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Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Americans 3.10: The Truth

Well, The Americans in episode 3.10 tonight finally got down to brass tacks, with the best show of the season and among the best of the entire series.   Elizabeth and Philip tell Paige the truth of who they are and what they're doing.   Well, most of the truth, a sanitized truth, anyway, without the killings, but enough of the truth to set the whole narrative on edge and Elizabeth and Philip in the most peril they've been in when not precisely at the wrong of a gun.

If Paige reveals even this incomplete truth to the pastor, or anyone, that would blow up our entire story, that we've come to know and love, to the skies.  The Americans would end as we know it.  But how can The Americans continue with Paige knowing what she knows and not revealing it to anyone?

She passes her first test in an especially harrowing scene in which does call that pain-in-the-a pastor, and tells him ... not that her parents are Soviet spies, but that she finally broached the topic of why their life has been so strange - why she has no aunts and uncles, etc - and she received some kind of truthful answer.   The cool with which Paige handled this conversation - the fact that she called the paster - was impressive indeed.   She realized, consciously or not, that the best way of protecting her family was to tell the pastor at least this something now, and then likely throw him off the track later, when she had a better handle on things.   Elizabeth and Philip raised their daughter well.

This development now puts The Americans on a powerful new footing, in which Paige will sooner or later need to help her parents, in addition to just nor turning them in.   And this razor backdrop raises the stakes on everything else.

For example, there's still Martha.   It looks as if Stan might be a bit suspicious of her.   And if the FBI starts homing in on Martha, Philip's position will suddenly get very untenable.   Stan's antennae are always up - including at his neighbors' house, where he senses that something is not quite right with Paige.  But, again, she covers pretty well.

The rest of this season promises some truly uncharted territory for the third season of this series, which is welcome indeed.

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