RECAP: 'The Americans' Series Premieres With Sex And Treason
The Americans, starring Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, is the much-anticipated FX drama series created by CIA agent-turned-screenwriter Joe Weisberg. The premiere episode takes us back to 1981 in Washington D.C. Ronald Reagan, recently elected president, makes the point of declaring the USSR an "evil empire." At a bar, a member of his Justice Department meets a flirtatious blonde and decides to take her back to a hotel room, all the while divulging government information to a Russian spy.
Elizabeth Jennings (Russell), the wigged KGB agent stealing secrets while giving oral sex to DOJ members, is not yet done working for the night. She pays her way into a men's bar bathroom to send signals to her husband Phillip (Rhys), who is conversing with fellow agent Rob about how to go about taking down skilled fighter Timoshev. The fight scene unfolds, leaving an injured Rob and a captured Timoshev. Having to take Rob to the hospital, the Jennings miss the drop for Timoshev and resolve to bind and gag him in their trunk.They pull into the garage of their home in a suburb of D.C. where they live as owners of a travel agency with their two young children, Paige and Henry.
Distressed over Timoshev's precarious presence on their property, the Jennings debate their next move. Wait for further instruction, or kill him on the spot? Elizabeth is arguing the latter option. As it turns out, Elizabeth and Timoshev have a history having trained together years ago – where sparring turned into rape. Philip ends up trying to take the matter into his own hands, deciding to turn Timonshev over to the U.S. authorities. Elizabeth catches him in the act, and moves to kill Timoshev. Philip stops her long enough to hear Timoshev apologize for hurting her, then crushes his windpipe himself.
After they dump Timoshev's body, Elizabeth affectionately kisses Philip which leads to post-murder car sex. When Elizabeth has to give her routine report to a Russian general, she's asked about Phillip's commitment to the mission. Refraining from mentioning his thoughts on defecting, Elizabeth reports that he is fully committed – saving her marital and business partner's life.
Next door to the Jennings moves in an FBI Agent (Noah Emmerich) whose last post involved embedding himself with Neo Nazis. Sensing something off about his neighbors, he decides to embark on a rogue investigation, searching for evidence of wrong doing in the Jennings' garage. Although he notes that their car matches the FBI's description of the one that was used to kidnap Timoshev, he can't find any clues that would stick. While he investigates, Philip hides in the shadows ready to take him down if need be.
The violence that closed the episode, however, was not due to KGB loyalty, but to the protective instincts of a parent. After witnessing an older man hit on his 13-year-old daughter earlier in the day at the mall, Philip disguises himself and pays the man a visit – stabbing him in the hand and crotch with a BBQ fork. — Chelsea Regan
Check out a promo for The Americans below:
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