The first time I joined an "Americans" thread was to complain that the writers, in Season 5, had seemingly lost interest in Stan. He'd been a confused and damaged man for four seasons--then suddenly, he was just dull as hell--out of counterintelligence, in love with his wife and apparently healed of all his trust and intimacy issues. Talk about giving an actor nothing to play. He may as well have been in a cereal commercial. Thank God they brought back the former Stan for season six, because he fascinated me and I thought Emmerich was terrific. Not showy, not ever, but the layers of intensity were always present, alive and clear.
The garage scene was titanic. I honestly think it's one of the greatest I've ever seen anywhere. I will watch it for years.
I read somewhere that Stan has to go through all the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) in eleven minutes. I agree that he went through most of those, sometimes at once. And all of it was drenched in shock and awe. His emotions were reshuffled second by second, and all the time he was struggling to keep any kind of balance, to find a little piece of logic that would keep him afloat. Instead he just sank and sank right to the bottom. So I think Emmerich's quote is really perfect: Stan did what he could do, and nothing more. His world fell apart just as surely as the Jennings' world eventually did. He was emotionally paralyzed. Disabled.
That's wonderfully said. He went into that garage as Stan Beeman the man. He needed to be given something real. And the "something real" (which may not have been totally truthful, and which he may not even totally believe) is his ruination.
It was tragic, that scene.