The Americans
Covert War

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Joe R: B- | 8 USERS: A-
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Lady Vengeance

Next, we have our first flashback to The Story of Elizabeth and Zhukov. Picture it: Gryazi, 1964. Then-Colonel Zhukov asks Elizabeth into his office and asks for an update on her training. She offers a stone-faced "No" when asked if there have been any problems, which seems to be a callback to her rape and how she immediately buried it for the good of the Motherland. Still, Zhukov can tell she's unhappy, and it's at this point that my mind wanders and I begin to wonder if the Iron Curtain gymnasts of this era were subjected to similar check-ins with the top military brass. Tiny little Olga Korbut in her pigtails, assuring Colonel Zhukov that the balance-beam training is going according to plan. Anyway, Zhukov reassures Elizabeth that she and Philip are a good match and that sometimes, relationships forged by circumstance and characterized by care and support can one day transform into love. All this via a metaphor about him and his dog. That man was a poet, no wonder Elizabeth loved him so much.

Back in the present, Philip shows up to work at the travel agency and finds Elizabeth is there, lost in though. She tells him about Zhukov and about the official Moscow party line about non-retaliation. Philip is shocked. He's even more shocked by Elizabeth's stated intention to find the man responsible and kill him, orders be damned. "Elizabeth, you can't..." he begins, but she cuts him off. "No, THEY CAN'T," she says. "And I'm going to make sure they know it."

After the break, Elizabeth fills Philip in on the surveillance intel she's gathered on Patterson. He's proving to be a hard target, keeping irregular routines and running errands at places that are particularly security-adjacent. That said, there is a bar he frequents where he's often spotted leaving in the company of various slatternly women. That seems to be Elizabeth's in, yes? Philip simply tells her she has to forget about this insane plan, particularly the part where she plans to not simply assassinate him, but kidnap him first. She admits that it's because she wants to look him in his eyes before she kills him, which is beyond reckless and Philip tells her so. She tells him the only crazy thing about her plan is the fact that he may end up making her carry it out alone.

At home with the Beemans, Matthew returns and asks where his mom is. Stan says she's out at aerobics "or something." Stan asks about Rocky Horror, but he clearly doesn't understand the edgy social rebellion that comes with throwing toilet paper and toast at a movie screen. Stan also notes with an almost trembling bafflement that Matthew is wearing eye makeup. Matthew's like, "Duh, Dad, it's a drag show. And no, that doesn't make me gay. Not that I would have a huge problem putting you through the hell of thinking that I am. Also get the fuck ready for my Depeche Mode phase because boy, is it ever coming."

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The Americans

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