Episode 607 - 'Harvest'

Director: Stefan Schwartz
Writers: Sarah Nolen, Joseph Weisberg

Stan is gonna have a cow

Comments

  • Stan knows - but - can't say anything.  His career is OVER.
  • MrXMrX CO
    Yup The Americans is still the most stressful show on television. Brutal stuff.

    Goddamn that look on Philip's face when he had to chop his comrade's hands and head off. As always, poor, poor Philip. Assuming that both he and Stan survive the show (that's a big "if"), who are you going to feel the most sorry for?
    rkcrawfElisa
  • tom_gtom_g WV
    edited May 10
    Stan - wife left him, new wife is a spy (we think), prolifically murderous Russian spy neighbors right under his nose . . . he is going to question the reason for his existence.

    EDIT - Nina and Oleg have to weigh on him too.

    I can think of a dozen scenarios going forward - all of them dark.
    Elisa
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    I don't think Stan necessarily thinks they're illegals, but he definitely suspects they are criminals. I guess it would have been unrealistic for him to find evidence concealed by professionals doing a random, one-man search - but I really wanted him to.

    Regarding Stan's wife: I think they may have intended her to be a spy when she was introduced, then backed off of it when they realized they wouldn't have enough episodes to pay it off. It seems ridiculous that she would apply for a job at the bureau if she was an undercover foreign national.
  • MrXMrX CO
    Flukes said:
    I don't think Stan necessarily thinks they're illegals, but he definitely suspects they are criminals. I guess it would have been unrealistic for him to find evidence concealed by professionals doing a random, one-man search - but I really wanted him to.

    Regarding Stan's wife: I think they may have intended her to be a spy when she was introduced, then backed off of it when they realized they wouldn't have enough episodes to pay it off. It seems ridiculous that she would apply for a job at the bureau if she was an undercover foreign national.
    I think before Philip left for Chicago Stan thought they were into something bad like owing money to shady people or something, but he wasn't suspecting them of being spies.

    Then after everything went down in Chicago and they knew that it was a man and a woman, he was thinking way back the last time a man/woman team slipped through their fingers and Elizabeth went up to the "aunts" house for a while, that combined w/ his conversation in the car w/ Henry I think means he's suspecting they are the illegals - that's why he went to their house just like he did in season 1.
    majjam0770FlukesrkcrawfElisa
  • Remember at the end of season 5 the Jennings were going to go back to Russia but stayed bc of Kimmy?  Now Kimmy is out of the picture they could skip off to Russia...

    probs not gonna happen. But is a possibility for an ending where no one gets killed, though perhaps not many are happy either. 

    Matthew Rhys makes the saddest faces. What another great, tense episode. Harvest should have just taken the cyanide. But his end was surprisingly emotional when he reverted to Russian. And the Jennings have a spark or two left in their marriage. Stan better stop making his suspicious face around Philip. Kind of a tell. 3 more to go. 
  • I'd say Stan definitely suspects that the Jennings are illegals.  He had the flashback scene in his head from the Russian guy that died from that virus and basically describing Phillip and Elizabeth to Stan.  Additionally, Stan's wife/girlfriend is definitely not a spy.  I understand why people might suspect she is and I do think her initial introduction was to give off this impression but after Phillip talked to that other high up Russian guy (forget his character's name) and was basically demanding to know and the guy said that she's not, for the most part that should have cleared it up.  Granted, the guy could have been lying or might not know himself but at this point in time/story, she's not a spy.  If you really still think that she is, then you're also probably still holding out hope that Pastor Tim was a spy all along as well (as I tried to make the case long ago on these boards that for Pastor Tim to have been a spy would have just been bad story telling/lazy writing).

