The Americans
In Control

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

At the FBI, Stan is debriefing Special Agent John-Boy on the Nina meeting. He seems incredibly disappointed to hear that, as far as Nina knows, the Soviets had nothing to do with the assassination attempt. His secretary tells him that the Attorney General wants all the division heads on a conference call, which John-Boy grumpily interprets as "nothing's happening." Outside the office, Stan snubs Chris like whoa at the coffee maker. Chris semi-apologizes for freezing up -- he says there was glare on the window of the car and he couldn't see it. "Next time you get glare," Stan says, "just put it out on the radio, I'll act accordingly." He sounds pretty cold about it.

At home with the Jenningses, they watch Charles on TV, talking about how we're at a dangerous time in human history. He compares what's happening now to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, which triggered World War I. "Now," he says, "the threat is nuclear; billions of lives at stake, not just millions." Henry asks about the Archduke Ferdinand stuff, and Philip's just like, "You don't have to worry about it." "It's history," Paige know-it-alls, "which repeats itself, so he does have to worry about it." Well feel free to grab a textbook and tutor the lad, Paige, damn. Elizabeth notes that Stan just got home and suggests to Philip that they head over to see how he's doing after such a stressful day. Such good neighbors!

At the Beemans', there's general small talk about the shock of the day. Stan talks about the day Kennedy was shot, which, I'd have been interested to see what kinds of stories the Jenningses have cooked up for that most American of anecdotes, since they hadn't been in the country yet. Elizabeth says, "Nothing ever felt safe after that," but she leaves it there. Philip steers the conversation to Stan's work, and Elizabeth, taking advantage of the wife's prerogative to be scared, asks him point-blank, "How worried do we have to be?" Stan assures her that this Hinckley guy is your standard-issue nutcase, even relays the Jodie Foster story. She's like, "But don't you work, like, against spies or something?" (you can almost see her swallow the word "counterintelligence") and Stan says that, yes, they suspected the Russians may have been involved, but they've now ruled that out. It's a good thing, he says, because that might've started World War III. Poor Philip can't even throw in a "BOO-YAH!" at this point.

Later, Philip is back in the woods, transmitting the news that they have confirmed that Hinckley acted alone and the Americans are not blaming the Russians for it. I kind of love that this episode seems to want to give the U.S. credit for not just blaming it on the Russians anyway. Way to not be reckless and deceitful! Meanwhile, Elizabeth lies awake in bed, remembering her childhood again. She begged her mom to accept the generous help of the man with the crate, but her mom stood firm, saying that helping them out wasn't all that man was after. The lesson, she teaches her daughter, is to never rely on anyone but yourself. A fine life lesson, Mom.

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The Americans




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