‘The Americans’ Season 6 Episode 6 Recap: “Rififi”

The Americans Season 6 Episode 6 Recap
Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings and Amy Tribbey as Marilyn in ‘The Americans’ season 6 episode 6 (Photo by Jeffrey Neira/FX)

The relationship between Philip and Elizabeth continues to deteriorate in FX’s The Americans season six episode six. The episode airing May 2, 2018 begins with Philip (Matthew Rhys) at home and depressed when Elizabeth (Keri Russell) arrives. They barely speak and as she’s about to head up to bed, Philip tells her Stan came over upset over the death of a Russian couple in front of their child.

Elizabeth explains she didn’t kill them in front of the child and she didn’t realize he was in the apartment. Philip informs her the child saw his parents covered in blood. He also reveals he’s not going to set up Kimmy.

Elizabeth isn’t surprised, admitting she was sure he never intended to help. Philip, however, says he changed his mind. The tension is so thick you could slice it with a knife as Elizabeth accuses Philip of wanting to sleep with Kimmy because he wasn’t getting enough sex at home. She informs him she’ll take care of Kimmy. Philip doesn’t think that will happen since he warned Kimmy not to go to communist countries. Kimmy is off the table as a potential hostage.

Needless to say, they retire to separate bedrooms.

The tension level is also a bit high between Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich and Agent Dennis Aderholt (Brandon J Dirden) when Dennis asks Stan to come with him downstairs at FBI headquarters. Stan’s still upset about the murders of Gennadi Bystrov and Sofia Kovalenko. Dennis fills Stan in on a new development that’s a huge break for the FBI. Gennadi’s diplomatic pouch had a circuit board for a sensor that picked up radioactivity. There’s a plant that makes the sensor in Chicago and a plant in Newington. Dennis and the team have connected Elizabeth’s break-in at Newington and the murder of three security guards to Gennadi’s pouch. They know the robbery in Newington was unsuccessful. However, the FBI was able to uncover an engineer at the Chicago plant who admitted to being recruited by a man in a bar he had sex with.

The FBI set up another meeting between the engineer and the Russian spy. Dennis explains the Russian agent’s code name is Harvest and he runs an accounting business in Skokie. The FBI has a team on him, and Dennis reveals they’ve collected an incredible amount of material while watching this spy operate. They’re using that to track the rest of the Russian spies in the country.

Dennis has also tied together General Rennhull’s “suicide” with Gennadi and Sofia’s murders, and now this pouch. Plus, Oleg has returned for some unknown reason. The FBI is aware the Russians are trying to screw them while publicly acting like they’re negotiating for peace. Dennis is sure now’s the time for Stan to return to the hunt for Russians.

Elsewhere, Philip picks up Henry (Keidrich Sellati) from school. They talk about finals and school work, and then Henry brings up the subject of tuition. He doesn’t want to leave school and Philip assures him he’s doing everything possible to keep him in school. Henry volunteers to get a summer job, plus he’ll apply for a scholarship.

Henry also reveals he talked to his friend’s dad who’s very successful and wealthy about the travel agency. The man’s willing to offer suggestions on how to improve business and might even toss business Philip’s way. Philip hates to be seen as a failure, but eventually he understands Henry’s motivations.

Elizabeth takes a seat in a movie theater and makes small talk before a screening of Rififi. The young man who she sits next to appears to be a movie buff.

Back at the FBI, there about 20 places in Chicago that are still being checked out as possible bases of Russian spies. Plus, they identified a safe house used by Harvest and realized that the person renting it pays utilities in advance. That could be a standard MO.

Dennis shares info on how Harvest gets around in multiple cars. He bought them through the classifieds with cash, legally, but used a fake ID for the registration. Dennis and his team have worked out a system for trying to find more cars bought with cash but using a fake name. He hands Stan a huge stack of paperwork to run through, telling him he can call in as many people as he wants to help him out.

Elizabeth and the young man discuss the film while standing outside the theater after the screening. They smoke and chat about film noir and foreign films, and Elizabeth asks if he wants to go with her to get pizza. He declines and leaves, saying he has to get up early.

At home that evening, Elizabeth’s outside smoking when Henry asks if he can have one. She’s about to offer him a cigarette when he tells her it’s just a joke. She admits she’s smoking more now than she used to, and then offers to make him dinner.

Philip’s at the table working on the books, but he leaves the room once Elizabeth starts working in the kitchen. The chill in the air is palpable.

