Philip and Elizabeth constantly hook up with other people. They make their living off lies. Their arguments reach such intensity that if Leonard Tolstoy wrote a book about them it would be titled War and More War
. Yet for all that, these two have one of the most functional relationships on TV. Examining their fake marriage can offer some revolutionary ideas for real couples.
Let's start with the most interesting aspect: the sex! This week's episode, "Duty and Honor," features what may be the first time Philip ever truly cheated on Elizabeth. Yeah, he's boinked like a Soviet rabbit with several other ladies. Still, that doesn't mean he was violating the sacred trust of their marital bonds.
Just because these sleeper agents sleep around doesn't make it cheating. They've got set boundaries for what is and isn't acceptable. Getting under covers for their undercover assignment is perfectly fine. Naturally some jealousy arises, they talk it out. Just think back to The Americans' earlier episode, "Gregory." Elizabeth's old flame almost burned her and Philip's relationship down, but they managed to get past their drama. Even if you're not planning on swinging with your significant other, the lesson here is pretty clear. Good communication is key.
That's what makes Philip's actions at the end of "Duty and Honor" feel like actual infidelity. Yeah, he and fellow agent Anne romantically crossed hammers and sickles. What crosses a line is the fact he lied about it to Elizabeth. If the truth comes out, that transgression could tear his marriage apart.
Still, that lie was almost necessary. In a way, it got across the essence of the truth in Philip's situation. A little extramarital ÑÐµÐºÑ (Fun Fact: that's Russian for sex) just doesn't compare to vanishing with his old lover. It really drives home a poignant line Nina drops after Stan federally investigates her nether regions: "You Americans think everything is white and black. For us, everything is gray."
The Americans continues its winning streak with "Duty and Honor." The question is whether Philip and Elizabeth's relationship can do the same. Do you think their Communist-style sharing of love can last, or will it fall like the Berlin Wall? Comment and let us know!Want to add The Americans to your very own watch-list? Download BuddyTV Guide for free for your phone.
(Image courtesy of FX)