FX’s ‘The Americans’ Season Finale Review

by on May 2, 2013

in Entertainment, tv reviews

The Americans Season 1 Finale Review

The Americans, starring Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich, Richard Thomas, & Annet Mahendru aired its first season finale, and much like the rest of the first season, rocked the story.

The Americans on FX, follows a few Russian deep-cover spies living in the United States in the 1980s, and the missions and exploits they deal with.

At first I wasn’t sure I’d take to the show, considering it’s about spies who are stealing, thwarting and killing Americans. But the story is done so well, that there’s a huge gray area about who is the good or bad guy.

Classically speaking, yes, the spies are the bad guys. It’s the KGB versus the Ronald Reagan era. But much like the telling of shows like Breaking Bad or Sons of Anarchy, we find ourselves immersed in the drama that is the daily routine of the bad guys. And we’re liking it.

For me, the last thing I saw Keri Russell in, she was this cutesy kid and I had no real motivation to be interested in anything she did. But in The Americans, her role as Elizabeth Jennings completely redefined her image for me, in a great way. It’s incredible to watch the dangerous or sexy Russell tackle this new role, as it will help define her for new fans in this new generation of anti-heroes.

And it’s an amazing story, where two Russian spies are assigned a deep-cover mission to live in the United States, be married, have kids and the whole nine yards, acting like your typical, all American family. All the while, living next door to an FBI counter-espionage specialist.

And while they pull off missions, they disguise themselves to look a bit different than what they normally do during the day, and the disguises are pretty effective looking tricks.

And while we follow missions, we’re also following the lives or relationships of a few characters and how good or bad things can get, as even these tenuous relationships have their own, typical day-to-day relationship stresses. If you can imagine that!

SPOILERS

In the season finale, a soviet representative (Mahendru) has confessed to her bosses about spying for the FBI, and in turn, is now giving sensitive intel from the FBI, making her an effective (and beautiful) double agent.

Meanwhile Elizabeth and Phillip’s (Rhys) handler, Claudia (Margo Martindale), is sending them on individual assignments, one of which, becomes a trap to capture our anti-heroes. All the while, our spies are trying to figure out who should go off-mission and take the kids out of town.

As Nina (Mahendru) gets word out about the spy traps the FBI has set, the Russian embassy sends out blatant “mission abort” signals to ward off their agents from capture.

It works, but not without some collateral damage, as Elizabeth and Phillip barely escape, but not before Elizabeth gets shot.

As the episode closes, we’re seeing that Elizabeth has been operated on and probably saved, while their daughter appears to be snooping around the house, with what seems like a fairly decent potential of uncovering something she has no clue about. That being, what her parents really are.

END SPOILERS

It was a great episode, much like all the episodes have been from the show, and it ended on what I’d not really call a cliffhanger, but maybe more of an emotional worry-hanger.

I like when a story is finished and not left to hang until the next season. And yet, they left it just right, with us wondering about this tiny little development that just might impact the story in the next season of The Americans.

It’s produced by DreamWorks Television and airs (Distributed) on FX and was created by Joseph Weisberg, whose previous credits on IMDb include a few writing gigs for Damages and Falling Skies.

‘The Americans’ on Amazon

It’s a great series with a good story, and great writing that makes everything enticing to follow. All the while, you’re getting a flashback to the 80’s as the production has to create the 1980’s all over again.

How in the bloody heck did they manage without cell phones?

Check it out if you haven’t. The show averaged around 1.8 million viewers per episode, having quietly declined from the 3.2 million viewers from the series premiere. But that’s not abnormal for people to slowly fade away. TV viewers tend to take shows for granted and plan on catching things later on, not realizing that sometimes, that very pattern of TV watching dooms a show.

But as we know, it has been renewed for a second season. But they renewed it when it was only four episodes into the season. But hey, at least we know it’s coming back with more Spy vs. Spy entertainment.

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