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‘The Americans’ Anxiety Report: Love Is Dead And So Is Another Poor Dope


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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. Love, generally (Last week: Unranked)

We’ll touch on all of these again in a bit more depth, but here’s a quick recap of the relationships in this week’s episode:

  • Philip and Elizabeth are arguing over Paige and the state of Russia and staring silently at each other in half-lit rooms of their now-empty house
  • Stan and Renee are having conversations about work that take sudden turns toward “I want to be an FBI agent like you, maybe you can pull some strings for me,” which is weird and seems like a sign of trouble on the horizon
  • Sofia and Gennadi are getting split up by the government — although it was probably coming anyway, I blame Bogdon — to give them new identities and poor dumb Gennadi will never get to see young Ilya again and he’s just heartbroken about it all

Love is dead.

9. The employees at Philip’s travel agency (Last week: 5)

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[Philip springs out of his office and into the employee area of the travel agency]

“Rick, stand up.”

“Do I have to?”

“Yes. Rick here booked three cruises this week. Rick, why don’t you tell us three strategies you used?”

“I, uh, I don’t remember.”

“That’s right. Create value. What else?”

“Oh God. I’m sweating.”

“Correct. Create an image in their mind. One more.”

“I… can I please sit down now? I don’t like public speakin-“

“Yes. Upselling! Now, Lacy, tell us why cruises are important.”

“My name is Sharon. Lacy is at lunc-”

“Exactly. Repeat business. Great work, team!”

8. Elizabeth (Last week: 3)

Elizabeth remains extremely fried and sloppy in her spy work, no doubt the result of trying to balance like 20 missions and cleaning brains out of her hair and wearing a cyanide pill and training her daughter to become a spy and dealing with an empty house that she hates and a husband whose ideology continues to evolve into something she also hates, but I’m finding it hard to remain sympathetic. It’s funny, she’s killed a number of innocent people and done really horrible things to plenty of others, but the line I seem to be drawing is her working Paige like an asset and lying about the job she’s being groomed for. I reserve the right to backtrack on this later, but for now, she slides down our list.

7. Gennadi (Last week: Unranked)

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This poor lunkhead. He was in over his head from the beginning and he probably sabotaged his marriage by just sitting around watching sports and drinking beer, but I felt bad for him at the end when his lonely future started hitting him. He looked so sad. Bogdon, you homewrecking piece of trash. This is your fault.

6. Stan (Last week: 7)

Couple Stan things.

STAN THING NUMBER ONE: For a guy who is allegedly off hunting drug dealers and money launderers, Stan sure is spending a lot of time chatting with Aderholdt about dead generals and former Russian spies who are taking classes at George Mason. Leave Stan alone, Aderholdt. Geez. You know he’s not strong enough to stay away. Let my man live.

STAN THING NUMBER TWO: Very confusing Renee development this week. Not sure what to make of it. On one hand, her angling for a job with the FBI seems to imply she’s been more of a badge-hunting action-junkie all along and that’s where her interest in Stan’s work came from, as opposed to from orders given by a foreign or domestic intelligence agency. On the other hand, I still don’t trust her and probably never will. Could go either way.

5. Literally any dope who crosses paths with Elizabeth (Last week: Unranked)

Three episodes into the final season, three bodies collected by Elizabeth. In the premiere, there was the creepy security guard who took Paige’s fake ID and was promptly shivved in the neck on the sidewalk. Last week, there was the general whose brains ended up on her face. This week, it was a warehouse dope who got himself killed by revealing that his girlfriend also works in the security department and could therefore, theoretically, poke a hole in Elizabeth’s security consultant cover.

This one was the biggest bummer of the three, by far. What did he ever do to anybody? Nothing. And now he’s dead in a hotel room because Elizabeth is stretched too thin to do basic research on the people she’s working for info. We’re like two episodes away from a teen at the Wendy’s drive-thru saying “Hey, didn’t I see you at a restaurant yesterday? I think your hair was different…” and then getting drowned in a puddle of Mr. Pibb.

4. Oleg (Last week: 9)

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I just want Stan and Oleg to be friends. Maybe go on a road trip. Just two buds on a cross-country road trip together, seeing the sights and bonding. I really don’t think I’m asking too much here.

3. Paige (Last week: 1)

Paige slides out of the top spot but not for lack of effort. It physically hurts me to watch Elizabeth try to turn her into a mission-obsessed spy. I still kind of can’t believe it’s happening. And her parents are arguing about it all in front of her, with Philip and his lack of security clearance getting overruled even though “our teenager daughter would like to sleep at home because she just saw her mother’s face covered with blood and brain matter belonging to an American general and maybe she doesn’t want to be alone tonight” doesn’t seem like a crazy request under normal circumstances. To whatever extent the situation can be normal. I don’t know. It’s bad.

2. Philip (Last week: 4)

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1. Henry (Last week: 10)

Henry leaps into the top spot this week thanks to the tuition-related phone call between Philip and the headmaster of the fancy school. Slippery slope, all of that. If Philip can’t make the payments because the travel industry goes down the toilet and freaking Rick doesn’t keep booking those cruises, then Henry will have to come home. And if Henry comes home, first of all, he’ll be so sad, and second of all, he’ll be thrust into his family’s current secretive hellmess, where his mom and dad are starting to hate each other and his sister is now a spy who has seen things one can never unsee. And once that second thing happens, it increases the odds that Henry — the math and computer whiz of the family — gets sucked into the spy life, too. And then the one good and innocent thing we have left on this goddamn brilliant but devastating show will be sullied and ruined like everything else and I will never fully recover.

Also, he has that AP Calculus year coming up. Math is hard.

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