TV Club: The Americans: “I Am Abassin Zadran”

A man and a woman share a booth at a diner. They chat like old friends, but there are hints that there’s something more to the relationship: They banter about the depth of the menu offerings, their hands touch and set off the briefest of electrical charges. Their body language signals comfort. Signs of advanced age—his thinning hair, the bags under the eyes—suggest the relationship is a long one, but the familiarity in their conversation confirms it. That, and multiple mentions of covert Soviet operations on American soil.

Margo Martindale’s return to The Americans is the headline-grabber for “I Am Abassin Zadran,” the title of which, sadly, does not refer to Claudia pulling a reverse Tootsie and infiltrating the Mujahideen. (And after the final scene of “I Am Abassin Zadran,” The American‘s Tootsie parallels really snap into place. No wonder that’s the movie Stan …

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