FX's upcoming "The Americans" television series (Right wing crap)
Keri Russell is in it. It's all 1980s Cold War bullshit. It's a Republican lovefest. Will people just let go of the Reagan era already? For fuck's sake. The title card has a hammer and sickle in it (Communist symbol).
The show was created by a retired military guy.
The shit written on IMDB's message board is a Republican wankfest.
Tired of seeing the promos.
[quote]Tired of seeing the promos.
Get a DVR.
Is this going to be a Homeland knock off?
The last time I checked, acknowledging the existence of communism and the Soviet Union is hardly a Republican lovefest.
The show is getting good reviews and I will watch it.
Oh this show also has that Straight guy Matt in it! Wonderful
Keri Russell looks a lot like that Jennifer from House.
I thought the first episode was decent. Anyone remember Scarecrow and Mrs. King? The cold war thing was very serious in the 80s
r5, the network is now displaying Reagan in its PR campaign, and the show is made by a Tea Partier.
I thought the pilot was terrific, no matter who wrote it. Very involving with interesting characters and a lot of directions it could go in.
r7 = FX shill/Regeanitte.
I liked it. Whateves
There is no information about the creator being a tea partier. You made that up.
Some of you are so paranoid with regards to the Right, it's like a flip version of the Red Scare.
I watched it last night and was hooked in the first--very intense--ten minutes. Can't wait tto see what direction this might go.
R11 What did you think of the scene with the husband listening to her on the tape cassette? Felicity was so intense and cold I loved it.
NY TIMES review was positive.
R12 LOL. I love that you refer to her as Felicity!
Do they speak in Russian accents in private (the characters?)
Reminds me of the 1980s mini-series Amerika
R14 You know I ain't the only one!
Take your meds, OP, and get some sleep.
If you don't like it, don't watch it.
Oh, and for the record, this statement makes no sense:
" Will people just let go of the Reagan era already? For fuck's sake. The title card has a hammer and sickle in it (Communist symbol)."
R15 they speak with solid American accents to each other in private, but when she meets with a KGB handler they speak in Russian-accented English.
It's an excellent pilot; I hope the series holds up.
R18 Not true. The only time she spoke in Russian-accented English was in the flashback to the '60s where she was still in training (and that guy raped her.) When she met with the guy at the safe house, she spoke the same American English that was spoken throughout the rest of the episode. (Frankly, I think it would've made more sense to have her speak Russian to the guy in the safe house, but I guess there are reasons for her not to do so.)
I'd never seen Matthew Rhys in anything before. I know he's Welsh, but he really looked kind of Russian to me in this episode. Good casting choice.
Great pilot and I'm really looking forward to watching more. The TV critics who have seen episodes 2 and 3 are equally enthusiastic about them. I'm also excited to see Margo Martindale who will appear as Philip and Elizabeth's handler.
Hoping this shows up On Demand soon. Haven't seen this or THE FOLLOWING on the list yet.
Good info, R20. Margo scared the crap out of me when she played Mags on Justified. Really excellent at looking harmless while playing evil.
Tonight's episode was really good. The suspense is great with this show. The only hole is how the FBI agent across the street has fixated on them. He says something about them being different, but they really aren't. And they don't slip, so I have seen nothing that should bring them to his attention. I think it would have been better had he seen just something off a few episodes down the road.
How does it compare to Justified?
I'm glad FX is re-running it immediately after the first showing because it's up against "Nashville" on ABC.
I was kind of confused by tonight's episode-- who exactly is the blonde that Phillip was banging supposed to be?
I'm glad they showed the Russians at the embassy and the KGB office speaking Russian to each other and used subtitles. When they had Elizabeth meeting with her handler last week, they spoke English and I found it somewhat jarring.
The blonde is the wife of a cabinet under secretary. She's bored with her husband and up for some adventure so Philip is pretending to be a Swedish agent and treating her as an asset.
As a sleeper agent Elizabeth has to become completely American and she can't afford any mistakes such as inadvertently slipping into Russian. That means only ever speaking in English, even when dealing with her superiors. It's also why they were instructed never to talk about their past before they entered the program -- a rule she and Philip broke. The Russians in the embassy could speak Russian because they're not active field agents.
It's ironic that Philip and Elizabeth never tasted Russian caviar when they lived in Russia because they couldn't afford it, but as Americans they have the money to indulge in this luxury item.
(R26): Philip didn't buy the Beluga Caviar. It was given to him by the FBI agent/neighbor.
R27 I remember them tasting the caviar the FBI agent seized from the store owner at the neighbor's house, but did they show him actually giving the entire tin to Philip?
Justified takes place in Kentucky among crooked hillbillies in the present. The Americans takes place in DC in 1981 and involves Soviet moles, i.e. a couple placed here in the 60's as spies, who are now becoming more active because of Reagan's stance on the Russians. This does not have the Elmore Leonard fingerprints on it and plays it straight.
My boyfriend was interested in it so we watched and really liked it. Gonna give it a try.
OP, you sound like an unhinged loon who shits and breaths politics every minute of the day.
Take your pills and get a DVR so you're no longer 'forced' to watch anything you don't like.
Please F&F the freeper who's going from thread to thread attempting to shill "Justified", which is some fundie show.
[quote]When they had Elizabeth meeting with her handler last week, they spoke English and I found it somewhat jarring.
Phillip and Elizabeth aren't supposed to speak any Russian anymore, ever.
Really liked it. Loved the tape of Felicity putting a finger up the guy's ass. Will watch ep 2 tonight. I am also digging in a completely different way The Following. Two good dramas in the space of a month. Groovey
R31, you've never seen Justified, otherwise you'd know it's no such thing.
I realize your objection has to do with Rush Limbaugh's endorsement; maybe he likes it because it's about Oxycontin dealers. Who knows? Doesn't mean it's not in fact a great show.
I haven't seen last night's ep yet. What music did they use?
I don't know if I'm completely sold on this series yet, but I'm liking it enough to watch episode three. The preview for next week showed Margo Martindale which bodes well.
