[Editor'sNote:Thefollowingreviewcontains Spoiler for "The Americans" Season 6, episode 10, "Start" – the series finale.]
And so "The Americans" does not end with a bang, but that Whimpering of two parents. In a surprisingly peaceful finale of the series, Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields exquisite FX drama completed with the metaphor for American family life it started six seasons previously. Yes, Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell) have fled to Russia to avoid being charged with espionage in the United States (and miraculously they lived to tell the story), but the last hour did not really care about her national identity; It was about father and mother saying goodbye to children who have grown up.
"They are not children anymore, we raised them," said Philip, staring into the dimly lit city of Moscow.
"Yes," replied Elizabeth.
"It feels strange," Philip said, whereupon Elizabeth finally answered in Russian, "We'll get used to it."
Is Philip talking about being in Russia again? Maybe, but it feels more likely that he has to do with cutting his family in half. Similar to parents who suffer from empty-mouth syndrome after their children's exodus, the Jennings now face a cold reality that came faster than expected. Sure, they'll get used to it, and Paige (Holly Taylor) and Henry (Keidrich Sellati) will understand, but it will be hard for them for some time.
"The Americans" have never told stories that are open and closed, so it makes sense that ambiguity crept into the end. The title implies (OK, it literally tells us), that's the beginning of something, and beginnings do not require endings; There is too much that can change after this starting point. But what resonates in the last hour is that the most important chapter in Philip and Elizabeth's life came to an end. They've managed to spy on the Americans, and they've managed to raise their children. The fans should see what their doomsday scenario would look like, which would have been frustrating if they had never experienced it had they not made it to Russia. This is a thoughtful, moving and rightly scary farewell to a series, as the feelings that come from the audience should be parallel to what Elizabeth and Philip are going through. Part of them might be angry. Part of them is certainly sad. But some of them are also ready to say goodbye.
While viewers are offering the series a collective dosvedanya IndieWire casts a glance on things in the end, as well as on the little things that are consistently done throughout the series – the bits we use miss most, now that everything is said and done. Some of them will be tough (like the decision to leave Henry behind). Some of these will be much more difficult (as Paige decides to stay ). So, without further ado, let's be brutal.
So, who died?
No one died in the final of the "Americans"; No member of the main cast met in the last hour of a show about international assassins on their end. Let it be for a second.
Last week, we speculated that this unlikely scenario could turn out, but it's doubtful if anyone believed it until the credits rolled. There were so many scenes that were dangerous not only to the Jennings, but to some of their closest collaborators. There was the car park tête-à-tête between Philip and Stan, the McDonald's pit stop, where Philip is considering staying, and then the fateful train ride, which drew a brilliant lure-and-switch, the onlooker worried Cause Every Parent Was Caught In The Toilet The Canadian border just before Paige was uncovered had slipped off the train. Even the Jennings' last trip to Moscow had to worry some people exactly where Arkady was driving them.
This tension was far more important to the finale than any death, because there were still big losses. Elizabeth and Philip lost their children – perhaps the most painful loss that parents could have imagined – while Henry and Paige lost their parents. Sure, Henry was given the care of Stan (and maybe Paige), but that's not the same thing. In addition, Stan had to fight with the loss of his best friend. Oleg's father was faced with the reality of never seeing his son again, and the spectators perished with the loss of all. Although they all lived through, "Start" found ways to similarly produce heartbreaking emotions for its viewers.
As with any episode of "The Americans," every actor who appeared on the screen provided work worthy of dissection, but Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerichs denominational claims preparation. For one thing, it was extremely trusting to assign weighty monologues to two actors; Trust founded over six seasons with Rhys and Emmerich. So much information came out in this parking garage, and so much emotion had to be considered by both Weisberg and Fields, who wrote the episode, and Rhys and Emmerich as performers.
From the moment Stan shouts "Hey" at the moment the car leaves the garage, the scene runs just over 12 minutes; That's 12 minutes of conversation, mostly between the two men, and their dialogue has to persuade Stan away from a place where he wants to arrest the Jennings in a place where he allows them to escape. First, Stan deserves her confession. He sits in the driver's seat, asking the questions and getting the answers he was afraid of.
But it's clear that Stan is not in control of the situation. Yes, he has the weapon, but Philip and Elizabeth outnumber him. They've gotten out of worse situations, and when Philip gives in and wants to concede Stan does not just try to save his family. He also tries to rescue Stan.
That does not bring them all safely out of the garage. Stan does not feel threatened. He just feels heard. He trusts in their friendship enough to let them go, and this trust is built, of course, by the words of Philip, but it is conveyed by a notable achievement of Rhys. Look back in the way he says, "Stan, I have to leave my son." This is as heartbreaking as Philip would ever say, but Rhys does not crumble or take an extra punch or use it to beg Stan for mercy. He says it clearly, with a slight crack in his voice that reveals the pain he's in right now. Rhys meets every one of those notes. He does not try to do too much with the scene, nor does he just speak the words. Rhys finds the honesty Philip was looking for in the series, and he spills it out in this garage.
And yet, that could be the tougher part of Stans. Emmerich does not get half the words that Rhys does, and he's the one watching the viewer attentively to see how he feels about his former friends. It was Emmerich's slight lift of eyebrow when Philip said, "I wish you had stayed with me in EST," which brought tears to this critic – the third time. He is so present in every bar of each long monologue and it pays off. Without these two actors, it would not be the case that the scene flopped – the whole series would have fallen apart.
U2 builds the train scene, but does not play in the most intense moments. Considering how much time has passed under Bono's iconic melody, it's easy to assume that it went on while Philip and Elizabeth's disguises were inspected by border guards. But it interrupts, as her train comes to a halt and is boarded. The silence creates additional tension: if the song continued to flow, its impulse could have indicated that everything was fine. The music would continue playing and the train would continue to roll.
Instead, the fans had to sit in silence, as the two parents – sitting in separate seats – were cleared away by the guards. The lack of non-diegetic music added a cold reality to the scene, but when it returned, the heartache was really struck: As U2 wandered away, Paige was standing on the outside of the train. "The Americans" used expert-level music during their run and they perfectly chose and edited "With or Without You" – a song that became famous for [Pete's] "Friends" .
It gave the railroad scene unpronounceable power, and fans will debate why Paige had decided to quit for the coming years. But thanks to everything that works around them, even the series itself will pass the test of time.
"The Americans" is completely streaming on FX Now.