If This Feeling Flows Both Ways
by ALEX CARNEVALE
Moving to Nairobi is the best thing that ever happened to Tatiana Evgenyevna. Outside of the American embassy, she has the largest office in Kenya. Sure, the guys in her department are a bit weird, but who cares? There are plenty of more worldly men in the foreign service for her to prey upon. What she did to Oleg drove him straight into the arms of the father of the guy with first dibs on Paige Jennings.
Paige’s first kiss remains an enjoyable succour. It had been a long time in coming, and the fact that it occurred with a fellow who can drive her around and who is about as unreliable as peanut butter and jelly made it all the sweeter. Her perception has always been that her mother was the stronger, more dominant partner in her parents’ relationship. This guiding force marks every step of her relationships with men, for it is only the very strongest people who do not on some level mimic the person who gave them life.
I worry about the impact on Henry. Despite looking like he is in his early twenties, everyone treats Henry like he just got off the ship to America. “Henry, do you want a fucking popsicle!” Philip shouted at one point. It isn’t nice to make fun of your son, unless he is more addicted to video games with some really horrid graphics than he should be.
There should be more to Matthew Beeman. He is just so devoid of any content. He seems depressed, honestly, and when you think about it there is only one other individual on the show so deeply unhappy with what fate has brought him. Frank Langella’s morbid, historical Gabriel has no woman to warm his bed. He lives in a house that looks like it belongs in World War II era Smolensk and he can’t even get decent borscht unless he makes the garish substance himself.
Such maudlin people generally come to a defining decision that their entire lives have been building towards. For Gabriel, it cannot be betraying his country. It can be taking the blame for the people he loves most: namely, Philip and Elizabeth. Now that their vacation is over, it is back to straight murdering. Reviewing all those past murders (Elizabeth doesn’t even count her kills) is immaterial, because it would make us realize the hard truth that there is only one hero in the Jennings household, and it recently made out at length with Matthew Beeman.
Paige’s invaluable reports on the guy she has been tonguing alarmed her parents, but I was more alarmed by the lack of detail. “His mouth felt like sandpaper and tasted like pop tarts,” for example.
Stan’s comment that they should tear down the entire FBI building was pretty apt. It appeared his previous conversation with Oleg was the best possible tact to get him to come back with actual, useful information. No word on whether Stan will start exchanging soft kisses with this new Russian turncoat. As Oleg, Costa Ronin is a captivating performer, and the gorgeous hallway scenes with him and Tatiana were delicate and reminiscent of period film.
It is time for something very bad to happen to Oleg. His conversation with gorgeous mother suggested as much, and we have never really seen him the slightest bit uncomfortable, except romantically. It will be fun to see him broken down or followed by Elizabeth and Phillip, and I would expect a new head of the Russian branch of the KGB in Washington as well after Oleg’s leaks work their way back home. I guess it also possible this is his way of saving Tatiana from Africa.
Next week’s season finale focuses on the capture of scientist William Crandal. Since we know he will never give Philip up since the man is his closest buddy and most intimate friend/father figure, I would expect him to give up Gabriel, who I am spnot sure he ever liked much anyway. The Americans has only two seasons left, and since it doesn’t come back until next year, they will want something salacious to get people talking. We always knew Paige’s first time would be special.
Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording.
“How Wonderful” – Young Magic (mp3)