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The Americans: Final Season Begins Its Journey To The End
Review of the first episode of "The Americans" final season
On Wednesday, FX premiered the first episode of The Americans final season and it did not disappoint. For those unaware of FX's award winning drama series, The Americans is set in the Cold War during the 1980s and centers around Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, two KGB spies undercover as an American couple with two American born kids living in the Northern Virginia-DC area.
The irony and the suspense? Well, that comes from the fact that they live across the street from FBI agent Stan Beeman, who has been tasked with uncovering Soviet spies in the United States.
What makes The Americans so special is not just the gritty realism of espionage and clandestine politics, but its in-depth look at how those two factors shape Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell) as they navigate their interaction with certain government targets through various disguises, while maintaining their cover as American owners of a travel agency.
At the same time they are raising their teenage children, Paige (Holly Taylor and Henry (Keidrich Sellati), and making sure to keep their activities incognito in the eyes of their friend and neighbor, Agent Beeman.
Over the course of the series, Philip and Elizabeth have explored the strain of being two spies in an arranged marriage, having to blackmail targets they actually bond with for government information, and including Paige in their activities after she finds out their secret.
However, since season five, a divide has been growing between Philip and Elizabeth. On one side, Philip has grown tired of the espionage and is willing to fully acclimate to the life of a normal American, and on the other, Elizabeth believes in adhering to the mission and wants to remain loyal to their country.
This season sees that divide bloom as Philip quits the KGB and is kept out of the loop as Elizabeth continues her spy work, now with the assistance of her daughter Paige, who she is mentoring to become a new addition to the KGB.
Ironically, as Philip and Elizabeth are going through their difference of opinion, the Soviet Union is also being divided as political figures disagree on the best way to serve their nation. This division spills back into the couple’s lives; with one side of the KGB using Elizabeth for assignments that align with their interests, while the other side uses Phillip to investigate his wife’s activities with the intention of stopping her.
The Americans final season serves as the show's own Civil War, culminating all the tension from the past five seasons and taking us down a farewell path to watch a ticking time bomb explode. One thing's for sure: not everyone will survive the fallout!
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