'The Americans' on FX HD - Page 42 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1231 of 1245 Old 03-21-2015, 08:56 AM
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Nina is a calculating triple agent (once KGB, once FBI, then KGB again) who has used her wiles and charms more than once. Even a dedicated scientist can be prey. Plus I don't see her going back to prison for 10 years because it renders her character useless.
I agree. Nina has long since become adept at using her beauty, charm, and sexual wiles to get what she needs from men. In short, she is a gifted courtesan. Nina has been playing the double game for some time and gets better at it as she goes along. Despite her no win situation, which resulted in her being recalled to Russia and jailed, she has done a remarkable job of avoiding disaster.
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post #1232 of 1245 Old 03-24-2015, 05:15 AM
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Another strong episode, but aren't they all? The "necklacing" was just.... brutal. But that stuff happened, and is still happening. Growing up in an oppressive system can create an entirely different value system; something that is hard to acknowledge in the "civilized" world. The Afrikaners were pretty hard-core, as we saw with the agent who was willing to die in such a horrible manner, and so became the people they oppressed.*

Philip & Elizabeth continue to hang onto their humanity by their fingernails, though. Their willingness to spare the young student may, however, come back to haunt them later. In this show, seemingly no act, benign or brutal, seems to occur without consequences.

Poor Martha. Can't see a scenario at this point where this ends well for her. Terrific job by that actress (Alison Wright) conveying all those complex emotions. What will happen to Philip's soul if he has to plug that leak (no pun intended)?



*For those who enjoy such things, there's an interesting little alternative history/sci-fi novel by Harry Turtledove called The Guns of the South I read years ago. The plotline is what would happen if some of these hard-core Afrikaners were able to travel back in time to give Robert Lee's confederate army modern AK-47 rifles during the latter days of the Civil War. The point being, if the South had won the war and established a separate nation, it could have provided apartheid-ruled South Africa with a powerful natural ally in the coming century and possibly ensured its survival.

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post #1233 of 1245 Old 03-24-2015, 03:56 PM
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Agreed. Never in my wildest imagination did I think I'd ever see John Boy lash out at a robot.
Speaking of John-Boy and not to get off topic but if any of you liked the Waltons go catch it on the Hall Mark Channel in HD, just spectacular.
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post #1234 of 1245 Old 03-24-2015, 05:47 PM
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*For those who enjoy such things, there's an interesting little alternative history/sci-fi novel by Harry Turtledove called The Guns of the South I read years ago. The plotline is what would happen if some of these hard-core Afrikaners were able to travel back in time to give Robert Lee's confederate army modern AK-47 rifles during the latter days of the Civil War. The point being, if the South had won the war and established a separate nation, it could have provided apartheid-ruled South Africa with a powerful natural ally in the coming century and possibly ensured its survival.
I was never much of a fan of Harry Turtledove's alternative history novels but did read and like The Guns of the South.
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post #1235 of 1245 Old Yesterday, 05:51 AM
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I was never much of a fan of Harry Turtledove's alternative history novels but did read and like The Guns of the South.
I've read a lot of his books (love alternative history stuff) and some are better than others, granted, but I thought he did a great job with tGotS in terms of dialog and dialect, of painting a well-researched portrait of Afrikaner fervor as well as Confederate life during that period. I really enjoyed it.
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post #1236 of 1245 Old Today, 12:19 PM
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Wow, just wow!

So many brutal deaths, but having that conversation with the bookkeeper mom as you have her OD on her medication was far more painful to watch than being covered in acid, bent and broken into a suitcase, or choked out after being eyeshot...

“Are you married? Do you have children?”

[Elizabeth answers yes.]

“And this is what you do?”
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post #1237 of 1245 Old Today, 12:26 PM
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I also wondered if Elizabeth will consider the possibility that perhaps she, Phillip, and the collective Soviets are evil...
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post #1238 of 1245 Old Today, 01:44 PM
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Wow, just wow!

So many brutal deaths, but having that conversation with the bookkeeper mom as you have her OD on her medication was far more painful to watch than being covered in acid, bent and broken into a suitcase, or choked out after being eyeshot...

“Are you married? Do you have children?”

[Elizabeth answers yes.]

