For a show about Soviet spies in 1980s America, smoke and mirrors might be expected. But EP/co-showrunner Joel Fields provided some solid details about The Americans’ upcoming season 4 at the show’s TCA panel today (the FX series returns March 16, airing Wednesdays at 10 PM).
Like the quintessential season 1 episode that played out on the day Ronald Reagan was shot, the new season will include such ’80s call-outs as ABC’s nuclear war TV-movie The Day After. We’ll also get to hear Reagan’s Star Wars speech, and there will even be a cameo by David Copperfield disappearing the Statue of Liberty.
Of course, season 4 also will deal with last season’s cliffhanger when Paige (Holly Taylor) learns that her parents (Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys) are Soviet spies and rats them out to her Christian youth group minister. “The game has changed in parenting Paige,” said Fields, adding that season 4 will focus on “how the family manages their survival.”
Meanwhile, back in Russia, incarcerated double agent Nina has hopes of being sprung. Fields kept mum on whether Nina (Annet Mahendru) would make her way back to the U.S. and reunite with ex-lover Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich), the FBI agent who got her in trouble with her own nation.
While season 3 was all about Paige, a questioner at TCA wondered whether the spotlight would fall on the Jennings’ younger son Henry (Keidritch Sellati). “In the first two episodes, he’s spending more time with his neighbor (Stan), which is both fun for us to play and (provides) a little subtle threatening. There’ll be more for him as the season unfolds,” said Fields.
With regards to a possible season 5 or even 6, Fields said, “We don’t have the answer, but we’ll do what’s right for storytelling. We often surprise ourselves through the progress of the story.”