The Americans Season 5 Episode 12 Review: The World Council of Churches

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Raise your hand if you're going to miss Pastor Tim!

With the way time has been passing, it's my hope that the two months promised on The Americans Season 5 Episode 12 will pass quickly and the good pastor will soon be a distant memory.

It's not that I disliked the guy, I'm just done with wishy-washy Paige being so hit or miss around him. Granted, she's hit or miss with everything these days, but taking away one less obstacle for her to complain about will be groovy.

Wide-Eyed Paige Vert - The Americans Season 5 Episode 12

I'm not entirely sure what's going on with Paige, as I was never that devoid of emotion as a teen.

I tend to read into characters based upon my personal history (which is illustrious and varied), and it's rare to come upon someone who emotes as little as Paige. She was all over the map after learning about Pastor Tim taking a job with the World Council of Churches.

Paige: How, exactly, did you get him this job?
Philip: The Soviet Union has worked hard for peace. It has a lot of friends in a lot of organizations all over the world.
Paige: Religious organizations?
Elizabeth: Well, some of them fight for justice, which is good enough for us. [Paige takes off her cross necklace and dumps it in the trask]

Throwing her cross into the trash was confounding. I can understand why she might have felt betrayed by Pastor Tim because he was a somewhat duplicitous human being, but he was such only in his personal life, exactly the same as Paige and her family.

The root of his Christianity wasn't affected by what he wrote in his diary any more than the juxtaposed comments Philip and Elizabeth might have made about Tim outside his office differed from the advice they sought from him behind closed doors.

Does my ass look fat in these jeans? Of course, it does, but don't tell me. Some things are better left unsaid. A pastor telling a teenage girl her parents aren't raising her in a fitting environment is best left in the diary.

That doesn't mean all of Christianity is full of such hypocrisy or that the foundation of the religion is unsound. 

Nice Sweater - The Americans Season 5 Episode 12

Unless Paige is uncertain of Christianity because of what she's been reading about Marx and learning about her family. That's a possibility because of her interest in her family's origins and her continued training, even without Elizabeth.

The shame of it, though, is that she isn't getting the full story regardless, so she's going to remain confused. And if she had any idea her parents were considering moving the family back "home," she'd probably feel even more violated.

They've built up a certain trust with Paige, and the longer they snuggle into the decision-making process and leave her out, the more difficult it will be to pull her in with any degree of legitimacy.

And I completely disagree that she'll fit in or like being in her motherland.

Half the Family - The Americans Season 5 Episode 12

For all that Paige appears to do outside the house, she has no friends. Pastor Tim doesn't count. She already tossed Matthew aside, with valid reasoning. She struggles socially, to say the least. Thrust into a foreign environment would be a nightmare for her.

But I loved how they brought in how well Mischa was doing and how he found family. Philip wondered if his "current" kids would run around Moscow as Jennings when his older son is finally finding a place to thrive. 

That was a beautiful scene, Mischa with his cousin and uncle, talking about his father, discovering he might be like him, calling Philip a hero. It's hard not to want that boy and our man, Philip, to reunite before the end of the series.

If they return to the Soviet Union, that's a possibility.

But then there's Tuan. What the hell is that kid doing? If he's the guy they're going to pass the torch to when they leave, I don't think they're going to feel comfortable with it.

I assume they will find a KGB agent to step in, but Tuan knows more about the grain operation than anyone, and he'd probably be expected to remain on that operation. The thought of helping a teenager to commit suicide almost made Philip's head blow off of his shoulders.

Philip and Elizabeth - The Americans Season 5 Episode 12

That should come to a different kind of head during The Americans Season 5 finale.

It's an interesting place to find the whole thing. We haven't checked in with Kansas in a while, so the mission itself must not have anything to do with the overall picture. Instead, it's about how Philip and Elizabeth conduct themselves throughout and what decisions they're making to as a result.

The long distance, the forced relationships, it's all brought them closer as a family and made them question their very connection to their work. Was it intentional on the part of the KGB to prove a point? 

Who knows, but I have a feeling we're going to find out.

Looking at Mom - The Americans Season 5 Episode 12

I hope you had time to read my interview with Costa Ronin and Chris Long about filming in Russia and Oleg's journey because it played out very nicely during the hour.

We were finally treated to some scenes where Oleg scored a win working within the corrupt system in the USSR. He's been standing his ground and sharing his thoughts about the people they have been investigating, and by doing so, he made a difference. 

Anatoli Victorovich, I'm sorry, but I questioned Ekaterina Rykova. And I'm telling you, she's just stuck in something. She's not someone who made things happen. She's actually trying to help put food on people's tables.


Oleg knows if you're at the very bottom and at the very top, the pressures to conform to the nightmare of a system they have are enormous. 

The only way to get good food to pass along to your customers is to play ball with the bad guys. Nobody WANTS to do that, but if they don't, their options to do their job effectively are slim. That's why Oleg and his department are there. To try to clean things up. Hopefully, from the top down.

Moscow at Night - The Americans

Yet, even with his first major victory, Oleg feels the pain of loss when his department is given the go-ahead to arrest the ring-leader, and it's yanked away when word from a General trumps it all.

A real conversation with his father, though, gives us more insight into why Oleg is pushing and content to be pushing. He doesn't like what higher-ups get away with and is proud his dad is one of the good guys.

I raised you and your brother to be good, honest citizens. But these people, the ones who control these things, they don't want change. They'll fight back. And they'll win.


But even his dad his tolerance levels. He spent years watching his colleagues get away with whatever they wanted while he played within the rules. Apparently, there is a time to play outside of them, when even a righteous man can test the waters.

Igor: I couldn't help your mother. I had no power. No one did. Now I can crush people if I have to. And I'll crush them for you. To keep you safe. Not just because you're my son, but because you're good.
Oleg: I'm not bringing you down with me, it's too dangerous.

For the first time, I get the feeling that even with an anvil hanging over Oleg's head, the possibility of everything that happened in America with Stan, Nina and Tatiana, he isn't so alone now that he's home.

He might not know for sure whether or not Stan ("We're not friends") Beeman initiated the play against him, but in his soul he knows. They're kindred spirits, men of honor. He wouldn't do it to Stan, and Stan didn't do it to him.

Just like Oleg's father is going to stand by him no matter what, Oleg and Stan are similarly connected because of what they experienced. They're both fiercely loyal to the countries they love, but not the people handing out their orders. 

OK, guys, over to you! What do you think is going to happen with Pasha? Did he slit his wrists? Who knew Tuan had such power??

Do you think seeing so much of Mother Russia is the final buildup for the Jennings to move back home? Will Paige take it well? Henry won't, now that he's set on St. Edwards. 

Are you pleased Oleg finally seems to found his footing at home? What's next for him? 

Hit the comments and if you watch The Americans online, come on back after you're finished and join the conversation!

The World Council of Churches Review

Editor Rating: 4.75 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 1.9 / 5.0 (17 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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The Americans Season 5 Episode 12 Quotes

Stan Beeman was not my friend.


Paige: How, exactly, did you get him this job?
Philip: The Soviet Union has worked hard for peace. It has a lot of friends in a lot of organizations all over the world.
Paige: Religious organizations?
Elizabeth: Well, some of them fight for justice, which is good enough for us. [Paige takes off her cross necklace and dumps it in the trask]