The Americans has always been a show that renders the scope of history in deeply personal brushstrokes. It’s the Cold War as American marriage, foreign policy as a matter of leverage, global geopolitics conducted in close quarters, where secrets leak and a knife can slide in before you even notice.
Browsing: The Americans
Spycraft is a work of deft improvisation, a combination of careful planning and quick thinking, an ability to adapt quickly as the situation on the ground changes.
After the huge emotional climax of “Stingers,” it was inevitable that “One Day in the Life of Anton Baklanov” would be a breather of an episode, a chance for the show to step back and contemplate things before charging forward into the finale.
April 1, 2015, 10:00 p.m. (EST), FX Innocence is a fleeting thing, something that dissipates…
The Americans is in the middle of the kind of season you write home about, the sort of consistently excellent, thematically rich, deeply compelling run of episodes that makes a great series one of the absolute best things on television.
For all of its serialized tension and intricate character work, The Americans frequently enjoys reveling in the procedural. I don’t mean this in the sense that the show does a lot of one-and-done episodes (it doesn’t), but simply that this is a series that takes great joy in depicting the process of espionage on a frequently granular level.
So much of The Americans happens in the back of its characters minds. So much of this show is buried behind layers of scheming and obfuscation that when the truth begins to reveal itself, viewers are trained to remain unsure of whether they should trust it.
The relationship between Philip and Elizabeth is hard won. It didn’t come from natural chemistry, and it didn’t really come from them being forced on each other. They didn’t fall in love because they spent decades together; they fell in love because they started to communicate, started to understand each other and to want to understand each other.
In life, things pile up. Issues get punted down the line, small grievances fester, the metric weight of being hurt by the world begins to weigh you down. The good things about your life, the small instances of kindness or the miraculous moments of triumph, can accumulate as well. Yet rarely do those feel as vast, complex, and ever-present as the little indignities and tiny cuts we all endure throughout our lives.
It is a tenant of the American Dream that every parent wants better for their children than they have had, wants to improve the lives of their offspring as much as they can. This isn’t an exclusively American idea (I’d venture everyone whose ever had a child wants the same), but it is an explicitly American one. It is part of the core …