Tag Archive | The Americans Recap

My Thoughts On The Americans Season 4 Episode 7 Travel Agents: Everyone Is Grieving

Hello There Good People!

I’m posting a duplicate of My Thoughts Blog this week for The Americans so you can get an idea of what is over on my other website — My Thoughts On. The website is dedicated to my thoughts on my favorite television, books, and movies. Enjoy!

These are my thoughts on The Americans season 4 episode 7 Travel Agents.

TAS4 Ep 7 Martha


This episode was so remarkably good. My two favorite parts I want to highlight is the unbelievably good tension coupled with an overwhelming amount of grief.

We spent most of the episode wondering who was going to find Martha first, the FBI or Phillip. The tension of wondering would it be Stan, or Gadd was overwhelming. For Martha to have to look either of those men in the eyes would be devastating. We know she would go to jail if caught by the United States, but at least she would be alive. That was in serious question if the Russians captured her first. Yes, she would be sparred the face-to-face humiliation, but she could very well windup dead. The best part of the tension was when Elizabeth got involved. Who did not have a sick feeling in their stomach that she would kill Martha on sight? She already has proven to be beyond loyal to the KGB, but also, she was the one who was so willing to kill Pastor Tim.

It was a little over the top for Elizabeth to gut-punch Martha — a physical representation of the already mental situation Martha found herself in. We get it, you don’t need to hit us over the head with the symbolism.

I was on the edge of my seat hoping that Phillip would get to her first.

The other overarching theme of this episode was grief. All of the characters were sad and grieving in one shape or another over Martha. Frank Gadd did not want it to be true for Martha. I think it went well beyond his inability to see that she had been turned. He was generally grief stricken that he had lost Martha as an individual – someone he considered more than just a coworker, a friend. He of course, was also grieving the fact that he thought more of himself as an agent than what he was. Gadd believed he should have seen it, known that she was a traitor, but he didn’t. It calls into question his judgement as an operative. That’s a hard thing to get over. He also grieves for his country. Knowledge of the United States was leaked under his watch. Frank Gadd had to grieve for his country as well.


TAS4 ep 7 Elizabeth and philip

Elizabeth grieves. Despite her asking Phillip if given the opportunity to go with Martha to Russia, and his answer of no, Elizabeth knows that it’s not that cut and dry. I do think that Phillip loves Elizabeth, more than Martha, but he has given something of himself to Martha, something that Phillip doesn’t give to Elizabeth. Elizabeth realizes that while Phillip is telling the truth — that he loves Elizabeth, not Martha, he is still partially lying to himself. He’s lying about how much Phillip cares for, even loves Martha. He genuinely cares for Martha, yes, it’s due to a sense of responsibility, but there is also a real love there. The show does a great job of showing Elizabeth’s vulnerability in the mirror shot. Elizabeth really looks at herself in the mirror. Looks at who she is, what she wants, what Phillip wants. You get the general sense that Elizabeth, once sure of her place by Phillips side and that she was enough for him, questions her standing. She sees herself as someone who really does care for this man, and, like all women, wants their man to love them. When she looks in the mirror, she sees her own vulnerability.


TAS4 Ep 7 martha and Phillip

Poor Phillip grieves for Martha. As I said above, he doesn’t just feel responsible for her. The amount of information that he divulges to her is unprecedented. I also find it infinitely fascinating that he tells Martha the truth. Elizabeth, ever the agent, wants him to lie. To tell Martha what she wants to hear to make sure that she gets on the plane. But that isn’t what Phillip does. He tells her the truth, because he owes her that. He tells her because he loves her and and one of the only ways he can show it is by respecting her enough to tell her the truth. I may be mistaken, but I also don’t think that even Elizabeth knew Phillip’s real name, and if she does, it wasn’t per protocol and for a long time. That’s what a huge deal it was for him to not only reveal his face to her, but some very personal information.

Right now, this show reigns supreme. With the lack-luster GoT episode last week, this show really is the cream of the crop.

Until next time!

My Thoughts On The Americans Season 4 Episode 6 the Rat: This Is The Best Show On Television

I honestly think that The Americans is the best show on television right now! The writing, acting, and cinematography are all at such a high level. Now, when GoT comes back, there might be a battle for the top spot …

This week’s writing was superb when it came to Elizabeth and Philip. The scene in the kitchen, where Elizabeth encounters Philip without his disguise was brilliant. Keri Russell portrays the scene beautifully. She is caught off guard, her steely armor weakened. When she says the line about (paraphrasing) “did you want her? To see you?” — that vulnerability was real. Her husband, that she may or may not be in love with, chose to show his real self to Martha. As icy as Elizabeth can be, with her first priority being to the KGB before Philip, this truly effected her. You can see Elizabeth collect herself. She even offers to take over a shift of watching Martha, but, again, Philip picks Martha – he wants to stay with her. The awareness on Elizabeth’s part that Philip truly cares for Martha, and in a way he does not care for Elizabeth shocks her. Philip wants that with Elizabeth, but she does not allow it — Martha does. It’s a different story though, even for this cold-hearted KGB operative to be confronted, face to face with that reality. Really, really great writing.

The scene showing Gabriel downstairs while Philip and Martha are upstairs having sex was visually stunning. Without words it conveyed so much. The ability of this show to tell a story both verbally and nonverbally is why we as viewers love this show. Gabriel is supposed to be the handler and things are getting out of control. He is not in control of his body (it is weak from the virus) and he is not in control of his operative. It creates a tension between the main characters — how will Gabriel regain control of the situation? He looks weak, but he certainly is not. He can be deadly — Philip and Martha are in serious danger. Wonderfully built tension.

Then there is our beloved Martha. It’s delightful how much we have grown to care about this lonely woman. There is no good outcome for her. All we can hope for is the least amount of damage. Philip is frantically grasping for a way to somehow save Martha. He tries to force Gabriel’s hand by bringing her to the safe house. It’s always fascinating watching a character struggle with an outcome that they deep down know is going to happen. To observe Philip’s desperate clutch to the delusion that everything will be okay is excellent. It’s so not going to be okay. Philip’s delusion du jour is that he feels like if he can just get her to Moscow, it will be okay, but it won’t. Martha will be spiritually, mentally, and irrevocably crushed.

TA S4 Rat MarhtaThis is because the viewer has to ask themselves, as Philip does – what is worse for Martha? The basis of her character, why she was able to be recruited, is her desperate desire for love. Moscow is not going to provide that. She is trying to hold on to her “American Dream” with Clark despite the overwhelming evidence that the dream is gone. In fact, she is beginning to realize not even that was true — almost. She won’t quite let herself absorb the true reality that not even Clark was really there in the first place. It’s why she wants to have sex with Philip, to confirm their love for each other. To confirm to herself that he would somehow be coming with her.

In a lot regards, it would almost be better for Martha to be shot — a clean, fast death before she realizes the depth of the betrayal of those around her. It will break Martha to realize that Philip/Clark is not coming with her. She gave up her job, her identity, her country for this man who will betray her. Her whole life is a lie. To live the rest of her life, in Moscow, alone yet again,  even more so because she also has no friends, no country — these are things worse than death for Martha.

Until next time!

For a ton more of My Thoughts On please visit www.my-thoughts-blog.weebly.com. There I discuss a slew of television shows, books, and movies. These are not recaps, but my thoughts. I assume that you’ve already absorbed the media, so it’s more of a place to hear other people’s thoughts and to have discussions. So, yes! Spoilers!