Sure, there were real-life Russian spies who spent decades undercover, ducking America’s defenses and sending intel back to the Motherland, but at what point does The Americans start to feel unrealistic when two Soviet spies are living and operating just across the street from an FBI agent?
The FX drama will venture to tackle that question this season as Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell) continue to live a lie on American soil. In fact, within the first five minutes of the season premiere, Elizabeth will find herself coming to blows with several FBI agents in a bid to escape, though Stan (Noah Emmerich) is not among them.
But the producers were hesitant to categorize this season as the closest the pair will come to getting caught, especially when Stan seems to be woefully unaware of who his neighbors are. “When that wheel might or might not turn for him, who knows?” executive producer Joe Weisberg said at TCA’s winter press tour. Added fellow executive producer Joel Fields: “He’s certainly not thinking of his across the street neighbor and there’s no reason to.”
What may not help matters is the fact that Elizabeth is pushing to tell their daughter Paige (Holly Taylor) about who they really are in order to induct her into the Second Generation Illegals program—something Philip is vehemently against. “It feels like a huge injustice for someone not to know who they are,” Russell explains of the Jennings matriarch’s motivations. “I feel like that’s a worthwhile argument… It does come out of great love for her daughter. How do you navigate the world if you don’t know who you are?” It’s a fair point, though if Paige rejects them, their secret will almost surely get out.
The Americans returns Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 10 p.m. ET on FX.