The Americans
Pilot

Episode Report Card
Joe R: B- | 12 USERS: A-
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Pilot

Later, the family's on an outing for soft-serve ice cream. Philip is holding Paige's ice-cream cone in front of her, seeing if she can bite it before he bops her on the nose with it. It's a cute Dad Moment but also one that lets his tactical training side shine through. Elizabeth watches this all warily. She's the not-fun one, but some part of her can't help but smile at her kids. Still, when it comes time for her turn, she shuts Philip down. He even apologizes to her when he accidentally ice-creams her nose.

Later, Philip has a "meeting with a client." In this case, it means he puts on some glasses and a wig (all the wig-work is easily the silliest part of this show) and shows up to meet with Martha at her home. Martha works for FBI Counterintelligence and I guess Philip has been posing as "Clark," an internal-affairs type officer who's been tasked with plugging leaks in the Bureau. This all seems very dubious, that Philip could just openly get inside information this way, even if Martha is as naïve as she seems. But, like I'm sure I will do with many aspects of this show, I'm going with it in the interests of getting on with my life. So obviously, "Clark" is interested in the FBI's response to the Timoshev kidnapping. Martha tells him that the Feds have already linked it to a kidnapping report in D.C. last night. They have a description of the perps (two men, one woman) and the car (''77 Olds, gold, D.C. plates, bumper stickers). She says that extra agents were sent out to the Soviet embassy and the train stations, since they think the plan was to export the guy, but that's all she knows.

Later, we see Philip returning the wig and glasses to his secret compartment at home (behind a false fuse box that combo-locks by flipping the right sequence of fuses). Therein, he finds the tape recording of Elizabeth's encounter with Congressman Horndog. With a pained look on his face, he listens to his wife put her finger up another man's ass, then FFs to her orgasming, then FFs to her strategically questioning the guy's manhood ("next time, I want you to be a little stronger, maybe?") in order to get him to brag about his work with KGB defectors. Philip can't help but smile at the way Elizabeth operates, but you can tell his circuits are all crossed when it comes to the personal and professional.

That night, while Elizabeth is watching the requisite archival footage of Walter Cronkite on the news, Philip briefs her on what he's learned: the Feds have the car description, and while they haven't yet tied it to any reports of Cuteski stumbling into the hospital with a stab wound, it's only a matter of time before they do. Meanwhile, they're staking out the Soviet embassy, so that's why their message hasn't been picked up yet, and with all this attention, it probably won't be. The Jenningses are on their own for the time being. Elizabeth thinks they should just get rid of Timoshev. Philip's like, "What's the rush to kill him, honey?" She wants him out of their house; he's putting them in danger and besides, they'll just kill him in Moscow anyway. Philip gives lip-service to completing the mission as assigned, but she gives him the side-eye on that one, since it was breaking protocol to help Cuteski that got them in this mess in the first place. "If you're that worried about it," he says, "we could just defect ourselves." Ha! Oh man, of all the ways you could have slid that into that conversation that was not the smoothest. He tries to pretend he's kidding, but the more he talks about the benefits -- the money, the security, finally being able to relax with the kids and be a family -- you know he wants it. Elizabeth doesn't even process it as a possibility worth joking about.

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The Americans

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