The Americans Episode 9
“Things just got a little crazy, you know?”!
As per usual in the car after the murder of Almardo.
“Don’t play it over in your head, what you could have done different”
( Ah yes, poor him)
Evil yet silky voiced CIA Boss:
“Almador was..bla bla..his parents bla bla..I knew him..”
“Now here is what we are going to do for him!”
“”We will not rest until they are behind bars”
“Or even better, zipped up in a body bag!”
CIA Boss with Stan:
“”We’re in a war now & in a war, blood is spilt, people get killed..”
“So don’t go over it in your head..”
(ditto with Elizabeth-ha ha The Americans)
Uh oh-a calamity comes a calling with an outré’ meeting of Philip and Stan in the motel.
Philip looks about as happy to see Stan as if the person you hated most in the office turned up when you were stoned.
My partner was found dead tonight, Almador”
“Oh God, I’m so sorry..”
“He was stabbed”
“Who did it?”
Stan (he opens his eyes wide & looks at Philip)
“We’ll catch them!” (coincidence?)
I mean that, sincerely, thanks“
As Stan leaves.
Nina & Stan:
“Who killed Almador?!”
“Who killed Vlad?!”
“I don’t know who killed Vlad”
“We’re not monsters Nina”.
“Its OK, I know you just tell me what I want to hear”..
“I know really, I know”
“Just tell me what happened to Vlad please?”
Nina goes all suddenly & to her necessarily seductive on Stan. Its all part of her job.
Elizabeth (to Paige)
You do not get to speak to me like that!
( i missed what Paige said to her Mother but Paige was already spouting punishable psycho-babble)
Marital discord row then: back to business. (spy business)
Runs the tap.
“Call next time, all right?”
“I don’t need permission to see my kids!”
(its all a bit post 90’s isn’t it)
Stan smells Amaldor’s stuff on his desk.
Gregory smokes with his jazz playing…
In his cool and funky pad.
They (CIA) find the ring! (Almador left it as a clue in the boot of the car)
“The vin numbers are filed off!” (vehicle identification numbers)
Stan goes all mean and nasty on the car dealer.
& Talks his usual P.I. (Private Investigator) sheet.
You may think you know me but you don’t know me at all”
Stan: your hard man lines are daft but that’s OK for hard men. They don’t need to make no sense.
Elizabeth & Gregory:
You’ll be OK”
“We all will be, you included..”..
(famous last words)
Uh oh, as dramatic device demands-Gregory is officially toast or somebody is soon as Elizabeth said that.
“Should have let me catch you the first time!”
(where does he get this shit-the 70s?)
“What about him?” (Robert)
“Will he set off into the night gently?”
“..a stipend..they won’t call him for the Rezidentura”
“but they will, to lecture the Cadets!”
“Call him to Moscow!”
“Or there is only one other option available”,
“sad as we would be to see it go in that direction..”
Stan & Curtis:
“I work in Counter Intelligence, you know what that is?”
“I may look dumb, but I’m not..”
“I don’t know what to do, but I feel like revenge”.
“You and i don’t have much in common”
“But we’re both Goddamn Americans!”
Gregory & Elizabeth:
“There are plans to take you there..”(Moscow)
“L.A, Compton, I can change my name”
“get some work done on my face”
“You guys are the masters of disguise!”
“You can do anything!”
(Ah-he is so in love with Elizabeth)
Claudia meets Gregory: (Very big Uh oh..)
Claudia has her best scarf on-its obviously its goodbye time for her.
“I’m a guard dog, why do you think they send an old lady half-way across the world?”
” you’ve been brilliant..”
“”we’ve left trace evidence, the trail will stop at Elizabeth & Philip”!
Gregory (looking relaxed and deceptively casual)
“I never wanted much really”
“I just wanted to live for something”
“and to know when I’m done”.
(sigh. he is so brave)
My heart breaketh.
Claudia & Philip:
“You will be there?” (to off poor brave Gregory)
(of course, I am the hot assassin. polo-neck jumpers & stubble have never looked so good.)
“The world that we live in is a little uglier and darker than I think you know sometimes”.
“Look, she whispers, we could just run away, to a shack, I don’t care..” (Ah)
Gregory to Elizabeth:
“Find someone who will love you for being so strong!”
Gregory & Elizabeth
“You trust me?”
I trust you but i can’t..”
