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  1. #141
    Neals384 and acdevils....must've been watching another series...
    Race Bannon can drive ANYTHING!
    --and did you know Tim Matheson broke into show biz as voice of young Johnny Quest?

  2. #142
    I think I alluded to it earlier, but I tend to be disappointed in series finales. I could rattle off many more that I didnít like vs those that I did. You invest so much time in it, that the end is almost always anti-climactic Plus, I tend to like things buttoned up without things left up to the viewers imagination. That always seems like a cop out to me. There isnít time to tie up every loose end, but the big ones should be addressed.

    Donít get me wrong, I absolutely loved the whole series. I was just expecting more and different from the finale. Seems like Iím in the minorityí, which is fine. Letís just say that I disliked the finales of the sopranos and lost much much more.

  3. #143
    Quote Originally Posted by acdevil View Post
    I think I alluded to it earlier, but I tend to be disappointed in series finales. I could rattle off many more that I didnít like vs those that I did. You invest so much time in it, that the end is almost always anti-climactic Plus, I tend to like things buttoned up without things left up to the viewers imagination. That always seems like a cop out to me. There isnít time to tie up every loose end, but the big ones should be addressed.

    Donít get me wrong, I absolutely loved the whole series. I was just expecting more and different from the finale. Seems like Iím in the minorityí, which is fine. Letís just say that I disliked the finales of the sopranos and lost much much more.
    Intersting. I loved the whole series, and thought the final season was the best season and thought the final episode was nearly perfect. There have been few great finales for sure....there is MASH, Monk oddly enough had a great finale, and Burn Notice had an awesome finale. It's hard not to let down after a long run.
    Race Bannon can drive ANYTHING!
    --and did you know Tim Matheson broke into show biz as voice of young Johnny Quest?

  4. #144
    I thought it was great. Given Stan's history of thinking with his heart and not his head, I found the garage scene plausible. I think it was the NYT review that made note of the fact that it was dialogue that carried the episode when so much of the series was based on action. Rene was deftly handled I thought (obviously Stan is now going to run her through the system).

    One thing I would have enjoyed, though it would have been a cheap gimmick, would have been a fast forward to P, in disguise, at Henry's college graduation (which presumably would have been around 1994 - after the fall of the SU).
    My Quick Smells Like French Toast.

  5. #145
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    I've been thinking about it a lot and I think what I like best is how unformulaic (word?) the ending was. Very nicely done. The key point (to me anyway) that there were no winners whatsoever.
    The FBI and Stan look like dolts (professionally); Phil and Liz never see the kids again in all probability; Claudia and the KGB failed to oust Gorby; but the opposing forces (Oleg) end up screwed, too (Oleg to jail).
    The one silver lining to it all is that Henry now has the very best subject matter in recorded history for his college application essays.
    Next time the FBI contacts the Border Patrol about looking for Russian spies, they might want to point out their skill with disguises.

  6. #146
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    I've been thinking about it a lot and I think what I like best is how unformulaic (word?) the ending was. Very nicely done. The key point (to me anyway) that there were no winners whatsoever.
    The FBI and Stan look like dolts (professionally); Phil and Liz never see the kids again in all probability; Claudia and the KGB failed to oust Gorby; but the opposing forces (Oleg) end up screwed, too (Oleg to jail).
    The one silver lining to it all is that Henry now has the very best subject matter in recorded history for his college application essays.
    Next time the FBI contacts the Border Patrol about looking for Russian spies, they might want to point out their skill with disguises.
    I agree, formulaic is bad, and this was not.

    However, there was one clear winner...in the macro...and that was the US versus the Soviet Union. This theme started back during the wheat controversy, when it was shown that the US lab was working to help Russian wheat production, not to sabotage it, even as Phillip and Elizabeth murder the lab tech. I felt right then there was a bit of a turning point, and I think it worked out that way.

    Phillip and Liz are not merely sad that they are separated from their kids, they are sad because they have to remain in the USSR. They know, even Elizabeth eventually, they played for the wrong team. I think Phillip's line about his life being the joke" and his mentioning that he has no idea what the hell they were even working for makes this clear. And this is consistent with history. As the Cold War came to a close, there was a clear winner. The show was faithful to that.

    And nice point on Henry's college essay potential. How about a future as a novelist?

