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THE AMERICANS: “Safe House” S1E9 (review)

By Morayo Sayles

Oh my Lord, did The Americans bring it this week or what?  All kinds of things that never actually happened in shows happened and my mind is still reeling from the drama of it all!  The show kicked off with Phillip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Kerri Russell) announcing to the Paige (Holly Taylor) and Henry (Keidrich Sellati) that Phillip is moving out.

WHAT?! The kids are flabbergasted.  Henry internalizes his pain, while Paige basically lets her parents, or rather her mother, have it.  Then Phillip actually moves out.

I repeat, WHAT?! 

The next day the Jennings family attends the Beemans’ party where the little Jennings’ sit despondently alone and the adult Jennings’ mingle. Phillip and Elizabeth could not miss the opportunity to glean information from Stan’s (Noah Emmerich) work buddies. 

In a quiet room off to the side, Stan sits with his boss Agent Gaad (Richard Thomas), Chris Amador and some other FBI cronies.  Gaad tells the “boys” that he is planning to retaliate against the Russians and take out one of their own in an unsanctioned hit. He names Arkady (Lev Gorn), the Russian Resident as the target and Amador is immediately on board.  Stan balks at the idea of participating in unsanctioned activity and politely declines.  It was nice to see that Stan had a vein a decency that ran through him, a change from the douchebag (DB) I thought he was at the beginning of the season. 

That honor now goes to Gaad.  Gaad is the new official FBI DB. 

And the spy work continues as next we see Phillip performing his “Clarkly” duty by making Martha’s dreams come true with passion and then intimacy.  Since flipping from one emotionally compromising moment to the next could mess with the minds of even the best of us, the disastrous meeting between Phillip and Agent Chris Amador (Maximilano Hernandez) should have been expected, I guess…

Amador accosts Phillip as he is leaving Martha’s apartment, which then leads to Phillip goading Amador.  There’s a scuffle and then suddenly Amador is stabbed.  WHAT?! When I said two weeks ago that this was going to end badly for someone soon, I didn’t realize it was going to end that badly, that soon!!!

Phillip immediately takes Amador to one of the KGB safe houses and calls his partner in for help. Elizabeth shows up and while Phillip acknowledges that this could be a colossal mistake on his part, thanks to Martha’s tip-off about Gaad’s plan, the two agents realize that the life of a KGB operative is at stake and they decide to pump Chris for information. 

Meanwhile, Stan is loosing his mind as it has become clear that Amador’s disappearance is sinister in nature.  Stan calls Nina (Annet Mahendru) and demands she find out about Amador. Then he uses Gaad’s plan to abduct Arkady to abduct one of Arkady’s office members instead. He calls Arkady and bargains for Amador’s return.  Arkady of course has no idea what’s going on and begins the hunt for Amador.

Back at the safe house, Amador is growing weaker and finally names Arkady as a target, which prompts Elizabeth to call Soviet Residence using her secure code to ensure that all is well.  Everything is fine, but now there’s a link to the Jennings, albeit a long stretch of a link, but a link nonetheless and there’s still Nina the mole who would do anything for Stan, the way Martha would do anything for Clark. But that’s paranoid musings for another day.  By the time the two agents decide to take the gloves off and get more information from Amador, the resilient FBI agent expires.

Stan is consolable as he views his partner’s dead body where it was dumped and Agent DB Gaad vows to take it to the next level.  Things have taken a dark turn on The Americans.

Next week, the FBI is leaving no stone unturned and Phillip is in alone in a motel room, gun drawn as the FBI pounds on the door outside.

If things get any tenser, … I don’t know!

Things can’t get any tenser!

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