The Americans Season 5 Episode 3 Review: The Midges

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Paige might be more cut out for the family business than she realizes.

After another night spent with Pasha and Tuon on The Americans Season 5 Episode 3, Philip and Elizabeth decided it was time to share not only what they do with their daughter, but to get a bit more in depth with why they do it.

While Paige will continue to struggle with what it all means, she's showing signs that her past interests would line up very well with her future as a spy.

The Family Business - The Americans

Philip worries that Paige isn't connecting with what they've been sharing with her and maybe knowing about American's plan to starve the Russians by way of corrupting their grain supply will help her understand.

He's right. 

It's the catalyst that urges her to ask questions about how they work sources, how they get their information, stay out of harm's way and even how they befriend them.

Paige: Is it hard pretending to be other people?
Philip: Yeah. Sometimes it's really hard.

And she can't stop thinking about it, either. The idea one country would do that to another weighs on her.

When she gets together again with Matthew, she finally realizes what they meant about someone close to you picking up on the signs of your emotions and how much you'll want to talk to someone in with whom you're in a relationship.

Matthew: Are you OK? You seem sad.
Paige: The world's just so messy right now. It's hard to figure out what to do about it.
Matthew: Well, there's nothing we can do about it.
Paige: Do you really think so?

Paige used the technique showed to her by her parents and got through it, but she learned a few things from the experience. Some of which she may not want to admit as of yet.

Asking Questions - The Americans Season 5 Episode 3

First of all, she was kind of shocked to learn Matthew didn't care as much about world events as she did. Granted, it wasn't much of a conversation on the subject, but Paige has never been one to think she couldn't do something about anything.

Look how quickly she jumped into the idea she could make a difference with Pastor Tim. That went sideways, but it's always been in her to make a stand. 

Even if she worries she's in for a lifetime of strange relationships because she's too in the know than average people, it's what she has always been cut out for, and it seems logical she will figure that out as quickly as she's nailed everything else.

What I'm currently loving about The Americans Season 5 is screwed up the entire world looks from every perspective.

The struggle for power and dominance is always ugly whether it's on a world level or individually. There are at least two sides to every story, and the more we get to know the players involved, the more sides there are to uncover.

Philip and Elizabeth had to spend another night with Tuon and Pasha and that meant more disagreements between Alexi and his wife, which kept the discussion alive on the ride home.

That Alexi has such a poor opinion of Russia and the corruption he believed overtook the country he once loved making it such a terrible place he wanted to defect annoys the hell out of Elizabeth, and while it bugs Philip, he can't help but wonder how much of what Alexi says is true.

The Midges - The Americans Season 5 Episode 3

When they eventually end up in Oklahoma trying to track down the midges, he looks at that land and realizes it's nothing his homeland doesn't have.

Philip: All this land out here. You know what it looks like? Home. We have this too. Why can't we grow enough grain ourselves? Alexi? Some of what he says? I...
Elizabeth: Everybody has problems.

That's a tough thing to realize, but it's also what people like Oleg are trying to uncover in the Soviet Union, isn't it? 

Oleg is doing his part to stop the corruption, which includes the local grocer paying for better food for their own store, at least as a way to get to the bigger guys. You know it's going to be hard to make a dent when the woman's being investigated for giving bribes and offers Oleg one on his way out.

But it was all worth it for the Martha sighting!

I thought Oleg walked past her on a bench in the park. It still might have been her, but I don't recall her wearing a babushka. Seeing Martha healthy and shopping for a canned good was a good sign.

It's not the life Philip promised her when she got onto that plane, but it's better than the alternative. I think. While Alexi and his family went from poverty to luxury, Martha went from being a comfortable woman of means to shopping in stores with bare shelves.

It's hardly a life anyone would pick for themselves and had she known what she was doing, she'd never have taken the opportunity.

The things people do for love.

I know Oleg got the tape, and I believe it was when Stan found out about Nina. How will that, in particular, be used against Oleg?

And what are Stan and Adderholt doing that's connecting to everything? Yes, I should have rewatched The Americans Season 4 just before this season started. Major fail on my part. Help me out?

What do you think of everything going down? What do you think of the season so far? Is Paige going to make a great agent?

Don't forget you can watch The Americans online anytime via TV Fanatic to catch up. Drop me a comment, you guys!

The Midges Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (9 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 5 Episode 3 Quotes

Matthew: Are you OK? You seem sad.
Paige: The world's just so messy right now. It's hard to figure out what to do about it.
Matthew: Well, there's nothing we can do about it.
Paige: Do you really think so?

Paige: Is it hard pretending to be other people?
Philip: Yeah. Sometimes it's really hard.