Guest Review The Americans

The Americans 6×02 – Tchaikovsky

“A lithium-based radiation center. Well, that’s a new one.”

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I had high expectations for The Americans’ final season, and I’m glad to report every one of them has been met so far.

Like Mother, Like Daughter

One of the best things about this season is how much Paige has grown. It’s beyond fascinating to watch a teenage version of Elizabeth go on spy hijinks and try to uncover government secrets on her own while reading books about the organization in public libraries, not without getting other books too so it looks like she’s just a college student doing research. Her questions to her mother are insightful, and her final confrontation with a bloody Elizabeth will undoubtedly leave her scarred for good. Who knows where the writers are going with this, and I absolutely cannot wait to see this week’s repercussions on Paige.

Welcome Back to America

Causing even more panic is Oleg’s return to the United States. When he isn’t busy acting as a marriage counselor to the two Russians, Stan spends the rest of the episode worried what Burov’s return means for the security of the country. He has been out of the KGB for three years apparently, or so the CIA is told, and if the promos for next week’s episode are any indication, we’re heading towards some intriguing Stan/Oleg confrontation.

An American Philip

Still adjusting to his Americanized life, it’s funny how Philip’s subplot is purely about work this week. He lost a big client to a cheaper company (and yes, Philip is now evidently in a higher position at the travel agency), which upsets him almost as much as trying to figure out what Elizabeth is up to. The highlight of this storyline is his heartwarming phone conversation with his much-grown son, Henry. It’s incredible how, beyond all the killings and the lying and the war, this show is ultimately about family. It’s been almost six years and it never lost track of that, so kudos.

Bits in Disguise

– How heartbreaking has Elizabeth’s Glenn job become now? Not only is he looking to get her help in killing his sick wife, but I also see some sparks between Nurse Stephanie and the previous Gilmore Girls star.

– Look, the mail robot is back!

– Can’t get enough of Claudia, Paige and Elizabeth hanging out, watching movies and listening to music. #FriendshipGoals

– I love how this show has mastered the art of subtlety over the years. For example, it took me a moment to realize that Henry is communicating via phone because he’s most likely at the New Hampshire boarding school he wanted to go to last season.

– Another fascinating tidbit is that Lyle Rennhull (the Colonel Elizabeth kills at the end) was last seen in the season two premiere! Amazing.

– Intense and pulse-pounding sequence as Elizabeth begs for her life then ends up killing the Air Force General in cold blood.

Quips from the Motherland

Stan: I can’t tell you how much better I feel just dealing with murderers, drug dealers, and corrupt politicians.

Elizabeth: I could help you.
Glenn: I could never ask you to do that.
Elizabeth: You didn’t ask.

Paige: Do our people ever use sex to get information?
Elizabeth: What?
Paige: I’m reading a book about the organization, and it says that sex is one of the techniques.
Elizabeth: There’s a lot of bullshit out there, Paige.
Paige: Doesn’t sound like bullshit.
Elizabeth: Well, they need to make something that sounds believable. That’s how they write books.
Paige: So…that never happens?
Elizabeth: No.

Conclusion

Another masterful hour of television. The Americans is off to a terrific start this season.

Chris Rating
A-

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