I liked Matthew Rhys's character from the beginning, but Keri Russell's character seemed so robotic. I can't tell if it was the fault of Russell's acting or the writing. I get that she is a true believer, but she's been an embedded spy for 15 years - why would she be so stiff? In last night's episode, there seemed to be a little more nuance to her character.
So I'm giving the show the benefit of the doubt for now. Plus, I think Graham Yost is a good producer and wouldn't let it devolve into shit.
On a semi-related note, to the poster who claimed Justified is a Fundie show, it's clear you've never seen a single episode.
In the pilot Elizabeth seduced a government official. This week Philip is sleeping with the wife of the under secretary of defense. Will they ever have Philip have sex with a man in order to blackmail him into working for the Soviets? Gays were deemed a big security risk back then.
Read R5 See what happens to history? The Cold War wasn't just the 80's. and it was more serious than anything we've got going now.
You're right about the cold war, R38. I grew up in the 50s and 60s. The cold war was very active. We had emergency plans (bogus ones, but serious at the time) set up in schools during the Cuban missile crisis.
I have mixed views about whether it was more serious than what we've got going on now. The middle east is a mess and very dangerous if Iran puts bombs together. However, bin Laden really brought a lot of this to a head and we armed him in the 80's to fight the communists who were trying to conquer Afghanistan. So even that is an offshoot of our battles during the cold war.
Chilling episode tonight.
I'm liking this show.
Did anyone think the Soviets were actually going to give Joyce a new identity and relocate her? I like how "Grannie" (Margo Martindale!) was being kind and motherly towards Joyce, but when she closed the door of the van you just knew things weren't going to end well for Robert's wife. I have a very minor nitpick about the last scene where we see Joyce's body in the car. If felt unnecessary. We knew from the scene where the Russians handed the baby over to Robert's parents that they must have killed her. I would have preferred that her fate always remained a mystery to the FBI because that's what often happens in real life.
Keri Russell really came through in her anguished early AM monologue to Philip. And Gregory is hot so I'm not surprised that she's sad to give him up.
I agree with your post R42, but they had to show the FBI that after she was taken, she was killed. I think they knew once they saw her she really didn't OD.
OMG..John Boy is in this ! He still looks young !
I want to see Ben and Noel as guest stars!
So is "Charles Duluth" supposed to be based on a real person or situation?
I saw the pilot two days ago and was very pleasantly surprised. I expected it to be laughable but it was great and credible. Acting is great from everybody.
Does Matthew Rhys show his ass?
Another awesome episode last night.
My experience of the Reagan shooting was so different. We were all rooting for him to die. But then, I was at UC Santa Cruz when it happened. Some bitter jerk was saying the Bush was worse. But if Reagan had died, we would have had only four years of Republican rule in the 80's as opposed to the twelve that followed.
I got a kick out of this episode because of how it focused on Alexander Haig's "I am in control here" press conference. As someone who had yet to be born when the assassination attempt occurred, I once asked my parents what it was like when it happened. They both mentioned Haig's remarks.
It freaked out my father. He thought it possible that Haig - a recently retired four star general - would have the mojo/desire to stage a coup. My mother, on the other hand, thought it was just as laughable as the White House press corps who literally laughed in Haig's face.
It was sort of funny to see those perceptions mirrored in the plot with Elizabeth thinking a coup might be imminent and Phillip seeing it as unlikely.
Sounds like a great show. Don't worry OP, you still have LOGO and Bravo.
[quote]I saw the pilot two days ago and was very pleasantly surprised.
[quote]Sounds like a great show.
It just gets better and better, so nuanced and complex. It saddens me that this is the official thread on the show, with OP's silly title about "right wing crap." It's clearly nothing of the sort: we get to see America in the 80s through the lens of committed socialist ideology.
[quote]Sounds like a great show. Don't worry OP, you still have LOGO and Bravo.
And you have FOX News.
[quote]It just gets better and better, so nuanced and complex. It saddens me that this is the official thread on the show, with OP's silly title about "right wing crap." It's clearly nothing of the sort: we get to see America in the 80s through the lens of committed socialist ideology.
I see all the coke you did in the 80s has fucked up your brain. Also, the show is run by Right wingers. This is a Reagan-was-the-best-president television series. Do your research about those behind it. It's blatant propaganda. It's not shocking that it's on a Murdoch-owned network.
R56, shouldn't you be handing out pamphlets by the escalators at a local college?
[quote]This is a Reagan-was-the-best-president television series.
Nope. This is a Reagan-was-scary television series that draws parallels to the current obsession with Muslims-as-terrorists.
[quote]Do your research about those behind it.
Why won't you tell us whom you're talking about and why you think they're right-wingers?
I saw the episode last night and agree with much of what R52 said. I thought Haig was an idiot, too, but I could see people from other countries who had experienced military dictatorships thinking this might be a coup. There were people I worked with who hoped Reagan would die. I thought he was reprehensible, but was not quite that sanguine about it.
I was in junior high in the 60's and we actually had anti-Communist propaganda in our Social Studies class. The US spent a fortune fighting the cold war as did the Russians. But we had a bigger war chest than they did, so we outlasted them. There will be plenty of story lines for this show directly from history.
Yesterday's episode did a great job showing the fear and paranoia on both sides -- the Americans afraid that the assassination attempt was a prelude to a nuclear strike, while the Soviets saw it as a possible first step as part of a military coup. Reagan's jingoistic anti-Soviet saber rattling amped up the Cold War tensions and so I found last night's story line very plausible.
Matthew Rhys used to be a bit pudgy on B&S, now he is getting too thin. Not a good look for him.
BTW, like the show. Ratings are getting better.
Poor Southland. Great show this week. Better than premiere. Ratings still anemic.
Show was RENEWED today for a second season!
[quote] It just gets better and better, so nuanced and complex. It saddens me that this is the official thread on the show, with OP's silly title about "right wing crap." It's clearly nothing of the sort: we get to see America in the 80s through the lens of committed socialist ideology.
