If you have not watched The Americans, it’s about a couple of Russians who come to the US when they’re teenagers as a married couple. They are trained from an even younger age to be spies and they live among Americans looking, talking, and appearing to be completely American. Their children are Americans. They are part of what is called Directorate S. So far seasons 3 and 5 are my favorites. The show is currently in season 5.
Season 5 shows much more of Henry, the Jennings’ youngest child who is now a teenager in high school. As the season progresses, he becomes involved with a girl named Chris who is very Republican, he becomes interested in Stan’s job at the FBI and takes a tour, and he applies to attend an ivy league prep school in New Hampshire where Chris’s family has long attended. This is all setting him up perfectly to join the CIA which is the next evolution of Directorate S, although supposedly Henry doesn’t know his parents are Russian spies.
Season 5 also winds down the Paige drama. Paige is the oldest child of Elizabeth and Phillip Jennings and has always been an idiotic, whiny freak. In season 3 she told her pastor, Pastor Tim, all about her parents being spies which put her entire family in jeopardy. This season she learns that Pastor Tim has been lying to her the entire time he has known her while writing terrible things about her and other parishioners in his diary (she learns this while babysitting). Throughout the season Elizabeth teaches Paige to fight and she’s becoming the perfect candidate for Directorate S with one exception–she consistently shows poor judgment, much like Phillip. Paige also meets Gabriel before he retires and returns to Russia. I’ll miss Frank Langella. He was one of my favorite characters, quiet and calm like Elizabeth.
One of the sad parts of this season was Phillip’s son Misha finally making the dangerous journey to the US and getting so close to meeting his father. Then Gabriel catches him before he can blow the Jennings’ cover and takes him back to Russia where he gets him a job. Weeks later, Phillip’s brother comes to meet Misha and he moves in with his family. The uncanny resemblance between Misha and his uncle shows perfect casting.
The beginning of the season starts with a very traumatic episode, one in which Phillip and Elizabeth learn William’s fate. They locate where the FBI has buried William’s body and dig him up in order to obtain a sample of the Lassa virus. During this process, Hans falls and is injured and infected. Elizabeth has to kill him. Hans was one of my favorite characters, as was William. Both of their deaths are because of Oleg who told Stan all about William and got him killed. So you can bet at our house we are waiting for Oleg to get caught and be executed. Back home the Russian KGB is narrowing in on him. They know he was responsible; they just can’t prove it yet. Later in the season Elizabeth and Philip learn that the Lassa virus they gave the center from William’s body was weaponized and used against the Afghans in the Russian war against Afghanistan, much to their dismay, which proves that everything William feared has come true.
Meanwhile, one of the long games this season involves a young Vietnamese spy working with Philip and Elizabeth who is getting close to the son of Russian defectors. The father never told his wife and son he was defecting, so the FBI just dragged them from their home in the middle of the night and escorted them to the US. The wife and son hate it. Truon’s job is to help make Pasha miserable so his mother wants to go back to Russia. Then his father will stop helping the FBI. But that plan goes downhill fast when Truon starts making his own decisions and they are very bad.
The other long game of the season involves Philip and Elizabeth dating and sleeping with two executives who work for Agricorp. At first they believe Agricorp is creating master pests to destroy Russia’s wheat crops, which is correct. But later they learn they’re doing it so they can develop a better wheat strain and sell it for lots of money. They’re still bad people.
A minor subplot is Stan and Adderholdt working on a Russian immigrant who is dating a Russian diplomatic courier. To their surprise he wants to sell secrets because he wants the money. :0
One event that has nothing to do with the rest of the season is Philip and Elizabeth getting ordered to execute a Russian traitor who executed hundreds of Russian soldiers for the Nazis during WWII. They nail the right woman, but Philip is unable to execute her so Elizabeth has to. Which shows that EST has ruined Phillip’s ability to perform as spy. The other event is a secret Russian orthodox ceremony in which Mikhail (Phillip) and Nadezhda (Elizabeth) get married for real. That was the highlight of the entire season. I loved it. Once again proving that unattractive Russian guys can look really hot when they’re being charming (especially the priest).
Throughout the season Stan has started dating a mysterious woman who infiltrates his life. Phillip thinks she’s a Russian spy. I think she’s CIA. I’m also hoping that Chris, Henry’s girlfriend, is the daughter of another Directorate S spy couple setting Henry up to be her husband for the second generation of Russian spies. 🙂
10 out of 10 stars.
Reviewed by Colleen.