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#121

lazarus73

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Posted Mar 10, 2013 @ 7:18 AM

Elizabeth said in the pilot that she was two years old when her father was killed at Stalingrad. The battle of Stalingrad went from late 1942 to early 1943, which places the date of Elizabeth's birth as 1940-41, which means she is now 40-41 years old.

#122

GenevieveRedux

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Posted Mar 10, 2013 @ 7:26 AM

Elizabeth said in the pilot that she was two years old when her father was killed at Stalingrad. The battle of Stalingrad went from late 1942 to early 1943, which places the date of Elizabeth's birth as 1940-41, which means she is now 40-41 years old.


A-ha! So, she's still playing Philip then! Just kidding. That does make sense.

I estimated her age based on other info provided within the show's universe. Posted that stuff elsewhere so I won't repeat myself here.

#123

ScienceGirl12

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Posted Mar 10, 2013 @ 9:29 AM

Ah, thanks BW Manilowe for the clarification re: Philip's age reveal.

#124

Natalie44

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Posted Mar 10, 2013 @ 5:00 PM

In real life they wouldn't have kids, as none of the people in the real life deep cover Russian spy ring busted in 2010 had kids.


Actually, I think over half of them did. Some were teenagers, but I remember at least one couple had small children.

#125

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Posted Mar 11, 2013 @ 6:32 AM

deleted

Edited by lazarus73, Mar 11, 2013 @ 6:49 AM.


#126

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Posted Mar 11, 2013 @ 7:53 PM

I noticed in the preview of next week's show there was gun play. This show has shown guns way too often, probably to add a level of excitement. I think deep cover operatives would never have a gun in everyday work. Wet work would be done by... I'm not sure who would do that, illegal agents or diplomatic agents.

#127

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Posted Mar 11, 2013 @ 9:43 PM

So I think Nina is still toast. Surely the KGB will dust the hidden camera for prints and will find hers and not Vasiliy's

#128

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Posted Mar 13, 2013 @ 8:01 PM

I knew from the first second it was the KGB testing them - why were Phillip and Elizabeth so surprised? Elizabeth really whaled on Granny, didn't she?!

Matthew Rhys is really impressing me with his acting on this show!

Paige, you fool! Glad Henry hit that creepy weirdo over the head. But did anyone else notice that Paige kept holding onto her beer even while they were running away?

I'm glad Nina is ok. But I actually felt really bad for old Vasili!

#129

dynamic17

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Posted Mar 15, 2013 @ 1:49 PM

This was the best and most riveting episode to date.

As for Elizabeth's age, she also mentions that she joined the KGB when she was 17 and the scenes of her early training are set in 1960. She also says that she came to America when she was 22 and they show her and Philip in a hotel in 1965. These facts put her age closer to 37/8. It could be that her father died in Stalingrad but not from the battle. It's also possible that Elizabeth lied to Philip telling that story.

#130

lazarus73

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Posted Mar 15, 2013 @ 6:04 PM

If you say "My father was killed at Stalingrad", you don't mean "while working on debris removal in 1945" or something like that.

#131

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Posted Mar 17, 2013 @ 5:38 PM

With regard to the hitchhiking...I was in Michigan in the very late 1970s. The Oakland County Child Killer was reported on constantly and parents were scared. In Michigan by 1981 no teen would still hitchhike, but I do not know about Falls Church, VA.

Beating the crap out of your agents seems like a good way to strain their loyalty.

#132

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Posted Mar 18, 2013 @ 7:06 AM

As for Elizabeth's age, she also mentions that she joined the KGB when she was 17 and the scenes of her early training are set in 1960. She also says that she came to America when she was 22 and they show her and Philip in a hotel in 1965. These facts put her age closer to 37/8. It could be that her father died in Stalingrad but not from the battle. It's also possible that Elizabeth lied to Philip telling that story.


My guess is the show is giving us a few details to help set the scene and build character background, but that the writers are also taking a little dramatic license and not worrying about those details lining up exactly. The same thing has happened with some of the dating in episodes, where clues are left by a baseball game playing, or a speech by Reagan, but even though those dates would be 8 months apart, in the show's timeline, the characters and other events seem to place the episodes as only a few weeks apart.

