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Umbelina

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  1. I forgot to mention something about Nina and Stan. It seems that a lot of people think Nina didn't care for Stan, that it was all an act, much like Philip or Elizabeth's honeytraps really. I never felt that way. Although I certainly do think Nina kept her head in the spy game (her life was at stake after all) I don't think having sex with Stan was a chore for her (pre-Stan killing Vlad and Nina becoming a triple agent, that is.) After that? I still never felt that having sex with Stan was either repugnant or unpleasant or even that much of a duty for her. Of course, she did have to, to string him along after she became a triple, but still? I don't think, and never thought, she had to "make it real" as Philip would say. So, with that in mind, Nina's death scenes, when she's walking into the light, she doesn't see Oleg. The first man she sees is Stan, and she smiles at him, it seemed genuine. Stan says "I'm so sorry." Nina turns kind of confused, and sees Anton next. Anyway, that dream-moment with Stan seemed to confirm my feelings about Nina's feelings, and Stan is her first warning that she's going to die as well. That's who she conjures up. Seemed significant to me...
  2. Philizabeth, aka Мишежда

    The "alarm bells" conversation is here, it's was in the previous episode, The Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow You still think it'd be better to leave? (telephone ringing in distance) I do. But, Philip, you don't even want that. I know you don't. Hmm. Maybe they could send us down South. You always dreamed of Odessa. - By the water. - Yeah. And then what? With two kids who don't know anyone, don't know the language. You don't think they'd hate us then? And what about us? I mean, everything that we've built here. Our work Those things matter. It's - Don't they matter to you? - It all matters. Elizabeth, it all matters. But for the last two days, I've had an alarm going off inside me-- "Run, run, run. " And it's not going off inside of you, so we stay. It seems Paige loses whatever we do. I bolded the key part of that conversion, at least to me. His delivery of that line, and both of their acting there, kind of said it all. Elizabeth makes the choices in that relationship, and they both know it.
  3. Philizabeth, aka Мишежда

    I've temporarily misplaced Season 3 DVDs, so I just moved on to Season 4 last night. In "Chloramphenicol" the episode where Gabe is exposed to the toxin, and William, Philip, Elizabeth and Gabe stay in his apartment after taking antibiotics. ANYWAY...when they all thought Elizabeth might have been exposed too, and she thought she might die, she talks to Philip. She tells him "be Americans, take the kids somewhere and just be Americans, 'it's what you've always wanted.'" Later he talks alone to William and tells him if he could he would leave the KGB and just stay in America and "be normal." Philip goes on to say that Elizabeth doesn't want that, so they don't. William says something like "but with Elizabeth?" Philip nods. There is something else as well, Philip says, possibly right before, maybe right after that, that he hears alarm bells going off in his head telling him to run, and do it soon. Elizabeth doesn't hear them though, so they stay. So, even Elizabeth knew that Philip still wanted to defect. His was willing to pretend he'd be OK with going back to the USSR, to keep the family intact, and he would have done that. I was impressed that Elizabeth knew, and more impressed that she had stopped ratting him out. (leaving that up there to see how close I came, but looky!  I found script transcripts!) - (beep) (retching) (gasping lightly) (toilet flushes) It-- it still might be the antibiotic. We don't know yet. (water runs) (breathing heavily) (water shuts off) If something happens-- Elizabeth. Philip. It-It's not gonna happen. Please listen. If something happens you blame me for Pastor Tim and Alice. Don't wait for Paige to get suspicious. I'm not doing that. Then you can just raise them here be Americans. Henry doesn't even ever have to know, and Paige Elizabeth. I'm just saying if. It's what you want, what you've always wanted. The William conversation here: WILLIAM: Her fever's broken. So, she's better? (sighs) I don't know. (sighs) Sorry I I can't be more (sighs) How long have you two been together? Um, over 20 years. Long time. Yeah. How many kids? Two. That's nice, what you have. Everything okay with the kids? I saw her face when she called home. (car alarm blares in distance) Things are hard right now. (sighs) You're still lucky. You don't know. You don't know what it's like to do this job and not have anybody to talk to about it, except a series of handlers who don't give a shit. My daughter is in a very bad place because of us because of this job. She could sense that something was off. You know, the late hours, no family ever around. Elizabeth wanted to tell her who we were, and I didn't. We fought about it for months. And then we did. Nobody sane would do this work. (both chuckle lightly) She would. You? I'd be normal. (scoffing) Normal. W-With Elizabeth, though? (exhales weakly) (moans) Here. I was also thinking from earlier episodes how much Elizabeth talked about her mother to Philip. He even arranged a trip against orders for her to go see her because he knew how much she missed her. In all of the years of the show though, Elizabeth never asked Philip about his mother, about his family, (does she even know he has a brother?) if he missed them, and after he own mother died, it's kind of normal to bring up "Is your mother still alive, how did she die?" I mean, especially with all the trip discussion, wouldn't you think Elizabeth might at least mention Philip's own mother? Odd.
