The Americans Season 4 Episode 6 Review: The Rat

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Martha, Martha, Martha.

It was obvious that things would never be the same for Martha, but after the events of The Americans Season 4 Episode 6, she knows it. What she doesn't seem to know is what it meant for Clark to reveal himself to her without his disguise.

To say her future is in more jeopardy now than it's ever been is an understatement.

Everything She Knows - The Americans

It's hard not to wish that Clark had gone all out and shared with Martha the full truth, or at least a little bit more of his truth, such as that he led a double life and had another name. 

That, at least, might have given her more to work with when her world came tumbling down. To find out so much in such a short time and while under surveillance was too much for Martha to handle. Not that she still knows the half of it.

But she knows too much. Just enough to poke the hornets' nest and get her into more trouble than she may be worth. To everyone, possibly, than Philip.

Her "Clark," as she still knows him, admitted to Martha that he and Elizabeth have worked together for a long time. That's true. For a very long time their marriage wasn't real. It's only recently that it became a relationship in more than name, that they fell in love. 

He also admitted he's in the KGB. And just after that, Martha's first reaction was to beg him to run away with her, to be inside her. And as cliche as it could seem and as dead as Philip looked while he granted her that wish, I don't doubt that a part of Philip loves Martha more than he ever thought he would.

And Elizabeth knows that, which is why she made love to him so passionately while he was worrying over Martha, and why she stood, absolutely stunned, when she realized Philip showed Martha his real appearance. That's an intimacy they're not allowed with others. It means something.

Watching Martha try to rationalize that they could, quite possibly, go back to the way things were if only Aderholt believed her story about the affair, was gut wrenching.

For all the confident talk she gave him at dinner about how strong she was regarding her affair with a married man, she was just a woman who wanted a man, and fell in love through circumstances she wouldn't have if she didn't feel so desperate to have a man in the first place.

Now look where she is. 

All of the Martha business coinciding with William's attaining a tularemia sample worked out perfectly for two reasons.

Not only did it give Philip someone to talk with about how much he cares about Martha and for William to chime in that their bosses have no idea what their doing, but it also took Philip away from Martha when she needed him the most.

In order for this storyline to really spiral out of control and paint both Martha and Philip in the worst possible light, Philip had to lose control over the situation, try as he may to protect the woman he had come to care about.

Waking up to find her gun missing and "Clark" having abandoned her was the perfect tsunami to overcome Martha, and as waves of panic rose over her, she left the safe house and threatened the only man left who probably had any desire to help Philip to help her.

After seeing how easily the world came crashing down upon Nina in the USSR, it's hard not to juxtapose this situation onto Martha. 

She cannot afford to burn bridges with the KGB, even if a life in the USSR is not her dream. The FBI now has everything they need to call her out as a traitor. She's American toast at this point. 

Her life crumbling is riveting, though, especially because Philip has such a spot for Martha. We don't know how he'll be looked upon. And what did what William say mean, "When Eliza, my wife, was sent back, I didn't think I could take them on. I wanted to, but I didn't."

Does that mean Philip is taking on more than he bargained with bringing in Martha in the first place? And Martha just jeopardized an already frowned upon operation? 

There's so much life left in The Americans. This is one of the better seasons with so much at stake. The emphasis on family has only made this series stronger.

Do you agree or disagree? Did you expect a car to barrel past Martha in the closing scene (or maybe wish for it!?)? What's next? Let me hear your thoughts.

And if you're missing out, stop right there and watch The Americans online. It's definitely worth an investment of your time!

The Rat Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.9 / 5.0 (37 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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The Americans Season 4 Episode 6 Quotes

Philip: We need another Glanders sample. You've done it once. You can do it again.
William: Yeah, like I really want to do THAT again.

Stan: Do you find Martha attractive?
Aderholt: There's something sexy about her.