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S03.E05: Salang Pass

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Wow.

 

That final montage of Philip's training really drove some things home.  Poor kid.

 

Kimmy is Paige's age.  It may be a bit too coincidental to have this story while the KGB wants Paige, but it's working for me. 

 

I loved Yoseph's (?sp) realization that his country is screwed no matter what now.

I knew Elizabeth was going to kick that jack from under that car when she was walking by the first time.

Nice con on the AA woman, just a little extra money for talking...I have a feeling she won't fall for it though.

 

Stan is getting more interesting to me somehow.

 

I'm still blown away by that last montage, it kind of drove the rest of the episode from my mind.

Edited by Umbelina
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Man, Elizabeth really jacked up Maurice.

 

I don't think that was Maurice -- he was calling to people in the house, not living alone. I think it was a guy at the Northrop plant Elizabeth wanted to move Lisa to, so he had to die to make a job opening for her.

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Yeah, that end montage definitely explained a lot about Philip.

 

Excellent episode.  I agree that Stan is becoming a lot more interesting again as a character.

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But would Oleg cooperate with Stan's plan? "We can trade Zinaida for Nina" means that Nina would become American property, and Oleg would never get to see her unless he defected himself. Right? Also, if Oleg defected, there would be dire consequences for his father.

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I'm assuming the docile white lab Elizabeth was walking came courtesy of the KGB prop department?

 

Elizabeth, please. You can't expect Philip to buy the argument that Kimmie is screwed up the way she is because she doesn't know the truth about what her father is doing. That was a pathetic attempt in the battle for Paige.

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I thought this was a quality episode. I love the complexity of the Philip and Elizabeth relationship, so I liked the ending. I liked Philip's interactions with the minor. Really good scenes, there, and the girl did a solid job of acting the role. It was also great to see Elizabeth working her new friend.

 

The only part of the plot that is dragging for me is the Stan/Oleg stuff. Their scenes together seem far-fetched but also quite dull. The show killed the dramatic tension that would naturally be present when spies from either side meet when they had Oleg pull out a gun on Stan and not use it. Now they're just talking about saving the women they love(d), and it's a bit too ridiculous for me.

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Man, Elizabeth really jacked up Maurice.

OK, now I feel bad about myself.

 

 

I thought it was Maurice at first, and that he was working on Lisa's car, which had a Northrup parking sticker on the windshield. But then I realized that Elizabeth killed a guy so there would be an opening for Lisa at the plant nearer to the house where she's staying. Stone cold, E.

 

It was weird when I thought it was Maurice under the car and the next scene showed Lisa and Elizabeth celebrating. I first thought Lisa was celebrating being, uh, free of her husband! 

Edited by RedHawk
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Would even FX go there with Philip seducing a 15 year old?

 

Where is everyone tonight?  I hope this isn't a sign people are giving up on this show!

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I liked the scene at the end with P and E talking in bed.  I like when they are more open with each other since we get more insight.  God, Philips training was awful!  Not that Elizabeth's was easy especially with being raped.  It is very interesting how the show portrays them in showing us their pre-spy days or training in that Philip's recollection and flashbacks are more emotional, sensitive and gut wrenching.   


Who else thinks that the "consultant" Elizabeth was told Lisa about is going to be Clark?!  I can't think of a good reason that wouldn't "work." 

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What was the significance of Phillip forgetting that Paige was a clumsy toddler?  Maybe he idealized their childhood?  He looked exhausted in that scene - black circles around his eyes.

 

That final montage of Philip's training really drove some things home.  Poor kid.

 

 They must have purposely chosen unattractive people for him.  Very interesting that he had to fake it with Elizabeth in the past.  I assumed he was in love with her by the time they became sexually active.

 

 

Stan is getting more interesting to me somehow.

 

The character is so much better when he's good at his job.  And I know it's all kind of wrong, but I enjoy Phillip and Stan's friendship.  It's going to be brutal when Stan figures it all out.  Maybe Phillip would be a better candidate to turn Stan than Nina was.

