Prized KGB assets Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell) will have the heat turned up on them as FX’s Cold War spy drama The Americans returns for Season 3 on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 10pm ET/PT.
Philip and Elizabeth will be more focused on parenting this season, and they’ll have conflicts over the decision to groom their daughter Paige (Holly Taylor) for KGB service by orders of the Center. Putting pressure on them will be Gabriel (new cast member Frank Langella), their former KGB handler who has come out of retirement to replace Claudia (Margo Martindale).
On the subject of Philip and Elizabeth recruiting their daughter as a KGB spy, Russell says:
It’s less about recruiting a daughter, and I don’t think, in my line the way I look at it, I don’t look at it like I’m recruiting this teenager to do what I do and to turn tricks with strangers in a hotel room. For me, I have to go to a human level, and I really believe and I think Elizabeth would really believe that you should know who you are, and I feel like she’s this mother who’s watching a daughter being indoctrinated by someone, and it’s someone that is so polar opposite to what she believes to be true and right and important. And if she’s going to be indoctrinated by someone, it’s going to be me. It’s not going to be some kid with a guitar singing about Jesus. Like she wants it to be important and, you know, about socialism and people who matter, and I think it does come out of great love for her daughter and wanting her to be a substantial human being and, even more base than that, wanting her to know who she is. I think, how do you navigate the world if you don’t know who you are? And I think it starts there. I think that’s what’s on the table at the moment is like should she know who she is? And we’re not saying the 16 year-old is going to go into what we do. I think what Philip and Elizabeth do is very specific within the cause. I think there are very few of us that do it. I think what I’m coming at as a mother is saying this child should know who she is. She should know who we are. And I also think there’s that complicated thing within Philip and Elizabeth that every time Philip rejects the idea of telling her and why she shouldn’t know, I feel like it’s that weird marital dance of Elizabeth feeling rejected by Philip because it’s everything she is. It’s like then you’re rejecting everything I am good at and everything I’m successful at. And it’s important and valid. I think it’s a complicated dance, and I think there is a very relatable human parent aspect to it.
Also this season, Elizabeth will try to pry information from an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting leader (Karen Pittman) who works at a factory assembling a highly classified government project. Julia Garner (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) will play a woman who has a dangerous encounter with Philip and Elizabeth. Creator and executive producer Joseph Weisberg says that the Soviet war in Afghanistan will also be a factor this season.
Photo: Credit: James Minchin/FX