The whole Martha thing was way too unrealistic. Marrying someone not even know he's a spy and has a whole nother family. Philip must be insanely good at time management hahaha
According to Joe & Joel Officers “marrying” targets actually happened, but within Russia itself, not being under disguise and marrying foreigners. It happened on at least one occasion.
Not sure if you are new to the show, but Joe Weisberg talks a good deal (in podcast and interviews) about how a great deal of what they showed really did happen but is either sped up for time (i.e.- it would have taken years to recruit Martha, not just months) or exaggerated (i.e.- having so many operations running at once) for the show’s sake. But there has been a few things that I thought “there is no way that would happen” and then, sure enough, I read an interview or hear in a podcast that it was based on something Joe knew about during his time at the CIA.
A United States Senator going to the Russian ambassador and tipping them off about a CIA covert operation is treason.
This could honestly be a headline from yesterday’s paper and not a sideline-plot-summary from a TV show.
I mean, they're clearly bad parents, I don't think even they would dispute that. It's the ramifications of that that make the family dynamic interesting.
They absolutely would disagree with this. 100%. One of the last things they talk about together in the show is their kids (“They’ll be okay;” “We raised them”).
I think both P&E would argue that they were tough parents, sure, but ultimately deeply loved their children and did what they thought was best for their kids. They would say, “We tried, but our lives made it difficult to be the best parents possible.”
Not a chance they think of themselves as bad parents. Made bad decisions that prioritized other things over their children, yes, but not bad parents.
Now that is not to say I don’t think they are bad parents, but purely that they would never think that.
Let me count your neck rings.
Fun fact: my husband sings this to me on the regular
He’s a keeper.
Season 4 is incredible and season 6 is flawless. Don’t quit on the show; it would be a mistake.
Season 5 is certainly more slow than the other seasons, but knowing how season six ends makes season five make a lot more sense. Just know season five is more of a set-up for the final season than anything else.
There are some really, really great (and important) P&E moments in season five that you definitely don’t want to miss.
Don’t skip it.
Edit: My second paragraph has the word(s) “season(s)” all lines up perfectly. 🎉
Great response! But then I looked at who wrote it and wasn't surprised at all :)
Hi, comrade! 👋
Interesting ideas; here are a few more to chew on:
1) Noah Emmerich (vaguely) discussed Stan’s motives during that scene in a podcast. He said Stan knew that the Jennings would put up a fight to the death if he tried to bring them in and that, even if brought in, the FBI probably wouldn’t get much out of them because of how well-trained & committed they were. It was when Henry was brought up that Stan relented. Does he kill Henry’s parents, send them to jail for life or let them slip out of his life altogether?
2) Like Stan I think the ultimate breaking point for Paige was Henry. She was lacerated at discovering her mother used sex for trade, disgusted at believing E’s lies, but it’s the fact that she would leave her own son behind that ultimately broke Paige’s trust and confidence in her her mother. I think Paige’s decision to leave had very little to do with her father and a great, great deal to do with her mother’s actions. Ditching Henry was the final straw.
Love your analysis and insight! I’ve been mulling over the finale for almost three months now and there is still so much to pull from it.
I honestly doubt that Stan could have taken the Jennings family into custody. I believe if he had made any firm, strong move to do so, Elizabeth would have killed him. If you watch her during that scene, she is ready to pounce. Stan is so focused on Philip that it doesn't occur to him Elizabeth is the dangerous one.
Very well written, OP. Was a great show.
I think Stan knew Elizabeth was the dangerous one. There were a lot of reports about a female operative that he chased down over the years, and Elizabeth was the one he was trying to pin down (the convo with the guy at Roy Rogers, for example). I think he knew Elizabeth was dangerous and that he had a better shot with Philip because 1) They were friends so they share an emotional connection that he did not share with Elizabeth and 2) Stan probably assumed Elizabeth would go along with whatever Philip did, if Philip caved and decided to turn himself in.
Stan knew E was dangerous which, to me, is part of the reason why he chose to interact more with Philip in that moment.
Elizabeth was super mad at Phillip for aborting that mission in such a final and exposing way, so probably she was just saying the most hurtful thing she could think of in the moment.
Three cheers for this concise analysis that clearly steers the conversation away from crazy theories.
I think there was also some insecurity there. Probably not a whole lot, but I felt there was at least a bit
Of course there was insecurity there, but not in the way OP described it. It started in season 3 when E was struggling with Philip’s deciding whether or not he should sleep with her (E stays up late waiting for him, goes to smoke in the garage, doesn’t know what to say when he asks “should I sleep with her”, etc.) It’s obvious she is bothered by the relationship in season 4, but by season 6 I think that insecurity has long passed and been hardened out by E’s state of mind.
