Things aren't the same as they used to be, that's for sure.
Relationships have fallen apart and putting them back together will be no easy task. In fact, The Americans Season 6 Episode 3 makes it seem as if some of them may be hopeless.
There are some people willing to step up and get hurt so things change for the positive, though.
When I reviewed The Americans Season 6 Episode 1, it was my hope that Philip would see how messed up things were with Elizabeth and realize she was one of the people who wished to hold the Soviet Union back from progress he would like to see continue.
Unless I'm out of my mind and have read all the signs incorrectly, he's reached that point now.
Elizabeth is losing her cool. She's become a one-woman terminator on behalf of her homeland. She's not one to normally allow her personal issues to interfere with her work, but she's doing it now.
She's overreacting when Paige is in the field whether to protect her or to because her head isn't completely in the game while she spends more time thinking about Paige than what's right for the mission.
Paige is her daughter. If Elizabeth doesn't feel good training her, she should have given the responsibility to someone else not only for her sake but Paige's.
By keeping it in the family, Paige isn't getting any comfort after a bad day, either, something she could have received (without details) if she wasn't in trouble for messing up a mission by just allowed to process what happened.
Philip: I told her she'd have you to talk to.
Elizabeth: What do you think I was just doing?
Coming down hard on Paige may feel good to Elizabeth, but it didn't feel good to her liberated husband and Paige's father to witness her behavior.
Paige was also worried about her mother's seeming willingness to die for the cause. A spy normally has to put country first, but hearing Elizabeth talk about it so frankly was new to Paige.
Elizabeth: No matter how risky it is, it's OK.
Paige: What do you mean it's OK?
Elizabeth: That no matter what happens to me that if I'm fighting for something that important...
Paige: You don't care if you die?
Elizabeth: Well, of course I do. But I'm not afraid.
After hearing that and then putting it together with what she later told Philip, it's hard not to wonder if part of Elizabeth isn't hoping to die because she's worried everyone is right about what's happening in the USSR and with her marriage.
For as strong as she is, Elizabeth is better at dealing with spy stuff than she is dealing with her personal life. She's a woman of many faces, and putting on a different one every day is easier than confronting the real one in the mirror.
Philip is still involved with est, now called the Forum, and more interested in facing himself and finding ways to succeed than admitting to being a failure in any way.
Not only did he pick up a book called Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude before addressing his employees at the travel agency to try to motivate them to sell more cruises, but put on one heck of a show trying to get Henry's school to give them a break on his tuition.
The Jennings are not doing well financially, and that's the first we've heard of it. Philip has been living the life he thinks will succeed. Attitude isn't always enough to make it so, but his enthusiasm is precious.
How he's managing to stay so positive in light of things at work and at home is a testament to the introspection he's done for the past four or so years. (And the writing, always the writing, but I'm talking about the character here!) A lesser man would have lost his cool by this point.
When he was faced with Elizabeth telling him she hates coming home, it wasn't just a one-avenue statement on her part. She doesn't just hate the American part of the house, but also that he's in it.
Even though she told him to quit spying, that he did disappointed her. That he supported Henry becoming more American by attending private Christian school was another disappointment she can't handle.
Philip: Honestly, the way things are going, I think in a couple of years, we'll have Stan over here for Zharkoye.
Elizabeth: What are you talking about?
Philip: Things are changing back home, opening up, and it's not just politics, it's, it's young people, it's music, it's different. I mean, they're talking about opening a Pizza Hut in Moscow. You see the papers.
Elizabeth: What? The Washington Post? You know, all this talk, Perestroika and Glasnost. The Americans, they eat it up. They want us to be just like them. I don't want to be like them! And neither do the people back home!
Philip: You haven't talked to anyone back home in over 20 years.
Elizabeth: Neither have you.
But that's OK because learning Elizabeth is, indeed, one of the Soviets Oleg spoke of who was trying very hard to stop any progress made in the USSR was a disappointment to Philip. And it was one he won't let go.
I came into the season with hope for the couple to find peace and stay together. I have more hope for Stan and Oleg to be sitting at a table Philip eating Zharkoye than I do Elizabeth, now.
That's saying something after the conversation Stan and Oleg had.
It's ironic the two men have both left the positions that first brought them together as adversaries and through which they created an unlikely kinship, but now that they're stepping back into those roles cannot trust one another when more than ever they're standing in the same space hoping to see the same end result.
Neither of them can talk freely because of Oleg's unofficial capacity, but it's the first time they're on the same side without having to try to prove otherwise. Yet it's more acrimonious than ever given their most recent history and their shared loss of Nina.
Seeing these specific scenes made me realize what would make me the happiest at the end of the series would be seeing Philip, Stan, and Oleg sharing their stories together. They've all grown so much during the run that they're now pivotal to my happiness as The Americans rolls to a close.
Can Elizabeth make it out of the summit in one piece with the trail of dead bodies she's leaving behind? Will Paige be a casualty that ultimately rips Elizabeth and Philip apart for good?
What scenarios are you imagining as their story continues?
If you need to ponder it some more, you can watch The Americans online as your study guide.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.