Still smarting over the latest blow to his fake marriage, Phillip heads off to New York for a big convention for travel agents. This is mostly all just a cover to intersect with a Polish freedom fighter named Andrzej Bielawski. Bielawski is respected by the U.S. government for turning pro-democracy after his wife and children were killed. Exiled to France, he plots to form a new government to throw off the yoke of Soviet oppression. The Centre can't just kill him off for various and complex reasons, so they have to settle for ruining him and alienating him from his allies. To that end, they've also assigned Phillip's old girlfriend to the mission. Remember the one he left behind once he was assigned to Elizabeth? Yeah, her. Once Irina and now Anne, she, too, is a spy. Like Phillip – or Mischa, as she once knew him – she is increasingly discontented with her double life.
At first, their reunion is strictly professional. They're there to take down Bielawski, and that's it. Alas, Bielawski has become a priest and taken a vow of celibacy since the death of his family. Even though he is very charmed by Anne, he remains devoted to his faith. Anne drugs him and has Phillip slap her around to make it look like she was beaten and raped. Threatened with imprisonment and disgrace, Bielawski has no choice but to renounce his democratic goals and retreat into the shadows. For Anne, ruining a genuinely decent man is the last straw. She plans to leave the life, and wants Phillip to come with her. She even tells him they have a son together, conceived before Phillip went into the Academy. She still loves Phillip and he probably still loves her, and they soon fall into bed together.
Back home, Elizabeth wishes she'd killed Grannie while she had the chance. Instead, she has to continue working with her. She's assigned to bribe a scientist into funneling secrets to her, after she dons one of her repertoire of Alias-worthy wigs and pays off his gambling debts. She also spends some time at the Beeman house, chatting with Sandra about how hard marriage is and what it takes to make it work. Meanwhile, Stan is off peeling away his layers of crushing sadness and clothes to spend a little time with Nina the mole.
In the end, it's not entirely clear whether or not Anne's son actually exists or if he was a ploy to woo Phillip. Either way, Phillip decides to stick it out with his fake marriage and see if it can maybe become something real. He lies to Elizabeth about what happened with Anne, but seemingly with good intentions. As for the rest, your regular recapper will be back with the full recap.
-- Tippi Blevins
Previously: Philip and Elizabeth got their feelings hurt, first by their Soviet comrades who suspected them of disloyalty, and then by each other. Rezident Vasili got snookered by Agent Stan into taking the fall, saving Nina from suspicion.
Currently: Elizabeth is in a cowl-necked sweater, telling Paige that she already owns sixteen pairs of leg-warmers and thus cannot have anymore. At any moment, Cyndi Lauper and Captain Lou Albano are going to come bursting through that door, making this officially the Most '80s Moment. Meanwhile, Henry is digging around for the remote (Elizabeth hid it -- although who had remote controls in 1981?), complaining that the TV news is boring. Said news is reporting on Polish statesman, Andrej Bielawski, an outspoken critic of the Soviet regime who's in New York City this week to address the United Nations. Elizabeth is obviously watching closely while pretending not to watch closely, but it'd be impossible for anyone to notice, because Paige is calling her mom "incorrigible" and saying things to Henry like "silence, slave" and generally being the total worst.
Later, Elizabeth drops Philip off at the train station, and are they ever snippy to one another. In a bit of a reverse from the end of last week, Philip is the one offering a smidge of concession, but Elizabeth is the intractable one. He finally sighs and says he'll be staying at the Carnegie Hotel, causing Elizabeth to snort that she hopes he has a good time. He stresses that it's a mission, not a getaway, then says, "I haven't seen her in 20 years." Intriguingly cryptic! It looks for half a second that Elizabeth is softening, as she asks him if he has everything he needs. This time, Philip's the one who's short, snapping off a "No" and then a quick slam of the door. It's not Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, but things aren't great.
Inside the station, Philip grumpily picks up his ticket and, while a group of soldiers chatter in the background, just being a symbol of everything Philip is working to take down, his mind travels back to Mother Russia. Picture it: Vladivostok, 1958. (Actually, I don't know when and where this flashback takes place, but just try keeping me away from a Sophia Petrillo joke.) A twentysomething Philip is on a train platform when he meets cute with a pretty brunette girl. Seems a safe assumption that this is the "not in 20 years" woman he was referencing before.
The Amtrak takes Philip to New York City (obligatory digital WTC sighting: achieved), where he checks in under his own name, which is interesting. No wigs. No glasses. He's so exposed! In the lobby, he crosses paths with Andrej Bielawski and his entourage, and he eyes him warily as he steps outside to field questions like, "Is this the beginning of the end of Communism in the Eastern Bloc?" Not if Phil Jennings has anything to say about it!