The Americans “Dinner for Seven” Review (Season 4 Episode 11)

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On the latest episode of “The Americans,” we finally got to see what the endgame plan was for the Hees, things took yet another unexpected turn with Pastor Tim and Alice, and Liz and Paige got a shocking surprise, in “Dinner for Seven.”

We began with Pastor Tim personally paying a visit to Liz and Phil, in order to apologize for how things were handled in his absence by Alice. It certainly seemed heartfelt, and it ended with their inviting Tim and his wife to dinner- a seemingly innocuous move that would later come to bite them in the end.

Liz paid a visit to Gabriel to find out her fate- literally, as it turned out- and discovered that the Centre had turned down her request to go about things a different way with the Hees, meaning the original plan was still intact. To that end, Liz immediately headed to their house and lie in wait for Young to leave with the kids.

That done, she went to their door and asked to speak to Don alone, informing him she was pregnant. Mortified, he told her she couldn’t possibly have the baby, as it would destroy his family, and offers to pay for an abortion. Liz turns him down flat and says she doesn’t want his money and that she’d pay for it herself.

Stan visits with Phil, telling him about Gaad, and how he doesn’t believe it was a robbery-gone-wrong that killed him, instead convinced that the Soviets had something to do with it, though he can’t imagine why, what with Gaad out of the game by that point.

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Liz gets home and Stan leaves, and she tells Phil that the mission is back on and it’s his turn to move into action, clearly upset by her part in everything. Phil also is reeling, knowing that, in some way, he was responsible for Gaad’s death, having told his superiors about Gaad’s dismissal and his move to Thailand.

Liz visits with Tim while waiting for Paige to finish with choir practice, admitting that she had been under a lot of pressure as of late- and not just because of the thing with Alice. It’s clear she wants to get something off of her chest, but doesn’t know how to proceed, so she ends up leaving before she goes into detail.

Stan meets with Oleg and tells him outright that his superiors have long since been trying to get him to blackmail Oleg, by turns using the thing with Nina and then his brother against him. He mentions the thing with Amador and how he really liked the guy and was convinced that the Soviets were responsible for his death, but admits that his hands aren’t exactly clean, either.

Stan goes on to say that he’s convinced that the Russians are also behind Gaad’s death as well, as Oleg remains silent on all of this. Stan says that he’s tired of getting blood on his hands, and to spare them both, he’s severing the relationship between him and Oleg altogether- this will be their last meeting. (As we see in the preview for next week, that will prove to be untrue.)

At the dinner with the Jennings’ family, Alice pulls Liz aside at Tim’s prompting and apologizes more profusely for her actions. Liz says she might have done the same thing in her position. Stan comes by and snags an invite to dinner as well, though the Jennings might come to regret that move.

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Stan mentions his divorce and the tough times he’s going through, which Tim commiserates with him about. Then Henry lets it slide that Stan is an FBI agent, which does not go unnoticed by Tim and Alice, naturally.

Paige, getting better all the time at this spy game, quickly changes the subject to steer it towards their social action protests for positive change, though Tim is quick to add that it includes a “healthy dollop of Jesus.” Thankfully, this is where the cringe-inducing dinner comes to an end, though I suspect the repercussions of it will continue for some time.

The next day, Phil pays a visit to Don at work, with Gabriel and another woman in tow, and we finally see what the big plan has been all along. It turns out that they are posing as Liz’s family, with Phil her brother, Gabriel her father and the other woman posing as her stepmother. Gabriel presents himself as a frail old man, barely able to walk.

Phil requests to speak to Don, who ushers them into his office. There, Phil tells Don that “Patty” is “dead,” having taken her own life, over what they did and the prospect of having to have an abortion. Don is stunned, and disbelieving, but they have the paperwork to back it up.

Phil demands that Don pay the funeral expenses and the transport fees to get her body back to California, wanting the money now, saying that they never want to have to see or talk to him ever again. Phil and Don go to the bank to retrieve the money, while Gabriel and the woman stay behind- all the better to go through Don’s office with a fine-toothed comb in his absence.

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Liz visits Tim again, informing him that, as dubious as it may seem, they lived in the neighborhood first and that Stan moving in was just a coincidence. Tim admits to be a bit taken aback by the revelation, but Liz smartly uses this as another indication of how much pressure she and her husband are under in a given moment.

Liz also does some apologizing of her own, admitting that she was unduly harsh about his religion when they first met, and his burgeoning relationship with Paige. She now thinks it was a ultimately a good thing, as it has been a constant source of comfort for Paige, but that she has always had a problem with religion.

Tim wisely sees through all this and says, cutting to the chase, that Liz “feels like she went out on a limb and handed him a saw.” He tells her to have a little faith, both in herself and in the life she has chosen to lead, as well as him, and it seems as if all is well yet again.

Don and Phil return and all concerned storm out, but it turns out the mission is seemingly a failure, at least at first blush, as Gabriel and his cohort didn’t find anything in regards to the Level 4 codes. However, they did make copies of all his computer files, so it’s possible it wasn’t all for naught.

