Need to catch up? Check out our previous The Americans recap here.
Six seasons in, The Americans‘ resident hard-liner Elizabeth Jennings is finally starting to have doubts about her homeland. But is it too late to stop now?
She explodes on Philip when he confesses that he’s been reporting back to Oleg about her missions for several months now. (The general she met in Mexico, he explains, is part of the anti-Gorbachev faction Oleg warned Philip about.) She tells her husband to “go to hell,” and bristles when he says, “I was trying to get you to be a human being about this…” She fires back: “You don’t think I’m a human being?” And the rest of the episode, it seems, is Elizabeth wrestling with that question in her own mind. Has she become so dedicated to the Soviet cause that she’s lost her humanity?
Elizabeth continues working that young film geek Jackson, dangling a fake management-training program in front of him to trick him into writing a detailed report of everything he saw interning for Senator Sam Nunn. (She expertly seduces him, too, “accidentally” leaving a pair of underwear lying around in her hotel room to entice him.) But when she asks him to stash a box of documents in a Defense Department meeting room so she can listen in via a bug, he catches on, and confronts her, threatening to go to the police. She insists it’s “not a big deal” while driving him to an abandoned alley, and we get the feeling Jackson isn’t long for this world. But even though he can’t promise not to blab, she lets him go with a stern warning — very unlike the Elizabeth we know.