Episode 5: “COMINT”
An Russian agent loses his wife and without that support falls into emotional distress. This is bad news for the Russians who can not have their operation at risk. Unfortunately the FBI has a new encryption system that limits their actions. Philip and Elizabeth are tasked with infiltrating the FBI’s encryption system while personally they both have to deal with unsavory aspects of their job.
What I liked about this episode:
* I really liked how each character had to deal with or do something distasteful for the job this week. Nice parallelism between the women and the men.
* Elizabeth was strong again this episode. That’s two episodes in a row. I love her matter of fact methodology. She pretends she can divorce her actions from feelings but it takes a toll. She was able to fierce and soft in this episode. Her interactions with Grandma Russian agent showed two tough women committed to the job.
* Philip could not protect Elizabeth from the harsh realities of the job. Worse for him, Elizabeth did not want his help. His inability to help her and just watch was difficult for him.
* FBI neighbor Stan pressures his source Nina within the Rezidentura and she in turn must do something unsavory to get information. He was shocked and dismayed at what she had to do. But like Philip he could do nothing to stop it.
* The show is doing a good job of Philip and Elizabeth trying to make their marriage real (fall in love with each other) AND do their jobs well (which requires emotional distance). Interesting tightrope our married Russian spies are walking.