It's whack-a-mole time on a terrifically taut episode of FX's The Americans (10/9), as the uneasily married Philip and Elizabeth learn just how treacherous these spy games can get, while Agent Stan of the FBI concocts a gem of a plan to try to take the focus off the real mole, the lovely but understandably terrified Nina. Even a subplot involving the Jennings' kids Paige and Henry, stranded miles away from home when the parents are suddenly otherwise occupied, isn't as annoying as these things tend to be (think Kim Bauer or Homeland's Dana Brody). For what it's worth (to me, a lot), Keri Russell has her finest did-she-just-do-that badass moment yet when she realizes the level of mistrust she's dealing with at work and at home.
Showtime's competitive juices aren't limited to the arena of scripted entertainment. Now the pay cable network is challenging HBO's Real Sports franchise by turning to masters of long-form narrative with the launch of 60 Minutes Sports (10/9c). Among the segments in Wednesday's premiere: a closer-up profile by Bob Simon of FC Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi, whose prowess at 25 was demonstrated in last Sunday's 60 Minutes piece on the Barcelona team.