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TV Review: The Americans 3.11 “One Day In The Life Of Anton Baklanov”
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Goodman   |  
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The Americans 311 Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings

The Americans
Season 3, Episode 11 – “One Day in the Life of Anton Baklanov”
Directed by Andrew Bernstein
Written by Stephen Schiff & Tracey Scott Wilson
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 10pm

The Americans Episode 3.11 “One Day in the Life of Anton Baklanov” ends with an open door that subsequently closed. It functions as a good symbol for this episode as the majority of the Jennings family struggles with this newfound openness between them all. There’s a desperate attempt to keep that door open, but who’s to say how long that will be the case?

Continuing the fallout of last week, Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip (Matthew Rhys) are rightfully still on edge about just where Paige’s (Holly Turner) head is currently at. In fact, the entire Jennings household (save for Henry, who is still running around doing the world’s best worst Eddie Murphy “Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood” impression) seems to be adrift, searching for some sort of answer within themselves in the larger world.

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TV Review: The Americans 3.10 “Stingers”
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Goodman   |  
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The Americans 3.10 Stingers

The Americans
Season 3, Episode 10 – ”Stingers”
Directed by Larysa Kondracki
Written by Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 10pm

At what point did you realize that your parents weren’t as infallible as you’d once thought?

There’s a moment in every person’s life where this moment occurs. Comics writer Matt Fraction described it (in one of my favorite interviews of all time I might add) as the feeling of “…angst that comes from realizing you’re standing on a plateau with the people you looked up to. There are moments when any kind of role model that you have in your life, be it parental or educational—teachers—or even just, you know, professional mentors, can kind of invariably disappoint you.” It is different for everyone, but we all have it – the people who raise us have their own secrets, their own lives even, and we start to view them in a different light.

I don’t think Paige Jennings (Holly Taylor) expected her moment to be quite so painful.

Potential spoilers below.

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TV Review: The Americans 3.9 “Do Mail Robots Dream Of Electric Sheep?”
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Goodman   |  
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The Americans, Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, and Frank Langella

The Americans
Season 3, Episode 9 – ”Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?”
Directed by Stephen Williams
Written by Joshua Brand
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 10pm

“This is not how I expected it to end, the story. I’m not afraid of leaving the world. I don’t know why, but I’m not. It’s better than falling down in the street, like a drunk, and waiting for some stranger to pass by.”

Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?” not only gives us one of the best titled episodes of The Americans, but also the closest thing we’ve gotten to a bottle episode on the show.

Spoilers below.

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TV Review: The Americans 3.8 “Divestment”
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Goodman   |  
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The Americans Season 3 Episode 8 "Divestment"

The Americans
Season 3, Episode 8 – “Divestment”
Directed by Dan Attias
Written by Joshua Brand
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 10pm

The latest episode of The Americans, titled “Divestment,” aired this week on FX. Continue reading for my thoughts on the episode.

Fair warning: there will be spoilers below, so continue only if you’re caught up.

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TV Review: The Americans 3.7 “Walter Taffet”
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Goodman   |  
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Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings in The Americans Season 3 Episode 7 Walter Taffet

The Americans
Season 3, Episode 7 – “Walter Taffet”
Directed by Noah Emmerich
Written by Lara Shapiro
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 10pm

As we enter the back half of the third season of The Americans, things are beginning to really heat up as star Noah Emmerich jumps behind the camera for another fantastic episode of the best show you’re (probably) not watching. Our review of Episode 3.7 “Walter Taffet” here below.

“And if you don’t love me now / you will never love me again / I can still hear you saying / you would never break the chain”

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TV Review: The Americans 3.6 “Born Again”
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Goodman   |  
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The Americans Season 3 Episode 6  Born Again

The Americans
Season 3, Episode 6 – “Born Again”
Directed by Kevin Dowling
Written by Tracey Scott Wilson
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, March 4, 2015, 10pm

“Let us not love with words and speech, but with actions and truth.” – Pastor Tim

The Americans “Born Again” is an episode that’s all about the actions and especially the truth as the show’s sixth episode heats up all the simmering plots. It starts out with proud parents celebrating an existential truth for their daughter and by episode’s end has sent that truth into the cold, harsh light of reality with one hell of an ending.

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TV Review: The Americans 3.5 “Salang Pass”
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Goodman   |  
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The Americans Season 3 Episode 5 Alison Wright as Martha and Matthew Rhys as Philip Jennings

The Americans
Season 3, Episode 5 – “Salang Pass”
Directed by Kevin Dowling
Written by Stephen Schiff
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella.
FX
Air date: Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 10pm

As The Americans‘ third season continues, this week’s episode is all about the kids. Hit the jump for our review.

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TV Review: The Americans 3.4 “Dimebag”
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Goodman   |  
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The Americans Season 3 Episode 4 Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings and Matthew Rhys as Philip Jennings

The Americans
Season 3, Episode 4 – “Dimebag”
Directed by Thomas Schlamme
Written by Peter Ackerman
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella.
FX
Air date: February 18, 2015, 10pm

So much of The Americans Episode 3.4 “Dimebag” is about our main characters trying to become more honest, pure, and innocent versions of themselves, each with varying degrees of success. It’s also a quieter episode that helps set up the pieces of the puzzle that will presumably carry us through our next couple of installments.

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TV Review: The Americans 3.3 “Open House”
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Goodman   |  
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The Americans Season 3 Episode 3 Matthew Rhys as Philip Jennings

The Americans
Season 3, Episode 3 – “Open House”
Directed by Thomas Schlamme
Written by Stuart Zicherman
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, Frank Langella
FX
Air date: February 11, 2015, 10pm

Sometimes I forget that The Americans is a spy show.

While I’ve been enjoying digging into and parsing apart the relationship dynamics of the show, “Open House” is a reminder that this show is just as compelling when the game is afoot. After hunting down members of the CIA’s Afghan group last week, Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip (Matthew Rhys) begin their hunt for a specific target and land on Ted Paaswell, a member of the group who is looking to sell his house after what seems to be a nasty divorce. Philip assures Gabriel (Frank Langella) that the CIA can’t watch everyone all the time and that they should be in the clear.

Famous last words.

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TV Review: The Americans 3.2: Baggage
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Goodman   |  
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The Americans Season 3 Episode 2 Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings

The Americans
Season 3, Episode 2 – “Baggage”
Directed by Daniel Sackheim
Written by Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, Frank Langella
FX
Air date: February 4, 2015, 10pm

“It’s not really over.”

Elizabeth (Keri Russell) comes into the house after what we can assume is a long day. She sits down to have a snack while she talks to Paige (Holly Taylor). As she bites into her food, her tooth, still injured from the fight with Agent Gaad (Richard Thomas) in last week’s episode, rips through her mouth with searing pain. She talks with Paige for a few minutes before she gets a call. It’s Philip (Matthew Rhys). There’s more “paperwork” to be done at the office.

It’s not really over.

“Baggage” is all about the things that our characters are carrying with them in some form or another. The cost of these things are starting to weigh on everyone. Especially for Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich).

...continue reading »
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