 

Something I noticed in the dinner scene, was Phillip's European utensil use.  It's not that American's don't eat that way, I just find it pretty uncommon except for people raised with money.

 

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Something I noticed in the dinner scene, was Phillip's European utensil use.  It's not that American's don't eat that way, I just find it pretty uncommon except for people raised with money.

Philip had better watch out!!!

 

From Wikipedia:

American spies are exposed by observation of their out-of-place forking technique in at least two American movies — O.S.S. (1946) and The Big Red One (1980).

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Philip had better watch out!!!

 

From Wikipedia:

American spies are exposed by observation of their out-of-place forking technique in at least two American movies — O.S.S. (1946) and The Big Red One (1980).

 

It's probably something they overlooked.  Mathew is British and it probably wouldn't occur to him to eat differently.  The rest of the cast and crew should have known better.

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The nerd in me wished Phillip would have kicked those two jocks asses.

 

Count me into thinking Elizabeth dropped the car on Maurice until I saw the Northrop sticker.

 

Man, that montage at the end.  At first I thought "Okay, Phillip's seduction training was pretty rough. He had to *bleep* an old lady, that's kind of.... Oh crap he had to give that fat guy a bj?!"

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Very interesting that he had to fake it with Elizabeth in the past.  I assumed he was in love with her by the time they became sexually active.

 

That was my first thought, too. Back in season one, Matthew Rhys just embodied that hangdog expression of a guy not only in love, but completely infatuated with a woman he doesn't truly "have".

 

Then I remembered flashback scenes like the one from last season, where they show Elizabeth coming back from a job and telling him she was finally ready for them to sleep together. When he said something like "Are you sure?" She nodded and said, resolutely, "You'll make a good father", and Philip looked like he had about as much enthusiasm to keep going as he does when we see him now with Martha.

 

Even though Elizabeth was young and attractive, knowing that she was having sex with him out of basically the same sense of duty that kept them sleeping with their honey traps would have to leave a bitter taste, especially if Philip was already developing feelings for her. So I could definitely see him needing to fake his way through nights like that one.

Edited by Sienna
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I always wondered how Philip repeatedly gets it up for Martha, and now I know. *shudder* The middle-aged, beer-bellied dude though? The Soviet Union was a pretty homophobic place. I know it's the KGB, but that still seems far-fetched.

 

I was ready to throw up when Kimmie pulled Philip in for a kiss. I hope the show never makes Philip have sex with her. I wouldn't be able to root for him if he did.

 

The murder of the guy tinkering with his car bothered me in a way I can't really put into words. It was so ... tangential? It wasn't "this guy is about to blow our cover, so we have to kill him for self-preservation", it was "the asset we're working would like a shorter commute, so we'll kill an innocent human being who had nothing to do with anything so that she can get a transfer".

 

The bag of pot Gabriel gave Philip to give to Kimmie was huuuuge. I thought a smaller bag would have been less conspicuous.

 

I know Philip's conversation with Yousaf wasn't supposed to be funny, but I laughed at "next time, Yousaf, say ten".

 

I'm not a Christian, but I thought the person that's being christened can only wear white? I know they ultimately selected a cream-colored dress, which is close enough, but the scene of Philip suggesting various colored dresses to Paige rang false for me.

 

Finally, regarding table manners: my grandfather - a war orphan, working class man, i.e. not privileged by any means - had impeccable table manners and insisted that I mind mine for as long as I can remember. It was a "we may not have much, but we'll always have our good manners" mentality.  

Edited by chocolatine
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Had to watch it twice and still not sure I caught everything.

 

Impressed that the KGB trained agents to have sex convincingly with people they might not find attractive, but why would that make Elizabeth ask Philip if he had to "make it real" with her? I thought Philip always was interested in Elizabeth and she only recently returned the feeling?