    As for this past episode, overall I did really enjoy it but I didn't like that Stan all of a sudden is now suspecting the Jennings again.  At this point in time, if the series was not ending, I don't think Stan would be suspecting.  So, I feel that his potential revelation that they are spies is sort of sped up a little too quickly.  However, at the same point, I did enjoy Stan figuring things out and doing another home investigation (although, in the back of his mind, if he believes that they are spies, then he should know that there is little chance he'd actually find something that easily).  Ultimately though, it's going to suck for Stan.  Because even if he figures things our and brings the Jennings in, as someone else mentioned, his career is over because they're going to question him as to how his neighbors could be illegals the entire time that Stan lived there and he didn't realize it.  Additionally, he also does lose a true friendship that has developed between him and Phillip.  Basically, there's not way that Stan comes out good in the end unless the Jennings are never discovered to be spies.

    For Phillip and Elizabeth, just damn that Phillip did what he did.  Couldn't they have just taken the body and dumped it into the water without having to hack it up first?  Guess that's a major negative with being in the undercover spy business is that it could result in something like this happening to your dead body.

    majjam0770
  • I also see Stan now being suspicious a little serendipitous.  I thought he might get to them through his very tedious examination of auto transactions.  Before he was given that assignment, Philip was shown to have a new car. 
    Flukesmajjam0770
  • tom_g said:
    I also see Stan now being suspicious a little serendipitous.  I thought he might get to them through his very tedious examination of auto transactions.  Before he was given that assignment, Philip was shown to have a new car. 

    Yes, going along with this, I thought the connection that Stan would make would something along those lines that his old partner would tell Stan something and then Stan would casually be talking with Phillip and make the connection.  Something like Phillip might say, I found an ad in the paper and bought this car.  Or, Stan might learn that a lot of illegals work in travel agencies.  Or maybe hidden illegals have exactly 2 kids.  Something where there would be a bunch of pieces and then all of a sudden Stan would have the awakening in his head such as "oh my god, I think the Jennings are actually illegals".  Not just "well, Phillip and Elizabeth have been acting a little weird lately and randomly leaving to go to work and that the kids don't have any other family" and such.
    majjam0770
  • Stan suddenly being suspicious again didn't bother me that much.  A lot of pieces are coming together for him, he is learning how the illegals act through all the information they are getting out of Chicago and maybe that is making the comparisons to how the Jennings live stick out more in his mind.  And he is remembering how Elizabeth disappeared after he shot an illegal, and verified the Aunt is a bit suspicious and certainly not close family.  And they are suddenly gone just at the time the action in Chicago is happening.  We know he was suspicious at the very beginning in season 1, but he wasn't able to find anything on them and they grew to be friends and life gets complicated.  He has been out of Counter Intellegence for 3 years now too, so possibly returning to that environment is making his mind go back over old ground.  I do agree it is pretty convenient timing for the end of the show though, and in reality a guy like Stan working in CI would have likely been more suspicious earlier.  But I am willing to let that one go.

    I do feel for Stan, he is in a bad spot. He is obviously far from a stupid person but has been a bit of a doofus here.   I think we have all likely had situations where we didn't figure things out for a long time that were obvious in hindsight. At least I have, so I can relate a bit.     I think Stan should voice his suspicions to Dennis.  I mean Dennis has Thanksgiving with the Jennings so Stan is not alone anyways.  I wonder why Stan doesn't do a simple flight records check?  In 1987 the FBI should be able to see if two people named Jennings flew to Houston and back around Thanksgiving.

    I am also not so sure Renee is not some sort of illegal.  Would be interesting if Stan opens up to her before going to the FBI.  Wonder what her reaction would be.  The show has certainly opened up many loose ends that can get the Jennings uncovered, it has always been a matter of time, just now time is short.  
    Flukes
  • MrXMrX CO
    tom_g said:
    I also see Stan now being suspicious a little serendipitous.  I thought he might get to them through his very tedious examination of auto transactions.  Before he was given that assignment, Philip was shown to have a new car. 

    They planted that seed way back in season 1 though, so I think he's always had it buried in his mind since, both consciously and unconsciously. So once everything came together last episode I was willing to buy it.
  • Watching Stan slowly piece it all together was awesome. I was on pins and needles while he was questioning Henry and then searching the house. 

