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Friday, May 26, 2017

The Americans 5.12: Back in the USSR

Well, I couldn't resist, and I'm sure I'm the zillionth person to have this song in my head as I watched The Americans - not to mention that I've been hearing it a lot on the new Beatles Channel on Sirius/XM Radio - but this season in general, and episode 5.12 especially, has been veering towards the Soviet Union.

The scene with Oleg and his father was wonderful.   The father wants to help his son, destroy his enemies, but Oleg knows the forces that he's dealing with.   In many ways, Oleg in Moscow is a parallel to Philip in Washington - both men are struggling to do the right thing, against the same ruthless forces.   And Stan, with a different boss in Washington, has a lot in common with these anti-heroes becoming heroes, too.

Also in Moscow, Philip's son at the dinner table with Philip's brother was good to see, too.   You get a real sense, from yet another angle, of what life was like in the Soviet Union - and how different it was from life in America.

That difference is becoming increasingly crucial, as all of this is playing out with whether Philip and Elizabeth will go back to the USSR.   Unlike McCartney's song, which was cool and funny, there's nothing even remotely like that in what Philip and Elizabeth are trying to decide.

It's clear, after all these years in America, convincingly passing as Americans, that they'll never be at home anywhere - and that would be the case even if their children were not a crucial, decisive part of the picture.

Looking forward to season finale next week.

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