Elizabeth's transformation may have been slower than Philip's, but she has changed just the same.
Between the incredibly awkward opening dinner and closing conversation between Elizabeth and Gabriel on The Americans Season 4 Episode 10, it became apparent Elizabeth has begun feeling far more than is recommended for her line of work.
Juggling emotions and the inquisitive nature of a teenage daughter who has just learned the family secret is probably more than one family should have to handle, even after a seven month sabbatical.
Remember when Paige used to be sort of a nuisance?
She was once the typical teenage girl, and did get the family into this ridiculous Pastor Tim and Alice situation because she felt the need to unburden herself of the first adult thing her family shared with her.
But Paige has changed. She's strong and independent, but with a healthy inquisitive nature. She's asking the right questions, of the right people. She's trying to get to know her parents better. And when she wants to know if the Russians took down Pastor Tim (if her parents took down Pastor Tim), she just asks.
They didn't handle the inquiry all that well.
Philip: We don't want this. This is a disaster for us.
Paige: For YOU?
What I loved about that whole scene was that Philip and Elizabeth don't even know what's going on any longer.
Philip kind of shrugged his shoulders and looked at Elizabeth like, "you think it could have been us?" He's been talking with William enough to have honed his own skepticism of his people. Elizabeth's answer was funny.
And she really thinks we'd be so stupid as to leave Alice.Elizabeth
What's not funny about that situation was Alice threatening them. Pastor Tim may have found his way back to civilization, but I'll be surprised if it's glossed over in its entirety, even if Alice was a pregnant and all hormonal.
Then again, Paige is their agent, and she's looking out for them. So far, her parents trust her to do the job, and she's doing it well.
The thought of her joining the family trade once turned my stomach, but when she told her parents she thought it was best they wait a while to ask for the tape back and why, I felt a swell of pride for our little spy kid.
Is there still hope Stan will turn and take Mike with him, so Paige and Mike can be the next generation of quasi-international spies? I wouldn't even know what that would look like, but with them getting close, it might be fun to think about. Fun, you guys, I realize it's nothing but fun.
Unfortunately, nobody told Arkady's operatives to tread lightly when dealing with Gaad. Was that really an attempt to pull him over to the darkside? That was incredibly mob-like in its rollout. From the way Arkady mumbled about it to Tatiana, it obviously wasn't discussed with Oleg, who was the closest to Stan.
Someone within the KGB should have to pay for that. Did anybody even test the waters with Gaad, or did those guys just accost him in his room like that? From the way he ran straight out the window, I'm betting the latter.
Whatever inroads Oleg made with Stan will probably be for nothing after Gaad's death. Stan and Aderholt might be looking harder for Clark now than ever.
I was kind of hoping Clark would have met with Martha's dad (a special appearance by Three's Company's Larry aka Richard Kline, mind you, someone I wouldn't have recognized had FX literally not spelled out for me LARRY FROM THE REGAL BEAGLE).
He was so gung ho about making sure her parents knew where she was, but there was her dad, some eight months later, still without any knowledge of her whereabouts, or more importantly, that she was alright. Not that Moscow = alright, but you get the idea.
Since he's such a groovy guest star, maybe he'll be around again and the connection will be made. Although with the FBI hot on his tail, that might not be the best idea for our friend, Clark.
Why was James back and paying a visit to Kimmy? She was telling tales about her dad even James didn't think she should be sharing. Always the caring suitor. That duo always makes me so uncomfortable.
Elizabeth Patty had that one outgunned by having dinner and laughing away at Young-Hee's family stories while poor Don bristled at the end of the table. How could she even gulp down food?
Have we ever seen the inside of the Jennings medicine cabinet? You have to wonder what kind of stuff the Russians are made of (hey, I have Russian blood...hmmm), because their ability to internalize stress and walk through the fire, emerging unharmed appears to be unequaled.
Philip going to est is helping him get in touch with those deeply buried feelings, and for that same reason Elizabeth continues to poke fun at it. It scares her, getting too close to what's inside. It would scare the hell out of anyone if they had done so much damage.
As it's finally catching up to her, and she sees a chance to maybe, just maybe stop the train before it crashes into the family before her and utterly destroys what is left of them, it comes at a time when they have just been given seven months off.
Since they're just back into the swing of things, my guess is the KGB will consider it a sign of weakness if they allow Elizabeth to find another way into Level 4, leaving Young-Hee her family. Elizabeth will be punished for that break William never knew their kind got.
That's just my guess. But will it make Elizabeth more loyal to her country? I'm not sure how it could. When Paige was asking Philip about his family, he noted that nobody liked what they did and their lives were incredibly rough, but still, Philip has a deep love of country. Where does that come from?
This was another fantastic episode. We're finally getting to see the changes that have been brewing in Elizabeth, as well as how much like her parents Paige can be when the moment demands. What did you think of the hour? Are the Jennings on their way to becoming Americans, better Comrades or something in between?
If you have missed any of the season so far, you can watch The Americans online right here.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.