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  1. S06.E10: START

    Right, but regardless of how sincerely Philip believes in what he is saying, it is simply not true that this last mission is finally, after all these years, something that is actually of consequence. To Philip's feelings maybe, but not to Stan or even to Elizabeth. Everything they did has done real damage to the US and its people. You think Philip does not realize that as he is EST-bombing Stan with his "weaponized sincerity" (love the phrase) in an effort to get Stan to let them go? Maybe, I don't know. It's hard to imagine that, when he lists "following Americans, recruiting Americans, being afraid of Americans", he forgets to include the "killing Americans" part because he sincerely doesn't remember about it at that moment. It is something that has been bothering him, how can he forget? No, he is choosing what to say and what to omit. It is manipulative.
  2. S06.E10: START

    Just re-watched, picked up a couple things I don't think I've seen mentioned. In the garage, Philip says to Stan "All these years we watched Americans, recruited Americans - and now we finally, actually got something - and it's the fucking Russians," Finally, actually? As if everything they'd done in the previous twenty plus years wasn't that serious and didn't really amount to much? That's one hundred percent manipulation on Philip's part. On the other hand, when Paige comes out of the blue with "You have to take care of Henry!", I don't believe for a second that it's something calculated. It's Paige, she is not that good. Stan knows that, that's why he addresses her when he confronts the three of them in the garage. Her saying that has got to be what convinces Stan that Henry actually knows nothing. Last, Philip and Elizabeth are crossing the Soviet border from Poland, not Finland, the Volvo notwithstanding. The sign on the booth says "Kontrola Pasportowa/Паспортный Контроль/Passport Control" in Polish, Russian and English.
  3. S06.E10: START

    That's pretty much how I have come to think of the writers' choices on this show. They are not showing the most probable real-life course of action; if they were, Pastor Tim would have never been allowed to live after Paige's call, Philip would have never been allowed to stay in the US when he started cracking under pressure, etc. Instead, the writers chose to show things that were simply not impossible. It's not impossible (just improbable ;)) that someone in the KGB would make a judgement call to let Pastor Tim live and see how it would play out, or decided that Philip's value staying is greater than the risk of him breaking down and giving away everything he knows. And it's fine with me. I notice the improbable things and mention them, but they don't ruin anything for me. I loved the finale. When they started talking about calling Henry, I was hoping against hope they wouldn't. I knew I was going to lose it if I had to watch that scene. And then they go and show them looking at Henry's Canadian passport and discarding it... It's actually the other way, the unstressed O is pronounced as A (or, rather, as "ah") except in some regional dialects. It's just that the emphasis in Oleg is on the E the way Russians pronounce it. And when the G is not followed by a vowel, it often sounds as K. That's how you get from Oleg to Alec.
  4. S06.E09: Jennings, Elizabeth

    I'm a bit less cynical than that. I think that Claudia was doing her damndest to prep Paige for the life, but recognized that Elizabeth's squeamishness was impeding her efforts. Claudia was trying to toughen them both up at the same time, and the failure for Elizabeth to rise to her expectations meant that Paige would inevitably fall short as well. I'll be be more cynical than that. It's most probably not what the writers intended, but in real life it could just very well be a classic example of Russian imitation of activity on Claudia's part. The out-of-touch higher-ups come up with a (stupid) idea and issue orders that everybody must follow without questioning (or else). So the middle management develops half-ass plans to implement the order, the people on the ground go through the motions of executing the plans, and nobody really cares whether the result is achieved or not, because the point is simply to demonstrate that everybody is doing something to follow the orders. BTW, what's so special about Claudia that she can't go and spray the guy with the cyanide herself? Or shoot him from a rooftop across the street? She is in on the coup plans, the excuse of having too few people doesn't work here. I think that's exactly how Stan took it, actually - just a different person with the same name. It also looked like the date of birth made the guy in the database way older than Philip, although I may be wrong here.
  5. S06.E09: Jennings, Elizabeth

    They have stuff on Oleg from his Rezidentura days, don't they? There is record of his being a spy under diplomatic cover, both the FBI and the CIA (from their Moscow experiment) can testify to that. And now that Oleg has no cover and is just a private citizen really interested in transportation optimization, they have proof that he picked up a dead drop (even if they may not know what it says). Plus, I'm sure they have searched his hotel room and found all his decoding accoutrements there. I don't know for sure if that's enough, but it doesn't seem unreasonable.
  6. S06.E09: Jennings, Elizabeth

