What did we learn from The Americans season 1, episode 2? Americans Undercover looks back at the second episode with our case notes from ‘The Clock.’
What did we learn from “The Clock” the second time around?
1) The Americans was going to use real historical events and figures.
One of the most interesting things about the show is that it doesn’t just say it’s set during the Cold War; it makes use of actual 1980’s events and figures to create its plots. “The Clock” was the first episode to do that, as the episode’s whole mission was centered around a meeting between the U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and foreign dignitaries.
It proved that the fictional series was going to respect and integrate reality, and that was something both intriguing and also very impressive to do, because it’s not easy from a writer’s perspective to strive for that kind of realism and allow yourself to be defined by what actually happened. The second time around, you realize just how much had to go into setting that up rather than just going for a completely fictional universe.
2) Paige was always a problem
We’ve discussed before how Paige Jennings (Holly Taylor) has come to basically be the third lead of the show in the last two seasons. Some people have enjoyed that and others haven’t. But in rewatching “The Clock” you realize that Paige was always a part of the conversation.
The subplot of this episode involves Elizabeth (Keri Russell) scolding 13-year-old Paige for her lifestyle choices and admitting that she’s worried about how Paige would do if both her parents were killed. So even back then, Paige was a cause for concern for her parents, just for entirely different reasons.
And even back then, nobody was worried about Henry (Keidrich Sellati). Poor Henry.
3) Chris Amador was not the most interesting person in the world
The Americans fans know what ultimately happened to Chris Amador (Maximiliano Hernandez), who was Stan’s first partner. In retrospect, though, you almost start to understand that decision better. We don’t want to say Amador was expendable, but he kind of was in the sense that he was not a very interesting character.
“The Clock” shows how Amador is another tough, no-nonsense FBI agent with not much personality otherwise. Even while Stan (Noah Emmerich) is getting congratulated by the higher-ups, Amador’s face still looks cold and disinterested. He’s more interesting in the end of his arc than he was when he was around. Dennis Aderholt (Brandon J. Dirden) may not have much to do, but at least he’s got personality.
You can catch up on episodes from all five seasons of The Americans on demand by clicking here.