Margo Martindale is back where she belongs on Justified… er, make that The Americans. While she may be our favorite person, she is not Philip's and Elizabeth's, but they are forced to deal with her anyway for the Motherland. Currently, though, both parties want the same thing: To find Emmett and Leanne's killer. Unfortunately, the Center doesn't know much, but they have a few ideas about who might have done it. It's Phillip and Elizabeth jobs to round up the suspects.
Elizabeth is tasked with developing a relationship with a sailor who can give them some intel, so she puts on a dark wig and a classical music-loving personality and moves in for the kill. But then something happens and she can't seal the deal. Whether it's acting or real, she manages to play it off as nerves and quirks and runs out. She goes back the next day and spins a tale of woe about being attacked by the man who is suspected of killing Emmett and Leanne. The guy offers to get her files, but then he fails and Elizabeth had to put out for nothing.
Know who else is disappointed? Stan. He was expecting a commendation for stopping an assassin, but instead all he got was a lousy joint inquiry by the House and Senate. The FBI higher ups weren't thrilled to discover that there was a KGB agent acting on U.S. soil and taking the would-be assassin out just made a mess, diplomatically speaking. The result is no commemorative plaque and Stan's boss is getting shoved aside in favor of some new head honcho. Stan doesn't take the news well and gets crunk with Philip and ends up confiding in him about killing people … oh and that he's having an affair. Obviously Philip is very understanding about it all.
Clark and Martha have a spat and she has no choice but to get drunk and start filling out federal employment applications that require she reveal her husband's name and marital status.
On the family front, Paige's new BFF has been taking her to church, which doesn't sit well with her communist parents who dutifully consider religion to bet the opiate of the masses.
The Rezidentura has some internal rifts developing. When Oleg wanted them to develop a professor as an asset, Moscow passed, making Arkady the messenger that Oleg wants to shoot. So Oleg pulls some family strings and gets a higher security clearance to make a bigger stink about things. One side effect of his higher clearance is that he'll now know about Nina's affair with Stan and may find out about her Treason Lite, too, meaning that no one is happy on that little slice of Soviet Russian.
When Elizabeth and Philip go to take a scientist for the Motherland, the mission goes awry when their kidnapping is sabotaged by another dynamic duo who steals the car with their intended victim packed in the trunk. Ruh roh!
Come back for the full recap soon, comrades.
Tonight's episode starts somewhere unexpected: A synagogue. A yarmulke-wearing and fake-goateed Phillip sits in the audience as a rabbi or cantor introduces a "renowned physicist" named Anton Baklanov, who is an inspiration to Jewish "refuseniks" still living in Russia. As the man comes out to address the congregation, let's take a moment to applaud the show's wig and makeup department who has managed to make Phillip unrecognizable to the point that I didn't even catch that it was him when I first watched the episode.
Phillip listens as the man tells the congregation that he has found a home in America and is happy to be visible in a country that allows Jews to be open in their faith and lives. He is, like, so over oppression and can't wait to play baseball with his son. Phillip looks on, nonplussed. Bet he will be way plussed when he finds out that Paige is hanging out at church with her new BFF! In a florescent-lit basement, Paige joins in a rousing round of the Satanic verses of "This Little Light of Mine". (You know, the ones where you sing about Satan trying to blow your little light out, not a version of the song written by Salman Rushdie, although that would be interesting.)
Back at the subversive suburban homestead, Phillip is preparing a coded message when Elizabeth joins him. He tells her that the physicist loves America too much to ever be recruited and she shrugs it off. Paige comes home, spouting lies to cover up the fact that she was at church, because apparently youth group didn't cover the whole WWJD thing yet. Her parents suggest she call next time she plans to stay out late and Paige looks relieved to have gotten away with going to church, which is kind of the saddest thing a teenager can get away with.
The next morning Phillip and Elizabeth make a drop via what looks like the very un-American act of littering. After they leave their message in a garbage heap, they cruise around the block, chit-chatting about how fun capitalism is, but they stop short when they see Margo Martindale making her highly anticipated (by me!) return to FX, walking slowly across the street in front of them. Elizabeth's jaw drops, but she stops for Claudia to get in the car. She tells them that despite what they might believe -- what with the whole almost getting them killed thing -- she is really happy to see that they are alive and well and spying for the Motherland. She feared the worst when she heard what happened to Emmett and Leanne, but didn't know what to do. (Apparently, she missed the Hints from Heloise column that explained that Edible Arrangements are the appropriate present in a sorry-your-fellow-spies-were-assassinated situation.)