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Tag Archives: 4.12

The Americans 4.12 “A Roy Rogers in Franconia” Review: “Did You Have to do That?”

2 Jun

It is hard to hide who you are on The Americans when confronted with a moment of danger and when Elizabeth’s protective motherly instincts kicked in with her training last week there was only going to be one winner against the two would-be muggers/rapists. Elizabeth was not only quick in her methods; taking out both guys in a matter of seconds, but her calm demeanor after the incident also has Paige questioning the few non-specific bits of information her parents have given in regards to their work.

There are only so many vague and repeated phrases a girl can take before she demands a little more and seeing her mom in full self-defense mode has sped up this process. The Americans 4.12 ElizabethQuestions and doubt are seeping through the ever growing cracks and it isn’t just the threads on the Russian containers that are unstable. Paige is in shock over what she witnessed and Elizabeth is doing her best to keep her queries to the minimum. Yes she had to do that and no this is not the first time. The conversation about ‘how many?’ is never a fun one, but on this occasion it is even more problematic (don’t even ask Elizabeth or Philip the more common and often contentious between couples ‘how many?’ query) and even if Elizabeth did know the number (and I can’t see her keeping a tally of the dead) it isn’t going to offer Paige any comfort. They’ve also told Paige that they’re not going to lie to her and so going with a non-committal “I don’t know” is the safest option.

Paige is pushing back in a big way this week as we have seen her do on a number of occasions and part of this includes a common grumble from a teenager; they’re treating her like she is 12. The difference here being that anything they do tell her could severely impact their safety and how she sees her parents. When Elizabeth tries the “I wanted to serve my country” party line Paige calls her out on this and so we get a deeper insight into Elizabeth’s motivations for joining the KGB beyond her mother.The Americans 4.12 Philip, Elizabeth and PaigeMirroring Paige’s conversation with her father about his background we find out more about the city of Smolensk and how like a lot of Russia it was torn apart during WWII and the years that followed involved a lot of hardship. In essence what Elizabeth took from this experience was seeing a community up against it surviving and fighting. This is all she wanted to do and it didn’t matter whether it was dangerous or not. What this does is reinforce Philip’s proclamation that it wasn’t about what you liked growing up because they grew up in a war ravaged and poor climate worlds away from where they are.

Danger still exists, but it is the cloak and dagger variety. Although it is worth noting that this season opened with a mugging turned murder in Philip’s flashback and a version of this has happened in the present; danger lurks beyond their work. The difference here being that it is Paige who is new to this killing business and she will also need therapy. EST probably is not the answer.

Elizabeth’s explanation works on a couple of levels as it deflects Paige from some of the more insidious answers she could give about the work they do (multiple murders for example) while also giving Paige the connection to her past and family that she craves. Elizabeth mentions how much she would love to go back home with Paige to see how much has changed and this is the first time Russia has been discussed by either Philip or Elizabeth in a way this season that hasn’t been tinged with the notion of having to return home as a last resort.The Americans 4.12 groceriesThrowing a spanner in the works is Philip having to leave for work during these conversations with Paige as it just prompts more questions they’re not inclined to answer. However, Paige keeps pushing and in these pauses Philip and Elizabeth do the wordless communicating with their eyes thing that is so incredibly effective; these silent agreements to tell Paige a little bit more coupled with the way each of them takes part of the info dump reinforces the notion that the Centre matched well when they paired Elizabeth with Philip. It doesn’t matter how much they differ in their opinions on matters such as the bio-weapon plan, when it comes down to their family they will present a united front. Luckily for them the op Philip is leaving for is William and not Kimmy and I’d love to see them explain away why he needs to go hang out with a 16 year-old and smoke pot.

Fear, intrigue and wonder all cross Elizabeth’s face as she watches Paige with Matthew; Paige is becoming exactly what the Centre wanted and yet there is something a little disturbing about seeing her in this role. Another place where the pauses are loaded with meaning is when Elizabeth tells Philip about what happened prior to the violent incident and this is the thing she can’t stop thinking about; Paige was reporting what Matthew had told her about Stan and Martha (Gabriel follows through on his promise to contact Martha’s parents to Philip’s satisfaction).

