The Americans Crossbreed Season 5 Episode 6 Recap – In the previous episode Alexei Morozov’s wife lands a job teaching Russian at the CIA. This will allow Philip and Elizabeth to score an espionage bonanza in getting the names of CIA agents in training. Philip’s son Mischa gets to America but is in for a shock when he’s sent back to Russia by Claudia and Gabrielle. Adding to our worries about Philip, Claudia hints that stuff in Philip’s file ‘don’t look good.’ He’s beginning to be uncomfortable with the life he’s leading. The Jennings are also worried about a report they received from Henry’s school. Imagine how pleased they are when they learn he’s doing so well that his school wants to put him into an accelerated math class. That boy will become someone in future episodes but who? Will he suddenly announce to his KGB parents that he wants to be an FBI agent?
The Americans Crossbreed Season 5 Episode 6 Recap
Episode 6 begins with Gabriel and Elizabeth rehashing the espionage activitity associated with American wheat experimentation. Elizabeth tells Gabriel that they’re both upset at having killed American research scientist Randy. Gabriel tries to find the silver lining in the espionage blunder. The Soviet Union could benefit from the American wheat experience in developing wheat crops resistant to pests and drought. Gabriel tells Elizabeth to keep working the case. Working the case means sleeping with Stobert, the idealistic scientist-activist who wants to save the world.
The Jennings are feeling anxious about their long time service in the KGB. American culture has gotten under their skin. The EST experience has made Philip more introspective. He begins to question his own origins, amazed at how in America his family has so much and how in Russia as a child his family was totally deprived.
He’s having confusing flashbacks to his early childhood. He remembers bits and pieces of it but it strikes him how little he knew of both parents. It was a childhood of silence, where he remembers his mother not speaking as she scrubs blood from her husband’s boots. Elizabeth suggests he ask Gabriel about the personal history contained in his file.
Here we learn Philip’s dad was a guard in one of Stalin’s prison camps. This knowledge has Philip questioning his service to the Soviet government.
When Philip persists and wants to know more about his father’s work for the KGB, Gabriel shakes his head wearily. “It’s hard to explain. Those were different times, lots of things happened. “He (Philip’s father) was nobody. We were all nobodies.” But during that same face to face with Gabriel, Philip gets a veiled warning: “You’ve seen too much, and done too much.”
Gabriel too is weary of his long service, dropping an emotional bomb on the Jennings, telling them it’s time he returned home. America has had its effect on him, too, and the episode features Gabriel touring the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.
Truth to tell, it’s not really Gabriel we see before the monuments – it’s a body double. Frank Langella’s character wasn’t able to make it to D.C., necessitating some creative enhancements with ‘blue-screen’ editing work. But the point is made – Gabriel has some attachment to America, seeming to view Abraham Lincoln as a metaphor for anything that’s right about American values.
In Moscow, an attempt on the part of the Soviet government to clean up corruption has Oleg and Ruslan giving Dimitri a good working over. They’ve broken into Dimitri’s apartment to find the loot he’s stolen by being a middle-man in a food distribution scheme that favors some people and starves others.
Dimitri won’t give up the names of the masterminds of these schemes – he’s more afraid of them than he is of the KGB. And so he’s arrested and occupies a cell in Lubyanka prison.
There’s a tendency of Americans to regard the entire Soviet system as a monolith, a tremendous machine working synchronously as a unit. In fact, there were currents and cross-currents often held together by brutality and secret police.
When Chernenko took over from former brutal KGB kingpin and Soviet leader Yuri Andropov in the 80s, one of the few things he did was to direct the KGB toward eliminating the corruption that plagued the country. Chernenko’s leadership was the shortest in Soviet history, but the splintering of Soviet lines of authority had begun. “The Americans” takes place in the 80s, during this period.
Throughout the seasons of “The Americans,” Elizabeth is portrayed as being a more hard-core and dedicated communist than her KGB husband. Yet, she too feels the blunt end of emotional tyranny resulting from the work.
In one scene, she’s shown gaping at the house of her former friend Yung-Hee. You can see it is with deep regret that she sacrificed her one true friendship to the Soviet cause. Without that, she is lonely and isolated outside of her own family.
There’s a knock on the door in another scene when a Mary Kay (like Yung Hee) seller comes to call. Elizabeth turns the woman away with such bluntness that Paige is astonished. “Mom, you weren’t that nice to her.”
But Elizabeth remembers her past attempts at friendship. She doesn’t want to get close to anyone, not after the Yung Hee disaster. “We weren’t going to buy anything. Being nice would just be a waste of her time,” says Elizabeth.
You can almost see the emotional pain that she too is experiencing. She’s a working chameleon, taking on the shape and color of her landscape. Both Keri Russell and husband Matthew Rhys turn themselves inside out, changing personalities as easily as other people change clothes.