 

It is hard to watch them (spies) go after teenagers and be parents of teenagers at the same time, but that was really rare, right? From what i have read, it may have gone down once or twice here in U.S. that we know about--that is not classified?

 

It was fascinating last week to see that the spectre of the baptism all of a sudden put Elizabeth and Philip on the same side and then this week that camaraderie  was dissipated by tonight's shopping trip for the baptism dress. What made me laugh is that if you know they are spies and competing for attention from a possible mark, it's one scene; and if you know nothing, the scene just underlines that teenage girls are much more interested in having their fathers' approval than their mothers. At the same time, I felt for Paige, who I think loved Philip's attention and willingness to spend on her special dress.

 

This show!

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The only part of the plot that is dragging for me is the Stan/Oleg stuff. Their scenes together seem far-fetched but also quite dull. The show killed the dramatic tension that would naturally be present when spies from either side meet when they had Oleg pull out a gun on Stan and not use it. Now they're just talking about saving the women they love(d), and it's a bit too ridiculous for me.

 

Same here. Oleg needs a better story line than "joining up with Stan - his arch enemy - to save the woman that they love." He had a lot of promise last season. Stan is still a pathetic sad sack for me. When he finds out that his best pal is KGB...should be interesting.

 

Elizabeth, please. You can't expect Philip to buy the argument that Kimmie is screwed up the way she is because she doesn't know the truth about what her father is doing. That was a pathetic attempt in the battle for Paige.

 

Yes it was. Right now, I'm trying to get past a lot of things about Elizabeth: recruiting Paige, dropping the car on the poor guy. I know that she is a true believer but it gets harder and harder to have any sympathy for her. I wish that Philip would defect and run off with Paige and Henry. (And yes, I know that wouldn't end well.)

 

The last montage was disturbing. In fact, much about this episode was disturbing. Philip is in a bad way. He is surrounding himself with needy people (Stan, Martha, Kimmie) and I think he cares about each of them in some fashion. There is no way that he has sex with Kimmie. I don't think that the show can go there and expect us to still root for Philip. Life with Martha is going to come to a head soon since she keeps demanding more from her husband. I am intrigued about the choices that he will have to make.

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I always wondered how Philip repeatedly gets it up for Martha, and now I know. *shudder* The middle-aged, beer-bellied dude though? The Soviet Union was a pretty homophobic place. I know it's the KGB, but that still seems far-fetched.

I was ready to throw up when Kimmie pulled Philip in for a kiss. I hope the show never makes Philip have sex with her. I wouldn't be able to root for him if he did.

The murder of the guy tinkering with his car bothered me in a way I can't really put into words. It was so ... tangential? It wasn't "this guy is about to blow our cover, so we have to kill him for self-preservation", it was "the asset we're working would like a shorter commute, so we'll kill an innocent human being who had nothing to do with anything so that she can get a transfer".

The bag of pot Gabriel gave Philip to give to Kimmie was huuuuge. I thought a smaller bag would have been less conspicuous.

I know Philip's conversation with Yousaf wasn't supposed to be funny, but I laughed at "next time, Yousaf, say ten".

I'm not a Christian, but I thought the person that's being christened can only wear white? I know they ultimately selected a cream-colored dress, which is close enough, but the scene of Philip suggesting various colored dresses to Paige rang false for me.

Finally, regarding table manners: my grandfather - a war orphan, working class man, i.e. not privileged by any means - had impeccable table manners and insisted that I mind mine for as long as I can remember. It was a "we may not have much, but we'll always have our good manners" mentality.

I'm a currently non-practicing member of a Christian faith (but I still believe in God/a higher power), but I was baptized when I was a baby (before we stopped going to church regularly). I was baptized in a gown (or whatever) that at least looked to be some shade of white (or perhaps cream) in the few pics I've seen from the ceremony. So I think you're probably supposed to wear white, or at least cream.

