Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 2, Episode 4 of FX's The Americans, titled "A Little Night Music."
Claudia is back! And she's nice!
She's back because she needs to find Emmett and Leane's killer, but the Center doesn't know anything, or if they do know something, they are playing their cards close to the chest. So Elizabeth tries to seduce the wimpiest American soldier they can find into helping them get to this SEAL named Larick, who Emmet and Leane were blackmailing into a recruit.
The thing is, Elizabeth is having a hard time getting into the mood these days. Is it her almost-death experience? Her newfound love for Philip? Middle age? You can't do KGB and love, apparently.
The episode ended with the best fight since season one. Philip was out to "forcefully repatriate" a Jewish Russian professor, whose research has to do with missile programs, or whatever. After Philip and Elizabeth wait for him to finish up with his mistress, they go to get him. But are jumped by another duo who end up running off -- after Elizabeth slams the guys head with the trunk a few times. First, who are they? Did Claudia or the Center set them up? Second, did you see how shocked Philip was by Elizabeth's rage? Must be all that pent up sexual frustration. And fear.
Fear and frustration at two other women in her life. The frustration is Martha, who wants to have a "lazy morning" with Clark. It's gross (and Elizabeth reacted just as I did to the concept). To get out of it, Clark starts a fight and I have to say Martha holds her own. She calls him a pencil pusher and hounds him for ever being available. While he's on a stakeout she drinks too much Riesling (I'm just assuming), and puts his name on an official FBI transfer application. She's going to ruin everything.
Paige has found religion, which enrages and worrie Elizabeth to no end. It's not like she's doing drugs or having random sex in cheap motels (ahem!). It's a shame that Elizabeth doesn't realize how lucky she is that Paige found a Bible thumping friend -- she could be wasting her after school hours snooping around the laundry room or singing "Kumbaya." I'm guessing Moscow prefers the
Meanwhile, Arkady, Nina, and Oleg are having their own private war. Oleg wants more power and security clearances and uses his family ties to get them. Arkady calls him on being weak -- succumbing to western traits. Oleg can read all of Nina's reports and tries to bond with her by telling her how much he respects her ability to seduce Beeman. There's something very slow and juicy building over at the Rezidentura, I'm just not really sure what. Also, how great does Nina look in eighties dresses and pumps? I'm only now just thinking that the only non-believable thing about this show and the time period is how department store dresses are made to look actually wearable. But I digress.
Wig Count: Three, plus one mustache! Plus two hats/night crawler get-ups.
Nina's Best Poorly Translated Idiom (Working Title) : I needed to stop mocking Nina. I think she might be my favorite girl on television right now. I am glad that Stan told Phil about his affair, though. It means, he's in much deeper than she is. And so more vulnerable.
Lessons Learned: Don't trust anyone. I don't know if Claudia is back and really cares, or if she had something to do with Emmett and Leane's death and that little skirmish at the end tonight. On Twitter, some of you mentioned that Paige's new friend might be KGB. Do you think that after tonight? What would be the point of the Bible study? Distraction?
What did you think of the episode? Talk to me in the comments or tweet me @karenfratti.
The Americans airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.