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The Americans Season 3 Episode 9 Review: “Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?” | TVOM

TVOM: "Two sequences in “Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?” (a title adapted from the Philip K. Dick novel that was, in turn, adapted into the film Blade Runner) are graphically memorable for very different reasons. Some of The Americans‘ other scenes that have left major impressions this season–fitting a body into a suitcase and lighting someone on fire–have been deeply uncomfortable, but mostly on the visceral level. Having to watch something that’s physically difficult to watch makes for engaging viewing. Having to watch something that’s emotionally difficult to watch is something else altogether. Both Hans’ messy execution of Todd and Betty’s forced overdose overseen by Elizabeth challenge viewers in ways that should make them question the motivations of these characters, because they are characters. Unlike the mail robot that Philip and Elizabeth bug, these characters have thoughts and feelings and do not carry out missions as cold-blooded agents. They may give off that impression, but it’s clear with Elizabeth, for example, that the logistics of a mission don’t come without an emotional toll that has to be acknowledged at some point."

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