This is a little late, but here’s a recap of the last episode of Americans. Episode 2 was called Baggage and aired on February 4th, 2015. There are certainly spoilers galore if you haven’t seen the episode yet. I’ve grouped specific story lines instead of going scene by scene so that relative information stays important to the characters involved.
Read on and enjoy (spoilers ahead)!
Phillip & Elizabeth
There’s still tension at home over what seems to be Paige’s inevitable future with the KGB. Elizabeth notices how Paige is starting to show signs of intelligence – real intelligence. She suddenly inquires into Phillip’s “late nights” at work, concerned that her father may be having an affair. Elizabeth knows there’s nothing to it and is called to the hotel to help Phillip with Yousaf. Later we see a flashback of Elizabeth (Nadezhda) with her mother trying to go to a memorial she believed was for her father. Her mother breaks the news to young Nadezhda that her father was killed as a deserter, he had disgraced her family and her country. Elizabeth still feels the shame of it in America as she can’t tell Phillip now that they’ve already broken the rules about talking about their ‘past’ lives. Her tooth also seems to be becoming an issue, although she is smart enough to know that the FBI would be looking for someone with her injuries at dentists and hospitals. Finally at the travel agency, Elizabeth reveals something to Phillip about her motivations for Paige. When her country called on her for her service she went to her mother for guidance who didn’t hesitate to support Nadezhda. This seems to mean that if the KGB asked Paige to serve, Elizabeth would also not hesitate to support her daughter in working their homeland.
Dealing with Yousaf
Yousaf has made a big uh-oh. Little does he know that Phillip jumping in to ‘help’ is going to cause much bigger problems down the road. Elizabeth arrives at the hotel with a suitcase to help dispose of Annalise’s body. The joint snapping is particularly graphic. There’s a nice little moment when Elizabeth is able to take a candid photo of Yousaf for blackmail purposes should they need it to use against him. Yousaf agrees to set up a meeting with ‘people’ in the CIA and share information he has with them in order to get their names for Phillip and Elizabeth.
When the episode starts out we see Nina seemingly miserable in a Lefortovo (or Lefortovskaya) Prison cell. Later a prison guard deposits an additional prisoner, Evie, into the cell with Nina. It’s hard to say whether she is annoyed with her cell mate, trying to block out her depressive state in order to stay level headed herself, or if she believes Evie is a spy sent to break her and get incriminating information against Nina. Her new “friend” makes a comment about how she doesn’t plan on being in prison for very long because she is innocent. Nina’s wise response is that it is not a prison for the innocent, acknowledging that she has in fact committed crimes. Last but not least, she is visited by the Minister of Railways who has been asked by Oleg to use his influence in releasing Nina.
Poor guy seems to be having a hard time with every aspect of his life other than in the office. He opens a large crate with the ‘institute’ worker inside having successfully been smuggled out of Soviet Russia, complete with a breathing apparatus. Stan gets on a first name basis with Zinaida, the worker, who explains what the ‘institute’ does as reporting to Soviet authorities the geopolitical significance of on goings in North America. Leaving a bar, Beeman has a scary run in with Oleg who threatens him with a pistol. Stan seems to be fed up with everything in general and tells Oleg to shoot him in the back. Surviving the nonviolent altercation, he goes to call his family who now lives at another house. He leaves a desperate message to say good night to his son and dissatisfied with this attempt to reach out, shows up at Arthur’s home to speak with Sandra. She is relieved he’s okay, but still has no interest in reviving their relationship. Stan is clearly lonely and has no one he can relate to.