Over the course of its critically acclaimed run, The Americans has consistently offered a masterclass in ratcheting up the tension of its central 80s-set storyline involving two Russian spies whose deep cover aliases are a pair of seemingly ordinary D.C. suburbanites and their two American-born children. Each new season brings Elizabeth and Philip Jennings closer to being exposed, especially as their daughter Paige learns to cope with what she’s discovered with regard to who her parents really are.
Season 4 left the Jennings clan in another tight spot after a fellow Russian asset was captured by their neighbor, FBI agent Stan Beeman, leaving Elizabeth and Philip to wonder what information, if any, had found its way to the agents who’ve been on and off their tail for years. And while the season excelled at tightening the proverbial screws on the spies, it also took a major step forward, pushing Paige ever closer to taking over the family business as it were.
That seemed to be case when the first promo for The Americans season 5 was released. The ad teased Paige’s indifference toward a Russian invasion, walking calmly from school as her friends cowered in fear while jet fighters screaming overhead. It certainly seemed as though showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields were done hinting at the direction Paige would take in the series’ penultimate season, and a new full trailer for season 5 confirms just that.
Without going to any great lengths to spell it out, the ad shows Paige still struggling to deal with witnessing her mother kill a would-be attacker. Rather than turn away from the knowledge, though, she exhibits a knack for her parents’ trade by steering into the skid, and asking mom for a little hand-to-hand combat training. Some light sparring with Elizabeth doesn’t necessarily mean Paige will be picking up dead drops in the middle of the night anytime soon, but it does intimate yet another step toward a potentially dark future for the young woman.
The trailer is packed full of other treats for fans as well. In addition to Elizabeth and Philip getting up to their old tricks (and some new wigs), the promo offers a first look at Margot Martindale’s return as the couple’s former handler Claudia, telling Gabriel, “Nothing scares those two.” To which he replies, “Everything scares those two.” Considering just how tense the series has become over the past few years (which has finally earned it some long overdue award nominations), Elizabeth and Philip have every right to be scared.
The Americans season 5 premieres on Tuesday, March 7 @10pm on FX.