The Americans: "This Place Doesn't Turn Out Socialists."

Categories: Film and TV

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I want a / Suburban home
Agent Beeman also worked undercover -- with white supremacists -- so he knows how they think, maaaan. He gives a rundown to Agent Gadd (Richard "John Boy" Thomas) about where he thinks Temisov might be ("in a house"). Beeman then goes home and tells his wife he gets a weird vibe from Phillip, but she mocks him enough that he drops it. Crisis averted!

Phillip, obviously intoxicated by game shows and easily obtainable convenience store pornography, decides to turn Temisov in, but Elizabeth has other ideas. Temisov is ... pretty strong for a guy who's been in a trunk for a week, but she gets the better of him, and Phillip has a change of heart after learning Temisov raped her, crushing the defector's throat. Finally, a tender couple's moment.

We come full circle as Phillip and Elizabeth drive Temisov to what is presumably his final resting place to the strains of "In the Air Tonight." If that sounds familiar, it might be because of this:

And speaking personally, I'd have driven a little further away from where I just dumped an acid-drenched corpse before having hot Commie car sex, but Elizabeth's new friskiness convinces Phillip not to defect. For now.

Elizabeth meets with a General Zhukov in a safe house and learns their KGB masters are none too happy about the death of one of their own (the other sleeper died in the hospital) and Temisov. We also learn Elizabeth has reported Phillip's "irregularities" before, but she backs off. Zhukov hints at troubles back home and insists she continue her efforts against the "madman" the Americans have elected President (hint: it's Reagan).

Sure enough, ole Ronnie is displeased by the kidnapping of Temisov and signs an executive order authorizing all-out war against KGB sleeper agents.

In the final flashback, we see the happy couple arriving in Northern Virginia in '65, thrilling to the wonders of air conditioning. The last 1981 scene shows Agent Beaman searching the Jennings' Oldsmobile in the garage, while Phillip lurks just out of sight, pistol in hand. The car is clean, of course, so perhaps they're trying to defuse the Beeman situation by throwing him off the scent early.

The Americans shows promise. It's not altogether unexpected that the relationship between Phillip and Elizabeth has evolved into something approximating actual affection, even if it plays out in weird ways (Phillip listening to Elizabeth's sex tape with the DoJ guy). Phillip remains the weak link, unwisely deciding to beat the shit out the guy who came on to this 13-year old daughter. Disguise or not, it ain't a smart move, even if the entire audience probably enjoyed it. More interesting is Russell, who makes a believable transition from rom-com favorite to steely-yet-wounded covert operative.

One thing though: the Jennings need to pick a different liquor. Anyone drinking straight vodka in 1981 might as well have been singing "The Internationale."

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