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The Americans: Open House – Season 3 Episode 3

Philip and Elizabeth’s marital strife is still escalating, with no end in sight.

After getting their surveillance photos developed, Philip goes to see Gabriel. They’ve gathered information on the men who are part of the CIA group, but it doesn’t seem like they have a lot of options for getting leverage on most of them. They pick a target, a man named Paaswell, but Gabriel warns Philip to be careful because these men will likely be guarded closely. Along with playing Scrabble, the two men also talk about Philip and Elizabeth’s relationship and how Paige is affecting things. Gabriel tries to soften the blow by saying that Paige does have a choice, but Philip doesn’t seem inclined to believe her. On top of that, he’s upset that Elizabeth talked to Gabriel about Paige without him there. He manages to stop being pissy long enough to go with Elizabeth long enough to plant a bug in Paaswell’s house by posing as a couple at an open house. Elizabeth tries to warm him up during the mission by making jokes as they listen in on Paaswell. It really does seem like neither one of them wants to really address the Paige situation. Fortunately, their job provides plenty of distractions.


While they’re driving around listening in on Paaswell, Elizabeth notices that they’re being tailed. They leave the neighborhood, but they’ve definitely been noticed by the FBI and CIA. The CIA is tailing them, but Stan and Gaad are tracking the operation. Aderholt and Stan get antsy about the potential for this lead to get away and they head out of the office to try to catch the woman before it’s too late. This is one of those situations where my suspension of disbelief gets pushed a little just because it’s amazing how prepared they are to deal with everything. After mapping out their route, Elizabeth drives by a row of cars to allow Philip to tuck and roll out of the car without her slowing down. He makes a call in to the Centre to let them know that an operative is in trouble and where she’s headed. Elizabeth gets to the location where one operative scrambles the law enforcement officer’s radio devices. Then a car accident is caused, which allows Elizabeth to sneak out of her stopped car and duck down an alley into a waiting car that gets her out of there. Such an amazingly coordinated operation that was hatched with just a phone call. The FBI was right to be worried about the suspect getting away. With their lead gone, Stan is left to continue babysitting Zinaida (the KGB defector) as she makes appearances on TV, denouncing Russia’s actions in Afghanistan.


Philip gets home first and has a moment to talk to Paige. He starts to try to explain about he and Elizabeth’s late nights, but Paige tells her that she’s really okay and that they don’t have to worry about her. Philip stays up to wait for Elizabeth. When she gets back, what follows is one of my favorite scenes in this show. There are no words spoken by Philip or Elizabeth. We hear the broadcasting company message as the TV station shuts down for the night. As the station plays the American National Anthem, Philip and Elizabeth embrace; with an American flag flying in the background. Philip tries to kiss Elizabeth, but her tooth is still bothering her. Philip takes her hand and leads her to the garage, where he pulls the tooth out himself. The tooth doesn’t come out easy and it’s an intense moment where we’re watching Philip cause Elizabeth pain but her accepting him doing it. The two lock eyes as it’s happening and it’s just an intense moment. It’s also one of those slightly disgusting moments as you can hear the tooth breaking as it’s being pulled. However, we can tell that the moment brings the two of them closer together even if they don’t say it to each other.

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After everything that happened, Philip goes back to see Gabriel. They start out talking about the mission, where Gabriel is continuing to warning Philip to exercise caution. However, Philip changes to the subject to Paige. Put simply, he doesn’t think she’s equipped to deal with this life. He ends up storming out of Gabriel’s place in a fury. I don’t know if Gabriel’s trying to play Philip or if he actually believes that things will be okay. The fact that he just dismissed the idea that Paige could turn out like Jared is a little bit disconcerting to me. We’re seeing how much Paige is like her mother and that could be good and bad for her, if she ends up having to take on this life. At least Philip and Elizabeth are on better terms after the tooth extraction. That allows them to start to have a calmer conversation about Paige. Once again, their job interrupts their conversation when they hear something over their scanner. There’s a young woman in Paaswell’s house. When they drive by the house to check it out, Phillip notices the license plate of Isaac Breland, the head of the CIA Afghan group. The female voice the heard in Paaswell’s house was his daughter, Kimberly. Seems like they might’ve found their leverage.

Other Notes :

  • Elizabeth has been training a man with a foreign accent to lose tails and notice surveillance. This started in earlier episodes but I don’t think we’ve even heard the guy’s name until this point. His name is Hans, by the way. He’s starts to hit on her, but she shuts him down after Philip pulls her tooth.
  • Martha and Agent Aderholt have an awkward conversation over the mail robot. Maybe, Aderholt will be the thing that gets her out of the marriage with Clark (I can only hope).
  • Martha is still pushing Clark about children and he’s still fighting back about it. This time they discuss adoption.
  • Aderholt and Stan have a brief conversation about Stan’s time working with/against white supremacists. I’m sure this callback to what Stan was doing right before the show started isn’t coincidental.
  • Paige starts picking up Henry’s laundry and finds a cut out picture of Stan’s wife in a bathing suit. Henry’s obviously embarrassed, but she leaves the picture for him.
  • Oleg’s father has pulled some strings and gotten an early return order for his son. Arkady presents the order to Oleg and tells him that he’ll sign it if that’s what Oleg wants. However, he’s willing to give Oleg the decision of whether or not he goes back. Considering that Oleg’s father is very close with Arkady’s boss, that’s a pretty big move on Arkady’s part. He’s sticking his neck out by defying at direct order at Oleg’s request. Oleg takes time to decide but, ultimately, he decides to stay in America. He believes that he can continue to fight for Nina without going back to Moscow. TheAmericans-s3e3-Oleg-decision