They don’t need Paige to spy on Matthew for them and they are concerned as to what her motivations here are especially as Elizabeth has witnessed a little bit of flirting between the pair. Little do they know that Paige just had her first ever (?) kiss with him and it is hard to read exactly what Paige is doing here as we do know she used to have a crush on him. Philip and Elizabeth are fine with her being friends with him or whatever (I would love to see exactly how they would be with Matthew if they start dating), but as long as it is on her terms and not for them. Paige is concerned about what Henry might have been saying to Stan and I’m with Paige on this one, particularly how they shut Henry out after the ‘mugging’ incident.The Americans 4.12 Henry and MatthewThis is where Paige really digs her heels in and she wants to know what Philip is doing beyond a meeting as she now knows they lied to her about the lack of danger. She has a point when she mentions that her mom killed someone in front of her and she might as well know everything, right? Well Paige, let me tell you a few stories. Regardless, they do relent and reveal the weapon part, but not the gory details of ‘squirting yourself out your anus in liquid form.’ The way Holly Taylor responds with “Great” to this secret is ultimate teen disdain and The Americans continues to get their teens so right.

What Philip doesn’t know is he is walking into a trap and so is William. William has been resistant to getting those codes ever since Philip and Elizabeth first approached him and his concern is about how fucked up this weapon is. William doesn’t want to be part of something that could cause this much death, but Gabriel works his Gabriel convincing magic laboring the points about home and duty.

The Americans 4.12 Philip and Gabriel

Philip is surprised that William was that easy to convince, but Gabriel knows what it feels like to be alone and he taps into that part of William we have been seeing. As with soaps like General Hospital it is “not logical, it is emotional.” Side note – there is nothing funnier this week than seeing Elizabeth trying to ‘get’ an American soap opera.

Connections are important and Elizabeth and Philip’s partnership is the rarity in this business of so many people working and ending up alone. No matter their differences they are the spy equivalent of #RelationshipGoals.The Americans 4.12 Elizabeth and Paige GHOleg has been grappling with his position and what this whole war means in a way that parallels William and the death of his younger brother has had a huge impact. When Tatiana jokes about killing half the population of the Eastern Seaboard he takes this joke seriously as he understands that while they have brilliant scientists they also have terrible resources.

One such example is the near missile miss when a glare of sunshine read as a weapon and here he sees himself as the steadfast hand that didn’t leap to conclusions. Oleg does what William cannot and warns their enemy of this bio-weapon plot putting Philip in danger of being caught. Philip knows that Stan hasn’t been home from work for two days and this might be vital in reading the William situation even if his instincts have been all over the place this year.The Americans 4.12 The VaultMail Robot comes into play in a secondary sting operation as the FBI discover a surveillance device within it and catch the person who has been switching out the tapes. The title of this week’s episode “A Roy Rogers in Franconia” is also where this woman met the so-called mobster who offered $500 a week to swap out the tapes and it sounds like the most run of the mill location there is. Just how they like to do these dead drops. The key is to not draw attention. While the William op takes precedent, a car with a video camera has been left to watch this drop and I’m worried about what might happen to Hans as he seems like the number one most likely person to take the fall for this.

Everything is amping up for next week’s season finale and it is incredible to think just how much has taken place this year from the first half of the season with Nina’s sad demise and the Martha conclusion to every development in Paige’s somewhat unintentional junior spy training. Feelings have come into play far more this season than any before it with Philip’s earlier spiral and Elizabeth’s new found vulnerability reinforce this idea that it is emotions and not logic that drive things. Even when you are a spy.

Shot(s) of the Week

The Americans 4.12 Oleg and Tatiana The Americans 4.12 olegThe Rezidentura set is great for a number of reasons including how it feels like a completely different country – which it kind of is – and the huge portrait of Lenin which pulls focus. In the first shot he stands over Tatiana’s shoulder and is the constant reminder of where this version of the USSR started.

Oleg is to the side of him in both these scenes and it suggests the resistance he is currently experiencing. He is feeling a duty to something bigger because of how shitty their resources are and there is real fear in his mind. I also love that he is using his coat in the first shot in such an expressive way that would imply he is also hiding an IRL bump (he is not).The Americans 4.12 Elizabeth fridgeSpeaking of which – best use of a kitchen appliance so far this season. Also A+ reaction face from Elizabeth as Matthew tells Henry how to hook the computer up to the TV.

Disguise of the Week

The Americans 4.12 PhilipOnly one disguise this week and it is Philip’s standard William attire as they don’t know when the surveillance teams will be on him and it really weirds me out how much this version of Philip looks like my dad in the 1980s.

