'The Americans' on FX HD - Page 102 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #3031 of 3176 Old 06-01-2018, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by gwsat View Post
If I shared your background, I would probably agree with you. My thinking, though, was that Stan's decision to let the Jennings go was driven by Stan's humanity, his genuinely close friendship with Philip and what I will not hesitate to call his love for Henry. Stan is neither stupid nor naive but he is a warm and caring person. There were no perfect answers to the problems that the discovery of Philip and Elizabeth's identities created but I think Stan's decision to let them go (and probably to take Henry in) was as close to right as any. Also, Philip and Elizabeth paid a huge price by giving up their children. Blood is blood, so that had to hurt, a lot.

Yeah I'm sure the FBI would be down with Stan taking in a spy's son. Career suicide.

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post #3032 of 3176 Old 06-01-2018, 12:20 PM
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Yeah I'm sure the FBI would be down with Stan taking in a spy's son. Career suicide.
What would letting Elizabeth and Phillip go be .. ?? If we're speculating, I'd bet there would be quite an investigation on Stan's entire relationship with the Jennings Family and how he never really put 2 and 2 together until near the end .. Stan would be lucky to walk away with his pension and no prison time ..

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post #3033 of 3176 Old 06-01-2018, 01:07 PM
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Correct. There is no controversy. You are still missing the point. In a very nuanced show there was (to me) a real possibility that in the short gap between Elizabeth's reaction and Paige standing alone that the most serious outcome was Paige had been caught not just walking off on her own.
I did have that initial thought that maybe Paige had been detained by the Border Patol and that’s probably what the writers and director wanted you to think. But it became clear that she left on her own accord.

Your initial post was confusing. It sounded like you were saying for certain that she was apprehended. That’s why people are replying the way they are.
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post #3034 of 3176 Old 06-01-2018, 01:31 PM
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What would letting Elizabeth and Phillip go be .. ?? If we're speculating, I'd bet there would be quite an investigation on Stan's entire relationship with the Jennings Family and how he never really put 2 and 2 together until near the end .. Stan would be lucky to walk away with his pension and no prison time ..

Like you said, we're speculating. No right or wrong answer but I think that there is a definite difference between an inept FBI agent and one who openly would adopt a spy's son.

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post #3035 of 3176 Old 06-01-2018, 01:56 PM
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That's an understatement! Everything is "just our opinions": images with the blank spaces filled in by our minds.

And by the way, I have not missed one minute of the series. Waited weekly with great anticipation. And rightfully, without emotion, hated both those killers of decent innocent hard working people. I doubt you could add up the number of lives they destroyed. And even though it is just a fictitous story, we enjoy it because we can buy into it as if it were close to reality. So how could hating the evil perpetrated by those 2 be anything but a justifiable reaction by a sane person? I am a liberal by nature, but obviously not the bleeding heart type as some of you. But hell, what do I know. It's just my opinion.
Are you a fan of James Bond? Sure he’s a good guy, but, especially in the early movies, he had no qualms about killing people who stood in his way. Think about all the factory workers that died when he blew up the villain’s lair? I’m sure those people were just going to their jobs. Their goal was not world conquest. It was just a minimum wage paycheck.

What about Game of Thrones? Jamie Lannister is now a sympathetic character even though he has an incestuous relationship and children with his sister, is known as the KingSlayer, and has slaughtered many innocent people.

And I’m sure there are quite a few people that are fans of Negan from the Walking Dead. Well, maybe only the comic book version.

Yes, we all do have our opinions on these shows, but what right do you have to berate others who have built up an affection for the Jennings?
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post #3036 of 3176 Old 06-01-2018, 02:51 PM
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This interview with Holly Taylor who plays Paige popped up in my YouTube list. She talks a little about what it was like on the last day of filming. And it’s interesting to hear her speak in a relaxed manner. Throughout the entire series Paige was stressed. Plus she sings a song.

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post #3037 of 3176 Old 06-01-2018, 03:14 PM
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They wrapped it up beautifully IMO. The garage scene was tense and really well acted I thought. I am really happy with the finale. Farewell to a really great show, you will be missed !
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post #3038 of 3176 Old 06-01-2018, 06:20 PM
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They wrapped it up beautifully IMO. The garage scene was tense and really well acted I thought. I am really happy with the finale. Farewell to a really great show, you will be missed !

Agreed. Hands down, the very best episode of one of the best "peak TV era" series since The Sopranos. And it featured so much more of a satisfying (and believable) conclusion than so many other series usually do.

