The Americans Bosses on Changing Family Dynamics, Claudia's Future and Season 2 Plans
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.
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.”
GOOD-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.”Follow @VladaGelman