Wednesday nights just aren't the same without a discussion of the Americans, so here it is, the official discussion thread for the end of the series. Now that everyone's had a chance to digest the finale, it's time to let it all out. Share your final thoughts, most memorable moments, lingering questions, maybe even your favorite disguises. As previously mentioned, we'll also have additional discussion threads with specific themes over the next few days, so keep an eye out for those.
On behalf of the mod team (/u/mrdude817, /u/shark_and_kaya, /u/Plainchant, and yours truly), I also want to thank you all for making this subreddit such a great place to talk about The Americans. I know it's made the experience of watching the show so much more enjoyable for me personally, and I hope you guys feel the same.
I feel like I've been seeing a number of people say they either wanted to do a rewatch or have already started, so I thought would gauge the sub's interest in doing one in a semi-organized fashion. Leave a comment if you're interested. If you have a preference as to time, schedule, format, etc., please indicate that as well. In other words, when should we start it? How many episodes should we do a week? Should we do a S6 rewatch or a full series rewatch?
Is it like "based" on true stories like they say in horror movies when in reality, only 10% of it is? The reason I ask is because the series seems very far-fetched to me. A lot of the show is just having sex for information- WHO SPILLS TOP-SECRET INFO TO A RANDOM STRANGER FOR SEX?? Have there actually been cases of Russian couples pretending to be Americans, even as far as having kids, of whom, are unaware? Of course this could never happen TODAY, but back then, was did it? I would imagine IF it did happen, there could be spies under the guise of Americans from several other countries, not just Russia.
---Spoilers for S04E07---
Short summary of the plot: Philip brings Martha to a KGB safe house and wants to exfiltrate her to Russia because the FBI found out about her. But Martha runs away from the safehouse because Philip left her alone with Gabriel and she doesnt trust him. Now the FBI and Philip are both looking for her. As Martha calls her parents from a pay phone the FBI (including Stan) is listening to the phone call and is able to locate her. All FBI agents seem to leave the office immediately and start searching for her. Shortly later Martha makes another phone call and calls Clark/Philipp through the KGB callcenter. Apparently the FBI isn't listening to this phone call because there is no one left in the office (or at least we don't know about it).
*So here's the thing: * If Martha hadn't called her parents first, all of the FBI agents would have still been in the room and probably would have listened to the other phone call between Martha and Philip. And Stan would have definitely recognized Philips voice.
So my point is that I didnt realize on my first watch how risky it was for Philip to answer the phone call by himself. He must have known that the FBI listening to phone calls and Stan would have easily been able to identify Clark/Philip by his voice. Of course this only makes sense if the FBI is able to listen to phone calls made through the KGB callcenter. But considering that the KGB agents are always talking very carefully over the phone, I guess they can(?)
Maybe its only a small observation but I have to travel a lot currently and have lots of time to think :D So I spend my whole train ride today writing this.
I think most people can agree that Phillip and Elizabeth were not the best parents. It's a fact that they put their children in harms way constantly. But I also believe both of them loved Henry and Paige and it's not like they wanted their children to be in danger.
I think the reason that two people who are capable of parental love could still make the parenting choices that Phillip and Elizabeth did comes from the reason that Phillip and Elizabeth had children in the first place.
Ideally, someone will choose to become a parent because they want to raise someone from baby to young adulthood, and to provide them with a good growing environment. Basically, people should become a parent because they actually want to be a parent, and not because they want the child to provide them with something. Phillip and Elizabeth though had kids specifically because the center told them to do so since that would make the best cover. So Phillip and Elizabeth went into parenting knowing that their underlying reason for having children is about what the children can give them: better cover. Though I'm sure Phillip and Elizabeth love Paige and Henry, and tell themselves they truly want what's best for Paige and Henry, there is probably still a subconscious feeling in both of them that Paige and Henry were created to help them, and not with the purpose of growing into new people. This, I think, has lead Phillip and Elizabeth to have a more utilitarian-style of parenting, where they view their kids as extensions of themselves and look for ways that they can get what they want out of their kids.
