Wednesday, March 5, 2014

REVIEW: 'The Americans' - Philip & Elizabeth Face Interruptions as They Try to Figure Out What Happened in 'Cardinal'

FX's The Americans - Episode 2.02 Cardinal

As Philip investigates the fallout from the last operation, Elizabeth sticks close to home, concerned for her family until she gets a mysterious distress signal. Meanwhile, a walk-in arrives at the Rezidentura - providing both Nina and Stan with unique opportunities.

The paranoia really starts to sink in following the deaths of Emmett and Leanne. Philip and Elizabeth have no clue if they have been compromised at all. They are always looking over their shoulders now. And they get more interruptions than ever before. Elizabeth can't take down the message from the Center because the kids wake up; there's this conspicuous construction crew working across the street; Stan visits their travel agency; Philip tries to learn more about the John Carroll Lynch agent and gets electrocuted in the process; and Elizabeth's trying to have a family night with the kids but has to go help out a new young agent.

The stakes are getting more and more complicated for Philip and Elizabeth. They have no idea if they've been exposed. And that scares them as well as the thought of what could happen to their children. They signed up for this life but their children throw in a complication that they never expected to have to think about. Protecting them is what they want to do but that may prove to be very difficult as the missions escalate in danger. Philip has to think quickly if he wants to stay alive after getting caught and tied-up.

Elsewhere, the FBI and the Rezidentura have a big thing to deal with when Bruce, a U.S. government official, walks into the Russian offices with intel. He works at the World Bank. However, the exact information he has to share is kept hidden in this hour. The Russians react to this welcome visitor while the FBI have to work to determine how much of a game-changer this could be. So, Stan's left sitting outside a laundromat observing while Nina's typing up her report about her exploits with Stan. The detail she goes to for that report is very personal (I serviced him orally for an hour before allowing him to penetrate me). It's blunt and impersonal even though Stan's personal feelings are growing much stronger towards her. 

Some more thoughts:
  • "Cardinal" was written by Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg and directed by Daniel Sackheim.
  • Martha: "I don't wanna be a victim." Uh, too late for that. But hey, at least you got an application. Now, eat some soup.
  • Nice to see the Rust Cohle circa 2014 look comes in and out of style, no?
  • Oleg has some very important things to do and doesn't want a walk-in to disrupt what he has to do. Like he notes of Nina, it's hard to pinpoint what kind of person this guy is. And that's very exciting.