Even though I have watched this show, since its inception, every single week, I am constantly surprised how much they pack into every single episode.
The Americans this week stole our hearts, crushed our souls and thrilled us all in one fell swoop.
WARNING: Spoilers from this week’s episode below
Philip, Elizabeth, and Tuan continue their recon with Evgheniya, Alexei, and their son Pasha on whether or not the family is going to move back to Moscow. We learn that Tuan planted the idea for bullies to plant canine fecal matter in Pasha’s locker and now he doesn’t want to go to school anymore.
Claudia meets up with Philip and Elizabeth once again to inform them that the super wheat crop they brought to their people is a success. This, however, comes with a stipulation that the Russians will be working on such a crop for quite some time, and it turns out the two of them need to work with AgriCorp employees Benjamin and Deirdre for a long-term time frame… years, for that matter.
As the episode develops, we learn more about Paige’s sleuthing around Pastor Tim and Alice’s home while babysitting for them. She’s continuing to read his diary, which contains observations about Paige’s soul. She’s constantly battling with herself whether to keep reading or not let it bother her at all.
Philip and Elizabeth tell Paige that they talk to their people about getting Pastor Tim a job far, far away where he can’t bother Paige, but also a job that Pastor Tim could enjoy doing in order to rid the distraction of his family against the Jennings’ family.
Aderholt and Beeman meet up with Sofia again at an apartment they rented out in her building to protect her. She talks about how her visit to a dentist has all but rid her of the pain from her bad teeth, along with how she’s getting close to a man. He’s a former defenseman of the Soviet national hockey team, but he’s part of another undercover operation. We learn about this when the FBI is viewing a presentation on Sofia’s man-of-interest travels into the States.
The most heartwarming moment, probably of the entire series thus far, came to us when Philip and Elizabeth are reminiscing on when they first left the USSR with their passports, social security cards, drivers licenses, and, most importantly, their marriage license.
This brought us to a secret meeting with the two of them in meeting Father Andrei as he performs an Orthodox wedding for them. They are practically solidifying their marriage and even though the heavily abridged version of an Orthodox wedding is displayed, it melts our hearts in the most wonderful way possible.
Oddly enough, this transitions us to an incredible final act where Paige did more undercover work by taking pictures of Pastor Tim’s diary. She also accepts her parents’ offer to find a job for Pastor Tim thousands of miles away, preferably in South America based on what she’s read in the past via his diary.
This proceeds to transforming the Jennings laundry room into a darkroom where they develop the film of the diary pages. What transpires next blows us away. We learn about sexual abuse, affairs, and many other atrocities that Pastor Tim has supposedly seen where he’s done Peace Corps-like work.
The most amazing revelation about this episode is how we’ve seen the growth of Paige both as a daughter, but as an agent-in-training. When season 4 concluded in 2016, I always wondered how they were going to develop her character, not just as a daughter to Philip and Elizabeth, but if she was going to be interested in her parents’ work.
More importantly, I wonder if she’s going to be some sort of double agent when it’s said and done. She’s innocent enough to gain the trust of others, but I’m wondering if she’ll have some sort of epiphany to turn in her parents when it’s all said and done.
We also get, for lack of a better word, the most romantic moment between Philip and Elizabeth (or Mikhail and Nadezhda, their original names back in the USSR) as they profess their love for each other and officially marry each other in front of an Orthodox priest. This has been a long time coming especially with the frustration between the two throughout the series. It's nice to see that they can share such a moment in times of crisis.
Also, how do we know Claudia, and everyone else at the Rezidentura are not concerned about working on the crop to rid the world of hunger, but more so to use it as a bargaining chip to starve the United States in trying to take over the country? I know that sounds convoluted but it’s an obscure, but surely possible, scenario to play out.