'The Americans' recap: Doomsday clock?
"The Americans" -- "The Clock"
Last week's series premiere of "The Americans" involved a lot of setup. So. Much. Setup. But it was worth it, because Episode 2 jumped right into the action, which began with Phillip jumping right into bed with a woman who is not Elizabeth.
Hey, that's the name of the spy game, people. Last week, it was Elizabeth who had to get busy with a dude who was not her husband so she could obtain some key intel, and Phillip listened to an audio recording of her extracurricular activities (and, yes, he was jealous).
This week, it was Phillip who had to make time with a woman who was warm for his form -- the wife of the deputy undersecretary of defense, it turned out, who thinks she's working with a Swedish operative named Scott. Phillip straps a contraption to the asset that allows her to hold a tiny camera in her bra, which, when she sneaks away at a party of the home of Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, allows her to snap some photos of his private study.
And that's important because Elizabeth and Phillip have been saddled with a very important mission: to plant a bug inside Weinberger's home office.
Phillip's asset, Annaliese -- who, Elizabeth is bemused to learn, is rather attractive -- gets some shots that lead P&E to decide that a clock in Weinberger's office is the perfect place for the plant. But how will they get the clock out of the office, plant the bug, and then get the clock back into the office?
The housekeeper did it -- er, will do it
Her name is Viola, and she and her son are about to have their world rocked. Viola is Weinberger's housekeeper, and P&E decide she's the key to the very dangerous assignment they've been given.
So a disguised Elizabeth "accidentally" bangs into Viola's son, which we later learn is how she cut him with a pointed tip that injected some poison into his skin. When she and Phillip show up at Viola's home later -- where her son is mysteriously fever-stricken and very sick -- Phillip calmly tells her that her son has been poisoned, he has the only antidote, and if she does this one little thing for him (steal the clock from her boss, give it to Phillip, return the clock to Caspar's study), he will make sure her son gets the injection that will save his life.
Viola freaks out -- duh -- but manages to take the clock. Her brother barges in and tries to scare Phillip off, but Phillip is a superspy (or a supertrained spy, anyway) and manages to fend him off and take the clock home to plant the bug. But, even though their KGB boss had warned Elizabeth last week that their lives and their missions were about to take a turn for the more dangerous, Phillip is frustrated that he and his wife have to risk their lives, and their undercover positions by quickly carrying out a plan that should have taken months to set up.
Elizabeth, meanwhile, who last week angrily rejected Phillip's suggestion that they consider taking a huge payday to defect and run off to live an assumed life (well, a new assumed life) with their children, senses that they are in real jeopardy this time. And she frets that, though their son, who has Phillip's resilience, would be fine if something happened to her or Phillip, their teenage daughter, Paige, is too fragile to handle the fallout of losing her parents.