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The Americans; Season 5
Topic Started: Mar 9 2017, 11:52 PM (818 Views)
Krystal
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Is this the last season? I'm always a little confused when the show returns after such a long hiatus. Are they living in a separate house now and who is this kid they are living with? I know they always have another place but this seems to be a separate home along with the kid so I don't understand the purpose of that are they trying to turn the neighbor's kid or what?

I also didn't quite understand why they were digging up Williams body to get that sample. I don't understand why the body wasn't cremated because even if there is an Airborne virus if it were handled right within Elation cremation would be by far the safest way of getting rid of it. The other thing I don't understand is if you have a bacteria or a virus it does not continue to live in your body if it kills you it dies along with you. I'm not sure what type of disease this was supposed to be and I don't recall from last year.

How they resolve the relationship between page and Stan son and ongoing interest also the fact that Philip son is heading for the USA
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Dax
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Haven't watched the premiere yet.

There will be one more season after this.
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Krystal
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The one thing that has bothered me for a long time about this show is the children. How can you knowingly take your children from the place where they can be educated free and have plenty of food to A Place With No freedom hardly any food and such a terrible standard of living. The children are Americans born here and they do not understand the Russian culture nor do they understand the language. It seems to me extremely cruel to try to relocate this family which seems to be the ultimate goal of Philip here. Who would be so selfish as to do that to their children. I am not even anybody's parent but I can't imagine it.
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KMInfinity
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It was a slow start, as usual, and deliberate

The Vietnamese kid is a superspy I guess even at his age. He runs the house when parental units aren't on call for spy duty assignment connected with Pasha's family, I guess. They commented briefly how he handles the fact that Elizabeth and Philip are always gone due to airline jobs. Gonna check out other sites and see what they think of this plot development. Seems too OTT.

Krystal, maybe burning was too risky in the 80s? Another thing to fact check. Though I do note that many seemingly unrealistic events are based on real history. Truth is stranger than fiction category maybe?
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bilki
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That was a cool moment when they opened the metal box to see dead William, as if they were looking their own future in the face. All of the hard work and sacrifice that could very likely end in a death of no fanfare. I wonder what that internal dialogue was like, lol.

"Those two aren't afraid of anything/They're afraid of everything" was amusing.

All of the hand-wringing over Paige and Matthew is a bit groan-worthy because I feel like we've already played this Will-They-Be-Exposed??? game with Paige and the Pastor.
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KMInfinity
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I think the Paige and Matthew plot is a little different from the pastor story. This is more about what Paige will ultimately WANT. not what she feels compelled to do (protect her family). The pastor stuff was an "intellectual" internal debate... maybe a bit spiritual too, though they didn't show that struggle in Paige overtly. I think this is gonna be more visceral. If she really has feelings for M, and begins to realize she cares about her lifestyle in America, and begins to see the blindspots her parents have about the Americans AND the Soviets... It's interesting to me that Elizabeth is beginning her physical training at the same time.

I know there are (and really were) American agents who supported the soviet cause... but they were almost always against something (racism, e.g.) within American culture and so ignored, overlooked, or accepted the cost of the commitment to the soviet vision. Nothing yet has made me believe that Paige has anything deeply invested in the Soviets. There's some spec that the son might actually be the one who goes there, but he's never much on...
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bilki
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I see what you're saying, KMI. Perhaps I'm looking at from a more superficial angle, where Paige's involvement with Matthew becomes another tease for whether P&E's cover will be exposed. Not that it's the writer's fault but that's basically all that I came away with from the Pastor's story. Will Paige reveal the secret and what happens if she does? I think I did enjoy the element of whether P&E could actually kill him if they had to, and how they might cover that up, but I suppose I'm not all that invested in Paige's inner struggle.
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KMInfinity
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You're right, that a major element of every story is whether they will be compromised or exposed, so that is an overt focus.

I think the weird thing that bugs me is how the whole decision or assignment to go back to the USSR for the Jennings family was off screen and past history already. I thought that might have produced some good character exploration and discussion, but I guess they decided that's too soon, given the renewal for the final 6th season. Maybe they were anticipating being done in 5?
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bilki
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Alan Sepinwall mentioned how the show dropped the return to Russia in his review of the episode but I don't recall much of anything that happened after they shipped Poor Martha off. I'm glad I didn't re-watch last season's finale, because it probably would have just pissed me off. I guess having a foggy memory can be a friend at times, lol.

