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TV Review: The Americans 3.11 “One Day In The Life Of Anton Baklanov”
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The Americans
Season 3, Episode 11 – “One Day in the Life of Anton Baklanov”
Directed by Andrew Bernstein
Written by Stephen Schiff & 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, April 8, 2015, 10pm

The Americans Episode 3.11 “One Day in the Life of Anton Baklanov” ends with an open door that subsequently closed. It functions as a good symbol for this episode as the majority of the Jennings family struggles with this newfound openness between them all. There’s a desperate attempt to keep that door open, but who’s to say how long that will be the case?

Continuing the fallout of last week, Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip (Matthew Rhys) are rightfully still on edge about just where Paige’s (Holly Turner) head is currently at. In fact, the entire Jennings household (save for Henry, who is still running around doing the world’s best worst Eddie Murphy “Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood” impression) seems to be adrift, searching for some sort of answer within themselves in the larger world.

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TV Review: The Americans 3.10 “Stingers”
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The Americans
Season 3, Episode 10 – “Stingers”
Directed by Larysa Kondracki
Written by Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg
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, April 1, 2015, 10pm

At what point did you realize that your parents weren’t as infallible as you’d once thought?

There’s a moment in every person’s life where this moment occurs. Comics writer Matt Fraction described it (in one of my favorite interviews of all time I might add) as the feeling of “…angst that comes from realizing you’re standing on a plateau with the people you looked up to. There are moments when any kind of role model that you have in your life, be it parental or educational””teachers””or even just, you know, professional mentors, can kind of invariably disappoint you.” It is different for everyone, but we all have it – the people who raise us have their own secrets, their own lives even, and we start to view them in a different light.

I don’t think Paige Jennings (Holly Taylor) expected her moment to be quite so painful.

Potential spoilers below.

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TV Review: The Americans 3.2: Baggage
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The Americans
Season 3, Episode 2 – “Baggage”
Directed by Daniel Sackheim
Written by Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, Frank Langella
FX
Air date: February 4, 2015, 10pm

“It’s not really over.”

Elizabeth (Keri Russell) comes into the house after what we can assume is a long day. She sits down to have a snack while she talks to Paige (Holly Taylor). As she bites into her food, her tooth, still injured from the fight with Agent Gaad (Richard Thomas) in last week’s episode, rips through her mouth with searing pain. She talks with Paige for a few minutes before she gets a call. It’s Philip (Matthew Rhys). There’s more “paperwork” to be done at the office.

It’s not really over.

“Baggage” is all about the things that our characters are carrying with them in some form or another. The cost of these things are starting to weigh on everyone. Especially for Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich).

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TV Review: The Americans 3.1 “EST Men”
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The Americans
Season 3, Episode 1 – “EST Men”
Directed by Daniel Sackheim
Written by Joe Fields and Joe Weisberg
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, Gillian Alexy, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: January 28, 2015, 10pm

Spoilers for The Americans season premiere. You’ve been warned.

The Americans doesn’t waste any time in telling you what its third season is going to be about. In the opening seconds of the season premiere, “EST Men,” we see quick shots of Henry (Keidrich Sellati), Paige (Holly Taylor), and Phillip (Matthew Rhys). The shot is framed and lingers in such a way that it’s hard to notice Elizabeth (Keri Russell) in the tub off to the right of the screen until she slides into focus.

She takes a breath and then plunges underwater. It’s a quick calm before the storm. Our opening proves that more than ever, a dark tone of desperation and dread hangs over the show.

Welcome back to the fascinating world of The Americans.

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