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Thread: The Americans ☭

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    Arrow The Americans ☭


    So how are we feeling about this show? I know a few of us are watching it and since the forum's been a little dead lately I thought I'd start a thread about it and try to get some discussion going.

    Are you enjoying the spy stuff? Do you want more character development or more secret agent spy stuff? Or do you think they're doing a good job keeping both at a pretty even keel? Do you feel yourself rooting for the Soviets to actually beat the Americans and then abruptly start feeling bad about it? Let's be honest, you are. We all are. It's okay. Is it kind of a cop out to literally have the FBI agent and Soviet spies literally living next door to one another and not know it? Is Keri Russel clearly the bigger badass and you just want her going around kicking everyone's ass even though they may not deserve it? Do you find yourself staring at her wardrobe, specifically her fabulous jackets, wondering where the hell you can find one just like it? And more importantly, how do you feel about Philips magical hair? :eyebrow: Love it or hate it?

    Feel free to answer any, all, or none of the above questions. And if you've only watched the first episode or are behind a few eppys, write your thoughts about it anyway. This isn't just an episode thread it's for the show as a whole so if you're having a non-spammy thought about the show, post away.
    Last edited by holypotatoes; 06-03-13 at 03:43 PM.
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    Yay! An Americans thread! I am surprised at how much i have taken to this show. Definitely a highlight of the week. I really like the blend of espionage revealing people's character's in little unexpected juicy morsels. I also enjoy seeing how greatly each Philip and Elizabeth differ in how they perceive Americans.

    Lol! I am so glad you mentioned Philip's hair! I love how these wigs make him look so different! Maybe it is because i didnt know the actor, but at first i thought he was a different person a couple times. That's fun for me that they have to make this low tech spy stuff work for them.

    I love the little things like regularly switching out license plates or old tech (walkie talkies, minicassete recorders, phones), or relying on coordinating with assets to have eyes on a scene or to create distactions.

    I also am intrigued by the exploration of gender roles in this time and business of espionage. For the most part women have to commit sex to get close enough to collect information. While men just have to be charming and create a hope of a future something. It is easy to not like Elizabeth for as hard as she is, especially compared to Philip's passion. But her backstory with the KGB breaking her down and dehumanizing her better explain her character. While her later reveal that she had found love with someone else while recruiting assets gave me sympathy with how alone and confused she must be. And it gave me relief that she does still have deep emotions. I really like how the relationship between her and Philip is starting even though they have been married with kids for 15 years.

    Elizabeth's jacket collection is awesome.

    It is awfully coincidental for the FBI agent to live across the street! But in DC, i expect a large population to be government employed. So maybe not that odd? On the other hand, the KGB chose that neighborhood for its picturesque quality of normalcy. While we later learn that the FBI agent is trying to rebuild his family in a new city. So maybe he chose it for the same reason, hoping the setting would help/hide the cracks in his family life.

    Lydia made the punch!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ehlwyen View Post
    While her later reveal that she had found love with someone else while recruiting assets gave me sympathy with how alone and confused she must be. And it gave me relief that she does still have deep emotions. I really like how the relationship between her and Philip is starting even though they have been married with kids for 15 years.
    Ya know, I'm really not that invested in the Philip/Elizabeth relationship. I was more intrigued in watching and learning more about Elizabeth and Gregory (the guy she was in love with/having an affair with). I don't know if that's because I'm not that interested in Philip or what, but I'd much rather have watched Elizabeth sneaking out of the house to meet Gregory and then over time have her start to fall for Philip. It just seems too easy for the writers to have her stop her relationship with Gregory like 3 episodes into their season in the same exact episode where we just met the guy. They could've at least given us some buildup to the moment. Not just "oh Elizabeth's been having an affair and they're in love. Alright now they're breaking up because she's falling for Philip." It's like WTF? Why not just keep her seeing Gregory and then each time they get together she starts feeling off/awkward about their relationship? Especially now that the show is getting a 2nd season already. They had time for a slow buildup between Elizabeth/Philip. And I know that having a slow buildup doesn't make sense since they're already a married couple, but if you've been in a marriage for 15 years and it's basically just been a job to you it's a little convenient to have Elizabeth just randomly change her tune overnight, literally.