The kids in the family on TLC's The Little Couple TV show (the preschool-age son & daughter of the titular little couple, plus their baby cousin) were all in what was at least mostly white/cream for their joint Catholic baptism which aired in a recent episode of the series. The son had on a white shirt & pants, with a gray vest over the shirt; his sister had on a white dress; their baby cousin had on a white bonnet & white baptismal/christening gown. And Britain's youngest heir to the throne, the then-baby (now toddler) Prince George of Cambridge, was in a white or cream gown when christened/baptized, as well (I think it was a replica of a royal family christening gown--maybe the 1 his father, &/or Uncle Prince Harry, wore for their christenings as well). Those are recent baptisms/christenings I have to go by.

Having said that... Soviets/Communists were/were supposed to be Atheists, (or generally non-practicing/disbelieving in religion during Communist rule) right? Perhaps that's why Philip made the (obviously inappropriate) suggestions of the non-white/non-cream dresses for Paige. He didn't grow up in/around a church/religious setting, & wasn't currently attending church with Paige (like Elizabeth was at least trying to), so he didn't know you really aren't supposed to wear anything other than white (or apparently cream, in Paige's case) for a baptism/christening. Even though Elizabeth is at least trying to attend church with Paige/feign support for her religious interest, I'm not sure she wouldn't also have made inappropriate dress suggestions if she'd taken Paige shopping instead (just 'cause she's going to church doesn't mean what she's supposed to be "learning" there isn't going in 1 ear & out the other as soon as she hears it, you know?).

Edited by BW Manilowe
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OHHHHH......And here I was thinking Elizabeth killed the husband.....see, this is why I have to read the forums. I didn't find the weed bag that big. Having been a grown ass woman in those days weed was only about 25 bucks an oz so a bag that big wouldn't be unusual. Now you'd pay 200 or more....not that I have first hand knowledge or anything (cough, cough)

Phillip and the teenager is extra squicky seen through a 2015 lens. Older guys and (much) younger girls wasn't that uncommon. I went to high school (in the 70's) with girls who were having affairs with older married men and nobody got to upset about it. We all just shrugged and went "Cool" Times change.

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Who's a Good doggie for not barking at the growing pool of blood under the car! You are! Yes you are!

 

It's not that American's don't eat that way, I just find it pretty uncommon except for people raised with money.

 

Hee, I have, ever since I was a kid. (Because I'm random-handed, not monied.) My mother was cool with it, but my grandmother thought it was downright evil. Maybe she thought I was a seven-year-old KGB agent! Muahaha!

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I'm not a Christian, but I thought the person that's being christened can only wear white? I know they ultimately selected a cream-colored dress, which is close enough, but the scene of Philip suggesting various colored dresses to Paige rang false for me.

 

 

Depends on the type of church and maybe what's customary. This is an evangelical church, not a Catholic church, and it's not a christening where you get water sprinkled on your head, it's a baptism, where you are immersed under the water for a few seconds. Also, in many churches that do baptism, you wear a robe over your regular clothes, basically a choir robe IIRC.  I'm a Baptist and I remember wearing a navy blue dress when I was baptized. My sister many years later wore a floral print. Both were completely acceptable in our church. I'm also trying to remember if we had a different dress to wear afterward since your first outfit gets soaked. I guess so, just don't recall, but it definitely wasn't and was not expected to be white or a shade of white.

 

The thing was, Philip ended up making the right choice. He "got" that a lacy, off-white dress would be more appropriate in Paige's eyes than his earlier selections.

Edited by RedHawk
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Such a great episode!  Especially watching this episode, I found myself drastically shifting to wanting P & E to be caught and not rooting for them like I used to.  Between Elizabeth coldly dropping a car on an innocent for her own purposes to Philip being pressured into working the 15 year-old...I'm just disgusted and they need to be stopped.  I love a show that makes me feel so strongly and requires me to really *think*.  This show captures all of that!  That last scene was perfection, and I love how this show handles flashbacks - totally in context and so illustrative of why P & E are they way they are.  I actually said "whoa" out loud when Philip admitted that he sometimes has to "make it real" with Elizabeth...gut wrenching...but honest.  Kind of like how Stan is trying to be with the EST thing.  Speaking of EST I can't wait to see how that dinner at the Jennings' with Stan and Tori goes.