“Wait outside Elizabeth”!
“I know him Philip, please Philip..”
“I’m asking you please Philip..”
Philip puts the gun aside..
Gregory goes! (yey)
Roberta Flack singing To Love Somebody:
“There’s a light”
“A certain kind of light”
“That never shone on me”
“That I want my whole life to be”
“lived with you”
“There’s a way”
“Many people say”
“to do everything”
“But what does it bring?”
“If I don’t got you”
“I don’t have you”..
“You don’t know what its like”
“To love somebody”
the way I love you”
TV and dinner. Hockey game.
He has lasted a long time. Until now.
Kerblamm with spurts of red liquid across the air.
Elizabeth turns off the News report.
Philip lounges casually looking impossibly stylish.
Stan lounges the same.
Elizabeth silently mourns.
footnotes to episode 9
So The American, for me, is heartbreaking. It is getting more severe and intense by each episode.
How much more hurt, horror and sorrow can my poor heart take?
The more the insane evil inches it’s way before us in The Americans the more the humdrum of every day reflects that awfulness back at us, the viewer as a thousand times magnified as grotesque, uncaring banal.
The fact that wretched suffering, terror & torture trundles along with the day to day minutiae of life in the suburbs makes Elizabeth and Philip seem excruciatingly cruel.
However Elizabeth & Philip are no more or less cruel than before. Or than they would be without children and the life in the suburbs. The 2.2 children and & the expected loving nature of parents are the deliberate counterpoint & cruel magnifying mirror to the cruelty they both carry out.
Philip & Elizabeth are the anti-heroes, like loveable, so-called gangsters who love their families. Like Tony Soprano or the outcast gangster in Lilly hammer. The Piranha in the goldfish bowl.
However then there is Stan,offered up to us as a pointed comparison! Its just that Stan’s murdering is more 9-5 with home life traditionally separate. With the slightly annoying trope of the protected, sacrosanct wife who must know nothing. Since “real life things are too ugly and dirty”
for her to hear.
Yeah right Stan. Methinks that Sandra would like to be in on the loop and if those things that you have done (you mean) that really are so ugly and dirty, like shooting a young innocent man in the back of the head coz you “feel like revenge”.
Then perhaps Sandra has the right to know that she’s about to tuck up in bed with a murderer?
After popping on her hand cream D’Ya think?
Elizabeth and Philip for that matter, already know.
I must mention the break-up dialogue. As before when the Russian couple, note not the Americans, started spouting official therapy-speak psycho-babble over their split, i felt that this was wrongly dated.
As it was too future forward for the 90’s. I really don’t think people were that practised in divorce speak then. Philip has an insanely good ear for & memory of American dialogue & phrases.
Indeed Philip has mastered the art of banality & familiar, comforting phrases as his weapon of disguise. Yet where have he & Elizabeth learnt to speak psycho-babble?
It wouldn’t have been in their KGB training. & they don’t exactly watch sit-coms on TV. This is anachronistic dialogue in my opinion.
Is it time to talk about Gregory? Poor, lovestruck Gregory, used and abused, damn near terminated by the love of his life, Elizabeth.
Slightly tiresome historical learning point lecture fill us in on the turning of Civil Rights activists by the KGB.
Who Knew? i didn’t. Universities were mentioned. But where on earth did Elizabeth meet Gregory? She didn’t go to University did she?
Gregory may have wanted to sock it to the man and mistakenly thought Elizabeth & Communism did too. Well they did but they wanted to kill the man too & replace him with a whole new ideology. Where you didn’t get to chose a man or any men. But were ruled by many men, mainly called the KGB..
Yet we viewers knew that Gregory did not care to live under Communism. He didn’t want to go to Moscow. Unlike Kim Philby & Co. No, Gregory was in it mainly for love, he wished and hoped against hope to be with Elizabeth.
How Gregory’s heart must have broken when finally, Elizabeth has split up from Philip and she nay says his pleas.
Ode to Gregory
Gregory oh Gregory
Your eyes they burned like fire
So full your heart with love it was
and of burning desire.
You loved your lady Elizabeth
Your heart was good and true
you served her most valiantly
as the bullets flew through and through.
As the bullets danced like hailstones
four red rivulets ran to the ground
Gregory looked down and then fell backwards
He never made a sound.
Four red spots on his tartan coat of blue
that was all brave Gregory saw and knew.