Aderholt pulls Stan aside, as we see the infamous mailbot lurking in the background, and tells him about a related matter: it seems that when the mail bot was taken in for repairs after Gaad damaged it, the man in charge of the facility’s mother came up dead. Though it was natural causes, Aderholt finds it suspicious, especially given Martha’s involvement at the time.

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Phil reports back to Liz, filling her in on things, and telling her he’s not sure if Don will tell Young Hee about what happened or not. To that end, she calls her voice mail and discovers a heartbreaking message from Young, begging her to get in touch, as Don’s behavior has only gotten worse since they last talked. Liz hangs up before the message is even finished and leaves in tears.

Liz visits Tim yet again, this time clearly in need of something other than the usual reassurances that she’s been after previously. She tells him she has “something on her mind” and that she needs his help in getting it off of it, as she was having trouble dealing with it.

He naturally tells her to pray, but she once again reminds him she doesn’t believe in such things, but he surprisingly says it doesn’t matter- the only thing that does is how they treat one another in life, basically admitting that religion is a means to an end of finding peace in one’s life. This seems to hit home for Liz in a positive way for once.

That accomplished, Liz fetches Paige and tells her that she thinks that things with Tim and Alice are on the right track and that the situation will get better in time. Paige is obviously still feeling guilty about all of this, and wanting to cease involvement with the whole thing, but is savvy enough to mention the matter of the tape again.

Liz tells her that it was best to let sleeping dogs lie, as they are in a good place, and she doesn’t want to endanger the nature of their relationships with Tim and Alice at the moment. In some ways, she suggests, perhaps it will make things better, them knowing that they have an “ace in the hole” so to speak.

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And yet, even though they know Tim and Alice have the tape, the Jennings didn’t press the matter further, even though it would have been completely understandable if they had. By not asking for it outright, it shows that they trust Tim and his wife again- and that they can trust the Jennings.

Paige finally mentions the conversation she had with Stan’s son about Martha and out of nowhere, two thugs try to rob the two girls. Liz quickly turns over her pocketbook, saying that they didn’t want any trouble, but one of them insinuates there’s going to be some- especially with Paige.

Not liking where this is headed, but unable to stop it, one of the guys makes a move and Liz does what Liz does best and pummels him, then, when another pulls a knife, she turns it against him and stabs the man in the throat.

The other guy makes a break for it- not sure if he kept Liz’s pocketbook or not in the melee- and the guy with the knife bleeds out on the ground, as Paige stands there in a state of shock. Not sure if it was because of what happened in general or because of Liz’s cat-like reflexes- probably a little of both- but that is where we leave things for now, regardless.

It’s clear that Paige will be taken aback by all of this from the previews and that it will only lead to more questions on her part, so look for that next week, as well as another mission of sorts involving Will, as we head into the final two episodes of the season.

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On a happy note, for those who didn’t hear already, the show was given a further two season pick-up, not unlike the one given to “Lost” a few years back, which will allow them to wrap things up on their own terms and with plenty of time to do so. There will be another full season of 13 episodes next year, followed by a shortened, 10-episode, sixth and final season the year after. You can read more about it here.

This is certainly great news, for those of us who were worried that the critically-beloved-but-ratings-challenged show would be allowed to get to the end at its own pace. With this announcement, we now know it will, and even better, that they will have plenty of time to do things on their own terms. (Hopefully, to a better end than the aforementioned “Lost”!)

In the meantime, this was yet another solid episode for the books. Who knew a simple dinner could be so action-packed? I’d say it could have gone on even longer, but I’m not sure my heart could have taken it! But that’s the beauty of this show- they always know when to say when- and just how to leave the viewer wanting more without it feeling like a slight or a dirty trick.

Now, we know that they will get to do so for two more seasons, which is great news indeed. It was a relief finally getting an answer to what the Soviets were really up to with the Hees, and why it was affecting Liz so much, beyond the obvious.

I was one of the ones that figured out early on it was related to the lab codes, but I think even those of us who suspected that had no idea where this was all headed, in terms of what Liz was up to. Now we know, as well as why Liz was so upset at the prospect- she knew she would never see Young again, and Liz doesn’t exactly have a lot of close friends- or any, really.

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No wonder she was so on edge- she was in mourning, not only for herself, but for Young Hee, who might not even ever find out what really happened. I will miss Young Hee- she brought out a side of Liz we all but never get to see- playful, relatable and even fun. Hopefully, that side of her won’t die along with her alter ego, Patty.

Meanwhile, that was also a big move on Stan’s part, to let Oleg go like that. That can’t have been an easy decision, least of all in the wake of what happened to Gaad, but I think Stan is slowly-but-surely realizing that what he does has a cost- and not just on his end. It will be interesting to see what Oleg has for him next week and whether it ends up taking things to an unexpected place.

So, what did you think of the latest episode of “The Americans”? Were you shocked at how twisted the plan for Liz and the Hees was, even by this show’s standards? Will Young ever find out what “really” happened to her friend? What will the Soviets do next if the codes aren’t in Don’s computer files?

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How will Paige handle the fallout from her and her mother’s attack? Are you happy the show was renewed for another two seasons? How would you like to see it end? Sound off down below and see you next week!