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‘The Americans’ Anxiety Report: No One Is Getting Out Of This One, Huh?


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The Americans Anxiety Report is a weekly rundown of the people and things we are currently most worried about on the show. It will get weird because many of the people and things we will be worrying about will be tools in a plot to ruin America, put in motion by another country. Blame the show for this, not us.

10. Elizabeth (Last week: 6)

Elizabeth tumbles to number 10 this week for a few reasons, some of them having to do with her murdering Gennadi and Sofia, some of them having to do with her pulling a honeypot maneuver on Philip to get him to try the old Bulgarian drugging and kidnapping maneuver with Kimmy, and some of them miscellaneous Paige business. But mostly, she falls to 10 because after she killed Gennadi and Sofia, in that moment where she saw little Ilya watching television in the other room, a tiny part of me thought she might actually murder a child.

I’m sorry, but that’s where I draw the line. I should probably draw it before that, to be honest. I’m a softy, in general, and I try to see the best in people and be empathetic, but if I even have to consider the possibility that you are capable of murdering a child, that’s a problem. Sorry if that offends.

Also, I’m glad Philip ruined the Kimmy plan. That won’t end well for one of them, either because Philip will get punished for spoiling it or because Elizabeth will get punished for failing the summit mission. I don’t care. I’ll take a short-term win where I can get it.

9. Cars with wood paneling (Last week: Unranked)

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Renee’s out here rolling around the Beltway in a damn Jeep Wagoneer.

It is incredible to me that fake wood paneling was ever a thing people put on cars. At least if you buy a fake diamond for your jewelry or something it creates the illusion of something nice. Fake wood on your car just creates an illusion that your car is made of wood. Why would you ever want people to think your car — or at least part of it — is made of wood? It’s insane. Picture a wooden car in a high-speed collision. Picture filling a wooden car with gasoline. Picture telling a friend you got a new car and then sliding your sunglasses halfway down your nose and smugly adding, “Oh, and you know it’s part wood.” This might be the single craziest thing to come out of the 1980s, which is really saying something.

Wood is not what you make cars out of!

8. Kimmy (Last week: 8)

Not okay.

Not okay.

I had a bad feeling as soon as we saw her the other week. There was no reason to bring her back unless something bad was going to happen. That’s how things work on this show. Look at Gennadi. And while Kimmy did not end up dead on the kitchen floor of an FBI safe house (yet, who knows with this show), she did get seduced by a middle-aged Russian spy and she almost got kidnapped in Greece and held in a Bulgarian dungeon. I really do not want to get held in a Bulgarian dungeon. I don’t care what you’ve heard. No Bulgarian dungeons for me. Not even once. Not even on a tour. Can’t be too careful.

Honestly, the best thing that happened to her was getting her heart broken by a grown man who was calling her from a pay phone. That was the best thing. Wrap your head around that for 90 seconds. I mean this in the best way possible, but I hope we never see Kimmy again. At least then I can pretend she turned out okay.

7. Assorted horny doofuses (Last week: Unranked)

The bad run for horny doofuses continues. We had:

  • “The boy” who thought he lost his virginity to Elizabeth back in Russia but really just repeatedly slammed his penis between her pelvis and a couch cushion and is now getting laughed at by Elizabeth and her daughter
  • Freakin Tony the Georgetown bar creep who was just awful and deserved to get the hell whooped out of his stupid face.
  • Cute Brian, who is still in danger and will remain so until he figures out a way to remove himself completely from the lives of anyone in the Jennings family, because good Lord, everything they touch turns to… what’s a nicer way to say “pile of steaming horse manure”? Let’s go with “car with wood paneling.”

It’s insane to me that one of the only horny doofuses who has ever survived a dalliance with these people was Ben, the two-timing hippie scuzzbucket Elizabeth hooked up with last season. God, I hated that guy. And he’s still just running around the Midwest. It’s madness.

6. Stan (Last week: 3)

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The Stan situation was bad because he had one job — keep Gennadi and Sofia alive long enough to move them to Oklahoma, in addition to his new crime-fighting FBI duties, which do not appear to be too strenuous because he sure doesn’t seem to be doing much there at all — and he mucked it all up. I don’t know. I guess it wasn’t just his fault. Tough to foresee “my neighbor is a secret Russian spy and had a whole team follow me and scaled a damn fire escape like Catwoman to murder a hockey star who outweighs her by north of 100 pounds,” I guess.

But this is gonna pull Stan all the way back in. I can feel it. He’s gonna follow Oleg some night and see him talking to a mustachioed Philip and have a 10-minute Usual Suspects-style revelation that plays out the truth of his relationship with the Jennings family. The face he makes when that happens will rival any face Philip has made all season. Which is saying something. We’ll get to that.

5. Oleg (Last week: 5)

Tatiana is going to be a problem. Oleg is out here with very little support and now a former adversary is trying to rat him out to the authorities back home (“Send THAT cable”) and it’s extremely not ideal. Yes, I realize that one of the only people I’m rooting for on this show is a former and kind of current Russian spy. But guess what: He never plotted to have a teenage girl kidnapped and smuggled away to a communist dungeon. And he never drove a wood-paneled car. I mean, as far as we know.

4. Paige (Last week: 1)

Almost never a good thing when your dad shows up at your college apartment and challenges you to hand-to-hand combat. Paige has other problems, sure. Lots of them. But I feel like that kind of sums up where she is right now.

3. Philip (Last week: 4)

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2. Me (Last week: Unranked)

Anxiety Report Behind the Scenes: When the episode cut to Philip sweatily thrusting on top of Kimmy, I literally shouted “NO” out loud, which was weird because I was watching the screener at noon with my headphones in and someone else in the room and then they were like “What happened?” and I proceeded to explain that I wasn’t ready talk about it.

No chance I make it to the end of this season.

1. Ilya (Last week: Unranked)

I hope Ilya and Philip’s son Mischa and Martha’s daughter whose name I don’t remember all get together and start a rock band. It’ll be weird because Mischa is like 20 now and the other two aren’t even in kindergarten yet, but I have decided they can make it work. Henry can manage them in the NHL offseason, because I have also decided that Henry is going to become the world’s first Nobel Prize-winning scientist who is also an NHL All-Star, so why not add “manager of a band of tragic Russian children” to the list?

It is all unlikely? Well, yeah. A lot. I’m not sure how they’ll meet or if one of them can even sing, but wild improbable hope for these four is the only thing getting me through this bleak-ass season right now and you will absolutely not take it from me. Not yet.

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