There are plenty of great actors in TV right now but Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell seem to take it to another level every week in The Americans as soviet spies Philip and Elizabeth Jennings. This season Rhys especially got to show just how great he could be as Philip struggles against the actions he has to take and his rage against daughter Paige’s attitude.
The Americans was pretty great in its debut season but it somehow got better in season 2. The ongoing mystery about who killed their fellow spies and friends certainly helped add tension to an already intense series. The decision to make Annet Mahendru a series regular was definitely justified as Nina’s storyline continues to be fascinating and her hold on FBI Agent Stan Beeman stronger than ever.
In fact the only real weakness in the show’s DNA is that caring about the apparent good guys is pretty much impossible now. We are so wrapped up in the world of the Jennings and of the KGB embassy that rooting for the Russians to survive is pretty much a given at this point. That isn’t to say that Noah Emmerich isn’t amazing as Stan and Richard Thomas has done impressive work as his boss this season.
As season 3 approaches its going to be interesting to see Philip and Elizabeth struggle with telling Paige the truth. Ever since the pilot episode there has been the question of whether or not the Jennings would ever defect to the side of the Americans and that is always a potential twist waiting to happen. How long can they keep their family safe? How long can they play the game?
Favourite episodes: The Deal / Echo