Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 2, Episode 1 of FX's "The Americans," titled "Comrades."
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.
Elizabeth convalesced up in the hills somewhere and along with her healing is a newfound, full on feeling for Philip. It's physical and emotional -- not only are they having good (I'm assuming) sex. They're also agreeing on everything from business decisions, like refunding Stan his Hawaii vacation, to spy blunders, like using Henry in a pinch for a dead drop. Elizabeth seems more willing to compromise a bit, and Philip, as demonstrated in his lone mission with the Afghans, can be a badass, too.
On their first 'date night' mission to infiltrate a Lockheed Martin employee, Roy, they work with two old friends. They have a family and a real American life, just like the Jennings. It's nice to see them as part of something bigger, until they walk into a hotel room and find their friends, along with their daughter, shot in the head. The Jennings gather up what they can to help complete that mission but this means that someone, somewhere knows they exist. And somewhere, Granny is probably on her way back into town.
Having her family threatened leaves Elizabeth vulnerable, like that deer in the headlights in the opening scene, and it's even worse now that she's fostered possibly real feelings for Philip. So, plot one and a half.
Plot two: Sanford has been murdered by the Colonel and although Agent Gaad can't find the budget to investigate, he's with Beeman in believing that something just isn't right. We can only hope that Beeman's sniffing around isn't such a slow burn as it was last season. And now he has Nina to deal with. While he might have something real to work with when it comes to the Colonel, Nina has let him on a new arrival at the Rezidentura -- Oleg, who rocks Rod Stewart as much as the party line. She and Arkady are primed to start feeding Stan some information.
What about Stan and Sandra? Unfortunately, not so in love as the Jennings. Meryl Streep makes an appearance through a cameo of The French Lieutenant's Woman. He shows a bootleg version to Nina, wanting her to emote; instead she pouts and works him. He pays full ticket price at the movie theater with his wife for the same flick: she cries and tries to tap into his soul. Maybe it's because I've been watching too much "True Detective" and am projecting, but his Madonna/whore issues are starting to get to me.
Wig Count: 3+1 hat = 4
Nina's Best Poorly Translated Idiom (Working Title) :
'He's a bad mattress--- too soft' #TheAmericans
— Karen Fratti (@karenfratti) February 27, 2014
Lessons learned: Don't open closed doors. Paige, in her newfound curiosity, walks in on her parents having sex. And though she was pleased by their welcome home smooch, this is more disturbing. If only because they turn it into a teaching moment about privacy and trust, just before Philips sneers "do we even know if this is the first time she's checked on us?" It's a strange balance between wanting to protect his daughter from ending up shot by strangers and trying to protect himself from his daughter.
"The Americans" airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.