That was a great moment! This episode was full of all the worst parts of spying. Butt wiping, emotional torment, having to drink wine and listen to your husband's informant tell you how great he is in bed... at least they got to cuddle for like two minutes at the end. The last scene completely sold it for me!

Edited by Hal25
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This ep was probably my favorite of the season. I'm kind of sad we probably won't see the Mossad guy again. I liked him. Not sure what Oleg is doing. At times I think he's a double agent. Other times I think he's just trying to replace Arkady.

Martha & Elizabeth was great as was the scene in the couch at the end. I wonder if the new Claudia is as clueless as she makes out to be and if not, what's her game. Maybe they are still suspicious about Phil and/or Elizabeth's loyalty and hope they'll slip up around a seemingly dumb and much less intimidating new handler.

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Pardon my lack of cynicism, but I think the Israelis' eagerness in the episode to make a deal to free 1500 Soviet Jews was not driven so much by the desire to gain 1500 votes for the ruling party, as by the desire to see 1500 Soviet Jews freed. Arkady said it himself, when he said that while Communists are driven by loyalty to an economic ideal, Jews are driven by loyalty to tribe. Speaking as a Jew (and of course, this show is written by Jews), I can tell you that he is not all wrong.

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Speaking as a Jew, too, I found that pretty close to impossible to believe. See the emphasis on Gilad Shalit. Also wouldn't the scientists kidnapping have been big news?

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My favourite thing about the episode? The humour. I loved Gaad commenting on being handed a coloured pen "I'd forgotten the glamour of government work." Hey look on the bright side - you could be wiping some guy's ass!

Dr Pepper And as for Israel, well back then the dominant political party was getting mostly askanzi votes, whereas their closest rival was getting most of the sephardics.

I didn't think it was about votes (though, for the Israeli government, that might just be a pleasant bonus) but, as Arkady put it, about "Tribe". I'm not really sure they'd rally trade "One of theirs" for 1500, but it does serve to emphasize that the spy game is a dirty one, and that ultimately, everyone is expendable. Or maybe they thought the guy was a whiny bitch (understandably, perhaps) but I was rooting for Philip to shoot him!

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My favourite thing about the episode? The humour. I loved Gaad commenting on being handed a coloured pen "I'd forgotten the glamour of government work." Hey look on the bright side - you could be wiping some guy's ass!

I didn't think it was about votes (though, for the Israeli government, that might just be a pleasant bonus) but, as Arkady put it, about "Tribe". I'm not really sure they'd rally trade "One of theirs" for 1500, but it does serve to emphasize that the spy game is a dirty one, and that ultimately, everyone is expendable. Or maybe they thought the guy was a whiny bitch (understandably, perhaps) but I was rooting for Philip to shoot him!

This was a really funny one! So many good liners, especially with the Mossad guy turning to Philip and saying how Elizabeth got so much pleasure out of breaking his arm and what a lovely bed he must have to sleep in at night. Too funny!

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Kenny Rogers songs.  "You gotta know when to hold em"    Honestly The Gambler is a strangely fitting song for the Jennings  "Know when to walk away.  Know when to run."  

Arkady: "We are better at vodka.  They are better at tobacco."  

Claudia's replacement is young and eager to please.   I wonder what "her best" actually is.

Oooh Martha and Jennifer fun time.  All that fun girl talk about Glark and how rude he is.  Also the sex.  Yes the sex.  Probably my favorite scene of the episode by far.   I thought the entire conversation was hilarious.  I know Elizabeth went there to talk Martha down but when Martha starting talking about Clark and her sex life I just burst out laughing.  I wouldn't have been surprised if Elizabeth had just snapped Martha's neck or stabbed her in the face.  

Would a Jennifer/Clark/Martha threesome be weird?  Maybe Elizabeth could wear one of her other wigs.  Because she looked a combination of pissed off and turned on.  Not sure if it was because of Philip or Martha.  Maybe both?  