#133

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Posted Mar 18, 2013 @ 7:52 PM

I liked the "mole" test at the time, but after thinking back about the episode I'm not so convinced. In fact I think an actual mole would be the last person to give in and start talking. Think about it--you're a Soviet agent who is a mole for the Americans and you know what a dangerous situation you're in. You're suddenly picked up by what are apparently the Americans, and they put you through torture that is painful and seriously unpleasant but unlikely to have any lasting effects. (There was no threat of maiming and no threat to blow his brains out.)

What are the possibilities? You know it's not the American agency you're working for as a mole because they have no reason to waste their time and alienate you by beating you up. So you can eliminate that possibility. What are the other options? It could be another American counter-intelligence agency, that's true. But it could also be Soviets conducting a loyalty test.

So then, what's the best course of action? If you stay silent and it's another American agency, you'll eventually be rescued by your own American handlers. To make absolutely sure it's the Americans whose hands you're in, you could let it go all the way to court or prison, and only then give the contact information for your handlers. In any case, you wait until you're taken into some kind of official building before you say, "Hey, wait, I'm already working for you guys!" The cost of waiting would be a lot of pain in the meantime--but that would be it. For someone who's already a mole there's no danger of missing out on a good deal because you took too long to 'fess up.

Bottom line--good loyalty test, rotten mole test.

#134

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Posted Mar 27, 2013 @ 11:22 AM

A great episode. I started cheering when Elizabeth put the hurt on Granny Agent -- Keri Russell really sold that scene, just looked feral and dangerous. Elizabeth obviously felt betrayed, not just by the fact that they had suspected them (or, really, not them, but Phillip), but also by the fact that she hadn't been clued into what was going on and that they literally laughed when she tried to name-drop General Zhukov. In addition, the room they locked her in had lots of photos of her kids. That was a message to her, I think -- "we're watching you all the time." It demonstrated how little they really trusted her even before they thought that her partner might be a mole.

Edited by Taxman, Mar 27, 2013 @ 11:23 AM.


#135

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Posted Mar 27, 2013 @ 5:05 PM

In addition, the room they locked her in had lots of photos of her kids. That was a message to her, I think -- "we're watching you all the time." It demonstrated how little they really trusted her even before they thought that her partner might be a mole.


I think it's interesting and a little surprising that we haven't seen more backlash from Elizabeth on this note. She may be conflicted on how she feels about Philip, and she may choose the Motherland over him in a minute, but she's been pretty unwavering on how she feels about Henry and Paige. To know her children are constantly being stalked might've drawn more of a reaction against the KGB, I'd think.

#136

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Posted Mar 30, 2013 @ 10:57 PM

I'm curious as to whether the Rezident figured it out. I couldn't tell if that lingering look over his shoulder as he was being led away was a dawning realization of who did this to him, or if he just wanted one last look at his mistress before he was taken away. I was mentally urging her to at least look surprised, upset or something and not to saunter up the steps like a femme fatale from a film noir movie. She didn't seem too worried about getting caught or accused.

My thoughts exactly. I think her coldness told him everything he needed to know, and that's not good for her, if he's able to convince Moscow.

On the other hand, maybe she figured that he already has complete certainty about her role, so putting on a show of upset would be pointless and only draw others' attention to her unnecessarily.

I kind of thought [Phillip did know his captors were KGB], because I knew quickly and I'm slow.

I'm with you. I think Phillip totally knew. And my reason is the same is yours: i.e., I knew (and no, not just because it was Episode 6), and Phillip is a lot smarter than me!

If Phillip knew, and I'm convinced he did, he would behave exactly as he did behave. He would be saying to himself, "They're testing me not only to see if I'm the mole, but to see if I'll break under torture by 'the CIA' about my role as a Soviet agent. If I do break, they will then know that even if I'm not the mole, I'm not trustworthy, and I'm finished. So whatever I do, I have to keep pretending that I think they're CIA, and I have to keep showing them that I won't give up anything." He would especially be saying this to himself if he had, way in the back of his mind, the notion that Elizabeth may have betrayed him. And I think he may have.

(By the way, I realize that episodes after this one have aired, but I have not seen them yet. I don't know what forum rules say concerning spoilers in this situation, but I hope the rules say "specific episode threads should not reveal what happens in later episodes" because I don't wanna get spoiled.)