That garage scene was PHENOMENAL! The confrontation was so amazing that it reminded me of the kinds of ultra-tense scenes that the great master of film Alfred Hitchcock often did, convincing the viewer that "something awful" was about to happen--and then suddenly, against our expectations, it doesn't! Time seemed to stand still in that underground garage when Stan suddenly appeared and demanded answers from Phil, Liz, and Paige, but the confrontation never got beyond the verbal. Not a shot fired; Elizabeth doesn't try to run Stan over with the car, he gets out of their way, and the story moves on.

In all, The Americans paralleled real life world events so much more closely than most espionage dramas can ever hope to do. For that alone, they deserve even more Emmy gold.
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post #3039 of 3176 Old 06-01-2018, 06:26 PM
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Well stated. I agree with all of this.
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Agreed. Hands down, the very best episode of one of the best "peak TV era" series since The Sopranos. And it featured so much more of a satisfying (and believable) conclusion than so many other series usually do.

That garage scene was PHENOMENAL! The confrontation was so amazing that it reminded me of the kinds of ultra-tense scenes that the great master of film Alfred Hitchcock often did, convincing the viewer that "something awful" was about to happen--and then suddenly, against our expectations, it doesn't! Time seemed to stand still in that underground garage when Stan suddenly appeared and demanded answers from Phil, Liz, and Paige, but the confrontation never got beyond the verbal. Not a shot fired; Elizabeth doesn't try to run Stan over with the car, he gets out of their way, and the story moves on.

In all, The Americans paralleled real life world events so much more closely than most espionage dramas can ever hope to do. For that alone, they deserve even more Emmy gold.
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post #3040 of 3176 Old 06-01-2018, 06:59 PM
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Yes of course. But in real time as it was shown Elizabeth had a very strong shocked reaction before we saw Paige standing on the dock and later alone on the bench. My first thought by that reaction was..... Paige got caught.
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i don't think so. if she was caught she would have been escorted off the train, and the platform, by at least one cop.

She left the train on her own accord
Yes, exactly. It never occurred to me that Paige had been caught because if she had been caught, Paige wouldn't have been standing alone on the platform. So this was my only and immediate thought, that she had decided to get off the train of her own accord.

This extends to my thoughts of Elizabeth's perspective in witnessing the same occurrence; Paige got off because she wanted to stay more than she wanted to leave. Elizabeth's panicked or shocked expression was just for the fact that the child she thought would be coming with them definitely would not be coming with them after all. And the confusion Elizabeth must have felt in that moment about the choice Paige had just unexpectedly made.
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post #3041 of 3176 Old 06-01-2018, 07:00 PM
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The biggest question I have now is what will happen to Paige? Stan knows that she was part of the family business, so unless he lies for her and says she didn't know what was going on, how can she stay in the US? She doesn't have KGB backing to get a fake ID or disguises, so what's she going to do? I guess the implication is that Stan will let her off the hook and she'll just live her life as Paige Jennings, but that is harder to believe than Henry being left alone.
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post #3042 of 3176 Old 06-01-2018, 07:29 PM
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The biggest question I have now is what will happen to Paige? Stan knows that she was part of the family business, so unless he lies for her and says she didn't know what was going on, how can she stay in the US? She doesn't have KGB backing to get a fake ID or disguises, so what's she going to do? I guess the implication is that Stan will let her off the hook and she'll just live her life as Paige Jennings, but that is harder to believe than Henry being left alone.
I've thought about this too.

She's got to be interrogated/interviewed regardless of whether or not Stan is going to cover for her. The FBI knows now that her parents were the illegals so she's got to be questioned. Same with Henry.

Henry knew nothing so it will be easy for him to be truthful when he get's questioned. Paige on the other hand, that's a big question mark for me. Will she come clean? Admit to what she's done? Her limited extent of illegal involvement that is. How horrible can her punishment be if she were to be honest? Paige was never directly involved with any killings. She followed some people around on behalf of the Soviets. Is that considered high treason?

She can be rightly honest in that she knew nothing about her parents involvement with any killings. The closest she came was after the fact with the supposed suicide her mother claimed to have occurred with the colonel. Plus, she was underage when she was essentially recruited by her mother. Gotta cut her some slack there as well, I would imagine. Or maybe not?
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post #3043 of 3176 Old 06-01-2018, 07:43 PM
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If interrogated Paige could say that Stan let her parents go in the garage. But that ends Stan's FBI career and his care of Henry. Paige ends up in jail for some time and Henry in a foster home for a year until he's 18.

