The Americans Review: Comrades

The Americans Review: Comrades

Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen The Americans Season 2, Ep. 1 – “Comrades.”

After a stellar first season The Americans came back full throttle. When one imagines “full throttle” for a Cold War spy thriller, one might imagine tense interrogations and bloody shootouts. But that’s never been the driving force behind The Americans and the second season doesn’t seem interested in changing that.

The Americans has always been first and foremost about the relationship between Philip and Elizabeth. Elizabeth returned from her recuperation and for the first time really put forth the effort in mending her marriage.  It was heartening to see her supporting Philip both in their cover life and their spy life.

This was also the first time we were introduced to spies in the same cover situation as the Jennings. Emmet and Leigh Anne assisted the Jennings in some sexy times spying and it was clear that the couples went way back. I suppose it should have been clear that Philip and Elizabeth weren’t the only spies with this cover, but it’s strange they’ve never met up with them before considering they are so perfectly primed to understand everything they’ve been struggling with.

Unfortunately, they won’t be meeting up again anytime soon, either.

The two couples planed the spy version of a play date, which basically boils down to hanging out at a carnival and sneaking furtive glances at each other’s families, but Emmet brought his work into his family time and forced Philip to do the same. He also insisted that Philip use his son as a cover. There was a moment of hesitation, but Philip acquiesced. He made the drop and everything was fine… Until he went to the hotel and found Emmet, Leigh Anne and their daughter brutally murdered.

It’s hard to say what made the scene in the hotel so terrible. True, a murdered family is terrible even under the best circumstances (don’t ask me what those circumstances might be), but it truly came as a shock. The Americans has always been upfront about the danger that Elizabeth and Philip are in on a daily basis, but this is the first clear threat to their children.

The first season was all about them struggling to decide where their loyalties lie, but it looks like the second season will be all about showing them it doesn’t really matter. No matter where they put their allegiance, this is the life they chose and it subsequently has endangered their innocent children. They can’t undo that.

Other Random Musings:

A year later and I still can’t get a handle on Nina. Does she care about Beeman? Is she regretting her decision to become a double agent? Does she wish she would have waited and taken his offer of escape? Or does she want to burn this American and his bootleg videos in the name of Mother Russia? I simply do not know and its what makes her all the more interesting.

Beeman is not having a great time at work either. His rock solid case had crumbled around him and, no matter how much be believes the Gambling Man, no one else is interested. And then the supposed not at all interested in Soviet spying cornel killed the man with not one, but two shots to the head in the name of self-defense. He may have been attempting to cover his tracks, but he’s done nothing but raise more flags.

Poor Paige, perhaps seeing her parents 69 will curb her curiosity. Lets face it; there are worse things she could have found.

The show addressed Philip’s marriage to Martha in the final moments of the show, but I’m really interested in finding out how he maintained the façade of a relationship while Elizabeth was away; especially with a daughter so aware of her parent’s comings and goings.


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