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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Penultimate The Americans: Tour de Force Keri Russell

Well, the next-to-last episode of The Americans, just concluded on FX tonight, was really something.  Keri Russell has been outstanding throughout the six-season series, but she put on an off-the-chart performance as Elizabeth tonight.

Conversations have always been the centerpiece of this series, but the conversion between Elizabeth and Paige tonight set a new high standard for Elizabeth.  She finally admits to what Paige has been in one way or another accusing her of all season and earlier: Yes, she's not only a spy.  She's a spy who sleeps with men, because sex in such circumstances means nothing to her, it's just a means to an end, and Philip knows and approves.  Those statements and emotions would have been powerful coming from any decent actress, but Keri Russell delivers a searing performance in that two-minute conversation.

A little earlier, it's Margot Martindale as Claudia who delivers the goods - to Elizabeth.  Claudia's quiet denunciation of Elizabeth, telling her she's ruined everything in her support of Gorbachev and betrayal of the Centre, was just outstanding.

Meanwhile, Stan's convinced now that his neighbors are the deadly spying couple, and Philip almost gets caught by the FBI when the Russian priest sets him up in a meeting.   I can't recall seeing Philip/Matthew Rhys run faster on this show.   Ordinarily, I would have said there was little chance of Philip actually getting caught in such circumstances.  But the end of the series is nigh, and Philip ran was if he knew that.

The finale of this remarkable series is next week.  I'll be here moments after with my review.

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