Not just their ideology, but also how they -- like all of us -- filter things through their own experience and history. Read up on Stalin's death and look at the paranoia and conspiracies that followed. There's also the history of the problematic relationship between the Communist party and the military. The show's writers have done a good job of understanding this and reflecting it in the attitude and behavior of the characters.
OP fears dead people.
Great news on the second season pick-up.
For anyone who has missed some of the episodes and wants to catch up FX will be running a marathon of The Americans on March 1.
Elizabeth/Nadezhda killed a security cop in cold blood in the last episode. I wonder what the body count will be by the time this series ends.
I also wonder if Claudia could be a double agent. I'm assuming the ouster of Gabriel will be addressed at some point.
I don't watch FX for anything but The Americans so I've forgotten to watch since the premiere.
R51 I remember some people like you on November 22, 1963. Very few, but they were there.
[quote] I also wonder if Claudia could be a double agent.
Claudia a double agent? I don't see it. If she was feeding the FBI information on the sleeper cells, wouldn't Philip and Elizabeth all ready have been arrested or under surveillance?
I do think Claudia is very good at reading people and saying just the right thing to manipulate them, which is what makes her a good spy and handler.
There was the slightest hesitation on Elizabeth's face when she was ordered to put operation Christopher into play. So Claudia told her the story of how she helped fight the Germans at Stalingrad without any military training. Elizabeth, she assured her, would do well in the (guerrilla) war to come (i.e. operation Christopher) because she had been well-trained. Did Claudia actually fight at Stalingrad? Who knows. But It was a nice "we have to defend the motherland" reminder and pep-talk. The camera stayed on Claudia's face as she walked back to her car and I thought she had a grim "I'll do whatever is necessary" expression on her face.
Of course this could all my imagination. Don't know if anyone else has a take on that scene.
Margo Martindale has been cast in a pilot as somebody's mother and the series would be done in LA. Something tells me Claudia will die in a very nasty way by the season finale.
R69, I think Claudia's look as she walked to her car could be interpreted in many different ways. I think it also could have meant "There goes somebody else buying my bullshit." I think the Stalingrad reveal was a lie and was an appeal to Elizabeth's patriotism for the Motherland and that was it.
[quote] Something tells me Claudia will die in a very nasty way by the season finale.
Mags Bennett: "It was already in the glass."
Interesting that others are questioning Claudia, because during the last episode I said to my partner that I get a creepy and untrustworthy vibe off of her and I noticed that "look," too. I also found myself wondering why Philip and Elizabeth don't assume that *they* are under surveillance by the KGB. I would think that their overlords would have them bugged and listening in on them to make sure that they are toeing the line and don't go rogue.
Her replacing Gabriel so suddenly is questionable and will no doubt be a plot point. Her explanation to Philip was pretty feeble.
I finally saw the episode from two weeks ago (the one that began with the racquetball game and that featured the dead guy's wife and baby.) Did anyone notice that when Philip and his daughter were in the coffee shop, the daughter was reading a teen magazine with DL fave Nancy McKeon dressed as Jo on the cover?
Nice touch, R75.
We spent trillions of dollars to keep Russia from attacking America and 19 guys with box cutters we're able to hit the Pentagon and bring down NYC's tallest buildings.
Thing of all the proxy wars -- Vietnam, Nicaragua, Dominican republic invasion, Angola, Congo, Laos, Cambodia. All of them fought to keep tje communists away from America. And we willing let in the guys who were eventually successful at attacking the US on our own ground.
There was a TV movie like this show.]
Called 'Secrets of the Red Bedroom'
Linda Hamilton and Oscar winner Geena Davis played female spies who would seduce married government officials, and then blackmail them with the video-tape of their sex romp.
Oscar nominee Sally Kellerman played their Russian boss.
So Elizabeth went and shot another poor guy in the head. This is one morally complex drama. I wasn't crazy about the sequence with her jumping from car to car in the garage. It looked phony baloney to me.
The actress who plays Martha is really unattractive and not a very good actress. I hope she gets killed off soon.
Keri is doing a fabulous job.
The one criticism: few 30 something suburban mothers wore their hair that long in the early 80s.
I never saw Keri Russel before, she and the male lead are both riveting actors.
They are a big part of the shows success.
I didn't buy the car crawl. The sound of a truck opening is pretty loud.
Sounds like a hit to me.
Now that Raymond Barry's character was killed off in Justified I hope Graham Yost casts him here. His Arlo Givens was the meanest and toughest old son of a bitch. He'd make a convincing utterly ruthless Soviet spy.
Raymond Barry was a sexy son of a bitch back in the day. And I think he has a Russian background.
R81 - Have you lived in a cave? Or are you under 25?
The suspension of belief in this program doesn't bother me. Real spy successes were pretty rare, and fiction has always exaggerated the stories. Between Dexter, Followers and now this one, I'm wondering what's wrong with me that I'm pulling for the bad guys these days.
Noah Emmerich is basically playing the same character he played on White Collar.
[quote] I also found myself wondering why Philip and Elizabeth don't assume that *they* are under surveillance by the KGB.
Well, that little test the KGB put them through on last night's episode was pretty brutal. It was very satisfying to see Elizabeth wail on Claudia's deserving ass.
Loved how Phillip nonchalantly crashed the car into the tree to explain away their disappearance/bruises.
I really love this show. It's getting better every week. I especially love Keri Russell. You're right, r80, that long hair wasn't the trend among suburbans moms during that period, but that doesn't mean you would never find it.
The person being whaled upon tends to wail.
R89 - She would be trying to fit in, and wouldn't have hair passed her bra strap.
One of the best episodes so far last night!!
[quote] I never saw Keri Russel before, she and the male lead are both riveting actors
You've never seen Felicity?
I don't understand why the kids didn't notice the damage in the house caused by the fight between Elizabeth and her abductors.
Since they were under KGB surveillance, we can assume that some agents got the house back in order so as not to raise anyone's, including the kids', suspicions.
please just say if Matthew has shown his perky Welsh ass.
