The Americans premiered its season finale episode last night on FX, and it was on fire. The whole 60 minutes kept driving forward at full force, stopping only to leave the audience at the ultimate cliffhanger. Firstly, the chemistry between Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell is much more magnetizing this season. Perhaps part of this has to do with the fact that the actors are now dating one another in real life. Perhaps the other part of this has to do with the storyline. Either way, they are much more interesting to watch this season as they navigate through their family life and their undercover life together, especially in this episode. From the moment they find out that their daughter Paige (Holly Taylor) has been selected to be a second generation spy, to the moment Elizabeth (Russell) suggests to Phillip (Rhys) that maybe they should let Paige join their ranks, the polarization that occurs between the two actors is remarkable to behold. The dialogue is sparse here, but all is communicated through the actors’ facial expressions and looks towards one another.
Besides the heart-pumping action sequences, the other intriguing element of this episode is the internal struggle of Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich). He must decide whether or not to betray his country or to save the woman he loves. Simultaneously, he must also grapple with his wife leaving him. Though he was indifferent to her leading up to this, the finality of their relations has affected him in a peculiar way. Because he has developed into such an isolated character, all his actions seem to indicate that he will deliver the documents the Russians want in order to protect Nina Sergeevna’s (Annet Mahendru) life. It is a complete shock at the culmination of the episode when it is revealed that Stan does not in fact rescue her. Instead, Nina is taken away, presumably to Russia to be put on trial and sentenced to death. It is a well-written and well-acted episode that leaves everyone wanting more. The audience has certainly been left with bated breath.