Apr 4 2013 9:33am

Philip and Elizabeth’s Cold War Escalates in The Americans

Philip and Elizabeth in The Americans 1.09

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:

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Darlene Marshall
1. DarleneMarshall
Rats! For some reason my DVR stopped recording the episode before the end. So what I need to know is...


It stopped when Stan was in the fast food restaurant remembering Amador. Did anything happen after that? Thanks!
Heather Waters
2. HeatherWaters
@darlenemarshall -- Oh no! I heard that happened to a lot of people. I lucked out in that I was watching just a few minutes behind the live broadcast and was able to watch beyond when my TiVo stopped recording.

FX usually re-airs episodes, if you want to watch for yourself, but if you're sure you want to know...


Stan goes to the safe house where he's holding the young KGB spy he just had captured. They're alone. Stan hands the kid a burger and takes a few bites of one himself, then tells the kid about how when dogs capture birds in their mouths, birds go limp for whatever reason. It's a really creepy, well done monologue you definitely want to see---I can't do it justice, as that's just the beginning of the speech. He then asks the young spy if he'd like something to drink; kid nods and takes another bite as Stan walks behind him toward the fridge where he says he should have a cola; then Stan turns and, in a flash, shoots the spy in the back of the head.
Darlene Marshall
3. DarleneMarshall
@redline--Thanks for the update. Dammit. I'll need to look for the episode on FX and catch the last five minutes. I reset my DVR to record the show + 15 minutes, but I'm really annoyed that it stopped early.

Poor commie schmuck. Stan's truly a loose cannon now and needs to be reined in.
Heather Waters
4. HeatherWaters
@darlenemarshall -- A few TV critics were saying on Twitter yesterday that FX sent out an apology and has put the full episode up online already so that people can see the end, if you want to/can watch that way.

Oh, yeah, Stan's definitely gone off the deep end. I thought he was slipping with his affair and now this... I feel bad for his wife and son.
Darlene Marshall
5. DarleneMarshall
Thanks for the FX online info! I'll check it out.

I truly want Elizabeth and Phillip to get back together. They need each other.
Heather Waters
6. HeatherWaters
No problem!

Ditto, and agreed. Plus I feel like they're putting themselves in a vulnerable position with the separation in that it could make it clear to the KGB that SOMETHING's happened between them--otherwise, why not stay married? They have for 15 years. And then there's the fact that it's hard to watch each other's backs as closely as they have when they're living apart...
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