    And if I saw it correctly, the Customs Agents did have disguise options on their sheet...just not the special "ditch" disguises saved for this contingency. (admittedly not 100% sure about this).
    Last edited by HereBeforeCoachK; 06-01-2018 at 07:50 AM.
    Race Bannon can drive ANYTHING!
    --and did you know Tim Matheson broke into show biz as voice of young Johnny Quest?

  7. #147
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    Phil and Liz never see the kids again in all probability;
    This was addressed on the Slate podcast (which is excellent BTW). With the fall of the Iron Curtain it would be likely that either paige or Henry could visit/ reconnect with P&E in Russia if they chose. Whether either would want to is another question of course.

    But the characters of course don't know that. As far as they know, Paige and Henry are lost to them forever.

  8. #148
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by Matches View Post
    This was addressed on the Slate podcast (which is excellent BTW). With the fall of the Iron Curtain it would be likely that either paige or Henry could visit/ reconnect with P&E in Russia if they chose. Whether either would want to is another question of course.

    But the characters of course don't know that. As far as they know, Paige and Henry are lost to them forever.
    good point. Of course we also could never know exactly what kind of reception Phil and Liz will be getting (though they did seem to do OK greeted at the border, off to Moscow, etc).
    Phil semi quit his spy job, and Liz whacked the would be assassin (though ultimately that could be a good thing for her).

    All in all a great episode, and Paige hopping off the train was a terrific touch. Just imagine her trial if it ever came to that, whoa Nelly.

    One more thought: one day Philip is moseying across Red Square, when he bumps into poor, poor Martha. Ouch.

  9. #149
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey
    IMO, the show's main focus was the purpose of life. IMO, marriage, parenting, friendships, careers, etc. were all components of the bigger issue (the purpose of life) Phillip and Elizabeth tried to discover.
    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeforeCoachK
    Cannot agree with you there...there's been a zillion shows about marriage, parenting, friendships and careers...but never before have the careers been KGB officers under cover in disguise living next door to an FBI counter intelligence officer in DC during the height of the Cold War.

    And if you saw the ending, you'll know that the USA/USSR situation dominated every single character's life - defined their lives going forward in a far more powerful way than any of the relationships.
    IMO, the main theme was the purpose of life.

    Phillip was searching for happiness, love, and to be the best version of himself. Phillip began by doing what other people told him were the right things to do, but they still felt wrong. He changed vocations, but still did not find meaningful and satisfying work. In the end, Phillip tells his only friend, ďI wish you wouldíve stayed with me at ESTĒ.

    Paige began searching for meaning through spiritual and religious pursuits. She then shifted to vocation and ultimately sat alone drinking vodka.

    Stan started believing his purpose was family and vocation. Over time, his marriage and vocation failed to deliver. In the end, Stan is going home to a Russian spy, and raising another Russian spy's son, while continuing to work for the FBI.

    Elizabeth, and her handlers, seemed to be the only people consistently certain of their purpose in life. Only in the end did Elizabeth realize she was chasing something that should not be highly revered, followed devoutly, sacrificed for, and looked to for meaning in life and deliverance from her problems.

  10. #150
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey View Post
    IMO, the main theme was the purpose of life.

    Phillip was searching for happiness, love, and to be the best version of himself. Phillip began by doing what other people told him were the right things to do, but they still felt wrong. He changed vocations, but still did not find meaningful and satisfying work. In the end, Phillip tells his only friend, “I wish you would’ve stayed with me at EST”.

    Paige began searching for meaning through spiritual and religious pursuits. She then shifted to vocation and ultimately sat alone drinking vodka.

    Stan started believing his purpose was family and vocation. Over time, his marriage and vocation failed to deliver. In the end, Stan is going home to a Russian spy, and raising another Russian spy's son, while continuing to work for the FBI.

    Elizabeth, and her handlers, seemed to be the only people consistently certain of their purpose in life. Only in the end did Elizabeth realize she was chasing something that should not be highly revered, followed devoutly, sacrificed for, and looked to for meaning in life and deliverance from her problems.
    There is that purpose of life element, no doubt. But in the end, two adults went back to the Soviet Union with nothing to look forward to...and two kids stayed in the US with all kinds of promise. So that is pertinent to purpose of life to be sure, but it also makes a pretty clear case for who was right/wrong in the Cold War. They tipped their hand in I think season 4, maybe 5, when the whole wheat sabotage theory blew up in their faces. That was a turning point. From there on out, the series was not neutral in the Cold War, though it was not in your face either.

