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Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep? is the ninth episode of Season Three of The Americans on FX, and the thirty-fifth episode overall.

SynopsisEdit

Philip and Elizabeth struggle with the gravity of unexpected collateral damage.

PlotEdit

Elizabeth meets with Hans and tells him Todd may have seen him when they left the factory. Even though she can’t be sure, Elizabeth is not willing to take the risk and tells him “It’s over: us, this.” Hans later shoots Todd as he works in a campus book supply room. He doesn’t die immediately and when Hans’s gun jams, they fight until Hans is able to fatally choke him. When Hans tells Elizabeth, she is not happy, but agrees to continue working with him. Hans says “I will do whatever is asked of me, for the cause, for you.”

Phillip tells Elizabeth the FBI found the bug in Gaad’s pen, and there’s more: “Martha knows about me [because] the person they brought in to investigate isn’t me.” He recommends doing nothing, and giving Martha time, but Elizabeth grows upset at both this and his plan to return to Martha’s again that night. Phillip says simply that he trusts Martha. He arrives at her place to find her happily cooking. She tells him “It’s okay. It’s fine. I’m fine. I just needed to know.” During dinner, she offers a toast “to turning the page.” She also tells him the mail robot is in a shop for repairs, thanks to being attacked by a frustrated Agent Gaad.

Oleg meets with Stan in an abandoned warehouse, telling him he now thinks Stan could be right about Zinaida. He proposes a way they can know for sure, stressing that it could have disastrous consequences if they’re caught. Later, Stan accompanies Zinaida back to her hotel, checking her room carefully before sitting outside her door waiting for room service food to be delivered. A disguised Oleg emerges from the shadows of her room, pointing a gun at her and telling her she has two weeks to recant everything she’s said about the USSR and its Afghan war. Zinaida remains calm and agrees to nothing. Stan enters with the food and Oleg attacks him, knocking him in the temple with his gun, before fleeing.

Gabriel meets with the Jennings, who update him on events with Martha and Gaad’s office. When Gabriel asks if Martha can “keep it together during a long investigation,” Phillip vouches for her, but Elizabeth has doubts: “We’ve never seen her under that kind of pressure.” Their positions are now reversed from an almost identical conversation they had earlier with another handler (Claudia) about a different romantically-involved asset (Gregory). Gabriel sides with Phillip and says there’s no need to end Martha's operation yet. But Phillip becomes upset when Gabriel says The Center is ordering them to bug the broken mail robot. Phillip believes The Center will want Martha to switch out the tapes, and doesn’t like the danger that puts her in. However, Gabriel says the operation may not necessarily be carried out that way, and tells the Jennings “You should trust the organization.”

Phillip and Elizabeth sneak into the repair facility at night and find the mail robot. They dismantle it and start to affix the bug. Elizabeth says “It’s only natural that you developed feelings for Martha. I understand.” Phillip clearly doesn’t want to discuss it, and retorts “Thanks for your permission.” When they hear a toilet flush and see a light on in an office upstairs, Phillip continues working while Elizabeth goes to check it out. She finds the aged mother of the plant owner, Betty, paying bills.

Elizabeth tells her she’s here to repair a machine, but when Betty tries to call for help, Elizabeth stops her. She continues to stand guard over Betty while Phillip remains downstairs working on the mail robot. Betty is chatty, and tells Elizabeth about her husband, Gil, who served in the war, and her son, Andy. Despite herself, Elizabeth becomes drawn into Betty's company, perhaps because she's missing her own mother. Betty has a heart condition and requests a glass to water to take her medication. Elizabeth checks in on Phillip when she gets it, telling him about Betty and that “he was gone for four years, during World War II, her husband.” Phillip stops and looks at her, confused both about how she knows this, and her hesitation to take the obvious, needed action. Finally he says “She picked a bad time,” and resumes working.

Back upstairs, Betty and Elizabeth keep talking, with Elizabeth reluctantly sharing information about her family. When Elizabeth says her mother lives in Russia, Betty begins to understand who she actually is and what kind of fate may befall her. Elizabeth admits she won’t be able to let Betty leave, and slowly pours out the rest of her blood pressure medication onto the desk. Betty willingly takes one pill at a time over the course of several minutes, continuing her conversation with Elizabeth, at times slipping in and out of reality. She tells Elizabeth she and her husband were married twice. They were divorced, but after his second wife died, they remarried: “We no longer had sugar in our eyes. None of that ‘why can’t you be the person I want instead of the person you are’ stuff.” She says they were “happy in the second round.”

Elizabeth can barely keep from crying as she continues to watch Betty take her pills, reminisce, and slowly fade. Betty is surprised to learn Elizabeth has children: “And this is what you do? … Why?” Elizabeth says she is making the world a better place, but Betty asserts “That’s what evil people tell themselves, when they do evil things,” and then she dies. Meeting Phillip as he's finishing up, Elizabeth tells him “They’ll find her body in the morning. She was sick.” Phillip sees Elizabeth is not acting her usual self; when he asks if she’s okay, she refuses to turn around, because she is crying. Finally, Elizabeth simply says: “We have to go.”

Stan and Oleg meet; Oleg says Zinaida didn’t react much to their encounter: “She didn’t break, or confess, or panic.” Oleg smirks when apologizing for hitting Stan so hard. Stan offers him a beer, saying “Wasn’t there just a little part of you that wanted to crack my head open?”

Gabriel and Phillip play Scrabble at Gabriel’s apartment. Gabriel opines that love and marriage are in many ways antithetical: one is a bolt of lightning, and the other is planting, tilling, tending. Phillip recallss that when he first saw Elizabeth, it did feel like a bolt of lightning: “It had never happened before. Or since.” Gabriel tells him Elizabeth rejected the first officer who was supposed to be her husband in America. So “in her own way, she chose you.” Phillip says it’s never felt that way. When Gabriel asks him to share what’s troubling him, Phillip replies that Gabriel is: “I trusted you. Your job was to look out for me. And now my job is to look out for my family, because no one else will.”

NotesEdit

  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick. The book served as the primary basis for the 1982 film Blade Runner. The novel is set in post-apocalyptic San Francisco, where Earth has been greatly damaged by nuclear global war. Its main plot follows Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter who is tasked with "retiring" (i.e. killing) six escaped androids. The novel explores the issue of what it is to be human. Unlike humans, the androids are said to possess no sense of empathy.

VideosEdit

The Americans 3x09 Promo (HD)

The Americans 3x09 Promo (HD)


Season Three
#301 "EST Men" #308 "Divestment"
#302 "Baggage" #309 "Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?"
#303 "Open House" #310 "Stingers"
#304 "Dimebag" #311 "One Day in the Life of Anton Baklanov"
#305 "Salang Pass" #312 "I Am Abassin Zadran"
#306 "Born Again" #313 "March 8, 1983"
#307 "Walter Taffet"