Privacy vs. Protection

In recent developments, Edward Snowden is perceived to have decided to call Venezuela his new home. According to CBS News, Venezuela seems to be the best choice because they are the most well equip nation to get Snowden there safely and keep him protected from extradition. Venezuela Foreign Minister, Elias Jaua, states, “Even if we wanted to, and we don’t, we wouldn’t extradite him, nor should we because it is not legal nor ethical.” Although a destination has finally been decided upon, the mission to get Snowden to safety is far away from complete. Currently, Snowden’s route on his “flight of liberty” has yet to be decided, and according to New York Magazine, the journey could become very costly. “A former CIA analyst suggested a private jet, which could run up to $200,000, but might be able to make it to Caracas from Russia where, as far as we know, Snowden remains at Sheremetyevo Airport — without refueling. ” Edward Snowden’s travel arrangements could take weeks to finalize.

The story of Edward Snowden brings many different points of debate to the forefront of the national conversation. The one that currently interests me the most is privacy vs. protection. When discussing a nation that was founded on certain established freedoms, is it more important to hold a citizen’s right to privacy in the highest regard? Or is the government’s obligation to protect its citizens from harm its highest responsibility?

There are strong arguments that could be made for both sides of this debate. Those who value their privacy very close to them have every right to do so. Whether there is a justifiable reason to do so or not, they have every right to stand up and say “I don’t want my government meddling in my private matters.” However, in this digital age, it is very difficult to keep even the most mundane activities private. With social media and internet usage at an all time high, media companies such as Facebook and Google are constantly selling your “private” information to third parties in order to create personalized advertising campaigns (always read your terms of use). And because new technology is developed every day to create shortcuts, most information is stored somewhere on the World Wide Web. Even medical records have become digitized and are living in an internet based cloud – without your permission. So although you may hold your private life in high regarding, there is unfortunately no such thing as 100% privacy in the digital age.

For those of you who find comfort in the large and soft security blanket that the USA has cast upon you, then I’m sure you can remain comfortable knowing that the NSA will not stop keeping track who you communicate with, when, where, and what about. But beware that in this post 9/11 world, “big brother” will always be watching. What I find troubling in this argument is that despite the claim that we are being watched for our own protection we are not fully protected. Terrible tragedies that have recently occurred in our country such as the Boston Marathon Bombings have taken place during this period and there was no way to prevent them. None of the communication took place online or over the phone, as far as we know. Even though our government wants to keep us safe, there is no way to fully accomplish that.

I hate to remain undecided in this heated argument, but I have already accepted that there is no way I will be able to keep my life completely private and protected. Every time I walk out of my apartment, I risk my well being in order to live my life. But it is a chance I am willing to take. Edward Snowden wanted to inform the citizens of this country that their daily activities are being monitored by the NSA, but I had assumed long ago that these activities would be monitored, especially if there was something to hide. From national terrorist suspicions to small-town local injustices, law enforcing departments constantly monitor activities such as phone calls and internet use in order to solve crimes. Why should this be any different? While I would rather my government not monitor my activities such as read personal texts from friends and family and look at pictures from the party I attended last weekend, I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of.

I can appreciate the urgent manner in which Edward Snowden attempted to warn us about our privacy being infringed upon, but the bottom line is that the government spy game has taken place for a number of years at this point. As long as you have nothing to hide, there is no use to fight it because the NSA will continue this for the foreseeable future.

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The Adventures Of Edward Snowden

Hello fellow fans of The Americans, I hope you have found another television show to satiate your craving of secrets and spies until season two begins early next year. As you are aware, this blog is not only related to television shows but politics and current events as well. And one of the biggest political thrillers stories of not only this summer but the entire year has much in common with our beloved TV show. Like The Americans, Russia is a very large participant in this story as well as secrets, spying, and major privacy issues. It should come as no shock that the whistle-blowing case of Edward Snowden is a major news event, but the fact that he could potentially get away with it by seeking political asylum is the biggest surprise of all.

To give a brief summary, Edward Snowden is a former CIA analyst who believed that he could no longer stand by his government after witnessing how it treated its citizens. After Snowden saw that the NSA was essentially spying on Americans and others around the world through phone and the web (dubbed operation PRISM), he collected the classified documents which he has full access to and informed the UK publication, The Gauardian, of the acts that had been committed. Snowden immediately fled to Moscow by way of Hong Kong where he is currently seeking political asylum. The USA is currently attempting to extradite him, as they wish to bring him to bring him justice.

