Spoiler Alert: Don’t read if you haven’t seen The Americans Season 1 Ep. 8 – “Mutually Assured Destruction”.
This week The Americans borrowed their plot from a lost episode of Three’s Company; the one where Jack and Chrissy almost start World War III all because of a simple misunderstanding! See, the Russians thought it would be fun to kill 14 of America’s leading weapons building scientists and hired a pudgy little German to get the job done. But then, they realized that attacking American civilians on American soil would be starting a catastrophic war, so they attempted to contact the pudgy little German, but they couldn’t! Don’t you just hate it when you lose communication with your contract killers? Luckily super spies Philip and Elizabeth were on hand to sort out the mess before Mr. Roper found out.
Slightly ridiculous mission aside, “Mutually Assured Destruction” provided more lovely metaphors for marriage as a cold war. The misunderstanding with the hit man resulted from differing opinions in Moscow Center; one faction believes their highest priority should be stopping the Americans from building an anti-ballistic missile (whatever that is) while the other side believes that maintaining and keeping a war at bay should be at the top of the list. Similarly, Elizabeth’s approach to her cover life has been to build up as many defenses as possible while Philip has continually tried to break them down and show her that being constantly raring for a war is not the happiest way to live.
And he wore down. As of last week Elizabeth had broken and was ready to take a chance on Philip’s methods. But, given that that acquiescence was based on the lie that Philip hadn’t slept with Irina, it was only a matter of time before it all came crumbling down. In fact, it took far less time than expected. It would have been nice to have more than a few minutes of happy love banter between the newly committed Jennings, but Granny had other plans.
Granny claimed to forgive Elizabeth for almost beating her to death and as a show of solidarity casually mentioned Philip had in fact slept with Irina. Elizabeth didn’t waste a second in considering the motives of the woman she almost killed or the organization that expressly forbade emotional connections between their agents, nor did she take a moment to remember she had spent many nights with Gregory and never felt the need to confess. Rather, she threw her guards back up, shut down the growing bud of her heart and refused the idea that The Jennings would ever be more than a cover.
But Elizabeth is in for a rude awakening if she honestly believes that denying her feelings will result in them actually going away. If thoughts of Philip are distracting her from her job than a separation will be unlikely to get her back on task, especially if they continue to be work partners. Also, I’m not entirely sure how a lack of emotion would have helped them intimate from a blood spattered bathroom that the hit man had already planted a bomb, but I guess when you’re looking for excuses everything make more sense.
Other Random Musings:
Irina was called into her superior’s office and it looked like they were onto her, but when she relayed the story to Stan back at their new love pad (thanks, Agent Gaad!) she said she was promoted. Doesn’t it seem more likely, given her sudden affinity for how spies tick, that she’s been made a double agent? Stand should start watching his back.
Speaking of secretaries turned spies, Philip has escalated Martha from unsuspecting source to full-fledged spy and all it took was some lovin’ (obviously). But, while sneaking files out of the FBI might be incredibly easy, it’s gonna get difficult now that her ex, Chris, is stalking her. Anyone willing to take bets on who gets the jump on whom? My money is always on the super spies.
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