It feels like another weapon in my arsenal about how the show can be good at the build-up but they're pretty lousy at satisfying pay-offs. I've been trying to recall one good climax over the past few days and can't recall a single one. That sounds like a personal problem. Wrong thread, lol.
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Krystal
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This last epi was total bull shit. If the American government wanted to destroy the crops in Russia even in the seventies they would have had more security then some stupid Warehouse with nobody guarding it and one guy coming in the middle of the night to check on it.

It was interesting seeing Martha in the grocery store and I wonder if she will interact with Oleg.
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KMInfinity
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Krystal I agree and most posters have commented that this wheat plot is really weird. I actually agree with some who think the wheat storyline may be leading to P&E's comeuppance and maybe even Philip's "enlightenment." They so desperately want to believe in a very black-white cold war dynamic and this isn't the 50s but the 80s and both sides were pretty cynical about the fact that the idealism was 2nd level (if engaged at all) compared to the power politics. So P&E (or P at least?) need to be brought up to speed before we hit the series finale in S6.

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bilki
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It seemed a little odd to me that there was no security at a building that was housing an important project. Maybe because it was late at night?

Poor Martha was a pleasant surprise. Is that depressing existence better than her demise?
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Krystal
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Yes, the lack of security for a top secret was absurd.
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Dax
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Just caught up with 1-6. Good marathon. I'm liking everything going on...

William's body bag had 'Do Not Burn' all over it... apparently, cremation of the virus was considered too high-risk..

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KMInfinity
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I'm liking everything except maybe Paige. That still seems to be the most illogical and odd plotting. This is one of those shows, (and this arc in particular) whose assessment as a series (top tier - high quality - above average... etc) is going to rest on how it wraps.

I am so hoping that Henry's bonding with Stan means Henry busts on his family, which leads to them playing double agents. :D Though I guess some would see that as a sensationalistic soapy plot. :D
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Dax
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Agree 'how it ends' will matter to its legacy, however unfairly (since it's been pretty strong throughout..).

Paige getting an introduction to Gabriel at the end there was a fun surprise.

I like Paige's bewilderment at Elizabeth being rude to the Avon lady.
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Krystal
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I find Pages constant bewilderment very annoying. She always has her brows furrowed and looks like some little mouse caught in the corner. Yes I think the last season will make-or-break this show for me although it's been pretty strong I really particularly dislike Elizabeth and I really hope that that they get caught or punished in the end. I can't forgive them for seeing what America really is and seeing how much better it is and then still trying to destroy it. To me they are brainwashed like religious fanatics who want to destroy the culture that they are in. They are not religious but they are just as brainwashed and destructive. So I hope they go to jail or better yet and get killed. This is unusual for me because even Tony Soprano or Walter White or any other of the villains that I got attached to I didn't want to see them punished or killed. Well then there was Jax by the end I wanted him drawn and quartered.
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KMInfinity
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But Krystal, Elizabeth would counter that it is The Americans who are blind and brainwashed about where, how, and why "it's so much better" than Russia and the rest of the world - because of American imperialism and our rapacious strategies of building our success on the backs of others...starting with slaves ---- which we learned from Europe and perfected. (Me talking as Elizabeth. o_O )

I do think the show downplays the legit Anti-American Russian talking points. In class, as part of our Cold War unit in 8th grade, I have students list their ideas Pro/Con to address this "Essential Question" >

How would you judge the United States as a world power? On balance, has American influence in the world been a force for good?

They get to ask others, parents, etc and develop their lists for a class discussion. I start by having them decide Yes or no to the second Q then form "debate" teams. I play the "monkey in the middle" and play the devil's advocate for both sides, helping both sides. It's always interesting.
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Dax
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That does sound always interesting.

Walter White deserved punishment.
Tony Soprano was a bad guy (but I did like him, a lot).
Jax Teller REALLY shouldn't have killed Wayne...

I think Stan has to find out who Philip and Elizabeth are, but I hope that doesn't mean he has to die.

