The Americans
Mutually Assured Destruction

Episode Report Card
Joe R: B | 2 USERS: B+
YOU GRADE IT
The Replacement Killers

Elizabeth drew the short straw and has to go meet with Claudia, who I guess per the cable guide we're supposed to refer to as "Grannie," if we want to toe the line. I hate the nickname even without the dumb spelling choices, so I will at BEST be doing that begrudgingly. Anyway, Elizabeth -- her anger having subsided to steely professionalism -- asks why the Center would pull such fuckery by ordering these hits and then rescinding. Claudia simply says that some people in the administration think that the ballistic missile shield needs to be prevented by any means necessary, while others think differently. She makes it pretty clear that she's in the latter camp, feeling that it unnecessarily escalates things. She gives Elizabeth intel about the assassin: he's West German and will more than likely have made contact with a weapons provider in Baltimore. She then changes subjects, bringing up their difficult patch but saying that she feels a camaraderie with her. Elizabeth of course sneers at this, but Claudia presses; it's a hard life they lead, but the truth is essential. Elizabeth's like, "What's this truth, bitch?" So Claudia tells her that when Philip was in New York, he slept with Irina. Elizabeth figures this is just Grannie trying to fuck with them, their closeness. Claudia's like, "Ask him," and when Elizabeth says she did: "You believed him?" Claudia says that these arranged marriages of theirs -- they don't work if you start to believe in them. "The men don't think of them that way," she says. See, here's where Elizabeth holds a trump card and she should know it. She KNOWS Philip is way more into the idea of their marriage as a real one than she's ever been. I mean, Claudia's right about the affair, so that's HER trump card, but still. Anyway, Claudia tells her that even after that hellacious beating, she trusts her. Trusts that she'd do whatever she had to do for the motherland. "Him? I'm not so sure." Elizabeth puts on her best defiant face as she leaves the car, but outside, alone, she has her doubts.

Arriving home, Elizabeth finds Philip asleep on the couch, an open issue of Russian Sweethearts Magazine open on his chest. He's still flirty-sexy with her when he wakes up because he doesn't know anything (everything) has changed. He asks about Grannie and whether Elizabeth was able to restrain herself from murdering her. Elizabeth says she's beginning to understand her more. Why? "She's just doing her job. Like the rest of us." Ooooh. The 1980s version of subtweeting is really fun to watch.

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The Americans

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