The Americans

Wednesdays 10:00 PM on FX
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The Americans Review: Eyes Opened

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During The Americans season 1, the Jennings kept their family life separated from their work.

On The Americans Season 2 Episode 1 it was immediately clear that would no longer be possible.

Paige is suspicious of her mother and she's determined to figure out what secrets Elizabeth is keeping. She may have walked in on her parents having sex, but that's not going to stop her from snooping.

The stakes continue to be raised in the Cold War, which makes the risks the Jennings have to take even greater. Philip used Henry for cover. Will it happen again?

Elizabeth jumped right into the job again after a long recovery from being shot by Stan. The Jennings and another undercover KGB couple set a trap for a Lockheed employee. The women honey trapped him, while the men stormed in as government employees. And with a little sex and good disguises, a new asset was secured.

It was a success to follow up Philip's disastrous meeting with contacts for rebels fighting for the Americans in Afghanistan. Instead of getting the intel and sending a message, Philip ended up killing the contracts when the meet when horribly wrong. It was an interesting shift to see Philip and the KGB working within the US regarding the fight in Afghanistan.

Even innocent family activities can be compromised by their work. Philip could have said no to his KGB counterpart, but he wasn't really given time to consider the ramifications of the mission. It was a quick brush pass, but it ended up being much more. Philip put Henry in danger.

The murder of the other KGB undercover family highlighted the risk to them and their family. The Americans season 2 premiere set the stage to force the Jennings into finding a way to balance their love of country with the love for their kids. At what point will the danger become too much?

Philip and Elizabeth finally gave into their love for each other, but it's another situation where their job creates problems. Philip has a fake marriage to Martha and had to leave Elizabeth and their kids alone to maintain the ruse with his "wife." The continual honey trapping and the fake marriage have to take a toll on their relationship.

It's mesmerizing to watch the Jennings push through all the dangers and maintain their composure. They may give in to a moment of fear, but then their training kicks in and they move forward. That takes strength and amazing resolve. As the dangers increase, will they be able to push their emotions aside and maintain their stoic professionalism?

While the Jennings continued their work, Stan and the FBI tried to pick up the pieces after their failed capture. Gad was convinced that the woman agent that Stan shot was dead and her partner returned to the Homeland. He was wrong. Poor Stan. They are both right across the street and pretending to be his friends.

Stan's now being played on all sides. The enemy is living across the street and also in his bed. He's fallen in love with Nina and that's made him an easy target. She went from a victim forced to betray her country to a strong, determined woman. She's a bigger threat to Stan than he can possibly imagine.

Will the movie turn Stan back towards his wife and away from Nina? His wife's tears showed her emotion and ability to love and connect, while Nina's reaction was one of anger and showed a lack of love for him. Stan's gone from a respectable man and agent to one that's naive and compromised.

"Comrade" set up an intriguing and much more complex world for those involved in the espionage war between the United States and Soviet Union. Martha's comment, "You're home now," represented the struggle that they all face. When do the lies become truths? Can they find "home" again?

Who do you sympathize with the most?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (30 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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