Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Americans 3.12: The Unwigging

The powerhouse developments on The Americans this season, threatening to unravel the very basis of the series, have been Paige's discovery of most of the truth about her parents, and Martha in the cross-hairs of the FBI.   Both received fine treatment in last night's episode 3.12, but Martha's story was especially dangerous and traumatic.

As I said when Martha first confronted Philip earlier this season after the bugged pen in the office was discovered, I was surprised that Philip didn't kill her right then and there.   He knows as well as we the audience that Stan could intersect with them at any time, and Stan would see right through Philip's disguise with Martha.

And indeed that's just about what nearly happens in a great scene in 3.8.   Fortunately, Philip's warned off by the new KGB agent, who's keeping an eye on Martha's residence.   But, even so, let's say Stan had opened that drawer with Philip's picture.  Again, Stan would have seen right through the wig and glasses in the photograph.

It's also been slightly surprising to me that the sketches of Philip and Elizabeth on the FBI wall didn't look even the least bit familiar to Stan, nor to Martha, who might have seen something reminiscent of her mysterious husband in that drawing of Philip.   But none of that matters now, because Philip has taken off the wig himself, right in front of Martha.

Doesn't this have to be prelude to his killing her?   I would say yes, but the coming attractions show Martha still alive.

Meanwhile, although Paige wasn't in any such life-and-death scenario last night, her arc did have a good resolution - Elizabeth will take her to see ailing grandma in back in the USSR.   I'm hoping we'll get to see them in Moscow next season.

And I'm looking forward to see what happens with Martha in the season finale next week.   I suppose Philip could still maintain that he's some kind of American agent under deep disguise and cover, but it's hard to see how Martha could accept that.

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