cl smooth wrote:
Hairyducked Idiot wrote:Second-to-last Americans is tomorrow night. I'm doing the thing where you assume the worst to hedge against disappointment.
Anytime show writers say "We've had the same ending in mind since the first season," I get nervous. That often means a crappy ending that doesn't make any sense relative to years of character and plot development.
last night's episode was fantastic. you still on the ledge?
Nope. Completely satisfied. That was the TV equivalent of a run differential game. Out of my 10 favorite scenes from the season so far, I'd say 7 or 8 had to have come in this episode.
You had all the usual good stuff: Amazing acting (Stan and Elizabeth put on master classes in subtle facial expressions), huge emotional confrontations (Claudia/Elizabeth!), goofy 80s tech, an excellent character-developing flashback sequence. And they paired it with breakneck plot advancement. Like you list out all the major plot advancements that happened last night and it reads like two seasons' worth:
1) The FBI now has clear surveillance photos of Philip in relatively minor disguise. Stan and maybe even Aderholt will recognize him immediately when the photos are developed. Philip realizes this and that they only have a window of an hour or two, so he calls the bug-out code.
2) Elizabeth murdered Tatiana. Well not exactly murdered, more like out-assassined.
3) Elizabeth attempted to burn the entire KGB hardline coup, only the message hasn't gotten through Oleg yet and she doesn't know it.
4) Oleg is under arrest and facing decades in prison.
5) Paige is finally forced to give up her last shred of Martha-level denialism about what her parents do.
6) Stan confesses his suspicions to his boss, who brushed them aside for now.
For six years, they've been milking drama out of the paranoia that comes from being deep cover. They love to frame shots on background characters or cars just a moment too long, so you have to wonder like the characters do if someone is following them or about to pull out a gun. It was so incredibly satisfying to see that pay off when the random guy pulls out a walkie-talkie and starts chasing Philip.
There's this split-second moment when Paige walks into the house that you can see the thought cross Elizabeth's face that maybe Claudia sent Paige to go Season 2 Jared on her. Paige comes in dressed in all black with her hand in her pocket, Elizabeth looks down at the hand and relaxes when she pulls it out.