Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen The Americans Season 2, Ep. 5 – “The Deal.”
After a season and a half of lying and cheating and spying the Jennings have finally done something so terrible it cannot be easily dismissed as “part of the job.”
The scientist Philip and Elizabeth were tasked with taking proved valuable in a myriad of ways and was the focus of the many titular deals of the episode. The Russians wanted him to bring his top-secret work back to his home country, Israel wanted to keep him away from the Russians and the Americans just wanted to know what the hell was going on.
In the end, Israel gave up one top security clearance physicist to allow 1,500 Jewish refugees in Russia freedom to Israel. So Anton was put back onto a ship, exiled to Russia where he would never see his family again.
Both Anton and the Israeli operative questioned Philip’s character. Philip is not much different from Anton. He came from Russia to America, where he built his life and raised his children. How close is Philip from one mistake that could put him in a similar boat? Will icicles make up for losing his family?
The Jennings are plunging down this hole with little thought to where it might land them. But the more they are asked to blindly follow orders, orders that are truly monstrous, the more they can’t help but start to see.
Elizabeth got her own dose of reality when she paid a visit to put out a Martha fire. The Americans is very clear that spying is best done sans pants and both Elizabeth and Philip have spent a fair amount of time serving Mother Russia on their backs. But now that they have recommitted to each other, hearing Martha go on about sex with Clarke (which for all she knew she was saying to his sister. So either way, bad form, Martha) got under Elizabeth’s skin.
These tiny moments are chipping away at the Jennings’ steely resolve. Soon there will be nothing left but an average American couple living with two kids in the suburbs with some really interesting memories.
Anton wasn’t the only person being dealt for profit, this week. After weeks of being a shady little comrade, Oleg finally played his hand. He lured Beeman into a meeting and bartered Nina’s safety for information. Was this the plan all along, the reason Nina needed to secure an “I love you?” Or has Oleg gone rogue for more dastardly reasons?
All in all, “The Deal” stood out as the best of the season so far. It had the prefect balance of everything that makes The Americans great: tense action, complex relationship studies and unfortunate wigs.
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