EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'The Americans' fan react: Win some, lose some

Season 3| Episode 3 | “Open House” | Aired Feb 11, 2015

We all might need a shot of genuine Russian vodka to settle the nerves after another intense hour of The Americans. Elizabeth and Philip come bumper-to-bumper with a squad of FBI and CIA agents in a low-speed, high-stakes car chase requiring an amazing amount of coordination from the both hunters and the prey, like a graceful ballet of espionage.

And I bet you’ll never take your dentist—or a shot of anesthesia—for granted again.

So when the Cold War plays out in miniature on the streets of Washington, D.C., who will emerge as this week’s winner?

  • Philip and Gabriel play Scrabble while discussing who among the newly identified CIA Afghan Group might be susceptible to spycraft. Gabriel warns Philip to be cautious; the CIA is likely looking for Russian operatives after their agents. +USSR for intelligence gathering; +USA for good, old-fashioned board games
  • Elizabeth continues to mentor Hans and train him on the art of surveillance. +USSR
  • We learn Hans is a teaching assistant in D.C. who digs stonewashed jeans … and Elizabeth. +1980s style
  • Philip and Elizabeth focus on Ted Paaswell, a member of the Afghan Group who is getting divorced and desperate to sell his home. At an open house, Philip sneaks into Paaswell’s office to snoop and plant a bug in a briefcase. Paaswell briefly stops home and finds Philip in the office, but doesn’t seem at all suspicious. +USSR
  • Elizabeth and Philip tune their listening device and hone in on Paaswell, jamming to ’80s classic “All Out of Love” on his car radio. +Australia for giving us Air Supply
  • Paaswell picks up his babysitter, and the Jennings hear the two flirting. (Ew.) Elizabeth and Philip consider making a move but realize they’re being followed, likely by CIA agents protecting Paaswell. +USA
  • They split up; Elizabeth will keep driving while Philip, who stealthily rolls out of the moving vehicle, calls for backup. +USSR
  • Elizabeth is definitely being followed. She slows down long enough for a Russian agent to toss her a Zack Morris-style cell phone/walkie-talkie, which she uses to listen to the agents on her tail. +USSR
  • The FBI talks strategy in their war room. Stan’s worried she’ll get away again; Gaad gives the okay to set up a roadblock and pull her over, even though it’s the CIA’s operation. +USA
  • The agents take turns following Elizabeth. She’s stuck at a red light, but another Russian agent jams their communication signal. When the CIA driver hits the gas, he’s hit by another vehicle, giving Elizabeth time to wipe her prints, ditch the car, and escape. +USSR
  • When she finally arrives home, the usually cool Elizabeth is visibly shaken. She falls into Philip’s embrace as an American flag waves to the tune of the national anthem on the television behind them. +USSR for espionage; +USA for broadcast sign-off patriotism
  • Philip goes in for a kiss, but her busted tooth is too painful. In a gut-twisting show of bravery and teamwork, Philip grabs his toolbox and wordlessly goes to work. With her tear-filled eyes, Elizabeth silently pleads for him to be gentle and quick, but a sip of liquor won’t numb the pain of having your molar wrenched out with a pair of pliers. The panic in her eyes, his brow sweat, her whimpers, the faint scrape of enamel … the palpable fear and pain of these living, breathing characters made this more difficult to watch than last week’s bone-crunching suitcase contortion featuring the dearly departed Annelise. +Viewers who made it through another of The Americans‘ superbly visceral and violent scenes
  • Elizabeth meets Hans again. His observation skills are improving. He apologizes for the other day. She explains why sex is dangerous in their line of work. And besides, there’s an important someone in her life, and she doesn’t want to screw it up. +Romance
  • Philip and Gabriel argue again about Paige. Philip doesn’t think she can handle the type of life her parents lead, and shouldn’t have to. Gabriel insists, “There is always a choice.” Whose side is Gabriel on, anyway? TBD

Miscellaneous Surveillance Notes:

  • Martha brings up kids again, this time playing with the idea of fostering one. Philip/Clark’s not into it, until she mentions how great it would be to mentor a child in need and help shape their values. Maybe a good breeding ground for the next generation of Russian spies? A way to appease the Center without handing over Paige?
  • Oleg’s father has arranged to have him transferred back to Moscow. Arkady says it’s his office, and he won’t sign the papers if Oleg doesn’t want to go. Oleg decides to stay in America.
  • Stan’s frustrated they haven’t caught the Russian couple yet. A fellow agent asks about his time undercover with a white supremacist group, and how he fooled them. By telling them what they wanted to hear over and over, Stan replies. People just like to hear they’re right.
  • As he watches Zinaida, the Russian defector, espouse the evils of communism on a talk show, we’re left to wonder: Is that exactly what she’s doing?
  • Despite warnings from Gabriel, Philip and Elizabeth tail Paaswell one more time. They hear him turning down the babysitter’s offer of hot, postdivorce rebound sex, and then realize her father is none other than Isaac Breland, head of the CIA’s Afghan group.

WINNER: USSR. Sorry, America—the Jennings are on their game so far this season, and these U.S. intelligence agents just cannot seem to catch a break. It’s like Gabriel says while playing Scrabble: “Win some, lose some.”

The Americans airs Wednesdays at 10/9C on FX.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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