series premiere "Pilot" offers movie-quality action sequences, suspenseful drama and an awesome 80s soundtrack that will have you busting out your parachute pants. The premise seems almost hackneyed: "Two spies struggle combining raising kids and destroying the USA." Still, The Americans
delivers a solid first episode.
Starting with Two Different Bangs
Things kick off with both sex and violence. Something for everyone, yay! Sleeper KGB agent Elizabeth pumps (putting it politely) a Department of Justice official for information. Said information allows her husband and espionage partner Philip to kidnap another KGB sleeper Timoshev who has flipped sides. Its opening moments are incredibly tense. Though "Pilot" never recaptures this initial momentum, there's enough going on to keep you watching.
In Soviet Russia, Neighbors Meet You
Unfortunately our Russian anti-heroes don't deliver their human cargo to the drop point on time. Philip and Elizabeth are now faced with hiding Timoshev in their garage from the FBI, who are in a full-blown tizzy over their star informant vanishing. Complicating matters, Elizabeth and Timoshev share some unpleasant history together. As in unpleasant enough she dreams of introducing knives to his neck.
Luckily, their new neighbor across the street is a nice FBI counterintelligence officer. Actually wait, that's not lucky at all.
Time's Up for Timoshev
With the heat literally across their street, Philip decides defection is his family's best option. His plan of delivering Timoshev into FBI hands gets interrupted by Elizabeth. Her very valid points that betraying Russia would put strain both on their undercover mission and marriage fall on deaf ears. Its only when Philip discovers their captive harmed Elizabeth while training back in the Motherland that Philip decides killing Timoshev sounds like a peachy idea.
This leads to a perfectly executed sequence where the happy couple dispose of Timoshev's body then make out like teenagers afterwards, because nothing rekindles marriages like dumping a body. All this occurs while "In The Air Tonight" by Phil Collins plays. Seriously, can't stress enough how wonderful the soundtrack is.
Watching from the Shadows
A suspenseful ending almost recaptures "Pilot"'s riveting opening. The agent next door suspects something's up with his neighbors, and breaks into their garage. All while he's poking around, Philip's watching from the shadows gun in hand. Though the G-Man leaves without finding any clues, it's the "will he or won't he" vibe Philip exudes holding his pistol that really makes it a great sequence.
proves a great addition to FX's already stellar lineup. It's a show that lets you get caught up rooting for the bad guys, because really they're just like us. Want to add The Americans
to your watch list? Get the BuddyTV iPhone app
now.(Image courtesy of FX)