Remember that reality show The Mole? It was a show where a team of contestants would compete to earn money as a group, while one secret foe among them, “the mole,” attempted to ruin their time. This week, The Americans reminded me that a real world mole hunt is neither fun nor funny in “Trust Me.” Would Nina (Annet Mahendru) come under fire, or would someone else take the fall? Is Stan (Noah Emmerich) capable of screwing up? Leaving a trail of any sort when your career path involves spying or squashing spies means getting beaten to a bloody pulp at one point of another, right? In this case, the phrase nobody wanted to hear was, “Enjoy your free plane ride back to Russia!”
The episode opened with Phillip (Matthew Rhys) clueing Elizabeth (Keri Russell) into Claudia’s (Margo Martindale) mention of a mole among them the night prior. Afterwards, Phillip attempted another go at wooing Martha, the weak-link FBI employee he’d been swooning for information undercover. After a call from a nearby phone booth, Phillip set up another date, only to find himself subsequently blindfolded and kidnapped! Well, that was surprise. When the sack was removed from his head, Phillip found himself tied to a chair in an undisclosed location, still in disguise. The man who’d proceed to torture him pegged him as a KGB spy right off the bat. Phillip denied all he could, but the sorry removal of his snazzy “Claude” wig gave him away. Somewhere, somehow, he’d seriously screwed his game up.
Meanwhile, Nina and Vasili continued their sexual fling in bed. Nina heard the news of the mole hunt for the first time here, in bed with the Rezident. When they would finally discover the identity of the traitor, they’d get a bullet in their head. Vasili, as the man in charge, blamed himself. Nap while you can, Nina!
Stan’s boss called him into work on a Sunday. Apparently, the Americans had pieced together that the enemy had thwarted their planned rendezvous with Vasili and the other KGB spy he’d planned on meeting. Remember when Elizabeth put a bullet in that guy’s face at the close of last week’s episode to nip their link to the Americans missile blueprints in the bud? The body found was a dead giveaway, as it was far too coincidental. The man’s work history with top-secret missile intelligence, stuff that even Stan’s boss was left in the dark on, solidified their realization that they’d been one-upped.
Elizabeth was busy chopping onions when she noticed a disturbance coming from inside the house. Honestly, I was seriously impressed with how Elizabeth fought off the massive intruder. Felicity has some moves! Too bad she neglected to consider an accomplice running at her with a bludgeoning object )or a toilet plunger, by the looks of it). Lights out for Elizabeth!
Nina ran to Stan, seeking help in escaping her current dire situation. Stan played it cool and collected, but Nina reminded him that her life was on the line. She refused to be placed on a plane back to Moscow anytime soon, and he’d promised her a new identity. Now would be a fantastic time for a new life. Could Stan protect her? Later, he’d request some confiscated diamonds from his boss. We wouldn’t learn how the jewels, taken from African smugglers, would be of any use until later on in the episode.
The torture Phillip underwent looked sufficiently brutal; everything from scolding dunks in a vat of water to a harsh chest beating. The American man had recordings of his conversations with Martha, but Phillip refused to budge. Even the Jennings kids were pulled into the equation. Having their citizenship threatened, the children could end up sent “back” to Russia! Soon after, Elizabeth was hauled in, if only to notify Phillip of her capture, before being thrown into a holding room that was covered in pictures of her children. Creepy psychological torture or getting off easy? You decide.
Eventually, they brought her back in front of Phillip and insinuated that they would torture Elizabeth if it meant getting Phillip to spill KGB information. At this point, the two gave their final answers; they would die before ratting. Mission accomplished! In strutted Claudia. It was all just a test to ensure that the Jennings weren’t moles. After all, they were two of the only few people aware of the American encryption codes. The changing of the codes was, of course, the key to flagging a mole. Claudia admitted to going above General Zhukov’s head on this one, answering to someone “higher” and bucking the need to ask permission from the Jennings’ superior. Elizabeth snapped. She beat Claudia’s face in while Phillip held the man who tortured them as a test at gunpoint.
