The Americans recap: Clark's Place
There are no hiding places left as the FBI trails Martha
“Clark” owes Martha an apology. “Where have you been for the last two days?” she asks.
He can’t tell her he was holed up in his handler’s apartment with his wife undergoing antibiotic treatment to stave off a potential bio-weapons infection. So he gives her the typical, vague “something came up” excuse.
Martha clues him in to Agent Aderholt’s dinner and the fact that the FBI knows the counters on her office copy machine are off. She thinks she is under suspicion. She felt alone and abandoned when she couldn’t reach him.
Clark gives her an operator number for the Center, who can contact him any time, day or night. “I will need that back tomorrow morning,” he says — so she needs to memorize it.
“Of course,” Martha says. “Why would I expect to keep anything?”
At the Jennings house, Paige wakes Elizabeth in the middle of the night to say she feels nervous around her brother now that she’s harboring the family secret. It’s especially nerve-racking because Henry has been hanging around with Stan Beeman lately.
“Maybe we should take a break,” Elizabeth says. “So much has been thrown at you. Maybe it’s too much. We tried to tell you everything, and…that hasn’t worked out so well. Wouldn’t you agree?”
“Where were you this weekend?” Paige asks. Again, Elizabeth can’t tell her about the antibiotics and the glanders.
“I think it’s enough now, Paige,” her mother says.
In Moscow, Oleg Burov gets words from his father about Nina’s brutal execution.
“I tried,” his father says. “It’s not easy to help a traitor.”
Oleg takes a deep breath. “I don’t know why I expected anything,” he says. He sits. “You didn’t help Yevgeny either,” he says.
Low blow. But Oleg can drive the knife deeper. “The one official who couldn’t get his own son out of Afghanistan…”
Oleg’s father points out that his brother wanted to fight.
“And die?” Oleg says.
His father, a World War II veteran, points out that he lost four brothers in that conflict. “Now the same bastards who won’t send their kids to fight say we can’t say a word about where our boys are fighting and dying,” his father says. “No military honors at their funerals. For my son. Who died a hero.” (At the funeral later, we see the father fire off his own version of a gun salute — further defiance of the Party rules.)
Uh-oh. The Party isn’t going to like this. “The whole country’s going to shit,” Papa Burov says. He tells Oleg to go back to America then, with all its comfort and special favors.
“It’s not what I fought for,” Oleg’s father says. “It’s not what your brother died for.”
NEXT PAGE: A “priest” to the rescue…
Back in the U.S. of A., Philip breaks the news to Elizabeth: “Martha says they know extra copies have been made at the Xerox machine. An agent took her out for dinner Friday night. It could be coincidence.”
“Do you have Hans checking to see if she’s being followed?” Elizabeth asks. “Maybe we should put him on full time.”
She has bad news, too. “Paige says Stan was asking about our trip. He noticed we were gone… Philip, you need to make up with him.”
At FBI headquarters, Aderholt tells Stan about his dinner. “She says she’s having an affair with a married guy. It explains the secrecy, but it’s also a good cover.”
Stan tells him about what he found in her apartment during their dinner out. A gun, but no diary or incriminating details. Also, a Kama Sutra. “Lot of pages marked,” Stan says. Maybe Martha’s story about the affair is true?
Elizabeth is continuing to build her relationship with Young Hee. We still don’t understand her motive behind targeting this Korean-American woman.
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Elizabeth and Philip also have a meeting with Pastor Tim and his wife, which is about as joyful the gathering at Oleg’s brother’s funeral. Philip and Elizabeth introduce a Jesuit priest from El Salvador to the pastor, and this man tells the story of how their work saved him and his congregation from a right-wing death squad.
It’s an emotional story, and Pastor Tim and Alice are clearly moved by it. It’s step one is getting them not to report Elizabeth and Philip to the authorities.
Afterward, upon dropping off the “Jesuit,” Philip asks his wife: “You think that guy’s really a priest?”