    Now the the question is when does Stan make a move? I’m sure he needs to gather some more information but I just don’t see how he’s going to be able to face Philip or Elizabeth without acting in a way or asking questions that isn’t going to tip them off or at least make them suspicious. Man once that happens, game on! 
    majjam0770

  • For Phillip and Elizabeth, just damn that Phillip did what he did.  Couldn't they have just taken the body and dumped it into the water without having to hack it up first?  Guess that's a major negative with being in the undercover spy business is that it could result in something like this happening to your dead body.

    Bodies get gassy and tend to want to float, even if weighed down. A lot easier to submerge the hands/head. Plus if anyone dredged the lake (or river), it would be harder to find the small bag.
  • Wouldn't Philip's family car(s) have come through clean money (i.e., the travel agency). Even though illegals might pay cash for getaway cars and stuff, Philip doesn't really have a reason to buy a car in cash unless he's in disguise (using a fake name and fabulous wig).

    I agree that Stan is suspicious of them being illegals. The questions about the aunt, the voiceover (?) about the American dream while looking at family photos, and the thoroughness of the search through the kids' rooms lead me to this conclusion. Didn't he even unscrew a light bulb looking for something. 

    Shout out to the episode when Elizabeth dumped out the Russian food she made for Philip. At the time, I thought she was being paranoid. But Stan probably went through their fridge. Let's hope Paige didn't keep a diary there.

    I don't know what to make of Renee. I think the creators are smart enough to realize a modern audience would suspect her of being a Russian spy. I hope that's a card they never play. Esp. since she's really CIA (j/k).
    majjam0770
  • Stan suddenly being suspicious again didn't bother me that much.  A lot of pieces are coming together for him, he is learning how the illegals act through all the information they are getting out of Chicago and maybe that is making the comparisons to how the Jennings live stick out more in his mind.  And he is remembering how Elizabeth disappeared after he shot an illegal, and verified the Aunt is a bit suspicious and certainly not close family.  And they are suddenly gone just at the time the action in Chicago is happening.  We know he was suspicious at the very beginning in season 1, but he wasn't able to find anything on them and they grew to be friends and life gets complicated. 
    See, I would have rather seen a scene in which Stan asks for some flight records to Houston and when he doesn't see anyone named Jennings on the plane, then have him go find a time to do a search on the house to confirm suspicions.  It just appeared that Stan was cool with Phillip and Elizabeth and rather than a build up, a switch got flipped and now he's all suspicious.
    rkcrawfmajjam0770Flukes
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    Thinking back on this last episode it's clear to me now that the show is telling me Stan suspects they're illegals but like @dochielomn, I felt it was a little too  sudden. My head cannon going forward is maybe that's what happens sometimes for people who investigate for a living: all the evidence is there for a long while and even without adding anything new, it suddenly comes into focus.
  •  
    See, I would have rather seen a scene in which Stan asks for some flight records to Houston and when he doesn't see anyone named Jennings on the plane, then have him go find a time to do a search on the house to confirm suspicions.  It just appeared that Stan was cool with Phillip and Elizabeth and rather than a build up, a switch got flipped and now he's all suspicious.
    I get you, and this is something that might normally bother me but it doesn't for some reason.  But yeah if there were two seasons left Stan would totally have continued being a dope for those two seasons and that does feel plot-convenient but that happens in all shows to some extent.  

    About the flight records, it is such an obvious thing that Stan should check that I wonder if the show doesn't address it next episode?  It is possible that Philip and Elizabeth routed through Houston as they have been shown to sweat the small stuff, like throwing the Russian food away.  
    rkcrawf
  • chriskchrisk Indianapolis
    I didn't buy Stan making the connection again. To me he had clearly settled this back in Season 1. 