I think Keri is more attractive now than when she was in her 20s.
Now that Elizabeth has asked Gregory to have his people keep an eye out for watchers, what could they discover?
r68, you're comparing Kennedy to Reagan? You MUST be republican.
Just saw the pilot, didn't like it. Just didn't care about any of it and it bothered me that she had sex with her husband at the end. It didn't seems like Keri's character would so quickly get to that emotional place with him. In time I could see her getting there but it was just too stupid the way they did it. Suddenly she feels all into him because he got angry and killed the guy who "hurt" her. My hero. She melts and fucks him. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
R93 and R85, I think Felicity happened during a time when I was working a lot...I totally missed it but I heard her name in relation to her haircut.
Glad I got to see her in ths vehicle.
You should see Felicity.
[quote] Suddenly she feels all into him because he got angry and killed the guy who "hurt" her. My hero. She melts and fucks him. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
R100 There's much more going on than that. It's not that Philip became her hero when he killed her rapist. Elizabeth could have killed Timoshev herself. Philip was about to defect with Timoshev as his bargaining chip. He gave that up when he killed him, but he demonstrated his loyalty to Elizabeth. Trust, loyalty, and betrayal are among the main themes in The Americans.
If you watch episode 5, you'll see Elizabeth take a beating from a man she had sex with to get information. She could have easily killed him, but didn't in order to maintain her cover. On seeing her injuries white knight Philip was ready to rush out and kill the man, but she stops him. As she says, "If I wanted to deal with him, you don’t think he’d be dealt with?"
And while they're entering a new tentative phase of their marriage, there are many obstacle that still stand in their way of trying to make their marriage a real one.
I'm really digging this show.
Elizabeth: I'm sorry I didn't kill you. That's my apology.
Claudia: Better luck next time.
Just tell me that Margo Martindale didn't send chills down your spine with that line!
Keri was badass there.
The kids did a good job too. I'm glad that they aren't making Paige like Dana on Homeland.
Beneath Elizabeth's cold exterior, there's a lot of rage buried deep. Now that the gloves are off I'm looking forward to more sparring between her and Claudia.
So when do we get the Matthew Rhys naked ass shots?
Anybody else think that Beeman might be getting played by that girl from the rezidentura? I get the feeling all is not what it seems there.
Good guess R108! ...i'm also thinking we haven't seen the last of the Rezident - he no doubt has figured out that Nina had to have been the mole. But *if* so, and even if he can convince his superiors he is innocent, he still has to tread carefully, because he left himself in a vulnerable position by getting sexual favors from her.
And at some point i'm thinking Beeman might spot either Phillip or Elizabeth on one of their assignments...
What a tremendous show!
Yes, R108. Nina may have come clean to the Rezident from the beginning and the whole thing may be a ploy to take down the FBI survelliance by corrupting Beeman.
I thought I detected a shift in Nina's demeanor by the end of the last episode. She seemed to change from scared innocent underling to coolly confident and working him like a pro. I think a trap is being set. I suppose it could also be something non-spy related, like maybe she wants to defect and thinks getting pregnant by Beeman will be just the ticket? Either way, I think she's working an angle.
So the son didn't really exist? Irina made him up to get Philip to run away with her? And couldn't that have been another test of his loyalty?
[quote]So when do we get the Matthew Rhys naked ass shots?
Seriously. They kept promising nudity this week, and all we got was that ugly-ass Polish guy's ugly ass.
"Better luck next time."
This coming from next year's Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Margo Martindale.
The actress who plays Martha is awful. She's distractingly plain looking (yeah, yeah, I know the character is meant to be that) and makes funny faces which don't cut together in various shots. And Chris is plainly a Hispanic character added to the show so the cast can't be 100% Caucasian. But he brings nothing to it.
A lot of people on othed boards seemed to think the hooker at the bar was Elizabeth at first. If anything she slightly resembled Stan's wife.
R115 The actress who plays Martha is a Brit, like Matthew.
Was it ever made clear how the German guy (the assassin) arranged it so that the hooker in the bar met up with the FBI agent? Was he in the bar at the same time?
Did the KGB set up Irina (knowing she was an old girlfriend) to sleep with Philip and make up the son to see if he would take the bait and defect? Is Irina still with the KGB??
Seems like their trying to create a wedge between Philip and Elizabeth? It may be working.
The "Clark"/Martha relationship seems preposterous to me. Doesn't she wonder why she can't call him, or know where he lives?
I've been an avid fan of the show from the beginning but I did think this week's episode (Mar.20) went 'off the rails' a bit. One sexual encounter after another - almost laughable. The "Clark" and the woman from the FBI --it's getting harder to "buy". Richard Thomas and the FBI scenes a bit comical this time - like the actors are starting to be uncertain where they are taking the series.
Nevertheless, I find it all riveting and it will be unforgivable if Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys aren't major contenders for Emmys this year. And Noah Emmerich and Martindale --both just outstanding.
R117, I think it was totally a trap for Philip and yes, they did use her to drive a wedge between Elizabeth and Philip.
Alison Wright has very little acting experience according to imdb. She had a bit part in The Nanny Diaries and been in a few indies but that was it. They could have done a much better job casting Martha.
I think the actress playing Martha's perfect as the lonely, horny mid-level secretary.
Thanks for that, R122/Alison Wright's agent.
R116, about the KGB assassin setting up the FBI agent after meeting the hooker at the hotel bar... The assassin talked to the hooker, she asked what he was into, and he said he was more kinky than what she said.
My best guess is that he told her he wanted her to hook up with someone else (his kink), and directed her to the FBI agent.
Best. Episode. Ever.
Tonight's show a shocker. Best acted, directed, written drama series on TV this season.
If IMDb is to be believed, Alison Wright does not have an agent.
Great episode and since the 8th one it's clear this is going to culminate in the season's finale. The FBI is coming closer and closer to Phillip and Elisabeth. Still my favourite scene from the last episode is the opening scene with them telling their children they are seperating. Very moving.