The show was very complicated and nuanced. I did think about the possibility of them getting popped while on that bridge in Moscow. It wouldn't have shocked me if it did happen.
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post #3044 of 3176 Old 06-01-2018, 08:28 PM
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This Russian writer did some translation work on the show.

She went back to Russia in 1991 and talks about the environment the Jennings would be returning to.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-c...can-experience
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post #3045 of 3176 Old 06-01-2018, 09:15 PM
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I did have that initial thought that maybe Paige had been detained by the Border Patol and that’s probably what the writers and director wanted you to think. But it became clear that she left on her own accord.
I also had that very short, split second reaction to Elizabeth's reaction before they showed Paige alone on the platform.


After showing Elizabeth being checked, she kind of breathes a sigh of relief that she didn't get caught. They never showed Paige being checked. Therefore, my mind immediately went to "they caught Paige" when I saw Elizabeth looking shocked at the window.


Of course, as soon as they showed Paige alone, that thought went right away. It was just that momentary reaction that I'm sure was intentional on the part of the show.
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post #3046 of 3176 Old 06-01-2018, 09:42 PM
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If interrogated Paige could say that Stan let her parents go in the garage. But that ends Stan's FBI career and his care of Henry. Paige ends up in jail for some time and Henry in a foster home for a year until he's 18.

The show was very complicated and nuanced. I did think about the possibility of them getting popped while on that bridge in Moscow. It wouldn't have shocked me if it did happen.
They would have likely been popped in a traditional series, or a Scorsese film. As mentioned, this show went against expectations and that is what I respect most about it.

The moment when Elizabeth noticed that Paige wasn't coming with them was the first piece of television to make me tear up. She's an extremely flawed person and a killer, yet I still felt deeply for her. That is powerful art.
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post #3047 of 3176 Old 06-02-2018, 12:06 AM
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Real world is never black and white. Have you ever heard of a genre tragedy? People make bad decision, not necessarily because it was badly written.
Stan wasn't badly written, he was just an inept person who should never been at his job. His numerous failings were all too many but this was clearly the worse.Treason is black and white, letting a murderous spy family to go by the very agent who's sole job to stop them, yeah that's pretty effin' black and white to any LE official not just me.

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post #3048 of 3176 Old 06-02-2018, 12:27 AM
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If I shared your background, I would probably agree with you. My thinking, though, was that Stan's decision to let the Jennings go was driven by Stan's humanity, his genuinely close friendship with Philip and what I will not hesitate to call his love for Henry. Stan is neither stupid nor naive but he is a warm and caring person. There were no perfect answers to the problems that the discovery of Philip and Elizabeth's identities created but I think Stan's decision to let them go (and probably to take Henry in) was as close to right as any. Also, Philip and Elizabeth paid a huge price by giving up their children. Blood is blood, so that had to hurt, a lot.
I don't disagree in fact I mentioned that Stan's character was written as such that his decision makes "sense" from that character's POV, I simply pointed out that none of that would fly in real world. Stan simply failed his country and his fellow agents end of story. Now the other stuff that they got plenty of hurt is just BS do you actually believe that their "punishment" actually fit their crime? Now I also get that this ending makes a better and frankly less formulaic television, even the actors said that they were surprised by the ending and of course the "water cooler" effect. People still do that? oh yeah they do it here

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post #3049 of 3176 Old 06-02-2018, 01:08 AM
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I simply pointed out that none of that would fly in real world.
There's no doubt that Stan failed to do his job, but you seem awefully certain of how he would have "really" acted for somebody who isn't Stan. If you discovered that you were such a failure of an FBI agent that you not only didn't notice you had been living next to a spy for the better part of a decade but that you had also possibly married one, and if your best friend was that same spy, can you seriously not envision any possibility that Stan would be so dejected and disheartened that he might see the situation as letting his best friend walk, rather than failing to apprehend a spy?
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post #3050 of 3176 Old 06-02-2018, 01:18 AM
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I also had that very short, split second reaction to Elizabeth's reaction before they showed Paige alone on the platform.


After showing Elizabeth being checked, she kind of breathes a sigh of relief that she didn't get caught. They never showed Paige being checked. Therefore, my mind immediately went to "they caught Paige" when I saw Elizabeth looking shocked at the window.


