by ALEX CARNEVALE
creator Joe Weisberg
Suddenly, the son of Philip and Elizabeth called Henry, is forty years old. He is wearing a plaid blouse, Ralph Lauren cologne and American blue jeans, dining with an FBI agent merely three years older than himself. Stan Beeman has not retained much in the way of custody of his own son, so he chats up Philip’s, who plans to hammer the insides of his bosomy science teacher. Who knew misogyny required so much training?
Paige is wearing her signature cross along with a stylish sweater reminiscent of the finest work of the designers from Free People. Her scent is woodsy, the name of Pastor Tim is constantly on her lips. “It’s killing me, Mom!” she screams as she prances around her kitchen like she’s nervously contemplating her home economics final. She has not been to school, or anywhere, in a month.
In bed Keri Russell wears a fringed onesie. The lack of support for her chest is most evident when she turns on her side, and sometimes she wakes with an aching pain in that region. It is not clear whether or not she is pregnant, but when she is gifted with Matthew Rhys’ child, the ensuing baby clothes will reflect the child’s Welsh origins with everything echoing red, to enhance the baby’s natural blush.
In the morning before she really dresses for the day she will throw on her husband’s shirt to give that slightly rumpled look. There are these Viagra commercials where a beautiful woman, not too old but not too young either, moves around a sunlight bedroom in a football jersey, tossing the pigskin back and forth between her slightly wrinkled hands. Since it appears Elizabeth has not excited her husband sexually in some time, this could be a possible option. As I remember, the Redskins do not have the rights to their own name.
On a bus where Philip commits his 61st murder in the name of his country, a twenty year old office worker in an aqua jacket listens to the 79th straight terrible song the show includes from this rapidly waning decade. Bill Clinton goes around explaining how we are all paying for the 1980s. Well, we are all paying for something. Her pearl necklaces are just another inflection of the patriarchal world in which she lives.
Nina Sergeevna Krilova has cast off the influences from her native Afghanistan for an austere pink blouse, likely manufactured in the same village she is supposedly born in. We know her ethnicity is purposefully ambiguous, the product of careful planning from a crack committee of individuals from many nations to produce a woman who could pass as anything except black. What she does in this episode of The Americans makes no sense, but at least soon, in what will probably be a brown cardigan, she will be able to end the weepy, creepy, teary conversations with her Jewish mark.
It is not important to think about what you are going to wear. It is important to think about what you did wear. Every so often I get a letter from an old friend. She is in some hotel or other, writing out of boredom. Somehow the last person you would tell something to becomes the most important telling, and Elizabeth does this with the death of her mother, who she is not sure she really loved. When she tells Philip in the car she is wearing an auburn coat, or maybe it was black. Who can tell without the fullness of the light?
The new space on Philip’s forehead, where his hair is escaping him daily, lends a new reflection to his outfit. He needs sharper tailoring; without a full brusque head of brown hair, he must accentuate his figure. In the vastness of space, our form must take a new shape, one which highlights who and what we are more profoundly than words or acts. In someone’s church, Pastor Tim is alive and speaking. In another’s dream, he is cold and dead in his cramped cabin. In both of these possible worlds, he wears the exact same pajamas to bed.
Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording.
“Unbroken” – Birdy (mp3)