Some will call this episode upsetting or something of the like. This is far from it.
WARNING: Spoilers from this week’s episode below.
Philip finally gives him to allow Henry to go to an expensive boarding school in order for scholarship opportunities. This troubles Philip, but it brings us to his extreme reflection on the memories with his own father as a young boy in Russia.
Elizabeth and Philip meet with Claudia to update her on how Paige has advanced her reconnaissance inside the house of Pastor Tim and Alice. Paige has given her consent to have the Centre look for a job far away to remove Pastor Tim and Alice from the DC area.
Claudia informs the Jennings that they’ve received intel on a woman who’s living in a suburb of Boston. This woman supposedly, during WWII, turned her back on the Russians and collaborated with the Nazis and she has blood on her hands. Philip and Elizabeth get even more info on her and determine, from the picture they were given, if the woman is the same one they’re looking for.
Stan brings Henry to the FBI as Henry is doing a report on the bureau and the challenges it faces on a daily basis. Henry’s fascination reaches its peak every now and then, and one could wonder if an interest in counterintelligence, or the FBI as a whole, could lead to a job one day. In hearing about this trip, Elizabeth is having none of it, as she would forbid her son to work for the enemy.
Following the field trip, Henry asks Stan more about the bureau, including the pros and cons of working there. Stan stops himself because he says he doesn’t trust Henry. Befuddled by the statement, Henry asks why. Stan says he can’t trust many people because he has to treat almost everyone like a spy, including his own family.
Oleg and his partner investigate the woman holding a ledger of bribes from wealthy men who are delegating certain amounts of food to the entire country and it’s causing a shortage as a result of the socialist policies in Russia. The woman they have won’t rat anyone out or provide any more information, and likely faces prison time. She tells Oleg and his partner that the KGB are not the only ones they’re going to have to battle, but also the grocery store managers, among others.
The final 15-20 minutes or so brings us to Philip and Elizabeth breaking and entering the home of Natalie Granholm. Elizabeth confronts her and orders her to tell them about her past life in Dyatkovo (her hometown) when the Nazis invaded. After many attempts to lie, Natalie confesses. Then, her husband arrives, much to the same shock as his wife, to ultimately be held up at gunpoint.
John says his wife is not the woman who she admits to have been. He says that she’s a good person, and both end up pleading for their lives. Both Elizabeth and Philip aim their guns at John and Natalie, respectively. Philip shows much hesitation, and Elizabeth shows her most ruthless side and executes both of them.
After they leave the house, we find them driving out of town, which prompts Elizabeth to say something we never thought she’d be 100% serious in saying: she wants to go home.
This might have been the best episode of the season so far. Now, I don’t remember the effect every single episode has had on me, but I do know that this series has exceeded my expectation ever since it debuted. The writing is top-notch and rivals those like Mad Men, Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul, and Game of Thrones, for example.
From a movie/TV nerd’s perspective, this was the first episode, from what I can recall, where this show has ended an episode by fading to black. It’s usually cut straight to black. I think it was a turning/boiling point all in one for this episode. Things are really starting to heat up and Elizabeth is showing no signs of slowing down to make sure the enemy is defeated while leaving no trail whatsoever.
I wonder if Philip is going to have the same mindset on both the job that needs to be done, as well as going back home to Russia. I don’t think that’s going to happen because they have much more of a moral/ethical incentive to do whatever they can for their country in the U.S. as undercover agents rather than fight from the homeland.
Will Paige ultimately advance in the ranks of being more like her parents, and, conversely, will Henry want to learn more about what it takes to become an FBI agent? I wonder if this show will focus more on Henry gaining the trust of his sister and then turning the tables on her, and ultimately, turning in his parents, or will he sort of fade into the shadows of a normal teenager’s life?