The Americans Episode 7 Recap (Season 1)

Episode 7: “Duty and Honor”

Philip and Elizabeth, married KGB spies, are still reeling from the mistrust from the last episode. If you recall Elizabeth indicated that Philip may not be 100% loyal and the KGB took measures to test their loyalty. Philip was disgusted that Elizabeth betrayed him like that. Their now shaky marriage is further tested when a mission to discredit a Polish pro-democracy leader reunites Philip with his old flame Irina. FBI neighbor Stan’s and Nina (his Rezidentura mole) ratchet up their relationship.

What I liked about this episode:

* This episode put our arranged marriage KGB spies Philip (played by Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (played by Keri Russell) to another test, the test of when infidelity involves feelings.  Philip and Elizabeth have sex with others as part of the job, and they accept and understand this. However Philip has the opportunity to reunite with his former lover who he left in the lurch when recruited by the KGB and sent to America.

* Elizabeth was left with their whining two children, 14 year-old Paige (played by Holly Taylor) and 11 year-old Henry (played by Keidrich Sellati) during Philip’s business trip.

* When someone hurts you, you often want to hurt them back. Philip is feeling angry due to Elizabeth’s betrayal in the previous episode. Philip’s former love turns out to be irresistible to reconnect with. She MEANS something to him. Irina drops the bomb that Philip has a son. Irina claims she was pregnant when he left for the US. I was surprised at the subdued reaction to this news by Philip. He loves Paige and Henry, wouldn’t he want more information on his son?

* This episode belonged to Philip. Matthew Rhys makes Philip likable but with a calculating edge.

* At the end of the episode, when Philip returns from the assignment, Elizabeth asks Philip if he slept with Irina. Elizabeth tells him NOT to lie to her. Philip understands the truth will end their relationship, elects to lie and tells her he did not sleep with Irina. Relieved Elizabeth wholeheartedly reconfirms her commitment. But this is based on a lie and it is a ticking time bomb to their relationship.

* Stan, the FBI neighbor, is at home less and less causing friction in his marriage. At the end of the episode a drunk Stan meets Nina and she kisses him. This ratchets up their relationship.

* Best line of the show came from Nina, “You Americans see everything in black or white. For us, everything is gray.”

Asian drama fan. I watch and blog dramas on

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Posted in Episode Musings, Recaps, The Americans

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June 2014

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