Nehemiah Persoff was absolutely terrific as the pompous Soviet Deputy Premier whose life in the Soviet police state has hardened him into an uncompromising, suspicious bureaucrat who sees plotting around every corner.
At first, I was afraid Karpovich was going to be a comedy character. His attitude about talking in the bathroom was so corny, I was afraid that this episode was going to be another silly satire.
But the dramatic element was made very plain when the premier finds a picture of his own mother and angrily demands an explanation. Instantly, the man who wouldn't break began doing just that. His scene with the mother (Maria) was very memorable.
Eda Reiss Merin did a beautiful job as the dying mother. Her opening scene making the request was first rate acting.