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TV Review: The Americans 3.6 “Born Again”
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The Americans Season 3 Episode 6  Born Again

The Americans
Season 3, Episode 6 – “Born Again”
Directed by Kevin Dowling
Written by Tracey Scott Wilson
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, March 4, 2015, 10pm

“Let us not love with words and speech, but with actions and truth.” – Pastor Tim

The Americans “Born Again” is an episode that’s all about the actions and especially the truth as the show’s sixth episode heats up all the simmering plots. It starts out with proud parents celebrating an existential truth for their daughter and by episode’s end has sent that truth into the cold, harsh light of reality with one hell of an ending.

So much of this episode deals with Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell) finally coming to terms about where they are. After skirting so much of the reality around them, the chickens have come home to roost, especially in the form of Paige (Holly Taylor), but also Philip’s past. There’s a moment with Elizabeth and Philip in the church where you can tell there’s an overwhelming amount of pride that’s swelling for their daughter. But there’s an underlying bit of sadness for the Jennings parents here, who are very clearly watching their little girl become a woman before their very eyes.

The rest of the episode seems to play out as a final denial against the truths both Elizabeth and Philip have been avoiding: Elizabeth pushing Paige closer to her destiny and Philip closer to actually having to seduce Kimmy. A joint shared between the couple is thing reprieve the two are offered before having to seemingly cross the rubicon, as instructed by Gabriel in what’s easily been the best use of Frank Langella’s character to date.

And once we do cross that rubicon, how incredible is the result?

We’re offered two intercut scenes all involving the power of revelation to a daughter (or daughter figure): one with Philip having to get closer to Kimmy, while still operating in a place where he doesn’t have to get physical, using religion as the buffer to stop things from progression, but still using the power of a confession (the fact that Matthew’s son is stationed in Afghanistan) and spirituality to bring the two of them closer together. Meanwhile, Elizabeth finally sets upon the path to reveal what she and Philip really do to Paige.

These two scenes offer series highlight work from Taylor, Russell, and Rhys and they’re both deceptions. Philip isn’t being honest to Elizabeth who isn’t being honest with Philip. It’s the world’s most twisted come to Jesus meeting ever. And it’s downright incredible to watch.

“You should always be true to yourself,” Philip mentions to Paige early on in the episode, but how can she be when she’s going to be pulled in two equally different directions? We’re not quite sure of that answer, but needless to say – we’re just getting started in seeing how Paige will be true to herself.

Quick Thoughts:

– Stan (Noah Emmerich) gets some really bad news as it relates to a former work associate that places Sandra (Susan Misner) and Matthew back into his direct orbit.

– I didn’t touch on it much in the main review, but I’m glad that Philip now has an overseas burden to match the situation with Elizabeth’s mother. The bonds of family are weighing heavy this season.

– Meanwhile, Nina’s (Annet Mahendru) betrayal hurt way more than I anticipated it would. That was really tough to watch.

– “Sounds weird.” – Henry (Keidrich Sellati) talking about EST. “You know what, it kind of is.” – Stan

– Poor Tori (Callie Thorne). We all know that despite his reassurances, Stan’s head is anywhere but with her.

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