The Americans 1.11: This Isn’t A Cold War

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With a pull of a trigger, we’re off to a new plot line in this week’s episode of The Americans. The FBI is taking action and targeting three top KGB officials in Moscow. Within the first five minutes, one is already gunned down; General Czukoff the one who usually gives orders to the Jennings.

Stateside, Elizabeth goes to a bar with Mrs. Beeman for a ladies night while Phillip hangs out with the kids in the depressing motel room. Both Jennings look very happy, but Mrs. Beeman is obviously not. Agent Beeman comes home to a drunk Mrs. Beeman accusing him of cheating. Beeman never denies it, rightfully so. Elizabeth  meets with Claudia the next day who informs her that the beloved general was killed. Elizabeth tearfully informs Phillip and vows to avenge his death by personally killing the man who ordered it, the head of counterintelligence.

Apparently, our Russian mole Nina is now a senior lieutenant at the embassy. She has a fancy office and received her first assignment from Arkadey, to find out more about the assassinations in Moscow. Welcome to the big leagues indeed. Despite obtaining all of this power, she is still upset about the loss of her friend Vlad. She tries to get information out of Beeman who claims to know nothing. He tells her that his wife knows yet still kisses Nina like she’s the only one he needs.

To honor Czukoff’s memory, Elizabeth continuously has flashbacks of the two throughout the episode. One about teaching her to love and one about family. This is especially important because they occur as Elizabeth and Phillip plan their assassination of the man responsible. It seems that they are moving swiftly on this, as if there is no time to think it all through. Elizabeth’s disguise of the week is cute newly single girl who just wants to get it on. She plays her part well and within minutes, their man is being held captive in a warehouse. Elizabeth begins to question him with a gun to his head but as interactions heighten, he  mentions that Elizabeth is only in her position to kill, she cannot feel nor can she love. Basically he feeds off of everything Czukoff was trying to teach he to do despite her difficult training. Elizabeth loses it and leaves the room. She ends up letting him go! She is weak after the Gregory incident, but then she is reminded of a memory with Czukoff in which he tells her that surrender wouldn’t be the end all be all for her. Elizabeth goes to the motel to try and make up with Phillip just to find out that he got an apartment. She is quietly devastated.

The episode ends in a quiet confrontation between Elizabeth and Claudia. i’m not really sure what it meant or what effect it was supposed to have on the viewer. Maybe to establish that a storm was brewing between the two now that the only thing connecting them was gone? Speculate all you want but overall, I found this episode to be very slow. The Americans is not great with interim episodes, especially after extremely dramatic episodes like Gregory exit. I hope that it will pick up next week

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