Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon The Americans - Baggage - Review: "Sticks and Stones Will..."

    Enable Dark Mode!

  • What's HOT
  • Premiere Calendar
  • Ratings News
  • Movies
  • YouTube Channel
  • Submit Scoop
  • Contact Us
  • Search
  • Privacy Policy

SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers


The Americans - Baggage - Review: "Sticks and Stones Will..."

     Previously on The Americans: The KGB wants Paige to become a spy, Phillip is adamantly against it, and Elizabeth is on the fence about the whole thing. Additionally, Yousaf kills Anneliese and Phillip is tasked with cleaning it all up (not a fun activity). Amidst all of this madness, Nina is still sitting in a prison cell in Moscow.

     Something I was very worried about after the end of last season was how The Americans was going to be able to continue using Nina as an interesting character. Her romance with Stan was getting stale and I also wasn't overly interested in her relationship with Oleg. This season, Nina's new story arc begins with her uneven relationship with a new cellmate. I'm not sure whether her "friendship" with this cellmate is meant for a long term story line, but if so, I would love to find a bit more background on this cellmate. In the meantime, Nina has a somewhat forced, yet equally fantastic discussion about children with Oleg's father who could help get her out of her current predicament. Overall, I'm not sure what direction the writers are going to take with Nina's story, but so far I'm liking it.

     While keeping Stan and Nina separated, the writers were able to give Stan a story line that was not only interesting, but also quite exciting. Tasked with accompanying a new Soviet defector by the name of Zinaida, Stan spends a large portion of this episode watching over her. I'm not entirely sure where the writers are going with this story either, but given the possibilities for interesting story lines it's bound to build to something good. In the meantime though, Stan is continuing to see the pure amount of ignorance that led him to cheat on his wife. A near death experience leads him to confide in his (ex?)-wife, but, unfortunately for him, it is clear that she has already moved on. The Americans only weakness continues to be Sandra Beeman. Susan Misner does an excellent job portraying her, but the writers seem to want to hold on to her even after she serves little to no point in the overall story. In the coming weeks, it will be interesting to see if the writers decide to eliminate her character in some way or are instead able to breathe new life into her role.

     Anneliese's murder at the end of the last episode was not only brutally shocking, but also incredibly revealing about Phillip. Anneliese was a person that Phillip cared deeply about and despite this, Phillip was completely functional in the aftermath of her death and was able to make the tough call to continue on without her. Even more shocking in this episode was the sound of Anneliese's bones being broken as she was condensed down to the size of a small suitcase. Moving through this episode, Phillip seemed to almost pity Yousaf's sad role in the spy world. At first I found this perspective to be quite perplexing. Most people would think that Phillip would feel no pity for the man who just killed someone he cared about. Instead, The Americans goes deeper; Anneliese was a person forced into a way of life because of her relationship with a family member. Similarly, Yousaf was forced to kill someone he loved because of the spy world It would be incredibly difficult for Phillip to not see a potential future version of Paige in Anneliese or Yousaf.

     In the middle of all of the mayhem and destruction, Phillip and Elizabeth are still able to find a good amount of time to argue about Paige's future. Elizabeth's memories of her parents plague her ability to see what is best, while Phillip still seems to favor the American way of life for their children. While it's clear that Elizabeth wants what is best for her daughter and her country, her talks with Gabriel (Frank Langella) are certainly not helping to sway her away from turning Paige into a spy. Gabriel fills her mind with thoughts of the past, honor, and the idea of "making a difference". Elizabeth is definitely going to be the wild card when it comes to Paige's future. These discussions continue to prove what an excellent addition Frank Langella has been to the cast.

9.2/10 - Following the brutal murder of Anneliese, this week's episode of The Americans sets up more than anything. Phillip and Elizabeth have a new asset arrangement, Gabriel and her mother's influences are weighing heavily on Elizabeth as she decides what to do with Paige, and Stan has a new task at work. No big game changers, but a lot of fantastic drama that is sure to make next week's episode as fantastic as everyother episode of The Americans.

Additionally, SpoilerTV will be discussing the third season of The Americans with comrade Annet Mahendru (Nina) on Tuesday, February 10th. If you have any questions for her, please post a comment on this page.

About the Author - Brandon Rowe
Brandon is a Computer Science major at Fresno State University and has been a SpoilerTV writer since his sophomore year in high school. He enjoys watching an extreme amount of television and movies and is currently reviewing The Americans, Falling Skies, and True Detective. Brandon also managed the "In the Hot Seat" competition here on SpoilerTV in 2012 and is planning on doing it again in early 2015. Feel free to use the Facebook, Twitter, or G+ links below to contact him.
Recent Articles by Brandon Rowe (All Articles by Brandon Rowe)