Episode Breakdown: The Americans – Season 6 Episode 6

The Americans
“Rififi”
Created By Joseph Weisberg
Where: FX
When: Wednesdays @ 10pm EST

Where We Left Off:

Last week, Elizabeth crept into Gennadi’s house to kill him, but when she realized Sofia and Ilya were also there, she tried to escape. However, it was too late, and both parents were brutally murdered while the son watched TV. Philip crossed some dangerous lines, first by sleeping with Kimmy in order to get her in on a secret blackmail plan of Elizabeth’s, and later “sparring” with Paige, putting her in a dangerous choke hold to teach her a lesson about how deep she is wading into shit’s creek. Luckily, he tipped Kimmy off to the plan and warned her about her upcoming trip, but there’s no going back with Paige. Tatiana reunited with Oleg, accusing him of being the reason she has never advanced, as she knows he is the one who reported her activities to The Americans. Stan is shaken after seeing Ilya taken away from the scene of his parents murder, and seems destined to run head on into Elizabeth. But will he get to her before Philip stops her? Will either of them succeed?

What Went Down:

We open in the ever-familiar Jennings kitchen, where Philip and Elizabeth where he lays it all on the table. He knows she murdered the couple and their kid found them, and despite being momentarily convinced to rope Kimmy into Elizabeth’s plan, he’s not going through with it and he warned her to stay out of any communist countries. They leave into separate rooms as the opening titles roll. Holy shit, the Cold War has officially invaded the Jennings home on a whole new level.

At the FBI offices, Stan gets roped into the Gennadi investigation by his old partner. Aderholt tells Stan that Gennadi had been holding a circuit board for the radiation sensor. He tells Stan about the warehouse break-in that saw guards killed (thanks, Elizabeth) but no sensors stolen. The investigation led them to an accountant in Chicago, another Russian spy, who is leading them to follow various trails. This is the tip of the iceberg and with everything else going on (Rennhull, Gennadi and Sofia, Burov etc), Stan needs to be on this team. This has to be how Stan is finally led to the true identity of his neighbors, right? Maybe the accountant leads them to Claudia…?

Henry is home, and he tells his dad that he wants to get a summer job to help pay for his tuition, and that a friend’s dad, a fellow business owner, may be able to help him get the travel agency back on track. You can tell this wounds Philip’s already-fragile sense of pride. Elizabeth goes to the movies and meets Paige’s intern fling, Jackson, chatting him up after the show but not following him. Back home, Henry can sense the parental tension in the air. Everything is wildly uncomfortable, and when she told him “You’re an adult now, I don’t have to hide things from you,” you start to wonder what she may let him in on before all is said and done.

Philip and Henry share some bonding time at one of those old electric, toy car race tracks. Dad lets out a huge f-bomb when his car crashes, and Henry asks how things are with mom. Elizabeth “bumps into” the intern again and talks to him on the subway. She tells him about the firm she works for and gives him her card. At the travel agency, Philip has to trim the fat and he lets long-time friend and employee Stavos go. Claudia signals Elizabeth for an emergency meeting, telling her about the accountant in Chicago. He’s under surveillance and needs to get out without being arrested. She tells Claudia the plan with Kimmy won’t happen and they part ways. Elizabeth rushes home to pack, basically tells Philip to fuck off, and leaves after telling Paige to cover for her at Stan’s Thanksgiving dinner. The family all goes over to Stan’s and he gives a nice toast to the American way of life.

Later, Philip goes to a garage storage unit where Elizabeth’s covers and disguises are hidden. Back home, he appears to be writing a coded message, and he drops it off at a nondescript building. Did Elizabeth telling him “someone still gives a shit about their job” actually get to him? In Chigago, Elizabeth and a colleague plan the accountant’s escape. She knows the chances are slim. She calls Henry at home, and her face and voice say she’s thinking this is the last time she’ll talk to him. The accountant is working on Dead Hand just like she is, and arrest means cyanide capsule…

Burov walks to where Philip dropped off his message and retrieves it. He sits down to decode the message and we cut to Philip in a phone booth. He calls Elizabeth, after Henry told him about mom’s phone call, so he knows she is in trouble. He tries to convince her to drop it and come home. She won’t, so he’s coming to help her. “Just sit tight, I’m on my way.”

Where We Go From Here:

There is no way around it, Stan is hot on the trail that will lead him straight to Elizabeth. And with Philip on his way to Chicago to help her, it could all come to a head there. Though I suspect it’s more likely that Stan gets ahold of intel that shows the couple there and he confronts them at home, where so much of the show’s tension has taken place over the past six years. And with Paige in training and Henry being so friendly with Stan, there could be unimaginable collateral damage. I’m starting to feel my chest tightening over these last few episodes. I absolutely love this show and cannot stand the sense of dread that is surrounding the finale.


What did you think of this week’s episode?
Will Philip and Elizabeth succeed in Chicago?
Is Philip trying to save the mission or save his marriage?

Check back next time for another Episode Breakdown…
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