Edited by Milburn Stone, Mar 31, 2013 @ 7:25 AM.


#137

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Posted Mar 31, 2013 @ 8:13 AM

My thoughts exactly. I think her coldness told him everything he needed to know, and that's not good for her, if he's able to convince Moscow.

On the other hand, maybe she figured that he already has complete certainty about her role, so putting on a show of upset would be pointless and only draw others' attention to her unnecessarily.


Yes, and I would be shocked if the Rezident had risen to that position by being a total flake, i.e. he should be able to put two and two together and figure out Nina was the one who betrayed him. He would probably start offering that possibility up the moment they forced him onto the plane, not even waiting for the formal interrogations to start... and you'd assume they're coming. Even if the KGB thinks he's lying to save his own butt, they would have to put a tail on Nina or at least keep a closer eye on her just to be sure. They can't take the risk that they found the wrong mole.

I'm with you. I think Phillip totally knew. And my reason is the same is yours: i.e., I knew (and no, not just because it was Episode 6), and Phillip is a lot smarter than me!

If Phillip knew, and I'm convinced he did, he would behave exactly as he did behave. He would be saying to himself, "They're testing me not only to see if I'm the mole, but to see if I'll break under torture by 'the CIA' about my role as a Soviet agent. If I do break, they will then know that even if I'm not the mole, I'm not trustworthy, and I'm finished. So whatever I do, I have to keep pretending that I think they're CIA, and I have to keep showing them that I won't give up anything." He would especially be saying this to himself if he had, way in the back of his mind, the notion that Elizabeth may have betrayed him. And I think he may have.


I'm still up in the air on that one for several reasons.

One, we as viewers have the advantage of knowing it is the 6th episode of the 1st season. We can say that doesn't influence us, but the truth is, it's impossible to "unknow" that and not have our opinions influenced to some degree. We understand, after watching various shows and their story arcs, that the likelihood Philip and Elizabeth are really captured is extremely low. The show would be over, or close to it. Or, it would completely change most elements of the show, which the writers haven't come close to milking for all their worth. Philip and Elizabeth don't have that advantage. They've been spying here illegally for 15 years, knowing they're at risk every day (as Elizabeth says when she tells Philip she falls asleep worrying every night.) Their missions have been getting riskier lately. It makes perfect sense in their minds that they could've been captured. If we had been shown the same scenario, but in the season finale of the second or third season, I think more of us might've fallen for it (I, like you, immediately assumed it was the KGB, as I think many did.)

Two, if you watch the way Elizabeth and Philip react in the moment Grannie appears, they are absolutely shocked. Furious, breathing hard. And even if that was an act in front of the KGB, as soon as they are alone together, they continue to react the same way. I can explain the first part, but not the second.

Philip is smart and he's been at this a long time. He knows when to make a play and when to wait for circumstances to shift in his favor. Think of that scene with Gregory in the third episode where Gregory was practically delivering a monologue about all the sexytimes he and Elizabeth had. How many husbands would've wanted to punch him in the face? Phil pretended to ignore him, didn't say a word. There was no advantage to saying anything to Gregory, so he didn't give him any more ammunition, just kept it close to his chest. He knows when to keep his mouth shut.

When he was willing to defect with Timoshev, they were coming at it from a position of power. They had something to offer--Timoshev and their own information as spies. That was something to bargain with. When they were captured, their captors were showing no signs they were willing to make a deal. They went straight to the torturing and both of them were physically overpowered. There's no advantage to be had in breaking under those circumstances. They weren't offering to work with him or make a deal. If he tells where the drop sites are, it doesn't buy him immunity or protection for Paige and Henry. Philip would, IMHO, willingly defect if those conditions were met (and if he could convince Elizabeth to come with them, but that's a different story), but he's not going to break and betray the KGB unless it's clearly to his family's advantage to do so. That wasn't the case here.

Edited by Hal25, Mar 31, 2013 @ 8:19 AM.


#138

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Posted Jul 7, 2013 @ 9:04 AM

It's somewhat unfortunate that (for meta reasons) we know our Villain Protagonists can't be unmasked yet (too early even to "flip" one or both to the FBI/CIA side). I was wondering why they beat up Philip but resorted to psychological torture for Elizabeth (it seems doubtful the KGB would be so "considerate") and was wondering if it was a TV double standard perhaps - showing a woman getting beaten is unacceptable, but showing her getting raped is fine, which is rather disturbing of true. Also, interesting that Philip was the one they worked over harder but it was Elizabeth who went psycho on "Granny" (though as the one depicted as more of a "True Believer" so I suppose the betrayal cuts deeper).

