This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of The Americans, including last night's Season 1, episode 9, “Safe House.”
In a season full of romantic ups and downs for KGB agents and cover couple Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, nothing has been more poignant than the first scene in last night's episode, when the pair told their children Paige and Henry—the only two people you know they love unconditionally and never want to hurt, mind—that they were “hitting the pause button” on their marriage and separating.
The scene became all the more painful when Paige asked if her parents still loved each other, because that's the crux of the matter, of course, unbeknownst to the kids: Philip and Elizabeth never did love each other. Or rather, it's because they've realized they DO love each other that they now can't overcome the obstacle of Phil's infidelity and dishonesty. How so deliciously complicated, show?
The fallout of this conversation was sprinkled throughout the rest of the episode (the kids acted out, Phil and Elizabeth pretended they were still together at the Beemans's party, etc.) even as tension escalated between the KGB and FBI due to an accidental stabbing and kidnapping (Phil was followed leaving Martha's place by FBI agent Chris Amador, and the two fought until Phil stabbed Amador with the man's own knife) that led to retribution from Stan (who shot a young rezidentura spy Vlad after the higher-level Arkady failed to show for his daily jog). Basically, this episode could have been titled Philip's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
As a shipper, however, I was eating all the relationship angst up with a spoon, and I'm looking forward to seeing what's ahead for Phil and Elizabeth. How about you? Thoughts on last night's episode and the state of these guys' union?
OF FANDOM NOTE: There's not a ton of organization yet for The Americans fandom, as far as I can tell, but if you want more Phil/Elizabeth, there's an FYeahTheAmericans Tumblr, a few shippy fics at Archive of Our Own, and some well done YouTube fan vids, like this one: