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"The Americans" Part 2

I think the FBI will want to get every single ounce of intelligence out of this. They have the home (and E didn’t destroy anything) plus a good few safe houses. Paige, Henry, Stan, Renee all know stuff, some of which they don’t know that they know. Even Henry. There is going to be a long process of interviews. In short, to get the info they need, the FBIs best move is to put initial pressure and then gain cooperation via a deal. So I don’t think PH or Stan do time. In fact, they could spin Stan as the hero. This is not about justice. 

 

The next few weeks will decide Renees fate as her background will get the kind of deep research no false legend will withstand. If her ID is a child who died very young, she’s burnt. She knows that - hence the wistful look at the Jennings house, they got away. 

 

On that basis, I think Paige is actually just sinking vodka until the Feds arrive (the flat must be on the list to check). And, at the hockey? What we don’t see is the wire stan is wearing or the agents stacked up at the door

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1 hour ago, Nash said:

The next few weeks will decide Renees fate as her background will get the kind of deep research no false legend will withstand. If her ID is a child who died very young, she’s burnt

This is what I still don't understand about Renee. If she's "one of us" in the sense of being an illegal, we've been given to understand that the illegals identities wouldn't withstand a thorough background check. So her plan to work as an admin at the FBI suggests she can't be that. Which would leave her as, potentially, an American-born recruit - but I don't recall anything in the show that suggests they were relying on native-born Americans to that extent, and it would take a particularly intense level of commitment for someone who has presumably never even been to Russia to engage in a sham marriage with an FBI agent on behalf of the USSR. 

Also, if she isn't an illegal, the oft-cited "University of Indiana" gaffe can't be a clue. 

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Around s2 I wondered if there had been a soviet agent in the 1940s (like the burgess/Maclean/philby & co) who was able to create a shedload of real fake identies for the KGB. Then I read more about it and learnt that one job the Rezidenturas had was finding IDs that could be used. The ever popular one being children who died very young. So the IDs were solid but not that solid. 

To be honest, the Renee issue only makes sense as a plot device, a bit of misdirection. The cast interviews suggest that about 80% of the cast thought she was a spy. And the younger actors seemed pretty cranked up about it not being resolved, KS in particular. 

It does seem insane to try to join the KGB on a fake ID but perhaps some genius had thought Stan could oil the wheels for his wife in the way it would work in Moscow? 

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She could also be like Gregory, a native, committed to the cause.

I think she's Directorate S though, with good enough background to work in HR.

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In which case her cover will stack up but it’s a question of her holding to her story. Wonder what her dead letter drop/debrief routine is? 

I presume the general tendency is that she’s KGB? 

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20 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

I think she's Directorate S though, with good enough background to work in HR.

To me this seems like it kind of undermines the whole 2nd gen program if Illegals can work at the FBI and pass a background check even on PR level. I don't know just how deep that background check would go but it seems like they'd need to have a record that didn't become fuzzy before sometime in the 60s.

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I was presuming that if she was  a recruited local agent she would still work for S. If Renee is kgb she is an agent, not an officer. She has a rock solid story because it’s real.

thats what baffled me about the 2nd generation idea - they would have solid cover but their parents story could still be broken. Meanwhile you’d have the question of training, ideology, loyalty all sorts of issues, not least that the kids are far more American than Russian. 

I am curious as to what the real illegals achieved cf their cost when compared to recruited, turned agents. The very fact they existed created an existential threat I suppose and in a war scenario they’d assist spetznatz sabotage teams.....

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There were some interesting posts in the retrospective thread about tone vs. reality in the finale and how the showrunners are maybe speaking louder through the former than the latter and I agree. So I thought I'd just say what I got tonally about the characters from the end. Obviously plenty of this can be argued against with plot logic or realism, but this is the gist of what I got. None of it specifically says what will happen to the characters, it's just a general sense of what note they seem to be hitting with everyone.

Some things seemed pretty certain, others uncertain.

Philip and Elizabeth are starting over again like they did in 1965 in a land that's half-familiar and half-strange with only each other to rely on and be understood by. Hence the looking ahead into the future together and the last line pretty much explicitly saying that etc. Their future in that sense seemed pretty clear.

Claudia, too, seemed to be given some certainty in that she'd return to the USSR and continue the fight as always. She wouldn't change--as Emmett, I think, said, she'd just go on and on. She'd absorb this blow like others before it: stoically.

Oleg's last shot also seemed certain: He's in jail, locked away from his family, for the foreseeable future. We don't know for how long, but he's not going home next week.

The part of Stan's future that seemed certain was that he would keep his secret about the Jennings and any scrutiny he would be under wouldn't be a danger. What was uncertain was what he would do now with everything else. His happy life with Renee was over, either because he was going to discover she was a spy too or just because he wouldn't trust her. He's following all the steps laid out in the garage (lying about the Jennings, suspecting Renee, going to Henry) but none of these things guarantee a certain future. The only one where we I think glimpse where it will lead is his lying to Aderholdt. And even that doesn't lay out his future with the FBI.

The Jennings kids had more uncertainty in their final moments. I do think, as I said, that Paige was clearly going to live life as herself. Just as Stan lying to Aderholdt was there to put to rest Stan under suspicion, Paige returning to DC out of costume said she was no longer living a life with deception at the center. (I can imagine her spy career seeming like a dream to her as she gets older.) As for what she would do next, though, that was completely uncertain. She's starting very much from scratch, staring into the middle distance.

With Henry, I think his life at school is meant to suggest he has some basis for a life--he's not starting from scratch like Paige. Not in a material sense, that is. But he is emotionally, and I think the last shot of him is meant to reflect that. The body language in the last shot is obviously not one that conveys a landing--hard or soft. He and Paige are mirrored in the way they're both staring ahead into empty space. Actually, they're also mirroring their parents. All four Jennings are looking out into the distance. The show even chose to not have Philip and Elizabeth holding hands or something as they do it. Which I don't think is meant to imply any sort of breach between them (they don't need to hold hands to know the other is there). But each person is dealing with the end of their own story on their own. Stan stared into the distance earlier, after the garage scene. By the end montage he's staring at sleeping Renee.

Edited by sistermagpie.
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