There comes a time in every galaxy’s life, as the impending heat-death of the universe edges ever closer, when a young set of stars and large spherical masses might look around and start to think, “Hey, those are some pretty nice giant balls of flaming gas which surround me in this dark matter sea."
“The Americans” is doing its best to juggle a number of plotlines in its fifth season. That makes for great storytelling, but it can also make for particularly confusing episodes when the directors choose to advance too many of them at once.
The season is definitely slower than previous ones; that hasn’t changed. But it might be less of an issue than I first thought, because these first few episodes, taken together, constitute the beginning of a metamorphosis for both Stan and the Jennings.
Joe Weisberg, former C.I.A. officer and creator/producer of “The Americans,” has earned my trust with four mostly incredible seasons of television. It must be said, however, that this was not the triumphant return to the small screen that could be hoped for, perhaps even expected, from the show.