It had nothing to do with “getting him off her back for sex” or “all middle-aged men wanting to have sex with young girls.”
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This is super meta.
I think we got closure enough, just not what we wanted or expected. Which is a pretty good metaphor for the same themes of disappointment and futility that the characters deal with. Philip going through the cliches of scrambling to hide/deal with Mischa and trying to explain him to Elizabeth and the kids, or Stan, is what another show would have done. But it wouldn't have been a better story.
This is the best explanation so far, IMO. After rewatching season five the Mischa story makes more sense to me than it did upon my first viewing. To add to the above comment:
-A good deal of Philip’s storyline is him coming to terms with who his father really was and did for work(prison camp guard). We see the way that information impacted Philip and he spends the whole season stressed about it (I believe also stressed about how his work will impact his own kids). Meanwhile you have this older son, who wouldn’t buy the lie o him being a travel agent, trying to show up and reconnect with him. Misha meeting Philip would have ruined and blown their cover.
-You also, maybe more importantly, see Gabriel wrestling with his role in P&E’s lives. He wants to give Philip the chance to meet Mischa, even argues in favor of telling Philip Mischa is here and letting Philip decide for himself if they should meet. Gabriel is trying to fight for the independence and free-thought of Philip in this matter. Claudia says no, Gabriel sides with Claudia and shoos Mischa home, Gabriel decides he is done with this work. Having to deny Philip the option to meet his own son was Gabriel’s breaking point and, ultimately, what sent him back to Russia. It shows how much he cared for P&E and how much his ideology had changed (consider the last thing he says to Philip is about keeping Paige out of all of this).
-Lastly, and I cannot stress the importance of the above comment enough, Philip meeting Mischa would have derailed the show. Follow that storyline for a second. It leads no where. P&E’s covers fall apart, their kids automatically know about their true identities and they would have had to leave. The show could have never had the two of them meet in the US as it would have taken the show in a totally different direction. Same reason they decided to hide Keri Russell’s pregnancy. They talked about writing it into the show, but it wouldn’t have been in line with their ultimate vision and tone.
I do think we got closure on Mischa’s story it just, like the above comment said, maybe wasn’t what you/we wanted.
I've always thought it was one of those story lines that made sense on paper, but seemed so silly on screen. They could have linked up P with Misha the same way E and Paige got to meet Es mom.
And I honestly don't think Gabriel gave a shit about P&E. That closing comment to P about how he was probably right and that P&E probably shouldn't have introduced Paige into this was such a low blow.
I see where you are coming from but I disagree. They already did the “meet in a Soviet-friendly country” story so to do it twice would have been ridiculous. The Js pride themselves on being original and not repeating content, so I think it would have been poor writing if they repeated a plot like that one.
And we really disagree on Gabriel. I think he cares for P&E deeply and was broken over not being able to allow Philip to meet his own son. I saw his closing remark to Philip as a form of an apology. “You were right, we should have protected Paige. I’m sorry,” kind of a deal. By your logic Philip’s last words to Stan are “such a low blow” but I think both men took a great risk in sharing those thoughts with people they cared about a great deal
“SNL’s Luke Null” = so sad.
two minutes later
She was truly awful.
Carrie is Homeland. Like her or not she is truly what the show is about. You could argue that other characters (mostly Saul) are just important, but they ultimately come second to Carrie, purely based on screen-time, story-archs and lines alone.
To end her storyline would be to completely alter the show and recreate it as something new. Think of the last 2.5 seasons of The Office sans Michael Scott. Fine as a show, but not “The Office.”
There’s only one Wesley Snipes.
“You know that’s not true.”
I was about to rage.
Along with the other comments I think that was supposed to highlight Kate’s inexperience. There’s a few scenes where it’s implied she’s not as seasoned as she should be (fangirling when she met Philip, Philip having to give her explicit instructions as to what he needed, meeting Jared without disguise, etc.).
While good at her job, I think the show wanted us to know that Kate was just not quite ready and Larrick was too good at his job.
And Jimmy Moo!
That is IT, thank you!
The speed at which this mystery was solved is 👌
You came to the wrong sub with this comment, my friend.
(But really, you are totally entitled to your opinion and it’s all love here! ✌️)
Jane = Jane Krakowski?
JMB = Jack McBrayer?
No one is willing to die for Alex Jones.
Least of all Alex Jones.
Thar she blows.
This sub took a turn.
Was the plan to send him back to Russia? I thought Jared was being trained as an undercover illegal to stay and work in the US.
I’m not sure what to make of this, but I appreciate (is that the right word?) the updates on the sex lives of all characters except Henry.