The Americans has been a totally rocking freshman drama that is putting the FX network on the original programming map. The characters are broadly drawn with dynamite scripts and a killer story arc that is all wrapped in the cloak of Cold War espionage. I have tried to recommend this drama to everyone I know that has been looking for a new show to add to their DVR. The Americans has continued to play out in fantastic and exciting action with a finale held up its end of intrigue in this swan song of rollercoaster thrills. The first season is over and I am already left wanting a second season to start. Immediately.
Last week, Prince was caught for late child support, which is pretty inconsequential considering his treasonous acts of stealing government secrets on America’s new missile defense system. Stan is interrogating him but is going very easy at the moment with whispers of sweet nothings, such as promising that Prince will be out of there in a couple hours. However, Stan and Agent Gaad know that Prince is holding back on something and that he will eventually break. We find out later that Prince is willing to talk for immunity and half a million dollars about the stolen missile defense plans. Although he was picked up on a much lesser crime, it seems that Beeman and company are on top of what exactly Prince has done.
Martha and Clark engage in more carnal affairs while the latter maintains his ruse against the poor patsy who has the inside track at the FBI. The homely Martha has become a very sympathetic character as the season has progressed and one cannot help but feel sorry for her. Across town, Granny and Liz are meeting in a restaurant for breakfast. The elder sypmaster tells the younger agent that she will be meeting with the Colonel Zhukov’s replacement. Granny also divulges that the Rezidentura Centre has set up the meeting, despite both Liz and Philip having put in a request to have her reassigned. As much as the couple dislikes Granny, she is still on their side, whether they believe it or not.
Granny makes a point to tell Liz that it was a 27-page form that she had to fill out in order to oblige their request. Afterwards, Granny tells Liz that she knows her far better than she knows herself; something I think that she has been waiting to say the whole season. In addition to meeting with the new colonel, there is going to be a meeting between Defense Secretary Weinberger and James Brady at Weinberger’s home office. Remember: the Feds know that there is a bug in the Secretary’s house. I will say that I was a bit confused about this, considering that I was under the impression that James Brady was still recovering from the attempted assassination on President Ronald Reagan. Granny reveals that the president may be planning a strike against a “spetsnaz” (Russian Special Regiments) detachment in Nicaragua that has been flagged as top priority by the White House.
Back at the travel agency, Liz relays the message to Philip that Prince is in federal custody. If the meeting goes bad with the colonel, Liz wants her estranged husband to be the one to rush to Canada with their kids should something go wrong. Clearly, she feels that her husband would be the smarter choice and more “fun parent.” Philip insists that he meet with the colonel while Liz grabs the tape at the meeting between Weinberger and James Brady. Liz is adamant that the kids would prefer Philip to be their sole parent should things go bad. Despite agreeing to it, Philip changes the plan so that Liz will be the one to head north to Canada if and when things go South.
Nina meanwhile appears to be facing her comeuppance for her traitorous acts at Moscow. She was told to keep an eye on Stan and to try to turn him, but she tells them that he cannot be flipped. It is very interesting to see that Nina is not killed or sent back to Moscow after revealing her traitorous acts. Worse still is that after meeting with Stan, she is told that her extraction from the Rezidentura is a sure thing and that in a few hours, she will be free from the shackles of Communism to start a new life. Although Stan has fallen for Nina in a big way, he is still trying to save his marriage by offering Sandra a trip to Jamaica for eight days, even if she does not want to go. Sandra says that a vacation is not going to do anything for their relationship, considering how much it has deteriorated in the past few months.
In disguise, Granny assassinates Patterson, the man that killed Zhukov in a most brutal fashion. He bleeds out on the floor of his apartment with Granny telling him that she has injected a paralyzing cocktail into him that leaves him helpless. His neck oozes with blood. Arkady lets Granny know that because of Liz and Phil’s request to have her reassigned that she is expected back in Russia. It is interesting to see that despite her being the senior agent, she is the one that has to return to the Motherland.
Philip goes against Liz’s wishes and does things his own way by handling the “colonel” situation. With Agent Gaad, Beeman and a whole group of Feds waiting for the possible Weinberger meeting to go down, which is all a ruse, they swoop in as soon as they see a woman (Elizabeth) get into Philip’s car. What follows is a car chase worthy of the classic film The Seven-Ups; a wild run through suburban Virginia. Although during the chase, Liz suffers a bullet to the stomach that must be attended to immediately. After switching cars and getting to a safe house, the bullet is removed with Philip at his wife’s side. Granny is there too and you realize that there is some “comrade-ry” (get it?) between the elder agent and her disciples. Ironically, Stan and Sandra are keeping an eye on the Jennings kids as Philip calls from a pay phone telling his neighbor that they will be taking care of a sick aunt for a while. Crazy, considering just a few hours ago that Stan was chasing his own neighbor.
This was a suitable and excellent finale to end an outstanding first season. While I will have to watch the episode a few more times, I think that it is fair to say that The Americans is the best new show of the midseason. So, goodbye for now. Or as they say in Moscow, dos vedanya.