In Which We See Everyone In The World As A Lawyer

Makeup

by ALEX CARNEVALE

The Americans
creator Joe Weisberg

I don’t know why anyone would enjoy Epcot, as though walking around in a circle were traveling the world. I don’t know why anyone would travel the world either. Confronted with the possibility of returning to her native Russia, Sister Keri demurs, informing her husband that she could not imagine losing all they’ve built in Washington D.C.

What was she talking about? The only friends she has are the minority characters she swindles or blackmails into betraying their country. She targets niche groups because they are not as beholden to their own national identity. Eventually she will be smoking a peace pipe with a lovely Sioux man named Papa Candle Holder, and informing him that his family is so charming, but “I don’t want to talk about my problems.”

It has been scientifically proven that people identify better with those they take pity on. Elizabeth, all gussied in makeup that reminds one of the fourth place victor of Miss America, works that angle completely. The easiest way to define a person is by discovering what job they think every person in the world is, at their core, performing. Elizabeth thinks that everyone is a salesman.

Philip thinks that everyone in the world is a psychotherapist. He’s really bearing his heart to pretty much anyone. His tete-a-tete with Paige in her room featured him working his daughter like an asset. Since he usually murders his assets, this was some cold-blooded stuff. I wonder sometimes what happened to the people he developed as sources of information. Presumably there is an American analogue to what Nina Seergeva is going through.

Nina sees everyone in the world as a bureaucrat. Her fantasy of seeing Stan again was very weird, considering I never thought she actually felt anything for the jacked-up, pockmarked fiend of an FBI agent. I imagine Nina is going to be returned to the American theater of events pretty soon, because there is only so long we can read Russian subtitles and view her grim little smile.

Paige sees everyone in the world as a travel agent. Her hilarious comments about how Pastor Tim’s wife can’t keep her mouth shut represent good progress for the character. I guess she might be cut out to be a spy after all, and Pastor Tim is probably ripe to be co-opted as well. It seemed ridiculously naive that he would believe that spies would give him time to think things over, but I mean the guy does have a gossipy wife so how great is his judgement overall?

Philip’s story about how he can imagine Stan in a motel never seeing his son did not really seem reasonable either. Of all the options he has for himself, Philip can’t leave Elizabeth — being a father and husband is too ingrained in what he is. I suppose he could take Martha and move operations to a sleepy hamlet, where we could get the spinoff we deserve. Otherwise I’m tited of Philip crying wolf about wanting to pull out, since the show would be over.

Philip Jennings talks to all the women in his life the same way. He chooses his words so carefully; it is entirely unlike how he interacts with men, with whom he is always straightforward. At first he positions himself as a listener with women, painting his face with a knowing smile or a frown, either of which reflects their expression completely. Then, he subtly shifts the conversation to where he is carrying the greater share of the load. They are left with the illusion of an interchange, when in reality he is the only one who has spoken.

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording.

“When They Really Get To Know You They Will Run” – Pedro the Lion (mp3)

“The Fleecing” – Pedro the Lion (mp3)

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