THE AMERICANS Review: “Munchkins”

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Airtime: Wednesdays at 10PM on FX
Episode: Season 4, Episode 10 (S04E010)

TB-TV-Grade-B

Tweetable Takeaway: Alice threatens outing #TheAmericans when Pastor Tim disappears in Ethiopia


continue a season of heavy drama with “Munchkins.” This season has had a much darker mood. William, the character played by Dylan Baker, operates under constant, pressure, doubt, and regret. As the season progresses, everyone gets infected by his disposition and paranoia. Paige and Alice are the latest to catch the bug. There are only three episodes left to season four and everyone on both sides of the curtain feel the strain of living in dangerous times.

THE AMERICANS -- "Munchkins" Episode 410 (Airs, Wednesday, May 18, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: (l-r) Suzy Jane Hunt as Alice, Holly Taylor as Paige Jennings. CR: Patrick Harbron/FX

— “Munchkins” Episode 410 (Airs, Wednesday, May 18, 10:00 pm/ep) — Pictured: (l-r) Suzy Jane Hunt as Alice, Holly Taylor as Paige Jennings. CR: Patrick Harbron/FX

Missing in Ethiopia

Alice is nine months pregnant when she hears the news her husband, Pastor Tim, is missing in Ethiopia. When she turns to the State Department for help, they inform her Ethiopia is under communist rule. Immediately, Alice thinks the Jennings’ had her husband kidnapped because he found out they were KGB. She storms over to the Jennings house with accusations and threats. Alice claims she gave a tape to a lawyer friend with instructions to turn in over to the Department of Justice if anything ever happened to her or her husband.

Paige amps the doubt, but Elizabeth and Philip assure her they had nothing to do with it. When Paige isn’t around, Philip wonders if maybe the center did orchestrate the disappearance. However, they do explain the repercussion of the threat is exfiltration from the United States. Paige flips out just thinking about moving to Russia. It appears to be the first time she considered the consequences of her actions. Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Philip ask Gabriel to see if they have any people in Pastor Tim’s area that could help look for him.

Eventually, a search party finds Pastor Tim. He ran out of gas, abandoned his jeep, and got lost when he took off on foot. Alice apologizes and so does Paige.

Elizabeth regrets losing her friendship with Young Hee over their next mission. She keeps up her tough façade until Gabriel offers to pursue another way in. Elizabeth asks him to look into it. It’s really the first time we say her make a move, purely out of self-interest. She’s the toughest character on the show and now she’s showing cracks. Philip has always enjoyed more emotional range because he could count of Elizabeth’s strength, the question is, what is she capable of during a moment of weakness.

THE AMERICANS -- "Munchkins" Episode 410 (Airs, Wednesday, May 18, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: (l-r) Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings, Frank Langella as Gabriel. CR: Craig Blankenhorn/FX

— “Munchkins” Episode 410 (Airs, Wednesday, May 18, 10:00 pm/ep) — Pictured: (l-r) Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings, Frank Langella as Gabriel. CR: Craig Blankenhorn/FX

Disaster in Thailand

Frank Gaad is killed while on vacation in Thailand. It’s more of an accident than a hit. Russian approach Frank in his hotel room. They say the just want to talk. I’m curious what they had to say. Were they going to offer him money for consultation or possibly confirm doubts about Oleg and Stan? Frank doesn’t want to hear it, he runs, bumps into one of them and smashes out the sliding glass doors. He bleeds out and dies in a minute, before his wife returns from the lobby. It will be interesting to see how this changes Stan and Oleg’s relationship on both personal and professional levels.

Arkady knows Frank brought balance to a delicate equation. His retirement is one thing, his martyrdom will bring unexpected stress to all their operations. Tatiana confesses she works for Department 12, the secret KGB bio threat division to Oleg. She asks him to bring a female computer expert form Russia to support one of their operations. Oleg also doubts his place in this world and may not accept Frank’s death as an accident.

 TB-TV-Grade-B

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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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