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The Americans Review: Honor, Truth and Conflict

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All the pieces came together in brilliant fashion on The Americans Season 2 Episode 13.

Throughout the season, there were so many different threads of story at play each week. I wasn't sure how the writers would be able to tie them all up in the finale, but they were able to do it in a compelling manner that has me wanting season 3 right away.

Evacuating

Emmett and Leanne's murder and Jared's story was a sideshow for much of the season. Even though it never really seemed to fit into the larger picture, the Jennings and Stan searched for their killer. When it was revealed that Jared knew about his parents' job, the mystery became even more complicated.

The truth was a shocking reveal that the Jennings (and I) never saw coming. The writers did an amazing job of setting it up. The clues were all discreetly there. Kate recruited Jared as an asset without his parents permission. Did she really love him? Perhaps, but it's just as likely that she honey trapped him.

Jared killed his parents and sister. Wow. In his dying breath, Jared wanted to be remembered by the Centre for saving them and commended for a job well done. He was committed to their cause and died for it. When the Jennings decide whether to let Paige be recruited or not, I hope they remember Jared's face in death.

The emphasis on Paige's rebellion has all led to this. Will the Jennings let their daughter follow in their footsteps? They don't know all the things she's done behind their backs, but she does have the courage, wit and strength to be a good operative. Still, it's a dangerous job and I'm not sure why any parent would want their child to get involved, especially at such a young age.

Where Jared was seduced into his role, it may be more difficult to convince Paige to follow her parents' path. She's been suspicious of her parents, so learning the truth could bring them closer together. Or she could react negatively and put her parents in danger. Either way, I'm intrigued to see how Philip and Elizabeth come to a decision and how it will all play out.

While all of that was going on, Stan found Echo and secretly recorded the computer program in order to save Nina. I was impressed by his ingenuity to find a way to see the program, but also to record it. As top secret as that program was, that was the easy part of his day.

Would Stan turn it over to the Soviet? I didn't know what he would do nor did I know what I wanted him to do. It was nerve wracking to watch that all play out. At first, when Arkady gave Nina the note, I wondered if it was even true or if he was conning her. I wouldn't put it past him to lie to her even if he got the program.

"Tell Nina I'm sorry." 

Stan couldn't go through with it. Kudos to him for making a wise decision. I feel sad for Nina. Even though Stan forced her into working for him, Nina's the one who complicated the situation by playing both sides to try and insulate herself. In the end, both of the men who claimed to love her let her down.

Oleg and Stan watched as she was taken away without any attempt  to save her. Since we saw Anton Baklanov after he was sent to the Soviet Union to work on the stealth project for Vasili, I'm hopeful that we haven't seen the last of Nina. There's always a chance that a plan is in place to save her before she's shipped back to the homeland, but if not, I'd like to see what happens to her.

Overall, it was an impressive conclusion to The Americans Season 2. It was suspenseful with lives on the line and shocking truths revealed. The final 10 minutes showed how much can be said with just a look or a movement. The limited dialogue added to the tension and allowed the emotions to jump off the screen.

To be honest, I'm not sure whether I want the Jennings to tell Paige the truth and start developing her for the program or not. From a parenting standpoint, it's a terrible decision, but one that their ideology would support. On the other hand, it would be fun to watch!

What do you think?

Should Philip and Elizabeth allow the Centre to develop Paige as a Second Generation Operative?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (25 Votes)

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

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A great finale to a great season. I was glad that Stan didn't betray his country in the end, it's the only honorable shred of his life that he has left. The reveal that Jared was his family's murderer was a shock. Who would have guessed? Clever writing!
I don't think Philip will go along with Paige being sucked into the "trade", even if Elizabeth is warm to the idea. His warning to Arkady spoke volumes.
I anxiously await season 3 for one of the best, if not THE best, shows on TV.

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Brilliant show!!!

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Douglas, good observation. You are stating what I am wondering. Paige was mesmerized when the Pastor was arrested but I never thought that she could one day be "down for the cause" or activist in the making.

Wolfshades

Did you notice how Paige's pastor played such a big presence this season? She watched him with such fondness when he was carted away by the police at the protest. The man's presence is large on the small screen, and in Paige's life - which leads me to think that he might actually be a spy himself, planted by the Centre as a means to get Paige on board, in case her parents objected. At this point, nothing much would surprise me.

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