The Americans Recap: Who’s in Charge Here?

"One mistake," the Russian consulate employee Nina tells her FBI contact Stan Beeman. "That’s all it takes." It helps to keep that in mind while watching "In Control." The fourth episode of The Americans deals with the March 30, 1981, assassination attempt against President Ronald Reagan, who was shot and wounded by Jodie Foster–obsessed loner John Hinckley. 

There’s a tendency to look back at a nation’s past and think of attempted assassinations as mere footnotes or historical curiosities, as opposed to assassinations, which can cause intense, prolonged national trauma and change a country’s historical trajectory. Compare how people talk about, say, the murders of John and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X, versus the botched assassination attempts against Governor George Wallace and Presidents Gerald Ford and Reagan, and you’ll see what I mean. When an assassination attempt does not succeed, the phrase "Well, at least we dodged that bullet" resonates on a couple of levels. There’s a sense that something horrible could have happened that day, but for whatever reason did not, and therefore history (personal as well as national) can march on unimpeded. Read More...


Want to comment on this? First, you must log in to your SideReel account!