N0thing can deter Elizabeth as she approaches her next target like a Russian made AA-9 heat seeking guided missile. At a psychiatrist’s office she employs some nifty spycraft when she heats a key with a cigarette lighter and uses it to gain access to the psychiatrist’s case files.
In Dr. Semel’s office, she must pretend she’s a patient. Her real purpose is to find out how secure the doctor’s files are. There must be someone or something the KGB wants in those files.
Dr. Semel is a solicitous chap with an unctuous demeanor which causes tough Elizabeth to roll her eyes with disdain when she leaves his office. Simp! Wuss! Man up!
It’s the little things about “The Americans” that send its fans over the moon. Things like the subtle gleam of Gabriel’s eyes when, late in the episode, Philip and Elizabeth deliver their virginal grown up darling Paige to the Soviet Prince of Darkness.
There’s one more season of “The Americans” after this one and the sense of dread is approaching the point where each episode can cause disturbing nightmares. Throughout the episode, both Philip and Gabriel show signs of clinical depression. The main characters are thrust into the gray abyss between the ideology and reality of a cold, heartless system.
Over the past several episodes, audiences have been drawn into Paige’s struggles. It’s a plot masterstroke that her blossoming was given a boost by Pastor Tim. It was Pastor Tim who gave her “Das Kapital,” the anti-capitalist revolutionary bible written by Karl Marx. Ironic gift from a clergyman, since Marx was so opposed to religion.
“He (Marx) says it (religion) is a drug that keeps people in chains,” Paige remarks to her mom.
Paige is a perfectly wonderful character, all wide-eyed, perceptive, and sincere as she grows older and begins to shoulder the burdens of the world. Yet her contradictions, like those of her parents, are cataclysmic in nature.
On the one hand: “Nothing in my life made me feel as good as getting baptized.” And on the other hand, she agrees with Marx and her mom’s one-line book report: “The purpose (of Marxism) is to achieve a worker’s state so that nobody is exploited.”
But Paige’s natural curiosity moves her to wonder “what’s it like there?” Elizabeth’s understated response is that the Soviet state of the 1980s “has problems but everybody is in it together.” Paige nails it again with her acquisitive mind: “But you haven’t been there for a long time,” she says skeptically.
And she’s right. The times they are a’changin’. The Soviet Union is at a crossroads, on the precipice of change. And while we’re watching Oleg teetering on the edge in Moscow, we’re listening to one of Peter Gabriel’s strangest song tracks: “Lay Your Hands on Me” circa 1982.
A nice touch, suggesting a mystical ending to a disturbingly psychological episode.
Other reviews of The Americans by TV Eskimo:
The Americans Crossbreed Season 5 Episode 6 Recap characters and cast include:
Elizabeth Jennings – Keri Russell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Felicity, August Rush, Mission: Impossible III, Dark Skies, Austenland, Leaves of Grass, Waitress)
Philip Jennings – Matthew Rhys (Brothers & Sisters, Titus, Love and Other Disasters, Death Comes to Pemberley, The Edge of Love)
Stan Beeman – Noah Emmerich (The Truman Show, Little Children, Warrior, Super 8, Blood Ties, Pride and Glory, Miracle, Windtalkers, Cop Land)
Henry Jennings – Keidrich Sellati
Paige Jennings – Holly Taylor
Oleg Burov – Costa Ronin (Agent Carter, Red Dog, The Last Resort)
Agent Aderholt – Brandon J. Dirden (Public Morals, Good Friday, Ir/Reconcilable)
Gabriel – Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon, The Ninth Gate, Superman Returns)
Matthew Beeman – Danny Flaherty (The Wolf of Wall Street, Hope Springs, King Jack, The Leftovers)
Mischa – Alex Ozerov
Yelena Burova – Snezhana Chernova
Benjamin Stobert – Brett Tucker (Neighbours, Thor: The Dark World, McLeod’s Daughters, Mistresses)
Evgheniya Morozov – Irina Dvorovenko (Power, Flesh and Bone, Forever)
Pascha Morozov – Zack Gafin
Ruslan – Ravil Isyanov (The Jackal, Defiance, The Last Ship, The Good German)
Igor Burov – Boris Lee Krutonog (The Hunt for Red October, Look, 24, The Italian Job, NYPD Blue)
Dimitri – Leonid A. Mandel (Modern Family, Togetherness)
Claudia – Margo Martindale (Million Dollar Baby, August: Osage County, Sneaky Pete, The Good Wife, The Millers, Heaven Is For Real, Justified, Dexter, The Savages, 28 Days, Proof of Life)
Philip’s Father – Alexia Bondar (The Blacklist, The Session)
Nancy – Candy Buckley
Philip’s Mother – Natia Dune
Norm – Russell G. Jones (The Ticket, A Most Violent Year, Side Effects, The Night Of, Godless)
Marilyn – Amy Tribbey (Every Secret Thing, House of Cards)