Thursday, May 31, 2018

It was also facile and far-fetched

New Yorker: "The finale of 'The Americans' was elegant, potent and unforgettable."

Let's scroll down the garage scene:
A fair amount happened before that Russian denouement, although the crucial sequence began twenty-two minutes in, with a hilariously arch greeting between old friends. “Hey!” the F.B.I. agent Stan Beeman says, cheerfully, to his neighbors, Philip and Elizabeth and their daughter Paige, as they enter a parking garage, preparing to flee the country. “Hi, Paige!” “What . . . what are you doing here?” sputters Philip to Stan, as if they’d all conveniently bumped into one another running errands. Stan holds one finger up and says, calmly, “That’s a great question.”

It was the last moment that Stan would be in control, during a clash of perspectives that should have, by all narrative logic, led straight to prison or, if not, to a shootout, a car chase, or something worse. Instead, ten minutes later, the Jennings were coolly driving away to freedom, as Stan stood by silently, as if paralyzed, watching them go. How did they pull that off?
How indeed?  We're supposed to forget that Philip and Elizabeth killed dozens of people including co-workers and other people close to Stan.  But Philip did some fancy talking and suddenly the Jennings are on the road to Canada.  It just rang false to me. 

When Philip said "we had a job to do" Stan should have responded "and so do I."

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