SPOILER ALERT, if you haven’t watched season 2 episode 2 of The Americans, please stop reading.
After the explosive 2nd season premiere, it was a bit disappointing to see that the 2nd episode was a little underwhelming. Granted, it was very hard to follow Comrades, but I was expecting a follow up that was at least as good as the first one.
Nonetheless, Cardinal was an okay episode. The whole episode was made to establish a base to move the plot forward. One of the major things that they’ve really pointed out is that Keri Russell’s character is not going to be that bad ass anymore. For season 2, she’ll play the worrying mom that’s always careful and thinks about the family more in exchange for her spying proficiency. If you look at it, it seems that Keri and Matthew Rhys (who plays the role of Philip Jennings) switched roles a little bit. A little bit means that Philip is still the same guy who wanted to ditch the spy business and live a normal life, but for this season, he’s going to be a better soldier as seen with his 3 kills in the 2nd season’s first episode.
This is not a surprise, as the show runners and even Russell herself said in interviews that since the theme for the 2nd season is going to focus on family, Elizabeth will be more protective of her children. I have to say that it’s not the most interesting creative choice that The Americans’ writers have made but it generates most of the drama for the sophomore season. I just hope that they are thinking of something great when they decide to turn up the heat violence wise because people are getting a little bit bored with Elizabeth’s mother hen act. I still have full confidence on the show though, based from what I saw on the first season and the 2nd season premiere.
Cardinal also debuted Aimee Carrero’s character who had a very interesting introduction. Carrero is also playing a spy character but she’s clearly not from Russia. From what we already know, her character’s name is Chena and she’s a Sandinista freedom fighter. She’s all new to this spy business and Elizabeth tells her that she’s there if Chena needs any help. Elizabeth is really deadest on being the motherly type.
And for the other things, Martha (Alison Wright) is trying to move up on this world and be a clerk on another department but Clark says no and she just says okay. Of course it wasn’t that easy but Martha is clearly Clark’s puppet. There was a walk in on the Russian embassy and he was a World Bank employee and Nina (Annet Mahendru) told Stan (Noah Emmerich) just enough information for him to tail the guy. Everything is still unclear why Nina and the Residencia are doing what they’re doing but we’ll just have to wait for the next episodes to know everything.
Overall, as I said, the 2nd episode wasn’t remarkable. But knowing what the creative team is capable of, I bet they have something great planned that will blow our socks off.
Watch The Americans on Wednesdays, 10 PM on FX