Tweetable Takeaway: While Philip and Elizabeth develop a young asset, their own young asset, Paige, sets them up. Tweet
Airtime: Wednesday at 10pm on FX
By: Eric Rodriguez
THE AMERICANS pump the breaks on the chases and beat downs as all the players talk relationships in Dimebag.
Elizabeth wants to develop Kimberly, daughter of the head of the CIA Afghan group, as their next asset, Philip is cautious because she is so young. We get the feeling that all the cover relationships Philip has take a toll on him. He’d rather stay home with the wife who is mad at him, than go out with a more pleasant, but temporary and disposable, option. As parents, they both wants what is best for Paige but both have very different ideas of what that might be. When they ask Paige what she wants for, and to do on, her birthday, Paige says she wants them to invite Pastor Tim and his wife for dinner. Paige plays the nice girl, but her manipulation knife gets sharper all the time. Philip’s asset-wife, Martha, can’t stop talking about taking in foster kids. For those keeping score this episode, it’s Philip vs. Elizabeth, Martha, and Kimberly on the horizon. How does this guy sleep? The sheer anxiety would keep me up all night.
Nina is back this week. She gets pulled from her cell and a deal to reduce her sentence is proposed. Her roommate, Evi, is suspected of espionage and if Nina can get her to talk, they will reexamine her sentence. She’s stuck in a little cell, but her skillset is employed the same as when she was playing Stan. Stan and Philip go to another EST meeting, Stan still thinks the self-help angle is “bullshit,” but he also gives it a chance. After the meeting, a cute attendee, Tori, impressed with Stan’s breakthrough, asks him out for drinks. Stan still loves Sandra and isn’t ready for single time yet.
What are you watching/listening to?
Philip uses the procurement of fake ideas as his “in” with Kimberly. She still travels with a protective pair of wing-women, but regardless of how Philip feels deep down, the man knows how to crush ass-ets. He listens to and compliments her taste in music. She’s listens to Yaz, Yaz anyone? The kids carry around a boombox. Boomboxes were granddaddy to the IPod and in the world of young status they were just underneath “the ride.” “You can’t drive Friday night? Bring the boombox.” Someone else would bring the tape, or mixed-tape (granddaddy to the playlist), and memories were soon to follow. In this week’s “Calling Dr. Freud” moment, Philip gives the same Yaz album, Upstairs at Eric’s, to Paige as a present. He just can’t keep his worlds from colliding. Elizabeth is pissed. She sees it as a birthday present, something they were supposed to discuss together.
Elizabeth continues to develop her AA sponsor, Lisa, who works at Northrop. Her marriage is also in trouble and her husband Maurice, sober but out of work, does not like Elizabeth. Stan has doubts about the defector he’s been babysitting, Zinaida. He thinks there is something hinky with her, but cannot find any evidence to support his suspicion. Frank gives he the go-ahead to keep picking at it.
Rub some dirt on it.
Paige’s birthday dinner starts off peaceful enough. In college, Tim protested the war in Vietnam. Now, he protests against the arms race. These are both things Elizabeth and Philip can get behind. It’s on religion where they can’t come to an understanding. This is when Paige unleashes her stealth bomber. She thanks them for the dinner being everything she hoped for, and then announces her desire to be baptized. Elizabeth and Philip are stunned. They do that quiet sizzle thing that says everything is not all right, but they maintain pleasantness until after dinner. In private, they discuss the quiet ambush laid out by their daughter. Elizabeth, always brimming with aggression about the freedom of her daughter’s soul, does not live in a world where she surrenders her daughter to the church. Philip believes that Paige just needs room to make her own choices.
What are you thinking about man?
The episode ends when Philip gets told Kimmy wants to meet with him alone, sans protective wing-women. Kimmy brings a dimebag but fumbles around when it comes to rolling. Philip shows her how it’s done. Matthew Rhys does something really special on The Americans. Philip can sit with, manipulate, and exploit a young woman he doesn’t want to be with at the same time he considers how close Kimmy is to Paige, in maturity and place in their world. The Oscars are right around the corner and there is a lot of talk about Bradley Cooper’s fine performance this year. He’s fantastic and I’m sure NPH will deliver a great show. All those nominees are recognized for something they did once that last year. Remember, Matthew Rhys is killing it thirteen times a year, deep soul stretching dilemma week after week.
Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.