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TV Review: The Americans: 4.13 “Persona Non Grata”
Goodman   |  

The Americans 4.13 "Persona Non Grata"

The Americans
Season 4, Episode 13 – “Persona Non Grata”
Directed by Chris Long
Written by Joe Fields & Joe Weisberg
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Dylan Baker, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, June 8, 2016, 10pm

The Americans is a show that didn’t need to reinvent itself. After three superlative seasons, we had a rough idea of what we were in for with each installment, as by design, the show has always been structured to slowly ramp up its stakes as it went it along towards its already forgone conclusion — it’s not entirely dissimilar from Breaking Bad in that way — but this fourth season seemed particularly focused on disrupting the existing “home” viewers had found within the program.

And all it took was a vial.

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TV Review: The Americans: 4.12 “A Roy Rogers In Franconia”
Goodman   |  

The Americans 4.12 A Roy Rogers in Franconia

The Americans
Season 4, Episode 12 – “A Roy Rogers in Franconia”
Directed by Chris Long
Written by Joe Fields & Joe Weisberg
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Dylan Baker, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, May 25th, 2016, 10pm

If pop culture and historical accounts (the ones that we know of at least) have taught us anything, it’s that the art of spying is tedious at best and hazardous at worst.

The Americans has shown us both sides of this equation, but “A Roy Rogers in Franconia” delves deep into the dangers of spycraft as William (Dylan Baker) is tasked with obtaining another biological sample, and a tip from Oleg (Costa Ronin) gives Stan (Noah Emmerich) and the FBI just enough information it needs to get the closest they’ve ever been to catching Elizabeth and Philip (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys).

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TV Review: The Americans: 4.11 “Dinner For Seven”
Goodman   |  

The Americans 4.11 "Dinner for Seven"

The Americans
Season 4, Episode 11 – “Dinner for Seven”
Directed by Nicole Kassell
Written by Joshua Brand
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Dylan Baker, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, May 25th, 2016, 10pm

Considering events with Philip (Matthew Rhys) dominated the front half of the season, it’s refreshing to see Elizabeth (Keri Russell) fall back into the spotlight for the back half of season four – with one of the most rewarding aspects of that pendulum swing being the way in which Elizabeth and Pastor Tim (Kelly AuCoin) find themselves in one another’s orbits throughout “Dinner for Seven.”

It’s easy to paint AuCoin’s Pastor Tim to an antagonist role – a reaction that’s reductive and wrongheaded – but the strength of the character comes from his empathy: something that Elizabeth desperately needs throughout this episode as she comes to terms with having to wrap up the Patti operation. I guessed that the pregnancy angle would be how Elizabeth approached it, but I forgot that you’d still need some way to actually get into Don’s office. My heart sank for Elizabeth as Philip entered into that building – that’s the goodbye she was referring to a couple of episodes back.

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TV Review: The Americans: 4.10 “Munchkins”
Goodman   |  

The Americans 4.10 "Munchkins" Review

The Americans
Season 4, Episode 10 – “Munchkins”
Directed by Steph Green
Written by Peter Ackerman
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Dylan Baker, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, May 18th, 2016, 10pm

We’ve got another quick review of last week’s The Americans after the jump.

Munchkins” has three moments that stood out for their noticeable use (or lack thereof) of sound. Fittingly, they’re also some of the most important scenes from the episode.

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TV Review: The Americans: 4.9 ”The Day After”
Goodman   |  

The Americans 4.9 "The Day After"

The Americans
Season 4, Episode 9 – “The Day After”
Directed by Daniel Sackheim
Written by Tracey Scott Wilson
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Dylan Baker, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, May 11th, 2016, 10pm

Fleetwood Mac has forged an inescapable bond with The Americans. Before the series premiered, critics were already praising the show’s now infamous use of “Tusk,” for good reason: it took something familiar (Fleetwood Mac needle-drops often find themselves frequently used in popular culture) and put a new spin on it (“Tusk” is, for someone like me, not something I’d ever remembered hearing on the radio and was therefore a new and fresh dimension of a band I was already familiar with). The inclusion of “Tusk” defined the show early on in the same way: we might know the tropes and typical beats of a spy story, but this show was going to bring something bold and new to the genre.

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TV Review: The Americans: 4.8 ”The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears”
Goodman   |  

The Americans 4.8 "The Magic of David Copperfield"

The Americans
Season 4, Episode 8 – “The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears”
Directed by Matthew Rhys
Written by Stephen Schiff
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Dylan Baker, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, May 4th, 2016, 10pm

It can sometimes be counterproductive to look at the title of an episode and distill the events solely though that title, but it’s apt that the “The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears” centers around the disappearance of people, emotions, and (ultimately) time. I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but the eighth installment of The Americans‘ fascinatingly confident fourth season is a series highlight in a string of episodes that have been consistently some of the best the show has ever produced.

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TV Review: The Americans 4.7 “Travel Agents”
Goodman   |  

Americans review

The Americans
Season 4, Episode 7 – “Travel Agents”
Directed by Dan Attias
Written by Tanya Barfield
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Dylan Baker, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, April 27th, 2016, 10pm

The Americans isn’t a show that has a dense number of concurrent plots, so it is somewhat of a rarity for those additional narratives to slow in service of a larger story. But when the show focuses on a singular plot, it typically means we’re in for a doozy. “Travel Agents” delivers; heightening and lifting the show’s normal atmosphere of tension and dread to frightening new levels.

Spoilers below.

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TV Review: The Americans 4.6 “The Rat”
Goodman   |  

The Americans 4.6 - "The Rat" Review

The Americans
Season 4, Episode 6 – “The Rat”
Directed by Kari Skogland
Written by Joshua Brand
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Dylan Baker, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 10pm

The Americans finally gave us the episode we’ve all been waiting for when it comes to Martha with “The Rat,” as Alison Wright’s poor soul of a character is thrown into a situation beyond her comprehension. This episode is all about escalation, as Martha finally finds out the truth about Clark’s real allegiance, while Elizabeth and Gabriel find out the depths of Philip’s involvement with her — culminating in a scene that’s a series great for Keri Russell.

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TV Review: The Americans 4.5 “Clark’s Place”
Goodman   |  

The Americans Clark's Place Review

The Americans
Season 4, Episode 5 – “Clark’s Place”
Directed by Noah Emmerich
Written by Peter Ackerman
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Dylan Baker, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, April 13, 2016, 10pm

The Noah Emmerich-directed “Clark’s Place” quickly moves Martha (Alison Wright) and the Jennings (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) from out of frying pan and into the fire.

Our full review, after the jump.

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TV Review: The Americans 4.4 “Chloramphenicol”
Goodman   |  

The Americans 4.4 Review

The Americans
Season 4, Episode 4 – “Chloramphenicol”
Directed by Stefan Schwartz
Written by Tracey Scott Wilson
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Dylan Baker, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 10pm

The Americans hasn’t been hiding the fact that a major character on the show was bound for a meeting with their makers and that it was just simply a matter of time. Those events came to pass last week’s fantastic episode and we’ve got your spoiler-filled review of “Chloramphenicol” here below.

Poor, poor Nina (Annet Mahendru).

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