O.K., Back to this week, which was very difficult for Elizabeth. The two action sequences of the episode were failed missions. An elaborate operation to bring them to the camp where the radiation sensors were kept resulted in three guards being dead or wounded, but no sensor-Elizabeth was thwarted by the swarming guards and shrink-wrap. The situation was so bad that Marilyn (I believe) had seven breakouts on the walkie-talk to send everyone else away, including Paige, who hesitated just a second before obeying the order. (A few quibbles: The script and the staging of the shooting game had a superficiality that one would expect from a smaller show, and what about about Paige and her sensibilities? Had not three guards been shot dead in a warehouse, the military would hold hardware makes the news?)
Elizabeth's second mistake was less fierce, but just as frustrating. When Glenn Haskard announced that Russian negotiator Nesterenko was indeed going to an American house to watch the World Series (Game 6 between the Cardinals and Twins), Elizabeth asked that bedridden Erica be able to attend if she was a professional nurse would have for the company. More important is her, Marilyn and a K.G.B. Seamstress managed to wire a wire into Glenn's Yakult Swallow's baseball jacket.
One might ask – what I did in retrospect – why Elizabeth had to be at the party when the wire did the work. And when Erica started vomiting, forcing Glenn to leave before Nesterenko could say something interesting, one could conclude that it was a nude and rather crude dramatic invention. But it was an effective scene for herself when Elizabeth immediately canceled her plan (and a really worried Nesterenko ran over to help him).
I have ignored Philip so far and really how much to say about him watching him wrestle with the balance sheets and dress the cowboy boots for another night of country dance. (This time to Eddie Rabbit's "Drivin" My Life Away.)
To be fair, he also put on some cocky disguises and did some spy work, but even these scenes felt a bit unimportant. He had a second meeting with Oleg (who, as we found out, had assured him that he had not been persecuted). After some preliminary work, Oleg came to the point – Elizabeth's extreme loyalty to the Soviet Union "can be used," and a dejected Philip reluctantly told him about Rennhull and the search for the radiation sensor.
Second Excursiveness. Two questions for Elizabeth Haters: is she less admirable than the husband who has said goodbye to his duties, given her all the espionage work, and now informs her? And if you look at a thriller in which a fictional American, most likely male, operationally routinely murders Russians or Latin Americans or Arabs, do you respond with the same kind of visceral moral aversion?
Philip also paid a nostalgic visit to Breland House, disguised as hipster Jim and communicating with his soulmate Kimmy, now junior in Michigan. "You should have the job, the relationship, everything you want," she said, unaware that he has these things and they do not make him happy. The visit contributed only to his fear: when he reported that Kimmy's holiday trip to Greece did not mean her father's footage before the gunpowder, Elizabeth was not happy.
The domestic war of the Jennings began to warm slowly. At first they looked at each other tiredly from opposite sides of the kitchen, later they collided openly in front of a very uncomfortable Paige. Philip complained about the danger Paige was brought into, and Elizabeth reminded him that they had an agreement – Paige is hers and Henry is his, with the private school and the hockey fame. But this is just another in Philip's own care basket, and in a painful scene he had to tell Henry that his last year might not be in St. Edwards. (This was offset by Stan's relatively carefree discussion of Matthew's post-college plans and his financial insouciance.) In the soulless capitalist serpent pit, a government job gives him security.)
The show gave us a moment of partial relaxation between Elizabeth and Philip as she climbed into bed with him and his ubiquitous financial reports, compassionately asking, "You're rich?" She was saddened by the idea of Henry not being able to finish in St. Edwards, but not too sad. "Well, he's your department," she told Philip. They looked each other in the eye and kissed, but we know how this story ends – Elizabeth rolls over, Philip stares at the ceiling.
I ended up thinking that many will consider the most troubling development of the episode: the possible beginning of Paige's own career as a honey pot.
We were prepared for that when Paige told her mother about the sweet guy in her sociology class, who was also an intern for Congressman Charles E. Bennett, a longtime member of the House Armed Forces Committee. Elizabeth told Paige not to pursue the guy – she was still a long way from cultivating a "source." Elizabeth started to work out – "That needs …" – before she looked down, played with her hair and changed the subject.  But Paige is a self-starter. And when we saw her in a breaking-top in a bar talking to a young man who was probably the unsuspecting intern, it was pretty clear she knew what was needed. Or at least enough to start the process. As she sat up in bed and looked around his apartment, her eyes remained on the government ID. Hanging on a chair, it was completely unclear how well she was prepared for the consequences, including her mother's reaction.
The episode ended on a sandwich. Philip, in his big American house with his big American worries, looked at a big American sandwich he'd made himself and flashed back to his Soviet childhood as he hired himself to lick the scraps of pots and pans. Six more episodes to see if he eats the sandwich or stays true to his roots.
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