    And in the end, even Paige, who was in high school a budding socialist, chose to stay out of the Socialist Republic...even at the expense of losing her family. In the end, all three - Phillip, Elizabeth and Paige - realized the truth...while the son never had to live the lie in the first place. He was the only happy well adjusted member of that family...the quintessential American kid. Everything Elizabeth hated about America, a ginned up hatred, was what Henry loved about it...what Paige started to love about it in college...and what Phillip had loved about it.

    As for Stan being married to a Russian spy? They didn't answer that question...I don't think there is an official answer...I think they wanted to spark the conversation on that. It worked. You seem certain of it, and you may well be right.
    Last edited by HereBeforeCoachK; 07-11-2018 at 05:38 PM.
    Race Bannon can drive ANYTHING!
    --and did you know Tim Matheson broke into show biz as voice of young Johnny Quest?

  11. #151
    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeforeCoachK View Post
    ...but it also makes a pretty clear case for who was right/wrong in the Cold War. They tipped their hand in I think season 4, maybe 5, when the whole wheat sabotage theory blew up in their faces. That was a turning point. From there on out, the series was not neutral in the Cold War, though it was not in your face either.

    And in the end, even Paige, who was in high school a budding socialist, chose to stay out of the Socialist Republic...even at the expense of losing her family. In the end, all three - Phillip, Elizabeth and Paige - realized the truth...while the son never had to live the lie in the first place. He was the only happy well adjusted member of that family...the quintessential American kid. Everything Elizabeth hated about America, a ginned up hatred, was what Henry loved about it...what Paige started to love about it in college...and what Phillip had loved about it.
    I think your bias may be showing and affecting your focus.

    If there truly was "a pretty clear case for who was right/wrong in the Cold War", then why are we now in Cold War II? IMO, the main theme of The Americans was not to show who was right or wrong in the Cold War.

    Frequently, Stan was just as disenchanted by the FBI's and USA's approach to the Cold War. In the end, even Stan's boss (Dennis) questioned the FBI's approach and purpose. Like the Russians, they both also seemed to be searching for their life's purpose.

  12. #152
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey View Post
    I think your bias may be showing and affecting your focus.

    If there truly was "a pretty clear case for who was right/wrong in the Cold War", then why are we now in Cold War II? IMO, the main theme of The Americans was not to show who was right or wrong in the Cold War.

    Frequently, Stan was just as disenchanted by the FBI's and USA's approach to the Cold War. In the end, even Stan's boss (Dennis) questioned the FBI's approach and purpose. Like the Russians, they both also seemed to be searching for their life's purpose.
    Think two things:
    A: the wheat issue
    B: the fact that neither in the 80s, nor today, could you write this safely in Russia/USSR

    Oh, and yeah, I am biased in the US versus USSR, free market versus communism, issue. Frankly......BLUS
    Race Bannon can drive ANYTHING!
    --and did you know Tim Matheson broke into show biz as voice of young Johnny Quest?

  13. #153
    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeforeCoachK View Post
    Think two things:
    A: the wheat issue
    B: the fact that neither in the 80s, nor today, could you write this safely in Russia/USSR

    Oh, and yeah, I am biased in the US versus USSR, free market versus communism, issue. Frankly...BLUS
    I think our different perspectives, about the show's main theme, illustrates why it was a great show. Add other people's main theme opinions (marriage, loyalty, etc.) and it's very clear the show was wide open to personal interpretation.

  14. #154
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey View Post
    If there truly was "a pretty clear case for who was right/wrong in the Cold War", then why are we now in Cold War II? IMO, the main theme of The Americans was not to show who was right or wrong in the Cold War.

    Frequently, Stan was just as disenchanted by the FBI's and USA's approach to the Cold War. In the end, even Stan's boss (Dennis) questioned the FBI's approach and purpose. Like the Russians, they both also seemed to be searching for their life's purpose.
    Battle lines were being drawn,
    Nobody was right, if everybody was wrong.

  15. #155
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Chicago
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey View Post
    Battle lines were being drawn,
    Nobody was right, if everybody was wrong.
    I see what you did there. Never a bad time for a Buffalo Springfield reference in my view...

