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The Americans

Sat Jun 22, 9.45-10.40pm, ITV

Series one, episode four
How close did John Hinckley’s Jodie Foster obsession come to starting World War III? If any show can help us with this question, it’s ‘The Americans’. Tonight, Hinckley’s pot shot at the Gipper has a whole bunch of terrifying ramifications for the Jennings family: according to their new handler, ‘Operation Christopher’ is about to be initiated and who knows where that might lead. Clearly, this incident has serious implications for the family on the other side of the street too…

We’re hoping that the Jennings/Beeman interface doesn’t become too neat – the messy ambiguity is a considerable part of the fun offered by this hugely engaging series. Either way, world events are causing cracks in domestic façades – for all the ideology, the personal battles are just as compelling. Good stuff again.