Interesting everyone talking about Alison Wright. I think she is excellent in the role and anyone that thinks she isn't doesn't begin to understand the character and how difficult it would be to make the character work.
Martha is so needy and yet she senses she has a certain amount of power without really knowing why she does. The actress brings a certain amount of 'giddiness' to the role and that's just perfect. Really impressed with Wright's work and the character is unlike anything you see in TV series these days --complex, vulnerable, laughable, intriguing. I sense she is going to be very important, plotwise, before it's all over.
r128, I agree. with what you wrote. She is credible as a middle aged, average looking woman who is determined to keep the little spice she has in her life from abandoning her.
I think it is uncomfortable to watch someone so average and un actressy be taken advantage in such a cruel way.
Viewers like r115 don't fully understand their reactions of discomfort and translate the anxyiety generated by seeing a real looking person on the screen being mistreated into "dislike for the character" and tell themselves she makes "funny faces".
r115 is perhaps an average viewer but not the most discerning one.
I'm just glad that we're all in agreement that she's ugly.
Damn, paper bag that bitch!
The scene where Philip was banging her from behind and she was begging him to shoot inside her was actually pretty hot! Of course, her face was pointed down and her hair was draped over it. I'm waiting for the moment when she tears his wig off in the heat of passion.
Oh, please, R128/R129, she's awful. She was cast for her look. They could have cast someone plain looking who could have given a much more vivid performance. She seems hyper aware of the camera and I feel uncomfortable watching her. Her inexperience shows and it doesn't serve the character.
I guess I'm old-fashioned in that I still find it surprising when one of the main characters is killed off so shockingly. After all, on this show there are only six actors billed as regulars (Phil and Liz, the kids, and Chris and Stan.) So when one of them goes so early in the series, it's unexpected. But I guess that this happens more often on modern series than it did in the past. In those days, they'd only kill off a main character if there was an issue with the actor, not as a plot device or to shock the audience. And if they DID kill someone, it was usually well-known before the episode actually aired.
Chris was a fairly minor character. His death was shocking, but it would be like if Granny were killed.
Beeman shooting the kid at the end was more shocking. It had a Of Mice and Men feel to it.
[quote]Chris was a fairly minor character. His death was shocking, but it would be like if Granny were killed.
You missed my point, then. The actor who played Chris was billed as a regular, not a guest star, unlike Margo Martindale.
R135 - ah, that's true. But in terms of story, he's been less than Margo.
I don't identify with the Russians in this show and I can't imagine they really mean for the viewer to do so. They are cold blooded killers and users. If anyone is the audience's hook it is Beeman, but he went pretty dark this week.
Who watches the kids when they go out at night on missions? Being travel agents isn't much of a cover for night work. Where do they work? We've never seen them at the office.
R137 They've shown them at the travel agency several times.
I can identify with Elizabeth and Philip.
When I said up thread it was best episode so far and it was a shocker, I of course meant the shocks were Chris character getting killed and Beeman going 'off the reservation', so to speak, by killing the young man. BUT what was most shocking of all is that you have a good series in which, suddenly, both sides have screwed up big time and now viewers have no specific side to root for and that's rare for a series to sort of "explode" like that and viewers completely unprepared for where the story line is going to go in weeks ahead! I find it exciting and pretty damn brilliant on the part of producer/writer.
R136, I think Chris was killed off because of a plot point but also because the actor simply wasn't working out and didn't add anything to the show. They wanted a regular character who wasn't caucasian to make a gesture at diversity but it simply didn't work.
I was sad when poor Kosygin got bumped off. He was actually quite sweet and seeing that bit of freshly eaten burger pop out of his mouth.
This isn't the first time Beeman's gone "off the reservation".
Despite their attempts to back fill his friendship with Chris mostly through flashbacks -- something that seemed done primarily to give the viewers an obvious motivation -- I didn't really buy that as the sole driving factor behind Stan's sudden switch from "I'm not going to do anything unauthorized" to grabbing a low level agent to exchange for Chris.
Is there something else going on? Something deeper that has to do with Stan's time undercover with the white supremacists? So far the show hasn't touched on that crucial period in his life beyond showing us how emotionally estranged he is from Sandra and more closer emotionally to Nina.
R143 - Do you remember when Beeman went off on the stereo store owner? I think it was the second episode.
R144 You mean the guy he took the caviar from? That kind of intimidation is a long, long ways from snatching a Soviet diplomat without authorization.
R145 - Yes, it's a long ways off from capturing the diplomat, but it showed that Beeman is no boy scout.
The point is Beeman killed an innocent man....who happens to have worked for the Russian embassy ---during the COLD WAR. You paid a price for that kind of mistake back in those days. Phillip losing it when the FBI guy harassed him at the car and then, in defending himself when the man attacked with knife, ends up stabbing him is a whole different thing. Phillip may or may not get caught for his causing Chris' death but will still get out of such a tricky situation. The suspense is how Beeman avoids getting caught and, if so, will the FBI cover for him.
Anybody else notice the right side of Noah Emmerrich's mouth twitching more than a few times in the last episode? I wonder what that's about. I don't think it was a character tic.
That's a good point, R147. Beeman may have need to cover this up. That gives him something in common with Phillip. And with both men having marital problems, they seem to be bonding. He probably bonded with someone when he was undercover investigating the white supremacists. In the next season he will he be reaching out more to Phillip and will they be sharing more secrets about their work than they intend to --and maybe even helping each other to cover things up.
I think the actress who plays Martha is very believable. I was that age back then (or slightly younger) and, R118, I knew women like her. They just don't ask themselves the question. They delude themselves into thinking that the man will finally pull away from whatever is keeping them apart. Her slightly weird look makes her particularly vulnerable and she saw the guy in the office because that was the only choice she had. Then "Clark" came along and she didn't have to settle anymore, or so she thinks. And even if she even connects Clark with the FBI guy's death, she'll push it out of her mind, so long as she thinks she has a chance with Clark.
