Emily Theytaz ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Episode 3 of The Americans, “The Walk In,” focused both on Elizabeth’s (Keri Russell) changing mindset between which comes first: her family or her mission, and Paige’s (Holly Taylor) continuous sleuthing gone wrong.
Just to get it out of the way, we went a whole half an hour without seeing Stan (Noah Emmerich) and Nina (Annet Mahendru)—and it was the greatest half an hour of television of all time. Thankfully, their screen time was short and sweet. Nina has Stan in the palm of her hand and is writing letters to Arkady (Lev Gorn) detailing everything Stan tells her and everything they do (including Stan telling Nina he loved her). Here’s hoping the pair will have a change of story soon. This back and forth of Stan telling Nina, Nina telling Arkady, and Nina telling Stan false information is getting really dull, really fast.
Elizabeth has always been the cold one in her relationship with her husband. In season one, she put the motherland and her mission first, family second. She had always known that the little family she and Philip (Matthew Rhys) had created would be in danger, but the Connors family’s murder was a wake-up call. Her family, in fact, does come first, and she must do all she can to protect them.
We saw numerous flashbacks to 1966, where, for the first time, we saw Elizabeth’s lack of want for children. Leanne (Natalie Gold) changed her mind by asking her a favor: if something were ever to happen to her, Elizabeth would give her son, Jared (Owen Campbell), a letter she had written. Elizabeth seemed keen to keep the promise, and this episode saw her acting on it. She visited Jared in disguise at his new home intending to give him his mother’s letter. That is, until Jared broke down and told her that he would have died with his family if he had listened to his mother when she told him not to go to the pool because of his ear infection. It was then that Elizabeth realized she couldn’t give him a letter telling him the truth about his parents. She couldn’t tear apart his good memories, so she burned the letter, choosing to let Jared continue living the life he had.
While Elizabeth dealt with Leanne’s son, her own daughter emulated Sherlock Holmes, investigating “Great Aunt Helen.” But we all know the immense precautions the Jennings took to preserve their identity, so Paige came up empty-handed and just as clueless as before. Her 14-year-old rebellion is just beginning and we can be sure she won’t quit any time soon. “Great Aunt Helen” obviously called Philip to inform him of Paige’s visit, meaning she’d skipped school and left her brother, Henry (Keidrich Sellati), alone while her parents were gone for the day. Philip gave her a stern lecture about how lying wouldn’t be tolerated in their family—ironic considering their whole life is a lie. While Philip may have thought he’d convinced Paige to follow the rules, he shouldn’t back down so soon. We’re just going to have to wait and see how Paige’s detective skills improve over the next few weeks, and how it will come to affect the Jennings family.
Overall Episode Grade: B+