Philip Jennings in a disguise on The Americans.

‘The Americans’ Season 3 Premiere Recap: Turn the Paige

It’s TV’s most consistently thrilling show since Breaking Bad, but The Americans started its third season on the quiet side. Of course, this being The Americans, quiet is a relative term. There’s still copious ass-nudity, a kama-sutra scene, John-Boy Walton getting his ass kicked, a Frank Langella cameo, and a brutal on-screen act of sexualized violence. But for the most part, tonight’s season premiere simply picked up the pieces left behind by the season that preceded it. The USSR is bogged down in Afghanistan. The FBI is one step behind the “illegals” who keep stealing their secrets and kicking their asses in street fights. Agent Stan Beeman has a broken marriage, his mistress Nina has a treason conviction, and her boyfriend Oleg is desperate to save her. And sleeper agents Elizabeth and Philip Jennings continue to fight and fuck for the Revolution, while trying to keep their kids, especially headstrong daughter Paige, away from the front line. With all these ties to last season, it’s as good a time as any to look to the past for the secret of the show’s success.

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