And The Americans is back!
If I can choose an episode to represent how great the 2nd season of The Americans is, it’ll be the 5th episode. There are a lot of reasons why, first the opening. We pick up from the 4th episode’s cliffhanger ending and we see Philip and Elizabeth fresh from a fight with two unknown people. The man, whom Elizabeth fought, lay in the ground with a broken arm. The woman, who squared it off with Philip, got away with the target. It’s a great start because the whole episode begins with a major problem for the lead characters. Personally, I thought they were facing a huge dilemma but when their backs were against the wall, that’s where you see Philip and Elizabeth do what they do best.
Police were everywhere looking for the people responsible for the previous gunfire. Philip and Elizabeth had to move quickly. They dragged their new captive, which they realized was Israeli, to a temporary safe house. The FBI is also on the move as they were tipped off that a scientist is missing. The same also goes for the Rezidentura as one of their own, Philip, is dangerously located near the crime scene and can’t really go out. The beauty of everything that’s happening is that almost all of the characters were connected into what transpired. It’s what I saw and loved from last season’s finale where everyone was moving and acting because of one singular happening.
Another reason why The Deal is such an amazing episode is because we’re reminded of what Philip really is. The 2nd season premiere showed us that Mr. Jennings could kill an innocent cook just to escape without anyone (alive) seeing his face, now, we see Philip as a monster.
Well, it depends on the viewer exactly. This episode threw in the question of how does Philip really feel and how we should feel about him? Should we pity him or should we be angry at him? He’s still the same lovable character that we knew from season one. A great father, a loving husband, and a good friend, but when it comes to the Mother Land’s orders, he becomes hard as stone.
There were two people who reminded him of his humanity/monstrosity. First, the Israeli captive who said:
“We spent the night together and I don’t even know your name. But your name isn’t your name, is it? Is your face your face? Are your children your children?”
And the 2nd one was the Israeli scientist who was pleading Philip to let him go and let him live with his family:
“At least look at me! he says.
“Please! You’re a monster! You’re not a man! Whoever you once were, whatever you were, they trained it out of you. No feeling, no humanity, you may as well be dead.”
The Deal, like any other The Americans episode, is jam packed. Even the side plots are meaty and interesting. We saw Martha and Elizabeth (technically it was Jennifer, Clark’s pretend sister) met and had a good long talk. Stan Beeman and Oleg also made a deal about Nina’s safety. It was the episode that kept on giving.
To The Americans cast and crew, bravo! Job well done.