Critic Consensus: "Tchaikovsky" slows the momentum of its predecessor while threatening to push the conflict between family, career, and personal conviction to a breaking point in the lives of The Americans' core characters.
Critic reviews for Tchaikovsky
"Tchaikovsky" is a move-the-needle episode with a number of strong moments that pop among the many minor moments.
After the opening during the premiere and the music, especially, I expect there is a chance the Jennings' marriage will survive, so I'm holding out hope that the tiny cracks in Elizabeth that are near-impossible to comprehend are good signs.
I find it rather interesting that at this point in the season, the "character" I'm most worried about is their marriage.
There are some things in life you can't unsee, things that burn themselves into your brain and haunt you for the rest of your life. I've got to imagine "your mom's panicked face covered in a man's brains" is one of those things.
This interest in the meaning of work, both its cost and its worth, is the central feature of "Tchaikovsky," elaborated in so many contexts that the episode maintains its focus despite covering an immense amount of narrative terrain.
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