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'The Americans' Recap: Talking The Talk In 'The Oath'

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Note: Do not read on unless you've seen Season 1, Episode 12 of FX's "The Americans," titled "The Oath."

I would like to take a moment and apologize for anything snarky I've said about slow plots and poor writing and lack of suspense and surprise. Here are a few of my thoughts from this episode:

  1. We get to not pay attention to Elizabeth for a whole episode. While I was yearning early on for some more Elizabeth-time, the past few weeks have been overkill. Sure, it's her that initiates getting information from Prince which initiates Philip's proposal, but it was nice to just sit back and enjoy her purple eyeshadow and watch her counsel Paige who has lost her crush to a wannabe Pat Benatar.
  2. Martha is going to need so much therapy. She's wasted her life looking for a man and the first one she gets to propose is a Russian spy. I hope her parents have room for her on their couch and a solid insurance plan, because she's going to need some time in a pink robe in a mental facility when she finds out. I was vaguely reminded of "Dexter's" Debra -- you don't like her, really, but you don't want her to get hurt either. And I don't think Martha is going to take up the Cause, a'la Deb and Dex. Things are not going to be OK, Martha.
  3. Granny is good at games! Playing mother dearest at the wedding should have been serious, but I was overly amused at how well she cleans up. They did all sort of look alike with their wigs! It just goes to show how easy it is to fool people if the people lying sound confident, just like a waiter talking about the flavor profile of an overpriced wine. It's a load of you-know-what, but, as Elizabeth tells Paige, people see, or hear, what they need.
  4. Oh, the one liners! Don't get your panties in a bunch, Romeo.
  5. Speaking of "Dexter," this is the point of the season where it all goes down and I find myself wishing for a two-hour finale. Stan has the Jennings right in front of him and is oh-so-close to pinning them. All we need is an a-ha! moment in the garage. Or not. The kicker is that Nina, who is now overseeing Directorate S, won't be able to lead him to the Jennings. Because she turns herself in! The writers would be very callous to just ship her off to Moscow. Was it the oath that turned her? The feeling she can't shake that Stan killed Vlad? Or just some spiritual crisis like Viola, the maid who can no longer live with her actions?

Lies, lies, and more confessions are to come, guys. Does anyone else have a nagging craving for mac and (three!) cheese?

"The Americans" airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.

What did you think of "The Oath"?

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