The Americans Season 1 Episode 8 Review- "Mutually Assured Destruction"

The Americans Season 1 Episode 8: Mutually Assured Destruction

Tasnim Ishrar

In The Americans Season 1 Episode 8 Philip and Elizabeth encounter a challenge to find a man they have never seen nor have any information about except that he was targeting to kill top scientists of American and that he had to be stopped quickly. Before I go any further, “Spoiler Alert” people.

The Americans Season 1 Episode 8 is one of those episodes which introduces to an interesting new character raising our hopes for a new twist in the show. The twist was indeed present however short lived. The Americans Season 1 Episode 8 begins with Elizabeth receiving coded messages from Moscow, letting her know that there was a lunatic on the loose. Okay, may be not exactly a lunatic. He was rather a German assassin who was hired by the KGB to kill American scientists but soon after assigning the task the KGB decide to abort the mission. Elizabeth and Philip were now assigned the task to stop this German assassin from going forward with the assassination. As they have very little, if not nothing, to go on, the Jennings couple decide to send a message to the US government by blowing the car of one of the scientists while making sure that the he remained unharmed.

Soon afterwards in The Americans Season 1 Episode 8, Elizabeth goes to meet Granny who made two important revelations. Firstly, there was confusion about why the KGB would make a decision and then not go through with it. Claudia explained that the nations cannot cross certain limits or it might lead to mutually assured destruction. It is a strategy which involves two adversaries using weapons of mass destruction, assuring inevitable destruction for both sides and victory for none. Claudia also gives Elizabeth the contact information of a man from Baltimore who would provide weapon for the assassin. The second revelation was slightly more personal. Granny discloses Philip’s little secret. She tells Elizabeth that Philip and Irina were together. Elizabeth is reluctant to believe it first but then she does realize that her Granny was right about her marriage only being an arrangement by the KGB.

So, Claudia poisoned their already weak marriage but there were other more important things to be taken care of in The Americans Season 1 Episode 8. Elizabeth and Philip hit Baltimore in search of the man who was the assassin’s weapon source. They manage to get the assassin’s photograph out of him but before that the man’s little girl pulls a move on them. It was one of the best scenes I’ve seen on this show!

Martha, being Philip’s unintentional mole within the FBI, steals information from underneath Gaad’s nose. Philip and Elizabeth, after some research, manage to track down the German assassin. They find him in a hotel room. However, there were more surprises. Apparently, there was in the room which the German assassin was planning to use to blow the Jennings pair, but he ended up getting blown up himself. Philip and Elizabeth both looked astonished by the sudden rain of blood. They did not have any intention to kill the fellow if he co-operated even a little more.

Well, it seemed like the worst part was over but the last suspense was yet to be unfolded! Before Elizabeth and Philip got to him, the German assassin got an attractive young man to lure an FBI agent, who was to guard one of the scientists later that night, and managed to secretly and smartly devised a bomb in the agent’s walkie-talkie. When the agent went over to the scientist’s place the bomb blasted blowing the scientist along with three FBI agents! Elizabeth was felt like this was their worst failure in 15 years while Philip was not willing to take the blame. But whoever was at fault, looks like the German friendly-looking, yet immensely dangerous man had his ultimate victory after all.


Quotes from The Americans Season 1 Episode 8:

  • Agent Gaad, while assigning work to his folks, “Tell your wives not to wait up.”  Stan, “Oh, they don’t see us anyway sir!”    Agent Gaad, ” You wanted to be an FBI agent.”

  • Claudia to Elizabeth, ” If you think of your marriage as real, it doesn’t work. And men don’t think of them that way. It was an arrangement. Do you understand that?”  Elizabeth, ” I understand who you are. I understand what you just did to us.”

  • Martha,”Is there anything I could do to help?”    Clark, ” Just getting it off my chest has been a help.”   Martha, ” That’s sweet but you know, I could get anything that Agent Gaad has!”

  • Stan,” You want some of those mashed potatoes though.”  Henry, ” No, they are kind of cheesy.”  Elizabeth, ” Henry!”  Henry,” No, I meant cheesy, not cheesy...I didn’t mean to be rude. I’m really sorry.”  Paige, ” It’s just that you are so good at it.”   Henry, “Shut up!!”

  • Elizabeth, ” Granny said you slept with Irina. I asked you, I asked you not to lie to me. And you told me to my face, that nothing happened.

  • Chris, “We can get a drink sometime.”   Martha, “No thank you.”    Chris, “No thank you? It’s a very polite no. Are you sure you don’t want to make it an impolite yes?”    Martha, “I am. You know, you are a sweet guy Chris. And you are handsome, deep down.”

  • Stan after hearing about Nina’s promotion,”You didn’t have to tell me that.”   Nina,”I can’t lie to everyone. It’s too dangerous.”

  • Philip, “We had to be married for this, to fit in, for cover. But things are different now. It’s a very modern country, people get separated all the time. You don’t wanna be married to me, I don’t think the center would even care.”

Also Check out:   The Americans: Season 1, Episode 1
               The Americans: Season 1, Episode 2
                                The Americans: Season 1, Episode 3
              The Americans: Season 1, Episode 4
                             The Americans: Season 1, Episode 5
            The Americans: Season 1, Episode 6
                            The Americans: Season 1, Episode 7
             The Americans: Season 1, Episode 9
                          The Americans: Season 1, Episode 10
             The Americans: Season 1, Episode 11
                          The Americans: Season 1, Episode 12
             The Americans: Season 1, Episode 13
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