The Americans
Safe House

Episode Report Card
Joe R: C+ | 8 USERS: A-
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Breaking Stan

At the park, Stan sits in the weeds with another agent, waiting to spot Arkady running by. But when the time comes, it's only his underling. The signalman drops his newspaper in the trash, which should be Stan's sign to abort the mission. But Stan thinks this is their last chance to get Chris back, so he instead defies the orders and tells his men on the jogging path to grab this underling by himself. They do, and now Stan's running this thing like a lone wolf himself.

After the break, Agent John-Boy chews Stan out for defying orders, but he's bloodthirsty enough to not be too mad. They've got this poor Soviet kid tied to a chair in Stan's safe house. The other FBI agents leave Stan alone to interrogate the guy. What follows is a scene that wants to be Breaking Bad so much that I almost feel sorry for it. Stan breaks into this long, extended metaphor about duck hunting and dogs and soft palettes. I really don't need to give you the particulars of it, only to tell you that Noah Emmerich is no Bryan Cranston. The whole point is just to let Stan intimidate this guy and deliver the message that, while they've got him captive, they can easily let him go if he gives the information they want. Of course, he has no idea about Chris Amador in the slightest. Neither does Arkady, for that matter. This kid even denies that he's KGB at all, which I guess is the old stonewall tactic. Anyway, he's crying and sad and Stan won't shut up about dropping him at his master's feet or some such "I am the one who knocks"-wannabe nonsense.

Warehouse. Philip is refusing Chris's requests for morphine until he tells them what they want to know. Chris finally asks what time it is, and when he learns it's after 5, he says the target is Arkady. As Elizabeth scrambles to get the information out, Chris smugly says that it's too late -- he's already dead. One last victory for the bloodless man, I guess.

Elsewhere, Stan calls the Soviet embassy from a pay phone. He demands to speak to the Rezident about poor Vladimir, his prisoner. When he gets Arkady on the phone, Arkady assures him that Vladimir is nobody and knows nothing. Stan's like, "Very possibly, but that's not how this works." Hilariously, Stan just goes, "Amador. Release him." Like that's supposed to mean anything at all. Chris is just as much anybody as poor Vlad, only even more so, since Arkady honestly doesn't have the first clue who this doof on the phone is talking about. I like the idea dancing around Stan's head that the KGB has an entire war room devoted to the abduction and imprisonment of dumb old horny Chris Amador. Arkady jots the name down anyway, likely to follow up with Directorate S (and thus get Philip and Elizabeth into trouble). Stan bellows some idle threats about sending Arkady Vlad's balls on a necklace. Impotent rage is actually really fun to watch when it's coming from someone you don't like. Rage on, you big doofus.

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The Americans

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