“I dunno,” Elizabeth says.
They tell Paige that step two in protecting the family and their espionage secret is getting her to make him feel like she still trusts him. “He really cares about you, Paige,” Philip says.
Paige says “right” and excuses herself to go to bed.
At the Rezidentura, Oleg is back in America collecting condolences about his brother from his co-workers, including KBG chief Arkady Zotov. But all Oleg wants to talk about is Nina. He tells Zotov they killed her.
“I told them she’d changed, that she had something to offer,” Zotov said. “Then she threw it all away. They don’t execute people for nothing, Oleg. She got chance after chance.”
He offers Oleg a drink. Oleg declines.
“I’m tired,” he says, sounding a lot like Paige in the previous scene.
NEXT: The FBI follows Martha…
Meanwhile, Hans is monitoring Martha and thinks he spots someone tailing her as she walks to Clark’s place. (We have an episode title!) A quick call to Philip tips him off to the “grocery delivery” and Philip puts on a quick disguise and makes a run for it.
Once again, Martha is alone, afraid, and getting angrier. She calls the number “Clark” gave her and arranges a call for later in the evening.
Elsewhere, Paige meets with Pastor Tim and says, “I’m supposed to say I forgive you.”
“Why would your parents want you to say that?”
“Apparently they like you. They think you’re a good guy,” she says. She’s tired of grown-ups telling her how to feel, and what to do, while they do anything they want.
She says they told her the truth when she asked. “Which, maybe, was a mistake.”
Philip and Elizabeth meet with Gabriel, who bends over backwards to minimize and dismiss their suspicions. “What if you’re wrong?” Philip asks.
Martha’s surveillance reports are worth it, Gabriel says.
“It’s very hard, I understand,” Gabriel says. “It’s excruciating not to make a move when things are uncertain. We are people of action.”
“That’s a good thing, isn’t it?” Philip says.
“Of course,” Gabriel says. He understands why Philip is emotionally invested in Martha. “You two still care about people. It’s what makes you such good officers. And we will do everything possible to protect your agents.”
But he wants to slow down, keep things status quo.
He also wants them to keep working William, their agent in the bio-weapons program, who has been working his way in for decades and now has a chance to accomplish something. “We’ll bring him home a hero,” Gabriel says.
Oleg walks down a dark street and climbs into a car, where Stan is waiting. “Nina’s dead,” Oleg says. “They executed her a couple days ago.”
Stan is shellshocked. He is mostly to blame for her death. He could have helped her escape, but he chose not to. Now her blood is on his hands, as surely as the person who pulled the trigger or signed her death order.
Oleg expresses frustration at his own government. “My brother is dead, and I can’t even say the name of the war he died in at his funeral.” Seems like Oleg is feeling a little treasonous.
Martha is waiting by a payphone at a laundromat. She wants to see Clark tomorrow. “I think we should stick to Tuesday,” he says.
“Then you’ve got to be there!” she says.
“I love you.”
“Tell me Tuesday,” she answers.
Back at the Jennings and Beeman neighborhood, Henry is hanging out at Stan’s and making his son uncomfortable. Elizabeth worries their boy is spending far too much time with the FBI agent.
One thing she’s not worried about: Martha’s cover being blown. She tells her husband there’s still a good chance she’s not under surveillance.
Philip goes to get Henry and uses the visit to make peace with Stan. He apologizes for spending time with Stan’s ex at the EST meeting. “Truthfully, I know you wouldn’t do anything,” Stan says. “Because you’re a good guy.” Irony alert.
Outside the house, Stan introduces Philip to Agent Aderholt. They’re off for a sting, monitoring, oh hey, your other wife, Phil! Now Philip knows — she’s being monitored for sure.
While Martha is holed up in her apartment with the two agents outside, Elizabeth comforts Philip. “We’ll do everything we can for her,” she says.
As David Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure” plays on the soundtrack, she lifts her skirt. She straddles him.
Time to release some pressure.