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Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Americans 4.11: Close Call

The Americans 4.11 earlier this week had a signal moment, another indication, further than we've seen so far, about how close to the edge Philip and Elizabeth operate.

Pastor Tim and his wife are over for dinner.  The two of course know that Philip and Elizabeth are KGB, though much more benign than we know them to be.  Stan, for very plausible reasons, winds up unexpectedly sitting and conversing at the table.  He's even identified as FBI.

Philip and Elizabeth are always the masters of cool, and Paige is pretty good, too.  But what will the Pastor and his wife do?   Tim gets the incisive import of being at this table with Stan, and then the scene cuts somewhere else.

Our "Americans" have apparently dodged another bullet.  But it's bracing and enjoyable to see how close the shot came.

And the episode ends with another disrupting revelation for poor Paige: apparently her parents, or at least her mother, can kill in an instant.   Elizabeth was right to stop the menacing creep, for sure, but her instincts took over, and though I didn't mind seeing the almost-rapist dead, this was clearly something that Elizabeth didn't want her daughter to see.

Especially ironic, too, given that Elizabeth is having qualms over what she had to do to her Korean friends/marks.  She even begins to tell Tim about her feelings, though it's not entirely clear to what extent this is a true confession, or instead meant to ingratiate herself with Tim.   It of course never is - it's likely both - and this is one of the strengths of this series.

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