This is most evident with Elizabeth and Paige. Elizabeth had a hard time connecting with both of her children, and really only took an interest in Paige's activities (church) as a means of trying to control Paige's interests, and later as a way to make Paige more soviet-friendly. Elizabeth puts in the most effort in S6 when Paige is a means through which Elizabeth can be of more value to the Soviet Union. It's all about Elizabeth's ego, in that it's she who is the best spy, because her daughter is joining the ranks. It also helps's Elizabeth's ego because Paige's spying is going so much better than the disastrous attempt to recruit Emmett and Leann's son from S2. And when Marilyn suggests that Paige might not make a good spy, Elizabeth is wounded because it suggests Paige isn't helping Elizabeth's work, and thus isn't as useful. A non-utilitarian parent would have focused on Elizabeth is barely concerned with Henry's school, because Henry probably couldn't be turned and thus isn't as important.
I think the most clear cut example of this is with Henry's progress in Math. Phillip and Elizabeth get a call from the teacher asking to meet with them, and Phillip and Elizabeth walk in expecting that Henry was making trouble. At this point, their complaining and demeanor suggest they view Henry as an annoying burden. Then they get told that Henry is gifted at math, it suddenly becomes all about them, because now Henry has become a way for them to feel good about themselves because they raised such a smart boy. Never mind the fact that their complete surprise indicates that very little of his success can be attributed to Phillip and Elizabeth.
Perhaps if Philip and Elizabeth had chosen to have kids because they wanted to have kids, rather than because the center told them to, they wouldn't be so willing to have a utilitarian view of their kids.
So I’m only at season 1, like episode 10 but I need to talk about this. spoiler
Philip and Elizabeth just separated, and he moved out and everything’s bad and awkward, all because he slept with that girl he used to be in love with and Elizabeth refused to move past it bc he lied.
Okay, so I get that she’s upset he lied when she asked him if something had happened, and he definitely shouldn’t have lied, but she’s such a hypocrite. First of all, he did sleep with her (which happened during a time he and Elizabeth weren’t really on good terms) and yeah he did lie about it, but he decided to stay with Elizabeth when that lady wanted him to go away with her. So I mean he had every opportunity to leave Elizabeth, but he didn’t even though they weren’t doing so hot in their marriage.
Elizabeth asks and he says nothing happened, which was obviously wrong but I mean he did it because she was FINALLY being cooperative to developing a relationship with him, which he’s wanted literally since they moved to America together. The entire show begins with him wanting to have a real marriage with her, and she refuses to return the feelings. He also shows time and time again he loves her, and he killed that one guy because he had raped Elizabeth back in Russia and chose to respect her choice not to turn him in. Obviously he wants her and cares about her.
Also, she had an affair with Gregory for like 15 years, never told Philip, and told Gregory things about her life that she never told Philip, and he forgave her.
I know they get back together obviously but right now I’m just annoyed by Elizabeth in general. She’s kind of a jerk.
In the final season. Elizabeth and Phillip was fighting and she told him he wanted to have sex with Kimmy. It was obvious to everyone (maybe except for E) that Phillip was not into having sex with such a young woman. E also complained that her lack of sex with Phillip was only brothering him. Did E think that would get him off her back for sex? Or does E think all middle age men want to have sex with hot young woman, instead of there wife? What your opinion on this subject?
A snippit for the ballot: “The Americans” got my vote because the hardest thing in episodic is consistency. The first season is the most exciting because you are discovering the show. From then on if you are good, you fight to not just codify what your show is. In their last season they reinvented themselves. The last two episodes are as good as television gets. Should have been nominated for best directing.
At least we know they'll get one vote!!!!!
I seem to remember this as a small plot point but I can't seem to find anything on it.
Thanks in advance!
EDIT: SPOILERS AHEAD!!
I probably forgot like 12 other things....
One of the characters loses a family member in Afghanistan, and they’re not allowed to discuss his service in the military. Just wondering why they weren’t.
I am well aware this isn’t going to happen, but figured I might as well give some ideas regardless for season 7.
E and P are in Russia, but quickly find out some things. For one, P misses American life, and E is disillusioned with the liberalization of the USSR. E realizes that the USSR has changed so dramatically that she hates what it has become. Another aspect is that P and E realize the KGB is following them, because E killed a KGB agents when they tried to kill the Russian negotiator in season 6, and they are also just a target for betraying the KGB in general.
Also, P has martha and has his son in Russia. He begins to reconnect with them more, leaving E feeling more isolated than ever.
