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Who thought a montage involving Paige making out and Philip line dancing could be so heartbreaking?
Thus is the power of “The Americans,” as showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg almost simultaneously doled out pleasure and pain in a bone-chilling fourth episode. Philip (Matthew Rhys) clung to his simple pleasures while he could, retreating to his favorite country bar to kick off his boots with coworkers before snacking on potato chips over a pile of mounting bills. Paige’s (Holly Taylor) date turned from a fun night out to a professional conflict as she stared at her sleeping beau’s valuable ID badge. And then there’s Elizabeth (Keri Russell): so close to getting what she needs, only to be left with nothing yet again.
Joy - Sorrow - Emotions - Jennings - Family
She’s tired, and we’re scared. Much like joy and sorrow are contradictory emotions, each Jennings family member is living contradictory lives. Philip loves the very thing that’s crushing him, both at work (his expanded business) and at home (the wife he’s been asked to spy on). Paige wants to treat her training like an education, making her spy school into an extension of college life, but she cannot blend the two (like she wanted to at the end of her date) if she hopes to survive either. Elizabeth is overtaxed at work, and it’s affecting her personal judgement. Philip had to call her out for putting Paige’s life in danger, and even when she realized she’d done just that, Elizabeth barely reacted.
With six episodes left before the series says dosvedanya, IndieWire is taking a look at where things stand at the present moment, but also honoring the little things done consistently well throughout the series — the bits we’ll miss most when it’s all said and done. Some of it will be hard (like, Philip telling Henry he can’t afford...
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