'The Americans recap: 'Dinner For Seven'
A cruel trap is set for Don
Ding-dong! It’s Pastor Tim at the front door.
“I don’t feel right about what happened … that you felt frightened for your safety because of something that happened to me,” he tells Mr. and Mrs. Jennings.
They tell him it’s okay, but the Pastor, having just survived being lost in Ethiopia while serving as a missionary there, says they’re being generous. He apologizes for his wife threatening to expose their spy background, and says he finally understands what it feels like to fear for your well-being.
The Jennings family invites him and Alice to dinner. What better way to make amends than to break bread?
The title of this episode is “Dinner for Seven,” so we can count on at least one more surprise guest at that meal.
At Gabriel’s, Elizabeth’s handler presents her with a special treat from the old country: pierogi. He also has bad news: The center turned down her request to stop manipulating Don and Young Hee to gain Level Four access to the bio-weapons facility. “It has to move forward,” Gabriel tells her.
So Elizabeth fulfills her duty. After drugging Don and tricking him into thinking he slept with her, she goes to the house when he’s alone and tells him she’s pregnant. He is shocked, horrified, and tells her she shouldn’t have the baby. He offers to pay for an abortion, but Elizabeth, a.k.a. “Patty,” scoffs at the suggestion.
“I don’t want your money. I don’t want anything from you,” she says. “Don’t worry. I won’t upset your perfect little life. I’ll take care of it … myself.”
Back at the Jennings house, Philip has a drink with Stan, who is ruminating on the death of his old boss, Frank Gaad, who was killed in Thailand. Stan believes it was the Soviets (and he’s right). “I don’t know why exactly,” Stan says. “He was out of the game, and he couldn’t do anything to them anymore. But they’re animals…”
Elizabeth is emotionally exhausted from what she just did to Don, so she has no more performance left in her. She attempts to excuse herself, saying she wants to go to bed, but Stan gets the message and heads home.
Philip asks how she is, and she tells him, “It’s all yours now.”
The next step in Don’s manipulation/destruction will be his to deliver.
Henry and Paige come home, and she delivers a quick briefing on how things are going at the church.
When they get a quiet moment alone, Philip tells Elizabeth about the death of Gaad – and he’s especially troubled because he included mention of Gaad’s Thailand trip in his report to the center. It’s one more thread Stan could eventually tie back to him.
On another day, Elizabeth goes to visit Pastor Tim, telling him of plans for their dinner. But she has more on her mind. She says that Alice’s accusation that she and Philip had a hand in the Pastor’s disappearance made her feel like she was “coming apart.”
That night, Oleg meets with Stan. “You’re a smart guy, Oleg. I don’t think you’d be too surprised to know there’s a lot of interest in you in our meetings. There’s talk of blackmailing you,” he says.
But he won’t. He tells Oleg about Chris Amador, his former partner in counterintelligence. “I didn’t even realize how close I was getting to the guy … until you guys killed him.” Stan says this led him to do something equally heinous. “I kind of lost my mind … I haven’t felt the same since.”
“What do you want me to say?” Oleg asks.
Stan says he’s destroyed too many lives, including his own. “I don’t want you on my conscience, too,” he says. “This is the last time we’ll meet each other. That’s what I wanted to say.”
The two men shake hands, and Stan drives away.
And goes … to the Jennings house, where dinner with Pastor Tim and Alice is underway. Henry invites Stan inside, and we have our seventh guest.
This is a bad situation. All it takes is for Pastor Tim to catch wind that Stan’s with the FBI and his moral ambiguity is going to flare up again.
Sure enough, this happens right in the middle of dinner. Henry blurts out Stan’s profession. Pastor Tim is… intrigued. When Stan learns that Pastor Tim leads an activist congregation and was once arrested for protesting nuclear weapons, he is… less enchanted.
That’s it. No explosions. But maybe some charges have been buried for later.
NEXT: The final stage of Don’s trap…
The next day, three people arrive at Foster Medical Research Group, the bio-weapons lab where Don works. It’s Philip, Gabriel, and a new woman — middle-aged, quiet. (If you guessed she’s the computer technician Tatiana asked Oleg to acquire for her, that’s a bingo.)
When a perplexed Don comes out to meet his unexpected guests, they tell him they are Patty’s family. “We need to talk to you,” Philip says.
