What’s Worth Watching: The Americans Returns for a Season of Spies, Lies and Parenting

The Americans
Michael Parmelee/FX
The Americans

The Americans, “EST Men” (Wednesday, Jan. 28, 10/9c, FX)

America’s covert attempts to boot the Soviets from Afghanistan ups the stakes for the wily husband and wife Soviet spies known as Philip and Elizabeth Jennings in the third season premiere of this brilliant blend of 1980’s spy thriller and domestic drama. (If you’re not part of The Americans fervent fan base yet, it’s time to binge on this espionage wonderland.) The innovative show skillfully turns our emotions topsy-turvy as we root for the Russian agents even as they are willing to kill our side to save their missions and their lives. While the couple spend their nights in myriad disguises, not to mention in various beds, Phillip and Elizabeth do their best to be loving parents to their young kids Henry and Paige, the latter of whom the KGB wants as a teen spy in training. Philip hates the idea, Eiizabeth—not so much. Add to that the twisted friendship between Philip and their neighbor, the unsuspecting FBI agent Stan Beeman, the return of their former handler Gabriel, played by new cast member Frank Langella, Philip’s “second wife” Martha, and a passel of Russian spies with very bad luck, it seems a sure thing The Americans Season 3 will continue to shock and satisfy.

Correction: This article originally misidentified the network on which The Americans airs. This version has been corrected.