‘The Americans’ Anxiety Report: Who Is This Renee And What Is Her Deal?

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. Martha (Last week: Unranked)

Martha leaps into the rankings this week despite not appearing in the episode (or being discussed, or even really mentioned) because I had this flash in my mind when Oleg was walking around Russia, like “Hey, that’s where Martha is!” Then I started wondering what she’s up to and realized how sad and depressed and bored she must be. (Knows no one, speaks zero Russian, probably just sits around a bleak apartment by herself all day, might have a cat at best.) This isn’t a “fear for her safety” thing like it was in previous seasons. It’s more… I just worry about her. That’s all.

9. Philip (Last week: 7)

No significant physical danger for Philip this week, but looking at his face when Stan asked about potential trouble in “Paigeland” all but confirmed my suspicion that he spends hours at a time daydreaming about an alternate universe where he’s a single, childless private detective who drives around a sunny beach town in an expensive convertible and solves cases brought to him by mysterious, smoky-voiced, wealthy divorcees. Philip is a broken man.

8. Renee (Last week: Unranked)

Something is up with Renee. She’s too perfect. Let’s tick off what we know about her so far:

  • She drinks beer
  • She loves sports
  • She reminds Stan of “a female version” of Philip (weird, but okay)
  • She and Stan started dating after a few very awkward water cooler encounters initiated by a very nervous Stan, who has basically turned into a 14-year-old boy

I realize now that what I’m saying could be construed as disrespectful to both of them (“Girls don’t like sports and beer!” “Stan is too much of a loser to have a cool girlfriend!”), but it’s just… something’s up here. No one on this show can ever be happy, so she’s going to end up being a secret agent who is trying to trap Stan somehow, or they’re going to fall in love and then she will get hit by a bus or something. Either way, no chance it ends well.

7. Elizabeth (Last week: 9)

Middle-America, Pick-up Drivin’, Sensible-Hairdo-Havin’ Elizabeth might be my new favorite Elizabeth. (I have chosen to refer to this alias as Sue Ann and assume she is a waitress at a diner and calls all her customers “honey.”) But there were very many bugs in her mission this week. Bugs are bad.

6. The Morozov family (Last week: 4)

This family is doomed. I’m not sure how or why yet. My first instinct is that a plan Philip and Elizabeth have will tear them apart, but between the dad’s complaints about Russia and the son’s whining in Russian during dinner at an American chain restaurant, there’s also a chance Tuan snaps in episode four and burns their house down.

5. Aderholt (Last week: Unranked)

I am terrified for Aderholt for two reasons: One, partners of main character law enforcement officers rarely fare well on TV and in movies. Two, he advised Stan to take Renee to a restaurant with a see-through grand piano and explained his recommendation by saying, ”What else do you need to know?” He is my favorite character on the show now. If anything happens to him I will fall to pieces.

4. The crops (Last week: Unranked)

Maybe the most ominous closed captioning I’ve ever seen.

3. Stan (Last week: 2)

Please see everything above, regarding his perfect new gym girlfriend, Renee. Also, please note his repeated, strenuous objections to the CIA’s plan to squeeze Oleg, and the fact that he keeps going over his boss’s head to the Deputy AG when he doesn’t get his way. Part of me wonders if these things are connected. Like maybe Renee is a CIA agent who was sent to look into Stan’s ties to Oleg and Nina and such. I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with this. For all I know, she’s just a nice lady who likes sports and tall FBI agents.

Unless she’s not.

2. Paige (Last week: 1)

This week, Paige:

  • Was discovered sleeping in her closet because her terrorscape of a life is so stressful that she can only get rest if she is literally hiding from her problems
  • Was taught how to have sex with her boyfriend without feeling any emotion about it, to make sure she doesn’t get so overcome with hormonal ecstasy that she accidentally causes a nuclear war by telling the son of an FBI agent that her parents are Russian spies

Which is a lot. And yet, she was still bumped from the top spot, because…

1. Oleg (Last week: 5)

Oleg is so screwed.