“And this is what you do?”
The strange thing about that scene to me was that at one point the lady asks her if (dead husbands name) sent her and Elizabeth says yes. Then the lady seems to believe she is an angel coming to get her so she doesn't have pain or suffering, but then goes into the evil person bit. Didn't make sense to me.
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post #1239 of 1245 Old Today, 01:53 PM
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The scenes with the old lady bookkeeper, played by the wonderful old time stage actress, Lois Smith, were the high point of the show. As Elizabeth was forcing the old lady to OD on her heart medicine, my blood ran cold when she asked Elizabeth how Elizabeth justified such evil. It was a useful reminder that despite their appeal, Philip and Elizabeth are monsters.

I was very impressed with Martha's ability to steady herself after the bug in her boss's pen was discovered and she realized that Philip was not who he had represented himself to be. Clearly, Philip was impressed too. Alison Wright has done a remarkable job as Martha. Wright is not a famous beauty but she is not unattractive either. And yet she is able to portray a dowdy and physically unattractive character in a way that makes us care about her. Come to think of it, there are no weak links in The Americans large ensemble cast.
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post #1240 of 1245 Old Today, 02:31 PM
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The Grantland site has an Andy Greenwald piece about this week's The Americans.. I regarded it as one of the best pieces of criticism I have seen. Greenwald loves the show as much as I do, which is a lot. Highly, highly recommended!
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post #1241 of 1245 Old Today, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by RemyM View Post
The strange thing about that scene to me was that at one point the lady asks her if (dead husbands name) sent her and Elizabeth says yes. Then the lady seems to believe she is an angel coming to get her so she doesn't have pain or suffering, but then goes into the evil person bit. Didn't make sense to me.
I attributed the changes to her going in and out from the effects of her medications.
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post #1242 of 1245 Old Today, 04:56 PM
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I attributed the changes to her going in and out from the effects of her medications.

I can buy that. Will have to watch the scene again.
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post #1243 of 1245 Unread Today, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by gwsat View Post
The scenes with the old lady bookkeeper, played by the wonderful old time stage actress, Lois Smith, were the high point of the show. As Elizabeth was forcing the old lady to OD on her heart medicine, my blood ran cold when she asked Elizabeth how Elizabeth justified such evil. It was a useful reminder that despite their appeal, Philip and Elizabeth are monsters.

.

Elizabeth was connecting to the woman because she so closely relates to her dying mother whom she has no official contact with. She was feeling sympathy while doing her duty (her duty will almost always come 1st) and the crushing moment was the statement that "that is the excuse evil people have to do evil things". It was sort of a reality check Elizabeth isn't used to and almost a riveting last clear moment of thought from this mother figure. That scene may have been the best of the show so far for me period.

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I attributed the changes to her going in and out from the effects of her medications.

Agree it was for sure the medicine, she was in and out of being "present".


Sent from nowhere
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post #1244 of 1245 Unread Today, 05:41 PM
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Concur with the rest of you. Brilliantly, powerful stuff this week. Especially by allowing Elizabeth to show some major cracks in her armor. This season is doing a fine job of slowly revealing doubts in their missions and the motivations of their superiors.


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post #1245 of 1245 Unread Today, 06:08 PM
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The scenes with the old lady bookkeeper, played by the wonderful old time stage actress, Lois Smith, were the high point of the show. As Elizabeth was forcing the old lady to OD on her heart medicine, my blood ran cold when she asked Elizabeth how Elizabeth justified such evil. It was a useful reminder that despite their appeal, Philip and Elizabeth are monsters.
I wouldn't call them monsters. Killers definitely and indoctrinated to follow orders sure, but these are fictional accounts of covert agents covering their mission. If you dig into the CIA archives you can find all sorts of horrible events and those are just the ones we know about. From experimenting on civilians, assassinations, to torture and as revealed last year, hiring known Nazis as agents. I expect plenty of people were killed to keep a cover intact during the Cold War on both sides. It's just the nature of the profession. We are just seeing it from the other side on this show, but even Stan executed someone in cold blood last year and admitted he had done horrible things while on his deep cover assignment.

The people higher up the food chain who turned the Jenning's into killers and give them really repugnant orders are far more monstrous. It's good to see that both of them are finally questioning their role in the scheme of things.


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