'The Americans' Recap: 'The Clock' Proves This Show's Time Isn't Up
'The Americans' Recap: 'The Clock' Proves This Show's Time Isn't Up
Daniel Mikelonis
Daniel Mikelonis
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
The American's second episode "The Clock" isn't as bombastic as last week's premiere, but remains just a suspenseful and thrilling. That's mostly due to its narrower focus. Last time we saw botched kidnappings, multiple brawls and and frequent flashbacks. The spy shenanigans this time revolve around bugging one tiny, little clock.

Sorry to Bug You

Grabbing viewers attention immediately, "The Clock" opens with Scott making sweet sexy ... subterfuge to the beautiful Annalise. After he's spied on all her secrets, she happily scouts the Secretary of Defense's office for him. Now that the fun part of the mission is over, Philip gets word from the KGB he's supposed to bug the aforementioned office. There's a big meeting coming up between Margaret Thatcher and the Secretary that the KGB want to listen in on. Scott wants six months for this operation, but only gets three days. 

Preying on the Praying

So how do they go about this? By having Elizabeth poison a hapless college student and blackmailing his good Christian mother Viola (played by Tonye Patano of Weeds). She's the Secretary's maid, and if Viola doesn't steal that clock her son's going to die. Godless Russkies, is nothing sacred?

Viola brings in her gun-toting brother to make Philip a counter-offer, namely heal the kid or get shot. Philip rejects this offer as politely as he can, which involves several punches to his attacker's face. That's still not enough for Viola, refusing his demands as she has God at her side. Philip has a pillow by his side, which he uses to suffocate her son until Viola finally agrees to do his bidding.

What's really enjoyable here is how despite how utterly despicable Scott and Elizabeth's actions are it's hard not to root for them. Maybe it's our natural inclination for wanting high-risk capers to succeed, or seeing how sweet they can be with their kids. Either way, I found myself supporting the two bringing down American civilization more than the FBI this episode.

A Different Kind of Star Wars

With the bug safely planted, we finally hear what this important meeting is all about. The Secretary talks about Russia having nuclear missiles like it's a bad thing or something. Worried about mushroom clouds rising over freedom-lovers everywhere, they're planning on instituting a ballistic missile shield. This actually has basis in historical fact with Reagan's Star Wars program. Unfortunately that idea worked about as well as trickle down economics and never became reality.


The Americans provides another episode of intelligent and thrilling spy shenanigans. Even though this episode seemed to step down a notch in intensity from last week, it remains an enjoyable series. Do you find yourself hoping these two anti-heroes will successfully tear apart American democracy? Who's your favorite character so far? Comment and let us know.

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(Image courtesy of FX)


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