eighth episode is another savage opera of assassins, adultery and explosions. There's only one thing fiercer than its spy versus spy shenanigans: the modern job market. Even though it's set in the 1980s, "Mutually Assured Destruction" reveals four work - related truths we can all relate to.
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Personal Life? What's That?
The Jennings are back in marital bliss at first. Philizabeth cuddle while setting off car bombs and hold hands hunting hitmen. Then Elizabeth meets her boss Granny. She all but sends the secret police after their relationship, basically saying "Your husband cheated on you. Look on the bright side, now you can focus on your work!"
Granny's that supervisor who if they had their way, employees would live at their desk. Still, it's not like you can say anything about this, because...
You Have No Job Security
There's a scene where Philip grouses to Martha how his fake job will can him if results aren't up to snuff. Still, he'll get laid off at his real KGB job if those TPS reports aren't in on time. What's worse is in Russia, job fires you! As in, "Fires a bullet into your skull."
Today, there's a sea of unwashed masses out there who are willing to do your job for less and without complaining. Of course, with the USSR at the time it's folks willing to work for two loaves of bread instead of one. Guess what though? Even if someone else screws up...
It's Always Your Fault
Philp and Elizabeth start their assignment knowing nothing about some incredible assassin their superiors hired, and quickly took him out with only four casualties. That's like if the Wright brothers' boss asked them to invent the space shuttle, but and they only ended up making the first airplane. The management screwed up asking for too much, but at least it got some spectacular results.
It's not like any KGB superiors will take the blame for anything, though. They'll still see this mission as a failure. When it comes down to it, if it's you and your boss' butt on the line you won't win. That's not even the worst aspect of the job market, which would be...
You Love Your Job, But Hate Everything Else
That's the biggest trap you can fall into. They say if you love your job, you never work a day in your life. Stan, Philip and Elizabeth all love their jobs. Okay, so Philip's a little less devoted to the cause than Elizabeth. Still, that's like saying the Heaven's Gate fanatics took that whole "cult" thing more seriously than the Branch Davidians.
It's easy to get so wrapped up in your profession that everything else feels like work. Stan loves being an FBI agent, but the real work starts once he gets home. That woman Stan swore he would love forever becomes some nagging harpy keeping him from getting things done. The job comes first, everything else second.
This episode of The Americans
may not have broken new ground like its predecessors, but remained watchable. We've got a week long break for pondering these lessons it taught us before returning April 3rd. Make sure you don't miss next episode by downloading the free BuddyTV App
(Image courtesy of FX)