    And i think it’s so jarring because this a show that really takes its time with most things. 
  • Basically, I kind of look at it this way.  To me, Breaking Bad nailed it the way that Hank finally figured out who Heisenberg was.  I don't feel The Americans did the same for Stan and the Jennings.
    Flukes
  • Basically, I kind of look at it this way.  To me, Breaking Bad nailed it the way that Hank finally figured out who Heisenberg was.  I don't feel The Americans did the same for Stan and the Jennings.
    There was a smoking gun in Breaking Bad (the book). Before that, Hank didn't know, unless I'm missing something. With Stan, there isn't a smoking gun. Unless he found something off-camera, I don't think he has that smoking gun. I think he has a hunch, but is not necessarily convinced yet. So I think he's actually ahead of where Hank would be.
    Flukes
  • rkcrawf said:
    Basically, I kind of look at it this way.  To me, Breaking Bad nailed it the way that Hank finally figured out who Heisenberg was.  I don't feel The Americans did the same for Stan and the Jennings.
    There was a smoking gun in Breaking Bad (the book). Before that, Hank didn't know, unless I'm missing something. With Stan, there isn't a smoking gun. Unless he found something off-camera, I don't think he has that smoking gun. I think he has a hunch, but is not necessarily convinced yet. So I think he's actually ahead of where Hank would be.

    Yes, Hank found a real piece of evidence but even before he had made several remarks to Walt previously that may have shown a little suspicion but not entirely.  Once he found the book, it's not like it said "hey Heisenburg, I mean, Walt.....".  It was initials and Hank was able to make the connection and think about upon past events.  At this point in The Americans, I think by the search of the house last week that Stan is like at 80 or 90% sure that the Jennings are not who they say they are even though his search turned up with nothing.  And to me, it just seems rushed.  The Jennings have randomly disappeared plenty of times in front of Stan or worked strange hours and Stan didn't think twice about it.  Now, all of a sudden, he is and he's searching their home?  I just wanted a little more concrete evidence to get the character to that point.  If Stan would have made a call and requested some sort of computer check for a passenger log and been told instantly over the phone, I would have been fine with him going to search the house.  Just seems like the story got accelerated because the show is wrapping up.
    Flukesmajjam0770
  • MrXMrX CO
    rkcrawf said:
    Basically, I kind of look at it this way.  To me, Breaking Bad nailed it the way that Hank finally figured out who Heisenberg was.  I don't feel The Americans did the same for Stan and the Jennings.
    There was a smoking gun in Breaking Bad (the book). Before that, Hank didn't know, unless I'm missing something. With Stan, there isn't a smoking gun. Unless he found something off-camera, I don't think he has that smoking gun. I think he has a hunch, but is not necessarily convinced yet. So I think he's actually ahead of where Hank would be.

    Yes, Hank found a real piece of evidence but even before he had made several remarks to Walt previously that may have shown a little suspicion but not entirely.  Once he found the book, it's not like it said "hey Heisenburg, I mean, Walt.....".  It was initials and Hank was able to make the connection and think about upon past events.  At this point in The Americans, I think by the search of the house last week that Stan is like at 80 or 90% sure that the Jennings are not who they say they are even though his search turned up with nothing.  And to me, it just seems rushed.  The Jennings have randomly disappeared plenty of times in front of Stan or worked strange hours and Stan didn't think twice about it.  Now, all of a sudden, he is and he's searching their home?  I just wanted a little more concrete evidence to get the character to that point.  If Stan would have made a call and requested some sort of computer check for a passenger log and been told instantly over the phone, I would have been fine with him going to search the house.  Just seems like the story got accelerated because the show is wrapping up.

    He searched their house way back in the pilot for the entire series. And this time the "gut feeling" evidence was piling up - first Elizabeth then Philip suddenly leave on Thanksgiving - and then he has the conversation with Henry where unwittingly reveals that the "Aunt" Elizabeth went to visit is probably not real - and then the mess in Chicago being again tied to a man-woman team - something that has always nagged at Stan since the season 1 finale where he almost caught them and shot Elizabeth.

