In Which Neither Could Realistically Imagine Being The Other

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The Closing of the American Door

by ALEX CARNEVALE

The Americans
creator Joe Weisberg
FX

If the hardest thing you have to do is tell a cute Korean guy you’re about to have his baby, I feel sorry for you. Stan invites himself over for dinner pretty regularly, although I am relatively sure he already met Pastor Tim. If the hardest thing you have to do is meet Pastor Tim, you are probably actually getting over your divorce. If you are over your divorce, I don’t feel sorry for you. If Pastor Tim lays another guilt trip on another woman, I will never feel sorry for him again. Pastor Tim invites himself over for dinner pretty regularly. His wife loves lamb.

When you’re inviting yourself somewhere, on The Americans, you appear reticent for a moment but no more. You are sad for the briefest of sensations until you find another feeling to replace grief. Very few men feel guilty for sex they do not remember, but Don Ho is one of those men.

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Patty took her own life. She invited herself lots of places, and she always sold as many cosmetics as she could. RIP Patty, I really hope she doesn’t run into Young-Hee at the grocery store and have to stab her with a rutabaga. I wonder what happened to the family of that African-American contractor. I hope someone paid for her funeral. It is nice that Patty was able to afford a decent coffin. It is not too much to ask, if you are going through the indignity of putting someone you love beneath the ground.

Intel was flying around, most conveyed by Stan Beeman, the worst FBI agent of his time. He exposed Martha’s father, his friend the KGB agent (all his friends are Russian), Agent Gaad, his wife, Nina, Chris Amador, Ronald Reagan, Oliver North and the man who presses his excrebable suits. It is always best practice to keep a list of those who lives you plan to destroy; it is what separates us from the animals.

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Maybe I’m naive, but I assumed that Patty was going to force Don Seong to settle down with her. They would fall in love, and have children very similar to the ones he already has, except half-Asian. Eventually she would hector him into taking her on vacation to Thailand, where he would die suddenly from stabbing himself on a stained glass window. Only then would she truly be happy in her love relationship.

Standards for Elizabeth are actually far lower. She makes all the dinners, she informs Pastor Tim, who has about as much to say for himself as Paige. Elizabeth’s daughter has a one track mind that revolves around driving the car, whereas Pastor Tim is always either apologizing or being apologized to. Torn between these two simpletons, Elizabeth cannot decide which person into which it is best to evolve.

She has a chance to go to Est and become thoughtful and unskilled at anything except dealing with her own emotional baggage. That seemed relatively complicated and difficult. Moreover, she has never fully understood Phillip’s compassion and laughed when he tried to explain it. It is astonishing but quite realistic that neither could ever imagine being the other.

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When we empathize too strongly with our partners, it hurts ourselves. Seeing the world through their eyes is impossible, so the sensation we acquire remains a false truth. It is present in the anguish we hear on that last telephone message, of a woman trying to understand what the man she loves is going through when he refuses to tell her directly. A glimpse into a shadow life.

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording.

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“I’ve Been Waiting” – Rachael Sage (mp3)

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