The Americans 1.8: The Roller Coaster Effect

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This episode begins as no other episode in this television series has before, with happiness. Elizabeth and Phillip look so deeply in love, Elizabeth cannot stop giggling at Phillip’s jokes and Phillip cannot stop touching Elizabeth. The two of them even gleefully blow up an old married couple’s car together…It is not as odd as it sounds. Russian KGB sent an assassin to attack American scientists. The Jennings simply blow up the nuclear scientist’s car to ensure protection for the old couple. Awww, how thoughtful. But that bliss doesn’t last for long, as Claudia breaks the news of Phillip and Irina/Ann during a secret briefing. Elizabeth stupidly chooses not to believe Claudia, her new found happiness with her husband blinding her top priority. Naturally, she begins to grow suspicious as any woman would.

But despite all suspicions, the two still have to work with one another so they simply do what they do best; put on wigs and get classified information out of people. Elizabeth and Phillip pay a visit to a man and his daughter in order to find information on their KGB assassin. This assassin doesn’t look to lethal as he spies on his kill in the woods, but the eerie music gives it away for him. After the two get what they need, Phillip puts on a different wig and becomes Clark, a reoccurring disguise who is sleeping with Martha, a secretary at the FBI, specifically in the same department as our friend agent Beeman. Yes that’s right, the same agent Beeman who has been using the FBI safe house to sleep with his little Russian mole, Nina.

Meanwhile, the German KGB assassin walks into a bar and strikes up a conversation with a prostitute. It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke if you ask me. He hires her not for his own pleasure, but to screw another American scientist while he sets up his death.  Back at the Jennings residence, the trouble in paradise is a little more apparent since Elizabeth accuses Phillip of lying about Irina/Ann. Instead of denying it, Phillip owns up to his mistake and apologizes profusely which only makes Elizabeth more angry. She doesn’t want another do over, she doesn’t want to hurt again. Elizabeth simply wants to do her job and forget the marriage even existed. 

Back the hotel, the assassin isn’t going after a scientist like I initially thought. It was actually an FBI agent. And the bomb is officially set. And at the FBI office Martha is helping “Clark” but obtaining the classified documents he asked for. But it turns out, Martha used to date agent Beeman’s partner, Chris! I feel like I’m writing a gossip blog as I type this scandalous b-plot, but this could lead to some very interesting story lines. “Clark” visits Martha later that night, she thinks it’s for a romantic date but he really just wants those classified documents. He goes along with the romance though and sleeps with her once again. But this time, you can tell that all “Clark” is thinking about is Elizabeth and how badly he screwed it all up.

But all feelings aside, there is still a mission at stake. Elizabeth and Phillip ambush the German KGB assassin while he is eating room service in his hotel room. But he already set up the bomb and threatens to set it off. Of course a shoot out begins, the assassin is wounded and then Elizabeth detonates the bomb, killing the German KGB officer. Now that business for the day has been taken care of, personal matters can be handled once more. Elizabeth refuses to get past the affair as they drive away and their getaway car. 

But the scientist was killed anyway, despite efforts taken by both the Jennings and the FBI. A bomb went off in his house. But unfortunately, the FBI realizes they can’t start a war over killing scientists and a look of defeat falls over their faces. The episode ends on a dark note with an undertone of failure. Emotions are running high despite Phillip’s objections and the couple realizes they can’t make their marriage work anymore. This television show is like a roller coaster sometimes, full of highs and lows. but I guess that’s what keeps me coming back for more.

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