Episode 304 - "Dimebag"

Director: Thomas Schlamme
Writer: Peter Ackerman


  • Nina looks really young
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    This episode gave me emotional whiplash.
  • The pedo stuff is too much.
  • galaga - THANK YOU!
  • WarpFoxWarpFox Nashville, TN
    Regarding the feedback asking about the Russians addressing each other by first and last names:

    In American culture, we have "given names" and a "family name", the family name being our last name. In Russian culture, you have a "given name" like a first name, a "patronymic" which is your father's name, and a last name or family name.

    So, say your name is John Smith and your dad's name was James — you might inherit your dad's name as your middle name, making your name "Johnathan James Smith" and in American culture you'd just be called "John". However, in some older cultures, especially Slavic, it's customary to introduce yourself as the son/daughter of your father, so you'd say "I am Johnathan, son of James". In Russian culture, this is done with an "ovich" (if you are male) or "ovna" (if you are a female) at the end of your father's name, and is used as part of your name.

    So as a Russian, if your name is Constantine and your father's name is Nickolai, and your family name is Lenin, your full name would be Constantine Nickolaiovich Lenin. And if your sister's name is Anya, her full name would be Anya Nivkolaiovna Lenin. Using a person's first name and patronymic is a way of formally addressing them and would definitely be used in a professional atmosphere.

  • chriskchrisk Indianapolis
    edited February 2015
    Was hoping you guys would mention the commercial Philip saw on TV, with the model acting like a little girl. I think they were trying to lampshade a cultural difference between now and the shows era w/r/t underage sex and sexuality. That commercial comes off as gross, but obviously it was considered somewhat acceptable back then. Brooke Shields was just in a controversial Calvin Klein ad the year before, basically a sex object at age 16. A few years before that she played a prostitute at the age of 12 in Pretty Baby, and was even nude in the film. Those were both controversial, but they happened in that time. Jodie Foster was a child prostitute in Taxi Driver around the same time as Pretty Baby.

    I also remember a couple bad movies in the 80s about teenage boys and older women. To whatever extent they talk about kids being sexualized now it's really nothing compared to back then. That goes for sexual permissiveness in general as well.

    I'm not even certain Philip has a moral issue with romancing her so much as he does manipulating her at all. Though i just now remembered him beating the crap out of that guy who made inappropriate comments to Paige in season one. Seemed like he made some comment to the guy about little girls after he had him down.

    Point is, while its not like this would have been commonplace or even acceptable if you were caught, I don't think the notion of it would have been considered quite so skeevy back then.
  • I love what you guys are doing with the podcast, and I hope the show gets another season.

    Had to lol at Jim doing "research" on Yaz. I was around at that time, in my twenties, and that music was always in the background somewhere. There was nothing Creed-esque about them, at least as far as their audience knew. There was no internet to look stuff up back then.

    Imagine that. The horror.

    If you've ever heard of Depeche Mode or Duran Duran or INXS or Human League they were right alongside them.

    I was there. I partied. I conquered.

    Now excuse me while I go listen to the Smiths.
  • MmmBopMmmBop United Kingdom
    I really thought Elizabeth would use the young lad ( forgot name) she is training to seduce the young girl.
  • JimJim
    edited February 2015
    WarpFox said:

    Using a person's first name and patronymic is a way of formally addressing them and would definitely be used in a professional atmosphere.

    Trust me, we know about all the patronymic stuff.  A.Ron said it on a podcast and we've had a lot of emails about it.  This part of your quote is what we were wondering.  I guess it's a formality in the workplace kinda thing, which we don't do a lot here in the states.

    @chrisk really solid point about the commercial.  I actually had it in my notes but failed to bring it up.  A little more evidence to support your point; the creepiest song I can think of off the top of my head.  The lyrics are creepy.  The video doesn't do him any favors.
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    edited February 2015
    @chrisk I agree, I absolutely think the show was hanging a lantern on the Love's Baby Soft commercial and contemporaneous attitudes towards the sexualization of minors.  Especially given the placement of the commercial.  The show focuses on it directly after Elizabeth criticizes Philip's masculinity by questioning who wears the pants in the Clark and Martha relationship.  After feeling emasculated by that, Philip then watches a commercial that informs him that if you're a man, you're attracted to innocent, young girls.  It is definitely repulsive to both us and, thankfully, to Philip as well, but we have to be cautious of watching this show through a self-aware 2015 Americanized lens.

  • WarpFoxWarpFox Nashville, TN
    @Jim right on. I sort of half-ass watch the show with my wife and therefore half-ass listen to the podcast when she listens to it, so I didn't really know if you guys had delved into that yet or not, just wanted to sound smart from the 2 years of Russian I took as a foreign language in high school.
  • JamesJames southern California
    @WarpFox That explanation was just what I've been looking for, thanks.

    @pavlovsbell, @chrisk On the Insider podcast the producers noted that they used the commercial just for this purpose -- they were also amazed that a commercial such as this was acceptable so recently. Oh, by the way, there's an insider podcast, called "The Americans: Slate TV Club Insider Podcast" out there, hosted by script coordinator Mollie Nussbaum with EP's Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg. It's entertaining but short -- Fields and Weisberg are not as prone to wandering conversations as the Villigan.

