Take the 2-minute tour ×
Movies & TV Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for movie and tv enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is there any particular reason why The Americans Philip and Elizabeth never wear gloves when they are on a mission?

Apparently they know about fingerprints and how they can be used to identify someone. In Season 1 there is mentioned multiple times that they wiped their prints after using a car. This even leads to suspicion when the FBI finds Amador's car without any prints in it.

In Episode 2 of Season 2 Philip breaks into a house, but uses a screwdriver not to leave any prints, which I imagine is quite inconvenient for opening doors and searching the house in general.

Screwing around

Why are they not simply wearing gloves?

share|improve this question
    
On some show (maybe NCIS?), an investigator mentions that even latex gloves leave a latex residue that can be traced. I don't have anything to back that up, and I can't even remember what show it's from, so I don't want to add it as an Answer. Just a fun bit of (possibly-true) trivia. –  BrettFromLA Aug 14 '14 at 22:23
1  
Possible, but remember that the show plays in the cold war era. I'm not sure how far forensics were back then. –  atticae Aug 14 '14 at 23:55
    
Really good point. –  BrettFromLA Aug 15 '14 at 18:10
    
I remember seeing Elizabeth wearing gloves on at least one occasion while in one of her disguises. –  Keavon Jul 1 at 11:20

1 Answer 1

There are a couple of reasons why they might choose to not to wear gloves when on a mission:

  • They would look more suspicious if caught (holding a screwdriver would look odd, but not quite as suspicious)
  • If it's not winter (which it generally isn't in the show), having gloves in you possession while going to your mission draws attention
  • Gloves would smudge existing fingerprints, such as on doorknobs, alerting forensics to the fact that someone wearing gloves was there

That said, I think there are definitely a few times when they might have benefitted from wearing gloves. I imagine they avoided those situations so that they could either show how clever Philip and Elizabeth are or to look more dramatic (pushing a door open with a screwdriver is far more interesting than slowly opening a door with an off-shot gloved hand).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.