The Americans "The Oath": broken promises

Quick Take: The Americans "The Oath" 
Doing what is right versus what is promised.

the americans - the oath

Review: The Americans "The Oath" 
(S0112) I must say I was hoping for a little more action in this week’s episode of The Americans being that it was the one prior to next week’s season finale, but where they lacked in action they made up for with a few bombshells. 

The biggest shock of the episode came from Nina. Early on in the episode she takes an oath from her superior saying that will be protect Russia and be loyal to the Soviet Party. It must have difficult for her to take that oath knowing that she’s actually betraying her motherland by being in bed – pun intended – with Agent Beeman. As usual they meet up at their safe house and during their rendezvous she questions him again on Vladimir’s untimely death and is bold enough to ask him if he was responsible for it. He hesitates for a moment before saying exactly what any women would want to hear, that he would never do anything to hurt her. I am by no means implying that this is poor writing or anything; I think it’s exactly what a person like Beeman would say in a situation like that. One thing the writers are doing superbly well though is having Beeman underestimate Nina and what she is willing to do to get what she wants. No matter what, her allegiance is always going to be to Russia regardless of what Beeman sells her, it’s where she is from and her family is still there. 

I am not sure if taking the oath or knowing that Beeman flat out lied to her face is what sets her off, but, at the end of the episode Nina walks into her superior’s office and confesses to him that she is the mole. That she is the one who has been working with the FBI and goes even further to say that the agent she is working with is her lover. He’s taken aback as to why she would be confessing and in no uncertain terms she tells him that she wants to be a KGB officer - definitely didn’t see that coming. That is going to make the relationship between her and Beeman priceless as I am sure she will continue to see him all the while betraying him by feeding him false information. I’ve always said he should have known better than to get involved with her knowing how she got to the position she is now at. She had no qualms using sex to get what she needed at work so why should it be any different when it comes to him. 

Something else I didn’t see coming was the marriage between Clark (Philip) and Martha. I guess having multiple identities definitely comes in handy when you need to betray someone by taking a relationship to the next level.  He only proposes to her so that he can convince her to plant a bug in her superior’s office – Agent Gaad. Of course she obliges and a few days later they are getting married and Elizabeth and Grannie are in disguise posing as Clark’s family members. I honestly found that quite hilarious. Especially with Elizabeth who is actually moved by the marriage vows – the second oath of the episode. She reminisces with Philip and wonders if their relationship would have been different if they had truly gotten married and exchanged vows. I guess she feels that if they had promised something to one another it would have been harder for their marriage to veer off path. I honestly don’t think that would have mattered. It’s not like their work would allow them to truly honor their marriage vows. In a way I feel sorry for Elizabeth because it’s so obvious that she wants to be truly married to Philip but she has no idea how to be his partner in work and life. She sees everything as black and white with no gray area in between and that has left her longing for someone that she could so easily have.

While one bug was being planted another one was discovered as the Weinberger’s housekeeper began to have second thoughts about assisting the KGB with planting it. From what we are supposed to gather a church sermon forces her to confess. Are we to assume that this is the first time she’s been to church since she assisted Elizabeth and Philip or was this the sermon that made her feel like she  had to redeem herself? You would think that this could very well be the near end for Elizabeth and Philip as Patterson – the man Elizabeth attempted to kill last week – and the housekeeper have both assisted in sketches of them. Fortunately for Elizabeth and Philip they are good at wearing disguises and neither sets of drawings offer any solid leads as to they are. All the FBI can conclude is that it’s a Caucasian male and female who are working together. During a meeting they are at odds as to whether the couple who threatened the housekeeper and Patterson are one in the same. The FBI decides to leave the bug where it is but it’s only a matter of time before Elizabeth and Philip know that the FBI are setting them up since - thanks to Martha - there is now a bug in Agent Gaad’s office. 

I am hoping that the lulls and game-changers from this week’s episode will mean an explosive season finale next week; the previews definitely alluded to it. 

By Frances Seda

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