Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Americans 5.9: Gabriel and Martha

Just when we thought Gabriel was out of the picture and back in Moscow, he shows up in episode 5.9 at Martha's apartment in Moscow in a memorable even exquisite scene that only The Americans could serve up.

We saw Martha briefly, earlier this season, in a sadly depleted, dilapidated grocery store and story  - or what passes for a supermarket in Moscow - hunting for what food she could find.  Martha was beyond sad, a stranger with no hope in a strange land, the victim of Philip's spying, exiled rather than killed only because Philip insisted and Gabriel assented.

Gabriel is a decent man, at least as far as we can tell.   He pays Martha a visit because he seems genuinely interested in her well-being.  He reassures her that as her language improves, she will make friends, and meet a man, or someone she can spend her life with.

Martha's dinner - a potato with garnishes - was interrupted by Gabriel's visit.   In her last days back in America, she was beginning to develop a certain toughness.  That has now flourished in Moscow. When Gabriel tells her that Clark (Philip) wanted her to be ok, she responds that she now understands exactly what happened - she knows that she's been had.  Clark never loved her, he was using her.

And, yet, the irony is that Philip did have some feelings for Martha.  Their unhappy ending has changed him, too.  He's now more sensitive about what he and Elizabeth are doing, increasingly questioning the wisdom and motives of the Center.

And so the curtain closes on this extraordinary scene.  Will we ever see Martha and Gabriel again, either together or individually?  Who knows.  In this narrative which has deftly woven together such two cities, Washington and Moscow, anything is possible.








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