Emmerich's just a bit too cold of an actor for the role I think. The scene where Nina told him the guy he killed didn't want to be KGB but a doctor could have been much more poignant had you seen the reaction in his eyes more. Same for when he went to Phillip's motel room. He just doesn't play internally conflicted terribly well. The script does a great job of filling it in for him.
I don't sense that Stan is internally conflicted as I think you mean. He's not torn between conflicting needs or desires.
In two years undercover with a white supremacy group, Stan learned to always conceal what he really thought and felt and to bury his emotions deep. Buttoning himself up was the only way he could have survived. However, it's left him damaged. From his wife we know that the Stan of the past was a much more emotionally open and engaged man.
Stan knows he's unable to reconnect with his family and life outside of work in any meaningful way and that he's damaged, but he can't find his way back. Stan's bleak, "I don't see a whole lot of future in my sleep tonight" says it all. Noah Emmerich gets Stan's desolation just right.
The scene between Stan and his wife was terrific. Susan Misner delivered a heartbreaking monologue while Noah Emmerrich beautifully played Stan's sadness at seeing someone he cares about being so deeply hurt.
As good as the actor playing Richard Patterson was I just didn't buy that what Richard said to Elizabeth would cause her to go back on her plan to kill him. I suspect Claudia wanted to kill him herself (as revenge for the murder of her one-time lover Zhukov) but knew she couldn't. So planting the idea in Elizabeth's head would get her to do it and then get sent back to Moscow since it's obvious she's a loose cannon. But the plan backfired.
Oh, Philip. I do love him. Matthew Rhys is fantastic.
I strongly suspect that if the show has any form of a cliffhanger in its season finale in two weeks it'll be that the daughter somehow finds out who her parents really are and next season will partly be about how she copes with this news and struggles to keep the secret from her little brother.
[quote]Emmerich's just a bit too cold of an actor for the role I think. The scene where Nina told him the guy he killed didn't want to be KGB but a doctor could have been much more poignant had you seen the reaction in his eyes more. Same for when he went to Phillip's motel room. He just doesn't play internally conflicted terribly well.
He wouldn't be a very good spy if you could easily read what he was really thinking.
You see this all the time on TV -- people in a situation where they are supposed to be masking their emotions instead look stricken or worried, so the audience will know what they're thinking. Yet the people in the scene with them don't seem to notice.
In fact even in regular, non-espionage life, people's emotions or thoughts are quite often not written all over their faces. Most people become pretty practiced at presenting a neutral facade to the world, especially in a work environment. But in drama, actors signal every emotional shift with their expression.
Give the Emmy to Russell and Rhys already. Best performances in drama series this season. I know Russell did 'Felicity' and whatever else. I saw her perform a few times in the past and always thought she was rather good actress but I wasn't prepared for her work in this series. Powerful!
I agree with R154, the leads are acting the heck out of this show.
Just one plot point from this last episode...
Elizabeth leaves a major hand print on the car in the industrial building.
Right there with you both R154, R155. Great acting.
It's the penultimate episode of the season tonight and I'm excited.
Tonight's episode great as usual.
What's "Nina" up to??? Shocked she told her Russian boss she was the mole. I think she looked in to Beeman's eyes and knows he lied when he says he didn't kill the Russian friend of hers. She's going to kill Stan before the season ends, isn't she.
That's exactly what caused her to confess, learning that Stan killed Vlad simply by the look on his face when she caught him off-guard.
Granny as the mother of "Clark" was too funny.
Way too much of Martha in this episode. And sorry, my dislike of the actress continues. She plays her as more of a caricature than is necessary. They obviously cast Wright simply for her deer in the headlights sort of look. A subtle actress could have caused us to feel sorry for Martha, someone desperate for love whose fake marriage to a man who doesn't give a shit about her can only end badly. I hope he throws her off a balcony in next week's finale.
So much going on in tonight's episode as a set-up for what will surely be a killer season finale.
My favorite moment had to be Elizabeth and Claudia in disguise pretending to be Clark's sister and wife at his wedding to Martha. "I can see the resemblance," says Martha's mother.
I also loved the ongoing verbal sparring between Elizabeth and Claudia first over the PacMan game and then just before the wedding. I don't know if Claudia is going to survive the season finale. Since Margo Martindale has signed onto a CBS pilot the odds are we likely won't see her in season two.
I wasn't surprised by Nina's confession to Arkady. It was clear she was profoundly affected by Vlad's death and she had all ready begun withholding information from Stan. I love the way she caught Stan off guard with the question about whether he killed Vlad just as they were about to have sex. Now she's going to be a double agent feeding misleading information to the Americans.
Give Russell an Emmy already. She has been staggeringly good throughout the season; last week's episode may very well have enough meat in it to win the Emmy tape war with Claire Danes (not just the Zhukov scenes/fallout, but the delicious bar seduction scene, which showed her tremendous range).
Larry from "Three's Company" as Martha's dad (again)?
It definitely was the pitch last night for the hit and, hopefully, home run, that will be the finale next week.
I was surprised that Philip asked Martha to marry him and then got stuck actually going through with it. I guess he thought he had to do that to get her to spy for him and thought he could drag out the engagement. It also brought home that Philip and Elizabeth were never really married and have these 2 children, who are US citizens, but born out of wedlock. If they were ever sent back to Russia, what would happen to those kids and how surprised would they be to find out that their parents are spying for Russia.
I hope they don't kill off Margo. Philip and Elizabeth want her sent back to Russia and, if she leave, hopefully, that will be the case, so if her other pilot doesn't work out, she can come back out of retirement.
Nina and the maid confessing to their people that they'd betrayed their countries was also a surprise. If Stan gets killed off, it will be hard for Nina to be a triple agent.
The sketches of what is meant to be Elizabeth and Phillip -- provided by descriptions by the maid in particular-- a chilling moment. Stan convinced the two different looks are the same people. Very interesting that the sketches really don't look like Elizabeth and Phillip but there is something about Stan's reaction to them--does he already know it's his neighbors? or is it going to take him a long time to figure out it's his neighbors? That whole angle of the plot could go on for weeks next season OR maybe that is going to be the 'cliffhanger' in the final episode next week. Really looking forward to how they end this season next week.