The next morning Henry eats cereal with his dad. He wonders who’s sleeping in Paige’s room and Philip says it’s Elizabeth because she has to get up early. Instead of going to work, Philip takes time off and watches slot car races with Henry. Philip’s obviously tense (he yells f*ck when his car keeps crashing) and Henry wants to know what’s going on. Philip sort of admits he and Elizabeth have hit a rough spot, but then says everything is fine.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth is stalking the guy from the theater. She “accidentally” bumps into him on the Metro and asks what he does for a living. The young man reveals he’s an intern for a senator, and Elizabeth claims to know of the senator because her company helps with consulting and corporate strategizing. He seems sort of suspicious but continues talking to Elizabeth on the ride. She gives him her card and tells him they have a great management training program, since he doesn’t want to go into politics. He introduces himself as Jackson and she tells him to give her a call.

Philip makes it into his office and he tells Stavos that he’s got to start letting people go. Unfortunately, the people getting the boot at Stavos, Lacy, and Steve. Stavos is understandably upset.

When Philip gets home, Elizabeth, Henry, and Paige are in the kitchen, cooking. Elizabeth’s called in to work and Philip takes over helping with the meal.

Elizabeth meets with Claudia (Margo Martindale) and learns that someone in Chicago sent an emergency signal. He knows he’s under surveillance and needs to get out. She also tells Elizabeth it has to do with what she met about in Mexico. Elizabeth informs Claudia that Philip won’t help with Kimmy.

Elizabeth returns home and packs. She and Philip are barely speaking at this point, and Elizabeth looks at Philip with a mix of disgust and dislike. She explains she needs to go to Chicago to help one of theirs who’s in trouble, telling Philip to figure out what to say to Henry about her leaving on Thanksgiving.

As Elizabeth’s leaving, Paige (Holly Taylor) asks if she can come. Elizabeth tells her it would be too suspicious.

Stan and Renee (Laurie Holden) are hosting Thanksgiving at their place, with Dennis and his wife, Janine (Eboni Booth), invited as well as the Jennings family. Philip makes up a big story about Elizabeth having to fly to Houston to fix a mix up in ticketing for one of their biggest clients.

Stan makes a toast and says he’s grateful to be with friends and family. He goes on to talk about people in other countries who don’t want Americans to live in peace and freedom. He adds that there are people who don’t like our way of life and are afraid of it. It’s an interesting speech for a Thanksgiving dinner, and he has no idea how uncomfortable he’s made multiple guests at his table.

Later that evening, Philip’s in bed still dressed. He quietly goes downstairs and looks in their secret cabinet. He then drives over to one of their safe houses and looks through Elizabeth’s disguises. He pulls out a box with cash and passports, and then thumbs through the book of sketches. He takes out a pad and after stopping to consider his actions, begins writing.

He secretly stashes the note to Oleg in a drop spot.

In Chicago, Elizabeth and her associate, Marilyn (Amy Tribbey), go over plans on how to pick up the agent who’s in trouble. It’s a risky plan and Elizabeth thinks their chances of being successful aren’t great.

The Americans Season 6 Episode 6 Recap
Noah Emmerich as Stan Beeman and Brandon J. Dirden as Dennis Aderholt in ‘The Americans’ season 6 episode 6 (Photo by Patrick Harbron/FX)

Back at work, Stan informs Dennis that he has 50 guys in seven offices working the phones on the cars that were sold. Dennis tells Stan they’re now looking at Russian Orthodox priests in the area since Harvest met with one in Chicago. (The noose is tightening.)

Henry’s at home when Elizabeth calls. She says she’s calling for him and they discuss the weather. They talk about school and favorite classes, and Henry fills her in on what’s happening. He admits he’s working on getting a girlfriend, and from Elizabeth’s face it’s apparent she’s not sure she’ll ever see her son again.

Philip arrives and he’s happy Henry hasn’t eaten the last piece of pie. Henry tells him his mom called and he thought talking about school and girls was weird. They never talk. He’s also worried about why she’s so unhappy. (That comment worries Philip.)

Oleg picks up Philip’s message. He returns to his hotel room with the coded message and begins deciphering it.

Philip calls Elizabeth from a pay phone. He’s worried about her and she admits everything is not all right. She says it’s a hard one and Philip asks if she might lose the client. “I’m not sure I can accomplish what I came here for without…” When he asks, “Without what?” she tells him she’ll handle it. Henry admits her handling it by herself these last few months hasn’t been working and this client isn’t worth it. She should just come home.

Elizabeth isn’t coming home so Philip agrees to help her. “Just sit tight. I’m on my way,” says Philip.

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