Episode Breakdown: The Americans – Season 6 Episode 5

The Americans
“The Great Patriotic War”
Created By Joseph Weisberg
Where: FX
When: Wednesdays @ 10pm EST

Where We Left Off:

Last week, Phillip gave Oleg the information about the radiation sensor, before Oleg told him they could never meet in person again. She wasn’t able to retrieve the sensor, but as usual, she dropped some bodies along the way. Phillip returned to Kimmy’s house to get the latest recording from her father’s office, but won’t be able to get another one before the summit, as she’s leaving town for the holidays and this upsets Elizabeth. Phillip and Elizabeth’s tension is boiling into silent hatred and rage, especially with regard to what’s happening with Paige. Claudia tells Elizabeth about a couple of defectors, including a major Russian hockey star, and worries about him being put through the US propaganda machine unless Elizabeth can deal with him first (putting her on a potential collision course with Stan). Oleg sends the coded information home to Arkady Ivonovich by way of his father, who lies to Arkady and tells him Oleg’s family is doing well in his absence. Phillip is feeling the weight of a failing travel agency, which he tells both Elizabeth and Henry about. Lastly, Elizabeth took Erica Haskard to a party with her husband when she learned one of the Russians from the negotiation team would be there. Another mission involving a recording proved to be futile, as she came home with nothing valuable despite once again putting herself and others at risk.

What Went Down:

In the opening scene, Stan visits Sofia (while being followed by KGB agents) and they discuss her impending relocation to Oklahoma. She is worried for her son, but Stan assures her they will be safe and he will adjust, before they move on to talking about Gennadi. Sofia seems to be optimistic about their chances as a couple. Claudia meets with Elizabeth and shows her pictures of one of their negotiators in a private meeting with an op with the CIA. They suspect he may be the CIA’s “inside man,” and Elizabeth needs to find out. Paige arrives, and Claudia educates her on the Russians role in World War 2.

Stan, keeping up with the appearance that he and Gennadi are friends, shares beers and pizza with him over a hockey game (Red Wings vs Capitals, no less, but this was before the Russian Army days). Paige and Elizabeth talk, and mom isn’t happy that daughter has some information from the Congressman’s intern, even though it sounds like exactly the kind of thing she wants to know. Paige doesn’t understand why Elizabeth is mad, but we do. Back at Gennadi’s, Stan leaves and the KGB agents appear to be moving in. Back at the Jennings house, reconnect with some much-needed sexual therapy. In the morning, their peace is ruined when Elizabeth asks Phillip to help her find out what their negotiator is doing with a CIA agent. She wants Phillip to meet Kimmy in Greece, plant drugs on her and get her arrested so that Elizabeth can blackmail her father into giving up the information. In an exchange that has an ocean of hidden meaning (with relation to Paige), Phillip says “She’s just a kid,” and Elizabeth coldly replies “Not anymore.” This is Phillip’s final way out of the spy game, for good. But can he go through with it? Can he endanger another innocent life? That of a high schooler?


Phillip meets with Kimmy and says he has a meeting in Rome when she’s in Greece, but she balks at the idea, saying she wants to see him but her schedule is too crazy. Elizabeth follows Gennadi outside and looked to be going for the kill when an FBI agent tasked with watching him interrupted. That almost gave me a heart attack. Paige is out with the intern and his friends, and when one of them mouths off, she gets up to leave. The friend grabs her and immediately wishes he wouldn’t have, as she goes into spy training mode and beats the shit out of him in front of the whole bar. Even gives the intern one to the nose as well. Go Paige!

Phllip finishes his night with Kimmy by wooing her into sex. He’s fucking a teenager so he can eventually con her into a foreign prison sentence that she doesn’t deserve. The look on his face says more than dialogue ever could. Oleg runs into a returning Tatiana in DC, who tells him she’s still working the same job. She says she knows Oleg told the Americans about her operation and that he’s the reason she’s never moved up. Tatiana says he needs to stop moving forward and look back at his own path of destruction before walking away.

Phillip tells Elizabeth the meeting in Europe with Kimmy is set, and Paige surprises them when she shows up and asks Elizabeth to spar. Back at the Rezidentura, Tatiana tells her supervisor she knows Oleg isn’t here to study engineering, but isnt’ sure what he’s up to. She wants the agents back home to use his father for pressure and leverage. During the sparring, Paige admits to the fight in the crowded bar and Elizabeth loses it on her, saying she can’t draw attention to herself. Paige wants a mom, not a boss all the time, and implies she will sleep with whoever she wants. Phillip is upset and after Paige leaves, he and Elizabeth fight about the event before Elizabeth leaves for work.

“Work”, as it turns out, meant sneaking into Sofia and Gennadi’s palce and stabbing them both to death brutally while their young son watched TV. Sofia always wanted to do what was best for him, which led her to the FBI to begin with, and now he has to find his parents murdered because of Elizabeth’s ever-rising body count. My God…

Phillip visits Paige in her apartment and wants a demonstration of her fighting skills. He demands that he come at her and hit her, before nearly choking her out with a sleeper hold. He’s proving a brutal point about her mother’s propaganda and effectiveness at shielding her from the real truth of what they do. Police gather outside of the murder scene, and Sofia’s child is loaded into a car, horrified, as Stan shows up. He is the one who led the KGB to them, and I think he knows it. He pops over to have a beer with Phillip and tell him about his day, and Phillip knows it was Elizabeth. He is clearly shaken by what his wife has done in the presence of a child. The toll this season (and show in general)  has taken on innocent children is horrifying.

Claudia, Elizabeth and Paige get drunk and talk about sex. Elizabeth shares a funny story and it’s a nice, albeit awkward, bonding moment. The episode ends when Phillip calls Kimmy to break off their friendship and tell her that when she’s in Europe, not to visit any communist countries. He hangs up and we cut to black.

This show is amazing.

Where We Go From Here:

Phillip is undermining Elizabeth in every way. He’s showing Paige that her training hasn’t really prepared her, he somewhat tips Kimmy off to a potential sabotage plan with her European trip…she is not the woman he knew, and he cannot stand by and watch more children take the fall for her cause, especially after hearing about Sofia and Gennadi. He is finally, without a doubt, one hundred percent against Elizabeth and the mission they once fiercely defended together. He’s pot-committed, losing his family and his sanity, and it’s heartbreaking to watch. The same can be said for Oleg, who left his family behind to pursue peace between the two countries, and looks to be set up to pay the ultimate price. Be it his own life or those of his family members, I can’t help but assume the worst for Mr. Burov. Elizabeth is in trouble, too, as her first attempt at Gennadi’s life was cut short by an FBI agent who got a full-on look at her face. Will he see a sketch artist? This looks to be the avenue that finally leads Stan down the path of discovery, and what he could potentially do now that he has to live with the deaths of “Mr. and Mrs. Teacup” as well as the grim horror of Ilya’s anguish could be devastating for the Jennings household.

What did you think of this week’s episode?
Is it possible that we see Elizabeth…kill Phillip?
How long before Stan finally catches on to his neighbors? Will Phillip help him to try and stop Elizabeth?

Check back next time for another Episode Breakdown…
And head over to our Facebook Group for Live Discussion Threads on this and many more shows!

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