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The Americans recap: 'The Day After'

The threat of annihilation hangs over the spies and counter-spies

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The Americans

TV Show
run date:
Matthew Rhys, Keri Russell
Current Status:
In Season

Driving lesson – a rite of passage for any teenager.

Philip is gently guiding Paige through the steps of steering an automobile. She thinks she’d do better with a smaller c—

“Get the Camaro out of your mind,” he says.

Philip is quick to grab the wheel when he thinks she’s losing control, which is a nice reflection of how they’ve micromanaged Paige’s first forays into espionage. The girl suggests Philip join her at a church event so Pastor Tim will think they’re more “normal.”

Later, Philip and Stan are playing racquetball. Stan picks up on Philip’s new energy (he has a lot more free time now that Martha has been airlifted to the Soviet Union.) Stan can’t hang around long. He’s got to get to work because “the Munchkins,” one of which is his new boss, are cracking down on discipline and intolerant of any lateness or sloppiness.

He misses Gaad, his old boss. “He didn’t care how we got the job done,” Stan says. “As long as we stopped the Russians.”

Elsewhere, Elizabeth takes advantage of an absence in Young Hee’s household. Her mother-in-law is visiting Korea, and Elizabeth volunteers to babysit – which will gain her access to Don’s things. He works at the same bio-weapons lab as William, but has higher clearance. She needs a code, a card key, something.

William has alerted them that there’s a new disease being worked on. He doesn’t signal Gabriel directly because he’s not sure it’s the kind of thing anyone should have – even his home government. “It’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen,” he says. The Lassa virus he describes sounds Ebola-like, liquefying organs and causing blood to seep through the skin.

Since Philip forced the KGB to liberate Martha, William admires his independence and trusts his guidance. “I was thinking about not telling the Center about this,” William says. “I’d like to make the right decision. … Nobody needs this. I don’t trust us with it.”

NEXT: Spooked by a TV movie …