Don immediately passes them in through security. In his office, the grim-faced visitors tell him that Patty committed suicide due to her pregnancy.
“You knew she was pregnant,” Philip says.
“You told her to get an abortion,” adds the woman, who says she is Patty’s stepmother.
“You killed her. You killed my beautiful girl, you bastard,” says Gabriel, who is passing as Patty’s father.
They want to take Patty’s body home to California, and they’re insisting that Don pay. The amount is more than he has on hand, but he says he will go to the bank to retrieve it. “Good,” Philip says. But Gabriel says he is too weak to go. He and the stepmother stay behind, which Don reluctantly allows. As soon as he’s gone, they set to work, opening drawers and hacking his computer for information — specifically searching for the codes to Level Four.
Elsewhere, Elizabeth goes to meet again with Pastor Tim. He tells her he was surprised to discover Stan is an FBI agent. “Well, you can’t choose your neighbors,” Elizabeth says.
“Can’t you?” Pastor Tim asks.
“We lived there first. For a long time,” she says. “And you know, we didn’t choose each other either, did we? But honestly, I can only thank you for everything you’ve done for Paige. When she first started coming here, to church, I felt threatened. I was afraid I was going to lose her. … But it didn’t happened. In fact, we’ve gotten closer.”
She has something else on her mind. She’s frightened.
“None of us are in control,” Pastor Tim says.
“Because we’re in God’s hands?” she asks.
“There is something greater than this,” he tells her. “I believe. It doesn’t always work, but most of the time, it makes things better.”
Back at the lab, Don returns with Philip and the money. “I know nobody can forgive what I did,” Don says. “I am ashamed. And very sorry.”
Patty’s family leaves without acknowledging him.
At FBI headquarters, Aderholt has been studying Martha’s records and noted that the office mail robot was damaged by a frustrated Gaad and sent to a repair shop. That shop then had a 911 call for a death — an old woman, the mother of the owner. It was ruled natural causes, but Aderholt isn’t so sure, and he’s actually onto something. Elizabeth forced the old woman to overdose on her medication when she found the old woman doing paperwork in the facility after hours, while Philip placed a bug in the machine downstairs.
At home, Philip tells Elizabeth that Don went for the ruse.
“How was he?” she asks.
“Scared. Upset,” he tells her. “We didn’t find the Level Four codes in his office, but they copied all his computer discs. So hopefully, they’re there.”
“You think he’ll tell Young Hee?” she asks.
“I don’t think so. But it’s hard to really know.”
Elizabeth absorbs this quietly.
NEXT: Paige sees what her mother is truly capable of
The next day, she checks her messages. There’s one for Patty from Young Hee, who is breaking down in tears. “Something is not right about Don. He’s acting so… I need to talk to you… Please call me…”
Elizabeth hangs up the phone.
She goes for a third visit to Pastor Tim, this time to pick up Paige from her volunteer work at the food bank. Paige had already arranged a ride home with the pastor, so he is surprised to see Elizabeth.
“If you have something on your mind, and you can’t stop thinking about it… You want to, but you can’t…” she says.
“I pray,” he tells her.
“What if you… don’t believe in God? Or religion? Or prayer?”
“None of those things matter,” he says. “All that matters is how we treat each other.”
This is not the reassurance she hoped for.
While walking home that night, Paige asks, “What about the tape?”
Elizabeth says that if it makes the pastor and his wife feel safe, maybe it’s not a bad thing.
Paige offers up something else. Stan’s son, Matthew, told her that his father told him about a secretary at the FBI who was a spy working with the Soviets. “She just disappeared,” Paige says. “I guess it was really hard for Mr. Beeman to talk to her father.”
Elizabeth is stunned to see her little girl delivering a report. On her own.
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As they walk through a dark parking lot, the two women are accosted by a pair of creepy looking men. “How old are you?” one of them says to the girl. “Don’t be scared sweetheart.”
As he reaches for Paige, Elizabeth knocks him flat with a single punch. The other guy pulls a knife. Soon it’s sticking out of the side of this throat as he dies at Elizabeth’s feet.
Paige watches, horror struck.
The other assailant runs. Paige looks like she wants to run, too. Her mother grabs her hand, and they both take flee into the night.