  4. You don't have to ERASE your past to be happy in the present though. You can accept it, as something that happened to you, and MOVE ON. Now that you are an adult, you can make choices for yourself. Only Philip can't, because the KGB owns him. The big answer that I keep coming back to is that he's only owned because of his "love" for Elizabeth, and because she refuses to even consider leaving the KGB. Of course he's always on guard, he spent YEARS training to always be on guard, so I wouldn't just put that on his childhood. He's a spy, undercover, in enemy territory, being on guard is how he stays alive and out of prison. Now, then there is the other question about WHY he loves you. I've seen you say admiration for her, and wanting to be like her. Nah, I don't think he admires her ability to kill and honeytrap, and I certainly don't think he wants to be LIKE her anymore than he already is through training. I think it's because she's the only woman in 20 plus years he's been allowed to be real with, and even then? Not really, until "My name was Nadezhdah." Had Philip had a "Gregory?" Let's call her Gwen. This can be a Gwen. (had to gets someone who is as cute as Elizabeth, with hair too, ha, I needed a visual) If Philip had an honest, loving, open relationship with Gwen, who shared his point of view, his goals, his humor, great sex, whom he admired, and trusted for 15 years would he have still loved Elizabeth? Maybe, Elizabeth is incredibly beautiful, but I really don't think he would have. He would love the one who loved him, shared his life, and that he could be Misha or Philip with. Sharing goals of course, he probably would have defected long ago, maybe even before Elizabeth deigned to have sex with him in order to become pregnant ala KGB orders. Maybe that's when Gwen and Philip would have made their escape, before kids, or maybe Gwen would be pregnant and that would make Philip want to protect his child and get the hell out of the KGB. I think loving Elizabeth was about the situation and her beauty, it wasn't about her really, she was his ONLY option. Being able to not lie would be an amazing love potion, if that's all your life was, lies, lies, and more lies. That's one reason Elizabeth was in love with Gregory for so long. Because of who Elizabeth was, Gregory pretty much had to be a dedicated soviet convert willing to do anything it takes to make the world a better place, according to KGB orders. Because of who Philip is, Gwen would not have to be those things, she could be supportive, open minded, fun, love line dancing, and willing to be Philp's true partner in any way he needed. She would want a family, and she would do anything for that family, and for her husband. Why? Because that's who Philip really was, it's what he cared about, it's what he would give in return. Philip never had his Gwen though. All he had was Elizabeth. So now, no family, no USA that he loved, but he will get the cold.