This story brings up a lot of interesting topics of debate such as loyalty to country vs. fellow man, patriotism vs. purgery,  and even privacy infringement despite the government’s retort that the spying was done with the safety of Americans in mind. These are all topics that I will discuss while reporting on this story. However, breaking news regarding the fate of Edward Snowden was released over the holiday weekend; the man has supposedly received grants for political asylum  from Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua.

Officials from these countries are quoted saying that they would be honored to protect Snowden from “persecution unleashed by the world’s most powerful empire” according to New York Magazine. Now that the man has options, he just needs to figure out how to make the journey. Snowden is currently still in Moscow and with no direct flight to any of these nations, Snowden may be forced to travel by way of Havana, Cuba, a country that is less than thrilled to harbor him. To make matters worse, American allies such as France and Spain refuse to have Snowden fly through their airspace. Snowden has finally found relief as Russia is more than willing to get rid of him, but he has to find a way to make it to safety first.

I’m still not quite sure how I feel about this story just yet. While many Americans don’t seem to feel that their liberties and freedoms have been infringed upon by NSA spying, many took to the streets in protest over the holiday. There is still more to the story to come, details will unfold over the coming weeks as we finally begin to figure out who in fact is the enemy in this situation. Is it the big government attempting to secure the country, or the man who saw his fellow citizens being taken advantage of and actually did something about it?

The Americans 1.13: A Mission To Remember

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We finally reached our season finally and I have to ask all of the fans out there, what did you think? Did the episode fulfill your expectations or did you find that it wasn’t satisfying enough? Do you think that you will stick with the show for its renewed second season? These are all questions I have yet to answer as I am still considering whether I want to continue with this series. While there were certainly episodes that held my interest and left me wanting more, the final episodes this season left a lot to be desired. Onto the review!

Once again, this episode begins with the emerging b-plot from last week’s episode. The KGB has agreed to continue their meeting with the mysterious colonel despite the fact that their middle man was captured and detained by the FBI. Then, in true FX fashion, the story immediately switches to a very graphic sex scene between “Clark” and Martha. Leave it to FX to do this, as they are the only cable TV station I can think of that displays scenes like this (HBO, Showtime, etc. don’t count). Suddenly, the scene switches again to a meeting between Elizabeth and Claudia for prep regarding the Colonel meeting. I understand the need to build up suspense as it is the season finale, but it really doesn’t help to jump around from scene to scene so quickly. Once the director of this episode focuses in on the meeting with the Colonel, Elizabeth and Phillip discuss emergency evacuation plans. If anything were to go wrong, one of the parents would need to throw the kids in the car and get to Canada immediately. But apparently, that can’t be as immediate as they want because the other half of the couple needs to pick up one of their recordings from a planted car (one location that the FBI is monitoring.)There is a lot of uncertainty in this upcoming meeting, we are still unsure if it’s an FBI setup or the real deal. The couple argues about who will be the one to take the kids to safety but no answer is set in stone. 

Meanwhile at the Russian embassy, head Rezident Arkady is informing Nina of the next steps after her confession. She can either return to Moscow to face trial (without option of execution) or continue to work for the KGB as a spy. Her assigned goal is to attain any information she can from Beeman, ultimately trying to turn him for Mother Russia’s benefit. Nina knows damn well that Beeman can never be turned, no one bleeds more red, white, and blue than that man. Yet Arkady seems to hold hope that it can happen, and that it can happen only through her.

After one last quiet night spent together as a family, Elizabeth and Phillip meet at their once shared home to discuss the plan for tomorrow’s highly dangerous mission. Phillip decides that Elizabeth should be the one to pick up the tape and Phillip will meet with the Colonel. That way, Elizabeth can meet the kids and run. Obviously, the two don’t know that the tape collecting is the more dangerous mission at this point. But during the entire conversation, you can plainly see that the two still deeply care about each other despite what the past episodes depict. That night, Elizabeth sneaks down to the basement to listen to a tape that her mother sent her years ago. This is a highly emotion moment for her character, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her cry until this moment. She is obviously fearful of tomorrow and this is the first time we see her afraid of a mission. For someone who is as devoted to the cause as she is, it’s nice to see real emotion displayed over a dangerous job.

Arkady meets with Claudia at dawn to inform her that she is being reassigned and she does not looked pleased to hear that news. Despite Elizabeth and Phillip’s hatred towards her, I do think that deep down she really does want to see them succeed. Claudia insists that the mission is a setup but Arkady wants to continue with it anyway. Beeman meets with Nina at the safe house to tell her that he has big news and she can be relocated after the success of today’s FBI mission. Nina obviously realizes that this means that one of the meetings is a setup so a few minutes after Beeman leaves, she runs to the embassy to warn Arkady of the setup. Claudia was right all along. Emergency abort signs go off all over town. Except they have the wrong meeting.

