The Americans Bosses on Changing Family Dynamics, Claudia's Future and Season 2 Plans

The Americans Seasn 2 SpoilersIf you have yet to watch Wednesday’s season finale of The Americans, avert your eyes now. Everyone else, please proceed…

The Americans said dasvidania for the season on Wednesday night with a tense, nail-biting car chase.

While Elizabeth and Philip managed to escape the FBI, the former did so with a bullet to the stomach. Later, on an operating table, the recovering Mrs. Jennings told her hubby to come home. Meanwhile, daughter Paige did some snooping of her own, checking out the laundry room where her mother claimed to be folding clothes in the middle of the night.

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The cast and producers of the FX series sounded off on the events of the finale and what’s ahead for Season 2 at a TV Academy panel last Friday. Read on to find out what they had to say about Paige’s non-discovery, Granny’s future, approaching historical events and more!

SPY KIDS | With most CIA families, there comes a time when the parents have to sit their kids down and tell them the truth about their spy lives, recounted executive producer/former CIA member Joe Weisberg. But the eldest Jennings child appears to be beating her parents to the punch. “We’ve been thinking all along about the kids of [Philip and Elizabeth] and what their lives are like and what kind of things, through their whole childhood, have been going on,” said the EP.  With the couple’s weird hours and “crazy rules about who can and can’t go into the bedroom,” the writers decided it was “a good time for Paige to finally have some of it percolate up.” While the EP noted that Paige isn’t yet “at the point of wondering, ‘I think my parents are spies,’” she is questioning them in a very teenage way. “For everyone, at some point in their adolescence, you start to suspect that your parents aren’t exactly who you thought they were,” explained Weisberg.

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ALL IN THE FAMILY | What’s to become of Elizabeth following her gunshot wound? Replied star Matthew Rhys: “She doesn’t make it. Next year it’s called The American. Septicemia.” (Simmer down, he’s joking.) The show actually plans to put a bigger focus on the Jennings now that Philip and Elizabeth seem to be reunited and their daughter is becoming more aware. “We definitely want to explore the family dynamic more,” said EP Joel Fields. “It seems to be the next thing to explore outside the marriage. That’s maybe the next iteration of the personal stories.”

The Americans Season 2 Spoilers Margo MartindaleGOOD-BYE GRANNY? | The finale found Claudia facing impending reassignment at Philip and Elizabeth’s request, so will Margo Martindale, who has been cast in a CBS comedy pilot, be back next season? “I’m still alive, that’s the good part,” hedged the actress. Meanwhile, Weisberg and Fields joked during a recent conference call that despite the actress’ potential new TV gig, “the KGB has a very, very long reach. We believe that when given the opportunity, [CBS] will return Claudia to her rightful position, doing what it is she should be doing.”

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THE REAL WORLD INVADES | “Because of where this episode ended, we’re probably going to want to pick up pretty soon afterwards and show what happened,” shared Weisberg. But you don’t need a big time jump for things to explode politically. “The historical events [of the time] are going to start to catch up with us very soon,” said the EP, adding that the turmoil in the Soviet Union will begin “playing an important role. [Soviet Union leader Leonid] Brezhnev dies not too long in the future, and the next two leaders died pretty soon after that. It’s really only a few years after that that the whole things starts to fall apart, to a certain degree.”

THE MISSION | Philip and Elizabeth discovered that the tech they were after was decades away from being operational, but history may prevent their handlers from trusting that the threat isn’t there. “It is certainly true that Star Wars, as an issue, kept going and going and going historically, and the Soviet Union did continue to fight against it,” Weisberg explained during the conference call. “We do have to stay somewhat true to that history.” As such, “We don’t know yet if the KGB is even going to believe Philip and Elizabeth’s intelligence that it was all incredibilis. Or will one faction believe it and another won’t? Or will they be sent off to gather further intelligence to see if it’s true or not?”

ALL’S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR | Although Nina is now spying on Stan, her portrayer Annet Mahendru claimed that the KGB agent’s feelings for her FBI handler are, indeed, real. “He’s an American man, and he’s her only friend,” she explained. “He’s her hero. And she hopes he’ll continue to be her hero.” But this is the Cold War, so “he has to do certain things, and so does Nina.”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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54 Comments
  1. c0rinne says:

    I feel like anyone could have played Claudia this season, so losing her isn’t a big loss. Nothing very memorable about that character, imo.

    There’s no way Elizabeth is going anywhere, so a gunshot wound in the first season isn’t a shocker.