 

 

I'm not a Christian, but I thought the person that's being christened can only wear white? I know they ultimately selected a cream-colored dress, which is close enough, but the scene of Philip suggesting various colored dresses to Paige rang false for me.

 

 

Based on my experience, I don't think wearing white is necessarily required.  I got baptized as a teenager probably around the same time as Paige did, and I'm pretty sure that we weren't required to wear white. I know from pictures of that day that I didn't.  The gown you wear when you're immersed in the baptismal pool is white, but afterward, you put on a regular dress.  Perhaps different denominations have different rules, but for the Baptists that I knew, the white dress wasn't required.

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Older guys and (much) younger girls wasn't that uncommon. I went to high school (in the 70's) with girls who were having affairs with older married men and nobody got too upset about it.

 

 

I remember this, too. In my high school class (1980) two girls started dating teachers(!) when they were 16-17 and the guys were about 30 and 32. They of course had to hide the relationships although many classmates were aware by senior year. Both married the guys and had kids and solid marriages -- one is still married and one was widowed recently. But yeah, with Philip and Kimmie -- that kiss was so icky!  

 

I actually said "whoa" out loud when Philip admitted that he sometimes has to "make it real" with Elizabeth...gut wrenching...but honest.  Kind of like how Stan is trying to be with the EST thing.  Speaking of EST I can't wait to see how that dinner at the Jennings' with Stan and Tori goes.

 

 

Good point on connecting Philip's honesty (which also surprised me) with the EST sessions.

 

The friendship between Stan and Philip is a great storyline. It's such a nice thing for both guys. I love to see Philip helping Stan and also getting something back from the friendship, even if it's only a sense of what a normal buddy relationship is like. Yet we're always aware that Philip is using Stan and so capable of turning on him and either killing him outright or completely destroying his life. Whew.

 

Interesting how Philip talked to Elizabeth about having sex with Kimmie. In the end he seemed to want her to give him the order to do it. Made me realize that she basically is his commanding officer in their hierarchy. (I got this before but the scene really underscored it.) I wonder if that was they way they began or the way they evolved, and if it had to do with Elizabeth not being ready/not allowing sex with Philip until they'd been married a while. Was it that she truly wasn't "ready" or that she knew it was a way she could gain control? Both have suffered sexual abuse. (I don't think the Russian man we saw in the flashback was only getting a blowjob.) Knowing they've both been through that trauma adds another dimension to their relationship, even though Elizabeth told Philip about her rape but she doesn't know what was done to him.

Edited by RedHawk
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I didn't notice how P uses his flatware. I'll have to check it online (is The Americans online somewhere?) I really hope P is finished with Kimmie once he plants the bug. It's just too squicky. Why did he not plant it last night? And why all the pix of the guy's jacket?

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Re the baptisms. Catholic/Anglican baby baptisms tend to be white. Adults  being baptized into Protestant denominatons not so much. I've seen baptists dunk people in the ocean in Jeans and a t shirt 

Edited by JennyMominFL
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The nerd in me wished Phillip would have kicked those two jocks asses.

Man, that montage at the end.  At first I thought "Okay, Phillip's seduction training was pretty rough. He had to *bleep* an old lady, that's kind of.... Oh crap he had to give that fat guy a bj?!"

 

I think he literally had to screw that guy. Presumably the purpose was to get Philip to a point where he could get it up for anyone - and they meant anyone.

 

The murder of the guy tinkering with his car bothered me in a way I can't really put into words. It was so ... tangential? It wasn't "this guy is about to blow our cover, so we have to kill him for self-preservation", it was "the asset we're working would like a shorter commute, so we'll kill an innocent human being who had nothing to do with anything so that she can get a transfer".

