'The Americans' Wig of the Week: Elizabeth's Blonde Tresses

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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 long blonde wig Elizabeth wears to make initial contact with Yousaf, a member of a Pakistani delegation that the Soviets are attempting to use to protect their interests in the Middle East. 
Why This Wig: Elizabeth is looking to entice Yousaf, a former cricket player who has dated European women in a hotel lobby. She's alluring in the wig, even if it is a little garish, but Yousaf clearly is interested. Still, when she returns to Philip, he suggests using Annelise, the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense's wife introduced in the second episode of the series, "The Clock." Philip described her initially as "half off her rocker." Annelise believes she is working for Swedish intelligence when doing the bidding of Philip, or rather, the man Philip is playing during their affair. Philip thinks he is protecting Elizabeth, saving her from being a direct target. After being so affected by his actions at Martial Eagle, Philip appears to have a desire to stay as disconnected from his new mission as possible. Similarly, at home, he wants to repair his relationship with Paige. Elizabeth, however, takes his desire to put Annelise on the job as an affront. "I can do my job, Philip," she says. "I know, but this time you don't have to," he replies. So he sends Annelise in. Annelise is a dumb, innocent party, a stand-in for Elizabeth, not nearly as savvy or as composed. Her blonde locks, at least, aren't entirely fake. 
But Elizabeth has to partake in the mission anyway. Even when Annelise learns that Yousaf doesn't have much information, the Center won't let their plans go. Elizabeth, then, must kill Yousaf's superior, while Annelise keeps Yousaf busy with sex. (The montage plays out to a song written specifically for the episode by Pete Townshend and composer Nathan Barr.) Elizabeth is dispassionate as usual, though showing signs of stress, taking out a cigarette when she gets home, where she has been battling Paige. Annelise, however, goes to Philip raging that he's a "pimp." He placates her telling he loves her. She is right, however. He is pimping her, tricking her into working for the Soviets, and perhaps worse, setting her up for a cruel fate. 
What both Philip and Elizabeth don't realize is even as they try to stay out of the proverbial line of fire, enemies are closing in around on them. Larrick is back in America, angry over the deaths at Martial Eagle, and tracing phone lines to get closer to his targets. Beeman and Gaad have now realized that Emmett and Leanne were likely illegals before their death. Elizabeth and Philip aren't aware of where the danger is.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.