The cast and the producers of “The Americans,” including former CIA agent turned television showrunner Joe Weisberg, held a presser in advance of the March beginning of the show’s second to last season. The show depicts the adventures of two deep cover Soviet agents in 1980s Washington in the shadow of the end game of the Cold War. Naturally, the subject turned to contemporary American Russian relations, Donald Trump, and accusations of computer hacking.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Weisberg said, "There's something in a twisted way that's kind of fun about seeing all this stuff in the headlines that we're trafficking in all the time.

On the other hand, the initial idea of the show was really to say, 'Hey look, these people who we think of as enemies are just like us.' That was at a more peaceful time in U.S.-Russia relations, and to see things have spiraled so out of control, frankly, just doesn't feel so good."

A couple of things need to be unpacked here.

The idea that the 1980s were a “more peaceful time in U.S.-Russian relations” does not pass the laugh test. President Ronald Reagan had set about pursing a multipronged strategy to bring down the Soviet Union. Part of that strategy involved arming Mujahidin fighters in Afghanistan to kill Red Army soldiers who were occupying that country. Let us not mention the ever present threat of global thermonuclear war that is, thankfully, absent from the 21st Century.

If Philip and Elizabeth, the two Soviet spies in question, are “just like us” that quality is only superficial. In fact, both of them are murderers many times over and have committed enough crimes to put them in prison for life, if not get them the death penalty. Elizabeth especially goes about her work with relish, revealing the disturbing quality of a psychopath willing to do anything, even suborn her own daughter, in service of the Soviet state and Mother Russia.

In any case, “The Americans” will draw to an end next year. How that ending will take shape, no one is saying. One thing, we’re not going to see a cameo of young Donald Trump, as that would be considered too self-conscious, all things considered.

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