TV Recap: The Americans, ‘EST Men’

Written by Jihan Dempster


‘EST Men’ Plot Summary:

The Americans return with Season 3 in a whirlwind of events, sex, death, and sentimental depictions of “family values” while continuing the secretive drama that surrounds living as a regular American family. According to the Jennings’ children, in naive fact, they are apart of a typical American family. Reality relays that their parents are Soviet KGB officers simply posing as the latter in attempts to finish countless spy missions. The episode shows the continuous struggles of protecting their children Paige (Holly Taylor) and Henry (Keidrich Sellati) until the time arises for them to the heir and heiress for the family heirloom of “spyhood.”

Photo Credit: Michael Parmelee/FX
Photo Credit: Michael Parmelee/FX

After two straight seasons of critical acclaim, The Americans had all eyes focused for its Season 3 premiere. From the start, we’re thrust into a reality check with an assassination that played out much like the present ISIS attacks occurring in the United States played. Although the series is set during the Cold War, it quickly gains current events sentiments from newbies, such as myself, who are trying to get in the loop of the series’ dark outlook on my 10pm screen.

Immediately following, we see a nurturing mother and daughter relationship, when Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Paige (Holly Taylor) volunteer at a church youth group. Paige seems to have budding interest not only in the church, but also in a church boy. Everything seems fairly normal in this scenario until Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth argue after a cumbersome meeting at the Center. Philip wants a normal life for their daughter while Elizabeth would rather groom her for the harsh reality that is so far removed from Paige’s teenage thinking that she even flips past Soviet news stories on the television screen.

Thus far, there is no explosive critically-acclaimed merits warranted in my book, until the plot thickens. It seems as though this could be the typical family drama that any other series or even my reality could offer me.

Photo Credit: Michael Parmelee/FX
Photo Credit: Michael Parmelee/FX

Things always get spicier with redheads. Anneliese (Celia Gerard) is sent on a special mission where she provides the viewer with a list of awkward sex scenes. We have cars, bedrooms, crying in cars, crying in bedrooms, full blown conversations over naked bodies, and so on and so forth. Philip also contributes to this cause with a Kama Sutra-based sex scene with Martha (Alison Wright) under his alter-ego “Clark.”

Overall, the action is limited and the family values are clashing. Either we prep the children for succeeding the family business or we leave them to lead a normal American life. “EST Men” gets a 7/10 rating as this only because for my ill-preparation on preceding plotlines and for expectations of a much bigger BOOM! There are some surprises in this episode that I won’t give away, but I am anticipating next week’s episode to complete the puzzle that has been the first.

The Americans airs Wednesday nights at 10pm on FX


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