THE AMERICANS REVIEW: “Travel Agents”

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Airtime: Wednesdays at 10PM on FX
Episode: Season 4, Episode 7 (S04E07)

TB-TV-Grade-B

Tweetable Takeaway: #TheAmericans &the FBI both search for Martha while the KGB book her a flight to Russia with a deadly companion


Oleg and Tatiana, the Russian “Travel Agents” at the Rezindentura, squeeze all their contacts to book Martha a flight out of country, as appear to be losing another great character. Yeah, I’m tense, still upset about that whole Nina execution episode. This seems to be a trend on right now. In a world where Castle loses Beckett, anything can happen. Martha isn’t the only one on the chopping block, I feel like we’re about to lose Frank Gaad too.

On the other hand, The Americans have the best writing staff in the business and I’m sure they have my emotional state right where they want it.

THE AMERICANS -- "Travel Agents" Episode 407 (Airs, Wednesday, April 27, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: (l-r) Matthew Rhys as Philip Jennings, Alison Wright as Martha Hanson. CR: Eric Liebowitz/FX

— “Travel Agents” Episode 407. CR: Eric Liebowitz/FX

Sorry Martha, you didn’t deserve this

Philip, Gabriel, and Elizabeth are trying to get to Martha before Stan and the FBI pick her up. It can’t possibly end well for her. Best-case scenario, she dies in a plane crash. Next best, the FBI catch her, make a deal with her (unlikely,) and she spends the rest of her life hidden away and lonely. Next best, the KGB exfiltrate her to Russia where she spends the rest of her days celebrated, but lonely. This seems pretty likely. There’s also the wild card where she’s written off the show in some dramatically savage fashion.

Philip could have gone easier on Martha too. Elizabeth advises him to promise he’ll join her at some point in the future, to give Martha something to hope for. When she asks how long before she sees him again, he delivers his crushing answer. She’s set up to leave for Russia in the morning and she’ll never see him again. That said, she isn’t going to be flying alone. It looks like Tatiana booked the infected dead-rat carrying the bioweapon on the same flight. It’s always something.

Martha takes Frank with her

This week the FBI investigation into Martha’s life is fully resourced. The more they learn, the worse the security for Frank. For instance, they find out she married a KGB spy. Frank sees it clear as day; the leader of the FBI counter-espionage division employed a woman that married a KGB spy. This is the 80’s, you get fired for that sort of thing back then. If it happened these days, he might spend a few days in the news cycle or a few hours answering questions to lazy public officials, but he’d end up okay; probably a book deal and a promotion. Tick-Tock Frank, it doesn’t look good.

THE AMERICANS -- "Travel Agents" Episode 407 (Airs, Wednesday, April 27, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: (standing, l-r) Cotter Smith as Deputy Attorney General, Noah Emmerich as Stan Beeman, Richard Thomas as Agent Frank Gaad; (seated, right) Brandon J. Dirden as Agent Aderholt. CR: Eric Liebowitz/FX

— “Travel Agents” Episode 407 (Airs, Wednesday, April 27, 10:00 pm/ep) CR: Eric Liebowitz/FX

Stan on the other hand, he’s got a big ol’ pair of FBI’s he isn’t afraid to drop on his boss’s boss. When the Deputy Attorney General for the United States tries to tell Stan how to use his source in the Rezidentura, Stan just says, “No.” It’s a beautiful moment for clock punchers everywhere when you refuse the big guy up stairs.

Where does the grade come from?

There’s no science to the grade. Sometimes it’s based on the sheer quality of the show and sometimes it’s based on the quality of the show in relation to others in the race. The Americans is a great show; the actors are fantastic and the storytellers are wizards. In this case the “B” is only because I felt another show beat it in the race. The name of that show rhymes with The Might Nanager. Nothing wrong with a little competition.

 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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