The Americans Showrunners Talk Emotional Season 5 Finale

Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields break down the FX drama’s penultimate finale episode and look back on the recent season: “We thought we were moving pretty fast.”
The fifth season of The Americans ended with a twist on Tuesday.

The jam-packed season finale of the FX spy drama saw Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell) seriously contemplate a return to Russia but ultimately decide to stay put. The episode, a rare one co-written by showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, was directed by series vet Chris Long.

“We felt it was very emotional,” says Weisberg, looking back on the season. Fields adds that the pair have heard from viewers that the recent episodes have felt slow — but they feel differently about the pacing. “We thought we were moving pretty fast,” he says. “I mean, they got married. Elizabeth told Paige [Holly Taylor] about her rape. Phillip found out about his father. Gabriel [Frank Langella] left. We can hardly keep up. We’re exhausted.”

The series has become more topical this year due to striking parallels between U.S.-Russian relations today and those explored in the show. “If anybody had said a few seasons in that suddenly Russia would be perceived as the greatest threat and possibly one of the greatest enemies that the United States possibly has, we would have said, ‘That’s insane. You are bonkers,'” says Fields. Continue reading The Americans Showrunners Talk Emotional Season 5 Finale

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The Americans producers on finale, and if season 5 was too slow

The Americans showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields take our questions about the season 5 finale and some high points from the acclaimed FX drama’s penultimate season. (Note: Spoiler alert for anybody who is not yet caught up.)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So before we can talk candidly: Is Henry here?
JOEL FIELDS: Not to our knowledge, but we have not swept for bugs today!

Whew, okay. First I want to start with something I loved this season: The darkroom scene a few episodes back was amazing. Just terrific editing, the music choice, performances. You made reading a pastor’s diary riveting.
FIELDS: That’s a scary scene to write. If Chris Long isn’t your producing director, it’s especially scary, but we knew we were in good hands. The entire team delivered sensationally. But when you sit down and decide to hang really the entire landing of the episode, and a key transformational moment in your big season and series-long stories, you’re hanging them on the audience reading photographed pages from a diary, it’s a real challenge. I remember sitting right here in The Vault — this is where we do our writing — and we were talking about how that was going to be filmed, and how close you could get to the photos and what you could expect the audience to read. It’s a real testament to the filmmakers on the show how powerfully that landed. And it really captured what we hoped to capture — Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth’s (Keri Russell) experience of reading that with their daughter and catching the landing of those phrases.
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The Americans recap: ‘The World Council of Churches’

They got to Pastor Tim. They tempted him into biting the apple, and he didn’t even know it.

While he and Paige are saying their farewells after a successful afternoon of food-banking, the good reverend tells her he has accepted a job with the World Council of Churches in Argentina, running their interfaith mission.

He has her parents to thank for that career boost, although he doesn’t know it. And he certainly doesn’t realize he’s being moved out of the picture.

“Wow,” Paige says. “Wow.”

“We’re going to miss you, Paige.”

“You and Alice have been really good to me. Meeting you changed everything for me,” she tells him.

“We’re going to keep in touch,” he responds.

She wants to know who will be the next pastor, and he says that’ll happen in the weeks ahead. He has two months before his departure. (If he can keep his mouth shut and not get a dose of polonium tea from the KGB before that.) Continue reading The Americans recap: ‘The World Council of Churches’

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The Hollywood Walk of Fame Star

Keri Russell will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on May 30 at 11:30 a.m. Guest speakers: Matt Reeves, Joel Fields & J.J. Abrams.

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For Your Consideration: The Americans

FX Networks, FXP and Fox 21 Television Studios cordially invite Television Academy National Active members and a guest to a special screening, panel discussion and reception.

THE AMERICANS
7:00 PM Screening & panel discussion
Keri Russell
Matthew Rhys
Noah Emmerich
Margo Martindale
Holly Taylor
Joe Weisberg, creator/executive producer/writer
Joel Fields, executive producer/writer
Chris Long, executive producer/director

WHEN:
Thursday, June 01, 2017 – 7:00pm PDT

WHERE:
Wolf Theatre
at Saban Media Center
Television Academy
5210 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601

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