Elizabeth: “Your face is a present from me to them!”
Whoever Claudia was answering to surely will not be happy. Who cares? I’m sure that felt amazing. Still, Phillip knew something was amiss when he discovered that Elizabeth had hardly even been questioned. Elizabeth’s former report that Phillip “liked America too much” came back to bite her in the ass. The two had been developing a truly trusting relationship, and this one night shattered everything.
Phillip: “I fit in like I’m supposed to! I like it! So what?”
The two purposely totaled their car on the ride home as a means of explaining their bruises to their children. But where had Paige (Holly Taylor) and Henry (Keidrich Sellati) been this whole time? The duo was left at the mall. Is there anything worse than having a parent forget to pick you up from wherever you’re chilling that day? That’s the worst brand of torture, if you ask me. Paige decided to play it “adult” and hitchhike rather than walk the ten miles in the cold. Henry smartly opposed, until he had no choice. Paige flagged down a seemingly nice young man who offered to take them straight home, much to Henry’s disappointment.
The ride was awkward enough at the start. Henry refused to even acknowledge the stranger. However, when the guy pulled over at a park and forced them to help him feed some ducks, things got super creepy. Paige slowly crept over to Henry’s way of thinking, needless to say. The man handed her a beer and began musing on his dark past. *crack * Henry smashed a bottle across his head, grabbed his sister, and the two ran off. That situation was about to get dangerous, so good for him! He peed himself, but good for him! At home, the kids kept their wild day from their parents, and the grownups did the same.
Stan met Nina once more at an art museum. There, he asked her to snap some pictures of confidential documents, any documents at all, on a spy camera. Nina was confused, as her time was about to run out. Still, Stan reinforced her trust in him. Stan knows what it feels like to experience crippling fear and to have to paint on a calm demeanor. Nina did as he asked, almost getting exposed in the process. Why would Stan have her photograph documents without ever needing to sneak the camera through security?
Stan’s ploy to free Nina from targeting was clever, indeed! Using Vasili’s love for tea, Stan had another agent pose as a cashier and drop a little something into Vasili’s newly purchased tealeaves. At this point, Stan began calling the KGB office from several different locations, masking his identity as Vasili’s friend “Theo.” At this point, we were left confused as to what was actually occurring. Why would Stan bug tealeaves? Eventually, Vasili was questioned, seemingly out of the blue. Why would a man named Theo call their headquarters from three strange locations, and why would he ask for Vasili by name? Next, the African diamonds were discovered stashed in his tea! Lastly, the team uncovered the camera Nina had used planted inside an empty clock in Vasili’s office. Trading photos of confidential files for diamonds? Vasili, realizing he’d been set up, had no choice but to follow their orders, and he was sent back to Moscow.
Phillip was still reeling from the discovery that Elizabeth had betrayed him. In an attempt to win back Martha’s trust after ditching their date, he asked Elizabeth for a piece of her own jewelry to give to his connection as a gift. Elizabeth looked appalled but obliged. While Phillip made things right with his connection, Elizabeth met with none other than Gregory, her old flame. Just when we thought she was about to betray Phillip following his outbursts, we were let in on the fact that Elizabeth was hiring Gregory as a watchdog for her entire family, Phillip included.
The episode closed with Elizabeth attempting to smooth the wrinkles with Phillip, explaining that her officers were the people she trusted most in the world. Wrong answer, Elizabeth! In a very different bedroom scene, Stan finally opened up to his wife about how scary his job can be. Sometimes, specifics aren’t necessary, it’s the sentiment that counts.
What did you all think of The Americans, Season 1 Episode 6, “Trust Me”? Are you hooked into the show enough to get excited for the recently announced second season? Will Phillip and Elizabeth fix things? Will Stan and Nina grow closer now? Do you think the children need to be more involved with the central plot yet?
Thanks for reading my Recap and Review of The Americans Episode 6, “Trust Me”!
(P.S.- We have a great new theme here on the site, but the italics are working a little wonky. Bear with me!)