The Americans” ended its fifth season with the two KGB spies, Philip and Elizabeth at close to the breaking point. Yet another operation, the one involving the Morozovs, ended with tragedy. The boy Pasha, who had been bullied at his American high school for the good of the Soviet state, came close to killing himself. All Philip And Elizabeth want to do is to go home. But can they go home? Is there really a home they would want to go to?

The spies at the limit of their endurance

One of the themes of season five of “The Americans” has been how the work Elizabeth and Philip do is soul stealing. They have killed too many innocents and seeming innocents, from the lab tech who was in the wrong place at the wrong time to the Nazi collaborator who was just a frightened old woman.

All of their sins, committed for the good of the Soviet state, are beginning to wear on them.

And for what, an Evil Empire?

The second theme that the just concluded season lingered on was how corrupt and evil the Soviet Union was, especially when it was in its death throes in the 1980s. The system of food growing and distribution in the USSR is thoroughly dysfunctional and corrupt. Philip, seeing the vast agricultural abundance of The American heartland, laments that his country cannot feed itself given the same resources. Oleg, the spy who came in from the cold, discovers that the systems of bribes that has fouled the Soviet food system keep it going. Yet, grocery shelves in Moscow are bare.

What about the children?

Philip and Elizabeth are aware that Paige (maybe) and Henry (certainly) will not be willing to immigrate to the Soviet Union.

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The strain of keeping her parents’ secrets is beginning to tell on Paige, even showing on her face due to a training injury inflicted by her mother. What his parents have in store for the son will destroy every chance Henry has for happiness, a good education at a boarding school paid by a scholarship and the company of a girl he has gotten fond of.

No way out?

Now comes the news that Philip has a recording device in the office of a man who has just been promoted to head the Soviet Division of the CIA. Now, he has to stay to complete that operation. But if he does stay, he will go mad. He doesn’t want to be a spy anymore. But, as Elizabeth is starting to discover, staring at her full closet, life in the West has its advantages. What are they to do?

What Philip and Elizabeth can do

The two KGB spies have to come to the realization that their salvation resides across the street, with their good friend and enemy Stan Beeman the FBI counterintelligence agent. To save their souls, the lives of their children, and to declare their independence from the Evil Empire, they must turn themselves in.