Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 2, Episode 3 of FX's The Americans, titled "The Walk In."
Maybe I just didn't notice it last season but the new episodes of the Americans are all tightly written around a theme. Tonight? "The Walk In" was about more than just poor Bruce Demeran. The Jennings walked into the plant and threatened a poor man with his children, Paige basically breaks and enters into an old lady's home, Philip comes home early, and Elizabeth delivers a note to Emmet and Leane's son (themselves murdered by a 'walk in' intruder).
1) Paige is in big trouble. I wonder if the Jennings weren't so scared about violence, if Philip still would be so angry with her. Uh, of course he would! She's on their tail. I thought my parents were scary when mad; Philip has a serious snarl. But what's so great about her Pennsylvania adventure is how she totally defends it, makes a friend, and finally admits that it "feels like something is always going on." Yes, honey, your parents are KGB and you are under "firm orders to be at home." I'm really scared about what Philip will do to punish her.
2) A lot of Vietnam references going on. First, the war makes Elizabeth start to want children in '67 and then Bruce defects and goes all sniper on Stan because of war-induced cynicism. Also, Stan's boss gives him a bit of shade for not volunteering and fighting and understanding the paint peeling off the walls at Walter Reed. It makes the whole story feel more real, or historical at least. I just wish they tried harder to make Elizabeth and Phil look younger -- the costuming is otherwise so on point.
3) I don't get Elizabeth's going soft on kids. She says she doesn't want them, then she does. Last season, she almost left them with Philip. Now she's mother of the year, even going as far to protect her friend's son by not giving him the letter his mother left for him. Is this hormones or just what happens to people when they have kids? Why do people always have to smoke cigarettes when they set things on fire?
4) What's with Nina having to report to Arkady on every sweet nothing Stan mumbles to her?
5) Poor Henry is just as pitiful as Martha, lying for his sister and failing to spy Polaris with his cereal box telescope thing. Boys are wimpier than the girls on this show, and I like it. But he's going to need some therapy. It's a shame he wasn't born in the nineties, in that regard.
Wig Count: 3 good ones.
Nina's Best Poorly Translated Idiom (Working Title) : "Scalp?" Oleg schools her on what capitalists do with unwanted hockey tickets.
Lessons Learned: Given Elizabeth's newfound motherly instinct, I have a strong feeling that Martha is going to get pregnant soon and make her jealous. Or something. Also, what are we to make of Sandra Beeman "improving herself?"
What did you think of the episode? Talk to me in the comments or tweet me @karenfratti.
"The Americans" airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.