 

I agree that it seemed really tangential, and less than necessary. But I think the goal the whole time was to get the Northrop woman working at that specific factory, so that she could get specific information they needed (and they knew she'd apply for a transfer if she was so close to that factory.). I don't think it was just about making her happy.

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Would even FX go there with Philip seducing a 15 year old?

 

Where is everyone tonight?  I hope this isn't a sign people are giving up on this show!

My two cents is that I think they will move it down that path, taking it so far as for them to engage in foreplay. I'm willing to bet our little Kimmy is a virgin on top of everything else, and Philip is going to realize that is a line he just can't cross and will stop everything. When I thought she was 18 with daddy issues I didn't think the sex issue was as huge a deal and figured she had already done it. A 15-year-old with daddy issues? Talks a big game, likes to play the part, but when it comes down to it, we -- and Philip, who is already struggling with it -- are going to see a scared 15 year old admit she's a virgin and not as worldly as she's trying to portray. There will likely be tears and Philip switching from a potential paramour to a consoling adult male acting as more as a father than a lover. 

I think they will at least get the bug planted in the briefcase and Philip will lay it down that that will have to be good enough. 

 

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I'm assuming the docile white lab Elizabeth was walking came courtesy of the KGB prop department?

 

 

I'm picturing a kennel with loads of beagles and labs, all wearing collars with little hammers and sickles on them. 

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I think he literally had to screw that guy.

 

 

Or get screwed by him and make it seem like he wanted it, enjoyed it, and was enthusiastic about it? Yikes. At this point I think the KGB "trainers" were capable of anything. 

 

The actress playing Kimmie did a great job with the scene on the porch, talking about her dad, gardening, etc. 

Can anyone connect the episode title, "Salang Pass", to the events in the episode? According to the Great and Powerful Wikipedia, the Salang Pass "is nowadays the major mountain pass connecting northern Afghanistan with Parwan Province." Also, "On 3 November 1982, during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, there was a huge fire in the tunnel which at the time was filled with Soviet military convoys. A very large, but unknown number, of Soviet troops were killed in the Salang tunnel fire."

 

In this episode it's later than Nov 3 because Brezhnev died on Nov 10, 1982, so we're a week or two past that. I don't recall seeing any news report of the incident during the show. It seems to be one of those famous roads that are amazingly treacherous to navigate, especially when two cars are passing in opposite directions. 

At first I thought it might be some sort of pot-smoking slang I've long forgotten (that I overheard somewhere once by accident). 

 

Edited by RedHawk
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Elizabeth's been ordered to get information on the F-117 Stealth bomber, and has been told it is a top priority (it was top priority because a stealthy bomber was a critical element for NATO destroying bridges in Eastern Europe, to impede the movement of greatly numerically superior Soviet tanks, if NATO and the Warsaw Pact ever engaged in all-out war), and getting her AA / Northrup friend transferred into the plant, to work on F-117 fuselage assembly, is thus top priority. Elizabeth is completely ruthless, and willing to kill nearly anybody, if her superiors tell her a mission is top priority, and she determines that killing a person is the best option for getting that priority checked off. She needed an opening at the Northrup F-117 assembly team. She scouted out somebody on that team to kill, saw an easy opportunity, and took it.

 

Given her willingness to serve up Paige to the ugly world of espionage, I wouldn't rule out Elizabeth being willing to kill her children, if given a set of circumstances which suggested that doing so would obviously serve a critical need of the Soviet State. The context of Soviet culture really needs to be understood here. The show takes  place only 30 years removed from the death of Stalin, when it was quite common for children to be encouraged to inform on parents, leading to the parents being sent to the gulag, or even murdered by the state. That's the formative environment that created Elizabeth. Anyone in close proximity to her, who isn't as ideologically committed as she is to the Soviet State (or even if they are, if they disagree on tactics, and defy Soviet leadership), is a potential target for deadly violence. She's as frightening a major character as I've seen in dramatic television.

