'The Americans' Recap: Dead Men Do Tell Tales
'The Americans' Recap: Dead Men Do Tell Tales
Daniel Mikelonis
Daniel Mikelonis
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
The Americans third episode "Gregory" doesn't weave a web of lies, it knits a quilt of deception then a  snuggie of subterfuge to boot. The secret life of a KGB agents gets discovered, past affairs haunt Philip and Elizabeth's marriage and state secrets are sold. There isn't an inferno of action this time, just slow burning suspense.
Literal Spy Games

Just because Stan's an FBI agent and Philip is undercover KGB doesn't mean they can't play a neighborly game of racquetball. Between serves, Stan waxes philosophical about how winning is more about the mistakes your opponent makes rather than skill. Gosh, if I didn't know better I'd think this was a metaphor or something.

Speaking of mistakes, Directorate S slipped up. Their murdered member Robert gets posthumously identified by the Feds as an enemy agent. Philip is surprised when that whole "being dead" thing doesn't stop Robert from arranging a meeting from beyond the grave. 

Not So Secret Affairs

This proves confusing for our antiheroes. Knowing the chance Robert discovered how to come back from the dead is slim, they enlist Soviet sympathizer Gregory's help in finding out what's up. This makes for awkward moments, as Gregory and Elizabeth executed some extramarital sexy subterfuge together. Just because his entire marriage is a cover for destroying truth, democracy and the American way doesn't stop Philip from feeling a wee bit jealous. It's this combination of personal and espionage drama that makes The Americans compelling.

I Married a Communist

The three discover who set the meet. Robert married in secret the previous year. While he didn't inform his wife Joyce of his true identity, she did receive instructions on contacting Philip in case of emergency. She passes on Robert's final discovery, a coded message revealing only a name and phone number.

Dying to Escape

Philip meets with his new handler, a sweet-looking older woman who's nice as a rabid dog. She decodes Robert's final missive. The name and number reveal who can sell the KGB information on the American ballistic missile shield. With that, Philip waltzes off to buy some state secrets.

Now that she's delivered Robert's message, Directorate S is left to figure out what to do with Joyce. The FBI is desperately hunting her. Elizabeth and Philip's new leader decides Joyce will be safest in Cuba. Fun geography fact: Cuba is apparently the backseat of a car, and its only resident is now dead.

It's a heartless ending for The Americans, but there's a reason the Cold War isn't called the Cuddly War. Next episode looks thrilling, as more historical fact gets added in the mix when President Reagan is almost assassinated. This was my favorite episode so far, with the suspenseful spy action played up and the rough and tumble brawling dialed down. Still, I can see how others could miss the kung-fu fighting of the first two installments. What do you think? Is The Americans at its best when fists are flying, or when subtle secrets get exchanged? Comment and let us know! Don't miss next week's episode by adding the show to your BuddyTV watch list with our free iPhone app.

(Image courtesy of FX)

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