Tag Archives: The Americans

‘The Americans’ 3.02 or Lady Spies in Cramped Spaces and the Men Who Love Them

The Americans 3.02Last night’s episode of The Americans was brought to you by the letter C. C stands for Claustrophobia. You know, ladies, that feeling you get when you’re:

  • Peeing in a pot in your 12×12 Soviet prison cell and your roommate won’t shut up
  • Getting your limbs cracked into origami and stuffed into a suitcase
  • Listening to the same Walkman cassette recording of your dying mother in your basement again
  • Breathing out of an oxygen tank because you’re being smuggled out of Russia in a tiny wooden crate

Bummer. Now can someone get me a Babe Ruth? “Soooo good!

Was this one of the most thrilling episodes of The Americans ever? No, but it was still pretty exciting. I mean, Oleg almost lost his shit and killed Stan for simply claiming to love Nina, and Anneliese became a posthumous member of Cirque de Soleil in what was one of the most gruesome television moments I’ve seen outside of Hannibal or American Horror Story. Never underestimate the power of crunchy bodily sound effects in upping the ick factor on film.

This week I’d like to focus on these physically suffocated yet stable women, in comparison to the free-roaming yet anxious men and what that seems to be saying about the times.

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‘The Americans’ 3.01 or Mama Don’t Preach or Where Is Nina?

Americans 301

Last night’s episode of The Americans was brought to you by the letter D. D stands for daughter. Because any woman who has a daughter has been in her shoes. Or has she? For Elizabeth — she of the harsh but proud Soviet childhood — its not easy to relate to what she considers Paige’s privileged American childhood. Although this wasn’t a mother-daughter bonding kind of episode, it was a interesting analogy on privilege today where the generational gaps grow wider and wider between ourselves and our parents; worse ourselves and our children.

But before we get into the meatier stuff, let’s take a moment to revel in the joy it was to get back into the groove of things with our favorite KGB couple! Those first ten minutes, particularly the fight sequence between Elizabeth and the two FBI agents, were fantastically choreographed. I did wonder why Elizabeth didn’t take off her blonde wig or hide out on that long walk but I suppose it’s usually a better idea to stick to your cover if you can, right? Nice move on turning the coat inside out, although having to do so is what made Elizabeth lose the list of names she was there to get in the first place. It’s great when something small like that ends up complicating the plot..

Another shocker was Anneliese’s death. Sure, she was a minor character but I think we can all agree that she grew on us, and likely because she grew as a character as well. She was lied to all along, and it was sad to see her go out the way she did: in the dark about who she really worked for and at the hands of the man she “loved”. She will be missed, as will Gillian Alexy’s performance (I have a feeling we will be seeing this fine actress around).

I leave the rest for discussion below the jump.

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