It's the day that President Reagan got shot and everybody is on high alert. The Soviets didn't do it (or at least Granny/Claudia is pretty sure they didn't), but they're worried the Americans will blame them for it as a pretext for war. Misinformation is running rampant in Washington and because Secretary of State Haig can't get his shit together when speaking of lines of succession, there are worries that a coup could be in process. Claudia tells Elizabeth they have to prepare for "Operation Christopher," which is apparently a guerilla-insurgency operation. Through-the-looking-glass stuff.
It's too bad, because the Jenningses were on such a good path this week, meeting at a hotel for sex like a couple of weirdos, but it was helping their relationship out. Now -- with the prospect of war looming -- the philosophical dividing line between them returns. While "mapping targets" of high-level U.S. officials, they get busted by a rent-a-cop and Elizabeth has to kill him. Later, Elizabeth listens in on the taps they've got going and thinks she hears confirmation that Haig is taking over and has control of the nuclear launch codes. Philip thinks they should get more information, because he knows then what we know now: America doesn't have coups. Not that kind, at least.
Meanwhile, the FBI counterintelligence division is trying to figure out if the Russians were indeed behind the assassination attempt. Agent John-Boy presses Stan to go talk to Nina, but when he does, she's followed by someone at the Rezidentura. Nina also thinks General Haig is taking control, even though Stan is also like, "Not in America, sweetie. "
Ultimately, Elizabeth and Philip find out from one of the nurses on duty that Reagan survived and later, they pay the Beemans a neighborly visit where Stan confirms that Hinckley acted alone and the Russians aren't being blamed for it. So WWIII isn't going to happen… at least not yet.
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Breakfast at the Jenningses. Elizabeth is getting the kids' lunches ready, while the TV news is talking about recent political unrest between Poland and the USSR. Henry asks where Poland is, and Paige says it's part of Russia. Elizabeth practically chokes on her coffee as she asks Paige if that's what Mr. Henrickson is teaching them. This Mr. Henrickson has REALLY gotten on Elizabeth's bad side. I hope we get a monster confrontation by the end of the season. Or maybe be becomes the Vera/Maris/Tino of the show, constantly referenced for saying stuff Elizabeth doesn't approve of but never onscreen. Philip is just like, "Same neighborhood, whatevs" and hurries the kids to the car. Elizabeth pulls him aside to make sure they're still "on" for today. Nosy Paige is like, "On for what?" but Elizabeth, to her credit I would say, is like, "None of your business." Yeah, PAIGE. Butt out of your parents' plans for a nooner, seriously.
At the FBI, Agent John-Boy is telling Stan and Chris about a Romanian diplomat who was caught with three pounds of weed. Since drug-dealing is a crime that's harshly punished in Romania, John-Boy suggests they try to get this fool to cooperate.
Elsewhere, later, Philip waits in a hotel room for a knock on the door. He isn't wearing a fake mustache or an eye patch or walking with a limp, so he's clearly not on spy business. Indeed, the knock at the door is Elizabeth. What did I tell you about a nooner? They don't speak, rather they just start making out. The music is all plinky and tender, and the scene is rather hesitant and romantic and sweet. Husband and wife falling in love with each other. I really think this is the show's strong suit at this point, especially while it figures out the balance between silly-fun and stupid-unfun in the spy-game stuff. These last two episodes have been an improvement, but it's been the Philip/Elizabeth stuff that has been keeping me interested.
Back at Langley, Chris is quizzing Stan on Russian vocab, with actual flashcards, right in the middle of the office. I can't imagine Stan would stand for this kind of open infantilization in front of colleagues, some of whom he outranks. They're waiting for the Romania guy to get brought in, but Agent John-Boy comes rushing past them. "Get in the vault," he barks, "the President's been shot." Leave it to Agent John-Boy to make it sound like this one's Chris's fault. Inside, John-Boy lays out the assignments: they want the whereabouts of every KGB agent in the country, and also everything possible on the shooter and whether he has KGB connections. Stan asks if he wants intel from the Russian embassy, and John-Boy snippily says, "Yes, but not from you." Jesus Christ, John-Boy, is your tampon bothering you? What the fuck?