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The Americans

The Americans

Sat Aug 24, 9.55-10.50pm, ITV

By Gabriel Tate
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Series one, episode thirteen
Having threatened to all series, tonight’s finale delivers genuine five-star thrills. The KGB has two big wins on the horizon: a high-level meeting in Caspar Weinberger’s office and a high-ranking US colonel poised to spill the beans. At least one of these, as we know, is a trap laid by the FBI – but might the suspicions of the Jenningses may be misdirected?

As Elizabeth and Philip debate who will play the martyr and take on the more dangerous assignment (leaving the other to look after the kids, perhaps for good, in another neat splicing of the personal and political), it appears the key to the whole conundrum lies with Nina, who’s been given two offers she can’t refuse. Even Claudia gets to display a spark of humanity in a superbly paced and affecting episode which sums up this series’ impressive achievement: the history may be familiar, but its individuals retain the capacity to surprise.

While ‘The Americans’ may not have gathered ‘Homeland’-esque ratings for ITV, we sincerely hope they stay the course and sign up for series two; it’s been a gripping ride.
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