selenak: (The Americans by Tinny)
[personal profile] selenak
Which had two ZOMG moments for me. One of which expected but one not.

I mean, not that I knew Tuan would talk Pasha into slitting his wrists, but it was clear that storyline was going somewhere truly bad - actually my suspicion had been Pasha would snap and would attack his father/parents physically, but I suppose the show has already done "kid kills his family due to spy meddling" with Jared in season 2, so it won't do that scenario again, though of course Jared's motivation was different.

So while the cliffhanger and the last sequence was suspenseful and shocking, it wasn't completely unexpected. No, what was completely unexpected for me were Philip and Elizabeth actually asking Pastor Tim for advice with no ulterior motive I could discern, and informing him about a key fact while they were at it. (That they're seriously considering extraction. Though I suppose with Tim it doesn't matter in that he knows their identities, so IF he talks that's the big one anyway.) Where does that come from? When did they start to see Pastor Tim as an actual competent advice giver re: their family?

...Maybe when they read his secret opinions on their situation, "monstrous acts" and all? Hmmm.

Anyway. Over in Russia, Oleg's storyline at last moves on as well; as expected, now that the corruption investigation has reached higher levels, his superior gets the expected slap down, while Oleg is also being investigated, and for something he actually is guilty of (providing Stan with the intel he got from Tatiana), not something cooked up by state paranoia. He also has one of these bonding, opening our hearts to each other conversations with his father which by the rules of tv signal one of them is about to die very soon. I'm afraid it's going to be Oleg, because I can't see his storyline going anywhere else. He won't be transferred back to the US, since after that William related intel, he didn't provide the Americans with anything else, the US has no reason to ask to trade him, and he's made no arrangements to flee on his own. Granted, I think the show will continue to show us a subplot in Russia to contrast/parallel the Soviet Union falling apart with our antiheroes' lives in the US, but I suspect that plot will be given to Mischa Jr. now, with his newly introduced uncle (more in a second). Otherwise what was the point of the Mischa subplot earlier this season anyway? Meeting Gabriel can't have been it.

Re: the uncle - so Philip has a brother with children. I wonder whether he even knows about the kids, since as opposed to Elizabeth's messages from her mother he doesn't appear to have been in contact with his relations. My guess is that Gabriel told the brother about Mischa Jr., from the same impulse that made him look up Martha (and be rebuffed). Methinks we're about to learn Philip's original last name soon, especially there's also P & E dialogue referring to it, i.e. Elizabeth saying "well, they (the children) should take your last name" instead of Jennings.

(BTW: loved her smile when Philip asks "just the kids"?)

Paige asking where the Elizabeth and Philip Jennings identies came from and whether they consider themselves Elizabeth and Philp now was definitely a "Paige asks a fandom question" moment, though entirely fitting for her. I'm intrigued that Philip, not Elizabeth - who usually is the more Russian-identy affirming person in this marriage - says after they both said yes to the later that he still misses his original name. It fits with him being plagued by flashbacks to his early cihldhood he can't understand anymore and wanting to find out about his father, in a way, as well as wanting a Russian marriage ceremony for Elizabeth and himself - trying to find/remember who he was before Philp Jennings and not feeling complete without that part of himself.

Now, about the concluding sequence: earlier, Henry surprised his parents with a prepared dinner. (And btw, I think it's glaringly apparent that in the unlikely (by tv rules) event all four of the Jennigs clan makes it back to Russia, Henry, who worked his way into an elite school - just as his father worked his way into a the Illegal program by being smarter than anyone, according to Mischa's brother - and adores the FBI, would hate it there.) Paige, relieved that Pastor Tim is leaving, dumps her cross into the waste (and is surprised by Elizabeth fishing it out but can understand the reason when Elizabeth says "you have to wear it until he's gone"). And Tuan, told earlier by Elizabeth this whole "driving Evgenia to go back to Russia on her own with Pasha by bullying her son" thing isn't working as intended (because Evgenia suffers, but doesn't respond by taking the bait of punishment free return as offered by Tatiana last episode), surprises his "work parents" with a new and disastrous ploy. There is an "aren't you please by what I did?" element in all three, though strongest in Tuan, who can't understand why he's not complimented for the result. And without taking responsibility from Tuan - this is in a way the ultimate and logical consequence of teaching a teenager that manipulating people and causing them distress is a valid form of heroism.

When I watched the cliffhanger scene, btw, I thought Philip, Elizabeth and Tuan were passing Pascha's house after having spotted the surveillance who spotted them, but by now I've seen reviews with the assumption they haven't reached it yet? Either way, it ratches up the stakes from "are P & E willing to risk a teenager dying" (to which the answer was "no, they're heading over to stop it) to "are P & E willing to risk getting captured to save said teenager?", and with that, we're left to wait for next week.


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