The best show on television, FX’s The Americans, will get two more seasons before the Philip and Elizabeth Jennings are forced to pack up their sizable collection of unfortunate wigs and eyeglasses.
Deadline reports that FX has ordered two more seasons of the drama to close out the series. The Americans, currently in its fourth season, will have a 13-episode fifth season in 2017 and a 10-episode final season in 2018. FX’s decision to renew the show for two seasons isn’t exactly a surprise—executive producer Joel Fields said in an interview earlier this year that the writing team already had a story arc mapped out:
“What we do know is that if you were to think of it as a three-act story structure, it feels like we’re coming toward the end of the second act. Whether it takes a fifth season or a sixth or fifth season to tell the rest of that story, we’ll discover as we start to dig into next season’s work.”
While the Cold War spy-cum-family drama has always been more of a critical darling than a crowd-pleaser; it’s never been much of a ratings boon for the network, and Deadline notes that the show has been overlooked by the Emmys. Only Margo Martindale, who plays the eerily calm and weirdly nurturing KGB handler, Claudia, has picked up a trophy. It’s surprising that the show hasn’t gotten more formal recognition; at it’s best, The Americans is a nuanced exploration of truth and identity, particularly within the conflict zones of marriage and the American family. It’s also, at its core, a bleakly sexy spy thriller.
In a statement, Eric Schrier, FX’s president of original programming, emphasized The Americans’ critical reception:
“Through its first four seasons, critics have lauded The Americans as one of the best shows on television and, remarkably, a series that keeps getting better every year. We have no doubt that this two-season order will allow [showrunners and producers Joel Fields and Joel Weisberg to tell this story to its perfect conclusion.”
“Perfect conclusion” in the world of The Americans—a show that has proven itself willing to kill off both sympathetic and central characters (RIP Nina)—could mean just about anything. Most likely, it will be another two seasons of deep emotional investment in the well-being of the incredibly complicated Jennings family. And someone will probably die.
(Martha. Martha will die).
Image of the world’s most beautiful couple via Getty.