    Jim and A.Ron: What are the odds pastor Tim turns out to be attracted to young girls? The show seems to have been skirting this topic for a while, with the creepy guy in season 1 and the guy Paige and Henry escaped from in Season 2 (who, as I recall, was spouting Bible verses at some point).
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    Back in Ye Olden 80s Days in regional Australia, we said 'Gal-aah-ga' - emphasis on the second syllable and long 'a' sound.
  • @Jim "They're evil through and through. Communism and atheism are the two worst things you can be." Obviously you've never met a sadistic proctologist. (rimshot)
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    @Travis  I gather that you are catching up on this show?
  • Yeah. All caught up. It was pretty crazy, we watched basically the whole thing to date in about 3 weeks or so. So damned good. I think I liked season 2 better than 3 on the whole, but it was awfully good and really gripping. They've really done a great job on everyone's evolution.

    I'm glad that you inadvertently reminded me. I've got to check out your podcast. I had meant to, but kind of spaced on it. I'm going to do that in the next couple of days.

  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    Thanks!  That's interesting that you prefer S2.  I'm curious to see if I change my mind when we do a rewatch.  We will be recording a S3 wrap up podcast this week, so if you want to send in any thoughts, I'd love to hear them.
  • steph_bsteph_b Austin
    I really started to hate the show mid-season but it totally came back around for me in the end. I am glad I stuck with it and I gotta say that I credit @pavlovsbell 's podcast, Directorate S, for talking me down off the ledge. I still have some issues with some stuff in season 3 but it is personal preference mostly. I think I am prepared to say that its definitely in my top 3 shows of 2015 which, in  order, would be Mad Men, Better Call Saul, and The Americans. 
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited May 2015

    I look forward to re-watching it all too, once some time passes and I can look at it with a fresher brain, but I suppose I preferred season 2 a little bit over 3 because it did become a bit of a grind. Don't get me wrong, it was a brilliant grind, and the Americans is a show that does a great job of making the viewer uncomfortable while being so compelling that you can't turn away but there were points where it felt like it was pouring down so hard from so many different angles that I found myself begging for at least a little relief. I get that it's just the escalation of the game and that the point of the current plot is seeing Phillip lose faith in the conflict while Elizabeth retreats into her sense of purpose and the experiment of seeing those two forces, so incredibly exacerbated while they still do care for each other, and how all of that plays out and partially turns into a war for Paige's soul, but as much as that is incredibly compelling I think I was having the most fun in season 2 where they had a focused enemy with a face (the CIA asset who turned on them, name is escaping me) and a more over-arcing mission and things hadn't spiraled quite to the extent that it did. Actually, maybe that is it. Maybe they just had too many irons in the fire in season 3. I get that it was part of the point, to see them spread so thin, but it did leave less to completely grab onto while things are just falling in and out of the plot. Season 2 as I remember was a bit more cohesive which helped.

    All that said, I really enjoyed season 3 a great deal. I just preferred 2 a little bit. I will say that the episode where Elizabeth had to murder that old woman so that they could bug the mail bot was amazing. Such great performances. Anyways, that's my season 3 ramble.

  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    Those are great thoughts, thank you!
  • In thinking about it, that could also be the price of binge watching most of the season. When you don't have that week to breathe and process everything and start fresh with a new episode I imagine that the piling on of sadness becomes a lot more intense when you're just pushing your way through. My wife and I have talked about finishing up the Leftovers which we were really enjoying but I started reading the book and didn't want to watch more of the show until I had finished it, and I wonder if that will be a side effect for that show too.
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    edited May 2015
    Oh gosh, The Leftovers.  I don't know, I watched that live, and my experience was super conflicted (although more negative than positive).  I can't even imagine marathoning it.

    I've wondered what S3 of The Americans would be like when marathoned.  I think S3 is one of those shows that plays much better as a weekly show because not only does it take me few days to fully unpack an episode (unfortunately, we record before then, haha), but it's similar to Breaking Bad with its buildup of dread and anxiety.  When I was catching up to S4 of BrBa, I couldn't watch more than one or two episodes per day because the intensity was too much.  And BrBa is more action-driven and has that gallows humor to balance it, so... yeah, I can definitely see how S3 of The Americans can be a bit much to marathon because it's also extremely sad on top of everything else.

  • ElisaElisa Los Angeles
    I'm in the midst of a rewatch of S1 - wow what an intense great opening season.  The dynamics and parallels between Phillip and his old pre KGB flame, Gregory and Elizabeth, Phillip and Elizabeth, Stan and Nina, Clark and Martha and Stan and his wife.  It's just so incredibly intense.  I wanted to cry when Gregory made his choice.  It's such a great show.  I will need to check out your podcast.
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    I rewatched some S1 and S2 episodes along with a friend who is new to the show, and I got really emotional.  I'm so invested in all of the characters, which is unusual for me, and especially for a show that is still fairly early in its run.
  • ElisaElisa Los Angeles
    I just adored the relationship between Gregory and Elizabeth, so much more real than hers with Phillip.  Plus the whole Nina and Stan relationship is so sad yet so intense.  Stan is just such a lonely, strange guy. 
  • @pavlovsbell Thank you very much for the kind words on your wrap up cast. I'm really glad you liked the take. I enjoyed the podcast and I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for the re-watch episodes. Thanks!
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