    My interpretation is that there was always some small seed of suspicion in Stan and he managed to dismiss it for most of the show since he became so close with the Jennings ... but know the way everything piled on last episode it "broke the dam."
    majjam0770
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    MrX said:
    rkcrawf said:
    Basically, I kind of look at it this way.  To me, Breaking Bad nailed it the way that Hank finally figured out who Heisenberg was.  I don't feel The Americans did the same for Stan and the Jennings.
    There was a smoking gun in Breaking Bad (the book). Before that, Hank didn't know, unless I'm missing something. With Stan, there isn't a smoking gun. Unless he found something off-camera, I don't think he has that smoking gun. I think he has a hunch, but is not necessarily convinced yet. So I think he's actually ahead of where Hank would be.

    Yes, Hank found a real piece of evidence but even before he had made several remarks to Walt previously that may have shown a little suspicion but not entirely.  Once he found the book, it's not like it said "hey Heisenburg, I mean, Walt.....".  It was initials and Hank was able to make the connection and think about upon past events.  At this point in The Americans, I think by the search of the house last week that Stan is like at 80 or 90% sure that the Jennings are not who they say they are even though his search turned up with nothing.  And to me, it just seems rushed.  The Jennings have randomly disappeared plenty of times in front of Stan or worked strange hours and Stan didn't think twice about it.  Now, all of a sudden, he is and he's searching their home?  I just wanted a little more concrete evidence to get the character to that point.  If Stan would have made a call and requested some sort of computer check for a passenger log and been told instantly over the phone, I would have been fine with him going to search the house.  Just seems like the story got accelerated because the show is wrapping up.

    He searched their house way back in the pilot for the entire series. And this time the "gut feeling" evidence was piling up - first Elizabeth then Philip suddenly leave on Thanksgiving - and then he has the conversation with Henry where unwittingly reveals that the "Aunt" Elizabeth went to visit is probably not real - and then the mess in Chicago being again tied to a man-woman team - something that has always nagged at Stan since the season 1 finale where he almost caught them and shot Elizabeth.

    My interpretation is that there was always some small seed of suspicion in Stan and he managed to dismiss it for most of the show since he became so close with the Jennings ... but know the way everything piled on last episode it "broke the dam."
    I agree that this is what the show is trying to tell us, but just one piece of concrete evidence that they'd lied about something would have made the whole thing feel better. Calling the airline on this hunch would have been a short scene that smoothed the ramp-up.
    MrX
  • MrXMrX CO
    Flukes said:
    MrX said:
    rkcrawf said:
    Basically, I kind of look at it this way.  To me, Breaking Bad nailed it the way that Hank finally figured out who Heisenberg was.  I don't feel The Americans did the same for Stan and the Jennings.
    There was a smoking gun in Breaking Bad (the book). Before that, Hank didn't know, unless I'm missing something. With Stan, there isn't a smoking gun. Unless he found something off-camera, I don't think he has that smoking gun. I think he has a hunch, but is not necessarily convinced yet. So I think he's actually ahead of where Hank would be.

    Yes, Hank found a real piece of evidence but even before he had made several remarks to Walt previously that may have shown a little suspicion but not entirely.  Once he found the book, it's not like it said "hey Heisenburg, I mean, Walt.....".  It was initials and Hank was able to make the connection and think about upon past events.  At this point in The Americans, I think by the search of the house last week that Stan is like at 80 or 90% sure that the Jennings are not who they say they are even though his search turned up with nothing.  And to me, it just seems rushed.  The Jennings have randomly disappeared plenty of times in front of Stan or worked strange hours and Stan didn't think twice about it.  Now, all of a sudden, he is and he's searching their home?  I just wanted a little more concrete evidence to get the character to that point.  If Stan would have made a call and requested some sort of computer check for a passenger log and been told instantly over the phone, I would have been fine with him going to search the house.  Just seems like the story got accelerated because the show is wrapping up.

    He searched their house way back in the pilot for the entire series. And this time the "gut feeling" evidence was piling up - first Elizabeth then Philip suddenly leave on Thanksgiving - and then he has the conversation with Henry where unwittingly reveals that the "Aunt" Elizabeth went to visit is probably not real - and then the mess in Chicago being again tied to a man-woman team - something that has always nagged at Stan since the season 1 finale where he almost caught them and shot Elizabeth.

