The Americans Season 6 Episode 4 Review: Mr. and Mrs. Teacup

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Philip may not be in the spy business any longer, but now that he knows his wife may be trying to interfere with changing Russia's efforts to change, I don't think he'll be able to step away from seizing the day.

All of the moments between Philip and Elizabeth on The Americans Season 6 Episode 4 featured a couple who, if there were in 2018, would probably have given up already. 

It's difficult to peg exactly what has kept them together up to this point of their marriage, but I'm heaping a lot of praise for that at Philip's feet -- and line dancing.

The Angry Nurse - The Americans Season 6 Episode 4

It's almost unfathomable to me that Oleg and Philip never worked together when they have so much in common. 

Their conversation was more of what I would have loved to see between the two men: talking about the Soviet Union and what the people there want now. They want freedom. It's music to Philip's ears to learn the country he managed to love through such harsh conditions is filled with people who still want more for their homeland.

Oleg: One thing I did learn here: they are not crazy. We can make peace with them. Now may be the best chance we can ever get. That's why I am here.

Oleg delivered to Philip a message of peace from the people of his homeland on behalf of the Americans.

If Oleg could spend years working here, return home and still believe the Americans are not crazy and capable of working with their homeland, Philip has to feel less alone than he did spending so many years with the likes of Gabriel, Claudia, and Elizabeth.

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That didn't stop Philip from putting in a good word for Elizabeth, though. If The Center is on its own and running a rogue, then the reality is the rest of the government could be starting an opposing organization.

We know Arkady and Igor Burov are exchanging information and that Oleg trusts whatever Arkady is doing implicitly. As he was once heading up things on behalf of the Soviets in DC, he knows the players and sent Oleg specifically to check on Elizabeth.

Never Left the Businss - The Americans Season 6 Episode 4

Philip has to know if Elizabeth is determined to be a liability for what all of Russia wants to do to move forward -- for what Philip wants to do -- she will be silenced. 

His attempt to open up and share with Elizabeth what's going on in his life and to become a part of hers during "Mr. and Mrs. Teacup" doesn't seem like a coincidence. 

Not only did Philip finally put his foot down about Paige's home visits, but he also shared with Elizabeth how poorly his attempt to grow the travel business turned out in reality. 

Philip would like to remain in Paige's life in a way outside of spying, and right now the only time she comes to the house is to discuss operations with Elizabeth. Once upon a time, Paige and Philip used to share conversations about many things. As she's grown, those days are over. 

Related: The Americans Season 6 Episode 3 Review: Urban Transport Planning

Her only interest is in spying, and it's hard not to think it's a way to look good in her mom's eyes. The last thing Paige needs to be doing to look good, though, is going against her mother's wishes. I still can't help but think she's going to come to a terrible end, especially since she's decided to pursue her new beau as an asset.

It was only on The Americans Season 6 Episode 2 that Paige was asking Elizabeth about using sex to get closer to assets. She seemed naive to the idea at the time, but maybe she wanted to do it so badly she was pushing for more information. 

Every time Paige is on a mission, I feel her life coming to an end. She doesn't look as comfortable doing it as she does out drinking and partying like a college girl her age should be doing. 

Elizabeth on a Mission - The Americans Season 6 Episode 4

When Elizabeth began shooting people while they were trying to get the gizmo she couldn't get from the General, Paige looked terrified. It was so dark that with the bullets flying, I expected Paige to go down. She doesn't have great instincts, which was made clear when she spotted her guy's college badge. No, Paige. No!

But Paige is Elizabeth's territory, just as Elizabeth said to Philip after he shared with her that their finances might not allow happy Henry to return to St. Edwards. "He's your department," she said, with no care whatsoever for how her son might feel being torn away from something he loves and at which he excels.

Henry shows no aptitude for spying, so Elizabeth isn't interested. Philip is no longer a spy, so Elizabeth isn't interested.

He loves me, he loves you, but somewhere ... something got lost. This work can get to be too much for people. Even the best ones. I'm so proud of you, Paige. Really proud.


Nothing is lost in Philip; he just has much more to offer to every situation than Elizabeth is willing to understand. For that, she rolls over and in bed and turns her back on him. 

Related: Trust Season 1 Episode 4 Review: That's All Folks!

With a world of American troubles upon him, Philip has drinks with his close friend, Stan. He goes line dancing, getting the biggest, most sincere smile on his face that he's probably ever had in the entire duration of The Americans.

Kimmie the College Junior - The Americans Season 6 Episode 4

The KGB is onto Oleg now, so we'll see no more conversations between him and Philip, but it would have been fun to see Philip introduce Oleg to line dancing. Who knows how far they would have had to drive to find a country bar where they wouldn't be spotted together? Still, fun. Something about which Elizabeth knows nothing.

How closely will Philip's life with Stan brush through Elizabeth's as Stan continues to be under surveillance for his work with Mr. Teacup aka Gennady, the ex Russian courier? They're trying to find the couple to take them out of the picture before they say too much.

While Claudia wasn't certain Mr. Teacup was the same courier who had gone missing, she did mention Stan's wife who gave up the information during a conversation with Elizabeth. Does that mean Renee isn't with the Soviets? I'm still unsure.

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Elizabeth had to ensure "Julie" wasn't used on the surveillance team to track Stan because AWKWARD. She's not ready to handle stalking the neighbors any more than she's prepared to have sex to infiltrate the State Department. 

If all of the other things Elizabeth says and does aren't enough to make me wonder about her possibility for redemption (because yes, I think redemption is her only chance at remaining with Philip at this point), her treatment of Erica continues to be despicable.

In a way, the Nurse in Elizabeth treats Erica like Villanelle treats her victims on Killing Eve. Suggesting Erica get out of the house when she's so close to death and struggling with pain just holding a charcoal in her hand to sketch was diabolical.

Erica Would Give it All Up - The Americans Season 6 Episode 4

All of that to get close to the Russian when Elizabeth could have promised she'd be at the house watching the World Series with Erica giving Glenn peace of mind to go on his own, still giving her the opportunity to sew the wire in his coat. She would have gotten more information from the outing, too.

Through her slow death, Erica is attempting to teach Elizabeth things that appear to be flying over Elizabeth's head. She'll only learn about them when either she or Philip dies or they part for good. Erica is still coaching Elizabeth about the light and dark through her lessons on sketching, for one.

Related: The Americans: Costa Ronin and Chris Long Discuss Filming in Russia and Oleg's Journey

But the other was far more profound. For an artist of Erica's stature to reveal she would give up her body of work to spend that time with her husband instead of creating it, even without clear plans on what they would have done, is a statement that shouldn't be forgotten.

Did Elizabeth even hear it? Judging from her actions afterward, I'd have to say no. And every moment like that leads me to what I think will be a tragic ending for this family who went in such different directions as the series plunged forward. 

What do you have to say about some of the more heart-wrenching scenes from this one? Do you think there is a chance for this family to reunite and remain loving before it's all over? If you need more ammunition for your argument, watch The Americans online and then come back to comment.

Mr. and Mrs. Teacup Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 2.5 / 5.0 (13 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic 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 6 Episode 4 Quotes

Oleg: One thing I did learn here: they are not crazy. We can make peace with them. Now may be the best chance we can ever get. That's why I am here.

He loves me, he loves you, but somewhere ... something got lost. This work can get to be too much for people. Even the best ones. I'm so proud of you, Paige. Really proud.