Wednesday, May 14, 2014

REVIEW: 'The Americans' - Elizabeth Goes for a Drive, Paige Takes a Trip & Stan Meets Arkady in 'Operation Chronicle'

FX's The Americans - Episode 2.12 "Operation Chronicle"

With Larrick closing in, Elizabeth rushes to exfiltrate Jared while Philip readies Fred for a crucial mission. Arkady finally plays his hand, forcing Stan to make an impossible choice.

Something is off here and Elizabeth can definitely feel it. She's right to feel that the day is coming sooner rather than later that she and Phillip will be taken out and the kids will have to fend for themselves. The threat of Larrick is slowly closing in. Emmett and Leanne's killers are still out there. And it seems like the Jennings are being kept out of the loop with stuff they want to be informed about - while still following the Centre's orders. They've been careful all season long. And yet, the threat of death is becoming more and more real as we head into the final episode of the season. And they aren't even aware of the larger picture! The Americans is about spycraft but it's right in its decision to keep important information away from Phillip and Elizabeth. We know how real the threat is to them but they are left completely in the dark. We know that Larrick is roaming around trying to find them but they still have no clue whether Kate is alive or not. They are but a piece of the puzzle. They are working for something much larger than them. An ideal that they believe is worth fighting for. And yet, the danger is only getting much stronger around them.

Much like her mother, Paige can sense that something is off with her parents. She knows that they are keeping things from her and Henry. And thusly, she doesn't trust anything that they say. So, she asks questions and listens in on their calls to learn who her parents really are. She's looking for honesty while her parents just want her to get back in line. They're always thinking about her safety and what would happen if she was in the same scenario as Jared. Would the Centre take care of her? Could she adapt in new country? Would she be made aware of her parents' true identities? That's what's so weird about Jared. The Centre told him about his parents and Kate was visiting with him as herself. Something's just not adding up - and it's going to lead to an amazing reveal in the finale I'm sure.

And then, there's Stan who's actually being forced by Arkady into action. He's been placed in a situation where he has to make a very difficult decision. He is all by himself with no one really to turn to. Gaad is his closest friend at the office but the repercussions of this could be much worse for him if he asked for his help. And things aren't that much better at home as Sandra has decided to move in with her new guy. He's alone. But he's also the only way in the Soviets have to get to the "Echo" part of the Stealth program. They have a plan in motion to get the special paint from Fred but all the work this season has led up to turning Stan into betraying his country. He much rather buy Nina a car and have her drive off into the sunset and know that she's safe. He doesn't have that luxury. Instead, he's left with an impossible choice with no real way out. Like everything else, it's heading to a major event in the finale and I can't wait to see how this fantastic season will end.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Operation Chronicle" was written by Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg and directed by Andrew Bernstein.
  • Things aren't looking that much better for Nina either. But she at least has an actual ally in Oleg who's willing to sneak in money for her - if she needs to run and escape punishment.
  • And then, there's Martha who's willing to take a number of files out of the office because her co-workers are all too careless to secure them. That's a dangerous thing for her. But it will likely provide Philip with some vital information.
  • But Martha also knows that Clark is wearing a wig when he's with her. So, how long until she asks to see him without it?
  • Did anyone else get a creepy vibe from the pastor when he was talking with Paige?
  • And Henry's off worrying if Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan will be good or not.