Patrick Harbron/FX
Anthony Breznican
April 11, 2018 at 11:07 PM EDT

The Americans

type
TV Show
genre
Drama
run date
01/30/13
performer
Matthew Rhys, Keri Russell
broadcaster
FX
seasons
5
Current Status
In Season

“There’s trouble back home.”

Elizabeth is talking about Gorbachev and the party leaders working to secretly undermine him, but her warning also applies to the Jennings household. Paige witnessed the violent death of one of Elizabeth’s contacts. Not only does she know her mother has blood on her hands, but she also has it all over her face, clothes, and hair.

Paige makes it back to her family’s house before her mother, and Philip tries to comfort and reassure her. (Almost pathetically, he plies her with some EST self-help techniques.) Then Elizabeth blows through the door like a thunderstorm and rips Paige apart for reacting to the gunshots and running to the scene, rather than waiting in her position.

Nevermind that, one way or another, Paige was going to figure out what happened. Even if she’d stayed put, how was Elizabeth going to explain being covered in an Air Force general’s blood and brains?

Elizabeth may be more angry at herself for the operation going sideways, but she’s lashing out at Paige — not exactly a great way to build up her new teammate.

When Paige asks if she can stay at their house for the night rather than go to her apartment, Elizabeth coldly dismisses her. “It’s a work night.”

After she’s gone, Philip feels around the edges of the night’s mission. Elizabeth tells him she was trying to get her hands on a radiation sensor, but she stops short of telling him that it’s for the Soviet Union’s “Dead Hand” project, aimed at automatically launching a world-destroying nuclear counterstrike even if the U.S.S.R.’s leadership is disabled.

There’s trouble in another home as well. Sofia and Gennadi, the Russian courier who is cooperating with the FBI, are in tumult. As their handler, Stan is trying to hold them together, but Sofia casually drops some heart-stopping news: She has told her new lover about Stan and the FBI, and their efforts to pressure her to stay with Gennadi.

The red alarm is going off in Stan’s head. His two reliable sources could well be executed now that one of them is leaking about their collaboration with the Americans — to a journalist named Bogdan who works with the Russian TASS news service.

“We’re Soviets,” she says. “We know how to keep secrets.”

Stan isn’t sure he wants to keep working these two anyway. How long can Gennadi keep taking long trips to the bathroom to have his courier bag x-rayed from the neighboring stall? Evasive action proves to be necessary, and later in the episode the feds confront Sofia, Gennadi, and their daughter to give them the option of sanctuary.

Cover blown. But at least the informants are safe. And Gennadi wants help winning back his ladylove.

Elsewhere, we learn that the Jennings family is having money troubles. Philip gets a call from Henry’s school, where he makes a bargain to delay some tuition payments. This leads to Philip pumping things up at work, putting on a David Brent-style awkward pep talk.

This doesn’t seem like what he wants to be doing with his life.

Elizabeth and Paige have a heart to heart. “I made a mistake; a really bad one. I can’t get what I saw out of my mind,” Paige says.

“I miscalculated, too,” Elizabeth concedes. “It shouldn’t have happened.”

Paige wants to know if her mother is ever scared. “No matter what happens to me, if I’m fighting for something that important…” Elizabeth says.

“You don’t care if you die?”

“Of course I do. But I’m not afraid,” Elizabeth tells her. (Recap continues on next page)

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