The whole season was slow burn -- there was a teeny tiny less violence than usual. Not so many shock and awe, or sit on the edge of your seat as the Jennings make their way out of a house just in time or something. This is about the unraveling of a family, a marriage, and the Cold War.
Forget Martha, it's all Paige now. All of that tension between Philip and Elizabeth was worthless, because Pastor Tim and Paige figured out something was wrong all by themselves. A few things about the writing that blew my mind.
There's a lot of foreboding, because even as Paige asserts herself, Elizabeth is starting to worry that this all is so unsustainable. How long until Paige is on a train to nowhere, getting answers to her long asked questions?
There were a lot of great moments tonight, but my favorite scene was Stan, interviewing DoD staff who attended the meeting in Alexandria, attached to project Stealth, or for laymen, the invisible plane team.
It's way too early in the seasons for this kind of action. Oleg is talking to Beeman about Nina. Arkady is actually becoming a fleshed-out character with a personality and values. The divide between the American Way and the Russian Way is now glaringly obvious.
I know this show is supposed to be about families and marriage, but this episode was all about sources and leaks. First, Philip heads to Virginia to meet Emmet's source: a poor, balding agent who flips when he finds Philip in his house (though given the bad mustache, we can forgive his shock).
We all better get it together, because it feels like The Americans has found its rhythm and a fair share of drama. Directorate S might be exposed, Paige is getting a little nosy, and Beeman is way over his head.
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.
Elizabeth gets told, Beeman's ladies take charge, and Martha ... well, Martha is still pretty loony. This episode also had top notch '80s dance music and the best selection of silly wigs we've seen yet.
I don't hate this show because it's bad, I hate this show because every time I start to think it's silly, it surprises me. It's the slower, character and plot-building episodes like "Only You" that shine and make me look forward to seeing how they're going to close the season.