The conversation between Philip and the Mossad agent was very well done.  I love how people keep saying America is supposed to be an easy posting. "I'm bronze.  I'm not platinum like you.  I go home for passover.  I sing country western with an accent.  I hide what I do.  I don't hide who I am."  

Oleg vs Stan.  I thought the scene where Oleg blackmailed Stan was very well done.  Calling himself a "budding student of capitalism" was clever and allowed him to cleverly blackmail Stan without making him suspicious that he was being played.  

So 1 person for 1500 it might seem like a no brainer.  If your not the one being screwed over.  

Funniest line thought was by Elizabeth "I spent the evening with you wife.  Clark has some explaining to do."  

Edited by Chaos Theory
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This episode has a special place in my heart because I can pretend that my family were some of those 1500 Jews. They got out in 1985, which was a really bad year for emigration; the country was practically sealed off. We still don't know why our family's application to emigrate was accepted when almost no one else's was. My mother's theory is that the government really wanted the three apartments that would be forfeit when five people were let out. Or possibly the government simply saw no harm in releasing a group composed of three old ladies, a pregnant woman, and a guy who designed food packaging material (sucks to be them, that same guy helps airplanes stay up in the sky for the US now). I know at one time the US was trading bags of grain for Jews, but that seems like it happened more earlier in the decade.

So our release being part of a deal to free an Israeli operative is as reasonable a theory as any!

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47 minutes ago, PinkRibbons said:

So our release being part of a deal to free an Israeli operative is as reasonable a theory as any!

I think you should go ahead and make that your personal family headcanon now. 

This is one of my favorite episodes ever. I think the writer only wrote this one, too. The only weird thing in it is that scene where Elizabeth seems to meet with Brad in the middle of the night, only it's clearly daytime. But for the most part it's just a great ep. First time Philip ever cracks enough to volunteer information about his past, even if it's just a fondness for icicle fights.

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On ‎4‎.‎4‎.‎2014 at 6:45 PM, Milburn Stone said:

Pardon my lack of cynicism, but I think the Israelis' eagerness in the episode to make a deal to free 1500 Soviet Jews was not driven so much by the desire to gain 1500 votes for the ruling party, as by the desire to see 1500 Soviet Jews freed. Arkady said it himself, when he said that while Communists are driven by loyalty to an economic ideal, Jews are driven by loyalty to tribe. Speaking as a Jew (and of course, this show is written by Jews), I can tell you that he is not all wrong.

It was at least likely in the context of this show. It was especially brilliant that the reason to the Israelis to the barter was told only in the end of the episode and even then the audiance must make the connection.

However, it was less likely that the Soviets wanted the scientist back, instead of getting his results in the USA. What if he made a suicide in Russia - there would be no gain.   

Edited by Roseanna

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On ‎17‎.‎2‎.‎2017 at 7:37 PM, sistermagpie said:

First time Philip ever cracks enough to volunteer information about his past, even if it's just a fondness for icicle fights.

I think it's marvellous how it's shown that the Israeli agent really got under Philp's skin by talking that he had to lie only about his actions as an agent, but Philip's whole life was a lie, how Philip despite of Anatoli's desperate pleas hardened himself and followed orders and how he was at least somehow comforted by sharing memories with Elizabeth. One could see both how inhumanly Philip acted and how human he still was.

The another marvellous thing was that there was also the greater context: the whole exchange was ugly. Yet, whereas the Israelis betrayed one of their own, Arkady seemed to keen to save especially Philip, his own agent. Of course the choice wasn't of same kind.

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I’m watching this show for the first time so I don’t know what happens. I’m not clear what Oleg’s game is, but either way it seems to me that the correct move for Stan to make Ned this immediately tell his superiors and try to exfiltrate Nina. Why is he acting like this is something he can be blackmailed over? But I assume for TV plotting purposes that won’t happen - wonder what his reasoning will be. 

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I don't think it's blackmail so much as a threat to Nina. Oleg knows Stan cares about Nina personally and the FBI do not. Stan already is trying to get her exfiltrated and doesn't trust the FBI will do that. Oleg is playing on that fear of Stan's. At least that's how I'm remembering it.

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