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  1. I find Nina much more interesting than Martha because Nina's motivations are never clear to see and because she refuses to be a victim and fights with those means she has. Martha is by means passive (f.ex. she is terrified when the pen is found in Gaad's Office but she acts although entierly on her own) but almost until the end she lets herself to be manipulated by "Clark". I am interested to know why Martha and Stan are treated so differently. She isn't condemned for not informing on "Clark" although she gets more and more information that he has lied to her: firts when she meets Walter Taffet and realizes Clark isn't working for the FBI, second, when she learns that Gene is dead that suspects that Clark has killed him to protect her, and third in the safe house when she leans that Clark works for the FBI and she has therefore committed treason by helping him. Instead of going to FBI to make a deal, she every time goes to Clark - and doing that basically decides to believe him and continue. Just like Stan makes the most important decision when he goes to meet Philip, Elizabeth and Paige alone, more as a betrayed friend than a FBI agent. In every situations Martha accepts that love is more important to her than anything else. Basically she is like Elizabeth to whom the Cause is most important, only Elizabeth kills herself whereas Martha accepts that Clark kills for her.
  2. It's true that Stan betrayed Aderholt and FBI but I understand the reasons writers gave him. Stan was never shown to be a "company man", he always made his own individual decisions and put personal relationships first (except refusing to become a traitor in order to save Nina). Maybe in some other circumstances he would have revenged to Philip for betraying him (but for some reason Stan never asked himself if his telling Philip about Gaad's journey was conneceted with his death, and he even asked to Gaad's widow whether she wanted to revenge his death and was astonished that she would). But in the moment of their final meeting happened, Philip successfully appealed to several themes: that they both had fought for their country and that, at least now, their interest of their country were common. As for Pastor Tim, I don't think that killing him would have been a good idea as everybody here waited for just that. Paige had ample reason to be horrified of what P&E did. F.ex. stealing some military secret (which William did) is something that most people don't accept as a principle unless there is a special reason for it.
  3. I mean free in the Dostoevkyan sense. In The Brothers Karamamazov Dmitri goes to murder his father but in the last moment, without any obvious reason, he changes his mind. If we didn't know it, we would have thought just as the jury: guilty. If we have been told about a ten-year-old boy who killed two boys, albeit ones who had tormented him a long time, wouldn't we call him a monster and a sociopath? I think any exlanation that the writers could have invented how such a boy becomes a man to whom the family is most important, who doubts his superiors and thinks himself, to whom Martha and Kimmy aren't only assents, would have seem insufficient to us.
  4. My experience is just the opposite: people who have used to "ease and plenty" can give them up if they want something that is more important to them whereas people who never have had them concentrate wholly to get them. Of course it depends also on characters. I think it's also important that decide that once the decision is made, to make best of it.
  5. It was quite natural as Philip had to be careful with Stan. But it was perhaps more essential that, after being close and honest with Elizabeth despite their quarrels about Paige in S3, Philip knew that he must do this journey towards "knowing himself" alone. It was partly because of Elizabeth's more ideological character but only partly. Those closest of us have often a fixed image of us, so if we want to find something entirely new, it's better do it alone, at least in the beginning. Also, even Sandra confessed to Philip that she can't be "completely honest" with her new partner - that simply isn't possible. Sometimes easier to speak about difficult matters to strangers taht we don't meet again.
  6. I have also watching S3 and like you, fast forwarded Nina scenes. But unlike you, I also did that with most of Kimmy scenes, except the one Philip tells her he serves God and the one they pray together. I love Philip's scenes with Elizabeth - especially the one where they are high and laugh how "serving Jesus" saved Philip from sleeping with Kimmy. Even when they argue and even quarrel about Paige, they are really close. One with another they can be really honest.
  7. The Soviets had "the higher truth" (their ideology) according which they either presented the facts or, of they they didn't fit to the ideology, either omitted them or falsified them. Because the Soviet Union was always "peace loving", unlike "imperialist great powers", it was impossible that it had made a secret treaty about the "spheres of interets" with the Nazi Germany, attacked another country, bombed civilians etc.
  8. I think the reason why the writers didn't give us more of Philip's backstory, is simply because Philip, unlike Elizabeth, isn't dependent on his family and other background. He is a person who is able to chose freely although he of course must make his decisions in certain circumstances.
