The Americans
In Control

Episode Report Card
Joe R: B | 5 USERS: A-
Play It Coup

After the break, Philip and Elizabeth are disposing of the body in the woods and bickering about the usual stuff. He's furious that they've escalated things to this level. Elizabeth says she didn't give the orders, but Philip accuses her of agreeing with them. Then it's back to the old "Why do you hate them so much?" / "Why do you love them so much?" stuff. Man, lots of A Few Good Men quotes springing to mind this week.

Back to the bar. Nina exits, looks around for possible tails, and finally gets into Stan's car. She's reasonably sure she's clean, no thanks to Stan calling her at the embassy and demanding a meeting at such short notice. He assures her that all his tracks were covered. Once she's placated, he asks her about the situation at the embassy. She says there's nothing to report, really. They're all "running around like cut-off chickens." Stan chuckles at her mangling of the phrase, which just angers her more. Anyway, they're agitated at the embassy because they're worried the Americans will pin Hinckley on them, "to justify the coup." Stan's like, "The what now?" Nian: "The one your General Haig announced." Because haha, from the Russian perspective, a leader gets shot and a general goes on TV and claims control and that's what's going on. I'm not sure whether I'm annoyed that the plot is hinging on an increasingly infantile misunderstanding on the Russians' part or find it kind of darkly comic that tensions were so high at this point that everybody was willing to believe anything. Anyway, Stan tells her that's not how things work, but she tells him with everybody's finger on the trigger, he can't know how things will work.

Back at home, Philip and Elizabeth listen to the recordings from Weinberger's house. There's a lot of interference, so it's not super clear, but he mentions the locations of Soviet subs, then says something about "How the hell did Haig ... [inaudible] ... the nuclear football?" Elizabeth stops the tape and looks accusingly at Philip: "Are you convinced now?" He says no, but his eyes say he's lying." Except... he shouldn't be. Considering they didn't hear the actual VERB of that sentence? How is that convincing proof? Elizabeth wants to get this info to Moscow ASAP. Philip, knowing the implications of such a communication, says they really should wait for more information. She looks at him like he's crazy. Finally, he tells her that her big problem is that she's never bothered to understand the Americans and how they operate. They don't have military coups. Indeed, in a shade over 200 years, it's never happened. (Oh, pipe down, Oliver Stone; now is not the time.) He basically tells her if they transmit this to Moscow, things will escalate to World War III, all over a coup that is NOT happening. He gets very "IT FEELS LIKE I'M TAKING CRAZY PILLS" about it. Elizabeth shoots back that he thinks he understands the Americans because he dresses more like them and thinks like the kids do. "I fit in JUST fine," she spits, "but I don't forget where I came from. Not having all of these things. It being about something bigger than just myself." It's all very "I bet you don't even REMEMBER Stalin!" He reiterates that there is no way on earth that Al Haig just took over the U.S. government. She gets all pissy, asking why he thinks the Americans are above lies and conspiracy like everybody else. He points out to her that the last two times a Soviet leader has died, their government pretended they weren't dead for weeks. That's not how it's done here. He says they need to try and stop war from happening unnecessarily, and he kind of puts his foot down about doing things his way.

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The Americans




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