  5. Finished season 2 last night. A couple of stand out scenes, mostly small ones. When Oleg gives Nina the money, and their words are all proper, because Oleg knows they are being listened to, but their eyes and faces and bodies tell the real story. SO good. She knows Oleg is telling her to run, and his heart is broken, and she is so lost, and afraid, but also so grateful, and wistful about what might have been, had she met him sooner. Heartbreaking. A minor quibble though. I honestly can't see the USSR sending Nina back because Stan doesn't turn over ECHO. She's proven to be so valuable, and proven she's reformed. I certainly can see them making Stan think she's being sent home to die, and of course, emotionally that's a better story for the writers to tell. Still though, logically I'd think they would reassign her. She has experience being a triple agent now, and that's pretty damn valuable. Reassigning her to another English speaking country just makes more sense to me. England would be the most likely place, the USSR always had a heavy presence there. I mean, I can accept it, punishment for her earlier transgressions, and certainly they needed to make Stan think that, that they do what they say they will do. It's just difficult to think the KGB would willingly take someone so valuable out of the field. She spent far more time loyal than she did as a traitor. --- The emphasis on Paige in season two though? Ugh. Now of course we know where it's all going, which, for me anyway, made those scenes even more annoying. Her worship of father Tim, looking adoringly at him in the bus, starry eyed, and of course Jared's two-fold reason for existence. The big surprise at the end, that he killed his parents, but more, the introduction of Paige's "second generation" storyline, and the whole LIES thing. (again) It's a mix for me, I remember on first watch how good it all was, but now that I know where it's all going, it's less enjoyable for me this time. On to season 3 and 4, and if I skip much of the Paige stuff, I know I will really enjoy them. Although, as much chemistry as Nina has with just about anyone? I never really felt the profound connection with Anton, certainly not enough for her to stupidly end her own life. I did love her scenes with everyone else though, from Oleg's dad to the former Resident she betrayed, and though her story with Evi was very disturbing, I also found it quite believable. In my reading the one thing that struck me as odd, was how intent the KGB was about getting a confession, or proof before execution. Of course, many times they simply tortured it out of people, and their methods of torture are so horrifying it's almost beyond belief, but still. I believed them using Nina for that, and I believed her doing that, and Evi falling for it. I do wish her story with Anton had more resonance though.
  6. I see it differently. Half of Philip's life has been spent in the USA. I don't think he had fond memories of home, of course he would have a few, playing flying with his dad, sword fighting with icicles and his brother (whom he NEVER mentions.) Most of his memories though? Would be bleak. Gulag towns are bleak, he didn't have enough food, obviously clothing was an issue, since his dad brought home bloody boots *who knows, maybe his mother was going to cook the leather of them to make that soup Philip liked, it happened in Gulag towns. Contrast that with his life and memories in the USA. Unlike Elizabeth, he didn't immediately hate it, or say "there is a weakness in the people." He enjoyed it, he found things to be joyful about, line dancing, buying cowboy boots, his children, playing racketball, running out for Pizza whenever the urge struck him. In the USA he had a life without basic needs being unmet. Plenty of hot water, electricity that worked, any food in the world he might crave, cars, and the freedom cars bring. His children didn't need to make brooms, they played hockey, volleyball, liked school, had friends that didn't beat them up when they were walking a few miles home with a jug of milk. Elizabeth closed her mind to anything good about the USA, and anything bad about the USSR. That's how she coped with her horrible job (either that, or she was a psychopath, and I don't think that's the story the writers were telling.) Philip? Couldn't stand killing and conning and the endless lies. He was willing to go back to the USSR if it would keep his family together and allow him to get the fuck out of the KGB, and it's demands on his soul, but he didn't want to go there. He, unlike Elizabeth, realized that there were other ways to work for a better world, and he also knew, from day to day life, that the USA way was better for the people. It was certainly not perfect, and the leaders were assholes in both countries, but in the USA they/we have SO MUCH, things we take for granted, like not sharing a kitchen or a bathroom with 4-6 other families, like reliably having water, and heat, and stores full of food. Elizabeth grew up in a city, and her mother had a party job. They were not wealthy, but they had their own apartment. Philip grew up in Siberia, he knew how much of Russia lived, he knew it in his cold feet, and empty stomach, he knew it in living in a prison town, and even though the show didn't bother to flesh out his story, he could not be unaware of the immense suffering nearby, certainly not by the time he left for the KGB, supposedly around 17. He also didn't carry Elizabeth's family shame of "traitor" which effectively closed her fanatic's mind forever to anything positive about the USA.