  9. When P&E began their life and work as spies in the US, they had been taught and trained for years. They must already have been good - otherwise they had been caught years ago. Spies or soldiers can't afford to "learn by making mistakes" in real situations - it can cause death to them or for others. Paige had no abilities to be a spy and she should never have allowed participate in real operations.
  10. 1. I suspected Renee straightawy whereas I never suspected the girl in the bus as nobody could have known that Paige would be in that bus whereas it would have easy to arrange a chance meeting in the gym that Stan used and Stan and his likes well known because of Nina. Most of all, Renee was simply too good for Stan as she would have easily got a better "catch" than a divorced FBI-agent. However, it seemed such a waste to put an illegal as 0Stan's girlfriend. Was it to warn P&E in time if Stan become suspicions? That didn't happen. To have her an easier access to the FBI - that was left open. 2. To me, Amador's death was emotional although now I think of it, his character has earlier been completely different than in Stan's flashbacks. But just that was so moving: a man who seemed only be interested to fuck so many women as possible and had treated Martha badly, was convinced that he would never become a traitor because shame wasn't an option to him - and he kept his word: died heroically and even left his ring as a clue (of course we don't know if he had endured torture). In the same time, it was ironical that he caused his death himself by stalking Martha and trying to use his position as the FBI to harm her new boyfried without realizing that he was a Soviet spy and too dangerous a adversary to fight alone. As for killing Vlad as revenge, I think it could be well explained that Stan was new in the contra-spy department. 3. The writers really left Gaad's death without a proper result except Arkady's expulsion. It was odd that Stan never suspected that he had given Philip information about Gaad's journey which probably led to an attempt to turn him and his suicide. Yet, I believe that Stan had experienced so much after Amador's death and Nina's fate, that he was no longer willing to a personal revenge that could lead to a spiral of vengeance that nobody could control.
  11. If Gabriel had lied to Philip about Elizabeth dumping the first partner chosen for her, it would have been a stupid lie, because Philip could talked about Elizabeth. Gabriel wasn't so stupid that he would have lied about anything that could be revealed as a lie.
  12. Or a challenge? In the old romantic novels, the hero has often got all women he had wanted, except the heroine who at first hates and/or distrusts him. But unlike the standard hero, Philip hasn't seemingly done anything to win Elizabeth's love, only waited patiently. One detail: Philip looks at Irina's picture just before he meets Elizabeth, so he is presumably in love with her, but just before he comes in, he rips it and throws it away.
  13. S06.E10: START

    I think Field's answer shows that he has lived so a comfortable life that he can't imagine things that has been common to many people, and still are in some parts of world. Paige and Henry are alive - many parents have seen their children die. And emigrants and refugees sometimes could no more meet their parents or children. "What could be worse" would be IMO if P&E had somehow caused the death of their children - or either of them had died and the other left alone.
  14. Also Elizabeth's reactions: she asks Philip "how can we live like this" and is worried how the children will survive after she and Philip are caught which she believes will happen sooner or later, estimating Paige as "fragile". She breaks her promise to Leanna and doesn't give Jared his mother's letter, revealing that his parents were Russian spies, her motive evidently being that he is better off spending a normal life as an American (well as normal as a boy can whose whole family has been murdered). Then, after the horrible truth about Jared and how Kate has used him had been revealed, she accepts Claudia's "the second generation" program for Paige, even though she has enough reasons not to trust her, saying to Philip "wouldn't it bad if she become like us" (as if she doesn't know it is very bad indeed). Of course Elizabeth's reactions change also otherwise but then there is always an external reason for the change: Reagan's speech makes her afraid of the safety of her country, Kimmy's father gets a new position that can give Philip even more useful information. But in Paige's case there is no external reason why Elizabeth suddenly forgets her own question "how can we live like this" and her own estimation that Paige is "fragile". Therefore, it seems to me that the writers have first planned this and made Elizabeth act accordingly.
  15. I have read a book about "the closed town" in Soviet Estonia", Sillamäe, of Andrei Hvostov which began as an imaginery journey to the past and the author said that his son couldn't just make it because he couldn't behave like a Soviet person - he wasn't afraid of officials etc. Now, P&E were of course always afraid of being caught - but that was a different sort of fear.