“The Americans” broke through at last year’s Emmys with bids for Best Drama Series and leads Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell. This FX spy drama just wrapped season five with a shocking finale that has critics crowing. This universal acclaim could mean that it well follows in the footsteps of “The Sopranos” (2004), “24” (2006), “Breaking Bad” (2013) and “Game of Thrones” (2015), which all had to wait for the fifth edition before claiming TV’s top prize.
Among the top reviewers singing the praises of the 13th and final episode of the season were:
Todd VanDerWerff (Vox): “‘The Soviet Division’ balances, surprisingly nimbly, season five wrap-up with a handful of setup moments for season six, perhaps none more ominous than Renée suggesting that maybe Stan should just stick around at the FBI after all.”
Kevin Yeoman (Screen Rant): “The penultimate season was arguably the series at its introspective best, giving the audience ample opportunity to experience the lows and the… other lows of Cold War-era spies struggling mightily with their work-life balance (that being they have all of one and none of the other), realizing they’ve been backpedaling their way into one hell of a corner this whole time.”
Ben Travers (IndieWire): “It’s the idea that Elizabeth and Philip are having a hard time that they need to deal with. Elizabeth needs to be able to share the weight of their responsibilities if she’s going to survive — literally and emotionally. Part of Philip’s pain is that it built up over time, when he tried to deal with his faltering belief in the cause on his own. That’s not how a marriage works. It’s not how a partnership works. It’s not how they can or should work.”
Scott Tobias (Vulture): “And so we’ve reached the end of a particularly fraught season of The Americans, one in which the emphasis has been on the innocent people — the lab technician, Pasha and his family, the Russian woman in ‘Dyatkovo,’ Paige and Henry, Martha back in Russia — who have been victimized in service of a larger cause, one that Philip and Elizabeth can’t be entirely sure is as righteous as they once believed. Yet Philip and Elizabeth’s marriage has never been stronger.”
Genevieve Koski (Vox): “Satisfying” is not the word I would use to describe ‘The Soviet Division,’ that’s for sure. But it is intriguing, which is maybe more appropriate for a show that loves to keep threads dangling (ahem, Kimmy), the better to pick them back up once we’ve let down our guard.”
According to Gold Derby’s early Emmy racetrack odds for Best Drama Series, “The Americans” is in third place to win with 13/2 odds, behind “The Crown” (9/2 odds) and “Stranger Things” (4/1 odds). While “The Americans” is a favorite with critics’ groups, “The Crown” recently prevailed at the Golden Globes while “Stranger Things” won at the SAG Awards.
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