Paige continues to work for the KGB in another city. E and P find this out through a different source (I suppose someone friendly who works in the KGB? Maybe Arkady?). They also find out that she is working on another mission, this time a very dangerous, very controversial one. I was thinking maybe a false flag terrorist act and then blaming the US government, but that might be too extreme. I was thinking that maybe paige is working for them, but she isn’t fully aware of what she is doing for the KGB, she doesn’t understand how bad the endgoal is. She got plastic surgery, changed her hair etc. Idk how they would do that on the show, but considering she has a very distinct face, I feel it would be hard to hide from the government.
Another factor? They learn that Stans wife is an agent. They also learn that Henry is living with Stan. They find out that Henry might be a target for the KGB, as he suspects stans wife is up to something suspicious, and was caught following her one night on the streets. Arkady apparently ordered them to hold on killing Henry, but says he might not be able to forever.
Just then, the KGB decides they have to kill Elizabeth. However the KGB agent is ordered to kill Ps wife, and assumes his wife is Martha due to her being naked in the apartment. So they accidentally kill Martha, aiming to kill Elizabeth. P comes back to find the agent hovering over marthas dead body, and he yells out 'MARTHA?' and the agent tells him it was supposed to be Elizabeth before P kills the agent. P tells E what happened, that they are after her, and they have to leave because he killed an agent. E also realizes that P was sleeping with Martha, as she was over their apartment when the murder happened, leaving a huge amount of tension between them. They realize they have to leave to go back to the USA, both to escape the KGB, and to save their kids. They go through basically the same kind of system that P’s son went through, sneaking out through Yugoslavia. They have 2 goals, save Henry, and get Paige to leave the KGB and drop her plans. Philip also feels as if he 'owes' stan for their friendship and also for letting them go in the end, which is another reason why he wants to tell Stan that his wife is an agent. Elizabeth is against this idea.
Idk how they would go on from there. But that is the basis of the season, basically save their kids, and escape from both the KGB and FBI’s prying eyes. There will obviously be friction between them and their kids. The friction between P and E would be huge due to the whole martha situation. Henry for being betrayed by them. Paige for being roped into working for the KGB by her mom, but then being told by her mom that she has to leave the KGB.
So, tonight I had a dream where I met Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell (or P & E). I told them about this subreddit and how we needed to take a photo so I could post it here. Later on Rhys transformed into Chris Martin from Coldplay and Keri ended up crying and very angry.
I think I have a serious crush on Philipp Jennings-Rhys, I've dreamt about him more than once. Can't give more details without feeling ashamed.
Have you ever dreamt with something related to the show?
I'm a bit late to the game as I've just finished season 2 which had a great ending btw. I recall the scene when Larrick calls Kate and asks for Bobby. She answers 'Bobby who?' and the call ends when Larrick says he dialed a wrong number. I would think that as an agent in a foreign country, your best bet is to play along and say 'he's not here right now but I can have him call you back when he gets home'. It then forces the person on the other end to give a return number as they won't be expecting such a response. I think it would also buy Kate some more time to get to a secure location. Just a thought.
So I binged the whole show with my roommate and we really liked most of it(the last couple seasons were a bit of a drag compartatively) but we both agreed that Kari Russel's acting felt very unnatural and forced. I recognize it was part of her character somewhat, but it seemed that she was supposed to change some throughout the series and it became clear she just isn't a great actress. The way she annunciates things just sounds VERY forced, same in her appearance in Planet of the Apes. Action wise, she is great. And some scenes she seems more natural than others, but she kind of took me out of it sometimes. Paige as well. I thought the women who played Nina, Claudia, and Martha were the better actresses by far. Also I thought Noah Emmerich's character was fantastically written and portrayed, he really fit the role. Same with Matthew Rhys, he really came into his own near the end too imo.
She is very beautiful, but Keri's acting just didn't do it for me, but I see some people saying she should get an Emmy...
Welcome Comrades. /r/TheAmericans, is reddit's official home for FX's critically acclaimed espionage drama. Season 6 airs Wednesdays at 10/9 central, beginning March 28, 2018.
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Here's Jack Barsky, a KGB agent that lived in America as a spy, and still lives in America today. He did a podcast with Slate where he talks about his life and The Americans. His story has been shared here plenty of times. Any future posts on him will be removed.
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