‘The Americans’ Anxiety Report: Philip And His Mustache Have Had Enough


The Americans Anxiety Report is a weekly rundown of the people and things we are currently most worried about on the show. It will get weird, because many of the people and things we will be worrying about will be tools in a plot to ruin America, put in motion by another country. Blame the show for this, not us.

10. Claire Louise, the bilingual baby (Last week: Not ranked)

The truth is that I’m actually excited for Claire Louise, the infant child of Pastor Tim, who is off to Buenos Aires with her family after the KGB landed Tim a new job far, far away from Paige and her crumbling teenage existence. I mean, Buenos Aires! Not a bad deal for little Claire Louise. I’m happy anytime someone on this show escapes to sunny South America. (I hope Oleg and Stan move to Rio and get a bachelor pad together, like the Two Wild and Crazy Guys sketch from SNL, but with former spies.) The only reason I’m including her is that things are going to get dark as we make our way through this list, and I wanted to open things up with an image of a happy baby on a beach in Argentina.

9. Henry (Last week: 9)

The thing about Henry is that there’s another shoe preparing to drop and it is going to suck tremendously for him when it does. Someday, maybe not today, maybe not for a while, his parents are going to announce that they’re all moving back to Russia and Henry’s plans — the fancy private school, the math, the burgeoning romance with Kris, who is definitely his girlfriend or at least wants to be, because you don’t help someone cook a dinner you’re not going to eat unless there’s something else going on there — are going straight to heck. He’s going to be so sad. He’s the only character on the show who is even approaching normal, which is a minor miracle with all the chaos taking place around him, and he’s just going to be ruined by it all.

Kris will be so sad, too. I imagine you don’t get to say goodbye when you flee to Russia under the cover of night with your murderous spy family. It’ll be so confusing for both of them. I choose to believe there’s an outcome here where they get married and move to California and start a billion-dollar tech company.


8. Elizabeth (Last week: 1)

Quiet night for Elizabeth, relatively speaking, but please note the thing where Paige threw her cross necklace in the trash and Elizabeth fished it out, causing me to think for one second that she was doing a loving mom thing, only to find out that she was doing a cold-blooded spy thing to keep the ruse going. Everyone on this show is broken in unfixable ways.

7. Mischa (Last week: Not ranked)

I’m very happy for Mischa that he found, like, someone. An uncle isn’t quite a father, and you can tell even this guy has deep and unsettled issues with Philip being the smart one who gets the glory of being a spy in America, but again, it’s something. Although part of me wants Martha to adopt him. I don’t know why. Imagine Philip’s face if that happens and he finds out. He would frown so hard that his whole face slides off his skull.

6. Tuan (Last week: Not ranked)

It’s not that I worry something bad will happen to Tuan. Tuan is a survivor, and he’s bordering on heartless, as the Pasha suicide drama revealed, especially once he got to the “and even if he dies” part of the plan. Tuan seems like someone who would hit you with a brick the second he suspected you were plotting against him, even if you weren’t and you were just a waiter at Denny’s who accidentally gave him ham instead of sausage in his omelette. No, I worry about Tuan’s soul. You’ve gotta be catastrophically messed up to propose a plan of action that involves driving a sad teenager to suicide, especially if you are a teenager yourself. Tuan needs counseling, in a very bad way.


5. Stan (Last week: Same)

Stan’s new asset has a shady new lover who showed up to her secret meeting with the dang FBI carrying a signed picture of himself and plotting to squeeze the United States government out of a few hundred bucks. I hope he’s not a Russian double agent. I just hope he exactly the type of guy who would do all that. “Babe? You’re meeting with the FBI, babe? Cool. I’ll come with. I think we can squeeze them for more money. Let me grab my autographed picture of myself to butter them up. They’ll love it. Hey babe. Babe. Have you seen my sunglasses? My sunglasses, babe? Babe?”

What a doof. I love it.

4. Paige (Last week: 10)

Good news and bad news.

Good: Paige is sleeping through the night with the Tim situation settled, and for once has a facial expression that reads as something other than unending hopeless despair. Also, she’s getting pretty good at fighting, as evidenced by her solo garage training at the end. It’s a shame she’s about two decades too early to get way into MMA. Girl has rage issues. She could have channeled that into a career. She could have been a redhead Ronda Rousey. She could have been in a Fast & Furious movie. It’s not fair, really, this life of hers. Wait. This was supposed to be the “good” section. Crap.

Bad: See above, re: Henry. Things are finally going better for her — better-ish — and her parents want to spirit her away to Russia, which is in the middle of a wide-ranging grocery corruption scandal, among other things. And I’m still bummed about the Fast & Furious thing I started in on a second ago before I realized I was supposed to be looking at the bright side of things. This is what this show does to you.

3. Philip (Last week: 3)

We take a one-week reprieve from our “just post pictures of Philip looking sad because it says more about his mindset than any words could” plan of action, because we have business to attend to. When we last saw Philip, he was charging through the streets of suburban Washington, in a costume that included a fake mustache, on a mission to prevent Pasha from staging a suicide attempt, wife and fake adopted son trailing behind him and begging him to stop so as not to compromise their whole mission. This is not our usual Sad Philip. This is Action Philip. This is Fed-Up Philip. This is I’ve Killed Two Innocent People Recently And I Just Watched My Wife Shoot An Innocent Man In Front Of His Once-Upon-A-War-Criminal Wife And Everything Sucks And Goddammit I’m Not Gonna Have A Sad Teen’s Suicide On My Conscience Too Philip. Look at his face.


It’s the most determined we’ve seen him since… since… since I don’t even know when. He has his swagger back, a little. It took a lot to get to this point, and it might wreck everything, and if he gets to Pasha too late he might just cry so much that he drowns in his own tears, but it’s still nice to see.

2. Oleg (Last week: 6)

Did you think it, too? When Oleg was standing on that bridge? Did you think, maybe for a second, that something bad was going to happen? Like, that someone was going to run up behind him and flip him over the side and into the icy river below? I definitely thought that. Part of it is the way TV shows lately have trained us to assume that the penultimate episode of a season is when the big deaths happen, but part of it is just that it seems like we’re headed there. Right? Things are not good for him right now. Too many things are happening in too many places. People are too suspicious. His mom is telling him stories about sleeping with a doctor in a prison camp to acquire reasonable accommodations. And that’s before we even get to his job, which involves rattling trees filled with knives that could come down on him pointy-side first at any time.

Admittedly, this last thing is a bad analogy. Why would someone put knives in a tree? Are the knives growing on the tree, like fruit? Is it a knife tree? You get my point, though. Probably.

1. Pasha (Last week: Not ranked)

There is a non-zero chance that the final season of The Americans will begin like 13 Reasons Why, with Tuan finding 13 self-narrated cassettes from Pasha on his doorstep that explain why he chose to end his life. The difference is that, instead of listening to them one at a time and trying to investigate it, Tuan will throw the tapes in the garbage and sit down to eat a Big Mac. Poor Pasha.

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