Of course, as soon as they showed Paige alone, that thought went right away. It was just that momentary reaction that I'm sure was intentional on the part of the show.
Ding, Ding, Ding. We have a winner. Much clearer and more detailed explanation than my first attempt.
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post #3051 of 3176 Old 06-02-2018, 01:30 AM
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There's no doubt that Stan failed to do his job, but you seem awefully certain of how he would have "really" acted for somebody who isn't Stan. If you discovered that you were such a failure of an FBI agent that you not only didn't notice you had been living next to a spy for the better part of a decade but that you had also possibly married one, and if your best friend was that same spy, can you seriously not envision any possibility that Stan would be so dejected and disheartened that he might see the situation as letting his best friend walk, rather than failing to apprehend a spy?
Yes I can see that for his character, I would be surprised if such an agent do actually exists though, these people are trained extensively especially the ones chosen for the intelligence field to be faced with situations like he did. While being fooled by the Jennings is plausible to a degree but the reaction and actions he took after they pretty much confessed was not how a trained LE officer would do things. Remember he's first and foremost an FBI agent not some friend best or otherwise, the bureau needs intelligent people not emotional ones and for good reasons those very emotions that got Nina killed and let the Jennings go. Yeah I'm "awefully" certain that a real and decent agent wouldn't make these mistakes.

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post #3052 of 3176 Old 06-02-2018, 05:03 AM
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A decent agent would have caught them years ago, though. It's clear Stan has let his friendship with Philip cloud his judgement for a long time, as he basically put his suspicions aside in season 1 and hasn't given them much thought since. One of the reasons he quit counterintelligence a few years ago was that he finally realised he wasn't cut out for it, and the fact that he'd put his friendship with Philip over his duty to the FBI confirms it.

I honestly didn't believe the rapid onset of Stan's renewed suspicions towards the end of this season. He's been aware of their strange behaviour for years, and yet he decides to search their house again because they missed Thanksgiving? I was really hoping there would be some specific moment where one of them would make a mistake that would finally allow Stan to catch on, but the rationale behind how he finally caught them was weak in my view.
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post #3053 of 3176 Old 06-02-2018, 05:34 AM
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Yes I can see that for his character, I would be surprised if such an agent do actually exists though, these people are trained extensively especially the ones chosen for the intelligence field to be faced with situations like he did. While being fooled by the Jennings is plausible to a degree but the reaction and actions he took after they pretty much confessed was not how a trained LE officer would do things. Remember he's first and foremost an FBI agent not some friend best or otherwise, the bureau needs intelligent people not emotional ones and for good reasons those very emotions that got Nina killed and let the Jennings go. Yeah I'm "awefully" certain that a real and decent agent wouldn't make these mistakes.
I don't know enough about their training to share your confidence. But damn, I really hope you're correct in your confidence.

In the age of Trump, where both he and his rabid defenders in the press (talk radio mostly, but also some "legitimate" conservative press) have severely questioned even the basic level of competency of our FBI/CIA law enforcement agencies, this subject of objectivity and competence has taken on at least the appearance of a legitimate question in play.
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post #3054 of 3176 Old 06-02-2018, 05:53 AM
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Going back to this question of Stan and his decision in the parking garage. A couple things which haven't been touched upon yet.

For one, from the moment Philip stated that they were going to drive away and hopefully they will be allowed to (by Stan) to the point where they had actually pulled out of the parking garage, the torment on Stan's face was plainly evident. You could tell he was wrestling mightily with this decision the entire time, even as he let them go and drive on past him. Fantastic acting job by Noah Emmerich here.

Secondly, given his friendship with Philip and the degree of vulnerable honesty (to a point) that Philip was finally expressing to him coupled with the fact that along with this new honesty, both Philip and Elizabeth were still manipulating him at the same time (denying any killings or at least the most recent killings of the Russian couple). Also emphasizing how Philip had been out of the spy business for years now. Which not only helped Philips argument, it also served to help deflect some of the attention off of Elizabeth and her ongoing involvement for the moment.

Then when you toss in the subject of Henry and the issue with P&E's claim of being the only ones who could now stop the Gorbachev overthrow, to my way of thinking, I do think it is entirely plausible that a real human being confronted with such a scenario would sometimes make the very same decision as Stan did. No matter how well-trained or otherwise competent the law enforcement agent.

But then again, I could just be a sucker here, seduced by a well-executed television drama.
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The series never portrayed Stan as the model FBI agent. He killed the Russian agent in retaliation for his parner’s death. He had an affair with Nina and struck up an unsanctioned relationship with Oleg. He threatened to go public to get the CIA to back off on making Oleg a double agent.

This is not the 1960’s version of the FBI of Elliot Ness and Joe Friday. It’s messy and morally grey...and it’s for entertainment. I can’t think of a show nowadays where the good guys are 100% on the straight and narrow. If there is one, then the good guy is probably being played for laughs that he’s so squeaky clean.

