Each week we will be crowning a "Wig of the Week" from The Americans, FX's wonderful show about Russian spies who happen to wear a variety of insane wigs when doing their spy duties.
Wig of the Week: The blonde wig Elizabeth wears to deal with Larrick, the naval captain the Soviets have blackmailed into working for them. The wig was initially used as a CIA disguise, but she continues wearing it after Larrick learns for whom she is really working.
Why This Wig: Elizabeth wears this wig to Larrick's home, where he has imprisoned Lucia, the Sandinista who has come to murder him, despite the fact that that was not part of the plan to infiltrate the Martial Eagle camp where the Americans are training Contras. The wig looks beautiful on Elizabeth, and gives her an air of bound up professionalism that becomes an important guise as she watches Larrick strangle Lucia after she refuses to let up once he makes a deal with Elizabeth to free her and eventually rid himself of his KGB ties.
When we first meet Lucia this season, struggling after a drugged up night with a Congressional aide, we know that Elizabeth sees something of herself in the young agent. When it comes time to murder the aide, Elizabeth coaches Lucia through her doubts. Still, it quickly becomes clear that Elizabeth is not going to mold Lucia into the single-minded agent that she is. And it's clear just how focused Elizabeth is at the beginning of last night's episode from her reaction to the Camaro that Philip buys with Henry. "It's nicer here," she says. "It's not better."
So, even with that wig and those glasses as armor, we can see her battling to keep her emotions pent up, the side of her mouth quivering slightly, as she lets Larrick do away with Lucia in order to finish her mission. It isn't until later, when home with Philip, that she breaks. She cries as she explains that Lucia didn't "understand" what they do. She believes she failed Lucia, the woman who could have been her parallel.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.