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TV Review: The Americans 3.12 “I Am Abassin Zadran”
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Goodman   |  
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The Americans FX

The Americans
Season 3, Episode 12 – “I Am Abassin Zadran”
Directed by Christopher Misiano
Written by Peter Ackerman & 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, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 10pm

Secrets and lies are two intrinsically linked elements, as it’s impossible to have one without the other. The Americans is a show that’s lived in the area between those places and this season has really focused on the emotional weight of what it means to have secrets, to keep secrets, and what it is to tell lies to keep those secrets.

I Am Abassin Zadran” refers to the titular mujahideen commander Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip (Matthew Rhys) speak to in the episode, but for Martha (Alison Wright) this could have easily been the name behind the man she’s known as Clark. Identity is at the heart of this episode, as we continue to see Paige (Holly Taylor) struggle with her changed circumstances and question who she’s been all her life. These are weighty questions to posit as the show heads into its season finale, but they’re questions this show is capable of not only asking, but providing the answers to as well.

Spoilers for the latest episode of The Americans will be discussed below.

...continue reading »
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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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