Edited by Bannon
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When Phillip is listening to news report, and Elizabeth walks in, I believe the report pertained to the Salang Pass tunnel fire. It was a major setback for the Soviets in Afghanistan, and I think one of the major elements going forward in the show is going to be how the news out of Afghanistan, from the Soviet perspective, keeps getting worse and worse, despite Philip and Elizabeth's best efforts to counter what the U.S. government is doing to aid Afghans who are fighting the Soviets.

 

I do think the show's timeline is off slightly with regard to the fire and the death of Breshnev.

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I do think the show's timeline is off slightly with regard to the fire and the death of Breshnev.

 

 

It may be that the fire was not widely reported until a few weeks after it happened. Apparently there were many deaths but no "official" count. It's something that the Soviet Union would not want to be worldwide news. 

 

The context of Soviet culture really needs to be understood here. The show takes  place only 30 years removed from the death of Stalin, when it was quite common for children to be encouraged to inform on parents, leading to the parents being sent to the gulag, or even murdered by the state. That's the formative environment that created Elizabeth.

 

 

Good points! This is why I believe that Elizabeth's mom just said "Go" with no hesitation when Elizabeth told her she had been recruited by the KGB. Her mother bore the shame of having a husband who was a traitor, and more than shame I assume. They may have been treated badly, given fewer rations and worse housing, etc. because of it. Elizabeth's mother would be quick to tell her to do whatever it took to get them both to a "better" position. She would not take emotion ("I love and will miss my daughter") into account.

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There is no way that he has sex with Kimmie. I don't think that the show can go there and expect us to still root for Philip.

I agree with this 100%, but let's stop and observe that in this episode Elizabeth dropped a car on a 100% innocent person.  Are we still rooting for her?

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I think the writers may eventually have a Breaking Bad moment, where they are surprised that (some) viewers continue to root for a character, no matter how far the writers go with regard to the character's bad behavior.

 

Elizabeth is as morally depraved as any major character I've ever seen in dramatic television, where she differs from other, more common, morally depraved major television characters is that her motivation is ideological loyalty. 

 

(edit) Following on, I do think dramatic tension is served if Philip is not as morally depraved as Elizabeth, and the difference becomes a source of increasing mutual contempt, punctuated by periods lessened tensions. Not having sex with the teenager may serve the show better.

 

This show has so many interesting ways to go, if it lasts enough seasons to start portraying events deeper into the eighties, so I really hope the writers pull it off, and the viewers reward  them.

Edited by Bannon
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Yeah, I think the show's biggest weakness (and I really do like it) is that they make everything too easy for Elizabeth and Philip, Elizabeth especially. On the other hand, if they really tried to give a realistic portrayal of how painstaking, gradual, and mundane so much of espionage is, you wouldn't have much of an audience. As always, it is really hard to strike the perfect balance between realism and a dramatic 1 hour episode.   

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I'm willing to bet our little Kimmy is a virgin on top of everything else, and Philip is going to realize that is a line he just can't cross and will stop everything.

Another possibility is he does have sex with her -- and that is what pushes him over the edge to stop everything.  The seduction of this young girl greatly disturbs him.  But then that's just one thing of many that are boiling up inside him.  His daughter, Stan, Martha's desire to adopt a kid, and the American lifestyle are all pulling him away from his life as a spy.

 

I didn't care for this episode as much as many others, but I am definitely interested to see what unfolds. 

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I agree with this 100%, but let's stop and observe that in this episode Elizabeth dropped a car on a 100% innocent person.  Are we still rooting for her?

 

I can only speak for myself. In answer to your question, I've had a hard time with Elizabeth since she has been vocally committed to recruiting Paige for the KGB. It seems to be the complete opposite of what any parent wants for their child. (I prefer Philip's choices for Paige.) However, dropping the car on that poor soul is one of her most depraved acts.

