“We weren’t interested in the answer. We didn’t want to know. What interested us was the question.”
The Americans has ended. After six seasons of betrayals and double crosses and moving conversations about marriage, the FX drama — one of the very best TV shows of the decade (and, okay, sure all time) — concluded with a deeply moving series finale that made Vox’s Americans fans applaud.
But what was making that finale, and the show’s amazing final season, like? To answer that question, I corralled some of the most important voices behind the series for the latest episode of my podcast, I Think You’re Interesting. First, Matthew Rhys (who plays Philip) talks about his work on the final season and behind the scenes as a director of episodes in the show’s final three seasons. And then co-showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg talk with me about the process of constructing that final season.
I especially wanted to ask Fields and Weisberg some questions about some of the finale’s biggest reveals — and in particular one very lengthy scene that is destined to go down as a TV classic. A lightly edited version of our conversation follows, but beware that full spoilers for the series and its finale follow.
The confrontation scene between Stan and the Jenningses in the garage, you said there were versions where it wasn’t in the script, but it’s over 10 minutes, so you obviously committed to it and committed to it early on. Tell me about the process of writing it. It seems like something that took a lot to get right.
Boy, that was a journey, that scene! It’s hard