We know the Russians love their children too

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Kolohe
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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by Kolohe » 29 Mar 2018, 20:42

Fleetwood mac is always their best musical choice.

They weren't very clear that Elizabeth is totally stressed out and at the end of her rope while Philip has perfect inner peace. Maybe they needed to show it a 4th time and say it outright a third time.

I do wonder if they just decided to dump the Philip's first kid storyline. No indication of it in this episode and none in the supersized 'coming this season' supercut coda. (Plus the the jump)

I'm...not upset that the sailor that was holding Paige's id hostage got shredded.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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thoreau
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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by thoreau » 29 Mar 2018, 20:49

What is the KGB's goal with Paige? If she just focuses on being a really good student in Political Science or Public Policy or whatever she's majoring in, and goes for an internship in the federal government, she could embark on a career that gives her access to all sorts of information.

If she runs around town in disguises, spending long periods parked outside buildings with heavy security, she might raise red flags that get in the way of that.

I suppose that if she spends a bit of time taking small risks for the KGB she might develop deeper feelings of loyalty (shared danger generally cultivates deeper bonds than watching Russian movies), but she can only go so far with that. If they really want her to use her American birth certificate in the service of the Rodina then they need to let her focus on her GPA, her extracurriculars, and internships, not running around risking arrest.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Kolohe
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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by Kolohe » 29 Mar 2018, 21:09

My own fan fiction explanation was that the KGB is taking more risks, perhaps excessive and reckless ones, because Gorby is now in charge and they are getting deperate

But then why would they be ok with Philip retiring?

Another explanation is that Elizabeth is the one that's freelancing a bit, trying to do the Obi Wan thing and train an apprentice but without the right structure or teacher training. (Or explicit permission).

There was something (which i'm not sure I heard right) that indicated that the third woman on the op didn't know that Paige was Elizabeth's daughter. Which is probably good opsec, but also might be because it's not quite kosher.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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thoreau
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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by thoreau » 29 Mar 2018, 21:42

There were a lot of scenes where it wasn't quite clear who was a spy, who was a target, who was security, or why anyone was there. Just people sitting and watching or being watched.

It was strongly implied last season that Oleg and Philip are brothers. I wonder if they will run with that. I can see Philip and Oleg each talking about why they tried to get out of the game and spilling family secrets.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by thoreau » 29 Mar 2018, 22:10

Check out this preview:


Why is Paige sleeping with the interns when she could BE one of the interns? Wasn't the entire point of Second Generation Illegals that they could pass background checks and get the sensitive jobs instead of manipulating the people in sensitive jobs?
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by thoreau » 12 Apr 2018, 21:16

I thought yesterday's episode was pretty good. It held my interest. But it doesn't feel like it's building up to a resolution for these characters. It still feels like they're just keeping on keeping on, doing their thing. I don't feel like there's an actual point to Gennady and Sofia. Stan has been conflicted about the work for so long; something should be happening that makes him question it. And they can only spend so much time teasing us about Stan's new wife or girlfriend. (Which is she?) They've been together for several years, even though he's been out of counter-intelligence, so if she is a spy she's way more patient than any other Directorate S agent we've ever seen. And after all these years, only NOW does she suggest joining the FBI?

Whether or not Renee is a spy, they are teasing us with this, and somebody needs to actually go somewhere with their suspicions. Either somebody at the FBI should get suspicious, or Philip should get suspicious and go down some path that takes his character somewhere interesting. They shouldn't just spend 7 more episodes being all "Well, you know, maybe. Maybe not."
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
--Shem

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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by thoreau » 27 Apr 2018, 16:33

If they had at least 1-2 other Directorate S agents doign stuff in DC (besides the two people who never speak and only do surveillance) then (1) suspension of disbelief would be easier (because, seriously, Elizabeth is juggling way too many missions and covers) and (2) she'd have interesting foils to interact with. We'd see other people dealing with the job in different ways. Instead it's Elizabeth running around doing the entire KGB's workload.

