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Let's Talk About FX's 'The Americans' Season 6, Episode 2

FX series The Americans returned last week for the premiere of their 6th and final season, and it delivered with grandeur that's made the series a highlight of television drama.

Seamlessly blending emotionally charged scenes with songs, reveals of newfound skills, and the ultimate protective mother move made s6e1 a highlight of the series, for me personally.

The Americans
Incredible season 6 "The Americans" promo art courtesy of FX

If you missed what happened last week, you can catch up here.

Season 6 episode 2 is titled "Tchaikovsky", and has some interesting implications after last week's reveal that Paige now perfectly understands Russian.  The official synopsis for this episode reads:

"Elizabeth targets an old source who could tip the balance of the upcoming summit as Philip deals with business at the travel agency; Stan learns an old friend is back in town."

Things that happened in The Americans s6e2:

  • The episode opens with a quick "previously on The Americans"
  • Elizabeth isn't even hiding the fact that she's smoking again
  • Stan is back at work, in a department he wants to leave, and he's been called somewhere immediately
  • The summit is happening, so most of the other agents in the department are gone, keeping an eye on the visiting Russians
  • Philip is hard at work at the travel agency, but you can tell he's distracted
  • Elizabeth has assumed one of her secret identities, and meets up with a previous contact in a library
  • They talk about the summit, about Gorbachev, and the treaty discussion
  • "Do you think Reagan is going soft?" Elizabeth asks
  • Stan is meeting with a Russian, but not for the reasons he thinks. Illa is complaining about his homelife, not any news.
  • Elizabeth is back in her nurses' persona, and her dying patient Erika is suffering, begging to be spared more pain. Erika is begging for it to end.
  • This goes with my theory that Elizabeth is going to use her cyanide tablet to help Erika
  • Back at Claudia's house, Elizabeth is told to keep the patient alive until after the summit, even though it's going against everything she's feeling
  • Elizabeth tells Claudia that if anything happens to her, that Claudia needs to finish with Paige. That she'd be good, that she'd be strong.
  • Philip and Elizabeth are talking about Paige's progress, that she's learning fast but made a mistake.
  • Paige is back on her stakeout, tailing Elizabeth's meeting with an Army general.
  • Elizabeth is requesting from him information, specifically a new lithium powered radiation sensor
  • Stan goes to the airport to meet a contact
  • Talking Heads "Slippery People" playing during the handover of intelligence via a sneaky bathroom sequence
  • Elizabeth gets herself through security into the State Department, where she is supposed to meet a contact in their cafeteria, and hopes she doesn't run into Stan
  • She makes it to her lunch date, but notices security searching for her other persona (she changed wigs to make it to her meeting)
  • Her contact tells her that Reagan is starting to lose focus while in the office, forgetting things, that there's talk he's going 'senile'
  • Paige asks Elizabeth if any of the people in their organization ever use sex to get information, and Elizabeth says no. It's the strangest birds and the bees discussion.
  • Elizabeth changes her mind, and puts it in situational sense, "if the information is vital"
  • Elizabeth goes to meet the General in the park, and he refuses to give her the sensor.
  • "If you don't give it to us, my people will expose what you did before. If you give it to us, you can retire, and we'll never come to you again."
  • Back at Erika's house, she gives Elizabeth an art lesson
  • Elizabeth goes to make her second connection with the General, who points a gun at her and cocks it. She assures him it's not too late, goes down on her knees, and begs the man not to shoot her
  • She tackles him, knocking him to the ground, and tries to wrestle the gun from him
  • He manages to get the gun to his mouth, and pulls the trigger, blowing the back of his head off
  • Paige comes running, and Elizabeth, covered in blood and brains, orders her back to the car.
  • The episode ends.

Ooooh man that trailer for next week. What's Paige going to see then?!

Join us next week for The Americans s6e3 on Wednesday.

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Mary Anne ButlerAbout Mary Anne Butler

Bleeding Cool News Editor Mary Anne Butler (Mab, for short) has been part of the fast-paced world of journalism since she was 15, getting her start in album reviews and live concert coverage for a nationally published (print) music magazine. She eventually transitioned to online media, writing for such sites as UGO/IGN, ComicsOnline, Geek Magazine, Ace of Geeks, Aggressive Comix (where she is still Editor-in-Chief), and most recently Bleeding Cool. 

Over the past 10 years, she’s built a presence at conventions across the globe as a cosplayer (occasionally), photographer (constantly), panelist and moderator (mostly), and reporter (always). 

 Interviews, reviews, observations, breaking news, and objective reporting are the name of the game for the founder of Harkonnen Knife Fight, a Dune-themed band with an international presence. 

 Though she be but little, she is fierce. #MabTheProfessional
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