 

The friendship between Stan and Philip is a great storyline. It's such a nice thing for both guys. I love to see Philip helping Stan and also getting something back from the friendship, even if it's only a sense of what a normal buddy relationship is like. Yet we're always aware that Philip is using Stan and so capable of turning on him and either killing him outright or completely destroying his life. Whew.

 

 
When Stan realizes who Philip is and how he has been used, it won't be pretty. I really want Stan to start suspecting Philip sooner rather than later. The Stan that entered the Jennings' garage in the middle of the night was a much more compelling character than the one that retrieves Milky Ways for a supposed defector.
Edited by Ellaria Sand
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When Gabriel said to Philip, "You have a conscience." it was so clear to me that he meant "Elizabeth does not and it's not such a great thing that you do. Maybe get that under control." Ugh. Gabriel frightens me -- and Frank Langella is so good! I saw him play Dracula on Broadway many years ago and have always remembered it.

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I agree with this 100%, but let's stop and observe that in this episode Elizabeth dropped a car on a 100% innocent person.  Are we still rooting for her?

 

I hate her. She's a straight up sociopath that treats her husband and children as extensions of herself. The only person she treated decently was Gregory and only because he thought the sun shone out of her ass. As a character I see very little conflict in her. She's contemptuous, arrogant, cold, and self centered. I was not one bit surprised that she dropped a car on an innocent person. She'd give her child to Mother Russia for her 'cause' - she's capable of anything.

 

Stan impressed me this episode. I want more of this Stan and the Stan that snooped in the Jennings garage back in Season 1. Not love struck dumb as a boot Stan. 

 

I laughed out loud when Phillip told Paige he'd take her to buy the dress and then he bought her a beautiful dress that cost a lot. I loved he snarked at Elizabeth - 'you're singing in the choir'. I feel awful for him and I don't think he'll go through with seducing that teenager and I like that he has some compassion for poor Martha.

 

I hope we see Stan and Ms. EST's dinner with the Jennings onscreen. Elizabeth ought to really enjoy that.  At this point I'm glad when Phillip gets a little of his own back from St. Elizabeth. Unless they tear her completely down - and soon - I have no use for the characters at all.

Edited by soapfaninnc
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Here is a very interesting comment about the Afghan pot from a NYTimes reader (after the Times' recap):

 

"Patricia Pasadena 1 hour ago
'Okay two big mistakes in this show that probably nobody in America will notice:

First, Afghans do not use pot. They do not smoke marijuana buds, to be more accurate. They process all of their cannabis into hashish. They believe hashish is better for the lungs. Their native marijuana culture is based 100% on hashish.

Second, the hashish in Afghanistan was only powerful up until about 1973. The DEA was created in 1973, and in 1973, a puritanical hashish-hating nationalist dictator who was the cousin of the pro-hashish, pro-hippie King overthrew the King and let the DEA and the Afghan military go around burning down cannabis fields and beating and arresting cannabis farmers.

This was part of Nixon's War on Pot that people don't really know about. Marijuana policy played an important role in the collapse of Afghanistan into serial dictatorship and civil war.

After the 1973 coup, Afghan cannabis farmers were forced into the mountains, where the weather was cold and wet. The quality of Afghan hashish went into a steep decline. A decline reversed only after the Taliban were toppled in 2001.

So this idea that Phillip's handler is going to bring him some really strong buds from Afghanistan in 1982 is completely wrong. They don't trim their marijuana plants into buds in Afghanistan and the hashish from 1982 would have been weak and disappointing and probably heavily adulterated with soap and other binding agents from the times.' "


Poor Philip. All the Yaz in the world is not going to get that naked fat guy's image out of your head.

Two things:

1. Yaz was sorely missed this episode. 

2. Yes, Philip was going to have to learn to seduce men, but just as his seduction-in-training began with an attractive woman and worked its way to the elderly lady, certainly he could have started with some mega-hottie from the Bolshoi and then worked his way up to fat naked guy. 

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