The Romanoffs season 1, episode 7 recap: End of the Line


The Romanoffs heads to Russia as a couple bends over backward to adopt a Russian child.

The Romanoffs gave us a very intriguing episode this week, and it just might be my second favorite episode of the series so far. “End of the Line” veered a different direction than the episodes that preceded it because it actually went to the Motherland, the homeland of the family this series is based on.

Kathryn Hahn and Jay R. Ferguson starred in this episode of The Romanoffs as a married couple eager to adopt a child, and willing to go to extreme lengths to make sure it happens. Anka (Hahn) and Joe (Ferguson) land in Vladivostok, Russia to fulfill their desire to have a child, after many failed attempts to make it happen naturally.

At first, it’s not clear exactly why the couple is in Russia as the audience is kept in the dark about what is actually going on. But the opening shot shows them packing for their trip with baby clothes, chocolate, and scarves and as the episode begins, it’s revealed that they have brought these items as gifts to adopt the baby.

They are picked up by a Russian woman from the airport who is their contact and go-to person for all the dealings regarding their adoption, including driving them where they need to go. All together, they have to pay $50,000 and give the baby clothes, chocolate, coffee, and scarves as their payment which is given in parts each time they visit the adoption facility.

Anka and Joe are ecstatic over the prospect of meeting their baby and even run into another woman played by Clea DuVall who has also come to Russia to adopt a child. Unfortunately, their dreams are crushed when they finally meet the baby and are essentially asked to examine and review it to their satisfaction. Excited and thrilled they meet the baby but something feels off–the baby isn’t crying, laughing, cooing, or anything a baby normally does.

Initially, Anka and Joe find themselves excited but curious as to why the baby is not engaging with them. Their suspicions grow when they run into a young girl at the orphanage that says a Russian word that means alcoholic drinking after seeing the baby. This is something that Anka later learns, and begins to wonder if the baby has fetal alcohol syndrome.

Anka is heartbroken to realize that the baby they are being given may not be the baby they were told they’d be getting. After spending so much money, and flying to Russia specifically to adopt (because Anka is a Romanoff), it’s daunting to imagine that she may not want this baby after all.

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After returning to the hotel, Anka tells Joe of her suspicions and at first, he is extremely upset with her for even suggesting she doesn’t want the baby. Both sides of the argument seem fair, and Hahn and Ferguson convey the frustration and heartbreak in a poignant, relatable way.

Joe tells Anka that he doesn’t want to be with her if she doesn’t want the baby, and storms out of the hotel, while Anka tries to make sense of their argument and current situation.

When the next morning rolls around, the both of them head to the facility once again, but this time Anka doesn’t hold back.

She tells them that she knows something is wrong with the baby, and it seems like the orphanage staff is aware of it and expects them to take the baby anyway. In fact, they say that Anka and Joe can take the baby and have her treated in America for whatever illness ails her. This is enough to throw Anka off the edge and she refuses to see the baby again, and this time Joe steps in to support her after they try to force the baby on them.

And then The Romanoffs heads in a direction we didn’t see coming–Anka and Joe are given another baby, possibly the one they were originally promised.  It’s a weird shift and questionable ethics on the orphanage’s part but Anka and Joe are happy and are able to get approval for the adoption from the Russian government.

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There may have been more shady business regarding the baby swapping but whatever it was, the couple left Russia with exactly what they wanted. But I have just one question–what was up with Joe’s expression when they were on the plane back home?

The Romanoffs releases new episodes every Friday on Amazon Prime Video!