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The Second Generation, The Americans “Echo” 

Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/FX
Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/FX

Warning: Major spoilers from the episode discussed

Larrick was only interested in Jared as a means to an end – the end of Philip and Elizabeth. After the deaths of his comrades, Larrick was determined to make the Jennings’ pay. He found and killed Kate, which put him a step closer to his prey. Then he tracked Jared and eventually found the Jennings. I’ll admit it: I was genuinely terrified. I had no idea how Philip and Elizabeth were going to get out of this. And it seemed like Larrick would probably want to torture them, so I thought it was gonna get bloody and gross real quick. So when Jared had a gun on him, I was surprised. And after Jared was shot and started his verbal diarrhea (kind of a gross visual, but apt I think), I was confused. It was clear that his quick actions saved Philip and Elizabeth. It was clear that Kate had been meeting Jared – without a disguise – for quite some time. It was clear Kate made promises to him to entice him into working for the Centre. It was clear that he killed his parents and sister. But it wasn’t until Claudia spelled it out for the Jennings’ (and for us), that I understood what Jared truly was. And you’ve got to admit it’s kind of genius.

Because the illegals would never be able to pass the extensive background tests, they’d never be able to work for organizations like the FBI or CIA. But think of the wealth of information they’d have access to if they were agents. The children of the illegals are born here so they’re citizens. Essentially they just need to be “read in” and they can start their work for Mother Russia. Jared was a second generation, but it’s clear his parents didn’t want him to have any part of that life. But Jared went behind their backs and did it anyway. When they found out, they became a problem that had to be eliminated. With Jared no longer in play the Centre now has its sights set on Paige and Philip and Elizabeth want no part of that. They don’t want Paige exposed to that life; she’s already in so much danger as it is. Philip puts his secret identity and his life at risk to tell Arkady Ivanovich to stay away from his daughter.

Photo Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/FX
Photo Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/FX

But Paige is rebellious and looking for a cause. She told her parents she needs to be part of something larger. She wants something to fight for. It doesn’t seem like she’s in any real danger of becoming a religious fanatic, but she does admire that Jesus gave his life for his beliefs, for the greater good. She’s got some serious fire in her and she needs more of a purpose than she has now. I think it’s interesting that both Philip and Elizabeth were so resistant to the idea at first. Paige’s future is up to them, not the Centre. I think it’s even more interesting that Elizabeth now sees some merit in the idea. I can’t imagine involving a child in what Elizabeth and Philip do, but it’s such an intriguing problem – on a philosophical level. It’s a fascinating “what if” game. I wonder if Elizabeth will be able to bring Philip around on this idea. I wonder if Paige will accept what her parents are and want to be a part of this fight. I wonder what the Centre will do to make this idea more attractive to Philip and Elizabeth. I wonder how it will affect their family if Paige becomes a second generation. I wonder how it will affect Paige. It’s such a “big” idea and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out next season.

Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/FX
Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/FX

Is this really the end of Nina Sergeevna?

I couldn’t believe Stan was going to betray his country for her – even after he wore whatever that device was into the vault at the Pentagon, even after he talked to Arkady about whether or not Nina would be released after he did this, even as he sat down on that bench and left something behind for the Russians to retrieve. I know Stan loves her and now that his wife has left him, it seemed like he’d hold on tight to the one woman who seemed to love him back. Even though I couldn’t believe it, I still kind of expected him to do it. But what really shocked me was Nina and Oleg’s goodbye. I was not enjoying their storyline very much. I thought Oleg was a spoiled little rich boy and I was pretty offended at how he tried to circumnavigate Arkady earlier this season. But I found myself really moved when Oleg went to visit Nina. I love that there was so much that had to be left unsaid. I loved how they looked at each other. It was just really well played and I had hoped she’d use that money and run. She didn’t (or couldn’t) and I worry what awaits her back in Russia.

Season 3 of The Americans returns in 2015.

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