The Americans is preparing to bid farewell with its final season, premiering soon on FX. As a sendoff for its last run, the show’s creators and cast took the stage at the 2018 TCA winter press tour on Friday, January 5, to talk about what the show has meant to them and what viewers can look forward to when the final season premieres in March.
The show is skipping ahead in time a little bit, which the creators say is because they wanted to shift the focus from the political figure who colored much of the early 1980s (Ronald Reagan) to one who colored much of the late 1980s — Mikhail Gorbachev.
“The time jump came about because as we looked at what we wanted to do with the end of the show, Gorbachev was such an important figure and we knew he would trigger so much for Philip and Elizabeth and the other characters,” executive producer Joel Fields explained.
Co-EP Joe Weisberg added that while we aren’t going to see Vladimir Putin as a character (he was a KGB agent at this time on the show), we are going to see the way Russian factions are dividing up within the country — and perhaps how Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell) are supporting the different factions.
In a sneak peek at the final season, Philip and Elizabeth are shown having a confrontation about her continuation of the spy work they both used to do.
Philip tells Elizabeth that while she’s still amazing, the work is getting to her after all these years. He says quitting the spy game was “the best thing [he] ever did,” and he thinks Elizabeth should think about quitting too. But she’s having none of that.
During the panel, Fields said of Philip and Elizabeth that there’s “no fundamental line between their politics and their hearts,” so the continued support of Russia is weighing heavily on Elizabeth as a person. And of course, that weighs heavily on their marriage, which is one of Russell’s favorite aspects of the show.
“I know we’re set in this 1980s spy show, but it’s truly one of my favorite marriage stories, couched in this Cold War spy world,” she said.
And lest you think it’s only the elder Jennings who will be affected, it’s not. Daughter Paige (Holly Taylor) is eager to follow in her mother’s footsteps, and son Henry (Keidrich Sellati) may not be getting out of the series unscathed either.
Taylor teased that Paige’s involvement in spying is “coming forward this season,” which was always a “far-fetched hope” of hers, since back in season one. And the EPs teased that while Henry may seem like the most well-adjusted family member, no one is really immune to the drama.
“It’s The Americans — don’t get too comfortable about anyone turning out well,” Fields quipped.
At the end of the panel, Rhys thanked the room for all of the support over the years, while his real-life partner Russell said that it’s “been a great ride.”
“For me, playing Elizabeth, I just think as a woman it’s been an incredible feminist role. … I’m happy it’s ending when it is, on such a high note, while I’m so happy and interested in the story lines,” she told the crowd.
The final season of The Americans premieres March 28 on FX.
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(Photos via FX)