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The Americans

The Americans

Sat Jun 8, 10-10.50pm, ITV

By Phil Harrison
Series one, episode two
It can’t be a coincidence that Agent Beeman (Noah Emmerich) has moved in over the road from the Jenningses’ house. This week, it becomes clear that he’s heavily involved in the machinations of the Cold War himself as he blackmails a clerk at the Soviet Embassy to work for the Bureau – and pointedly shares his illicit haul of Beluga caviar with Philip.

Still, Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell) have bigger fish to fry. A perilous bugging mission threatens to turn very nasty indeed and leaves them considering their future. ‘The Americans’ is great fun, although it does once again prompt the thought that history is always written by the winners; for example, it’s blackly amusing to see the likes of Reaganite defence secretary Caspar Weinberger portrayed as a paragon of virtue and charity. The new ‘Homeland’? A worthy substitute, at very least.

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