Here’s ‘The Americans’ Ending FX Refused Matthew Rhys Over
The Americans was lucky enough to end on its own terms, plotting a final two seasons over an abrupt cancellation, but unless we’re going all Tarantino in the end, outlook is not so good for our Russian spies. That said, star Matthew Rhys has apparently pitched his own vision of the final seasons, with plenty of historical merit, but one FX flatly rejected out of hand.
The same Hollywood Reporter profile that saw Rhys revealing his appearance in the final season of HBO’s Girls also saw the Americans star revealing his particular pitch for the Jennings’ end, one which follows the very “Illegals” history from which the show draws its base. An undercover Russian spy living next to an FBI agent actually has a precedent, but FX apparently wasn’t too keen on having the same outcome:
Have you pitched your ideas? You know, “I’d like us to turn, become Americans …”
RHYS: Oh, I definitely do.
RUSSELL: I actually said to them at the beginning of last [season], “Are we seeing cracks? Is there any way this could be Elizabeth saying, ‘Maybe we should double agent or something?’ “ And Joe looked like I had said the most blasphemous thing. He was like, “No, there is not a chance.” (Laughter.)
RHYS: These spies were called “illegals,” and so we had a real illegal come to set who did exactly what we did. We caught some flack in the press about having an FBI agent [Noah Emmerich] living next door, but that was his story. He had an FBI agent who lived next door to him who turned him, so I was saying all this to Joe and Joel. I was like, “This is perfect. Noah Emmerich will turn us — we’ll become double agents.”
RHYS: This whole massive pitch. And they went, “Yeah … no.”
Not that anyone would ever print a version of that anecdote in which Rhys pitched his idea, and FX replied that he’d successfully predicted the ending, but it’s of interest to wonder what alternative outcome producers have in mind for Stan Beeman (Emmerich). Might he simply uncover and capture the Jennings, or perhaps meet a bitter end in the process?
We’ve two more seasons (well, one full season and a 10-episode conclusion) to figure that out, but how should The Americans end, if not with Phillip and Elizabeth turning against Mother Russia?
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