    • K says:

      Sorry Corinne, but Margo Martindale stole every scene she was in. She is an incredible actress, and i’m sure there are other actresses that could have played the part, she in fact, embodied the character and i can’t see anyone else in that role. She was very memorable.

      • Superhero says:

        Yep. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, of course. But that’s one that I just can’t understand. Claudia was a great character and Margo Martindale was terrific in the role. I desperately hope that the CBS pilot doesn’t go to series; it would be a shame for such a terrific actress to be wasted on a crappy multi-camera sitcom, especially when she already has such a great role on a quality cable series.

      • c0rinne says:

        Describe some of those memorable scenes for me. Because I’ve seen every episode. Some multiple times and there was nothing there that was especially memorable. At least, when it comes to the Claudia character.

        • JEst says:

          There’s really nothing that anyone needs to describe since yours tastes obviously dictate how you feel, which is your right. You saw the same scenes as everyone else, but for whatever reason you don’t appreciate her acting ability as much as others seem to. To each their own. :)

        • Sage says:

          Really? Are we watching the same show? Martindale is a scene stealer, which she accomplishes with cool restraint. Claudia’s scenes with Elizabeth are finely underplayed cat fights. The claws always don’t need to come out to get the point across, although it was deeply satisfying to watch Elizabeth rearrange Claudia’s face awhile back. I would definitely miss Claudia if Martindale were to leave the cast.

          • TheKGB says:

            Martindale is SO strong. Her addition to the show lifted it for me. Sorry, c0rrine — you’re definitely outnumbered here.

      • Judy Habbestad says:

        Margo Martindale steals every scene in every show she has been in…love her!

    • SWOTD says:

      You must be joking? Margo Martindale is fantastic! She was outstanding in justified and in this show as well.

    • nptexas says:

      Oh, wow! I disagree so much about Margo. She killed it in Justified & even more as Claudia.

    • MaryAnn says:

      I didn’t see anyone expressing an opinion like my own in regards to Martindale’s character, so here goes. Her acting ability in the role is absolutely superb, so superb in fact that I can’t stand seeing her on screen. I cringe when I see the character coming. I want nothing more than to see the last of her, to see her go away and never come back. I think I must dislike her almost as much as Elizabeth does. I don’t love to hate her, I just hate her. lol

  2. Alichat says:

    This finale was what The Following should have been. Tight, smart, tense, with a logical ending. Now, if we return next season, and Paige has opened the hidden fuse box door, I’ll be disappointed. Having her snoop….good….having her wonder…..good….having her find the big box o’spy stuff….bad. Loved the ending scene with Phillip and Elizabeth.

    • Chester says:

      LOGICAL. That’s the difference between the Americans and the Following. The Americans is so well done, and the other show, so ridiculous. You hit the nail on the head there Alichat.

    • nptexas says:

      Yep, I agree. If Paige does anything other than just cause a little tension, that’ll be annoying. Paige can be suspicious, but her figuring out the truth would not work for me at all.

    • Mark says:

      At no point this year has The Following been smart, tense, or logical. Ok, it had a few tense moments, but those were mostly undercut by the ridiculous ineptitude of the FBI. It is amazing how the FBI was so much more intelligent, focused, and effective in 1981 than they are today. The Following should not have been a series. It could have worked as a 2 hour movie, but stretched to 15 hours required me to overload my suspension of disbelief to such an extent that it may be permanently damaged.

  3. rebecca says:

    Great finale but no concern about Eluzabeth’s gunshot as she is one of the stars and she will be back…also glad the two are reconciling…so glad we discovered this show…one of the best on tv!!!

  4. Pat D. says:

    Good finale, but no real cliffhangers or anything.

    I am most curious to see how the fake Stan/Nina dynamic goes in season 2. Man, I cant wait 8 months!

  5. The Beach says:

    Great finale! I am so into this show and so sorry tonight was the last time I will get to enjoy it for quite awhile.I disagree with the first poster about Claudia though. Anything Margo Martingale is made even better because she’s in it. She’s really good with comedy but when she’s bad (Claudia, Mags) she’s great. Thank you, FX for a terrific season.

  6. kate says:

    ‘The Americans’ is everything I had hoped ‘The Following’ would be – great writing, great acting. this finale was SO good. the show has been better than I ever expected (I thought it sounded cheesy when I went it, but it’s been great). Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys have amazing chemistry, and I’ll miss Margo Martindale if she doesn’t return. Can’t wait for this one to come back. January feels very far away.

  7. kewgardens says:

    I would suggest that the producers tone down the James Bond-style “superspy” antics in Season 2. It just detracts from the realism of the show. What makes old shows like NYPD Blue (and newer shows like “The Killing”) so good is that the characters go about their jobs in a realistic, believable way. On this show, Stan’s character behaves realistically (except for the unhinged mid-season killing of Vlad); the Jennings do not.

