The Americans Season 5 Episode 2 – Pests

In The Americans, Season 5, Episode 2, “Pests,” the Cold War era paranoia is ramped up a little higher when Elizabeth takes a road trip to a farm in Illinois to chase down the theory that President Ronald Reagan is planning genocide by poisoning the wheat America is shipping to Russia. She sneaks into a greenhouse and discovers, to her horror, that it is filled with insects. What is going on? What are the Americans up to?

Alexei, the Russian defector who is now working for the Agriculture Department, is very eloquent at a dinner at Bennigans about how hellish the USSR is. He can denounce the Soviet Union while eating a feast that no ordinary Russian can enjoy. His son Pasha, who is none too happy with his new home, says that he would rather die back in Russia than live in America.

Tuan, the Vietnamese teenager whom Elizabeth and Philip are using to get to Alexei, may become a problem. He holds a fanatical hatred of America because his family was wiped out in an air raid during the Vietnam War. Outwardly he is a model boat person refugee. Inwardly he is like a Viet Cong guerilla planted right in the midst of Middle America. One wonders if his resentments are going to cloud his judgment.

Not all is well in Paige-world, as Stan so eloquently puts it. She has taken to sleeping in the closet, so scared is she of the awful secret that her beloved parents are enemies of her country. She is also getting too close to Matt, Stan’s son, even letting him get to “second base,” as they say. Elizabeth and Philip finally give her a version of the “talk,” which involves her not giving up Mommy and Daddy when, inevitably, she lets Matt get to home plate.

Stan has some good things happening in his life and some bad stuff. The good thing is a delightful young lady named Renee, who he met at the gym and is now going out with. The bad news is that the CIA is planning to squeeze Oleg back in Moscow. Oleg had revealed to Stan that the Soviets were planning to steal a bioweapon from the United States, the theory is that his government should not have that power, Stan has him on tape doing this. Now the CIA will use that tape to turn Oleg. Stan begs them not to do this. He believes that Oleg will die rather than truly betray his country. Also, the FBI agent finds it to be a personal betrayal of a man who he came to like as a human being. But such is the sort of thing that happens in espionage.  More thoughts on Pests…

Other reviews of The Americans by TV Eskimo:

5.1 – Amber Waves

Season 4

Season 3

Season 2

Characters and cast of The Americans Pests include:

Elizabeth Jennings – Keri Russell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Felicity, August Rush, Mission: Impossible III, Dark Skies, Austenland, Leaves of Grass, Waitress)
Phillip Jennings – Matthew Rhys (Brothers & Sisters, Titus, Love and Other Disasters, Death Comes to Pemberley, The Edge of Love)
Stan Beeman – Noah Emmerich (The Truman Show, Little Children, Warrior, Super 8, Blood Ties, Pride and Glory, Miracle, Windtalkers, Cop Land)
Henry Jennings – Keidrich Sellati
Paige Jennings – Holly Taylor
Oleg Burov – Costa Ronin (Agent CarterRed Dog, The Last Resort)
Agent Aderholt – Brandon J. Dirden (Public Morals, Good Friday, Ir/Reconcilable)
Gabriel – Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon, The Ninth Gate, Superman Returns)
Matthew Beeman – Danny Flaherty (The Wolf of Wall Street, Hope Springs, King Jack, The Leftovers)
Wolfe – Peter Jacobson (House, Transformers, As Good as It Gets, Cars 2, Ray Donovan, Colony)
Yelena Burova – Snezhanan Chernova (The Louise Log, No Love In the City)
Mrs. Morovoz – Irina Dvorovenko (Forever, Power, Flesh and Bone)
Pasha Morovoz – Zack Gafin
Igor Burov – Boris Lee Krutonog (The Hunt for Red October, The Italian Job)
Tuan Eckert – Ivan Mok
Alexei Morovoz – Alexander Sokovikov (House of Cards)
Norm – Russell G. Jones (Traffic, A Most Violent Year, The Night Of, Turntable)
Renee – Laurie Holden (The Walking Dead, The Shield, The X-Files, The Majestic, The Mist)
Deputy Attorney General – Cotter Smith (Mindhunter, Revolution, Person of Interest)