I found the killings of Sofia and Gennady suitably horrifying, and I liked how it pushed Philip to help Kimmy. I wonder what will ultimately rupture things between Philip and Elizabeth: Him walking out of the Kimmy operation, or disagreements over Paige, or both?
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
--Shem

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Kolohe
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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by Kolohe » 28 Apr 2018, 11:29

That's what I was thinking too, at first, but on the other hand, 1) Running things into the ground without concern for sustainability is on brand for the Soviets 2) Elizabeth' CanDo No Questions attitude is on brand for her 3) there's the thematic tie in that the USSR was nearing the end of its rope by this time.

It's certainly plausible for an in universe explanation that the insertion of the Directorate S illegals was a one time or short time thing, and their ranks are significantly depleted through natural and unnatural attrition. My take on Elizabeth's team is that they're not KGB per se, but American born ideological fellow travellers that Elizabeth recruited/was hooked up with. (It's possible also that they don't know she's Russian, but rather a leader in The Resistance, Reagan era edition) kinda like how Philip pretended to be Swedish(?) to that one woman who became carry on luggage.

I think Renee is just in there to fuck with the audience. It's possible they had a different arc for her at first, but then decided to do the time jump, mooting all that. I think its plausible that the character motivation for Renee right now is that Stan is falling back into his old workaholic habits and taking his woman for granted (and no kids this time to sort of duct tape things together), so she's trying to make a move to get more inside his world and mental space.

And that's a thematic counterpoint to Philip and Elizabeth, where working together at the same job was at the core of their relationship, but now is no longer the case.

The thing is, anything is better than fucking wheat.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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thoreau
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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by thoreau » 28 Apr 2018, 16:51


Kolohe wrote:
The thing is, anything is better than fucking wheat.
I've heard good things about fucking warm apple pie.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
--Shem

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thoreau
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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by thoreau » 03 May 2018, 03:30

MAIL ROBOT!!!
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
--Shem

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Kolohe
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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by Kolohe » 06 May 2018, 09:11

So they're spreading Elizabeth too thin but they *also* have redundancy on certain ops. Well, that's the Soviet Union for you.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by Kolohe » 10 May 2018, 22:40

The penny has almost dropped for Stan, but he couldn't find the secret electrical panel panel.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by thoreau » 11 May 2018, 12:00

I wonder what will finally tip it off to Stan.

And I liked the guy's dying words to his father. I would say the same.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
--Shem

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Ellie
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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by Ellie » 12 May 2018, 10:05

thoreau wrote:
03 May 2018, 03:30
MAIL ROBOT!!!
I just joked on my local geeky Facebook group that "I'm just writing the crossover slash fic that the world needs right now: the inevitable hot, dramatic hookup between the robot from Lost in Space and the mail robot from The Americans."
I should have listened to Warren. He was right again as usual.

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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by thoreau » 17 May 2018, 07:06

As much fun as the latest episode was, I am kind of disappointed that their final ta
plotline will be to question their loyalty to the Soviet Union rather than their ability to keep their souls while doing this job. Elizabeth was clearly feeling the burden of the job, but then suddenly she gets to enjoy moral clarity in opposing the Centre. I see why the burdens of the job would make it possible for her to turn, but it is a departure from what the show had been exploring.

Stan found peace by leaving the spy game, not by questioning his allegiance. I would have preferred a similar final arc for Elizabeth.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
--Shem

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Kolohe
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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by Kolohe » 21 May 2018, 12:24

I disagree. I think this is a great way of bringing everything to a final showdown between all the fundamental tensions that the show is composed of.

Elizabeth has always been the true believer, and endured long periods of physical and emotional abuse that she has internalized as the cost of doing business. Yes, she's completely stressed out and near the end of her rope now, moreso than any other time, but she lacks the self awareness to realize that the strain is finally getting to her. She *might* start to see that, in that she's letting sentimentality creep into her tradecraft - catching herself in it when she goes back and finally burns the painting. Though, she let sentimentality get the upper hand when she didn't murder death kill the Benjamin Braddock to her Mrs. Robinson. So, maybe? But the news from Philip and then Claudia has now completely made her world topsy turvy. (I think it's important that Elizabeth told Philip what Claudia told her about the Gorby coup, but not vice versa, Elizabeth kept the counter-force effort from Claudia)

Though I'm not sure how much danger Elizabeth realized she put herself into by pressing the issue with Claudia and exposing the maskirovka. otoh, maybe Elizabeth isn't in that much danger from the centre, given how sparse the centre's assets seem to be now.

