SPOILER ALERT: Do not read until you've seen the series finale of The Americans.
From the beginning, "The Americans" was a show about two people who tried to make a balancing act a precarious time in history – playing as a typical suburban family while maintaining intricate loyalty to the USSR. In the final episode of the show, the rash fell apart – and on the contrary, Mother Russia prevailed through real family ties. Philip and Elizabeth Jennings managed to survive the episode by fleeing home to a Russia they barely recognized. They gave up their son and were abandoned by her daughter. That they survived a show that seemed to kill them certainly surprised many fans; that the last moments we share with them are spent in a fierce contemplation of a life of isolation and regret was in the end no surprise at all.
In the run-up to this episode, the walls seemed to have closed In the Jennings, when Stan Beeman had become suspicious about the near certainty that his neighbors would infiltrate the state and finally broke Elizabeth with the center that was hers and hers Husband had given orders for the whole running of the show. With their hitherto most concrete threat to existence and no one else to give them orders, Philip and Elizabeth suddenly improvised completely. A debate in the episode about what to do with Henry ̵
Henry was barely a protagonist, but his devotion represents the mercilessness of the show with Philip and Elizabeth. It is almost certainly the "right" decision to have left Henry in the only place he has ever been at home, instead of fleeing with him to the Soviet Union, but both parents show their character flaws – Philip's lack of courage as one Kind of pragmatic humanism, Elizabeth's grim determination even to plans she does not quite understand. ("We can not take him!" Elizabeth later spits on her daughter Paige after she subscribes to a plan she initially refused.) That we can be so busy with these characters is part of The Americans  Part of the reason we take root for them is that their problematic qualities make them so wonderfully good – "The Americans" was perhaps the most sophisticated version of the anti-hero's TV Trope, whose flaws fuel him or her ingeniously partly because it had two antiheroes whose mistakes and their gifts complement each other. Watching Philip and Elizabeth approach Stan together while he turns them off in a parking garage feels like a farewell gift from the show, a last look at two virtuosos working in harmony. "It's all over," Stan says with a weapon drawn – but that's not it, because the two spies manage to exploit Stan's weaknesses and insecurities to escape with their lives.
This result is consistently in doubt, though; A show in which mission takes precedence over anything else is one in which Philip, even Elizabeth, could have been dispensable. (The opposite seems even truer.) In the end, however, Philip and Elizabeth were loyal to each other; The cyanide capsule, which had stalked the season, dangling around Elizabeth's neck and hanging over all the figures' heads, was casually discarded, a punch of particularly sharp storytelling. Elizabeth, once ready to die in the service of her country, had lost this vitalizing passion; Whatever her life would be after her mission ended in America, she wanted to live.
The spectators had long felt that something haunted the family immensely; This story could not end well. And in the end, it was not death but the break of the family that provided the final big turn of the show when Paige, the daughter who knew her parents, was a spy and got herself into the craft of the train her family had drove to Canada just before the border. Her confrontation with the subject was always utopian, in contrast to her parents; Philip was annoyed with the mission and Elizabeth threw herself in, but it was a job for both of them. For Paige, whose passion for social justice was able to flatter her parents, it was an opportunity to make the world a little better. But a world where her brother could be boarded while her parents fled to Russia was no better. Neither was one in which her departure from her parents was communicated in a dumb look from a railway platform, but it would have to do.
As much as any other show since, say, "Breaking Bad," "The Americans" had to maintain its landing, with a Brio cementing it to the defining shows of the decade. The show ran against a ticking clock in history that ended with the dissolution of the Soviet Union; we knew that the mission of the Jennings would end and not in triumph. Their act became harder to wear every season, and among fans, quite questioning how it would eventually fall apart was a parlor game of sorts. The fact that the show kept both spies alive made us feel what we knew about their abilities and commitment to one another. Keeping them alive alienated them from their children and provided a painful, beautiful moment of character study while both tried to endure it. They were never good at talking about their feelings; They are not American, so they did not grow up. And so in the last moments they look at a landscape that they have not known for decades, and swear they're just going on. "We'll get used to it," headlines Elizabeth in Russian.
The last season of "The Americans" was characterized by their two main roles, both of which should belong to the frontrunners Emmy Time) and a new sense of purpose; while Season 5 was better than most others in the air and a necessary seeding of certain action elements, its slow motion saps a little the show's momentum. In contrast, in the final season, the race was spelled against time, and the story was jumbled with increasing danger and anxiety. Neither Philip nor Elizabeth seemed to recognize themselves in the last season; The demands of her work had made her front as an American family uncomfortable. It was easier to be American than to be a spy; In the end, they were forced to opt for the latter, leaving their children as another element of a now-rejected alias. Finally freed from these covers and free to be themselves, they do not know where to start. They stand together, but strangely separated, staring at a city that is both foreign and homeland to them.