    She is probably trained, but it is ridiculous that they chose her for the mission. Tatiana is officially a Soviet diplomat with a position at the embassy, a deputy attachée of some sort or something like that. Sending her is not really that different from having the ambassador himself do it. You have to think about risk management - if something goes wrong and she is exposed, imagine what it would look like in the papers, a Soviet diplomat tries to assassinate one of their own in the middle of the summit. Is it really worth a try? And really, there is no reason Nesterenko's assassination should be a requirement for the coup success. It's only a plot device to get Elizabeth into conflict with Claudia and the KGB. Well, if Father Victor was talking to the FBI that very day, there was at least a chance the FBI wouldn't be quick enough to have someone on Father Andrei already. Not that he made that calculation, necessarily, of course. At least he didn't wait a few days, at which point his message to Philip would be "I wanted to tell you, in person, that the FBI is following me 24/7."
  7. S06.E08: The Summit

    He must have been really depressed by the movie then. It's not exactly a movie that would inspire Soviet patriotism or reinforce commitment to die for the country. It is about people infighting and backstabbing in an effort to get some parking spaces, and it touches on the injustices of life in the USSR, things like corruption and the need to be connected to get something. Kind of like Oleg's story from last season (but a comedy, believe it or not). Not intending this to be a knock on the writing, but that's not some brilliant idea the writers had to be particularly talented to come up with. It's all real life.
  8. S06.E08: The Summit

    Question: why couldn't Claudia fudge Elizabeth's reports without having her kill Nesterenko? She wasn't going to tell Elizabeth about it anyway. If the false reports were going to convince Soviet leadership that Gorbachev must be removed, did it really matter if Nesterenko was dead or alive and denying everything? And I must say - that guy is a really good actor. I was feeling his fear there in the car. Well done. So Stan is the only person who doesn't know the Jenningses are Soviet spies, right? Pastor Tim knows. Stavos knows. The Roy Rogers guys does, too. I'm sure Renee knows as well. Next week, when Stan comes to Aderholdt, Dennis will be like, "Philip and Elizabeth? Oh yeah, I knew they were Russian."
  9. S09.E21: The Royal Flush

    Certainly. Although... Is it always true? For example, someone has a walk-through hole in the wall and washes their hair with dog shampoo. Or has a bunch of out-of-control kids some of whom wear diapers into their teenage years. Or, better yet, is a person wearing diapers into his teenage years. Each of these people is seemingly fine with their situation and is not looking to change things. Are they all mature?
  10. S06.E07: Harvest

    Do we really know that they lived a particularly reclusive life and had no normal interactions with friends and neighbors? They showed up at the Beemans' door with their housewarming casserole like they'd done it before, in a perfectly neighborly way. And that was before they knew Stan was FBI, so they had no reason to pretend extra hard to befriend him. Plus, for all we know, Elizabeth could have wiped the van down while Philip was driving it to the garage.
  11. S06.E07: Harvest

    Actually, a radio jammer would have helped with that, too. The FBI probably want to remain inconspicuous and keep watching Harvest in secret, so they don't really want to have too many people following him directly (a helicopter would probably be a bit of a giveaway, too). They'd need communication to call up all those hidden agents if something happens. It only makes sense to hit their ability to communicate. It really has to be in the SOP for this kind of operation, the more I think about it.
  12. S06.E07: Harvest

    Stan literally murdered a guy, confessed to the Deputy AG and blackmailed the US government. That didn't kill his career. And now it's in jeopardy because he hasn't been able to catch these two illegals, the task no one else at the FBI hasn't been able to do either? I don't know. If that is what the writers are writing, then it's not very good. But, of course, they write what they want. Gaad's pen should have been on his housekeeping (or whoever is in charge of sweeping his office for bugs), not on him personally. They just chose to write it this way. Thinking about the caper, the thing that caused it to go south was the very impressive ability of the FBI guy to relay the info on every car on the scene and where each one was going. I wonder if there was a way for Elizabeth to anticipate this in her planning. And maybe get a portable, industrial-strength radio jammer (I'm sure it's a thing, probably, the KGB must have one, right?) on the scene to turn on as soon as Harvest was sprung. I'll add the scene where Elizabeth shows Philip her cyanide pill. "They gave me this. I cannot get arrested." - "Tell me why." - "I can't." - "So... why did you show me the pill?" - "I wanted to tell you." - "But you haven't told me anything." - "No, not really." Okay, good talk.
  13. S09.E21: The Royal Flush

    It's only maturity and wisdom if you cannot change your life for the better. If you can, but are content with things you know aren't great, that's not wisdom, that's laziness.
  14. S06.E06: Rififi

    And he is not working on the Mexico job, Claudia is mistaken about that. He is working to get the sensor needed for the Dead Hand development, while Elizabeth's Mexico job is about thwarting Gorbachev and preventing a deal that would scrap Dead Hand in exchange for some US concessions. So the guy may not even have the cyanide pill.
  15. S06.E06: Rififi

    Right? I was thinking the same thing - what an authentic babushka getup, way to blend in! Got any stew? How did it get the elevator to hold the doors and wait for it? I swear, the doors were already closing when the Mail Robot decided it needed to get in. Is it one of those Internet of Things thing that Google is still working on thirty years later?