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The Americans - Episode 2.11 - Stealth - Review



     Previously on The Americans: Paige wants to go to summer camp, Elizabeth really doesn't want her to go to summer camp, and Phillip is rather indifferent, Larrick has found Kate, and Stan would appear to be only days away from finding out the truth about Phillip and Elizabeth.

     Following his advances on our favorite Soviet spy ring, Larrick is able to locate Kate in this episode. In a rather ridiculous choice, Larrick sees fit to simply kill Kate. While I honestly expected Larrick to kill Kate eventually, I was shocked that he did so without getting any information from her. I suppose if she had revealed anything about Phillip and Elizabeth, I would be complaining about the ridiculousness of a Soviet spy giving away her comrades' location, but I digress. Andrew Larrick has proven himself to be quite resourceful over the course of the last season so he will surely find a way to get more info on Phillip and Elizabeth, but it's definitely not going to be as straightforward as I would have originally expected his revenge to be.

     Since Stan has been poking around the Connors' family murder, Elizabeth decided to don a wig and talk to Jared again. While Elizabeth assumes he is completely innocent, I'm not so sure. I've suspected from the very beginning that perhaps Phillip and Elizabeth were looking in the wrong place for Emmett and Leanne's killer. Now I'm not suggesting that Jared was complicit in his own family's murder, but there is really something strange about Kate seeing Jared without any disguise on. On top of that it's especially interesting that the writers decided to have Elizabeth specifically point it out. Considering that Jared already knows Kate, who is to say that Kate wasn't the one that kept Jared from being in the room when his parents and sister were killed? It's only speculation, but something odd is definitely going on here.


     Paige meanwhile really, really wants to go to a Christian Summer Camp. Unfortunately, her Soviet mother really, really doesn't want her to go. Like I've said in my past reviews, I've really enjoyed the way that each episode has a smaller story that links with the bigger picture. By the end of the episode Paige is (by pure luck) able to come up with a solution that her parents are happy with. If only she knew why her parents were all of a sudden so supportive of a church function...The irony in all of this is that while Elizabeth wants to keep her daughter safe by keeping her away from the summer camp, she is actually, unwittingly, putting her in more danger by keeping her at home, in Larrick's crosshairs. 

     Meanwhile at the Russian embassy, it would appear that the boring love story between Oleg and Nina has hit a major road bump. Oleg has finally discovered the truth that Nina's "mission" is only the result of an act of treason. I must admit that while I enjoy the info on "Stealth" and the FBI office paralleled with the Russian Embassy, any romance with Nina at this point is completely boring to me. Oleg and Nina are essentially doomed because of their jobs' instability. On the other side, Nina and Stan's romance is super doomed and also super boring. I know there are a lot of fans that enjoy this side of The Americans and I don't mean to bash anyone's opinion, but I just find this side of the show immensely boring. I did enjoy this part early on in this season when we were still questioning Nina's loyalties, but now it just feels like a part of a soap opera. If you truly enjoy this section of show still, be sure to leave a comment below because I would honestly like to hear why. 

     Continuing on that note, Stan and his wife's impending divorce just takes up screen time that could be used on spy stuff or at a minimum something more interesting. Am I the only one that really doesn't care if Stan is married or divorced? I would just like to see him spend more time at the FBI. Writers obviously have to keep him far enough away from Phillip and Elizabeth to allow for more seasons (it's almost a will they/won't they relationship to be honest), but I wish they could find him something else to do than just sleep and mope around. Noah Emmerich is a fantastic actor and while I know many will disagree with me, I wish they could use him a little better at times. I would truly enjoy a little more of the FBI side of Stan and less of the affair having-depressed Stan in the next few episodes. 

     My favorite part of this week's episodes was Phillip's mission. This section of the story featured my absolute favorite character actor, Zeljko Ivanek. As he normally does (and does so very well), Zeljko Ivanek played a rather odd role. Convinced that his former employers did something to cause his cancer in his stealth technology research, John Skeevers (Zeljko Ivanek) is targeted by the Soviets as a potential asset. As such, Phillip (in a disguise that honestly reminded me of "Mandarin" from Iron Man 3) attempts to befriend him and gain his trust with the hope of acquiring some intelligence. Zeljko Ivanek does a remarkable job portraying a man who is not only confused, but desperate in many different conflicting ways. As I said before, this part was my favorite part of the episode, not only because Zeljko Ivanek is awesome, but because it offered a great insulated story where we're not really rooting for anyone, but just waiting to see what happens.

     Overall, I found this to be the weakest episode of an otherwise great season so far. The highlights of this episode involved a guest star and the ever growing threat of FBI agent Stan Beeman. With only two episodes left, I really hope that the next two installments are as good as the rest of this season has been.

Rating: 7.3/10 

Tune in to The Americans on Wednesdays @ 10/9c on FX Network. Be sure to come back here to SpoilerTV to let everyone else know what you thought of the episode.


About the Author - Brandon Rowe
Brandon is a senior in high school and enjoys watching a lot of TV. Brandon likes to write articles about favorite films and especially his favorite shows which include Homeland, Dexter, Fringe, Suits, and more than can be written on this page. Brandon also managed the "In the Hot Seat" competition here on SpoilerTV in 2012 and would like to do it again in 2014 if possible. Feel free to use the Facebook, Twitter, or G+ links below to contact him.

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