Following the recently wrapped season 5 of FX’s spy drama The Americans, Creators/Eps Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields hit up Austin’s ATX Television Festival and offered a bit of insight into what’s to come in the sixth and final season.
Though no specific plot details were revealed, Weisberg teased that it will be “action packed and emotional packed.”
“A lot of pieces hanging out there, a lot of stories,”he said, adding, “threads to who these people are and how their lives are gong to end up… we’ve got 10 episodes to pull that all together.”
The duo said they’ve known early on how the show would end. “Our stories sometimes change a lot, we write pretty far ahead and we’ll have ideas written down in pretty extensive thoughtful form earlier on and then some will stay with us,” said Fields. “The ending itself has stuck since middle of season 2”
Season 5 left off with Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys) having to put a hold on their plans to return to the Soviet Union with their children.
“In a way the whole season is informed by the final scene of the season,” said Field. “For a show that’s been about marriage from the beginning… that final scene to us was a statement of where they’ve come in all of these years.” This season saw big things happening in Elizabeth and Philip’s marriage, including the two actually getting married.
“The notion that we would get them, by the end of the season, to a place where they had come together with mutual desire to go home and then circumstances would put Elizabeth in a place where he had to stay and Philip because he loved and respected her, would know that that is what had to be for her and therefore had to be for there marriage,” said Fields. “She at the same time, because she loved and respected him, knew that he couldn’t go on doing what he was doing. We thought that was a beautiful statement of where they were at.”
When asked how they felt about the criticism of the show’s slow pace in season 5, Weisberg explained that “it was intended. The intention was to tell a different kind of story that was more about the psychology of the characters.” Fields added that one of several guiding principals for the creators is that “we can’t try to make it in a way to please what we think others will want. What we’re looking for it what gets us most excited.”
On if the current political climate had any influence of the show. “What you don’t want is for people watching the show and thinking ‘Oh, those clever writers they did little things here and there that have to do with Donald Trump or what’s going on with Russia today,’ said Weisberg. “We work hard to essentially keep it out.”
Season 6 of The Americans will return in 2018 on FX.