Ahnet actress('Nina'). I think she could emerge as a real star from this series. Sexy, exotic, talented. Anyone ever seen her act before?
Agree on all fronts - this cast will perhaps win the SAG ensemble award. It should.
There was a stunning visual at the church. After the ceremony, Phillip and Elizabeth stand by the doors leading down the aisle, with the altar at the end, between them. Elizabeth says "do you think it would have been different if we had exchanged wedding vows?" He says "I don't know..."
...then he walks away.
Leaving her alone - at the altar!
Powerful. Such good writing. That at the heart of all this spy drama is this relationship / non-relationship, this marriage / non-marriage.
Phillip and Elizabeth don't seem to realize they are the only people they can trust.
R165, Annet Mahendru (Nina) really is stunning, isn't she? Talk about perfect casting. My brother just worked as crew on an NBC pilot named The Blacklist starring James Spader and he said she had a featured role in it-as an FBI employee! He said it could easily turn into a regular role if the pilot gets picked up.
What I wondered is don't Philip and Elizabeth need a marriage certificate to cement their cover? I don't get why they were never actually married.
[quote]What I wondered is don't Philip and Elizabeth need a marriage certificate to cement their cover? I don't get why they were never actually married.
I'm assuming they were provided with a complete packet of all the necessary documents to create their American identities and that they would have all been forgeries.
I think the wedding was also a fake, the minister was probably an operative playing a role. Remember Phillip's conversation with Martha about taking his name and how he insisted the "marriage" needed to remain secret? That's because if she filed the necessary paperwork to change her name the fraud would be exposed, as there would be no record of the marriage or her husband in the government database.
Thanks, R168. I'm sure "the illegals" like Philip and Elizabeth had all kinds of faked documents provided for them by the Motherland.
Did a little reading up on Mahendru-she speaks 6 languages and apparently is Afghan-born with Russian-Indian parentage. Very interesting. I thought that scene in the Embassy last night was sort of heartbreaking when the work colleague told Nina that Vlad never made his feelings for her clear because she was "out of his league." I think Nina was probably thinking "But he wasn't. I could have loved him. He's a good man and not a shithead like so many of the others. We could have had a happy life together." And maybe that's why his murder by Stan made her decide to turn yet again.
Graham Yost, who created one of my other favorite series, "Justified" (also on FX) is the showrunner for "The Americans." Somewhat ironic, since he's Canadian!
R170 - almost as ironic as William Shatner as Captain Kirk being a Canadian.
R170 Graham Yost is one of the executive producers on The Americans, but Joe Weisberg is the creator and showrunner. Here's how Yost described his role on The Americans earlier this year at the TCA back in January.
“I read the outlines and give them notes, I read the scripts and give them notes, I read the cuts and give them notes. Sometimes I’ll weigh in on casting, but basically that’s my involvement”. [Yost] described himself as a good sounding board because of his long relationship with FX.
Thanks R167 and R169 for Nina info. I'm a really big fan now and will look out for her in other things. Yes, I did google and see that she was born in Afghanistan but parents not Afghan. So interesting, her background.
Though I wonder if Nina will kill Stan in revenge, I also neglected to mention up thread that the possibility that Stan will reach a point where he has no choice but to kill Nina can't be discounted. Hey, if the actress has done a pilot it's possible she's ot staying with the series and how else will they get rid of her character!
That was a terrific finale to a great first season...going to miss Claudia terribly if she is sent back to Moscow (I think the scenes between Kerri Russell and Margo Martindale are a highlight of every episode). And Margo has booked a new show, so it does not look good.
And can someone please give Kerri Russell the Emmy already?
Something that bothered me from tonight's episode: When Phillip went to find Elizabeth to tell her to abort the mission, why didn't he just casually pretend he was asking for directions (or some other minor distraction) and then have her continue to stroll down the street like she was just out for a walk? That would have seemed perfectly natural, as opposed to the way he did it, which totally flagged them as guilty!
Susan Misner competes with Susan Misner. On two shows "The Americans" and "Nashville" in the same time slot. How often does that happen?
Could Nina "turn" Stan? That would be a development.
It's a good thing the show was renewed because they didn't wrap up any storylines last night.
Margo killing that guy was chilling.
And the poor guy put his gun in his back pocket when he let her in and it ended up being useless to him.
Claudia is kind of strange, but it's good to see that Lady Bunny still gets work.
Margo is sure to win a Featured Actress Oscar for August: Osage County next year so she will have bigger fish to fry than an FX TV series. I just hope The Americans sends her out with a big finish.
I knew her 20 years ago when she was a struggling NY theater actress who always bemoaned losing every role to Kathy Bates. So very happy for her success....she is a lovely gal!
Margo is waiting to find out about a sitcom pilot she did for CBS playing somebody's mother. So if it gets picked up it won't matter if she wins an Oscar or not, she'll be tied to the series for the foreseeable future. It seems pretty likely Claudia won't be in Season 2 at all.
FWIW, I meant to say I knew Margo 30 years ago....which perhaps explains the Kathy Bates frustration better.
Margo stole the show in the last episode.
I would have loved a two-hander episode with just Katya and Nadezhda-oops, Claudia and Elizabeth.
If she is indeed leaving it would be great if their next handler could be played by Vera Famiga. Can she speak Russian? I could see her drifting into an affair with Misha-oops, Philip.
A long running broadcast network TV series is good steady money. I love Margo, but there aren't a lot of good movie roles for women her age. She's expressed an interest in trying to continue to work on The Americans if the pilot is picked up. The producers would love to have her back and they left the finale open-ended enough that it's possible if her schedule allow it. I think that would give her the best of both worlds -- some financial stability and a great continuing role. We'll have to wait and see.
For anyone who missed the panel with the cast and executive producers of The Americans last week at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, here's the link.
Margo seems to have a steady relationship going with the FX network. So far she's had roles in The Riches, Justified, The Americans and probably a few more I haven't seen. I think she's wonderful.
