Airtime: Wednesdays at 10PM on FX
Episode: Season 4, Episode 11 (S04E11)
Tweetable Takeaway: Elizabeth does her thing, breaking hearts and cutting throats on #TheAmericans
THE AMERICANS serve up a lamb to Pastor Tim and Alice but deal with unexpected guests in “Dinner for Seven.” The writing on this show is ridiculous; these people are masters of their craft. There needs to be a whole new type of awards show for television. The Emmy’s do a great job of acknowledging effort and execution. A writer can be nominated for an episode, an actress for her portrayal in a lead, supporting, or guest actress role. Still, we need to go beyond that. There should be a show where best characters are recognized.
Elizabeth brings home the bacon
Elizabeth Jennings is the best character on television. She’s written, costumed, and executed on a level above all other characters on television, and I sat that in full acknowledgment of all the other great characters on television. Someone might argue, “What about Sarah Manning on Orphan Black, Jennifer Goines on 12 Monkeys, Cersei or Tyrion Lannister?” Good point, we need a venue to acknowledge these fantastic dramatic creations, but first, more about Elizabeth.
She’s warm and cold blooded, in full control of her tap. A few weeks ago, she convinced Don they had sex. This week she convinces him she’s pregnant. Then, Philip and Gabriel (and his plus one) convince Don she committed suicide and want him to pay for it. At the same time, she cooked a family dinner for all the Jennings’, Pastor Tim, and his pregnant wife. Then, Henry invites Stan in when he shows up unannounced to drop off a VHS copy of Silver Streak.
Elizabeth fries it up in the pan
That would be a lot for any character leading a series but she isn’t done yet. She picks up Paige from a shelter where she preps food for homeless and they get attacked in the parking lot by a greedy A-hole and a pervy D-bag. That’s like attacking Jaws or a T-1000 (or two T-800’s). Of course one of the attacker gets his own knife jammed back up into his neck and Paige gets away unharmed. There is something utterly satisfying about watching her shred her targets.
“Dinner for Seven” isn’t all about Elizabeth. Stan meets up with Oleg and lays his feelers on the table. He doesn’t think they should see each other anymore. It isn’t anything Oleg did, he thinks he’s a great guy and all, but Stan needs to work on Stan and it wouldn’t be fair.
Meanwhile, Stan’s new bestie, Agent Aderholt uncovers an interesting wrinkle in the Martha/Frank connection. He discovers an incident with the mail robot. When he digs deeper, he finds a report about the 911 call from the mail robot repair facility. That’s a reference to the Critics’ Choice Nominated episode “Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep,” which featured another great one on one for Elizabeth and earned a nomination for guest star Louis Smith.
There are just two episodes left for the season, and two seasons left for the show. A plea to FX about The Americans at home experience. This show deserves a Bluray release with commensurate supplemental material. Stop cheating the audience or the achievement of the cast and crew.
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.
Eric Rodriguez | Contributor