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'The Americans' recap: Teen party girl could be a KGB asset

'The Americans': Party girls, cell mates and more on 'Dimebag' episode

In a new strategy to infiltrate the CIA, KGB spies Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell) target a flirtatious teenager as a potential asset in the “Dimebag” episode of “The Americans” on FX.

“We’ve never used someone this young before,” Philip says of Kimberly Breland (Julia Garner), a pot-smoking party girl who’s attracted to older men. Philip and Elizabeth are attracted to Kimberly because her father heads an elite CIA group that helps mujahideen rebels fight the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Philip makes contact with Kimberly outside a nightclub after she and her friends are turned away because of their bogus ID cards.

“I have a friend in the DMV. He can probably get you real licenses,” Philip offers. Then he gives Kimberly his phone number while pretending to be an alcohol industry lobbyist.

Intrigued by their encounter, Kimberly invites Philip to hang out at a park — just the two of them.

“Don’t you want to dance?” Kimberly asks suggestively. “I’m too old,” Philip protests. As a compromise, they smoke a joint and hug each other for warmth in the frigid night air.

Philip is also getting closer to his troubled neighbor, FBI Agent Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich), by accompanying him to an EST New Age seminar. It’s part of Stan’s desperate attempt to reconcile with his wife, Sandra (Susan Misner).

After Stan performs an emotionally painful exercise in front of the group, he’s approached by Tori (Callie Thorne), a sexy lady who wants to meet for drinks. Stan politely declines.

“What, are you crazy?” Philip asks. “You’re single!”

“No,” Stan somberly replies. “I’m not.” Later that evening, Stan goes to Sandra’s home unannounced and confesses he once had an affair.

“Just trying to be honest with this EST stuff,” he says. Sandra is impressed with Stan’s openness, but she’s not ready to rekindle their romance.

Another woman in Stan’s life is Soviet defector Zinaida Preobrazhenskaya (Svetlana Efremova), who’s on a press tour criticizing the war in Afghanistan. As Stan keeps her safe from KGB assassins, he grows increasingly suspicious about her motives.

“Something doesn’t feel right to me about Zinaida,” Stan reveals to his boss, FBI Special Agent Frank Gaad (Richard Thomas). Is she secretly working for the USSR while rubbing shoulders with American dignitaries?

To learn more, Stan searches the women’s restroom at a diner where he and Zinaida had supper. Any hidden evidence of spy craft? Not this time.

In a Moscow prison, meanwhile, former KGB double-agent Nina Sergeevna (Annet Mahendru) has an opportunity to escape the death penalty for her treasonous acts. To receive a more lenient sentence she must win the confidence of her mysterious cell mate, Evi Sneijder (Katja Mira Herbers).

A peace activist who traveled to the USSR on a student visa, Evi was caught leaving a package for a spy. Evi claims she didn’t know the contents and was just doing a favor for her boyfriend.

Now Nina opens up about herself, hoping Evi will do the same.

“I betrayed my country. This is why I am here,” Nina admits. Later she sobs during a fake nightmare to get Evi’s attention.

“It’s OK,” Evi tenderly says as she climbs into bed with Nina.

Finally, Elizabeth and Philip continue fighting for the soul of their daughter, Paige (Holly Taylor), who just turned 15. Elizabeth wants to recruit her as a second-generation KGB spy. But Philip has decidedly different plans.

“You know what most parents want?” Philip angrily asks. “Good college, good marriage, good job.”

“I am doing it — with or without you,” Elizabeth insists. In other words, the recruitment is on!

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
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