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TV Review/Recap: “The Americans” The Walk In (Season 2 Episode 3)

This week’s episode of The Americans: “The Walk In”, gives audiences another tiny flashback into what Phillip and Elizabeth were like at the beginning of their marriage. Their icy interactions show just how far they’ve come in their relationship and character arcs. Not to be outdone, Paige is her typical Harriet the Spy self, and Stan finally takes the bait and tells Nina he loves her. So… what else was in store for the characters?


The episode begins in 1966 Silver Spring, Maryland, around the start of Phillip and Elizabeth’s marriage. Elizabeth meets Leigh Anne (the female agent who was killed in the season opener) and her young son Jared (the lone survivor) at a park. The two women begin to talk about life and the fact Elizabeth doesn’t know if she wants to have kids. Because starting a “family” is a huge part of the sleeper cell agents’ mission, Leigh Anne tells Elizabeth not to mention her reservations about kids to anyone at The Center.

As we quickly find out,  Elizabeth and Leigh Anne aren’t at the park for fun; they are actually on a mission, using their location to monitor a man that lives in the area. Before the women carry out their objective, however, Leigh Anne asks Elizabeth to do her a favor.

Matthew rhys and Keri Russell in disguise The Americans
Credit: Patrick Harbron/FX

The Mission

Cut to present day. Building off of the urgent information Phillip gathered in last week’s episode, the KGB sends Phillip and Elizabeth to a base in Newport News, Virginia. Their mission is to collect intelligence on a propeller grinding machine before it is moved to another facility. While they are gone for the day, The Center agrees to put a security detail on the Jennings children to ensure their safety while their parents are gone.

Cue the disguises! Once they gain entry into the factory, Phillip and Elizabeth, who are disguised as moving supervisors, quickly work on finding the machine. Unfortunately for them, it was already moved. In order to save the mission, Elizabeth strong arms an employee into giving her information on actual propeller blades that are still located at the facility. She and Phillip are able to take pictures of the item and its blueprints.

While this mission may be “accomplished”, Elizabeth still has something else to attend to…

Another Flashback

It’s 1967 and Phillip and Elizabeth seem really uncomfortable around each other. Their relationship is more business than romance. All of a sudden, Elizabeth proclaims that she’s ready to start trying for a child and starts undressing. This demonstrates just how dedicated Elizabeth was and is to “the cause”. Of course, she loves her children now, but she first decided to have them in order to further the mission, regardless of her own reservations on the matter and the fact she didn’t feel close to her husband, though she did think Phillip would be a good father. Oh how times have changed.

The Letter

Remember that favor Leigh Anne asked Elizabeth to do for her in the first flashback? Now we find out that it involved Elizabeth giving a letter to Leigh Anne and Emmet’s children in case anything ever happened to them. This letter will tell Jared who his parents really were.

To fulfill the long-held promise to her friend, Elizabeth drops Phillip off at the train station for him to get back to DC for the kids while she goes to give the letter to Jared on her own. Posing as a child advocate, Elizabeth visits Jared at his new home; a family that he babysat for took him in. Sidenote: the fact that Phillip and Elizabeth don’t have any friends or family that would take their kids if something happens to them created another major source of stress this episode. After all, the kids certainly can’t go to the Beemans. Let’s be real, poor Martha will somehow get stuck with them if anything ever happens.

Unsurprisingly, Jared is not doing well after losing his entire family. He feels it is his fault that they died since he was at the pool instead of helping to protect them. After consoling him for a few minutes, Elizabeth realizes that giving him the letter will only make him more upset and confused so she decides to burn it instead.

The Americans Stan
Credit: Patrick Harbron/FX

Stan Stan The “I Love You” Man

Stan’s investigation on Bruce Dameran, the “walk-in” at the Russian embassy, reaches a critical level. While investigating Dameran’s office in the World Bank, Stan is informed that executives from the organization are meeting at the Marquee Hotel. Immediately he realizes Bruce is about to do something bad so he rushes to an adjoining rooftop, where he finds Bruce with a sniper rifle. Bruce proclaims, “Don’t you know what the World Bank does to me and you?” He then says that after Vietnam he saw the real enemy… the men who own everything. Although Stan tries to coax him into putting the gun down, he says he has to do something, shouts “Ronald Reagan doesn’t care” and points the gun towards Stan, leading Stan to shoot him dead.

Stan is quickly declared a hero and is in the running to receive a medal for his act of heroism. He quickly meets with Nina for some lovin’ and thanks her profusely for the intell on Bruce. Finally, he says, “I love you.” Now we know why the Russians leaked the information on Bruce, to solidify Nina’s relationship with Stan.

Dammit Paige!

In this week’s episode of DAMMIT PAIGE!, Paige decides to take her snooping to the next level, especially after she saw a postcard from someone called “Aunt Helen” in last week’s episode. As it turns out, Paige and Henry have never met any family members, so the fact that an “aunt” lived nearby in Pennsylvania peaked her interest. When her parents go away on business, Paige sees this as the perfect time to find the address, so she skips school, and rides a bus to Helen’s house (making a new friend named Kelly along the way). After knocking a few times at Helen’s, for some reason Paige decides it’s okay to let herself into the house and proceeds to walk around looking at the pictures on the walls; she even finds a baby picture of herself and Elizabeth on the wall.

Eventually Helen comes downstairs displaying signs of Alzheimer’s. She seems to think Paige is someone called Sally. Paige realizes that she won’t get anything out of her “Aunt” so she heads back home. However, Phillip beats her home and receives a phone call from a now lucid Helen explaining the situation. Paige comes through the door soon after and lies saying she was at debate club after school. Phillip calls her on the lie and proceeds to instill the fear of God in her… though I can’t imagine this will be the last time she snoops around… especially since the episode ends with her sneaking out to go see Kelly.

Thanks to Paige’s exploits, two new mysteries we need to solve are: who in the world is Aunt Helen and do we need to care about Kelly?

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