Thursday, March 17, 2016

TV Premiere: The Americans Season 4

The complex, thriller story about two Russian spies hiding undercover as ordinary Americans continues in its fourth season as the stakes are even higher and history plays out with a new perspective. I'm surprised this show isn't more controversial since it wasn't that long ago that these spies would have been a great fear-mongering speech for a politician.

The first episode to kick off Season 4 poses a new threat as Paige, the Jennings's daughter played by Holly Taylor, has learned of her parents' Russian origin but has been so Americanized that she calls up her priest to confess her parents' betrayal. The third season ended with this climactic phone call but the showrunners always know how to slow it down and bring the tension to a slow boil over several episodes. 

There were plenty of silly and sometimes even convincing spy disguises. Both Keri Russell as Elizabeth and Matthew Rhys as Philip do a phenomenal job playing the torn, yet totally convinced that their cause is right, spies. Philip was the focus of this first episode as a flashback of his first murder comes to him throughout the episode. He has also been attending a group therapy session, which leads to more controversy.

Noah Emmerich is great as the FBI agent who moved next door in season one, Stan Beeman. Stan is still dealing with a divorce and the disappearance of his love interest Nina Kirlova played brilliantly by Annet Mahendru, who has been shipped back to Russia to seduce a Jewish scientist. The tension does heat up when Stan's newest girlfriend catches Philip sitting in a restaurant talking with Stan's ex-wife. 

There is a lot of promise for the fourth season and for three previous seasons, The Americans has slowly and steadily developed plot until the spies have almost no way out and have to act desperately. As the show progresses, it gets harder for the spies to maintain the look of an innocent American family. With more on the line and FBI even closer to discovering them, I am really looking forward to this season! 

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