And I give Stan some slack about not realizing his neighbors and best friend were spies. At the beginning, he had his doubts. But then he snuck into their garage and snooped around but didn’t find anything suspicious. It was a long shot. Their car matched the description of a car used by the spies. What are the chances that he moved in right next door to the spies the FBI were hunting? Once he concluded that it wasn’t them, that door was shut. And then he and Phillip became good friends and he shared good times and bad with the Jennings and their kids. And there’s also the fact that the Jennings weren’t trying to get information out of Stan. It was actually the opposite. They were just trying to keep out of his way so as not to raise suspicion.
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post #3056 of 3176 Old 06-02-2018, 07:59 AM
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have severely questioned even the basic level of competency of our FBI/CIA law enforcement agencies, this subject of objectivity and competence has taken on at least the appearance of a legitimate question in play.
Let's pray we never lose these great institutions of democracy.

Plus the only business protected in the constitution is the press. It keeps the elected honest and the people free.

The great defenders of the constitution are missing in action today.

These are just my opinions.
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post #3057 of 3176 Old 06-02-2018, 08:03 AM
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The show's creators explain the finale:


Don't fear the Reaper. Fear the Repack!
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post #3058 of 3176 Old 06-02-2018, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CruelInventions View Post
Secondly, given his friendship with Philip and the degree of vulnerable honesty (to a point) that Philip was finally expressing to him coupled with the fact that along with this new honesty, both Philip and Elizabeth were still manipulating him at the same time (denying any killings or at least the most recent killings of the Russian couple). Also emphasizing how Philip had been out of the spy business for years now. Which not only helped Philips argument, it also served to help deflect some of the attention off of Elizabeth and her ongoing involvement for the moment.
Of course Stan was being manipulated .. Phillip is as good at it as anyone .. I have no doubt, given the right opening, Elizabeth or Phillip would have taken out Stan in a heartbeat .. negotiation was the only option ..

So why did he not get run over as the car left the garage .. ?? Not enough distance to build up speed and Stan still had the gun in his hand .. had he not stepped aside, attempting to run over him would have been the final play ..

Lastly .. Stan is left ruined on all fronts .. no way around it ..

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Oddball: Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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post #3059 of 3176 Old 06-02-2018, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by CruelInventions View Post
I don't know enough about their training to share your confidence. But damn, I really hope you're correct in your confidence.

In the age of Trump, where both he and his rabid defenders in the press (talk radio mostly, but also some "legitimate" conservative press) have severely questioned even the basic level of competency of our FBI/CIA law enforcement agencies, this subject of objectivity and competence has taken on at least the appearance of a legitimate question in play.
Not really most of those issues leveled at the leadership, which i is indeed legitimate, the FBI leadership should have been far more neutral politically than it is appears to be regarding those issues. Yeah I don't have much confidence in McCabe that's for sure! I'll leave it at that.

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post #3060 of 3176 Old 06-02-2018, 10:24 AM
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Going back to this question of Stan and his decision in the parking garage. A couple things which haven't been touched upon yet.

For one, from the moment Philip stated that they were going to drive away and hopefully they will be allowed to (by Stan) to the point where they had actually pulled out of the parking garage, the torment on Stan's face was plainly evident. You could tell he was wrestling mightily with this decision the entire time, even as he let them go and drive on past him. Fantastic acting job by Noah Emmerich here.

Secondly, given his friendship with Philip and the degree of vulnerable honesty (to a point) that Philip was finally expressing to him coupled with the fact that along with this new honesty, both Philip and Elizabeth were still manipulating him at the same time (denying any killings or at least the most recent killings of the Russian couple). Also emphasizing how Philip had been out of the spy business for years now. Which not only helped Philips argument, it also served to help deflect some of the attention off of Elizabeth and her ongoing involvement for the moment.

Then when you toss in the subject of Henry and the issue with P&E's claim of being the only ones who could now stop the Gorbachev overthrow, to my way of thinking, I do think it is entirely plausible that a real human being confronted with such a scenario would sometimes make the very same decision as Stan did. No matter how well-trained or otherwise competent the law enforcement agent.

But then again, I could just be a sucker here, seduced by a well-executed television drama.
Yeah maybe you're projecting, maybe you would have done as Stan in that same scenario, I certainly wouldn't it was so obvious to me how Philip tried to save themselves,with lies and yes he was manipulative to the end which betrays the fact if he was a true friend which he wasn't. He also was confident that Stan will let them go, look at how he lowered his hands showing that Stan won't fire. Yes he also used Henry here, for good measure. But Stan failed even before going there by simply confront them alone, which is against his training and protocol.

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