    Plus Gregory was cuter than Philip.
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    Quote Originally Posted by holypotatoes View Post
    So how are we feeling about this show? I know a few of us are watching it and since the forum's been a little dead lately I thought I'd start a thread about it and try to get some discussion going.
    Yay for starting us off! Like Ehlwyen, I’m surprised how much I’m enjoying this show. It is both gripping (the spy stuff) and moving (the family and relationship stuff) and IMO it keeps a nice balance between the two, at least so far. I like that this show makes us root for characters and an ideology which I’m usually opposed to. It makes you feel rather conflicted while watching the show, which can be a very interesting experience, at least it is for me. Plus 80s music and fashion, what’s not to love?

    Are you enjoying the spy stuff? Do you want more character development or more secret agent spy stuff? Or do you think they're doing a good job keeping both at a pretty even keel? Do you feel yourself rooting for the Soviets to actually beat the Americans and then abruptly start feeling bad about it? Let's be honest, you are. We all are. It's okay. Is it kind of a cop out to literally have the FBI agent and Soviet spies literally living next door to one another and not know it? Is Keri Russel clearly the bigger badass and you just want her going around kicking everyone's ass even though they may not deserve it?
    I enjoy the spy stuff but since I always put character development over plot, I’m more interested in seeing the characters of Elizabeth and Philip fully explored. They can do (and have already done) a lot with flashbacks, giving us better insight into these characters and what made them want to become KGB spies. And of course through the spy stuff and how they approach certain situations, we also gain more insight into their characters. For example (as already discussed with Ehlwyen), I found it striking how differently Philip and Elizabeth viewed the American government in the episode of the Reagan assassination attempt. I was so confused when Elizabeth and the other Russians (except Philip) kept talking about a coup. Philip was the only one who understood something about American democracy and how a coup cannot happen in a democracy.

    I definitely prefer Philip to Elizabeth, although I gotta give Keri Russell props for playing such a completely different role from Felicity and still being believable. I just haven’t properly warmed up to Elizabeth yet (although I’m starting to), whereas Philip won me over pretty much in the pilot. I love that Philip is conflicted between his role as a KGB spy and his appreciation for the American way of life. I like that he doesn’t consider all Americans to be evil and that he recognizes that not everything in the US is bad.

    I’m also very interested in Stan Beeman’s storyline and character development. Something definitely got broken in him when he was undercover with those white supremacists for all those years. I cannot even imagine what they asked him to do. His marriage is starting to crumble, as evidenced in last week’s episode. I sympathise with his wife, it must be tough to be married to an FBI agent who goes undercover for years at a time. As for Stan living right across from the Jennings, yes the show asks us to suspend our disbelief a bit in this instance because it of course adds more drama and personally I’m fine with that. In addition, I have read on quite a few online forums from people whose parents were in the FBI that it is customary for FBI agents to live in the D.C. neighbourhood the Jennings live in (the name of which escapes me right now). So I guess the writers did not make everything up. I’m also rather curious how Stan’s relationship with Nina the mole will develop. In the last episode, there seemed to be more between them than usual, at least on Stan’s part. I just hope that the Russian embassy/the KGB does not discover any time soon that Nina is a mole. I’m afraid as to what will happen to her if they do.

    Anyway these are my 2 cents. I like that the show is complex and challenging and am looking forward to the rest of the season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cori View Post
    In addition, I have read on quite a few online forums from people whose parents were in the FBI that it is customary for FBI agents to live in the D.C. neighbourhood the Jennings live in (the name of which escapes me right now). So I guess the writers did not make everything up.
    Oh don't get me wrong. I don't find it unbelievable at all that there are FBI agents living in the suburbs away from the city to live a nice, normal quiet life. That's not weird to me at all. It's the happenstance that the KGB officers and FBI agent living next to one another that I kind of rolled my eyes at. It was just a little too convenient.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cori View Post
    Iím also rather curious how Stanís relationship with Nina the mole will develop. In the last episode, there seemed to be more between them than usual, at least on Stanís part. I just hope that the Russian embassy/the KGB does not discover any time soon that Nina is a mole. Iím afraid as to what will happen to her if they do.
    I have a feeling he'll start having an affair with her and his wife will inevitably find out that he's cheating on her. Then when she takes off with the kids to live somewhere else, or he gets kicked out of the house whichever one happens, he'll try to go back to the mole for solace or a place to sleep and find out she's been killed. That's what I'm guessing is going to happen anyway. I can't imagine things are just going to be peachy keen with everyone when we know he's starting to fall for this woman even though he's a married man in an unhappy marriage.


