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The Americans - Stingers - Review: "The Episode We've All Been Waiting For"

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Previously on The Americans: Stan and Oleg's attempt to fish out a potential Soviet spy is far, Nina is attempting to secure her freedom by herself, and Phillip's undercover operation with Kimberly could be for the long term.

     This is the episode you (and I!) have all been waiting for. Only 2 episodes after Martha's bombshell discovery, Phillip and Elizabeth finally spilled the beans on their jobs as travel agents KGB spies to Paige. While I originally expected this scene to resemble Phillip and Paige's explosive argument in "Martial Eagle" last season, I really enjoyed the way soft tone that the writers took for the incredibly awkward family discussion. Not only did the writers nail the tone, but Holly Taylor (Paige) did a fantastic job in her delivery. After being lied to time and time again, Paige had simply had enough and Holly Taylor conveyed Paige's sense of angered confusion perfectly. Additionally, I have to say that Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell did an amazing job portraying the level of caution that Phillip and Elizabeth took in explaining their lives to Paige. Telling your kid that you are a spy, along with all of the details that go along with that, is not something that you just blurt out in any way. While I'm sure it's a conversation that Phillip and Elizabeth thought about over the years, they were clearly taken by surprise by Paige's intervention. All the same, they managed to explain something very complicated in a pretty simple way. As a result, Paige was able to process the news in a good manner. Needing to be alone for a bit was expected and binge watching General Hospital was certainly understandable after such a conversation, but all things considered she took it very well. It should be interesting to see how she holds up in the next few episodes. Also, if Matthew Rhys and/or Keri Russell are not nominated for an Emmy for this, it is a major injustice!!

     Speaking of injustice, it is a small injustice that this season's best episode was polluted by the strange obsession of Sandra Beeman by Henry. Sure, this may seem humorously normal for a hormonal teenage boy, but I do not understand its relevance to the overall plot. The writers don't have a lot for Henry to do while Paige is busy getting recruited to the KGB, but this just seems to be going nowhere. Fortunately, outside of staring at his Sandra Beeman cutout, Henry actually served a great purpose in this episode. Henry acts both as someone we can relate to and as a foil for Paige. His Eddie Murphy impersonation was so incompatible with the rest of his family's current mood that it really highlighted what a terrible position Paige is now in. Additionally, I enjoyed Henry's time spent at Stan's house because it not only gave Paige time to learn the truth, but it also informed us (again) what a mess Stan Beeman really is. In the middle of an ugly divorce and down on his luck, Stan could really use a pick-me-up and his time with Henry offered one. Stan struggles connecting with his son, but easily connects with the son of two KGB spies. Go figure.

     Seeing that Stan was actually right about Zinaida in this episode was unsurprising given the amount of time dedicated to Stan and Oleg's investigation in the last episode. I'm really happy that Stan won't be made to look like a complete idiot... at least in regards to Zinaida. Stan is on a roll with gut feelings about spies lately as he is beginning to suspect Martha reason at all? Even though Stan's gut is super convenient, I'm willing to go along with it if it means that Stan is getting closer to the truth about Phillip and Elizabeth! All these gut feelings makes you wonder when he'll have a gut feeling about his neighbors!

9.8/10 - This episode finally gave us what we've been looking for: Phillip and Elizabeth were actually honest with Paige. Additionally, the countless other story lines that The Americans juggles so well were all equally compelling (disregarding Henry's obsession with Sandra Beeman). Looks like Nina could actually start interacting with our other main characters next week!

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.
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