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The Americans - Pastor Tim - Review: "Can things get much worse?" + POLL

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With a title like Pastor Tim, I quite reasonably expected him to feature heavily this episode. While Kelly AuCoin may not have actually appeared, excluding his voice on the tape, he shaped the plot of much of this hour. It was a slow hour, but yet another superb one as The Americans’ world began to tighten on the Jennings couple.

For Phillip and Elizabeth, things just kept getting worse and worse and worse. Gabriel’s desire for the them to hand off the bioweapon - thus requiring them to hold onto it for a little longer - put them in a bad position from the very beginning. Elizabeth then discovered that Paige had told Tim everything, and from there, it became a race against time.

The Americans does a great job at punching you in the gut just when you think it’s given you its all, and Paige’s teary confession that she had told Tim was just another example of that. It was the latest in a long line of plans gone wrong, because that admittance killed any hope they had of erasing their problem through 'standard means'. And that puts the couple in quite a predicament.

Earlier, Phillip had suggested that killing Tim would be a grave mistake. “You want to kill the one person in the world that she trusts?" Instead, his ideas were that they should try to work him, which was never going to happen, or that they should leave. Of the pair, Phillip has always been the one more likely to jump ship, and more likely to want to do so when things look rough. Here, however, a desire from Elizabeth to leave wouldn’t have been unwarranted. Across the previous three seasons, every so often there has been a pull on a loose thread. This hour felt like a cat grabbing hold of a dangling piece of fabric and pulling it until that clothing item was barely intact.

Elizabeth’s decision to tell Paige of their true lives was always going to lead to unwanted consequences. While they’d have hoped it would never come to this, there would have been that voice in the back of their heads knowing this day, or one like it, would probably come. Now that it’s here, you wonder how much longer before this becomes an untenable situation.

But it wasn’t just Pastor Tim with whom they were having problems. Now in possession of the glanders virus, they needed to offload it. But to who? Not Gabriel, who wanted nothing to do with it. "Why don't we have you do it, before they tell me to have you do it?" Instead, Phillip was required to hand deliver the flimsy-looking tin to the courier himself.

Of course, it was never going to be that simple, and we got an extended sequence that played out with intensity and a touch of humour as Phillip was required to kill a security guard suspicious of the pilot, before the courier left the virus behind. Though the dilemma with Pastor Tim and Paige may be more problematic for Nadezhda and Mischa, having to keep the virus for the time being is a real issue for the Jennings family, and DC as a whole.

What makes matters even worse for them is that they seem to be being somewhat boxed into a corner by everyone on their side. The hour saw Gabriel, William and the courier all attempt to distance themselves from dealing with the virus, with the job repeatedly falling in front of Phillip and Elizabeth, who had no way of passing it off to someone else. It was a giant game of hot potato, just with a deadly virus and Russian spies.

“We’re in trouble,” Elizabeth tells Phillip. That may be understating matters just a tad.


  • Before the opening credits rolled, Phillip confessed to going to est, and Elizabeth asked if he wanted her to go with her. “Sure,” he replies. Compared to what followed, his fear of telling her seems like child’s play.
  • The Centre wants William to get a level four clearance, by whatever means necessary. To which William told Phillip, "Anything you can do to not succeed would be greatly appreciated."
  • Nina was in trouble once again after giving her husband a note to get to Anton’s son. Supposedly, she was almost free. Whether or not I believe that they would uphold their word or not is another matter, but now her fate is up in the air again. Also, Nina was pregnant! Based on the dialogue, it seems that she gave up the baby, presumably through abortion.
  • Oleg’s brother died in combat in Afghanistan. That should give some mileage for Costa Ronin over the coming episodes. Plus, we had a fun scene between him and Stan, where Oleg sarcastically commented on their relationship at present as Stan offered his condolences: “"So we're friends now?"
  • Soft Cell’s Tainted Love was expertly used during the sequence on the bus as Phillip killed the guard. I can still only associate it with Danny DeVito’s cameo on Friends.

What did everyone think of Pastor Tim? Vote in the poll below and be sure to leave a comment with your thoughts!

About the Author - Bradley Adams
17 year old based in England, currently Senior Staff at SpoilerTV. Most of his posts are news/spoiler based, though he is currently the reviewer of Person of Interest, co-host on the SpoilerTV Podcast. Created and is in charge of the yearly Favourite Episode Competition and currently runs the Favourite Series Competition. A big TV fan, his range of shows are almost exclusively dramas, while some of his all-time favourite shows include 24, LOST, Breaking Bad and Friends. Some of his current favourites include Person of Interest, Banshee, Arrow, The Flash, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Better Call Saul and many more. He also runs an Arrow fans site, ArrowFansUK, and aside from TV, is a keen cricketer. Get in touch with him via the links below or via email
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