 

 

Baby Fish Mouth This was a woman who would barely touch him for most of the pilot, and he's surprised that she reported on him?

 

 

Except they have two kids together, so it's clear they're not just co-workers. I don't suppose the KGB ordered them to have kids and told Elizabeth to "Lie back and think of the Motherland", though I suppose it's possible.

 

 

Molshoop - I agree with others that there would be repercussions for beating up your handler.

 

 

I doubt their superiors at home will have a problem with it. It’s pretty natural to be angry when your loyalty is questioned and you’re put through the wringer to prove it. Of course, Granny is still their boss and while it might be natural to be pissed, they still beat her up and she might not be so forgiving.

 

Really liked the kid drama too. It struck me as completely believable that they would accept a lift  (I was a kid at the time and I was taught "Stranger Danger"). The trouble was that the message that went out (subconsciously perhaps) was "There are MONSTERS out there who will do (unspecified) HORRIBLE things to you!" which kids (myself included) absorbed as "Don't get into a car with a monster." Of course, that assumes that children could recognise a monster (they were the one in the dirty raincoat and the moustache, obviously!) and definitely overlooked the fact that most abuse was inflicted by carers (parents, teachers or priests). And of course we don't know that the guy had any sinister intent, though his comments from "Hey, somebody paid for that beer!" and onward certainly suggested he did. And I did like the way that Paige took care of Henry's "Accident" because he certainly took care of her with the beer bottle - maybe, despite their mother's fears, they're not so soft after all (though they seem good little capitalists, so I think she'll be disappointed on that score).

 

 

SlovakPrincess But did anyone else notice that Paige kept holding onto her beer even while they were running away?

 

 

 

I loved that detail. How many times have you wondered out of something and realised you're still clutching your entrance ticket (or whatever)?

 

 

As for the drama within the Embassy - I worry for Nina. Now that the Rezident is due a stay at the KGB's holiday home in Siberia ("So good you'll never leave!") they're sure to look at her sudden desire for him very suspiciously. I don't have much sympathy for him, as he really should have been suspicious himself. While I'm a firm believer in the axiom "Never ascribe to malice what you can explain by simple stupidity", he ought to be experienced enough to automatically suspect sudden changes of behaviour.

 

 

Madam Magpie To me, both governments are being portrayed as pretty crappy, which I like.

 

 

I do, too. Prior to this, the FBI were shown as almost as bad as the KGB (Elizabeth's rape probably tips the scales against them), but it's good to be reminded that spying is a dirty business on both sides.



#139

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Posted Jul 7, 2013 @ 9:59 AM

 

Except they have two kids together, so it's clear they're not just co-workers. I don't suppose the KGB ordered them to have kids and told Elizabeth to "Lie back and think of the Motherland", though I suppose it's possible.
 

 

 

The KGB absolutely ordered them to have kids. A good part of their job is not so much lie back and think of the motherland as enthusiastically have sex for the motherland.


Edited by Sister Magpie, Jul 7, 2013 @ 9:59 AM.


#140

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Posted Jul 7, 2013 @ 10:14 AM

I was wondering why they beat up Philip but resorted to psychological torture for Elizabeth (it seems doubtful the KGB would be so "considerate") and was wondering if it was a TV double standard perhaps - showing a woman getting beaten is unacceptable, but showing her getting raped is fine, which is rather disturbing of true.

 

It makes sense because of the reports that they would suspect Philip more than Elizabeth, but looking back on it later, it almost could seem as if they purposefully made the degree of torture so vastly different in order to make it obvious enough that Philip could figure out Elizabeth must've been reporting on him in order to get them to turn on each other. But then I don't see at what point, other than this episode where they see how obviously united they are, they would've otherwise figured out that could be becoming an issue. Like some have stated maybe the house is bugged, but then if that's true, they KGB wouldn't just have suspicions, they would have flat out evidence. Philip suggested defecting how many times in the pilot while in the house? Elizabeth broke the rules and told him about her background. She broke the rules and said she'd lie about the Haig tape.

