The sixth and final season of The Americans, a drama about Soviet agents working undercover in suburban Washington, DC in the 1980s, begins tonight (Wednesday) on the FX cable channel. This season jumps the storyline ahead by three years to 1987.
As I’ve written before, while the FX series humanizes undercover KGB operatives working in the U.S. on behalf of the Soviet Union, the show also illustrates the ruthlessness of Soviet communism and how the American Left in the 1980s helped advance Soviet interests.
The FX drama is centered around a husband and wife KGB cell (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell as “Philip and Elizabeth Jennings”) who live with their kids as ordinary Americans (travel agents) in suburban Washington, DC in the 1980s. Last season, they enlisted daughter “Paige,” now a student at George Washington University, into the cause.
This season promises resolution, so we will learn whether they are finally caught by the FBI (they live in Falls Church, Virginia, across the street from a counter-intel FBI agent), flee back to Moscow, or are dealt another fate.
Here are five scenes which I think conservatives will find most satisfying in showing how Reagan unnerved the evil empire or which confirm Soviet misdeeds (summary below each video):
> First season, 2013: Successful KGB Operation to Discredit an Anti-Soviet Polish Priest. (Details)
The Americans, set in 1981, portrayed a successful KGB effort to discredit a Polish priest, who was leading an anti-Soviet liberation movement, by smearing him as a rapist during his visit to New York City. (“The Reagan administration doesn’t want a rapist leading the movement to push the Soviets out of Poland.”) The scene also featured an actual real-life clip of President Ronald Reagan hailing the people of Poland: “We, the people of the free world, stand as one with our Polish brothers and sisters.”
> Second season, 2014: Soviets on The Americans Welcome Teen Daughter’s Wish to Join Anti-Nukes Protest. (Details)
An educational illustration of the alliance of interests between Soviet communists and the Left in the West during the 1980s, when both worked to undermine the Reagan administration’s defense policies. The “Jennings” are outraged their teen daughter, “Paige” played by Holly Taylor, has joined a church youth group, prompting her dad to go into a rage in which he grabs and tears up her bible: “You respect Jesus, but not us?!” When “Paige” later asks them about joining a church trip to protest nuclear weapons on Air Force bombers, she’s taken aback when her mom quickly agrees.
> Second season, 2014: KGB Operative on FX Drama Echoes Liberal Attacks on Reagan: ‘He Doesn’t Care – Kids, Nuns...’ (Details)
Sounding remarkably like American liberals and journalists at the time, a second season episode included a scene in which the KGB’s “Elizabeth Jennings” sputtered in disgust at President Ronald Reagan on her TV: “Look at him. He’ll do anything. He doesn’t care. Kids, nuns, journalists – he doesn’t care.”
> Third season: FX’s The Americans Wraps Up Season With KGB Agents Distraught at Reagan’s ‘Evil Empire’ Speech. (Details)
The episode juxtaposed then-President Ronald Reagan’s “evil empire” speech with two undercover KGB agents in the U.S. distraught by the charge as their frantic teenage daughter, who just recently learned their true identity, gets on the phone to tell her pastor that her parents are Russians.
> Fifth season: “FX’s The Americans Shows Socialism in Action: Barren Shelves in Soviet Moscow.” (Details)
The Americans delivered something you rarely get anywhere on television: A “teaching moment” which highlighted the failure of policies liberals advance. Namely, the failure of socialistic/central control economic policies as the episode panned by near-barren shelves in a dingy Soviet-era Moscow grocery story. A Soviet rules enforcer visits a grocery store to scold the manager over how she finagled to obtain an excess number of tangerines.
A promo for this season incorporates Reagan’s 1987 “tear down this wall” speech. Video tweet: