View Full Version : The Americans (Season 3)

01-29-2015, 04:08 PM
Have at it, guys. We're midway through episode 9 of season 2, so I should be caught up and able to discuss the current season in the next week.

01-29-2015, 10:42 PM
A solid start, I think.

This may or may be the best show on television right now... but it's my favorite.

01-30-2015, 04:48 AM
It's weird - I know it is a well-made show, and it's the type of thing I would usually eat up, but I really struggle to get through The Americans. I don't really know why. I just finished the last three episodes of Season 2 after just stopping because I kinda lost interest. I'll keep on plugging away, I guess.

01-31-2015, 04:51 AM
I love its concept, I love its characters and the actors in it. I just think it's harder to reach its full potential because it keeps trying to attempt this subtle character drama on a sensationalistic show that's still beholden to delivering twists and big moments on every ad break. It's got this weird rhythm where it's sometimes pensive and thoughtful, and then it'd suddenly go all bombast and shock value.

01-31-2015, 12:39 PM
I don't know why, but it totally works for me. This is the show that is just what I want it to be.

01-31-2015, 03:31 PM
I find its study of complicated marriages quite fascinating; the way that the showrunners undercut Beeman's fantasy of a perfect liaison with Anna has been really quality, and I'm looking forward to how Anna inevitably returns, and what that means for Beeman

I was reading an AvClub write-up of this episode and they posed something I hadn't considered (and then Sarah shot it down as well). Does Philip send Annelise into that hotel room all but knowing she's going to reveal herself to Yousaf, and then that he'll be able to further draw on Yousaf's dependence? Or is that an on-the-fly decision from the other room once she goes silent?

The AvClub report suggested the duplicitous manner in which Philip objects to the treatment of his daughter as the direct inverse of his treatment in Annelise, and I'm curious if anyone else felt that the show was working in that register...

02-13-2015, 05:43 PM
Well, the show's doubled down this season on how fragile Elizabeth's safety is after a season where she's protecting her own so much. Interesting that she's the one constantly being nearly caught and not Philip...

I like where they're going with Beeman's doubts about Zinaida, especially since she's on a particular talk show.

There's a small part of me hoping that they resolve the Paige narrative halfway through the season, just so that we can see the fallout or repercussions imminently rather than waiting a year...

02-13-2015, 11:23 PM
Gosh, and I thought last week's body-snapping was excruciating. This might be slightly worse for me because it's done to a living person and we didn't see the whole of it. But it's also highly moving too. Great direction with that focus on the eyes, and even through the urge to put my hands over my face, I somehow got emotional a bit when Elizabeth put her hands on Philip for support before he went in a second time.

02-14-2015, 12:05 AM
That tooth scene. Over 2 seasons and 3 episodes, I've always admired the truly unique ways the show has invented to allegorize issues in married life.

Benny Profane
02-18-2015, 02:45 PM
At what age will Keri Russell stop torching people with her hotness?

Shapely butt.

02-26-2015, 06:02 PM
Philip is getting such a strong arc this season. After Elizabeth's dismissal of how his seductions don't affect him, the slow flashbacks to how he was trained to make each seduction real was unnerving.

And that final exchange:

"Do you have to make it real with me?"
"Sometimes. Not now."

Brutal stuff, especially since the camera lingers on Elizabeth's open eyes. Philip has retreated into a calm, yet she remains questioning, trying to decipher if this too is a game.

Such a great show.

02-26-2015, 08:04 PM
Yeah, there's a real sense of anguish and loss to Philip this season. I was happy too see some affection-- though complex, restrained, and stoned-- in that final scene.

Phillip's interactions with Kimberly, a mix of pity, sweetness, and dorky Dad jokes, became really unnerving in conjuction with her crush on him.

I think Paige is going to Find Out this season.

03-19-2015, 04:44 PM
This season has been insufferably boring.

03-21-2015, 01:21 AM
I stopped watching week to week a couple of episodes back, something I have done for the previous two seasons. Like before, I'm sure I'll return a couple of months later to finish it off.

