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Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Americans 6.4: Stark Truths

The Americans 6.4 tonight was about as stark as this series gets - which is to say, dire, for everyone concerned.

It's hard not to feel at least a little bad even for Elizabeth - hard because she surely deserves all that befalls her, given all the people she's played and murdered for her cause. But in the bed there with Philip, telling him she's tired all the time - it's hard not feel something for her.

Philip doesn't have it easy, either.  He's trying to make it as a real American, with a business, and he's failing.  The conversation he had with Henry, telling him that he may have to be pulled out the expensive school he's enjoying, was one of the most quietly effective of the season and series.

And even Paige, who looks good and seems well on the way to becoming another version of her mother - maybe not as lethal, we'll see - can't be happy inside.  She knows that things are not right with her parents.  She's losing confidence in what her mother is advising her, and going her own way.

And the collision courses are continuing.  Philip has still not told Elizabeth that he's been tasked with stopping her.  Elizabeth's work is running into snags, and the coming attractions show her asking him to help her.   Philip still loves her, but he's come a long way in a relatively short time - a long way from being her partner.  As he says, he's been here a long time, and, unlike Elizabeth, it's changed him in all kinds of ways.

Even Stan is heading towards the vortex.  The episodes ahead promise to be even more powerful and tragic, like a great Russian novel of inexorably moving pieces on a course of self-destruction.

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