THE AMERICANS Review: “Persona Non Grata”


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Airtime: Wednesdays at 10PM on FX
Episode: Season 4, Episode 13 (S04E013)


Tweetable Takeaway: FBI agents bust William, attack Arkady, and close in on #TheAmericans

are in deep trouble when Paige falls in love with the boy next door and William dies muttering about the family no one would ever suspect in “Persona Non Grata.” This season finale broke my heart because it seems to signal the end for a couple of great characters. On the other hand, it introduced an utterly diabolical dilemma engine. His name is Mischa and he’s Philip’s radical, Soviet, love child.

THE AMERICANS -- "Persona Non Grata" Episode 413 (Airs, Wednesday, June 8, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: (l-r) Dimiter D. Marinov as Fyoder, Alex Ozerov as Mischa. CR: Ali Goldstein/FX

— “Persona Non Grata” Episode 413 (Airs, Wednesday, June 8, 10:00 pm/ep) — Pictured: (l-r) Dimiter D. Marinov as Fyoder, Alex Ozerov as Mischa. CR: Ali Goldstein/FX

This guy has the real potential to be a arrow through the heart. What if Elizabeth or the Center see him as a threat? What if he’s a threat to Paige and Henry? We already know Philip has no love for his . He’s always blabbing at EST about how much his choice sucks. Now, Mischa, the Afghan war veteran that’s been out demonstrating against the war is looking for his father. Here’s another interesting wrinkle, Mischa seems to have little love for the motherland, what if he reaches out to the FBI or CIA. This kid is capable of Hulk-like emotional destruction for the fifth and sixth season.

The finale teased more trouble on the love front. Paige and Matthew Beeman have been getting closer and closer. This week, they watch the Super Bowl. Matthew may not have scored, but he certainly made a play for second base. Stan walked in on them when he returned from work late. He thought it was kind of cute but Philip sees it completely differently. It isn’t just that Paige is the girl in the scenario. William was captured by the FBI and may have given them information that could lead to the Jennings. Philip and Elizabeth could conceivable have to take out Stan. This would be much trickier if she loved his son.

William infects himself with the virus when he gets caught. This puts a ticking clock on how long they’ll be able to hold him for interrogation. He’s going to die pretty quick and nasty ugly. Stan and Aderholt put their questions aside and just try talking to him. William doesn’t give them anything useful. He’s lonely, wished he could have done things differently. Towards the end, he mentions a pretty woman, a lucky man, and two kids no one would ever suspect. Gabriel knows William is captured, but doesn’t know if he talked. He recommends the Jennings pack their things and wait at a safe house for the KGB to exfiltrate them back to the U.S.S.R.

They both appear shocked at the idea and have a difficult time seeing their kids in Russia. For Philip, the issue seems clear, where will Paige and Henry be safe? For Elizabeth, it’s more complicated. She’s devoted her life to serving the U.S.S.R., but she doesn’t seem very anxious to return anymore. That’s right, the enemies of our state don’t even want to leave the states.

THE AMERICANS -- "Glanders" (Airs, Wednesday, March 16, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: Lev Gorn as Arkady. CR: Eric Liebowitz/FX

— “Glanders” (Airs, Wednesday, March 16, 10:00 pm/ep) — Pictured: Lev Gorn as Arkady. CR: Eric Liebowitz/FX

“Persona Non Grata” also teased the end of a few great characters. Oleg puts in for a transfer to Moscow so he can spend time with his mother. He’s a good son. Arkady agrees at first, but then he gets papers from Frank’s successor, Agent Wolfe, to leave the country within 24 hours. Tatiana takes charge temporarily, but this could mean the end of Arkady for season five, and possibly Oleg. Both of these guys bring gravity to the Soviet wing of the show, I always figured they deserved more time on screen, maybe even a spin off. Now, it looks like they’re being optioned out. It breaks my heart to think about it, but that’s why the team at The Americans is so great. They create, control the pace, and pull the strings; they’re the best in the business. If this is the end for Oleg and Arkady, farewell guys, you were at the heart of the best-written show in the golden age of television. Mission accomplished.



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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