The Americans Episode 4
So what on earth is our crocodile smile CIA man up to people? Learning Russian on the quiet: Unless it is required for his job. There didn’t seem to much of a call for Russian speaking down at the CIA office. Being that even if they did catch a Russian spy the presumably they would speak perfect English. Or American.
I do have fixed in my mind the classic throw-away Oh so casual line:
“you know if they’re undercover because they will never speak a word of Russian”
Or some such sentence. Point being that this statement was taken seriously and used as a test by the CIA. Unless the character in that scene was joking that is. It’s possible.
We have seen some crass comments corrected by a CIA boss seemingly evolved above sexism before his time. However once the woman who pointed out the objectification of her inherent in that remark had gone the boss rolled his eyes sarcastically. As if to say i only apologised to keep a woman happy. What a twat.
Mind you, I’m not sure i would have taken offence at my shoes however he did make a comment about her calves. Point is he was not being spontaneous & complimentary he was using her presumed delight over her new shoes to be an in to persuade her to do something (office-like?) that he wants.
So in that case, yes, to my mind she was right to call him out on it, He wouldn’t have used such words, personal comments, about or to a guy, now would he? D’oh.
In this episode we see Elizabeth getting horribly whipped by a sadistic bastard. Philip, deeply & irrecoverably in love with Elizabeth is furiously upset and instantly sets out for revenge.. Philip is angry the next day with his kids:
He says. Why? ‘Cause Philip didn’t get to kill the guy?
Phillip & Elizabeth’s spy escapades are so dramatical & tightly woven together as a trusted team. Their mad-cap adventures have been playing like a love-story to me for a while now. A love story in action. A love-story in reverse action if you like,. he writers have certainly played with such ideas with flashback sequences and the late blossoming love of Elizabeth.
It’ like Elizabeth falls in love backwards too. Certainly from Philip’s point of view. I wonder how long Philip has been in love with Elizabeth? Possibly from the very beginning when they were introduced as a gauche & awkward young couple.
The visual story of Philip’s & Elizabeth’s dangerous missions that we watch are part & parcel of their growing mutual love. However they still operate anyway & already like crack team combat veteran unit buddies. As close as houses.
& I am most interestingly wondering about the seemingly growing yet really superficial friendship between Philip & CIA man. I delighted in their slightly conspiratorial air when car to car chatting with Elizabeth. Both male spies,head to head in this scene are consummate players to perfection. Even in the severely dodgy & questionably wigs & disguises we still believe Philip to be exactly that new person he says he is.
Ditto Elizabeth. Though her look is harder to subsume somehow. Having long hair, fabulous fan shaped cheekbones and big bat-wing large brown eyes.
Elizabeth has her own style of chameleon like chimera change of her usual self. Somehow achieved by different hairstyles, the double rounded head plait being my particular favourite hair style of Elizabeth’s.
That and Elizabeth’s big hair and weeping black mascara eyes (a nod to Nashville). Big hair & tumbling. Reed thin, super tall. Super strong. Multitudinous abilities An all action woman and soldier for the Motherland. Soldier in aim and belief system. Spy in the execution of those aims. In more ways than one & execution being one of them.
Don’t ask me to describe the shenanigans & smiley crocodile’s shock at discovering the sordid truth of exactly how beautiful, steely Irina got her information.
Especially since I f fully expected Irina’s boss, the Rezidentura (KGB/head of the Soviet Embassy) to have arranged for Irina’s death or speedy demise any time soon. Perhaps Irina could consider it to have been not just a mission to protect herself through the CIA man: but an act of self-preservation.
No dispatches planned for the moment then for Irina hopefully.
Note the recurrent them and or play on the words of “shoes” in this episode. Strangely, the same woman is complemented twice on her shoes by different men i recall. 2 scenes which must be deliberate. Why? A writerly tic or favourite thing? Was it meant to show the incipient sexism or just plain manipulation afoot in the average office? Unclear really.
Don’t think i want to bother too much with divining the exact current cultural meaning, political point, or political correctness level of such things.
Yes, i am fascinated by the fake friendship developing between CIA man & Philip probably most of all. They really did have the slight air of hookey playing schoolboys out on a road trip to nowhere together.
Dialogue from Episode 4
The Shoes Saga:
Baldy headed CIA man in the office:
“Two months we dated & she only wore Nurse’s shoes…”
“Hey, Nina, nice shoes, flatter hour calves”
The widow that Elizabeth goes to see. Still weeping. Ah.
He’s Got the Jitters:
“I feel like I’m standing on a diving board in front of an empty pool”
Odd/nearly funny? moments
He’s got the jitters: The Rezidentura head KGB man physically shows the jitters to Irina. It’s almost funny, but not quite..
Our CIA man is visibly melting towards Irina:
“You are a beautiful, intelligent, intuitive & beautiful woman..”
(Oo! 2 beautifuls!)
CIA Man’s favourite Russian phrase:
“Diverte menyes” (“trust me”)
“If you say it that way, those words, its; like:
” trust me”,
like there’s no choice”…
Clarke & the CIA lady agent, Nina:
(why are they at her house? Are they on a date?)
Philip disguised as Clark:
“I like your shoes by the way…”
Philip disguised as Clarke to Nina (CIA Agent):
“Well I like your new shoes”
Philip disguised as Clarke
“If things were different, we definitely could..but I’m protecting Government secrets. You’re doing the Government a huge service..”
(Philip is playing her with sex as well but not doing anything)
Elizabeth gets beaten up:
“Phillip, stop, you’re not my Daddy!”
“No, I’m not your Daddy, what do you think Daddies do?”..
“I’m your husband, what do you think husbands do?”
Irina & the CIA man
“Listen, one day you will be living a new life, I want you to chose a new name, very carefully..” “The name of someone who sleeps very well at night, we..”
(face close & looking up at CIA man, “we?”
Clarke or? this disguise is Philip with the wig and the moustache: (at the garage)
“Are you kidding me?!” (but it’s all OK ’cause Elizabeth does a Houdini.)
Elizabeth to Phillip:
“You know what I would like? To be able to fall asleep without worrying”.
CIA man (up late at night at home in his kitchen listening to Russian lessons on a Dictaphone)
“Are you OK?”
“How is your Mama?!
Fine, how are you?”
CIA man to his wife:
“Is that new?” Oh you are killing me”
CIA man’s wife:
“Before Your long stint undercover”..Hmmm
“We used to drink Chianti at the old Bridge FActory, we would do double bubble blowing contests & you knew your sons’ best friend’s names, remember? Life was pretty good, right?”
“Trust me, trust me,,” (he repeats in Russian)
CIA Boss at the CIA office:
“Lord, I have waited for the moment!”
The Soviet Embassy has a giant picture of Lenin on the wall and a very large amount of white marble.
CIA man & baldy Agent &are shadowing the Rezidentura (head KGB /head of soviet Embassy)
CIA man to base:
“Brown Goose is 36 at the Potomac”
Baldy Agent next to him watching the Rezidentura:
What is he doing?”
“Gazing, is that what you call it?”
American/Russian agent/Spy guy:
“Did my friend send you?”
Elizabeth, in baseball hat, short jacket & jeans.
Kerblamm! She shoots him in the head.
Nb. Phillip is impeccably dressed. Short suede jacket & black polo neck. Looking like he’s anywhere but America.