THE AMERICANS REVIEW: “Chloramphenicol”

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Airtime: Wednesdays at 10PM on FX
Episode: Season 4, Episode 4 (S04E04)

TB-TV-Grade-A-

Tweetable Takeaway: #TheAmericans lose one of their most loved characters  


If were the kind of people who believed in prayer, they’d pray for a Chloramphenicol miracle. This week’s show earns a minus grade for subtracting one of my favorite characters. I know this is the sort of thing we expect from good shows, but when they do it right, it really hurts…and this one caught me off guard. Philip and Elizabeth spend the episode in lockdown with William after being exposed to the bioweapon. William gave all of them a shot of a special antibiotic that might fight the Glanders. When Elizabeth gets sick, she considers what will happen to those she loves.

THE AMERICANS -- "Chloramphenicol" Episode 404 (Airs, Wednesday, April 6 30, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings. CR: Nicole Rivelli/FX

— “Chloramphenicol” Episode 404 (Airs, Wednesday, April 6 30, 10:00 pm/ep) — Pictured: Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings. CR: Nicole Rivelli/FX

Martha’s date with Agent Aderholt

This show is built on great characters and I hate to see when they’re mistreated. I don’t mean in the creative sense, the writers are masters of dramatic irony. Martha is just one of the great women on the show. She’s strong, selfless, and doesn’t like to hurt people. She has a lovely moment this week after Agent Aderholt asks her out for dinner. He is genuinely interested in her, but like all men in Martha’s life, he has an ulterior motive. Martha Philip to tell him about going on the date and ask for instructions about how to proceed, but she doesn’t hear from him in time to call it off. Stan Beeman sneaks into her apartment and searches for signs of treachery as she enjoys an awkward dinner with Aderholt. Martha admits she is dating a married man, but tells Aderholt it’s the most honest relationship she’s ever been in, as Stan makes his way through her drawers. Shame on Stan and Aderholt, but at least Martha lives until next week.

Scared straight

Paige feels guilty when Elizabeth to tell her they can’t return home for a few days and they have to cancel the Epcot trip. She immediately thinks her parents are off dealing with the consequences of her betrayal to Pastor Tim and his gossipy wife. Elizabeth starts to get sick later that night and gets worse as time goes on. Feeling the end is close, she tells Philip, if she dies, he is to raise the kids as Americans in the United States. Elizabeth and Gabriel both get better. Gabriel beats his exposure to the bioweapon; Elizabeth just had a reaction to the antibiotic. William advises they shouldn’t return to the apartment. Now, Elizabeth agrees with Philip, they need to call of the Pastor Tim hit and stay in the United States.

When they return home, they find a worried Paige. She lied about them being out of town on business when Stan came snooping around. Henry hardly noticed they were gone. He lost the weekend to his computer games. They all go out for a family fun night, bowling. Elizabeth really knows how sling balls and crush the pins, as if there was ever any doubt.

THE AMERICANS -- "Chloramphenicol" Episode 404 (Airs, Wednesday, April 6 30, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: Annet Mahendru as Nina Krilova. CR: Jessica Miglio/FX

— “Chloramphenicol” Episode 404 (Airs, Wednesday, April 6 30, 10:00 pm/ep) — Pictured: Annet Mahendru as Nina Krilova. CR: Jessica Miglio/FX

Nina’s life and death

Oleg travels to the USSR for his brother’s funeral, but he uses his time to lobby for Nina’s life. He turns to his father, a man with political connections for help. His father agrees to help if Oleg will agree to give up his post in America and return to the USSR where his grieving mother needs him. Oleg agrees, he’s do just about anything to help Nina out. Instead, Nina’s appeal is denied and her death sentence in carried out immediately in the basement of her prison, alone except for her heartless executioners. If the writers wanted me to feel like she deserved better, they nailed it. Oleg argues that Nina did everything that was asked of her, nothing could be truer. Both countries betrayed this beautiful woman, hopefully Oleg will dig deep and avenge her nasty, pointless death sentence.

Moving forward

Please, someone, get revenge for Nina. I need it now!

 TB-TV-Grade-A-

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Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.
Twitter: @etom2012

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