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The Americans “One Day in the Life of Anton Baklanov” 

Photo Credit: Patrick Harbon/FX
Photo Credit: Patrick Harbon/FX

Things are a little bit tense in the Jennings home right now. In last week’s “Stingers,” Elizabeth and Philip came clean to Paige when they realized they weren’t going to be able to hide who they really were any longer. What I like about this particular wrinkle – which has built so wonderfully for such a long time – is that there’s still so much uncertainty. Yes, Paige knows they’re spies (or that they “work” for their country), but she doesn’t know everything – nor should she. Just like Martha knows Clark isn’t who he claimed to be. So now we’ve got both of them worried about being exposed by someone close to them — and Philip is in double jeopardy with both Paige and Martha. It must be nerve-wracking.

They don’t really know how to deal with Paige now and that’s apparent. They tell Gabriel what happened and, of course, he’s happy. But they’ve got other stuff to worry about so they push on and keep gathering intel. Elizabeth keeps working her contact at the hotel, Neal, to get the access she needs for later. And that goes really well. In fact, that might be going too well. She’s definitely attracted to him and when he revs her up one night, Philip gets to reap the rewards when she gets home.

Philip, as Scott, meets with Yousef to find out which of the Mujahideen commanders would be the most amenable to an approach. So whenever they arrive, Elizabeth’s work at the hotel will pay off. They’ve got some sort of master key, so they should be able to come and go as they please.

Meanwhile, Nina continues to develop her relationship with Baklanov. I think I’ve known how good she is at her job for a while, but I like that I feel she’s forming a real connection with this man. He needs someone to talk to and to trust. Of course, trusting her will probably come back to bite him at some point but for now I’m enjoying this relationship. Maybe they’ll both get something out of it before it all comes crashing down. It does seem like Baklanov is doing his job though. He claims he needs those photos to proceed so as far as I can tell, he’s isn’t deliberately delaying this project.

Photo Credit: Patrick Harbon/FX
Photo Credit: Patrick Harbon/FX

At the Residentura Arkady reads Oleg and Tatiana in on Operation Zephyr, but it’s n no way a glamorous job. The mail robot is recording a lot of extraneous information and they’re tasked with going through all of it. Maybe they’ll find something helpful, maybe not. Now that Gaad is actually going to the vault to talk about sensitive information, it might all be for naught.

Photo Credit: Patrick Harbon/FX
Photo Credit: Patrick Harbon/FX

And how cool was Martha under Taffet’s questioning? Of course it helped that Clark prepped her, but it seems like she’s passed whatever test Taffet was giving her – for now.

Other developments

Looks like all Elizabeth’s work with Lisa has paid off, but Maurice seems to have Michelle’s number. That could be a problem. But for now, mission accomplished.


  • What’s going on with Kimmy? I’m glad Philip didn’t have to make things progress on that front, but how is he suddenly explaining his absence? And when will we see her again?
  • How will Philip and Elizabeth continue to deal with Paige? I guess it will matter how she continues to react. Right now she seems to understand the stakes and the need to be discreet when talking to her parents. I like that she’s questioning things though and I think she’s right not to trust them. I’m interested to see how Elizabeth and Philip will talk their way out of that.
  • When will Gabriel give Philip a “yes?” I like that Philip is rebelling (but I’ve liked that since the start of the series), so Gabriel wants to know if he’s falling apart. I like that Philip has reservations about Paige being recruited by the Centre. I like that Philip wants Gabriel to do what he can to let Elizabeth visit her mother one last time before she dies. Just because it’s against the rules doesn’t mean Gabriel can’t swing it. He’s done other things that are against the rules, but maybe he’s only willing to do that to benefit the Centre or the mission. Either way, he knows he’s gotta give Philip something or they’re about to have a big problem.

The Americans airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.

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