The Americans Season 2 Review “New Car”

The Americans Season 2 Episode 8 New Car (2)

On the latest episode of “The Americans,” it was time for a “New Car,” and, in this case, that meant a sweet new Z-28 Camaro for Phil. “What did you do? Sell one of the kids?” queried Stan, bemused, if more than a little envious. To be honest, I was a little fuzzy on the metaphor at hand, as, growing up in the South, Camaros are a dime a dozen, but I suppose it was meant to represent Phil’s particular version of the American Dream, just as Henry’s was that hilariously-outdated video-gaming system he was sneaking next door to play.

Unfortunately, both of said desires came back to haunt them, as Phil’s enjoyment of his new status symbol was short-lived, being as he found out that the plans Liz and he stole were plants by the US government intended to fail- which they did, resulting in the loss of some 160 Russian lives on a submarine that used said faulty plans. Meanwhile, Henry got a little too comfy and fell asleep on his neighbors’ couch, where they found him upon returning from vacation. Needless to say, both Phil and Henry were unhappy campers.

It’s sort of funny, as I was just talking to someone about Henry and Paige being chips off the old spies, what with their off-book shenanigans behind their parents’ backs. He was more impressed by Henry’s stalk-and-execute technique, whereas I was a bit more taken aback by Paige’s verve in investigating her mother, which involved taking a bus out-of-town to get to the bottom of things. In the end, both were caught, though, so they may both want to work on their techniques. Points for effort, though.

As for Phil, you can’t blame the guy for falling for the bait-and-switch, seeing as it was actually a pretty clever move on the real Americans’ part. That said, he’s right to think that the whole Stealth plane thing is worth pursuing, as we know that it was actually a real thing. Perhaps the sub thing was, too, but that’s pretty smart, planting fake documents in strategic places to be safe. One imagines the Russians will be a bit smarter and follow Oleg’s lead in doing a bit more testing before putting their own people’s lives at risk next time.

Speaking of which, Lucia ended up doing just that when she went also off-book and went after Larrick behind Liz and Phil’s back, with the intention of killing him. It backfired- literally- and she ended up getting knocked out herself, only to be given a death sentence by Liz when Lucia tried to kill Larrick yet again after he freed her when Liz came to get her. Too bad. I liked her character’s moxie. It sort of reminded me of Liz earlier on in the show’s run, when she was less conflicted.

Getting into a conflict he might have underestimated was Oleg, who successfully retrieved his files from Stan, only to further antagonize him into attempting to get an okay from the DOD to look into what Oleg was up to with the scientist they kidnapped, Anton. That smarmy self-assurance of his may end up biting him in the behind, because it looks like Stan is going to get the go-ahead, judging from next week’s preview. Then Oleg will be wishing he hadn’t acted so smug with him. Oh well, you live and you learn. At the rate Oleg’s going, he might not make it to the end of the season, though- least of all if Stan finds out he’s been sleeping with Nina.

Not much in the way of action on this episode, really, but the scene with Larrick and Lucia was suitably intense, as was the bit near the end with the trucker, Lewis, that Liz wanted to kill but Phil wanted to spare. You’d think after the whole business with Lucia that Liz would have been on the same page with Phil about letting the guy live, but I guess not. From next week’s preview, the way all the killing and other unsavory things Liz has to do for her country are weighing on her will finally be discussed, and it’s high time it was.

What did you think of the latest episode of “The Americans”? Do you dig Phil’s new wheels? How about Liz’s decision regarding Lucia? Or her assessment of Reagan? Do you think Larrick can be trusted? Will Liz or Phil end up killing him? How about Lewis? Will their kids continue to do shady things like their parents? Sound off below and I’ll see you next week!