"The Americans" Season 5, Episode 7 Recap: That Hit A Little Too Close To Home

by @refinery29

“I believed I was acting in the service of a higher purpose. But I was just scared.”

One of the greatest things about television as a medium is its particular ability to personalize the political for viewers. Some would argue the opposite — and it’s true, those “very special episodes” wherein the war veteran shows up to teach us all about PTSD, can often turn out clunky, taking complex issues and painfully simplifying them. Sometimes it’s best, therefore, for a show to just stay out of it. The...

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"The Americans" Season 5, Episode 5 Recap: "Lotus 1-2-3"

As viewers, we don’t tend to think a lot about episode titles. Sometimes, it seems, the writers themselves don’t either, and then sometimes they clearly consider them a bit too much. (Sunday’s Girls, for example, was titled, “What Will We Do This Time About Adam?” which...okay.) It seems all too perfect, though, that tonight’s Americans, titled, “Lotus 1-2-3” was named after an obsolete computer spreadsheet program. Sure, there’s the handy lotus-insect connection, tying neatly with the...

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"The Americans" Season 5, Episode 8 Recap: "Immersion"

Dad is gone, mom is back, and everyone is in trouble. This week, it’s all about parents and children (and parents behaving like children). The episode is titled “Immersion,” but by all rights should have been called, “I’m Not Mad, I’m Disappointed.”

Driving home from his ominous last meeting with Gabriel, Philip at first appears visibly, and rightfully freaked out. Gabriel’s last words to him were fairly terrifying: “You were right about Paige. She should be kept out of all of this.” But as soon...

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"The Americans" Season 5, Episode 6 Recap: "Crossbreed"

So. That was a bummer. Not a shocking-twist TV-style bummer, but a low-grade undercurrent of despair and ennui; the kind of thing that precedes a mid-life crisis. You’ve gotta give it to The Americans(I guess), for not being afraid to devote an entire episode to that kind of a bummer. It’s certainly more true to life. Ugh, thanks for reminding us of that.

After spending the first half of the season building up a juicy new case for the Jennings’, last week’s episode pulled the rug out from under...