    • Jan1 says:

      Disagree. I love the show.

      • I love it too, and can’t wait to see more. Would like to see Paige figure out some, not all, of what is going on. The idea that Martindale is Elizabeth’s mother is an intriguing one. This is going to be an awfully disappointing historical time for Philip and Elizabeth (presumably named after the Queen and Prince Phillip of England). I think it’s a great idea and I loved the pilot, with the James Bond stuff and “Tusk.”

    • scooby says:

      With all due respect, how do you know what’s believable? The show’s creator was a CIA operative. I think he’s in more of a position to know what the Soviet spies were trained to do, but even if they take it a little farther in the show, is that a bad thing? The FBI is bigger and has more tools so the Jennings have to be able to escape or get info somehow. It requires them to be particularly good at their jobs, but that requirement makes sense in the world they’ve established. Besides, I don’t know what the Jennings have done that was so unbelievable. The car thing was them doing what they had to do to get out of the situation. Cornering a car and ramming through a police barricade happens even now during car chases with relatively untrained criminals. Being spies, they’re gonna know to take prints of a car so’s not to give up their cover. It doesn’t have to be what you think Soviet spies would really know how to do. It’s just gotta be established and consistent in the world of “The Americans” which it is. In that world, the Directorate S operatives can do what they do. If I had a hard time believing in anything, it’s how the wigs would withstand the sexual situations they’ve been required to do. Nobody pulls on their hair? They seem to get the wigs off their heads easily enough when they get in a car.

    • Lola says:

      I have a feeling the stuff that *really* went on during the cold war was even more crazy than what they show on The Americans.

      • nptexas says:

        You are so right! Many things that happen even now seem unbelievable in hindsight or even real time. A case in point–Boston bombers et al. Plenty ball-dropping & drama there. Finding Osama. Russian “spies” still die mysteriously & we never hear about US operatives’ fates. Except for lackluster disguises, I think The Americans does a great job. The Following be damned except its the best hate-watching on TV

      • Chester says:

        Seriously. Scooby should read some memoirs of CIA operatives.

  8. TS says:

    Wonderful end to an amazing series. And I couldn’t be happier that there wasn’t any over-the-top cliffhanger. They were smart and confident enough to leave the audience wanting more without resorting to silly tricks to get us to come back. I’m glad to see they plan to do more with the family next season. The emotional investment in the marriage and family is what makes this show truly great and what gives weight to the spy shenanigans.

  9. nash says:

    WOOOW,what an awesome show!!Didnt miss a single episode and cant wait for new season.Great actors ,theme…Elisabeth so hot,such a chemistry between her and Philip,last episode leaves you without a breath.So unpredictible,in this finals ,there is no way you could guess ending like most shows you can…
    GREAT show!

  10. James says:

    this show is truly spectacular. some of the smartest writing i’ve seen in a long time. I’m glad they tied up all the plot threads while leaving some intriguing ones to explore next season. i hope Margo can return in some capacity next season she is an exceptional actress IMO. now comes the torture of waiting 8 months to see it again :(
    their is so much rich history to be explored; Korean flight 007 getting shot down by a soviet fighter plane, US invading Grenada, that’s just in 1983 will be very interesting to see what happens next. Can’t wait

  11. Fletcher says:

    Here’s my one lingering question: Nina, as far as Stan is supposed to know, sat and waited for HOURS for an extraction that never came, when she told him she needed to get back quickly. If her story to Stan was to hold up, shouldn’t she be in trouble (at the least) with the Embassy, or on the run (at the most)?

    • Pat D. says:

      I was wondering that too—perhaps she will say something like she was demoted or had privileges taken away for her AWOL that day. Just wondering whether Stan will buy that excuse, or whether he is just so taken with Nina that he wont even question it.

      That being said, I loved that scene with her coming out of the bathroom “I took a bath…for my new life!”.

  12. GS says:

    I have never been a Keri Russell fan but she has won me over as Elizabeth! The chemistry b/w her and Matthew is awesome and I’m glad they are getting back together. This show is FANTASTIC! Love watching her try to balance her love of country with her developing feelings she isn’t supposed to have for her husband. Hate it’s over so soon but so glad it will be back even if it’s way too long of a wait!

