Guest Review The Americans

The Americans 6×03 – Urban Transport Planning

"You can't live your life being afraid, Paige. There's no point. You wouldn't do anything."

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Even though I don’t love TV shows that overstay their welcome, it’s going to be absolutely brutal when The Americans ends this season. Because, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, there is absolutely nothing like The Americans.

Red Herring or Slow Buildup?

For a couple of weeks now, the writers have been dropping hints about Elizabeth Jennings’ fate. While I doubt everyone will come out of the series finale alive and well, it’s becoming clearer that our female protagonist (antagonist?) might be heading towards the grave. Whether she is asking Claudia to keep the Paige mission alive and take care of her daughter in case things go south or whether she’s killing two people two episodes in a row, there’s no denying that this might be the show’s way of building up to Elizabeth’s end. No matter the outcome, I’m absolutely confident that the writers will treat this with the utmost respect and nuance possible. Is it weird or genius that I’m worried either way?

Another Spy?

One of the best things about season five is how the writers introduced Stan’s girlfriend Renee and kept her character an absolute mystery. Urban Transport Planning drops even more clues about Renee’s possible involvement in the KGB as she tells Stan that she wants to become an FBI agent. It’s the kind of slow-burn, intense storyline that only The Americans can pull off so meticulously. If you’re not on your toes yet wondering about Renee’s true intentions, are you even watching this show?

Oleg’s New Friends

I’d be remiss not to mention Stan and Oleg’s confrontation, in which they reminisce about Nina (whose death is still the single most shocking scene I’ve ever witnessed on television). Not only that, but it looks like Oleg is here to stay in America as evidenced by his final budding scene with Philip. What this means for Elizabeth is still up in the air, but something tells me she’s not going to like it.

Bits in Disguise

– Fantastic teaser with Elizabeth yelling at Paige for almost blowing their cover after Elizabeth shoots the General at the end of last week’s episode.

– Elizabeth telling her daughter that the General killed himself will only come back to haunt her if Paige finds out the truth eventually. Or maybe the point is that Paige already knows what really went down? Hmmm.

– That humongous slice of pizza looked too good to be true.

– Nothing like Claudia, Elizabeth and Paige cooking dinner like a nice, normal family, eh?

– There’s something especially heartbreaking about Elizabeth having to throw that special food from home to protect their cover.

– How unsettling is the scene where Elizabeth chokes the guy from the warehouse while classical music plays in the background?

Quips from the Motherland

Philip: She’s pretty much seen it all now.
Elizabeth: Not all of it.

Paige: What do you mean, it’s okay?
Elizabeth: That no matter what happens to me, if I’m fighting for something that’s that important…
Paige: You don’t care if you die?
Elizabeth: Well, of course I do. But I’m not afraid. You can’t live your life being afraid, Paige. There’s no point. You wouldn’t do anything. You want to make a difference, you make a difference.

Elizabeth: They want us to be just like them. I don’t want to be like them. And neither do the people back home.
Philip: You haven’t talked to anyone back home in over twenty years.
Elizabeth: Neither have you.


A near-perfect hour of television. There’s no stopping The Americans now.

Chris Rating


  1. You’re right. There’s nothing like The Americans on television. And, though it is ending at the right time, I will miss it when it’s gone.

    There have been some foreboding hints of Elizabeth being the one to go. But I have a feeling that it may turn out to be a red herring. I can imagine Elizabeth surviving somehow and Philip dying. He’ll either die to protect his family or Elizabeth kills him which fills her with guilt and causes her to stay from her children for their own good.

    I believe Paige believes her mother when she said that the general killed himself or at least wants to believe that. But it’s just a matter of time before Paige learns the whole truth about her parents beyond the parts they’ve shared and it will impact her involvement in the spy life. And I don’t trust Claudia. I think it is a mistake for Elizabeth to let her in emotionally and allow the same for Paige. She may care about them but her loyalty to the Centre comes first. She will do whatever it is demanded of her which makes me fear for Paige.

    1. Really loved reading your thoughts on this one. I think Paige actually believes Elizabeth too, but lying about what happened came SO easily to Elizabeth that I started suspecting maybe they both know that they’re aware of what happend and just don’t want to talk about it. Either way, I just love how this got me thinking for days later.

      And very interesting theories about Philip getting killed, and by Elizabeth no less! I’m also very intrigued to see how Stan eventually discovers the truth and whether it’ll crush him to know that it was all right under his nose.

      1. I imagine Stan’s reaction to be on the same level of anguish as Hank’s reaction to Walt being Heisenberg on Breaking Bad.

      2. Agreed, I always thought these two shows were similar, now even moreso than ever.

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