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 wig Elizabeth wears to impersonate a child advocate in order to check in on the son of now-dead fellow illegals Emmett and Leanne.
Why This Wig: It was tempting to pick the long beard and wig Philip uses to integrate himself with John Skeevers, a man who can provide information about stealth technology. It's a gonzo disguise, and one of many this season that makes handsome Matthew Rhys look like a serial killer.
But the big event this week is the death of Kate, Philip and Elizabeth's handler at the hands of Larrick, and that relates more directly to Elizabeth's social worker disguise. Elizabeth goes to check up on Jared knowing that the FBI (in the form of Stan Beeman) had visited him in order to pry information out about his parents. After she leaves she watches Jared go to a restaurant, where he meets up with Kate, who without any disguise, shocking Elizabeth. "She hadn't done anything to make herself look any different to him," Elizabeth tells Philip over the phone. "She was just herself."
Being "just herself" is Kate's fatal flaw in this episode. Her cover is blown as Larrick, intent on revenge, comes to her house and strings her up before breaking her neck when she refuses to reveal any information on Philip and Elizabeth. Kate's final, coded message to Philip and Elizabeth is "get Jared out."
Philip and Elizabeth's adeptness at disguise is paralleled with Kate's openness. Jared, for instance, wasn't able to identify Elizabeth from an FBI drawing of her in yet another disguise. Kate, meanwhile, is meeting with him under seemingly no cover. Her inability to blend has been a subject before, with Philip telling her earlier this season: "You look like a spy in an old movie." The days, however, in which Philip and Elizabeth are able to move completely in the shadows seem to be numbered, in part because of Kate's exposure.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.