  16. #156
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey View Post
    Battle lines were being drawn,
    Nobody was right, if everybody was wrong.
    Hmm...interesting.

    Still, there was no embarrassment on the American side equal to the wheat fiasco, which really started Phillip's departure from the KGB work, and nothing like the attempt to assassinate Gorbachev in Season 6, which moved Elizabeth a great deal, and there was nothing like the Paige dressing down of Elizabeth over tactics either.
    (maybe you haven't seen that). All three of those painted a clear picture of the real score. Nobody was perfect, but there was no moral equivalence either. Not in the last two seasons.

    Throw in the crop failures, the empty store shelves, the corruption all through the Soviet supply chain, the bullet in the head murders in the bowels of Lubyanka, compared to the quality of life and the going out of their way to be fair tactics of the FBI, and it was a lopsided score.

    A lot along the lines of this iconic commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CaMUfxVJVQ
    It's funny because it's somewhat true.
    Last edited by HereBeforeCoachK; 07-12-2018 at 02:39 PM.
    Race Bannon can drive ANYTHING!
    --and did you know Tim Matheson broke into show biz as voice of young Johnny Quest?

  17. #157
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeforeCoachK View Post
    Hmm...interesting.

    Still, there was no embarrassment on the American side equal to the wheat fiasco, which really started Phillip's departure from the KGB work, and nothing like the attempt to assassinate Gorbachev in Season 6, which moved Elizabeth a great deal, and there was nothing like the Paige dressing down of Elizabeth over tactics either.
    (maybe you haven't seen that). All three of those painted a clear picture of the real score. Nobody was perfect, but there was no moral equivalence either. Not in the last two seasons.

    Throw in the crop failures, the empty store shelves, the corruption all through the Soviet supply chain, the bullet in the head murders in the bowels of Lubyanka, compared to the quality of life and the going out of their way to be fair tactics of the FBI, and it was a lopsided score.

    A lot along the lines of this iconic commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CaMUfxVJVQ
    It's funny because it's somewhat true.
    I visited the Soviet Union for two weeks in 1983 and had access to some very interesting stuff, including a Russian fashion show (truly)...I thought I was prepared for a grim place, but I really had no idea how grim.
    Nonetheless, I met a slew of fascinating and wonderful Russians, courtesy of my unusual hosts...I managed to avoid being put on the standard "tour" in which all actions are closely monitored...so they had to closely monitor me on the QT...(found out subsequently how often they followed me when I explored the place on foot, subway, train, etc.)

  18. #158
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    I visited the Soviet Union for two weeks in 1983 and had access to some very interesting stuff, including a Russian fashion show (truly)...I thought I was prepared for a grim place, but I really had no idea how grim.
    Nonetheless, I met a slew of fascinating and wonderful Russians, courtesy of my unusual hosts...I managed to avoid being put on the standard "tour" in which all actions are closely monitored...so they had to closely monitor me on the QT...(found out subsequently how often they followed me when I explored the place on foot, subway, train, etc.)
    That's the tragedy, surely there are some great people, who deserve better, in Russia. But in that system, the communist one, now the oligarchy/police state run by the same KGB (renamed FSB), nice isn't an asset.

    I have a good friend who was touring with a Christian music group about the same time you were there. They were tailed by KGB agents constantly, and that group was as harmless as they could be. They were also asked constantly to sell them blue jeans and music tapes.

    And the grim reality of the USSR was hammered home with the pitiable character of Martha, not to mention the harassment suffered by Burov - and even the dead pan resignation to a crappy life by Gabriel.
    Race Bannon can drive ANYTHING!
    --and did you know Tim Matheson broke into show biz as voice of young Johnny Quest?

  19. #159
    Count me in the camp of "avoiding assured mutual destruction means both sides won.". I thought the series did an admirable job of showing the frustrations and humanity on both sides of the Cold War. I certainly didn't come away chanting "USA!"

  20. #160
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    I thought the series did an admirable job of showing the frustrations and humanity on both sides of the Cold War. I certainly didn't come away chanting "USA!"
    Fair enough, but let me ax you this: did you come away with a sense of moral equivalency? I mean, the show made it clear in the final two seasons that there was no equivalency, and it would be pretzel yoga logic to think otherwise.
    Race Bannon can drive ANYTHING!
    --and did you know Tim Matheson broke into show biz as voice of young Johnny Quest?

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