  7. Philizabeth, aka Мишежда

    Oops, wanted to address this comment too. Of course he does, but even that is because the KGB fucked his life over. Elizabeth is the only one he's been able to be completely honest with since he left the USSR. Even then? He only had that for 6 years, before that, he even had to lie to her. He was able to only "be real" about some things. Until she said "My name was Nadezhda..." they were still dealing with lies of the most basic sort, who you are, what your name was, where you grew up. So, for almost all of Philip's adult life he had not a single person he could be "real" with. He didn't have a Gregory, and he never really bonded with Gabriel and certainly never trusted Claudia. ALONE doesn't even begin to describe Philip. Once Elizabeth decided to give him a chance? It was EVERYTHING to just be honest, to be loved for what you were, still always second place to the cause, but at least a tiny bit of honesty in a life of nothing but lies. I can't imagine the relief. I just think he would have found it with someone who put him first had he left her, and he would still have his children, and a life in America, which, with all it's issues, still provided a life he preferred. Hell, after the USSR failed? KGB officers lived openly in the USA, moved here, wrote books, consulted on spy movies, all of it. Many still do. So, in a few years he probably wouldn't have even had to hide it that much, except of course from the KGB, so, yeah, he'd still have to hide I suppose.
  8. Philizabeth, aka Мишежда

    We agree on quite a bit, but I stand by that a love that forces you to do things you detest, or lose it? Is not a healthy love. Yours is very well articulated and brings up even more great points. Two minor points, very minor, here. As Philip points out, Elizabeth GROOMS Paige, it is, in every sense, a recruitment, made more toxic because of Paige's loneliness, and that it's her own mother doing it. She was grooming her to make that decision from the time Claudia said the KGB wanted her. It was actually quite sick. I think this could be true, especially since he would still have (some) need to lie. However, I think Philip is intrinsically lovable, and, from both his training and instincts, he would know if/when it was ever safe to tell a new love interest about his true identity. I don't think he would do it until he was positive, but, if that happened? I think he could find love, and be himself, all parts of himself. Honestly, most women would listen and support a man like Philip, and while it might be a difficult transition for Philip and the kids, he's always been wonderful with them, at understanding them, and God knows Paige would need deprogramming and encouragement to just be herself. That's all Philip every really wanted for his children, to be themselves. Big cities, or at least medium sized cities, are actually easier to hide in, so a city away from places the KGB would be interested in, little or no strategist value, probably not even much more than a two man FBI office would be likely. He likes cowboy boots and country music, but I can't picture him happy in a deep red area, and Henry would have probably be able to get into a good school with Philip's defecting money. I think Paige would want to stay near Henry, and Philip would want to stay near both kids, so? Since he missed the cold, maybe someplace in the North West. I was glad to see that Mathew Rhys saw his character much like I did as far as wanting to stay in the USA, and not being happy about being back in the USSR. Also, for him, it was ALWAYS "keep the family together." That was his mantra practically, so losing his kids, as he says up there, was devastating. I'm not saying it wasn't devastating for Elizabeth, but her primary focus has never been about the kids or her marriage. It has always been the KGB, the cause, not being like her father, the dream of the ideal socialist state, world peace, enough food and respect for all. She was such an idealist, and she was willing to do anything, sacrifice anything, for those goals. Kids and husband came after that, important, but not her prime motivator. That's the other reason I just can't picture Elizabeth happy when the USSR fails, I think it will decimate her, everything she's done? For nothing. Philip will be coping with that mess, and missing his children while trying to prop her up. As I said, I think they will be killed, but it's certainly possible they survive. What I can't picture is happiness for either of them. They will cope, Philip may find comfort in Misha and perhaps someday grandchildren. Still? Sad.
  9. The Americans in the Media

    I don't THINK this has been posted...
  10. Oh, I wanted to say something about Stan's wife Sandra! I wonder if at the time of the original airings I didn't appreciate her quite enough, since Stan/Sandra stuff wasn't nearly as exciting as other things happening on screen? Watching now, Susan Misner was really amazing whenever they did give her stuff to do. I also really loved her in the bar scene with Elizabeth, she was so subtle, but so uncomfortable as Elizabeth freely danced sexily away. I think the cast was just so good I overlooked her, but honestly, I don't remember many comments about her here, or in the reviews, but she, like most of the supporting cast was SO good!
