Post Mortems

Americans Post Mortem: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and EPs Explore the Bloody Season 2 Premiere's Big Twists, Lingering Questions

The Americans Season 2 SpoilersStop reading if you have yet to watch Wednesday’s Americans opener. Everyone else, read on…

Death didn’t take a holiday in The Americans‘ Season 2 premiere on Wednesday. In fact, the Grim Reaper’s latest killing spree hit a little too close to home for Elizabeth and Phillip.

VIDEO | Exclusive: The Americans‘ Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys Wig Out In Season 1 Blooper Reel

Below, series stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys and exec producers Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields reflect on the episode’s three biggest twists and lightly tease what’s to come.

ARE WE IN MAYBERRY? | After several months away “visiting her aunt,” a fully recovered Elizabeth returned home with a surprising new accessory: a smile. The entire Jennings clan seemed to be enjoying a rare moment of bliss. “Everything was great,” shares Rhys. “There was a real sense of, ‘Possibly, this could be fine. We can all be happy spies ever after.'” Adds Weisberg: “This is the first time that Phillip and Elizabeth are able to be happy as a couple after that year of struggling with their marriage. It’s their time to be married.”

THE OTHER SHOE | Their temporary respite from doom-and-gloom was shattered in the hour’s final act when Phillip and Elizabeth found the bodies of their spy doppelgangers — Emmett and Leanne Connors — lying in a pool of blood in a hotel room. The Conners’ daughter also was killed; only the son managed to survive. “They lost these people who are really like them,” points out Weisberg. “It sets this undercurrent of, “Are we next?” Before, their primary fear was, “We might be on an operation and get killed or arrested. The kids could be orphaned, or sent to a state orphanage because we’re in prison.” But now that’s different. Now their family could get killed. It’s a whole different thing. It’s an emotional punch that you struggle with.” The bloodbath affects Elizabeth “in a massive way,” previews Russell. “She hasn’t been worried about her children in that physical way, but now the danger is encroaching on her family. This whole season is about protecting her family.”

RELATED | The Americans Cast, Producers Talk about the Premiere’s Surprising Sex Scene

KITCHEN NIGHTMARES | Phillip is now murdering innocent people — in this case, a busboy who just so happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. “Once his wig comes off and [the busboy] could see him and recognize him in a line-up, he made the snap decision to shoot him,” explains Rhys. “And it starts to weigh heavily on him this season. Not specifically this death, but the consequences of what they do.” Fields admits he wasn’t worried that the brazen incident would make Phillip irredeemable in viewers’ eyes. “We really don’t think that way,” he shares. “We think about being true to where the characters are. What choice did he have once he was in that situation? He had been seen. Was that busboy not going to go to the police and do a composite sketch? Had [Phillip] not ripped off his wig, he probably would’ve walked straight out.”

What did you think of the premiere? Did the busboy’s death change your opinion of Phillip? Did you see the Connors’ tragedy coming? Hit the comments!

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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  1. kate says:

    I love this show. SO MUCH. and I still love Phillip.

  2. Alichat says:

    Can we talk about the bedroom scene Paige walked in on?……cause that made me laugh so much! If anything should make you stop snooping around your house, it’s walking in on your parents while they are in the middle of that! LOL!

  3. Aaron Scott says:

    Karma plays out. They may not die, but they will lose their children. One way or the other.

  4. Ana says:

    What was the Meryl Streep movie they were watching?
    Also, don’t understand who/why the friends were killed in the hotel room.

  5. James D says:

    Incredible TV show such depth of characters. the struggle to find a balance between what they do one one side and who they have to be for their kids is very interesting. can’t wait to see how this episode plays out. Am I the only one who thinks it was the Soviets who killed the family.

    • Marilyn says:

      Didn’t the husband, Emmett, say they had been made? So, perhaps they became a liability and had to be taken out. I guess the KGB figured they have Phillip and Elizabeth, so it wouldn’t be a loss to rid themselves of the Conners. Still a huge shock. Bad business, this spying stuff.

  6. Gregk says:

    Love the show which seemed to have a different tone than last season. More emphasis on 1980’s culture and entertainment like Leo Buscaglia which gave me chuckle. Could be a new director? The opening scene with the deer seemed like déjà vu. Have we seen this before or something like it in this or another show?

  7. esther says:

    Didn’t claudia elude to the fact that she might have exposed emmett & leanne to someone she trusted….and felt responsible. I wonder who that was?? I was thinking it might have been her originally….and is laying low for a bit. When gaads office discovered the deaths of the conner family…while looking at events that happen at that time….they seemed oblivious. What will phillip and elizabeth do if they find out they were killed by the kgb….not the americans???