‘The Americans’ Anxiety Report: Doing Tai Chi With Doofuses

Editor-at-Large
04.12.17 6 Comments

FX

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. Henry (Last week: 6)

I love that Henry has transitioned from inconsequential lazy teen into surly math whiz heartthrob in the last two episodes. I love that he has uncovered the mystery of stuffed peppers. I love that he has become the son who bursts his father’s dreams of continuing the family business with so much nonchalance that he doesn’t even look up from the refrigerator. I love it all. I honestly think he’s my favorite character on the show right now.

My only worry in all of this is that, as we’ve discussed before, things going well for a character on this show is almost always a sign that doom is on the horizon. Things are going very well for Henry, very suddenly. Too suddenly. I’m like 75 percent sure he’s going to get his by a bus in the cold open next week. I’ll never recover.

9. Assorted American bug scientists (Last week: 8)

The mission lives on, which means Ben is not out of the woods yet. It also means we get more moments like the one I’ve screencapped below. Ben is an extremely nice and well-meaning guy who wants to end famine and yet I hate him with the searing intensity of a blowtorch. Says more about me than him, probably. Still…

FX

8. Oleg (Last week: 5)

Oleg spent this episode cracking down on crooked grocers and staking out fountains while smoking cigarettes and burning evidence on the roof to a soundtrack of Peter Gabriel after he realized the CIA was off his tail. Oleg has his swagger back, baby.

7. Paige (Last week: 4)

Slow week for Paige, thankfully. The last few episodes have been some rough business. It was nice to see her relaxing in her room and getting a little leisure reading done. I mean, to the extent Marx extolling the virtues of the working class and tearing down the entire concept of religion — the one positive thing Paige has in her life right now — counts as leisure reading. I think it does? On this show, at least? Yeah, let’s give this one to her. She needs the win.

6. Stan (Last week: 3)

Quiet week for Stan, too. No sign of Renee. He’s just flipping a Russian asset in the park and talking about babes with Henry. That’s still kind of weird, though. Right? The kid’s best friend is a middle-aged FBI agent who just got divorced and is now dating a hot aerobics instructor. It’s all a little like a horny, less science-y version of Back to the Future, with Henry as Marty McFly and Stan as Doc Brown. I hope they build a time machine. Or whatever the spy equivalent of that is.

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