Author: Marion Stein

The Americans: Casablanca and EST

“START”, the almost perfect finale of The Americans, offers its surviving characters a shot at redemption, and an ending to a seasonal arc in which Mischa and Nadezhda finally have a mission worthy of their talents. We pick up…

The Americans: Smoke gets in your eyes

The title of the penultimate episode, “Jennings, Elizabeth” had half the fans convinced it foretold a death. It did. By the episode’s end, Nadezhda and Mischa, those two young idealists now grown into weary middle age, are hitting the road.…

The Americans: Burn baby burn

In “The Summit”, the nearly perfect eighth episode of the final season (perfection would have included Oleg), Elizabeth finally puts humanity ahead of mission. The build-up has been going on for a while. The suspense was in wondering whether the…

The Americans: Moving parts

In an effort to save his marriage, if not his country, Philip joins Elizabeth’s mission to rescue an illegal who the FBI has codenamed “Harvest”. Henry confides in his “Uncle” Stan, which rhymes with Sam. And somebody needs to tell…

The Americans: On my way

“Riffifi”, episode 6 of the final slog toward doom that is The Americans, is named for a film in which most of the protagonists die. This week Elizabeth doesn’t kill anyone, but she comes close to braining her husband…

Homeland: We have met the enemy and he is us

Did they purposely make Carrie unlikable all season—narcissistic, careless with the lives of others (including her kid), recklessly “running around like a crazed vigilante” according to Saul—only to give her a terrible comeuppance so we can feel bad about hating…

The Americans: Philip acts

Elizabeth’s senseless murder spree continues, but she needs Philip’s help for one final mission. In pushing him beyond where his conscience allows, will she seal both their fates? Episode 5, “The Great Patriotic War”, opens with Stan, tailed by members…

Homeland: Mission to Moscow: Wigstock Edition

Like every season’s penultimate episode of Homeland, “All In” was action-packed and showed Carrie at her most ingenious and determined. Plausibility, however, was lower than on a Saturday morning cartoon version of the A-Team. Saul, Carrie, her crew, and…

Homeland: Bye-bye, Frannie-pie

In “Clarity”, the tenth episode of season 7, Carrie finally realizes what she needs to do to keep Frannie safe. But is it too late for a show that kept the kid around for way too long? With Dante’s death,…

Homeland: Just her 19th nervous breakdown

This week on Homeland: Yvegeny goes rogue, Bill says too much, and Carrie’s seasonal hallucinatory sequence may actually give her the clarity to make a tough decision, god willing. We open with Yvegeny and “Simmy” mapping out their future…

The Americans: Four wigs and no funerals

Welcome to another week of dread, close calls, and the longest long game on television. Can Elizabeth Jennings, the hardest working spy in Spytown, keep dodging bullets forever, literally? With only six remaining episodes, we’ll know soon enough. Gone…

Homeland: Bonnieskaya and Clydeski

What happened after Saul’s team grabbed Dante, and left a terrified Frannie in her mother’s arms? Did Carrie decide she and Frannie might as well squat at Dante’s since he wasn’t going to be home for awhile, or did Carrie…

The Americans: Your country or your wife

“Dead Hand”, the perfectly scored final season premiere of The Americans begins with a montage that wordlessly (except for the lyrics) shows us everything we need to know about the state of the Jennings’s marriage. Philip has renovated the dingy…

Homeland: Who's the honey-trap?

Carrie finally goes to Saul, who helps her put the pieces together, but will she take his advice? “Species Jump”, episode 6 of the season, opens with Carrie trying to get Fannie off to school, so she can go back…

Homeland: Cherchez la femme

Saul catches up with an old friend. Elizabeth finally gets a win. Carrie is boss lady of her own private avengers. Carrie and Max watch a disappointing episode of her favorite live stream. We open with Saul, in a heavily…

Homeland: Their own private Alamo

Keane is ready to dump David. Saul has a very bad day. Carrie has a proposition for Dante. And Costa Ronin (Oleg) from The Americans drops by for a very special non-crossover. We open with Carrie watching her favorite live…

Homeland: The morning after

This week on Homeland, Saul makes Brett an offer he can’t refuse, and then Brett refuses. Carrie finds a new white knight who has some baggage, because doesn’t everyone? And David Wellington is once again weaselly. Previously on Homeland,…