The Americans Season 5 Episode 7 Review: The Committee on Human Rights

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Poor Philip. His mind must be blown at this point.

He's struggled with so much over the past year of his life, and on The Americans Season 5 Episode 7 Gabriel threw another zinger at him right before he left America for good.

At least Philip isn't the only one in the family questioning himself. Elizabeth is questioning her motivations, as well.

Overplaying The Hand - The Americans

There is some good news out of Russia, though.

The pressure is off Oleg. Whether it's as a result of his decision to burn the tape or because of what Stan said the Mr. CIA Man, Oleg can live his life without people breathing down his neck.

He's decided to check into why his mother was in the camps, though. Much like Philip said on The Americans Season 5 Episode 6, they're my parents, and I don't know anything about them. It's time to find out.

As for Stan, the CIA wants him transferred out of Counter Intelligence. Agent Wolf, though, has every intention of keeping him on as long as he can, using the current case with Sofia as the launching pad.

If we're being honest, and I'm never dishonest with you, I have no friggin' idea what Stan and Aderholt are trying to accomplish with Sofia. What is their current case about, anyway? 

The Americans is so good I don't mind being as stupid as I am while watching. At least it gives me something to dig into instead of having everything laid out in front of me.

But, hey, I'm not going to brush aside the conversations in which you tell me what you've figured out about it, friends that you are.

I loved that Philip wouldn't allow Gabriel to leave before asking him whether or not Stan was being set up by the KGB. Was Gabriel's answer a bit over the top? Probably.

Philip: Is Stan Beeman's new girlfriend one of us?
Gabriel: Are you serious? You're losing it, Philip.
Philip: That's not an answer, Gabriel.
Gabriel: No. It's possible the centre wouldn't tell me because they knew you'd ask me this question, but as far as I know, she is not one of us.

Because he blew Philip away with his parting gift.

You were right about Paige. She should be kept out of all of this.


Gabriel met Paige and the two got along swimmingly. It's a shame Gabriel was a family secret for all of Paige's life, as it would have been nice for her to have someone like him in her life.

But that's not how communism works. Gabriel was already too close to Elizabeth and Philip under the circumstances. Although it's worth arguing that if they hadn't been as close, they might not have accomplished as much. That level of trust formed a unique bond.

Paige understood immediately that Gabriel was like her parents' family. She learned that one of her favorite stuffed animals was a gift from the man she never knew. He was always a part of her life, too.

Maybe that's why Gabriel thought it was best she stay out of the life. He's seen what it's done to Elizabeth and Philip, and they're not in the best place now.

Philip Looks at a Photo - The Americans Season 5 Episode 7

Philip doesn't know much about anything anymore. He doesn't know why he's a spy, and he's losing his spy mojo. Has he ever been rebuffed by one of his assets? How bad do things have to be going for Diedre to ask him to not to move to Topeka, and if he does, don't consider moving in with her?

She wants to be with someone normal. Ouch, dude!

He was asking a lot of Gabriel before he left, and Gabriel resigned himself to share as much as he could about his past and how the Soviet Union grew to be the country Philip knew it to be.

Philip: Can I ask you something? You said when you were younger you did terrible things. What things?
Gabriel: When you signed up, how much did you know about what we did before and after the war?
Philip: People were talking about it.
Gabriel: What did you think about it?
Philip: I didn't. I didn't ask questions.
Gabriel: Well, it was bad. It was worse than you can imagine. People were shot, worked to death in the camps. Some were counter-revolutionaries, but some hadn't done anything. Just people. I did it, too.
Philip: why?
Gabriel: To set an example. The organization was full of people who were scared and confused.
Philip: But not you.
Gabriel: No. I believed I was acting in the service of a higher purpose, but I was just scared. It was terrible, terrible times. And a lot of us didn't make it out of there.

What's confusing is that Philip and Elizabeth still work for the KGB. Elizabeth is still actively sharing with Paige how the communist party is working well for their country and the rest of the world is against them.

But we know now that in just a year or so, Mikhail Gorbachev will take over, and the corruption Oleg is working to expose will come to light, and people will begin fighting for their rights once again.

Elizabeth Looks at Her Work - The Americans Season 5 Episode 7

Is that connected in some way to what Elizabeth is doing in her secret mission pertaining to the Committee on Human Rights and the Moscow Working Rights Commission?

Elizabeth isn't questioning nearly as much as Philip, but it's not like her to fall so heavily for an asset as she did for Ben. She liked very much that he's on the side of good instead of evil, and was thrown when she found out he was "cheating" on Brenda.

Granted, that doesn't mean anything in the scheme of things, but it made her wonder whether she can trust her instincts or not. Philip assured her it was alright to care, but for Elizabeth, she's falling down a slippery slope. Caring isn't part of their assignment. 

What happens to their ability to work effectively if they begin caring about assets? Do they stop being top notch? Is Philip no longer at the top of his game?

I don't think for a minute Stan isn't being played by someone, and it's likely the KGB. Gabriel's over-the-top reaction was likely more of a reaction to being glad he was getting out of there, a tip-off to Philip. He can't lie anymore to the people he cares about the most, so he has to go.

The times are definitely changing, and those who are the most deeply involved, under the greatest pressure, are feeling it the most. Will the end see the Jennings fighting beside their people to restore the Russia they've loved all along?

Share your thoughts with me in the comments. When you watch The Americans online, be sure to come back and join the discussion!

The Committee on Human Rights Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (63 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer 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 5 Episode 7 Quotes

Paige: I knew America did terrible things, but I never thought, I mean, people's food?
Elizabeth: I know it's hard understanding these things, seeing these things, but the world doesn't work the way people here think that it does.

Diedre: Are you planning on moving to Topeka?
Philip: No. Why? What if I did?
Diedre: Because I just want to be together like two normal people right now.