The Americans (FX): Season Two Preview

The Americans Season 2

There have been many movies about cool American spies bringing down the sneaky schemes of those damned conniving commies, but rarely have we got stories from their perspective. The Americans turns the familiar cold-war setting on its head, following the lives of two Russian sleeper agents posing as Americans, in Washington D.C. It’s a unique blend of high-stakes espionage, and earthly marital drama. At one moment you’ll be watching a car chase upon which the fate of nations might depend, and the next moment two people will be trying to find intimacy.

Like many modern anti-hero shows blurring the line between hero and villain, The Americans tries to make you sympathize with two KGB spies, which would have been unimaginable during the 80s, but you’re still constantly reminded about their ruthlessness, and the devastation they bring to individuals in the name of greater good.

From the American side, you follow an FBI agent, and his complicated home life. While the show is morally ambiguous with no clear good or bad guys, you’re still compelled to root for a side. Will you unconditionally support the FBI, despite all their questionable actions, or will are you an anti-establishment rebel who’ll cheer for the KGB? This show will test your allegiance.

The Americans Season 2 Scoop

The show is created by Joe Weisberg, who was a CIA officer before getting into showbiz. In an interview with TIME, in March 2013, he said the show is essentially about marriage.

Espionage adds drama and raises the stakes, but the thing people are going to care about is this couple and whether or not they make it. We already know how the Cold War ends. Nobody knows how this marriage will end. Plus, deep down I’m more interested in marriage than espionage. Though maybe I shouldn’t admit that.

The Americans Season 2 Premiere Date

The second season will start from February 26, 2014 on FX.

The Americans Season 2 Cast & Characters

Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings, the cold Russian badass who is as tough as she is sexy. According to her and her partner’s training, they aren’t supposed to even utter a single word is Russian. But in one tense moment in season one, we get to know her real name: Nadezhda.

Matthew Rhys as Philip Jennings, the equally competent super-spy who probably likes his “wife” a bit more than she likes him. In season one he constantly wanted to take their fake marriage more seriously, and came across as the emotionally vulnerable one.

Noah Emmerich as Stan Beeman, the sharp and subdued FBI agent who is also one of the Jennings’ neighbors. What coincidence!

Holly Taylor as Paige, the teenage daughter of the Jennings.

Keidrich Sellati as Henry, their son. The children do not know the truth about their parents, and have grown up as Americans, under evil values like “freedom” and “liberty”.

Margo Martindale as Claudia, as the devious senior KGB agent supervising Phillip and Elizabeth. Season one saw some friction between her and Elizabeth, will we get to see more of their rivalry? Well, she might not be around long enough. Martindale is working in The Millers, but reportedly she’ll find time for this show. Joel Fields told TVline:

Sources say this intel is very strong. She’ll be back for at least one episode.

Annet Mahendru as Nina, as the superhot KGB double (triple?) agent who is playing Stan. Or maybe he is playing her.

Alison Wright as Martha, a poor, poor woman.

The Americans Season 2 Pictures

The Americans Season 2 Videos

The Good Stuff

Season one got good reviews, although the ratings weren’t that great. The actors are really good, and period setting is intriguing. I don’t know how realistic the show’s portrayal of espionage is, but it’s pretty entertaining.

The Bad Stuff

Well, I find the subplots with the children boring. And sometimes the arguments between Phillip and Elizabeth about their marriage can get a bit repetitive.

Overall, I highly recommend this show. If you haven’t seen the first season, catch it through some streaming website where it’s available.