 

Or, maybe they just tortured her lighter (really, almost not at all) because they really thought he was the rat. But then, if that's the case, I don't see what's the point of going so light on her. This is a card they can't play that many times. Might as well be thorough about it and really see if she's a threat while they're both there.

 

I don't suppose the KGB ordered them to have kids and told Elizabeth to "Lie back and think of the Motherland", though I suppose it's possible.

 

They were ordered to have kids as part of their cover. And I'm sure Elizabeth did, during that stage of her life, lie back and think of the Motherland during the process.



#141

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Posted Jul 7, 2013 @ 1:59 PM

 

Hal25 Or, maybe they just tortured her lighter (really, almost not at all) because they really thought he was the rat. But then, if that's the case, I don't see what's the point of going so light on her. This is a card they can't play that many times.

 

 

I wouldn't say they went soft on her exactly - psychological torture can be as soul destroying as pulling fingernails (its part of the CIA - and presumably KGB - interrogation playbook, to imply that "We know everything" as a form of psychological domination of the "victim"), I was just wondering why the same team would take two completely different approaches with Elizabeth & Philip. Hitting them with losing their children would generally be seen as more a threat to a mother than a father (and from what we've seen, would hurt Elizabeth more than Philip) only the KGB has been shown as perfectly prepared to resort to physical violence against women as much as men. Obviously the KGB has their profiles and maybe knew what would work best on each of them.

 

 

Sister Magpie The KGB absolutely ordered them to have kids.

 

 

Really? I don't recall any such scene. Obviously it's implicit in their cover as a married couple, but plenty of couples don't have children (to say nothing of the fact that they're both expected to use sex if it will achieve their missions).



#142

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Posted Jul 7, 2013 @ 3:29 PM

Really? I don't recall any such scene. Obviously it's implicit in their cover as a married couple, but plenty of couples don't have children (to say nothing of the fact that they're both expected to use sex if it will achieve their missions).

 

In the pilot there's a flashback where Philip mentions that the KGB expects them to have kids.

 

I wouldn't say they went soft on her exactly - psychological torture can be as soul destroying as pulling fingernails (its part of the CIA - and presumably KGB - interrogation playbook, to imply that "We know everything" as a form of psychological domination of the "victim"), I was just wondering why the same team would take two completely different approaches with Elizabeth & Philip. Hitting them with losing their children would generally be seen as more a threat to a mother than a father (and from what we've seen, would hurt Elizabeth more than Philip) only the KGB has been shown as perfectly prepared to resort to physical violence against women as much as men. Obviously the KGB has their profiles and maybe knew what would work best on each of them.

 

Well... I guess I respectfully disagree. They threatened both of them psychologically with the kids. Elizabeth through looking at pictures and Philip through having described what would happen to the kids. So both of them went through that equally. But with Philip they also did the water bucket torture and beat him. I agree psychological torture can be as damaging... but in this case it was just for a few hours and when you compare what was done to the two, they really did focus in on him a lot harder.

 

I think if they really knew Elizabeth and Philip, they would recognize threatening Philip's family is the best way to get to him, and Elizabeth would be much more likely to lean towards the rather die than break option... but I can also see why Philip and Elizabeth would keep any potential weaknesses very close to the chest, and so perhaps they'd just use stereotypical male/female threats.



#143

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Posted Jul 7, 2013 @ 5:09 PM

 

Hitting them with losing their children would generally be seen as more a threat to a mother than a father (and from what we've seen, would hurt Elizabeth more than Philip) only the KGB has been shown as perfectly prepared to resort to physical violence against women as much as men. Obviously the KGB has their profiles and maybe knew what would work best on each of them.

 

 

Why would losing the children be more of a threat to Elizabeth more than Philip? Family's Philip's priority.

 

 

 

Really? I don't recall any such scene. Obviously it's implicit in their cover as a married couple, but plenty of couples don't have children (to say nothing of the fact that they're both expected to use sex if it will achieve their missions).

 

 

 

As Hal25 said, Philip explicitly says they're expected to have children. But we also see Elizabeth considering whether or not to go through with the pregnancy when she's going to have Henry. If Elizabeth didn't have some reason to have children, she wouldn't have them. She's obviously very careful when it comes to birth control and wouldn't just get pregnant as a side effect of sex. The scene where she's deciding whether or not to have an abortion is, imo, Elizabeth just ritually exerting control over the issue again, making it her choice, weighing the options, even though this had to be something they'd decided to do. 