Outfit I Would Wear in 2016The Americans 4.12 Elizabeth and PaigeI’m going the easy route this week with the classic plaid shirt and jeans option and once again the costume department is doing a terrific job in concealing Keri Russell’s bump. And not just with an endless supply of coats. Excellent wardrobe repeating with Paige’s choice of pajama shirt too.

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New Girl 4.12 “Shark” Review: “I am Woman, the Smartest Species of them All”

7 Jan

The construction work that led to the loft getting a landline earlier this season on New Girl is back to stir up a debate between Schmidt and Jess with regards to getting things done; Schmidt thinks palms need to be greased whereas Jess is all for friendliness and by the book actions. Appearances are not all they seem as Nick and Coach discover when Winston graduates from the police academy and they fret for his safety when they see the small stature of his training officer, Aly. They can’t quite figure out how the guy who paints cat bowls for not only his cat but his roommates – where is Ferguson? – isn’t going to get stabbed by a kid on the job and their attempts to protect their friend are both dumb and very sweet.

New girl 4.12 SchmidtThe shark versus dolphin approach is reminiscent of the Jess/Nick debate from “Landlord” back in season 1 when Nick argued there is always an ulterior motive for generous acts (on this occasion he was proven right as their landlord thought they were going to have a threeway – this is still one of my favorite episodes). The winner of this debate between Schmidt and Jess is vague in that Jess is successful in getting the night construction switched to the daytime; however she has to use some nefarious tactics for this victory. No palms are greased, nor does she send an envelope filled with fake blood and a note saying “I know” instead she targets one of Schmidt’s weaknesses with his vanity.

Earlier in the episode Schmidt frets about his new tailor and how his cuff lengths on his jacket are not quite right, so when Cece mentions his cuffs seem a little off right before he is meant to argue in favor of nighttime construction it throws him off in the exact way Jess predicted. Jess feels a little dirty for resorting to this manipulative tactic (after some awkward straw mouth missing gloating) but really Schmidt had failed with his attempt to get Councilwoman Fawn Moscato (played brilliantly by Zoe Lister Jones with a character who wouldn’t be out of place in Pawnee) on side. Moscato is the kind of woman who can get Schmidt to do her bidding as she’s a little bit mean and has all the power (much like his relationship with his boss in season 2); she manages to appeal to everything he’s turned on by. Have you ever seen Schmidt look happier or more puppy like than when he stuck his head out of the window after he took hairspray to the face?

Schmidt is even impressed with how Jess effectively used his insecurity against him and it adds validity to his shark argument. The highlight of Jess agitating Schmidt comes much earlier in the episode as she keeps invoking the word “bro” and when everyone else follows suit it becomes even funnier as Schmidt gets more wound up.

Jess does attempt to go through all the correct channels, first by filling in endless forms while Ryan gets bonkers horny on red wine. Followed by performing a speech with visual aids – the visual aid is Ryan dressed as a construction worker and he continues to be impossibly handsome – that lays out the argument in a succinct manner. It’s very Jessica Day. A quick word on Ryan and I am so glad he has become more than just the standard 3 episode arc love interest as he doesn’t feel out of place in this group, plus the aforementioned handsome. He is still pretty perfect and this might be a problem in the future as currently the only conflict comes from the forbidden aspect of their relationship, but at the moment I am really enjoying what Julian Morris is bringing to the show. We do learn that Ryan’s uncle was arrested for having sex with a dolphin and Cece’s reaction to this random piece of Ryan information is pretty much perfect as she is “having a lot of difficulty nailing” him down.

This is a good guest star week and Nasim Pedrad slots in nicely to the New Girl world taking no shit from Nick and Coach as they air their concerns about Winston’s new career. I can understand why they might worry for their friend after watching Winston’s crazy antics for the last few years (although I really need to see Evil Winston – flashbacks please!), but dudes don’t judge how badass a woman is by her stature because she will kick your ass. As is the norm there are a lot of very funny Winston moments this week with his crossword idea being high up there for me; “Who likes cats? Winston across.” There is a whiff of Let’s Be Cops to this plot which was going to happen at some point with this storyline and if that movie had been Nick and Coach trail Winston I would have been much happier.

New Girl Style Watch

New Girl 4.12 JessThis outfit is a twofer as Jess is wearing a super cute Eva Franco summer dress paired with a black blazer from J. Crew which is giving me all the Liz Lemon feelings right now.

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