The Americans, Season 5, Episode 4, “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”

In The Americans, Season 5, Episode 4, “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” Philip and Elizabeth head for Topeka, Kansas to cultivate two targets who are working for an agricultural firm they believe is involved in a plot to destroy Soviet agriculture. They find that their hearts are not in the operation. Philip’s target, a female executive, is as dull as soap water. Elizabeth finds herself hating her mark, who also works for the firm, feeling dirty about playing kissy-face with a man who wants to kill her country.

The Americans, Season 5, Episode 4, “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”

Meanwhile, Philip has a conversation with Alexi, the defector who he and his wife have also been cultivating, and gets an insight into what is really ailing Soviet agriculture. The transportation infrastructure in the Soviet Union is so archaic that they sometimes transport food by horse-drawn carts, and it is often rotten by the time it gets to its destination. Philip is beginning to wonder about the system he is dedicating his life to advancing.

Paige is taking the opportunity to engage in a little spycraft of her own, poking around Pastor Tim’s house while babysitting. If she can find out where to get that incriminating tape that reveals who her parents really are, maybe she can be of help. At first, Elizabeth is appalled. Then she is proud that her little girl seems to want to get into the family business, as it were.

Henry, the other son of our KGB spies, is having some kind of trouble at school and, as his father laments, spends all of his time playing computer games and talking on the phone. He suspects a girl is involved.

Mischa, Philip’s son from back home, has made it to the west in the trunk of a human smuggler’s car. He is now on a plane to Washington for an unexpected family reunion.

Oleg, back in the USSR, is ruminating how his old friend Stan betrayed him to the CIA. In the meantime, he and his partner are continuing to ferret out corruption in Soviet food retail. In any case, Oleg would be very surprised at what Stan has done on his behalf. The FBI agent admits to one of his supervisors that he killed a KGB agent execution-style for assassinating another FBI agent. He says that unless the CIA backs off Oleg, he will go public with the news, causing a scandal that the Bureau will find significantly aggravating. Stan is a man of honor involved in a game that does not encourage that quality.  More thoughts on The Americans What’s the Matter with Kansas

Other reviews of The Americans by TV Eskimo:

5.3 – Midges
5.2 – Pests
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)
Alexei Morovoz – Alexander Sokovikov (House of Cards)
Mischa – Alex Ozerov
Pastor Tim – Kelly AuCoin (House of Cards, The Kingdom, Billions, TURN: Washington’s Spies, The Slap)
Renee – Laurie Holden (The Walking Dead, The Shield, Major Crimes, The X-Files)
Deputy Attorney General – Cotter Smith (Mindhunter, X-Men 2, Revolution)
Yelena Burova – Snezhana Chernova
Alice – Suzy Jane Hunt (Collateral Beauty, Big Words, Person of Interest)
Deirdre Kemp – Clea Lewis (Ellen, Doubt, The Affair, Royal Pains)
Benjamin Stobert – Brett Tucker (Neighbours, Thor: The Dark World, McLeod’s Daughters, Mistresses)