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The Americans: Every Season Ranked, According To IMDb

The Americans: Every Season Ranked, According To IMDb

The Americans aired for six seasons and every season was of high quality; their IMDb ratings are proof of that. So how does every season rank overall?

One of the greatest television series of all time that ran for six nearly perfect seasons, The Americans tells the story of Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings, secret Russian agents who are deep undercover in America during the Cold War.

While many shows experience highs and lows when it comes to quality and reception, The Americans maintained a consistently excellent level of quality, beginning and ending on a high note. The show explored themes of espionage, family, parenting, government, violence, and what it is to have a home.

While many shows experience highs and lows when it comes to quality and reception, The Americans maintained a consistently excellent level of quality, beginning and ending on a high note. The show explored themes of espionage, family, parenting, government, violence, and what it is to have a home.

Season 5 – 8.2

The Americans: Every Season Ranked, According To IMDb

The Americans: Every Season Ranked, According To IMDb

Paige has accepted Elizabeth’s offer to be trained in self-defense in this season, and this decision brings mother and daughter closer together and allows audiences to see a new side of their dynamic. This relationship raises many questions: does Paige want to be closer to her parents, or is she so afraid of everything she’s learned that she no longer feels safe? How much of Elizabeth’s interactions with her daughter are genuine, and how much of them are her attempting to feel out what kind of agent she would make?

Season five displays the dirtiest sides of the work Phillip and Elizabeth do; which is really saying something, considering how much the first four seasons show. Their anger over the thought that the American government may be trying to poison Russian food is justified, but what happens when they’re wrong? Their numbness to taking innocent life may be callous, but at this point in the series there is no more romanticism about what they do, or the costs.

Season 2 – 8.3

The Americans: Every Season Ranked, According To IMDb

The Americans: Every Season Ranked, According To IMDb

Season two kicks off in a great way: Elizabeth is back, and her relationship with Phillip is stronger than ever. They reconnect with another family of sleeper agents, and their horrific murder towards the end of the episode kicks off the overarching plot of the season. Stan’s personal life, which was hanging on by a thread in the first season, is completely falling apart. While he’s become increasingly distant from his wife, his relationship with Nina gets stronger but not strong enough for him to be willing to save her when the people that have been using her feel that her usefulness has run its course.

Season 1 – 8.3

The Americans: Every Season Ranked, According To IMDb

The Americans: Every Season Ranked, According To IMDb

Right off the bat, The Americans establishes itself as a truly great show. A quick, tense action sequence introduces the audience to Phillip and Elizabeth’s professions, before they’re shown living a domestic, suburban life with two children who remain completely unaware of the defected Russian agent they have bound and gagged in the trunk of their car.

While many shows struggle with characterization in earlier seasons, Phillip and Elizabeth are very clearly defined characters. Phillip is a guy who’s good at his job but likes life in America. Elizabeth is incredibly devoted to her country, and her devotion keeps Phillip involved until she has to ask him herself to quit out of concern for his psychological well-being later on.

Season 3 – 8.5

The Americans: Every Season Ranked, According To IMDb

The Americans: Every Season Ranked, According To IMDb

This is the season of the Paige Problem. After orders come from the Centre stipulating that Paige must be told and brought into the fold, Phillip and Elizabeth strongly disagree about how to move forward. This season contains one of the best episodes the show ever aired (“Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?”) in which a very unlucky elderly woman discovers Phillip and Elizabeth doing something she can’t know about and live.

The topic of killing the innocent is something that will be explored in greater depth in season five, but is best done here. When Elizabeth tells the woman that she justifies her actions by telling herself that she’s fighting for those who can’t fight for themselves, the old woman tells her: “That’s what evil people tell themselves when they do evil things.”

Season 4 – 8.5

The Americans: Every Season Ranked, According To IMDb

The Americans: Every Season Ranked, According To IMDb

Season four is incredibly tense from start to finish. Paige has told Pastor Tim her parents’ big secret, and though killing him would be the easiest way to ensure his silence, Phillip and Elizabeth don’t want to hurt Paige any more than they already have. They must deal with this while also attempting to get a dangerous virus from another sleeper agent.

In the most heartbreaking loss since Gregory, Nina finally meets her fate after she tries to do right by someone else. And poor Martha learns that her marriage isn’t what she thought it was, and her relationship to Phillip means her entire life as she knows it is forfeit. Alison Wright is truly spectacular in the Martha-centric episodes, playing her with the nuance Elizabeth doesn’t believe her to contain.

Season 6 – 9.0

The Americans: Every Season Ranked, According To IMDb

The Americans: Every Season Ranked, According To IMDb

Much of The Americans’ season six is centered around the impending summit between Russian and American leaders. Phillip is finally out of the game, but Elizabeth remains as committed as ever. Keri Russell does perhaps her finest work this season, showing all of the wear and tear the job has had on Elizabeth, while retaining that stubborn resolve that holds her together throughout it all.

Russian leaders are divided over the desired outcome of the summit, as are Phillip and Elizabeth. Cracks are showing everywhere, and even Stan is beginning to suspect the Jennings for the first time since season one. Oleg is brought back into the mix after finally getting out and beginning a family. He gets involved for the right reasons, but, like every character on this show, the ending of his story is far from happy.

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