THE AMERICANS Review: “The Soviet Division”


THE AMERICANS complete their fifth season in top form with drastic revelations about “The Soviet Division.” There was a brief moment where I was willing to think Tuan only sounded evil, he wasn’t actually evil, but “The Soviet Division” drained any doubt or hope I had for him. No one answers the door when Philip and Elizabeth arrive at the Morozov’s to stop Pasha from going through with Tuan’s suicide scheme.

The Morozov’s arrive as Philip is about to break in. They play it cool and Tuan runs upstairs where he finds Pasha on a blood-soaked mattress. He wrote the note, cut his wrists, and lost a lot of blood. Philip does his best, keeps pressure on the wound while Evgheniya calls 911 and Alexei runs out to get the CIA surveillance guy to help too. They rush Pasha to the hospital in time to save his life. Tuan’s evil scheme delivers the desired result. Evgheniya decides to return to Russia with Pasha. Alexei won’t return with them. Philip does his best to convince Alexei his family will need him, but Alexei is positive he’ll spend the rest of his life in jail if he returns.

Tuan files a report about the success of the operation but Philip’s behavior nearly blew it in the end. Elizabeth has a one on one session with Tuan about “the life.” I thought she was going to kill him. Instead, she warned that he wouldn’t make it alone. He needs a partner and he should ask his people to find one for him. Pasha didn’t die and Elizabeth didn’t kill Tuan, but I bet she came close.


The FBI gives Sofia’s fiancé, Bystrov, a lie detector test to vet his intentions. He passes with flying colors, which means Stan has an ongoing operation to look forward to for the next few years. Sofia’s happiness motivates him to consider his own life. Renee moves in for a couple months after her apartment floods. Stan tells her he’s considering asking his boss for a transfer to another department, Counter Intelligence makes him “feel shitty” and he doesn’t want to feel shitty anymore. It’s a powerful scene, Stan speaks for Philip and Oleg as well. Renee’s response is surprising. She supports Stan but suggests his department may be in great need of an agent with his moral compass. It’s true but hard for me and Stan to hear. At some point, every soldier wants to come home, it sucks when the queen of the castle tells you to walk it off and get back out there.

Claudia tells Philip and Elizabeth to let her know when they decide to exfiltrate. They have a very brief discussion about the logistics. Tell the kids they’re taking a vacation to Europe, but don’t tell Henry where they’re ultimate destination is until they’re at the Iron Curtain. They think it will work and decide it’s time to pack up.

THE AMERICANS -- "The Soviet Division" -- Season 5, Episode 13 (Airs Tuesday, May 30, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: Holly Taylor as Paige Jennings. CR: Patrick Harbron/FX

Henry comes home with great news. St. Edwards accepted him with full scholarship. Philip says he won’t allow him to go, “this family stays together.” It’s a brutal reversal for Henry to hear and it doesn’t go well. Elizabeth takes count of everything they must leave behind, all the comforts of living as Americans, she says she’s ready, but she’ll be giving up most of her shoe collection.

Russian life is tough on Martha, the loneliness is killing her. Gabriel asks the KGB to help and her language instructor takes her to an orphanage to meet a young girl, Olya. Young Olya needs a good home and loving mother. Martha deserves happiness and she’d make a great mother. I don’t know if she’ll end up with Olya, but the KGB is on the right track to making things right.

The last major of the season happens when Philip visits Kimmy to hang with her friends and exchange the recording device he hid in her father’s briefcase. He tells her he might be leaving the States for a new in Japan. Kimmy takes the news hard, but he assures her she’s going to do great in life, she doesn’t need him.


Philip pours over the twenty hours of recordings at home. He discovers Kimmy’s father discussing a recent promotion to the head of the CIA Soviet Division. This would be a huge score for Philip and Elizabeth if they had decided to stay. Philip takes the recording with him for a drive and considers throwing in into the river. Instead, he takes it home to see what Elizabeth thinks he should do. Elizabeth thinks they have to turn it in. She knows he wants to leave, the is ripping him apart, but she can’t turn her back on this . Elizabeth suggests he reduce his operations to just Kimmy and running the while she takes care of their other spy operations alone. Philip knows she’s going to need him.

Just when he decided to get out, he gets pulled right back in. This is the beginning of the big crack between Elizabeth and Philip. I think the final season will be about the war between them more than anybody else. One will chose country and the other will chose family. Then one will chose the kids over everything else, or not. I know this show will go out on something fantastic.

Season 5, Episode 13 (S05E13)
The Americans  airs Tuesdays at 10PM on FX

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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.
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