The Americans: Season 4
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The Americans: Season 4

As part of the generation that came of age during the Cold War between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics watching a television series that in that the pics that period takes on a different perspective, one of personal perspective rather than depended upon history. Like many, I may have been too young to understand the particulars of what was going on are undeniable that the adults were apprehensive about something. The construction of bomb shelter was common place.In elementary school; we had regular drills of what to do in case of a nuclear strike, which consisted of ducking under out plywood desks or moving in size places to the basement. We somehow knew that the Russians had something to do with it. This portion of our childhood was also a time of the proliferation of espionage oriented entertainment both in the movies on television. What we were able to glean from our parents and teachers it seems evident that Russian spies were living unnoticed among us. In a few years would bring us additional information and understanding such as one of the main means of attacking our way of life used by the U.S.S.R. was to train sleeper agents to infiltrate Americans on the most inconspicuous level. Several years ago this premise became the basis of an intensely suspenseful television series on the FX network, ‘The Americans’. With the fifth season about to begin the previous season has recently released on DVD and even if you watched every episode during its run is excellent ideas to binge watch the season before starting the new material. Not only is this series known for its intricate tapestry of interwoven plots, nuance character development and several references to the events and circumstances of the time. Orderly a more significant reason to revisit the episodes is currently new chapters of the Cold War added on a nearly daily basis. The new presidential administration tied to Russian diplomats and members of the Russian intelligence community. These investigations have gone so far as to indicate that foreign influences may have affected the most recent election for President. With these events almost in our minds the cloak and dagger espionage depicted in the series no longer be considered abstract in something buried in the past.

Elizabeth (Keri Russell) or Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys), are married Soviet spies is that present themselves to the world as travel agents to children, teenager Paige (Holly Taylor) and her younger brother Henry (Keidrich Sellati). Pages always had been a very independent young woman with a strong desire to help people in a commitment to work towards a better world. Several seasons ago she became involved with the Christian church helping them with various social projects and eventually becoming baptized. Even back then there was pressure on Elizabeth and Philip from their Controllers to inform her of their real identities and turn her into a second-generation sleeper agent. As the season gets underway closely guarded façade is a regular American family the requisite cocoon of law is necessary to maintain it continually chipped away. Philip found himself in a precarious situation. For several years Philip has been married to Martha Hanson (Alison Wright) as part of a long-term deep cover mission. Martha is a secretary to Frank Gaad (Richard Thomas), a senior supervisory agent for the FBI’s counterterrorism unit.

For years Philip has been using her to obtain information crucial to the interests of the Soviet Union. Philip is well-trained and has a naturally smooth personality idea for his coercive intentions. In the very first episode of season four Philip has to confess to Martha that he killed her boss explaining that it was for her protection. Further complicating matters Paige has a conversation with her mentor in the Christian church she who baptized, her Pastor Tim (Kelly AuCoin), where she reveals the true nature of what her parents do. The life that Philip and Elizabeth have been living all these years has been far from smooth going murder, betrayal and even torture, both giving and receiving, as regular occurrences. The need for spin control over such drastic revelations comes at a time in their KGB supervisor/handler Gabriel (Frank Langella) presented with a new mission. This is a major part of the success of the series that little time is wasted material not directly pertinent to progressing the storylines and character development.

The new mission involved Philip and Elizabeth contacting William Crandall (Dylan Baker), an American who has access to biological and chemical agents. Nuclear weapons were not the only means of mass destruction activily considered by both the Soviets and the Americans. Chemical warfare and weaponized biological agents also being actively researched for deployment, since they were brutally deadly but had little effect on the infrastructure of the enemy territory. With Martha’s help, Philip was able to get sufficient information on William to be able to arrange to meet him. During the meeting, William turns out to be another Soviet infiltrator. He provided Philip with a sample of a devastating biological weapon known as Glanders. As with many elements of the series, this was an actual agent of germ warfare was used as far back as World War I when the Germans unleashed on the Russians. This mixture of fact and fiction has remained a staple of the series providing an undeniable sense of intensity and for those familiar with history an feeling of reality. In this season one of the selected locations used by the story with something that most Americans could readily identify with on a natural basis. Philip and Elizabeth decide to take the children on vacation to Epcot Center in Florida. As part of the Disney resorts, it provided a pivitol location. The main attraction depicted a community of the future. This ting in a perfect fit with the ideological motivation that drives both the Soviets and the Americans. Each has their vision of what the future would be with the conflict stemming from it being opposed and mutually exclusive.

Initially, this series faced a serious hurdle that in most cases would be difficult if not impossible to overcome. For many Americans, the very idea of undercover Soviet infiltrators has been among one of the biggest fears permeating the zeitgeist of the American public. The McCarthy era that dominated the 50s and shaped much of America’s sociopolitical imperatives based on hidden Soviet agents would erode our way of life and system of government within our midst. As such having protagonist for TV series using such a couple, there is an extraordinary degree of difficulty in presenting these characters in such a way that the audience accepts them and other necessary emotional bond could create. He said that the enemies of our very way of life and yet this series has managed to captivate the imagination of the audience making the show one of the best rated and most popular on FX, a network that built a reputation on cutting-edge, controversial subject matter. The unqualified success of the series ultimately lies with the intensity and visceral realism of the storylines. It is undeniable that the presentation of these stories being so opposed to American interests would require performance of exceptional talent to captivate viewers adequately. The combination of Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys was an example of building and casting.

Ms. Russell was one of the most successful child actresses still active in her adult life. She had already appeared in a substantial number of films, and television series on the real breakout hit as the titular character in ‘Felicity,' one of the early television series programs which have become one of the most influential filmmakers of our day, J.J. Abrams. The broad range of characters that Ms. Russell has played throughout her career was excellent preparation for her role as Elizabeth. During the many missions, Elizabeth has to assume a wide gamut of disguises presenting herself as everything from a recovering alcoholic and a 12 step program to the sultry seductress tempting men to betray their country in return for sex. Matter what the sky she dons Elizabeth remains a deadly assassin capable of eliminating anyone threatens to impede permission or reveal her true identity. The series greatly enhanced by the synergy created by Ms. Russell and her on-screen husband played by, Matthew Rhys. Although assigned to be married throughout the many years they have grown to care for each other, but almost every case loyalty to Mother Russia remains paramount.

Almost without exception, every member of the second-tier cast warrants praises for such convincing performances. The one outstanding member of the cast has been maturing with each successful season, Paige. The young woman portraying this crucial role, Holly Taylor breaks with a common occurrence is the television series, she is the age that she’s portraying. This aspect of her performance greatly benefited her ability to connect believably with the audience. She started the series as an innocent young girl, quite intelligent and exceptionally inquisitive. These are qualities that normally parents would be proud of but in the circumstances resulted in his sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of her mother and father. They had tried their best to keep their identities and mission from Paige, but inevitably she had to be told the truth. In this season there were spheres realized when she compromised her parents ‘cover’ with her Pastor. Ms. Taylor has certainly grown into her role accepting the responsibility of greater involvement in the stories the natural style and obviously inherent talent. Considering what is happening in real life particularly interested to see how the fifth season will unfold.

Posted 03/08/2017

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