Phillip’s meeting with the Colonel goes off without a hitch. Neither one was lying and they got along quite well until Claudia shows up with the emergency abort signal. At that moment, they finally realize what we knew all along, It’s Elizabeth who is in danger. Phillip speeds off in a car and drives as fast as he can to meet her. He reaches her just in time but by that point, the FBI begins to fire shots. After a dramatic car chase through Washington DC, Phillip and Elizabeth outsmart the FBI like they usually do but not without consequence. Elizabeth takes a bullet to the stomach, the same place where agent Chris Amadour was stabbed a couple episodes back. Phillip rushes her to the same secret warehouse for emergency surgery and medical care. Phillip refuses to leave her side despite Claudia’s advice to go back to his children. Henry and Paige are sent to stay with the Beemans as the final montage of the season begins.

As Peter Gabriel’s “Games Without Frontiers” played on in the background, we see Elizabeth’s middle man telling the FBI everything he knows, Elizabeth asking Phillip to come back home in her native tongue (making it mean that much more), and finally Paige snooping around her parent’s secret spy spots within the Jennings home.

I do have to give the season finale a round of applause. It greatly made up for the last few episodes since Gregory’s death and I was glued to my seat the entire time. For this episode alone, I would consider coming back to the series next season, despite the jumpiness in the plot and the excruciatingly slow build. I can’t wait to see more of Nina’s evolution as a KGB agent, she has slowly become one of my favorite characters in this series. I would also like to find out what happens if Phillip moves back home, how he’ll maintain his relationship with Martha. Most importantly, I would like to see what happens to Paige Jennings and her role in this series. By the final scene in the season finale, it is obvious that she knows that something with her family isn’t adding up. As the daughter of two clever, daring spies, she is bound to figure out their secret by the end of next season. The series is off to a good start overall, I just hope it can maintain its run.

The Americans 1.12: It All Comes Full Circle

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Well it looks like those earlier missions weren’t one hundred percent successful after all. This episode incorporates past missions into one episode to gear us up for tonight’s exciting season finale. Ironically enough, it all begins with something new and interesting. Nina is sworn in as a KGB agent. I never thought I would see this woman pledge loyalty to her country. She seemed so in love with agent Beeman that I almost felt bad for her, but it turns out that this woman can keep secrets of her own. Deception is a beautiful thing on this show.

Remember the 2nd episode, the one where Elizabeth and Phillip poison the son of a maid so she could bug a clock inside the office of an important American government official? Well the maid has returned and she feels guilty for disobeying her religion. She comes forward to her boss and the counterintelligence agency about the situation at hand. She then is sent to sit with a sketch artist to give a description.

Elizabeth receives intelligence from a new recruit regarding space travel, all he wants is $50,000. She meets with Claudia about it who doesn’t think it’s a trap. Elizabeth is more suspicious about it than usual and decides to call the head of the agency on Claudia with Phillip, they never liked her anyway. But Phillip also decides that he will ask his fake girlfriend, Martha, to bug the head counterintelligence’s office. Getting her to do this would take a severe act of courage, heroism, and bravery. Naturally, the only way to get her to agree to this task is by proposing to her. Of course Martha says yes, she is now the person I pity most on the show.

Nina has a secret meeting with Beeman in their little safe house. She acts very affectionate and describes a dream to him in which Beeman is her savior from a hazardous fire. Nina slyly turns it around on Beeman by asking him one more time if he was responsible for her friend Vlad’s murder. He lies ever so sweetly, “I would never do anything to hurt you. You know that.” Nina can see through him but kisses the poor sucker anyway. I can’t wait to see what tortuous acts she has in store for him.

Back at Martha’s apartment, she tells “Clark” she wants to take his last name but “Clark” makes up some sad excuse as to why that cannot be. Then he springs the $64,000 dollar question on her. “Will you bug your boss’s office for me?” It wasn’t that sweet but after a little wordplay, “Clark” gets the answer that he is looking for. Martha successfully plants the bug the next day in her boss’s office. That night, Martha and “Clark” get into an argument. I am still a bit thrown off that this minor b-plot of the past has been pushed center stage at this point in the season, I will never underestimate the importance of these side stories again.  Martha, like most other women in the 80s, created a pro-con list on marrying “Clark” (how cliche). She can’t take his last name, she can’t tell her parents, and the couple can’t even share a home together. How delusional is this poor woman? But poor, doe-eyed Martha is somehow still convinced that “Clark” is the one after he says that her parents can come to the wedding.