Shorter me - Stan represents the true believer that left (but is getting dragged back in), Philip represents the not-true believer that left (but also is getting dragged back in), and Elizabeth represents the true believer that can't leave.

Is the guy Stan met in Roy Rogers a season 1 character? I still haven't seen the back half of the first season.

Also, man, that Philip's son plot was a big 'ol shaggy dog, wasn't it?
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by thoreau » 21 May 2018, 12:43

The guy at Roy Rogers was part of Gregory's crew in season 1. Stan captured him, got him to talk, and got him a deal.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
--Shem

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Kolohe
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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by Kolohe » 22 May 2018, 08:00

In 1987, my mother was a fortyish year old woman living in sururban Virginia who smoked like a chimney.

Wow, was she a Russian spy?
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by thoreau » 24 May 2018, 12:27

Adderholt agrees with your skepticism.

I'm frankly shocked that Claudia didn't try to kill Elizabeth.

Looks like the finale is action and suspense, not psychological manipulation and tests of loyalty.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
--Shem

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Kolohe
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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by Kolohe » Yesterday, 14:51

I thought it the reverse, that Elizabeth wasn't going to leave the room with Claudia still alive. Claudia had her hands under the table for a while, and Elizabeth had her hands in her pockets in entire time.

That assassin that Elizabeth knicked off first was the woman in the previously on, correct? The one that worked with (and slept with) Oleg and was in charge of the super secret bioweapons program? (Was she also young Elizabeth's training agent? My wife thinks that's a young Claudia. I think it's just some rando)

If they're going to NH to get Henry that's a mistake I think. If they're going up there to get to Canada via a low traffic border crossing, that's also a mistake.

Also, if someone *was* listening in on the topsy turvey conversation, I don't think Philip could possibly do *more* with his tone and inflection to make it sound like he was talking in code.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by thoreau » Yesterday, 15:05

Kolohe wrote:
Yesterday, 14:51
That assassin that Elizabeth knicked off first was the woman in the previously on, correct? The one that worked with (and slept with) Oleg and was in charge of the super secret bioweapons program? (Was she also young Elizabeth's training agent? My wife thinks that's a young Claudia. I think it's just some rando)
I don't think the assassin was the woman from the Rezidentura. She's too big of a character to do that without some sort of build-up. I think the assassin was a rando.

The training agent was also a rando, IMHO.

Going to New Hampshire is a mistake, but it's also essential for these characters. If they were trying to do this right, they'd be going to Mexico or the Caribbean, then making contact with a Soviet Embassy and praying that whoever works there is loyal to Gorbachev.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
--Shem

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thoreau
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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by thoreau » Yesterday, 22:43

I now believe that this will end in the same way as the real-life story (the spies arrested in 2010) it's partially based on: Arrest and prisoner exchange.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Kolohe
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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by Kolohe » Yesterday, 23:15

according to the internet, the would be assasin was Tatiana. (which also explains why she was in the previously on)

I'm with you on that conclusion, read a story today (from the WaPo TV critic) that said straight up the entire show is based on the creator's Cold War era Cia experience plus (then recent) 2010 Ana Chapman stuff.

I noticed they sort of broke their style in the Elizabeth flashback, by having characters that should be speaking a language other than English to each other speaking in accented English. (though I suppose as part of Elizabeth's training, she was told to speak English at all times, even before she 'lost' the accent. I think they even used that on the show once before) (it is of course that Felicity can't really speak Russian without the heaviest of American accents)
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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thoreau
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Re: We know the Russians love their children too

Post by thoreau » Today, 00:30

Yeah, the English in her training sequence didn't bother me. It made sense.

If they did use Tatiana as the assassin that is disappointing. She was never that type of character. She was a Rezidentura bureaucrat, not a field agent. I guess they just wanted to tie up as many stories as possible.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
--Shem

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