“But as Season 5 dawns, she’s by far the most volatile and fascinating character, capable of anything, from melting down entirely to transforming into a killer superspy.”
And that’s the whole attraction to these teenage characters. People just imagine them as the best thing ever…one day. Really there’s been nothing we’ve seen about Paige so far that’s indicated she has any kind of superspy in her, but since she’s a teenager people can imagine her turning into one.
Meanwhile her mother is the actual superspy (and in flashbacks we see that she was actively heading that way at Paige’s age), but since she’s an actual character she has flaws. Paige gets described as “the most fascinating character” on the show because she’s not really too fascinating at all yet.
Same thing with Sally Draper. (Who actually showed more spy chops on her show at Paige’s age than Paige has.) Sure she was a well-written teen character who held her own on the show. But with Sally people could imagine she was going to grow into something other than yet another adult. If people got their Sally spin-off and she had a daughter that wasn’t written terribly her daughter would get the same treatment.