PDA

View Full Version : The Americans (Season 4)



Mara
03-17-2016, 10:27 AM
I love this show with my entire heart.

Irish
03-30-2016, 07:33 AM
I'm working my way through the second season and I don't know whether to love the show. On one hand, it's exceptionally well written and acted. I can't think of another show on the air right now that is this well done on a fundamental level.

On the other, the premise is ridiculous in a way that repeatedly pushes the bounds of suspension of disbelief. The spy capers play as both dire and silly at the same time. (Plus, those wigs. Jesus. Are they kidding?).

On yet another hand, I love the way they dovetail those idiot capers into real problems that real people have, mostly around marriage and relationships. Trust, betrayal. Love, lust.

On still yet another hand, the historical viewpoints fascinate me. Everything around Hinckley's assassination attempt on Reagan mesmerized. In the second season, the storyline involving General Zhukov (and all the associated flashbacks) was probably some of the best writing on TV I've seen in a long time. I love the way the show manipulates my loyalties -- when the FBI is on screen, I root for the Americans to succeed. When it's the KGB and the Russian embassy, my sympathies change immediately.

I think good shows play with their melodrama to create subtext, eg: stuff like Mad Men and Pretty Little Liars. The Americans doesn't seem to have any subtext because everything is out in the open. It's grand in many, many ways, but ... I feel like I'm also not "getting it."

I'm also afraid that it'll get too circular. The first season was clever in the way it constantly suggested forward movement in the plot but the finale more or less returned everyone to their original positions.

So I dunno. I hear it gets even better in the 4th season but I can't decided whether to stick with it.

Peng
03-30-2016, 12:17 PM
Stick with it. The third season is quite better than the second, introduces a huge development that will resolve your "circular" fear, and has two of my most favorite episodes of the show ever.

dreamdead
03-31-2016, 05:10 PM
Yesterday's episode felt a little oddly edited -- little lead-in into individual scenes at times with Pastor Tim and the Korean wife -- but man, I'm committed to seeing how Pastor Tim ends up next week.

The show made plain in the dialogue between he and Elizabeth several of the show's themes in that plot, so I'm curious if he remains necessary. The show's done amazing work keeping and undercutting character expectation, as I've been waiting for Martha particularly to bite it since the first season.

dreamdead
04-07-2016, 05:05 PM
Well, that was an emotional wallop, especially since the fine directing lingered over how clinical a body will be cleaned up.

Brutal for Nina to go out in such a dispiriting manner, but Martha's interaction spells out that nothing good will likely come out of her affair, and so Nina's interactions with Agent Beeman operate as the dark counterpoint to Martha's words.

After that devastation, which makes sense since the character was largely removed from the main cast, I'm interested to see how the Pastor Tim angle develops next week, since the show has done fascinating stuff assessing loyalty to nation and religion.

Irish
04-08-2016, 12:08 AM
Very annoyed that the fansites and entertainment rags publish headlines like "BIG SHOCKING DEATH ON ________ TONIGHT" ten seconds after the episode finishes airing in the New York. Because fuck the midwest and the coast, right? This happened to me twice yesterday, with two different shows on two different networks.

So I went into this waiting for the shoe to drop. Seemed like most of the episode tread water while they built to the big moment. But I liked what they did with that moment.

Nina was my favorite character, because in a way she seemed perversely more honest than anybody else on the show. She was always whatever anybody needed her to be, in any particular moment. She was trapped between idealogies and did whatever she needed to do to survive. I liked that about her. It's a shame they wrote her into a corner and had no way out of it.

PS: Peng, wow, you were right about the 'circular' thing in season three, haha.

Mara
04-08-2016, 01:39 AM
So, does Martha know that "Clark" has another wife, or was she being metaphorical?

Irish
04-08-2016, 01:48 AM
I'm a little confused about Martha. Some reviewers noted that she is aware that Clark is a Soviet spy, but I'm not sure. They never have any kind of expository exchange around who exactly he is.

