refresher course

Where Did We Leave Off on The Americans?

Photo: FX

The Americans returns for its third season tonight, bringing with it glorious tales of the KGB and ’80s Americana. The hair was big, the glasses were bigger, and the teens — well, they were just as petulant. Here’s your quick refresher on where we left off at the end of last season.

What happened in the finale again?
Every single person was sad. The Americans is sad!

Why were they sad?
Because nothing is easy. Stan is sad because he had to decide between betraying his side piece and betraying his country — and sorry, Nina, but he picked betraying you. He’s also sad because he’s getting divorced. But if you don’t want to get divorced, maybe cheat less? Nina is sad because Stan wouldn’t commit additional acts of treason for her, and also because now she’s getting sent back to Russia. (We’ll see.)

Remember how last season started with a family, minus their oldest son, being executed in their hotel room? That made Philip and Elizabeth just generally sad for a while. But what really bummed them out on the season finale was finding out that Jared, said surviving son, was actually behind the killing. Elizabeth felt particularly sad because she felt very protective of Jared, and he died in her arms — protecting her, but also confessing to a horrifying murder. Philip was sad because he’s a sad dude.

But the Jenningses became extra sad when Claudia told them about a second-generation program — in which KGB members’ American children are recruited for the agency. Jared was their first hopeful, but that obviously backfired (that’s what Claudia is sad about), and now they want Paige. “That is not an option,” Philip says. “Those are your orders,” said Claudia. “Don’t forget what’s at stake in this war,” she told them. “Paige is your daughter, but she’s not just yours. She belongs to the cause. And to the world. We all do. You haven’t forgotten that, have you?” They had not. But they disagreed: Elizabeth wants to tell Paige the truth and start grooming her for espionage, and says Paige is looking for something — recall that Paige is sad because she’s now all into Jesus — and this could be exactly what she needs. Philip is adamantly opposed, and told one of their KGB contacts that he and Elizabeth would sooner defect from the program than let Paige be involved.

What about everyone else?
Martha, who herself is not sad but is sad to us, has a gun. And Stan had a weird dream about her, in which he saw her stealing files — which means deep down, Stan knows something is up with her. Does he suspect her of leaking information — or does he suspect her of maybe being someone who’d be sympathetic about the fact that he has?

Henry … has long hair. It’s the ’80s, but it’s still a little sad.

Where Did We Leave Off on The Americans?