  13. drhenning says:

    One of the good/bad things about FX quality shows like this… Only 13 episodes but boy do they pack it in!! Can’t wait till next January with more Justified and The Americans.. I wonder if this show will end up on the new FX??? I know The League is going there…

    • Pat D. says:

      I just wish there was something I was in to on FX between now and Sons (which is end of August, right?). Oh well, Breaking Bad on AMC will be starting soon and Dexter too (early this year).

  14. s says:

    Anyone else think Clark’s escapades in Martha’s bed are just too much work for Phillip? Almost laughable.

    • The Beach says:

      It’s kinda hard to believe his wig would stay on and that Martha hasn’t noticed yet that he is wearing one.

      • Pat D. says:

        Ha, I noticed the same thing a few weeks ago. Notice how easily they ripped off his wig during the fake interrogation, then later he gets into a fight with the FBI agent he killed, and the wig doesnt even move an inch. And of course, there is his playtime with Martha–she never notices the wig, even when she must have run a hand or two through it at some time, right?

      • Sean says:

        That’s really very true and the only really unbelievable part of the show. How has he gotten Martha not to question his wig?

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          One theory making rounds (or maybe it’s a producer quote?) is that she knows it’s a wig — to cover baldness.

          • Pat D. says:

            Still, you would think at some point Martha would have thought it odd that she’s never seen his baldness..LOL…

      • RichieS says:

        Considering how Martha was reacting to Clark’s antics in bed I don’t think she was too worried if his wig would stay on.

  15. The Beach says:

    Ok, maybe I just missed it but who was the guy that Claudia killed in his apt? Was he just some random FBI agent?

    • Pat D. says:

      No, he was the guy that ordered the hit on Zhukov—the dude that Philip and Liz kidnapped, but she couldnt bring herself to kill. If you remember, Claudia insisted she was very close to Zhukov as well, but Liz didnt believe her. Apparently she was telling the truth, to go off the grid like that to avenge his death.

      • Navin says:

        For anyone who questioned Claudia’s scene stealing ability know about the way she talked her way into the guys apartment and spoke to him while he was paralyzed on the floor…..cold hearted

  16. Rivera says:

    Loved the finale! Infact i loved the whole series’ first season! Such strong actors and amazing story! Can’t wait for Season 2 to be on my screen again!

  17. micha says:

    Claudia character was great as we all hated her in the beginning redeaming herself by showing that she not only has a bsckground in the “field” but actually going of the grid 2evenge his death showing us that she really does have that bad assness that she not only Carries in ora but now had shown it. She let him bleed out while she told him how close they were.its ashame Elizabeth don’t know how bad ass she is and how much she respects her.what a great show how philup calls Stan that night and how everyone right under everyone elses noses….anyone want to talk about the show or have aquistuon, call me ive seen evrgy epusode.sorry for spelling I’m on phone now.lol 8489923316

  18. Jim says:

    Claudia is Elizabeth’s mom… I can feel it…

  19. Matt says:

    I would like to tell the writers that Margo Martindale is an incredible actress, they should not kill Claudia, but that they need to take better advantge of her skills. Since her days at Jusitified, she has been perfect for the role of the two face killer: being an incredibly sweet True American Woman and having an other deeply dark and disturbing side. She has the capabilities of being a great supporting actress of this show.

    • Jack Biggs says:

      I have really enjoyed “The Americans.” The Cold War Period, writers and producers will discover,
      is gold mine of new and original material to be exploited. I think Paige Jennings’ curiosity about her parents activities should be developed further. Martha could be turned after being ultimately rejected by Phillip and provide valuable insight in how and why she became a mole at the FBI regardless of other bloggers negative comments about her. As the demise of the Soviet Union nears, Phillip may convince his wife to finally turn to the American side and defect; not primarily because of the political situation in the USSR, but, more to the looming possibility that their children may permantly hate them for who they really are, the years of lying to them and deceiving them, and, the damage they have done to the only country they know and love. Considering the life of lies they have led, they as parents have to do the “right thing.”
      As a former military operative myself, I can assure the producers and writers that that there is plenty of material here to work with.

  20. Justin Upton says:

    I will say she did an effective job of portraying a washed out spy. But for all these people to think an actress who always shows an expression that looks like she’s smelling a fart…I just don’t get it.

  21. Heisenberg says:

    Also, so far, we’ve seen that Philip might not be able to turn off his job to open up to people, or share something “real” with anyone. When Philip picks up that blonde recruit towards the beginning of the series, when he’s holding her in his car agreeing to her idea to run off together. And when the person he’s talking to can’t see his face, (the part of the body that conveys 95% of our readable emotions) he has the same blank expression on his face then as when he’s telling Elizabeth that nothing happened between him and Anne, (Or whatever her real name was).