[quote]a Featured Actress Oscar
There's no such thing.
I had the good fortune to meet Margo Martindale at a little theater where I was attending a play last month. She looks MUCH better in person. She was a real sweetie and was almost ready to tell me spoilers about "The Americans" until I stopped her.
I used to live across the street from Martindale on the Upper West Side. Many nights in the late spring/summer/early fall I'd see her and her husband (?) sitting on the stoop of their building with friends. She always seemed like a really cool lady.
Great finale. I'm looking forward to seeing how The Americans does in the Emmy nominations. Keri Russell especially should be a shoo-in.
Martindale is definitely a shoo-in. I love Russell, too, but I'd most like to see Matthew Rhys get nominated. He has to do it all on that show, including comedy. He's wonderful at it all.
Emmerich shouldn't be ignored. He deserves awards too. So does the 'Nina". But yes,I agree Rhys is extraordinary and has a very difficult role to bring off --especially having to do the scenes with Alison Wright --tough scenes for both to do without throwing the show " out of whack".
Let's be honest, Martindale, Russell, so many deserve awards for their work in this series. "Mad Men" is a tiresome bore this season but you can bet it will take up noms that should be filled with 'The Americans" cast. "Downton" the main competition for "Americans"??? I don't follow "Homeland" so I don't know if they always deserve the awards. "Bates Motel" I do watch --maybe Farmiga could be the real competition for Russell?
Is Matthew Rhys still in the closet?
Would love to see this show get a boatload of Emmy nominations. It's in my list of top 5 best shows of this TV season and the Emmy attention would help boost its ratings for season two.
I watched the group interview. Matthew Rhys was hysterically funny. It must be fun to work on the set. Margo was so down-to-earth, but funny also. You'd never guess she does such an amazing job with these characters, the one in this series and the one in Justified.
Turns out the executive producer was in the CIA and was contacted to see if he'd be interested in putting together the show.
I really enjoyed the group interview, too, R197. Rhys was so fucking sexy with that gorgeous Welsh accent. And he does this death stare thing which is incredibly funny as well as hot. Martindale was hilarious, particularly when asked about the research she did for her role and she admitted she didn't knock herself out! Emmerrich seemed very charming and eloquent. The gal who plays Nina was probably nervous so she wasn't terribly interesting. I'd love to know more about her family background. I suspect her Indian father is wealthy, he speaks 8 languages. And she speaks 6.
Annet Mahendru plays Russian spy Nina and Alison Wright portrays FBI secretary Martha on FX‘s series The Americans, which has been renewed for Season 2 and is expected to begin production in the fall. Susan Misner, who plays Sandra Beeman, also has been promoted to regular. Mahendru’s TV credits include 2 Broke Girls, Mike & Molly and Big Time Rush, and she’s been in the features Escape from Tomorrow and Love Gloria. This is UK native Wright’s first TV role, while her film credits include The Nanny Diaries. FX’s Cold War spy drama starring Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys was renewed for a second season in February after just four episodes and just wrapped its freshman run. Former CIA agent and Falling Skies scribe Joe Weisberg created the series and exec produces with Joel Fields, Graham Yost and Amblin TV’s Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank for Fox TV Studios and FX Prods
Sounds like OP never even watched the show before criticizing it. It's not a Republican lovefest and as most of these series go, it has more to do with the characters then politics.
The show hadn't even aired yet when the OP started this thread. He was foaming at the mouth about the promos.
[quote]Something that bothered me from tonight's episode: When Phillip went to find Elizabeth to tell her to abort the mission, why didn't he just casually pretend he was asking for directions (or some other minor distraction) and then have her continue to stroll down the street like she was just out for a walk? That would have seemed perfectly natural, as opposed to the way he did it, which totally flagged them as guilty!
The FBI would have picked them both up for questioning. Too suspicious.
OP, that you felt it necessary to explain that the hammer and sickle was 'a Communist symbol' tells me that the show may have some educational value that might benefit a new generation.
Margo Martindale's series was picked up (she and Beau Bridges play Will Arnett's parents) so I would assume her participation in next season's episodes might be limited, depending on how long the new show lasts.
Shame about Margo. She's awesome as Claudia. Figured something like this happened given how perfunctorily they wrote her out.
[quote]Joseph Weisberg created the show. Weisberg worked in the CIA's directorate of operations from 1990 to 1994. As a former agent, any script written by Weisberg must go in front of the CIA Publications Review Board.
Just watched the series on iTunes. Totally addictive. I was watching episodes two at time, and the final three tonight. Can't wait for next season. There's got to be one. Love every single character.
Not quite as good as Homeland, but very close.
Acting wise, it's better than Homeland.
I watched this each week. I dropped Homeland somewhere in the latter first season.
The story lines were consistently interesting, and the 2 leads and Margo Martindale were just too good to miss.
I hope Annet Mahendru (Nina) gets nominated or otherwise recognized for her performance. I think she's been stellar.
I can't think of any weak acting.
Late to the party here, but I just watched the entire season over the holiday weekend.
Then after reading the comments on this thread many of which praise the overall acting, I checked the Emmy noms to see what the show was recognized for.
The only acting nomination I see is for Margo Martindale as Guest Actress in a Drama. No others, and no noms for writing or direction.
Surprising? I don't know. Thankfully there are several very good dramas on TV these days. But that means the competition has gotta make it tougher to be seen as outstanding.
I don't watch all of the shows that got noms instead of The Americans, so I can't make a fair argument for what should have been left off the list to make room for this show. But I do think Margo managed to sneak out a nomination largely based on her win for Justified.
R212 - Keri was robbed.
This was a great concept for a series. There has been enough time passed since the 80's. Honestly, after WWII, the cold war took a lot of people's attention. I was in jr high in the 60's and we had a big social studies unit on communism. Reagan got elected and that anti-communist hysteria surfaced all over again.
Alex Gansa, the showrunner for Homeland, told a reporter during the Television Critics Association summer tour that he thought that The Americans was snubbed by the Emmys.