If you thought the season premiere of The Americans was a wild ride, don’t expect the tension to let up this week. Based on a screener of this week’s episode, “Baggage,” the stakes continue to build and the complications deepen for Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell), as well as those around them.
And this episode of The Americans is definitely not for the squeamish. Be forewarned: there are mild spoilers ahead.
Last week’s episode of The Americans left off with a tragic end for their asset, Annelise (Gillian Alexy). She revealed to her target, Yousaf Rana (Rahul Khanna), that she was working undercover because she had fallen in love with him and vice versa, or so it seemed. With tears in his, Yousef strangled her, leaving him in a very pricey hotel room with the body of Annelise, the wife of a prominent Washington politician.
Philip has already told Yousef last week he would help him take care of this mess, turning him into a new asset, but he won’t be able to do it without Elizabeth’s help. While not messy in the sense of blood and gore, this particular cleanup will make you cringe on this week’s episode of The Americans.
The fate of Annelise brings up more tension between the Elizabeth and Philip over recruiting their daughter, Paige (Holly Taylor), into the fold, as it serves as a reminder of what can happen to those going undercover, particularly women.
The episode title refers to items that transport things, and we see some unconventional modes of baggage this week on The Americans. First, the disposal of Annelise. But also, the CIA and Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich) gain a new ally with a new Soviet defector to the United States, who is smuggled in via a rather unconventional method of transport.
Meanwhile, Stan is dealing with his own personal baggage and still trying to get his personal life in order after his separation from his wife and his affair with his asset, Nina (Annet Mahendru). Nina may be gone back to the Soviet Union, but she is far from forgotten, creating confrontation for the men she left behind. Or that let her go, to be more precise, in the last season of The Americans.
And Nina has some new developments in her Soviet prison, as she gets a cell mate this week.
Have you gotten on board with one of the most critically acclaimed shows on TV right now? If not, tune into The Americans Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. on FX.
[Photo courtesy Michael Parmelee/FX media site]