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'The Americans' Season 1 Finale Recap: Games Without Frontiers In 'The Colonel'

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THE AMERICANS SEASON FINALE RECAP
FX

Note: Do not read on unless you've seen the Season 1 finale of FX's "The Americans," titled "The Colonel."

The only comforting aspect of the season finale of "The Americans" was that it's already been picked up for a second season and won't go the way of, say, "Rubicon," leaving us with plot theories and fully fleshed-out characters and no ending to the madness.

So, fellow fans, let us gather 'round and say it together: O.M.G.

Herewith, a few of my favorite things:

  • Everyone is human now. From Elizabeth and Granny to even the Beemans, each character shined, all three dimensional and full of stories. Can I get some credit for predicting way back when that Elizabeth would want to leave the kids with Philip? After they discuss it in the dining room, Philip heads to say goodbye to the kids and you hear him say "no, I love you more!' An innocent game of goodbyes with the kids, but also pretty telling. He not only wins the divorce popularity contest, but he has a real, beating heart. Elizabeth really doesn't, even though she wants one so badly. Her own mother guilt trips her through her laundry room headphones into seeing herself as part of a family unit and Philip throws the kids at her by taking matters into his own hands. It's only when she's delirious with a bullet wound that she's able to ask Philip to come home. But think about it -- the only reason Philip knew something was wrong with her in the car was because she asked to continue on with the family vacation plans. Granny sees in her what I see in her, someone so confused and torn apart by her spy life that she seems misplaced. Although, who's Granny to judge? The KGB is replacing her, per the Jennings' request, but in the end she knew the meet-ups were a set-up. Granted, she knew the wrong meet-up was the set-up, but she was the only one who had her ears perked up, even while getting up close and personal with Zhukov's assassin.
  • It will all be 'so obvious,' as Granny so aptly puts it, when Stan finally wakes from his Save My Marriage stupor. The Jennings look so much like their FBI sketches that I kept waiting for them to slow down in the car chase and have some silly excuse for Beeman as to why they're driving around together. I mean, come on. This was an uber-suspenseful episode on all counts. It's like the quiet doubts and conversation and plotting of the whole season came to hard boil. I love that Nina is allowed to redeem herself; I was almost yelling at her to hurry up and call Arkady with news that the FBI was on the move. But it seems like she was a bit bummed when Stan told her they were approving her exfiltration. If she had waited, she wouldn't have turned herself in to the KGB and been caught between this rock and, well, another rock. Her impatience led to her foiling the FBI and saving the Directorate S agents, but it's also sealed her fate as someone's informant from here on out. She'll never turn Beeman, she'll never be honest enough for Moscow and Stan's boss is never going to let her free into the KGB-less Wild West. She's in. Stan, too, is in. He meant to be the victor, get Nina out of his life, take Sandra to Jamaica and live happily ever after. Wrong again, Stan!
  • Can we get a round of applause for whoever chooses the music for this show? Here's what we learned, to the tune (-ish) of Peter Gabriel:

    Martha's dancing all alone, who knows if Clark exists.

    Sanford Prince is talking (presumably about Elizabeth),

    Liz pleads with Philip, he doesn't answer back.

    Paige is onto everyone, but has no evidence of it.

Dressing up in costumes, playing silly games, indeed!

What did you think of the season finale of "The Americans"?

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