Season finale review: The Americans “Echo”

There couldn’t be a better song choice to open The Americans‘s second season finale than Golden Earring’s “Twilight Zone”. Not only does it add atmosphere to the situation unfolding, but it speaks metaphorically to every running plot of the season, right down to the most important question it asks over and over: “Where am I to go now that I’ve come too far?” Every character has to face this question at some point during the events of “Echo” (and for characters like Emmett and Leann, even earlier) – and as “Twilight Zone” so succinctly points out, “soon you will know/when the bullet hits the bone.”

And boy, do bullets hit bones throughout the episode (especially “when the hitman comes/he knows damn well he been cheated”, as sung by Barry Hay), literally and figuratively: in a hail of bullets, Larrick and Jared are both gunned down in upstate New York, while Stan makes the difficult decision that yes, things in fact have gone too far with him and Nina’s relationship. It’s an hour that opens and closes on the idea of sacrifice, one man dying for the Russian cause by obtaining a paint sample, and another, more symbolic, sacrifice of the reality Philip and Elizabeth have built for decades, all in serve of “the greater good.”

read the full review at Sound on Sight



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