Like “The Americans”’ Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip (Matthew Rhys), the lotus is not what it seems.
The flower – an Eastern representation of the female, specifically her genitalia – is externally magnificent, with no clue that it grows in the mud, anchored by earth.
The title of Season 5’s “Lotus 1-2-3” refers to the seminal spreadsheet, eventually eclipsed by Excel. Philip, who has been flying out to Topeka, with Elizabeth, to stop what seems like research aimed at destroying Russian grains, has been playing a gal who works for AgriCorp and who’s offered to teach him the basics of that software.
However, in her femaleness, the flower can also accommodate the masculine, which sums up the “jewel” – the male – “in the lotus,” a duality that also includes opposites like good and evil, light and dark, Russians and Americans and law-abiding citizens and spies.
For the Jennings, sex with other people to benefit Mother Russia is visibly wearing thin. The duality here? The prize of learning Lotus 1-2-3 to advance business interests set against blissful sexual union between true partners.
“Lotus 1-2-3” is “The Americans”’s fork-in-the-road chapter. The couple presents a beautiful lotus-like front, and flourishes through their under-the-ground activities, including murder. But as technology advances – the Jennings believe that U.S. know-how is indeed a threat to feeding their homeland – the lotus flower, symbolizing that which is deeply personal and transformational, deteriorates into an impersonal tool. Even the dashes in the software imply separation and disconnection.
Against the show’s underlying archetype of Neptunian deceit,“Lotus 1-2-3” is about sex: integral and flowing vs. compartmentalized and destructive.
Archetype: Sex. Lotus. Lingam-Yoni.
Astrology Archetype: ♆ (Neptune)