Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 2, Episode 2 of FX's "The Americans," titled "Cardinal."
I know this show is supposed to be about families and marriage, but this episode was all about sources and leaks. First, Philip heads to Virginia to meet Emmet's source: a poor, balding agent who flips when he finds Philip in his house (though given the bad mustache, we can forgive his shock). It turns out that the agent didn't spill about being a mole to the KGB, so Emmet and Leanne's murder remains a mystery. Despite being a little pathetic, he does tell Philip that the information he passed that day at the fair is time sensitive. Time to move on, guys.
Then, there's the American World Bank employee Bruce Dameran who walks into the Rezidentura. Just walks in. What I don't get is why people just decide to play for the other side. Nina feeds Stan just enough information to get him to figure out who the guy is. I'm not sure what the end game is here, but Stan is stalking him outside of a laundromat.
Elizabeth is still uneasy about their friends' murder. She's literally standing guard, as her pretty little suburb starts to sounds like a war zone, with construction workers jack hammering out front all day. She's super paranoid. Remember last season when she wanted to risk her own life and pack the kids off with Philip? Not anymore. But she's having trouble balancing her maternal instincts for her kids and her fellow spies. In the middle of family bonding, she gets called out to help a new KGB agent who was in the process of messing up with a congressional aide. She helps her sober up and gives her advice on how to move her case forward. It's weird seeing how Elizabeth does girl-talk with Sandra and this girl all in the same way. She's so awkward when it's not about the Cause.
Elizabeth is so busy reassuring the new illegal that she totally misses how paranoid Paige has become. Paige has no idea what she's getting into, but she is brave. Just not quick enough to make the calls and figure out who Helen is. Even if she does move in on clues, how will she ever guess that her parents are Russian spies?
Meanwhile, as Elizabeth starts to worry more, Martha is also shaken by the hotel murders on the news and pledges to get a gun. Watch your back, Clark.
Wig Count: 2+1 hat and 1 pornstache.
Nina's Best Poorly Translated Idiom (Working Title) : This time, there is no mocking Nina. She's really playing Stan and her silly new colleague, Oleg. Oleg, though? In his own words: "I'm a feminist, I work only for Mother Russia."
Lessons Learned: Don't take career advice from your new husband, Martha. Maybe her curlers are on too tight, but she needs to stop being so easily manipulated. Also, should we start taking bets as to when she gets pregnant?
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.
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