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TV Review: The Americans: 4.9 ”The Day After”
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The Americans
Season 4, Episode 9 – “The Day After”
Directed by Daniel Sackheim
Written by Tracey Scott Wilson
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Dylan Baker, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, May 11th, 2016, 10pm

Fleetwood Mac has forged an inescapable bond with The Americans. Before the series premiered, critics were already praising the show’s now infamous use of “Tusk,” for good reason: it took something familiar (Fleetwood Mac needle-drops often find themselves frequently used in popular culture) and put a new spin on it (“Tusk” is, for someone like me, not something I’d ever remembered hearing on the radio and was therefore a new and fresh dimension of a band I was already familiar with). The inclusion of “Tusk” defined the show early on in the same way: we might know the tropes and typical beats of a spy story, but this show was going to bring something bold and new to the genre.

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TV Review: The Americans: 4.8 ”The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears”
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The Americans
Season 4, Episode 8 – “The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears”
Directed by Matthew Rhys
Written by Stephen Schiff
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Dylan Baker, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, May 4th, 2016, 10pm

It can sometimes be counterproductive to look at the title of an episode and distill the events solely though that title, but it’s apt that the “The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears“ centers around the disappearance of people, emotions, and (ultimately) time. I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but the eighth installment of The Americans‘ fascinatingly confident fourth season is a series highlight in a string of episodes that have been consistently some of the best the show has ever produced.

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TV Review: The Americans 4.7 “Travel Agents”
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The Americans
Season 4, Episode 7 – “Travel Agents”
Directed by Dan Attias
Written by Tanya Barfield
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Dylan Baker, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, April 27th, 2016, 10pm

The Americans isn’t a show that has a dense number of concurrent plots, so it is somewhat of a rarity for those additional narratives to slow in service of a larger story. But when the show focuses on a singular plot, it typically means we’re in for a doozy. “Travel Agents” delivers; heightening and lifting the show’s normal atmosphere of tension and dread to frightening new levels.

Spoilers below.

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TV Review: The Americans 4.6 “The Rat”
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The Americans
Season 4, Episode 6 – “The Rat”
Directed by Kari Skogland
Written by Joshua Brand
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Dylan Baker, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 10pm

The Americans finally gave us the episode we’ve all been waiting for when it comes to Martha with “The Rat,” as Alison Wright’s poor soul of a character is thrown into a situation beyond her comprehension. This episode is all about escalation, as Martha finally finds out the truth about Clark’s real allegiance, while Elizabeth and Gabriel find out the depths of Philip’s involvement with her — culminating in a scene that’s a series great for Keri Russell.

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TV Review: The Americans 4.5 “Clark’s Place”
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The Americans
Season 4, Episode 5 – “Clark’s Place”
Directed by Noah Emmerich
Written by Peter Ackerman
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Dylan Baker, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, April 13, 2016, 10pm

The Noah Emmerich-directed “Clark’s Place” quickly moves Martha (Alison Wright) and the Jennings (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) from out of frying pan and into the fire.

Our full review, after the jump.

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