The Americans 1.10: Gregory’s Return


This episode of The Americans left me in tears. I never cry during television shows but between the soundtrack, cinematography, and actual storyline, I finally realized that I was emotionally invested in a series for the first time. On with the recap and review.

Elizabeth drives Phillip back to his motel after they dump Chris’s body. The head of the department at the FBI delivered a somber eulogy to the staff and pledged that they will find whoever is responsible for the crime. Beeman is heartbroken, Martha is in tears, everyone is visibly shaken by Chris’s death. But it is revealed that Chris’s ring was missing, and whoever holds the ring is the key to his killer.

In an interesting turn of events, Beeman goes to Phillip’s motel room to seek comfort instead of his home with his wife and child. The two have a deep heart to heart about their lives and what lead them to that point. It almost seems like they’re becoming friends. It’s too bad that Beeman doesn’t know that Phillip is KGB. The next day, Beeman and Nina meet to discuss the deaths of their respective friends. Nina is pretty upset about Vlad and reveals that he never wanted to be a part of the KGB, he just wanted to be a doctor. I’m still sad about Vlad’s death, definitely more than Chris’s death.

Back home, Elizabeth is playing bad cop and once again, Paige calls her out on it. Just as Elizabeth is giving the scolding that Paige has deserved for episodes, Phillip the hero walks in. They have their morning information exchange so everyone is caught up about Chris’s missing ring. Ah but the FBI got there first. Chris’s ring was found at a sketchy pawn shop. After Beeman spoke to/intimidated/beat up the pawn shop owner, he finally revealed that the people who delivered the car were people who worked for our old friend Gregory.

Remember him? The man who Elizabeth had an affair with? The man who severed his ties in the projects just so he could join the KGB…for Elizabeth? Gregory is one of my favorite characters on this show, every time his character makes an appearance, my heart skips a beat. Elizabeth tells him to stay low since the FBI will come after him at any moment. He is the only character on this show that Elizabeth can trust so it is urgent for her to keep him alive. The FBI receives positive ID confirmation on one of Gregory’s people, Curtis, and Beeman brings him in. During the interrogation, Beeman tries to give Curtis a chance to get out of this mess but he stays silent, committed to the cause. 

Claudia meets with Phillip and Elizabeth that night to discuss the Gregory situation. When the three realize that the Chris investigation isn’t going to go away, the option of framing Gregory for the murder comes up. The catch is that before the FBI arrest him, the KGB team will send him off to Moscow so he can live a peaceful life. It’s funny that Elizabeth thinks Gregory will actually relocate to Moscow quietly, but she just wants him to leave this all unharmed. Elizabeth proposes the Moscow plan to Gregory and he pleads with her to send him to L.A instead, He vows that if KGB reject his plan, then he will do whatever Elizabeth asks. Gregory is the only character that demonstrates true devotion on this show.

Claudia meets with Gregory to tell him that California is out of the question because it’s to risky. The FBI will stay on him until they reach the KGB. During this meeting, she reveals that the KGB went on to frame him for the murder, what Claudia called his “final act of service.” Gregory goes on to say that he just wanted to live for something and refuses the Moscow offer.  Gregory and Elizabeth spend that night together, laughing and chatting, catching up on good times. Gregory tells Elizabeth everything he loves about her and not to take Phillip back. He tells her everything she needs to hear in that moment, it’s everything she needs to stay strong after he’s gone.

The next morning, Elizabeth pleads with him to go to Moscow. In fact, she literally packs his bags for him as he tells her that it won’t work. Despite the fact that I may say this statement in every blog entry, this is the most heart-wrenching moment of the series thus far. Elizabeth is in tears and Gregory seems so at peace with his decision to die in a standoff between him and cops. Gregory kisses Elizabeth goodbye (in front of Phillip) and walks out the door. Roberta Flack’s To Love Somebody blasts on during Gregory’s final stand against the police. After he takes a few cops down with him in the process, he dies in slow motion. And as the news begins to report his death, Elizabeth sits down to dinner with her kids, as if she never knew him at all.

I can’t even begin to try and conclude this post. There is nothing left to write at this moment. But the war between the FBI and the KGB will rage on and I’m sure The Americans will demonstrate that during tonight’s new episode. But no storyline in this television show will ever be as powerful as Gregory’s.


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