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

...continue reading »
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TV Review: The Americans 4.3 “Experimental Prototype City Of Tomorrow”
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Goodman   |  
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The Americans 4.3

The Americans
Season 4, Episode 3 – “Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow”
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, Dylan Baker, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, March 30, 2015, 10pm

The benefit of a show like The Americans is that, by design, we already know the ending: the Cold War ends and the Russians lose. At some point, it’s likely that Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell) will be discovered, but the journey that leads us to this final place is to be determined. And while the show has never been in a place where it hesitates to inch the viewers closer towards this end, tomorrow is still out there for the Jennings.

However, by the end of “Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow,” that tomorrow is less promised than before – as we’re given a cliffhanger that’s largely unlike what we’re accustomed to seeing on the show.

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TV Review: The Americans 4.2 “Pastor Tim”
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Goodman   |  
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TV Review The Americans 4.2 Pastor Tim

The Americans
Season 4, Episode 2 – “Pastor Tim”
Directed by Chris Long
Written by Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg
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, March 23, 2015, 10pm

​The Jennings are in trouble.

The specter of death has always lingered around the edges of The Americans, but Episode 4.2 “Pastor Tim” brings its otherworldly presence a little too close to home for the Jennings: the glanders still resides in their home (despite Philip’s best intentions), Elizabeth’s (Keri Russell) mother is dead, and the titular Pastor Tim is due for his own visit with the grim reaper after Elizabeth discovers he knows about their secret. The Jennings have found themselves in trouble before, sure, but “Pastor Tim” seems committed to paint the Jennings into a corner that they can’t back out of — doubling down on threats both internal and external.

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TV Review: The Americans 4.1 “Glanders”
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Goodman   |  
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The Americans Season 4 Premiere Review

The Americans
Season 4, Episode 1 – “Glanders”
Directed by Thomas Schlamme
Written by Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg
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, March 16, 2015, 10pm

More confident than ever, The Americans returned for its fourth season last night on FX — which is more than what Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys) can say for himself. The weight of his burdens are as oppressive as the country he fights for — he might share more in common with the Man of Steel than a reference to a secret identity, as he’s balancing the entire world on his shoulders. But it’s not going well. And he’s starting to crack.

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TV Review: The Bastard Executioner 1.10 “Blood and Quiescence/Crau a Chwsg”
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Olympus Athens   |  @   |  
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The Bastard Executioner 110-03

The Bastard Executioner
Season 1 Episode 10: “Blood and Quiescence/Crau a Chwsg”
Directed by Ashley Way
Written by Kurt Sutter
Created by Kurt Sutter
Starring Lee Jones, Stephen Moyer, Katey Sagal, Kurt Sutter, Sam Spruell, Darren Evans, Matthew Rhys, Timothy V. Murphy, Flora Spencer-Longhurst, Elen Rhys, Danny Sapani, Sarah Sweeney
FX
Air Date: Tuesday, November 17th, 2015, 10:00pm

Alas! This is the last review ever of The Bastard Executioner, as it was announced today that this FX drama was canceled.

Last week on The Bastard Executioner, the big reveal was that Annora is Wilkin’s mother and the Drak Mute his father. We had that inkling though. Kinda cruel then to cut down your own daughter-in-law and grandbaby. Wilkin, Corbett, Toran, et al. (Lee Jones, Stephen Moyer and Sam Spruell), went on a boys hunting party to capture Gaveston, so Lady Love (Flora Spencer-Longhurst) could gain money and control of her shire. There was a lot of bonding amidst the gore. The surviving twin tricked Ash (Darren Evans) and escaped, but she got hers in the end. Ash seems the one killing and setting up the pieces of corpses. They find Gaveston after Wilkin pretends to torture his host’s mistress, and have a fake trial that ends with head removal. Love threatens Jessamy (Sarah Sweeney) to stand down – death of she doesn’t, life of comfort if she does. Wilkin comes back and finds out that Father Ruskin (Timothy V. Murphy) and the boy were taken, which led to that big reveal. Toran is regretting his revenge plan.

Spoilers below.

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TV Review: The Bastard Executioner 1.9 “The Bernadette Maneuver/Cynllwyn Bernadette”
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Olympus Athens   |  @   |  
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The Bastard Executioner 109-07

The Bastard Executioner
Season 1 Episode 9: “The Bernadette Maneuver/Cynllwyn Bernadette”
Directed by Paris Barclay
Written by Robert Patino, Curtis Gwinn, Kurt Sutter
Created by Kurt Sutter
Starring Lee Jones, Stephen Moyer, Katey Sagal, Kurt Sutter, Sam Spruell, Darren Evans, Matthew Rhys, Timothy V. Murphy, Flora Spencer-Longhurst, Elen Rhys, Danny Sapani
FX
Air Date: Tuesday, November 10th, 2015, 10:00pm

Last week on The Bastard Executioner, Lady Love (Flora Spencer-Longhurst) shows her political prowess, impressing her chamberlain Milus (Stephen Moyer). Gaveston is a wanted man, and Love secures money and security for her shire, if they deliver him. Father Ruskin (Timothy V. Murphy) now knows that Annora (Katey Sagal) is not pagan, as she holds The Books of Nazarene (the future New Testament). The clergy wants to destroy it and her. Jessamy (Sarah Sweeney) catches Wilkin (Lee Jones) and Love in an embrace and goes crazy. She is sedated and tied to a bed. The bad priests come and kidnap the warrior priest and Maddox’s son, Luca. Annora shows Wilkin a vision of when he was a baby, and The Dark Mute (Kurt Sutter) cuts down a dozen men seemingly by magic.

Spoilers below.

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TV Review: The Bastard Executioner 1.8 “Broken Things/Pethau Toredig”
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Olympus Athens   |  @   |  
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The Bastard Executioner 108-06

The Bastard Executioner
Season 1 Episode 8: “Broken Things/Pethau Toredig”
Directed by Ciaran Donnelly
Written by Ryan Scott & Kurt Sutter
Created by Kurt Sutter
Starring Lee Jones, Stephen Moyer, Katey Sagal, Kurt Sutter, Sam Spruell, Darren Evans, Matthew Rhys, Timothy V. Murphy, Flora Spencer-Longhurst, Elen Rhys, Danny Sapani
FX
Air Date: Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015, 10:00pm

Last time on The Bastard Executioner, Wilkin (Lee Jones) confessed all to his Lady Love (Flora Spencer-Longhurst), then said his goodbyes to his son, and really said goodbye to his fake wife (Sarah Sweeney). Love was having none of that, having only just found him. The most violent scene ever is the end of this episode, where we witness a man drawn and quartered (limbs ripped from his body), in all its gruesome glory. This man confessed to killing Baron Pryce’s wife (even though we know Wilkin did it) for his family to be taken care of. Father Ruskin and Annora’s (Timothy V. Murphy and Katey Sagal) scenes are quietly mesmerizing, as this warrior priest attempts to understand.

Spoilers below.

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