  11. Philizabeth, aka Мишежда

    Obviously a ton of discussion about Elizabeth and Philip's relationship in the Tusk to Tchaikovsky thread. My main problems with viewing them a soul mates or a romantic ideal or happily ever after or anything approaching an equal or comparable exchange of love between them fall squarely at the feet of Elizabeth. I'll number these so they are easier to refer to, and they are in no particular order. Also, please know, I am not trying to convince anyone of anything, and I think some are lucky to still view them as some kind of true love, I just can't. Elizabeth is full of double standards, she has flipped out when anyone lies to her, yet she lied to Henry, to Paige, to Philip (for YEARS and worse, in a cuckold way, when he had to deal with Gregory at work) and to Claudia, I won't even count all of her spy-lies to marks. Her fury and what she does to the same people (for lying) seems deeply unfair or at least hypocritical, since if she does it herself, she's apparently not bothered by it. Elizabeth breaks up with Philip for lying about sleeping with Irina, (after they had a huge fight and things seemed over to him, since he'd found out she'd been reporting on him to the KGB for years.) Yet, she sleeps with Gregory before he goes off to die, and I certainly don't recall her telling Philip about that. In truth, Philip would have probably understood, but the point is, once again, Elizabeth demands something of others she doesn't give herself. My biggest issue in feeling this relationship is deeply unhealthy, is of course that Philip "feels like shit all the time" and has for years. To Elizabeth's credit, she does "allow" him to quit the KGB, but the problem with that is that he doesn't really get to quit. He still must live with a KGB officer, his daughter is being given to the cause and he's terribly worried about her future now, and he must maintain Elizabeth's cover, so even though he's not actively murdering anymore? He's the support system for that, and he's still OWNED by the KGB, having to maintain the Travel Agency. Along with the above, from what we saw on the show in the final season, Elizabeth was (beyond doubt) making Philip PAY for not staying in the KGB proper. She wouldn't listen to him, even when he told her it was important. She was derisive, "what, FEELINGS again?" She was rude all the time, and what's more? What was with Paige thinking so little of her father? Where did that come from, if not, at least in part, by the parent she WAS spending so much time with? Elizabeth, even obtuse Elizabeth, had to know Paige's attitudes about her father, hell, she saw it (on screen) a couple of times. Did Elizabeth enjoy that, or just not give a shit, or simply let her own anger play out through her daughter's disrespect? Why didn't she ever say to Paige, "Your father was an amazing agent, but this job can get to you after time, knock off the sass, you'd be lucky to be half the agent he was." Just how long has Elizabeth been distant and mean to Philip? We come back from the 3 year time jump, but we really have no indication if Elizabeth's been a bitch to him this whole time, or if it got progressively worse, what? I think it's probably a bit of both. What we DO know is that Elizabeth is finally kind to him, and listening to him, and affectionate with him ONLY after he comes to Chicago, in other words, returns to being KGB. That's why I said in the other thread that kind of love isn't healthy, a love that requires you to kill, or even to do a job that you HATE, in order to get affection from your partner is abusive. The show ends with Philip back in the USSR, with neither of his kids (and "family" was always his motivating force) and Elizabeth has decided, on her own, to make it very clear to the Coup people that she and Philip are the ones that thwarted them, endangering both of their lives. Even if we say they live, in about 3 years the USSR will be in a disastrous time, little food, utilities won't work, chaos will reign. AT BEST the USSR is going to be a huge step down for Philip, as far as basic creature comforts like food and electricity and a car comfy clothing, missing his children, and missing freedoms he will never have there. I think Philip was extremely good for Elizabeth, a perfect partner in almost all ways. I just don't see the same for Philip. I think Philip's life has been ruined, mostly by the KGB, but in great part by his "love" for Elizabeth. With him, it was almost an addiction, and after watching all six seasons, I'm certainly glad they stayed together because it made for the best show, but if I think of them at all as real? I wish Philip had defected and run for the hills, I think he would fall in love again (as would Elizabeth, as much as she is capable of love) but Philip? Could have made healthier choices, and saved his kids at the same time. It's, once again, a reverse of the usual story, the woman is the main hero, and in this case, the woman is the abusive, demanding spouse as well. I think we might have viewed the story quite differently if the genders were switched, (I'm glad they weren't) but I think many would view Philomena as abused, and Elroy as the abuser much more clearly if they were. ETA Interesting. At 18:16 or so Mathew is questioned about Philip being back in Russia. He says he didn't want to be there, and goes on to explain about wanting to defect.