I'm not sure what I want to happen to Philip and Elizabeth. I hope Paige and Henry will be okay.
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Krystal
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Believe me I am not so up on America especially with the current Administration. And we had no business in fading the whole Middle East and making a big mess of it there that's for sure. But most of our people don't have to stand in bread lines and we have big grocery stores and mostly try to educate our children. And we mostly have freedom of religion. No notice I say mostly because we really don't have all of those things for sure but it's way better than Russia still. We do a shitty job with health care in fact I think we're number 17 in the world but I still don't believe that Russia does a better job. So Elizabeth Only Knows to country is Russia and us and she knows how much better it is here that's what I mean.

Yeah I hope the kids end up OK and not Russian spies and not killed somehow.
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bilki
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I thought Rectify was a beautiful meditation on suffering. There were a handful of light-hearted moments but those characters had mastered the art of being miserable, which I have great respect for when done right. But with this show I struggle to find anything beautiful or thought-provoking about their miserable lives. It's just "Life Sucks, Then You Die" without much to appreciate along the way.

I think the main reason I'm still watching is because of the strength of the acting. I love Keri Russell as Elizabeth even though the character makes me want to throw things at the television at times. Matthew Rhys was so great when Philip realized he had killed an innocent man at the bug/wheat facility but waiting for the incident that will finally push him over the edge is getting old.

I really miss Alison Wright's Martha.
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bilki
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Poor Martha. I hope Gabriel comes to visit her again. She needs someone on which to vent her frustrations!

Wasn't it crazy that Gabriel told Philip he was right about Paige, especially right after he'd told Philip he thought he was losing it over the woman dating Beeman? It made me think Gabriel was trying to nudge Philip right over the edge.
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Dax
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Martha was just NOT happy to see Gabriel. Great scene, though..
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Krystal
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I hate Phillip and Elizabeth more every week for what they are doing to Paige. Kind of enjoy the wedding ceremony though because I have seen many of them although not for many years. The actual ceremony usually is part of a church ceremony which is very long comprable to a high mass in the Catholic church but everything in Russian and don't marriage part is at the end. And they really do use the crowns. Brought back a lot of memories.
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Krystal
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So we do think that stans girlfriend is a Russian plant?

And after reading the diary well they have to kill the pastor now instead of just relocating him?
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KMInfinity
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I think they got a rude awakening when they saw the journal pages, because it seems pretty clear from what Paige said (that pastor Tim was right about some things) and what he wrote that Paige is crying for help. It is just sinking in how much damage they've done to her. But it's hard for them to understand the perspective I guess when they themselves have lived through such terrible times, and have both physical and psychological damage they've "survived."

At some point, I hope Philip at least realizes that his actions and choices (and Elizabeth's) are actually due to the way they have been manipulated thanks to their own damage.
Edited by KMInfinity, May 15 2017, 04:16 PM.
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bilki
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That was kinda great and rather awful. I'm still trying to decide if it was worse than making that woman commit suicide by eating all of her heart medicine in a previous season. But I loved Elizabeth being all ready to execute the woman, and then she had to stand there and hear the tale of what actually happened. Face the realization that the woman wasn't a monster of her own making. At least the woman's husband still loved her and accepted her in her last moments. Sheesh, those two are awful, lol.

I've been debating on which of these two is worse but I'm leaning heavily towards Philip. Deep down he knows better and, yet, he continues to engage in his behavior. Because he loves his wife? I guess love really can make you do crazy things, lol. At least Elizabeth is so devout in her convictions that she still has some sense of believing she's doing the right thing.
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KMInfinity
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Yeah that was really tough to see, given we are supposed to be identifying (on some level) with them. Philip is increasingly losing his soul. I think for him he is overcompensating because he knows his questioning is causing the Center (and Elizabeth?) to doubt him. There's no real middle ground, so he's gotta act like he has Elizabeth's faith. There was that nice moment when Philip said he didn't want Stan to be the next Martha.

I know it's simplistic but I hope Stan and Henry bust them and Stan lives. :D
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Krystal
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I hate them both and I hope they at minimum get caught and actually would much prefer they get gunned down somewhere.
They remind me of trump supporters are these people who are christofascist, pussy facts all around them but choose to believe the distorted views that they were brainwashed with when they were young
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KMInfinity
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Well that was a low key finale. Did the show have an uncertain fate and so changed plans mid-season?

It feels like the show is overplaying (?) the characters' commitment to the Soviet Union. It feels like, based on what we saw in earlier seasons, Philip at least would be much more conflicted about leaving.

I am still rooting for a soapy ending, where Henry works with Stan to take down his family and then gets to go to his fancy prep school and snog the girl. :D
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