    My interpretation is that there was always some small seed of suspicion in Stan and he managed to dismiss it for most of the show since he became so close with the Jennings ... but know the way everything piled on last episode it "broke the dam."
    I agree that this is what the show is trying to tell us, but just one piece of concrete evidence that they'd lied about something would have made the whole thing feel better. Calling the airline on this hunch would have been a short scene that smoothed the ramp-up.

    I agree, if they had gone the extra step and have him check into the airline or find something w/ the car sales it would have firmed it up.
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    This would have been a good week for them to have Noah Emmerich on the official podcast. I'd really have liked to hear his take on it.
  • edited May 16
    Idk it was no Breaking Bad moment,I’ll give you that but I still thought it was pretty good.

    I mean when he was questioning Henry in the car it was giving me chills. These are just normal and realistic questions to pass the time and kind of kill the silence but the answers he was getting were really suspicious and you could watch Stan get increasingly interested/suspicious as they kept talking. That alone wasn’t quite enough to raise the alarm bells but definitely had to stay in his mind, then with the Chicago news I can see how that all hit him at once.  I buy it. 
    rkcrawf
  • chriskchrisk Indianapolis
    MrX said:
    rkcrawf said:
    Basically, I kind of look at it this way.  To me, Breaking Bad nailed it the way that Hank finally figured out who Heisenberg was.  I don't feel The Americans did the same for Stan and the Jennings.
    There was a smoking gun in Breaking Bad (the book). Before that, Hank didn't know, unless I'm missing something. With Stan, there isn't a smoking gun. Unless he found something off-camera, I don't think he has that smoking gun. I think he has a hunch, but is not necessarily convinced yet. So I think he's actually ahead of where Hank would be.

    Yes, Hank found a real piece of evidence but even before he had made several remarks to Walt previously that may have shown a little suspicion but not entirely.  Once he found the book, it's not like it said "hey Heisenburg, I mean, Walt.....".  It was initials and Hank was able to make the connection and think about upon past events.  At this point in The Americans, I think by the search of the house last week that Stan is like at 80 or 90% sure that the Jennings are not who they say they are even though his search turned up with nothing.  And to me, it just seems rushed.  The Jennings have randomly disappeared plenty of times in front of Stan or worked strange hours and Stan didn't think twice about it.  Now, all of a sudden, he is and he's searching their home?  I just wanted a little more concrete evidence to get the character to that point.  If Stan would have made a call and requested some sort of computer check for a passenger log and been told instantly over the phone, I would have been fine with him going to search the house.  Just seems like the story got accelerated because the show is wrapping up.

    He searched their house way back in the pilot for the entire series. And this time the "gut feeling" evidence was piling up - first Elizabeth then Philip suddenly leave on Thanksgiving - and then he has the conversation with Henry where unwittingly reveals that the "Aunt" Elizabeth went to visit is probably not real - and then the mess in Chicago being again tied to a man-woman team - something that has always nagged at Stan since the season 1 finale where he almost caught them and shot Elizabeth.

    My interpretation is that there was always some small seed of suspicion in Stan and he managed to dismiss it for most of the show since he became so close with the Jennings ... but know the way everything piled on last episode it "broke the dam."

    The problem there for me is buying years of conversation between Stan and Henry that happened largely in the context of his parents absences. 

    The Breaking Bad comparison is good because I felt Hank got smarter as the show went and I feel Stan has gone the other direction and then seemed to luck into this. That happens in real life but I’d rather see him work his way there. 
    rkcrawfNervousRhino
  • chrisk said:
    The problem there for me is buying years of conversation between Stan and Henry that happened largely in the context of his parents absences.
    That’s definitely true. I chalked it up to the way Philip was acting triggered Stan to dig a little deeper than he usually would while talking to Henry. Idk if he fully bought the business failing as a explanation but either way I think he would be concerned enough to start asking questions. 
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