    As for my thoughts on the episode that aired last night 1x06:

    Spoiler:
    GREGORY!!!!!!!!!! :bananadance: He's back! And Elizabeth called him. They should have just gone back to his place instead of her just asking him for a favor and then taking off. She could have at least screwed the pain/frustrations away. I mean that would have ended her day with a better bang ( pun intended :nudge: ) than getting her car slammed into a tree and being beaten to a pulp. Why do you tease me show?! Just let Gregory/Elizabeth be happy dammit!

    Speaking of Elizabeth, she is such a bigger badass than Philip will ever be. I don't understand how he just let the guys snatch his ass up without even trying to fight back. I get that he had a bag over his head but he could've at least flailed a little bit. Or at least just be aware of his surroundings for pete's sake just in case something happens. Elizabeth's just in the kitchen chopping onions with her eyes watering when she feels her Spidey sense tingling. And she managed to at least kick one guys ass before she got blasted in the face with a lamp base. Philip needs to kick it up a notch. He's being overshadowed by his wife. Then she goes and beats the hell out of that Claudia chick when she found out the KGB had essentially double crossed her. As it was happening I was just like "hell yeah!" but as soon as Elizabeth started yelling about Claudia's face I started cackling. I don't know why I found it so funny but all I could think of is when I was like 10 and other kids would be saying "in yo face" as a sort of "now what?" response to stuff. IDK it was hysterical to me though.

    And burrrrrrn, to the ending of the episode when Elizabeth gave the jewelery to Philip. You just know it was a piece of jewelery that he had given her at some point during their marriage that had sentimental value. The pissed off look on her face when she handed him the box and his rolling of the eyes and scoffing was fabulous. I enjoyed this passive aggressive exchange of jewelery almost as much as I enjoyed their passive aggressive pouring of tea/coffee. Almost. This was for sure the best episode so far. Keep it up show.
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    I have only seen the first episode but I loved it! The premise is so interesting and I love the balance between the espionage and the family life. Both Philip and Elizabeth are great characters and, yay, some actual ass kicking! So many shows these days skimp on the action or just have really lame and hard to follow fight sequences, so I'm glad that the pilot was so action-heavy as well as had some great writing.

    The family stuff is very interesting. I love that Elizabeth loves her children but resents that they are growing up so, well, American, and that she doesn't see something in Philip until he kills on her behalf. I also love how Philip actually enjoys this about America and how he's growing more conflicted about his role in the KGB.

    The stuff with the FBI agent was also very intense and I can see that providing some great story lines in the future. Also, props to the show for including so many flashbacks straight away instead of dragging out the character's backstories.

    Great stuff! It's like a mix of Homeland and Alias! I will definitely be watching the next few episodes as soon as possible!
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    1x08 and 1x09 thoughts:

    Spoiler:
    I'm actually happy that Elizabeth and Philip have split up. Ever since they showed that Elizabeth was having an affair with Gregory and then in the same episode broke them up I've kind of felt like that was a cop out. Like how could she break up with Gregory with whom she was seeing for almost a decade and literally not have anything to do with him after that or not have any sort of pangs for him? It was just weird to me how fast all of that went so I'm not too surprised that when Liz/Phil tried to make things ~real~ between them that something would screw it up. Philip shouldn't have lied about sleeping with his ex. He knew that that wasn't going to sit well with Elizabeth which is why he didn't tell her, but she probably wouldn't have reacted as badly as she did if he was just honest with her. I mean it's not like either one of them don't sleep with other people; even if it is for their jobs most of the time.

    Also that FBI agent whose name I can never remember is going down a slippery slope. His partner goes missing and he starts breaking protocol. Now he's shooting the people he's supposed to be interrogating. Tsk tsk. I can see all of this coming back to bite him in the ass.
    Last edited by holypotatoes; 04-04-13 at 10:30 PM. Reason: spelling
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    I know people are watching this show. Why aren't any of you guys posting?