Somehow, Elizabeth gets dragged into this wedding nonsense. Apparently Phillip needs people to play “Clark’s family”. And suddenly, the most comical close up of two old church ladies appears on the screen. It’s Elizabeth and Claudia arguing about spy matters! In church lady costumes! I couldn’t take anything they said seriously for the next few moments. Suddenly, Phillip/”Clark” is getting married in front of Elizabeth’s teary eyes. It is one of the few times we see Elizabeth Jennings show any kind of emotion towards anyone or anything aside from the cause.

At the FBI headquarters, the sketches have been compiled and are being displayed to a conference room full of agents. The agents go back and forth about whether the compiled sketches from various crimes are sketches of the same people. The head of counterintelligence thinks they are, but Beeman disagrees. Either way, the agency knows that they are looking for a couple, they are one step closer to discovering the Soviet spies…yet so very far away.

The episode ends where it begins, in the head Rezident’s office at the Soviet embassy. Nina comes forward and confesses that she was spying for the USA to the head Rezident, Arkady whom we met in the episode of Vlad’s murder. He seems stunned by the confession, yet Nina continues to confess everything, including details of her intimacy with agent Beeman. She ends with a proposition, “you can kill me, or you can let me redeem myself in the eyes of our beloved Russia.” What a spectacular way to end an episode! Even more importantly, it was an amazing way to prepare viewers for tonight’s season finale! A bit of the past mixed with a slowly emerging b-plot and a twist of vengeance will certainly make for an exciting ending to season one of The Americans. There were no previews released for tonight’s episode but I can assure you that it is television that you will not want to miss. 

 

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

The Americans 1.10: Gregory’s Return

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This episode of The Americans left me in tears. I never cry during television shows but between the soundtrack, cinematography, and actual storyline, I finally realized that I was emotionally invested in a series for the first time. On with the recap and review.

Elizabeth drives Phillip back to his motel after they dump Chris’s body. The head of the department at the FBI delivered a somber eulogy to the staff and pledged that they will find whoever is responsible for the crime. Beeman is heartbroken, Martha is in tears, everyone is visibly shaken by Chris’s death. But it is revealed that Chris’s ring was missing, and whoever holds the ring is the key to his killer.

In an interesting turn of events, Beeman goes to Phillip’s motel room to seek comfort instead of his home with his wife and child. The two have a deep heart to heart about their lives and what lead them to that point. It almost seems like they’re becoming friends. It’s too bad that Beeman doesn’t know that Phillip is KGB. The next day, Beeman and Nina meet to discuss the deaths of their respective friends. Nina is pretty upset about Vlad and reveals that he never wanted to be a part of the KGB, he just wanted to be a doctor. I’m still sad about Vlad’s death, definitely more than Chris’s death.

Back home, Elizabeth is playing bad cop and once again, Paige calls her out on it. Just as Elizabeth is giving the scolding that Paige has deserved for episodes, Phillip the hero walks in. They have their morning information exchange so everyone is caught up about Chris’s missing ring. Ah but the FBI got there first. Chris’s ring was found at a sketchy pawn shop. After Beeman spoke to/intimidated/beat up the pawn shop owner, he finally revealed that the people who delivered the car were people who worked for our old friend Gregory.

Remember him? The man who Elizabeth had an affair with? The man who severed his ties in the projects just so he could join the KGB…for Elizabeth? Gregory is one of my favorite characters on this show, every time his character makes an appearance, my heart skips a beat. Elizabeth tells him to stay low since the FBI will come after him at any moment. He is the only character on this show that Elizabeth can trust so it is urgent for her to keep him alive. The FBI receives positive ID confirmation on one of Gregory’s people, Curtis, and Beeman brings him in. During the interrogation, Beeman tries to give Curtis a chance to get out of this mess but he stays silent, committed to the cause. 

Claudia meets with Phillip and Elizabeth that night to discuss the Gregory situation. When the three realize that the Chris investigation isn’t going to go away, the option of framing Gregory for the murder comes up. The catch is that before the FBI arrest him, the KGB team will send him off to Moscow so he can live a peaceful life. It’s funny that Elizabeth thinks Gregory will actually relocate to Moscow quietly, but she just wants him to leave this all unharmed. Elizabeth proposes the Moscow plan to Gregory and he pleads with her to send him to L.A instead, He vows that if KGB reject his plan, then he will do whatever Elizabeth asks. Gregory is the only character that demonstrates true devotion on this show.

Claudia meets with Gregory to tell him that California is out of the question because it’s to risky. The FBI will stay on him until they reach the KGB. During this meeting, she reveals that the KGB went on to frame him for the murder, what Claudia called his “final act of service.” Gregory goes on to say that he just wanted to live for something and refuses the Moscow offer.  Gregory and Elizabeth spend that night together, laughing and chatting, catching up on good times. Gregory tells Elizabeth everything he loves about her and not to take Phillip back. He tells her everything she needs to hear in that moment, it’s everything she needs to stay strong after he’s gone.

