Critic Consensus: "The Day After" uses the titular 1983 TV movie as the backdrop for a reflective episode that finds The Americans catching its breath before charging headlong into the end of the season.
as Philip Jennings
as Elizabeth Jennings
as Paige Jennings
as Henry Jennings
as Stan Beeman
as Sandra Beeman
as Martha Hanson
as Agent Frank Gaad
The Day After Photos
Critic reviews for The Day After
"You have to blink, Paige," may be how I choose to remember the episode overall: a tension-relieving respite from the pressures of eight anxious weeks, just before the real shit hits the fan.
I cried during this sequence. The antiwar message of the film the characters watched, the sense of colossal, avoidable loss and waste and tragedy, covered my brain like ashes. The power of art to communicate the awful truth was palpable.
I loved how the airing of The Day After was an undercurrent to all the action-a reminder of how high the stakes truly are.
The Americans is a great show because in the same episode that it shows that the end of the world is a possible consequence of Elizabeth not doing her job ... we desperately want her to not do her job.
Maybe it's because I lived through the era and am actually cognitive of the times that I so connect with what's happening. Regardless, The Americans Season 4 Episode 9 hit me hard.
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