I find it very....repetitive, I guess. I can see the themes and emotions at play, but they bang that same drum over and over and over. It's better for me just to plow through them in a rush.

03-26-2015, 05:09 PM
I'm still the person loving this show. The slow burn gets me every time.

03-30-2015, 01:30 AM
I'm still the person loving this show. The slow burn gets me every time.

Me too. The most recent ep was a series best.

03-30-2015, 01:38 AM
Yeah, I'm still loving it as well.

I think the biggest concern of the show is that the first season was whether Philip and Elizabeth would be found out, the second season was whether they could avoid the collateral from the friends' assassination, and this season is almost entirely a single issue with Paige. Yet it's echoed in Martha, who is clearly working through how much she should be concerned (and whether she should notify anyone). And in the shifting dynamics between Philip and Elizabeth, and how Elizabeth's becoming aware that the Soviets value Paige only as another pawn to manipulate, and don't think of how much she'd be dehumanized if she were brought in to do their job.

In that sense, it remains one of the most internal shows, despite the necklacing incident from two or three episodes back. The sequence with Elizabeth and the elderly woman in the office was brutal to me.

03-31-2015, 05:47 AM
I'm all caught up, and I think this show is great. They handle their teenage subplot far better than other shows (even the good ones). That young actress is really strong -- utterly convincing in everything they ask her to do. Russell is awesome, fearless. Rhys navigates from magnetic to detached really well. The Martha storyline is incredibly engrossing and layered. Last episode was definitely best of the season so far. So brutal.

If I had any minor complaint, it'd be that I'm not sure Emmerich and the actor playing Gaad are terribly compelling in their roles. Not bad by any means, but I wonder how the Beeman character might work if the actor playing him didn't come across so straight and narrow and perhaps had the same range as the series' two leads.

04-03-2015, 01:13 AM
Oof. So good.

Absolutely vital that the show go this direction this early, giving the showrunners three episodes to explore the ramifications. It's interesting to see Henry finally being given something to do, and to suggest that his picture collection extends back so far, but he's still on the backburner.

Paige (and Holly Taylor's performance) knocks this one out. Great performance of hurt, doubt, and re-assessment. The whole study of allegiance is reshaped once more and Weisberg deserves credit for the confidence that Taylor is given here. The next few weeks are going to be incredible.

04-23-2015, 02:14 PM
And so the season ends. This season is one very much in transition, as the five-season structure seems to be in place. As a result, this finale didn't quite move as many pieces as I'd expected (I was thinking that Martha was going to be killed by someone in the FBI all week), but Paige's progression makes sense.

Her parents are hurting and each still can't quite properly articulate their emotional state. Elizabeth doubles down on her mission in her final scene as she hears "her people" demonized, and Philip can't reveal to her what he's started to reveal to many, from the teenager Julia, to Sandra Beeman, to Martha herself. It's a sense of damaged people unable to recognize the own damage that Paige is in, as they're becoming more and more caught up in defusing issues instead of anticipating them.

Not quite the wonder that was the second season but it remains wholly interesting and dynamic. Andy Greenwald's write-up of it is a marvel (http://grantland.com/hollywood-prospectus/the-americans-season-three-finale-review-fx/).

04-27-2015, 07:06 PM
I really liked the finale, but I agree that this season mostly felt like one of transition. One that is basically just setting up storylines for future seasons and isn't quite as memorable on its own terms. In terms of "things happening," this definitely felt like an even slower burn than previous seasons. The Paige stuff remains interesting, but her emotional turn at the end of the finale wasn't entirely convincing to me. They seemed to push on her fear of potentially being sent away like her mother was. But I dunno, that seems to rely on the type of irrational teen emotionality that this show has successfully avoided until now. IMO, Paige is set up to be a deeper, more pragmatic thinker than that.

05-06-2015, 08:25 PM
I don't think her turn is as significant as you're making it out to be, though. She told her one confidante, Pastor Tim, and still asked him to keep it a secret, which I think she trusts him to do. I think when she said "they're trying to turn me into a liar," she's referring to the fact that she is morally against her parents' missions, and recognizes that she can't just hold the whole thing in by herself. I don't find that irrational.