Edited by Sister Magpie, Jul 7, 2013 @ 5:12 PM.


#144

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Posted Jul 7, 2013 @ 6:23 PM

 

Sister Magpie Why would losing the children be more of a threat to Elizabeth more than Philip?

 

 

It's as much an attitude as anything. Philip's response to meeting a (probable) paedophile was to beat him up: Elizabeth worries if her kids are "tough enough", tries to explain how the Soviet space achievements are more impressive. I admit it's an interpretation (and I don't doubt that losing his kids would hurt Philip too) but like the stereotype of American men, he's more of a provider/defender than a nurturer. Although I don't doubt Elizabeth would go all Mama Bear to defend her kids if it came to it.



#145

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Posted Jul 7, 2013 @ 6:53 PM

It's as much an attitude as anything. Philip's response to meeting a (probable) paedophile was to beat him up: Elizabeth worries if her kids are "tough enough", tries to explain how the Soviet space achievements are more impressive. I admit it's an interpretation (and I don't doubt that losing his kids would hurt Philip too) but like the stereotype of American men, he's more of a provider/defender than a nurturer. Although I don't doubt Elizabeth would go all Mama Bear to defend her kids if it came to it.

 

I guess I see it the opposite way. Philip comes across to me as a very natural parent. He not only defends his children, but also nurtures them. He's the one initiating games at the ice cream place. He takes Henry to his school assembly. He's the one suggesting driveway hockey. He takes his daughter out for breakfast and gets her a magazine she likes. He jokes around with them at meals. Every indication we get of Philip suggests that he's a warm father and has a close relationship with his kids. Elizabeth loves her children. But my impression is that because of her background issues, she has difficulty getting close to them at times and because they're growing up so American and she can't share how she really feels and who she really is, it's hard for her to reach out and connect with them in a way that feels genuine to her. She's always having to act the part of Elizabeth Jennings. With Philip, because he connects strongly to America, it's not hard for him to fit right into that role and wear it like his skin. He expresses to Elizabeth in the pilot that, "We are Philip and Elizabeth Jennings and we have been for a very long time." So I think he can connect with them in a way that feels real to him too, and that makes it easier for him as a parent.

 

Out of the two of them, Philip is the one considering defection in order to keep their children safe. Elizabeth won't consider it. There is no doubt in my mind that Elizabeth loves her children deeply--every bit as much as Philip--and would defend them with her life, but loyalty to the KGB is such a strong driving force for her that at times, there's some conflict in play there, whether it's that she realizes the danger they're in and won't act, or that the idea of leaving the KGB is so unthinkable that she lies to herself about how great the danger to the kids is.


Edited by Hal25, Jul 7, 2013 @ 7:31 PM.


#146

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Posted Jul 7, 2013 @ 9:18 PM

 

I admit it's an interpretation (and I don't doubt that losing his kids would hurt Philip too) but like the stereotype of American men, he's more of a provider/defender than a nurturer. Although I don't doubt Elizabeth would go all Mama Bear to defend her kids if it came to it.

 

 

I lean towards Hal25's view of this, definitely. It surprises me to think of Philip described as provider/defender rather than nurturer since it seems like one of the big emotional threads running through the family plot is Elizabeth's conflict in this area. They even discuss it explicitly more than once, especially when Philip has to assure her that though he understands that she looks at him and the kids and thinks it's all easier for him--meaning he's more naturally nurturing--he thinks the kids need her. 

 

Even when Philip is being provider/defender it has to be in secret. Paige would be totally surprised to know that her father beat up the pedophile. The father she knows told her fighting was pointless and she maybe even felt like she had to reassure him she didn't think less of him for it. And that's an unusual situation for them--Philip's rarely in a situation where he's playing tough guy on behalf of the kids. Usually he's play-stalking the kids on the bed doing funny accents, playing games with them, tossing grapes for the kids to catch in their mouth. Paige herself refers to Philip as Henry's "best friend."  Elizabeth's the warrior. The KGB trust that her first loyalty is to them in ways they don't with Philip.