Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Americans S2x03 "The Walk In"

I turn my attention to the third episode of the second series of The Americans, which is the latest to air on Saturday in the UK. There are spoilers here!

The Americans is consistently proving that it is one of the best shows on TV right now. Its dark, atmospheric, interesting subject matter and unpredictable plot make it compulsory viewing – it’s one of the best period dramas that I’ve had the pleasure of viewing and certainly among the best US import to air on freeview UK TV – much like the previously reviewed Person of Interest & Brooklyn Nine-Nine, of which the next episode airs in the UK on Thursday.

The Walk In is another incredibly strong episode in a series that has already given us three excellent choices so far. We get a great use of a music montage to end this episode – pulling off a fantastic ending to an episode that has really cemented this show as one of my favourites on TV. It’s just that good, and makes compulsory viewing each Saturday night (even if I had to record this one and watch it on Monday).

This time around, the plot with Paige investigating is moving forward as she goes to visit “Aunt Helen”. In most shows I tend to get annoyed by the kid character that always seems to crop up – with a few exceptions – Game of Thrones among them, but the way that they handled Paige here was pulled off well indeed, mainly thanks to some quality writing that keeps the viewer invested in her adventures – she’s actually using her brain, and the danger of either child finding out about the covert operations that Elizabeth and Phillip take part in further adds to the tension that’s already there from the respective storylines of Elizabeth, Phillip and Stan.

The two Jennings take a trip to a warehouse working in conjunction with Stan’s investigations and pursuit of a would-be-Assassin and Vietnam War Vet Bruce Dameran. These threads work in perfect harmony with Paige’s storyline and allow for a compelling watch, and the storyline whilst not being the fasted moving plot ever, does move along at a considerable rate. The mid-60’s flashbacks also are added, where we get several insights to not only Elizabeth’s friendship with Leeanne, but also the early relationship between both main characters – Elizabeth and Phillip, and how far it’s progressed.

This was a good episode for Elizabeth, as it managed to portray her on two extremes – at her calmest, and also at her scariest. The warehouse scene was handled very well and we never knew whether she was going to kill Derek or not, a person who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Again, there weren’t really any major problems that I had with this episode of The Americans – even the muddled section of Stan’s storyline didn’t really throw me off that much. It remains a consistently good television series and great viewing each time it comes on, and each time it makes me itching for next week’s episode.


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