The next morning, Elizabeth pleads with him to go to Moscow. In fact, she literally packs his bags for him as he tells her that it won’t work. Despite the fact that I may say this statement in every blog entry, this is the most heart-wrenching moment of the series thus far. Elizabeth is in tears and Gregory seems so at peace with his decision to die in a standoff between him and cops. Gregory kisses Elizabeth goodbye (in front of Phillip) and walks out the door. Roberta Flack’s To Love Somebody blasts on during Gregory’s final stand against the police. After he takes a few cops down with him in the process, he dies in slow motion. And as the news begins to report his death, Elizabeth sits down to dinner with her kids, as if she never knew him at all.

I can’t even begin to try and conclude this post. There is nothing left to write at this moment. But the war between the FBI and the KGB will rage on and I’m sure The Americans will demonstrate that during tonight’s new episode. But no storyline in this television show will ever be as powerful as Gregory’s.

The Americans 1.9: But It Was An Accident

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Shame on you Phillip and Elizabeth, ruining the absolute perfection of fried chicken for Paige and Henry, your darling children. As you may guess from the events in the last episode, this episode starts off with Phillip and Elizabeth announcing that Phillip is moving out and Elizabeth will be living in the house with the kids. Of course the kids flip out, I honestly wouldn’t expect anything less. But viewers, I felt as if I was intruding on someone’s private life as I watched this clip. It was quite heartbreaking. Flash forward to the next day, the Beeman’s are throwing a party, Paige won’t speak to her mother, and Phillip is staying at a depressing hotel on the outskirts of Washington D.C. Beeman and his friends from the FBI are casually discussing plans to take out the head of Russian Embassy, whom they refer to as “the head Rezident” and goes by the name Arkadey. This is in retaliation for the scientists killed and everyone seems to be on board… except Beeman, surprisingly enough.

that night, “Clark” pays a visit to Martha to obtain more information. And after an extremely uncomfortable sex scene, Martha confesses her love for him and convinces him to stay the night. I’m impressed by how well his wig stays on throughout the whole Martha ordeal. As “Clark” lets himself out of Martha’s apartment, Chris (Beeman’s partner) is waiting outside for him, ready to fight. After a very physical fight, “Clark” stabs Chris with his own knife and stuffs him in the trunk of his car. Bad move, buddy.

Phillip calls in his wife for reinforcement to care for Chris in an abandoned warehouse and Chris is not looking good. His absence is noticed at the FBI right away and an investigation kicks in. Beeman searches his apartment with no luck, and found his car completely clean of prints. Immediately Beeman suspects KGB involvement (rightfully so) but no one else at the FBI believes him. And that’s when the flashbacks begin. I was surprised to find that they weren’t as cheesy and sentimental as I thought they would be, but nonetheless found them unnecessary.

Zoom in on Chris suffering from his stab wound and then quickly back to the Jennings residence. Paige is giving Elizabeth attitude about her broken marriage when she receives a phone call about Henry’s lack of participation at school. Elizabeth is suddenly living the life of a single mom. Back at the warehouse, Phillip (as Phillip, not as Clark) uses Chris’s weakened state to get information but low and behold, Chris will not say a word. 

Despite Chris’s disappearance, the FBI is moving on with their plan to get the Rezident. Beeman is now on board in the wake of these events. But the Rezident didn’t go jogging with his young friend at the culture desk that day. Even though the signal to abort the mission was given, Beeman’s anger gets the best of him and demands they take the lone jogger hostage. After interrogations though, it turns out that this lone jogger, Vladimir, knows nothing about Chris’s disappearance since he does not hold a high ranking with KGB nor Russian embassy.   

Chris eventually told Phillip and Elizabeth the plan, but after he thought it was successfully carried out. But after Elizabeth confirms that Arkadey is still alive, Chris dies. I am in shock that they killed him off so soon. This television show seems to be trigger happy when it comes to their reoccurring characters. Chris’s body was found that night by his colleagues, who vowed to bring his killer(s) to justice. After one more sad flashback, Beeman goes back to the safe house, feeds Vlad a burger, and then shoots him in the back of his head. The way he died was terrible. Vlad never stood a chance.

I think this episode of The Americans was the most gruesome yet. Not one, but two well known characters were killed off and relations between the KGB and the FBI are more tense. than they ever were before. All of this built up tension needs to be released in an episode but will it happen next week? Or will it slowly build until the season finale?