    1x10 thoughts:

    Spoiler:
    God dammit! Well there goes any chance of Gregory and Elizabeth living happily ever after! I am so mad about this. The only positive is that Philip wasn't the one to kill him. If he did I would've been DONE with him. I'm sure he would've loved to do it too. Kill his wife's lover; the man she actually cares about. I was surprised he didn't tbh. And I can't believe the KGB pinned the murder of Amador on Gregory. Not cool, KGB. Not cool at all. : pout:
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    I don't usually like espionage stuff, but I really like this show.

    My main problem, though, is that I don't feel any sympathy for the protagonists, and I want them to lose/be found out. I'm totally Team!Stan and Team!Fbi. LOL Well, I guess I don't dislike Philip. I wish he just quit KGB, but I don't think he could even if he wanted to. They'd kill him in a heartbeat.

    About 1x10
    Spoiler:
    Why would I care about Gregory? He was a traitor to his own country, and I find that more despicable than the spies who do what they do to serve their own country. Also, he had the chance to start a new life somewhere else, but he made his choice... so, good riddance!

    Also, Elizabeth can just go the f*ck off. She had a nerve going all "betrayed and scorned wife" on Philip and kicking him out of the house for sleeping with that woman a couple of episodes ago, when she's actually in love with another man and she cheated on Philip in the past. Hypocritical much? It's not like their marriage hasn't always been a marriage of convenience... Elizabeth just rubs me the wrong way, but I love Keri Russel in the role.


    How many episodes this season? 12?

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    This show gripped me more and more as the season progressed, which is a testament to how good it is, given that it is not my genre at all! I'm really going to miss it during this long hiatus!!!

    The season finale was good. I'm glad Elizabeth and Philip sort of reconciled, and I was moved by her "come home" in Russian, the first sentenced uttered between them in their native tongue (or not?? I don't remember other instances). It's like Elizabeth for once (and maybe for the first time in their fake marriage) was dropping the spy-persona to really communicate with Philip as people (and not KGB agents) and spouses.

    I'm intrigued by Nina's about-face. How is she going to keep this up?? Good luck, girl! Stan, open your eyes!!

    The final scene with Paige in the laundry-room... is she going to find out about her parents' secret life, or is this just a fake-out?? If she did, it would certainly shake things up and make things more interesting.

    What did everyone else think about the episode/season?? Will you be back for season 2??

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    Quite possible the best show on TV last few years! everything about it. Can't wait to see how it all plays out this finale season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HowiMetdaSlayer View Post
    Quite possible the best show on TV last few years! everything about it. Can't wait to see how it all plays out this finale season.
    I'm sure I've said this before, but I'm hoping they go forward in time to the fall of the Berlin Wall. I think that would be interesting to see how they handle the fall of their country, they'd lose their 'handlers' and we'd see how Paige gets on being a baby-spy
    Never much cared for picket fences, anyway. Bloody dangerous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    I'm sure I've said this before, but I'm hoping they go forward in time to the fall of the Berlin Wall. I think that would be interesting to see how they handle the fall of their country, they'd lose their 'handlers' and we'd see how Paige gets on being a baby-spy
    Season 6 is supposed to be taking place in 1987.
    You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
    Season 6 is supposed to be taking place in 1987.
    I think that was a pretty interesting year in Soviet history, with Glasnost and Gorbachov, it's the start of the end of the USSR.
    Never much cared for picket fences, anyway. Bloody dangerous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    I'm sure I've said this before, but I'm hoping they go forward in time to the fall of the Berlin Wall. I think that would be interesting to see how they handle the fall of their country, they'd lose their 'handlers' and we'd see how Paige gets on being a baby-spy
    Great minds...Had this idea back in season 1. That would be really kool! I'm all for a fast forward. They been stuck in 84 for a while there.

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    The final season starts tonite!

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    I don't know when I'll get to watch it, but I'm looking forward to it
    Never much cared for picket fences, anyway. Bloody dangerous.

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    It was awesome! Looks like the final season's going out with a bang!

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    That premiere was so full of new developments and building up tension for the season. Elizabeth constantly looking at and clutching that necklace with the pill doesn't bode well.
    You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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    Why doesn't Philip just pull Liz aside and tell her about his 'mission'?

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