Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 2, Episode 5 of FX's The Americans, titled "The Deal."
Wig count: 2. One very convincing "Betty Butt-insky" wig worn by Elizabeth to play Jennifer, Clark's sister. We pick up where we left off last week, with Martha drunk dialing Clark about using his name on her job application. Luckily, someone's listening to Clark's phone and tips Elizabeth off. So she heads over to play the good sister in law and successfully talks Martha out of outing Philip. It's a win, except that she has to hear about their sex life. Apparently, Clark and Martha are doing very different things than the Jennings' are. It makes Elizabeth look all far away and wistful at their marriage bed. Maybe she's getting over her newfound love for Philip and the kids? Or not. The other wig was to meet up with the Navy officer who finally snagged the files on Emmet and Leanne's recruit. She takes them and breaks it off. That was probably always part of the plan, but the way her eyes gloss over when she does it-- she's thinking about her priorities.
Best one-liner: Toss-up between: "Is President Reagan himself scaling the walls of the Rezidentura in his cowboy hat?" There were some very intense scenes with Arkady negotiating with the Israelis for the guy Philip has tied up with an electrical cord. Just as intense as the nationalist conversations between prisoner and captor in the new safe house. "Is your face your face?" Philip got it tonight from both of his wards: I almost thought that he was going to let the professor stay with all the talk of loving the American dream more than Mother Russia. Even the icicles are making him homesick.
Lessons learned: It's way too early in the seasons for this kind of action. Oleg is talking to Beeman about Nina. Arkady is actually becoming a fleshed-out character with a personality and values. The divide between the American Way and the Russian Way is now glaringly obvious. Nina's played Stan for the last time. And Claudia has been replaced with Kate, a young, perky new handler who just wants to make the Jennings happy. How do you think that's going to fly with newly committed Elizabeth? What did Oleg say again? Everything can be traded.
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.