  12. I think we need to take all this to the Philip/Elizabeth thread. xoxo Oddly I didn't feel quite as much chemistry during the love making between Oleg and Nina as I did between him and Tatiana. (!) It shocked me kind of, but I may rewatch. I certainly felt passion, at least on Stan's part, with Nina. Oleg and Nina have a ton of passion, but for me anyway, it's more in the day to day stuff, like teaching her to take a polygraph, or his flirting and her resistance early on, and certainly during and after she's sent home I really kind of love how loyal Nina was to Stan for most of the first season. Had he not killed Vlad, I am not sure her promotion at the Residentura would have been enough to make her turn triple agent, but maybe...it sure seemed like his murdering a relatively innocent Vlad was what screwed everything up. Of course it also nearly screwed up Gaad's career as well, leading to the incredible scenes between Arkady and Gaad. I wish we had had more of Arkady, Gaad, and Oleg, all in the USA. Nina was amazing, but her story end was something the writers really wanted to do (the quick death right after sentencing, thought to be more human than giving them time to think of it) and semi-interesting prison scenes. As I've said before, I will never understand dumping so much of the cast all at once, it seriously hurt the show in season 5, and I think that carried over until season 6. Also, without the FBI/Residentura scenes we seemed to have so much more exposition, and of course, it made the FBI look pretty idiotic through the first half of season 6 (not addressing Elizabeth's killing spree, etc.) I know we had to lose Martha and Nina, but dang, Gaad, Oleg, Arkady, Tatiana, and I think I'm forgetting a few, as well as losing most of the Stan interaction at the office and with Philip because of the cutesy wife story... The characters introduced in season 5 were just never as interesting, and this show excelled at supporting characters until then, I just don't understand what happened there.
  13. Anyone else kind of shudder that THE BOSTON GLOBE started the campaign or movement to counteract attacks on the press, and that their editorial is titled Journalists are not the enemy today? It's giving me some scary flashbacks to the show, and Elizabeth discovering all the dead in the Boston Globe.
  14. Continuing on to season 2, and trying to force myself to watch the Paige scenes now, I had to skip over Elizabeth using that poor sailor. It's not that it wasn't superbly done on her part, and he was wonderful in his role, so wonderful in fact it just kind of made me very sad for him. I don't know why, he got out of it with his life which is more than most could say, since they are dead and can't talk. I enjoyed the Mossad agent story though, (you got to know when to hold 'em) and the actor who played Anton was at his very best in the scene with Philip in the car, begging for his life, and to be with his son. Mathew Rhys seems to bring out the best in so many actors, as does Keri. Do I think Israel would do that? Probably, to save so many they might sacrifice one, and the timing works out historically. Still...sigh. When I rewatched during season 5, I think I enjoyed it all more. Oddly, I remember really loving season 2 then, but this time I kind of loved season 1 much more. I might skip the rest of 2 for now, and move on to season 3 and 4, my favorites of the entire run. Nope! Just realized that Oleg is finally starting to play a bigger role! Ha, can't skip that part, and the beginnings of his relationships with Nina and Stan! Supporting players really shine in this season, including Arkady and Martha of course. I so loved the Elizabeth and Martha getting drunk scenes too. So, sticking it out through season 2 for the lovely gems we got.