In last night's scene, I thought she was being metaphorical and grasping at straws. Creating an alternate storyline to explain away her emotions around the fact she's definitely aware that "Clark" has an entirely different life outside her, and he won't abandon it for her.

Peng
04-08-2016, 02:03 PM
PS: Peng, wow, you were right about the 'circular' thing in season three, haha.

'Stingers' is still my favorite episode of the show to date.



In last night's scene, I thought she was being metaphorical and grasping at straws. Creating an alternate storyline to explain away her emotions around the fact she's definitely aware that "Clark" has an entirely different life outside her, and he won't abandon it for her.

Yeah, I thought this as well, especially considering the phone call she tried to make before that dinner.

Mara
04-08-2016, 03:55 PM
Okay, that makes sense. The scene was emotionally resonant either way but I wasn't sure if I was missing something.

Peng
04-28-2016, 02:23 PM
"I'll be alone. Just like I was before I met you." Alison Wright was already phenomenal throughout this episode, but that line, coupled with Matthew Rhys' almost-cry face, just destroyed me even further. That was a heart-wrenching and emotionally draining hour. Great episode.

dreamdead
04-28-2016, 02:50 PM
Yeah, Wright's been the MVP of this season so far. Her character is being punished so much, and there seems to be so little that Philip can do for her going forward.

If she also exits stage left this season, then it'll likely be apparent that the show is planning on five seasons only. Much like with Nina, I'm not sure of any way for her character to escape the mess she's in, but to see both go after bringing such range and empathy to their situations would be devastating.

Mara
04-28-2016, 10:25 PM
Yep, Wright is doing amazing work.

But Rhys' "I love you" made me gasp out loud.

This season has been top notch.

Peng
05-05-2016, 02:30 PM
Incredible run of episodes this season.

Irish
05-07-2016, 06:47 PM
The day we discovered our parents were Russian spies (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/07/discovered-our-parents-were-russian-spies-tim-alex-foley)

Real life story of "illegals."


When I meet Alex in Moscow, he has just finished watching the first season. (He had started on previous occasions, but found it too difficult; he and Tim joked that they should sue the creators.) His parents like the show, he tells me. “Obviously it’s glamorised, all this killing people and action everywhere. But it reminded them of when they were young agents, and how they felt about being in a strange new place.” Watching it, Alex says, has made him more curious: what set his parents off on this path, and why?

lol, jesus

Mara
05-26-2016, 11:48 PM
Hoo boy.

The show is firing on all cylinders this season.

number8
05-29-2016, 03:34 PM
I was several episodes behind this season (I only watched along for the first 4). Using this long weekend to get caught up, and jesus, what a fucking episode to end the binge on.

Acapelli
05-29-2016, 04:48 PM
didn't see this posted in here, but what fantastic news

http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/the-americans-gets-to-end-on-its-own-terms-with-two-season-final-renewal

Peng
06-03-2016, 02:13 PM
Man, this show. The FBI's getting closer, Paige is getting deeper in spy business, and do I detect a hint of Henry getting aware of all these things (his look when the family is being evasive; the sigh before he closes the door)? Maybe he will also become involved when next week's finale comes around.

They make even the trope of (possible) "teenage romance" somewhat compelling, by the queasy virtue of Paige doing it for her parents.

Mara
06-03-2016, 03:45 PM
This might honestly be the best season yet.

Mara
06-08-2016, 07:56 PM
Important for those who DVR: the show is running until 11:14 p.m. tonight.

Mara
06-09-2016, 01:04 PM
I found the finale surprising, and I can't decide if that's good or bad.

It was really low-key, as far as finales go. I don't feel like much was resolved. On the other hand, it was very effective and each scene felt important and slow-burn dangerous. I feel like this was more of a set-up to the next season than a finale on its own.

