Guest Review The Americans

The Americans 6×08 – The Summit

“They tell us what to do and we do it. I get it, that's how it works, but we do it. We do it, not them, so it's on us. All of it.”

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After last week’s perfect episode, The Americans was bound to slow things down a bit. Luckily for us, “slowing things down” this season doesn’t mean a less incredible hour of television.

No More Secrets

Within the first few minutes, Philip comes clean to Elizabeth about his secret meetings with Oleg, a bold and risky move that undoubtedly causes a bigger rift in their marriage. This show has always been about family above everything else, and the writers are bringing that message home this season with every passing episode.

One of the other most notable aspects of The Summit is getting in touch with Elizabeth’s more human side (choking not included). After literally terminating her Haskard mission and letting the intern leave unscathed, Elizabeth begins to realize that Claudia, and by extension the Centre, might not have the best intentions at heart. Her conversation with Philip at the end of the hour where she discusses her reluctance in killing an innocent man and falsifying a report for her country is an incredibly nuanced, intimate moment, unlike anything Elizabeth has ever said. If it hasn’t been said yet, can Keri Russell please win every award there is next year?

Smoking is Bad

On the Stan front, it does seem that the show was barely giving him anything to suspect the Jennings until recently. This is the result of the endpoint being near (we are only one episode away from the series finale), and it’s hardly a complaint if it means a more action-packed hour next week. Instead of a light-bulb moment, Stan is starting to piece two and two together gradually, especially after having seen the cigarette stubs outside the Jennings’ house last week. It’s a storyline reaching its peak in the vein of Breaking Bad; let’s hope it sticks the landing, but if this season has been any indication, there’s no reason to worry.

Bits in Disguise

– Did Mathew Rhys have a cold while filming this episode maybe? His voice was awfully different.

– The irony in Elizabeth killing Mrs. Haskard using her own paintbrush is hard to miss but nonetheless painful to grasp. Sniff.

– Elizabeth walking out with one of the huge paintings is one of the most hilarious visuals ever.

– Jaw-dropping moment with Stavos telling Philip that he’d been loyal to him and Elizabeth for a long time despite seemingly knowing they were keeping something. Poor Stavos.

– So, Jackson won’t survive next week, right?

– This episode adds more fuel to the rumors surrounding Philip possibly ending his life. This week, he seeks salvation by coming clean to Elizabeth, visiting Stavos, calling Henry, getting tailored for a new suit, and watching an old Russian movie.

– Not enough Paige in this episode. Not cool, writers.

Quips from the Motherland

Elizabeth: You should have told me.
Philip: I tried.
Elizabeth: You love to talk. If you wanted to tell me, you would have done it.

Claudia: You smoke too much.
Elizabeth: So I’ve been told.

Conclusion

Not as powerful as last week, but The Summit is still an essential hour that moves a few chess pieces forward as we near the show’s endgame.

Chris Rating
B+

5 comments

  1. Elizabeth’s eyes are finally open. It took a long time to get here. But the payoff was worth it. It was also brilliantly delivered through Kerri Russell’s performance. I share your praise about her.

    During the scene with Claudia, I thought Elizabeth was going to kill her right there and then. That is still the possibility which may come to pass next episode. From the promo, it looks like all hell is about to break loose to the level of Breaking Bad’s Ozymandias.

    I’ve renounced my theory of Elizabeth killing Philip. In that scenario, I thought her learning the truth about Philip’s activities with Oleg would push her to do it. But it seems I was wrong and I’m thankful for that. However, I still think Philip is going to die. Throughout the season and especially this episode, there’s been this looming scepter of death over his head. You mentioned suicide and that wouldn’t surprise me. Philip has so much pain and guilt inside him. He was able to keep his mind off it during his retirement from field work. But it’s back now and worse than before. I don’t see him ending his life by his own hand. He may let someone else kill him.

    The end of The Americans being near fills me with dread. It means a lot of heartbreak and devastation that have been held back in previous seasons are about to occur to characters I care about. It’s the same feeling I had when watching the final episodes of Breaking Bad.

    1. I share your sense of dread as we get closer to the endgame. There’s no doubt about it: it’s going to be devastating and heartbreaking 😞😞

      One thing about this show that is very much different than Breaking Bad is that I actually wanted BB to end and I was on the edge of my seat as Hank got closer to discover the truth about Walt. Here, I genuinely don’t want Stan to find out. I think it speaks volumes about this show’s brilliance (sidenote: I bingewatched BB and it was exhausting and not easy to binge).

      We’re only 2 episodes away 😩😩

      1. Oh, I thought you were going to say a week since you mentioned it being so exhausting.

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