The following contains spoilers for Wednesday’s episode of The Americans. If you have yet to watch, avert your eyes now. Everyone else, read on…
The Americans‘ Cold War served up a casualty on Wednesday night.
After a violent run-in outside of Martha’s home, Phillip was forced to take wounded FBI agent Chris Amador to a secret location. It was there that the G-man succumbed to his injuries.
Amador’s colleagues, meanwhile, attempted to take out the head of the Rezidentura as payback for the deaths of their agents and a scientist in last week’s episode. Stan, fearing the Russians were also responsible for his partner’s disappearance and ultimately his demise, took out low-level spy Vlad – a necessary action, according to his portrayer Noah Emmerich.
“Stan feels if he doesn’t follow through with his threat, then the U.S. will lose all authenticity and reliability,” the actor shared during a conference call. “Once Amador is killed, if Vlad is in fact a member of the KGB, then he has to go. … He’s fair game for the retaliation for Amador’s death.
“I don’t think it’s an emotional, rash decision,” Emmerich adds. “It’s a calculated chess move that he feels must be made. I don’t think there’s any pleasure in it at all. It is revenge. I don’t think it’s personal though; it’s political.”
Although Stan’s actions may be motivated by his work, he still “definitely crosses the line that he tries to draw for himself.” As such, his portrayer previews, “The repercussions of that will come to play … as we go on.” The loss of Amador is also sure to weigh on him since “the one tether that he had – at least, the beginnings of one – was this partnership.”
In getting to the truth about his pal’s whereabouts, the FBI agent had an encounter with his informant, Nina, that was quite cold compared to their recent bedroom meetings. Although the two have developed a quasi-romance, Stan hasn’t forgotten the reality of their situation. “Nina is a Russian spy,” Emmerich stresses. “So Stan rightly assumes she would be privy to some of the events that are taking place” and is not above using her. “Whatever his feelings for her are personally, they are outweighed dramatically by the fact that his partner and fellow American is in dire jeopardy.”
And now that the Cold War is heating up, will Stan and Nina’s relationship do same? “There’s clearly real feelings between the two of them,” says Emmerich, “and there’s clearly lots of other levels of relation that are going on between the two of them. It’s a very complex, messy, unclear world. … It gets very confusing and complicated for everybody.”