If this isn't the best season, it's close. The way they've built this world is stellar.

number8
06-09-2016, 02:57 PM
Yeah, maybe their guaranteed renewal gave them the confidence to be even more of a slow-burn show, but I'm certainly loving the new pace. This has gotta be the most muted finale any show's done for this kind of drama. So bizarrely anti-climactic given that the episode starts with a raid and a loose deadly virus. It fits the overall tone of this season, though. It's all about claustrophobic sense of not knowing where to go when the wall is about to come down, so to speak. The final shot is strangely chilling and deliciously mysterious, with Elizabeth watching from the window.

Stan continues to be a disaster of a human being.

Mara
06-09-2016, 04:03 PM
"Ha ha-- I think our kids were kissing! Just saw a human being shit himself to death, but catching a couple adolescents pawing each other takes the sting out, you know?"

number8
06-09-2016, 04:59 PM
"Ha ha-- I think our kids were kissing!"

http://i.imgur.com/E1VlXFX.gif

number8
06-09-2016, 05:05 PM
BTW, I just read this and it blew my mind. Russia's illegals program was still operating in 2010.

The day we discovered our parents were Russian spies (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/07/discovered-our-parents-were-russian-spies-tim-alex-foley?CMP=share_btn_tw)

Mara
06-09-2016, 05:08 PM
BTW, I just read this and it blew my mind. Russia's illegals program was still operating in 2010.

The day we discovered our parents were Russian spies (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/07/discovered-our-parents-were-russian-spies-tim-alex-foley?CMP=share_btn_tw)

Irish posted that on the last page.

But it bears repeating.

number8
06-09-2016, 05:13 PM
Wait, I'm an idiot. This thread was how I was linked to that article.

Mara
06-09-2016, 05:32 PM
Wait, I'm an idiot. This thread was how I was linked to that article.

Ha ha-- you've turned into my mom.

"I was just talking about this subject the other day!"

"Yes, I know... it was with me."

Peng
06-10-2016, 01:46 PM
I know they have to (and should) end on a gloomy, forboding note, especially this being a finale. But I really wish after Paige and Philip left that house for a cutaway scene of Stan probably congratulating his son, all beaming and gleeful.

dreamdead
06-11-2016, 02:48 AM
The space between Paige and Stan's son on the couch when the adults walk in = amazement.

So long, Dylan Baker. You were such a strong surrogate for a questioning Philip, stigmata wounds and all.

I almost thought the show might consider something happening to Henry, but the Paige scenario should prove equally tempting. First she tells pastor Tim, and next her boyfriend...?

Morris Schæffer
06-27-2017, 09:00 PM
Saw the very first episode. Promising.

Matthew Rhys looks like a younger version of bad guy actor Ed O'Ross (Red Heat etc...)

https://blog4dat.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/img_2812.png?w=620

http://i2.walesonline.co.uk/incoming/article9035934.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/JS61184899.jpg

Morris Schæffer
08-26-2017, 10:47 AM
Plowing through season 2 now. It's officially binge-territory now!

Morris Schæffer
08-26-2017, 10:54 AM
And wow, Rhys and Russell are actually a real-life couple ever since the show aired! :cool:

Milky Joe
08-31-2017, 04:21 AM
I tried watching this (first 5-6 episodes) and thought it was terrible, near CSI level stuff. Can't believe it got so much praise.

transmogrifier
08-31-2017, 06:03 AM
I gave it up after Season 2. It's just... boring, I guess.

Yxklyx
02-10-2022, 05:02 PM
Seasons 1 to 3 were great but this season is off for me - about half way through. The writing's not as good, the stories are off. Paige has had the same expression for a very long time now - not the actress' fault but the writing's. Same goes for Martha. They are dragging things out a bit too much - too many similar scenes playing over and over. They're not doing anything with Henry, they could have done something with that character.

Yxklyx
02-10-2022, 05:04 PM
...

On the other, the premise is ridiculous in a way that repeatedly pushes the bounds of suspension of disbelief. The spy capers play as both dire and silly at the same time. (Plus, those wigs. Jesus. Are they kidding?). ...

Yes, this is why I stopped watching a couple of years go shortly after the start of season 3. I've gone back though and am enjoying it for what it is.