Discuss The Americans

I didn't hate the finale. I was expecting a lot more. Don't get me wrong. I was happy the Jennings escaped. I wanted to see them fight for their freedom with an exciting getaway. I wanted Paige to see what being a spy was all about. No more sugar coating it. What was accomplished with her staying behind? I know she didn't want to live in Russia but she's not smart enough to avoid the FBI. I would love 1 more season to show what happened to everyone. Oh, well. Still sad it's over.

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I think it might have been left open maybe to bring it back in a few years.

I would love that, even if Philip and Elizabeth weren't in it. Have it follow Paige, Henry, Claudia and FBI through the aftermath of what transpired.

From the first season I always thought there was a problem with their idea of taking their kids back to the USSR with them if and when they finally left the US. The kids were raised as Americans. Of course later on Paige was "converted" by her mom; she was already on the left side of the political spectrum anyway. So I thought it was possible that she could go back with them. But not Henry.

How would that work? Even if Henry and Paige could learn the language, they wouldn't know the customs. And Henry especially would have had trouble moving there. All his beliefs, all his attitudes and opinions would be American. He would be an outcast. He just would not fit in. I always thought the idea of them taking their kids back with them was extremely poorly thought through.

I thought it made sense for Paige to bail out at the last minute. She had grown up in America. She envisioned her life going forward as being a Soviet spy inside America. It would be hard for all of that to be thrown away at the last minute. And she was torn up about leaving Henry behind. Also, she would not have been returning home, as Philip and Elizabeth were doing. She would have been going to a strange place which held no real meaning for her. Also, Paige always had an independent streak and she was at odds with her mother over many things. Elizabeth lied to her many times, and Paige was very good at reading her lies. Paige didn't totally trust her mother. She wanted to make her own way in life. So it made sense to me when she got off at the last station. Elizabeth never saw it coming. Paige knew her mother very well.

I had a big problem with the scene they had with Stan in the garage in the finale. Sure, what they had to say was all good, and Stan may have been moved by it. But he would never have let them go, not even if he was absolutely certain that they had switched sides and begun working on America's behalf. It certainly would not have made any difference that Philip had quit working as a spy, nor that Elizabeth and he were working at cross purposes with the KGB at that point. None of that would have made any difference at all. It would not matter even if he was (somehow) certain that they would eventually be let go.
The "Jennings" represented a treasure trove of information about Soviet spycraft. They needed to be debriefed. Their knowledge of spycraft, of their own extensive operations over the years, of the KGB operations within the US, of the Center, etc. was a goldmine for America. Plus, they could always be traded for Americans held by the Soviets. There was just no way in hell an FBI agent would have let them go. Stan would certainly have arrested them all.

Plus, Stan's career in the FBI was certain to take a serious hit because of them. He was their neighbor all those years. Philip was his best friend, and a Soviet agent. Stan would be a suspect himself because of that. If for no other reason, he needed to bring them in in order to salvage his own reputation. The only thing he had going for him at that point was that he had recently gone on record with his colleague at work about his suspicions about the Jennings.

This was a great series. I thought it tended to be a little leftist in attitude at times, but not so bad as many other Hollywood productions. And after all, they were Soviets, so their attitudes would obviously be more aligned with Democrats than with Republicans. All in all, it wasn't a strongly biased show, politically speaking. And that is refreshing.

This series can always be resurrected, it's a story that never ends. Will Paige somehow contact the remaining spy network and become involved with them? Will Henry become an FBI agent? Will Paige try to work her way into the State Department as was talked about once, or will she find some other path? Or will her attitudes about international politics change as she ages and matures? What will happen to Oleg after Gorbachev survives the coup attempt? Will he be released to go home after relations between the superpowers warm up? And what was the real story about Stan's girlfriend? He is obviously going to go through her background with a fine toothed comb after what Philip said to him. There are many questions remaining from this series, and of course new players can be added into the mix in the future. If they choose to revive it, this show can live on in sequels. And that would be nice.

I wasn't really bothered by Stan letting the Jennings go. With the situation being so emotional and his suspicions proven correct, he felt like he was punched in the gut. Probably in shock and crushed.

I was researching a possible spin off and the co-creators are saying they're not interested. I feel if it had been a more popular show, that could have been a reality. Sadly, I think we're left with a lot of questions.

@Byrd said:

I wasn't really bothered by Stan letting the Jennings go. With the situation being so emotional and his suspicions proven correct, he felt like he was punched in the gut. Probably in shock and crushed.

I was researching a possible spin off and the co-creators are saying they're not interested. I feel if it had been a more popular show, that could have been a reality. Sadly, I think we're left with a lot of questions.

Stan no doubt felt much as you said. I found no fault with the emotional aspects of the scene. And I understand that the scene as written was needed in order to cover the issues addressed. I am not sure how else they could have covered everything that scene did. Failing to have Stan in a face to face with Philip, Elizabeth, and Paige would have left all sorts of issues hanging. There needed to be confrontation, honesty (mostly, Elizabeth and Philip did lie about their involvement in killings), anger, regret, and a laying bare of the soul from Philip and Stan. There needed to be some kind of closure, and that scene provided it. But even though I appreciated those aspects, the realist in me was yelling "no way" as Stan folded to the emotional pitch by the Jennings. Stan is FBI through and through. His patriotism, his loyalty to his fellow agents, and his need for closure for the deaths of so many of his colleagues, his determination to 'do his job' as the Jennings had done theirs, and his knowledge that the Jennings were a treasure trove of information which could save the lives of more of his fellow agents, his anger at the Jennings for their present lying to him about their knowledge of the killings he told Philip about just weeks beforehand, all of those things would have been in his consciousness. They would be weighed against the other emotions he felt for them.
The Jennings had answers to questions he still had. He wouldn't have folded as he did, not in real life. But I did understand why the scene was written as it was, and it didn't bother me all that much. We are all used to suspending our disbelief when watching fictional dramas or adventure films. I understand the need for taking literary license. It was more important to the telling of the story to address the emotional aspects put to bed in that scene than it was to be true to the legal and procedural issues which the scene brushed over.

I think the show was a critical success, even if it did not make as much money as the network might have hoped. The creators did a great job. The story was about Philip and Elizabeth as foreign agents in America for a couple of decades or so. And they completed that story. They can be proud of it.

Any time a sequel is made it is always compared, often critically, to the original work. Who knows if a sequel would be as compelling? Any subsequent spy story would take place during a time period which saw great leaps in technology compared to the Jennings period. Part of the appeal of this story, to me, is that it took place when human intelligence methods were paramount, and it ended shortly before the dissolution of the USSR into smaller, component states.
This show was historically related to the cold war. The USSR is gone now. You can do a show about their intelligence methods without bothering our own intelligence community or a foreign power. Could a sequel involving Russia be as objective as this show tried to be regarding the methods used? I really doubt it. On further reflection I guess I can understand why the creators would prefer to let this work stand on its own, as a finished and completed piece.

I hope someone gets me the box set of DVDs for my birthday. LOL

I don't think a spin-off may happen but later the series might be revived. Bring the Jennings back into service. See where Paige is at in out of the business. Did they reunite with Henry? Did he forgive them?

Ugh, Paige was always an annoying pain in the arse since day one. Of course she HAD to do the most contrarian, dumba.ss thing possible and stay behind.

I agree. Paige always annoyed me. Maybe she can go to Buenos Aires and hide out with Pastor Tim.

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