Sunday, September 9, 2018

Emmy Episodes: The Americans

It’s always my policy to watch every Emmy-nominated episode each year, which leads me to sample a handful of shows that I don’t tune in to on a regular basis. For the third year in a row, I’m making a special effort to spotlight each of those installments to offer my perspective on shows that I don’t review each week.

The Americans: Season 6, Episode 10 “START” (B+)

I so rarely watch shows as quickly as I watch this one – I made it through all six submitted episodes of this season in just over twenty-four hours. I obviously wasn’t nearly as invested in this show as the people that actually like it, but I can still appreciate what it took to get to this finale. If I were a regular fan, I think I’d be frustrated that it took until the very last episode for Stan to finally realize that his neighbors were Russian spies. Fortunately, that scene was well worth it, since we got to see Philip be surprisingly honest, telling Stan a limited portion of the truth that validated their friendship and compared their fidelity to the Soviet Union to his own sense of patriotism. Paige chimed in with her own bit of truth, while Elizabeth shared nothing but lies, making them out to be reformed soldiers doing their best to help keep their country together. Emphasizing the importance of getting the message back to their contacts was a bold move, but they also managed to have him let them go, which is a big deal. Pointing out that Renée might be one of them was an interesting twist to add, one that we didn’t really see go anywhere. Their phone call to Henry was appropriately unsuspicious, and the notion that Stan really will take care of him because he didn’t know anything is an incredible and sentimental thought. Watching them all sit on the train separately in disguise as they crossed into Canada provided the last bit of tension for this show, with their passports working perfectly but Paige opting to stay behind. I don’t think she would have done well in Russia, and instead she’s sentenced to a lonely fate back in the United States while her parents return to the place they used to call home. This is a fine enough finale for me, the sixth of the show’s episodes submitted for Best Drama Series as well as a writing nominee and the individual submission for stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. I might have chosen different installments for me, but for those who like the show, these should serve as more than adequate showcases.

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