Warning: major spoilers ahead for the series finale of The Americans on FX.
The Americans has officially ended its intense six-year run on FX with a finale that twisted and turned in some directions even the most diehard fans may not have been able to predict. The very last scene of the series ended not with death or destruction or any kind of huge cathartic twist. No, the episode ended with Philip and Elizabeth back in Russia, having escaped the United States before they could be captured by authorities, although they had a close call with Stan. Their ending wasn't exactly happy, as both Henry and Paige were left behind in the U.S., and the scene was rather bleak as they stood in the snow, gazing at a city that no longer truly felt like home.
Notably, the finale ended without revealing what was in the future for Philip and Elizabeth, and fans were left without answers to all the questions they likely had after the episode. Showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields spoke with press outlets in a conference call ahead of the finale, and Weisberg said this about why the finale ended on an ambiguous note:
The ambiguity of the final scene allows viewers to come up with their own interpretation of what happened, what was going to happen, and what was going on in Philip and Elizabeth's minds at the end of this particular long journey. There were specific subjects that they absolutely had to be thinking about -- ranging from the loss of their children to the tense confrontation with Stan to perhaps even the final moment in the McDonald's -- but viewers had the freedom to decide what they believed would happen next.
While having a shortage of hard answers at the end of a six-season run might be difficult for some fans, The Americans delivered an emotional episode that supplied closure on one distinct chapter of all of these characters' lives without giving the sense that their stories are over. The Americans probably isn't coming back for a revival or launching a spinoff based on Henry or Stan (and Renee) or Paige, but there was the sense that their lives will go on.
Paige had a poignant final scene, even if she did leave her parents behind at a train station, choosing to stay in the U.S. rather than retreat to Russia. She was last seen drinking Claudia's vodka in her apartment. Joel Fields revealed this about that scene for Paige:
Paige's fate is one of the most open-ended as of the end of The Americans. She's not safe from the authorities with her parents in Russia and she's not free to wander around the U.S., certainly not after she explicitly told Stan that she's known the truth about Philip and Elizabeth since she was 16 years old. Henry stands a better chance of leading a normal life, and Stan will probably do what he can to keep him safe. After all, Henry is innocent, and Stan's friendship with Philip was genuine on a certain level.
Possibly the most unexpected twist of the entire finale is the fact that nobody died. Series finales often kill off major characters, and fans likely went into the episode on the edges of their seats, waiting with bated breath to see which of their favorites would be brutally killed off before the final credits. Joe Weisberg spoke about why the showrunners chose not to go with the expectations and kill somebody off, saying this:
Sadly, The Americans is now done, and we can't hold out hope for more questions being answered. That said, there's plenty open to interpretation that can keep fans talking and speculating for the foreseeable future. For what you can watch sooner rather than later now that The Americans is over, check out our summer TV premiere guide and our 2018 Netflix premiere schedule.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.
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