Couldn't believe 'The Americans'? Noah Emmerich explains
April 4th, 2013
02:15 PM ET

Couldn't believe 'The Americans'? Noah Emmerich explains

Shocked fans dropped their jaws Wednesday after watching the latest episode of TV's hottest Cold War spy drama.

We're talking, of course, about the "The Americans" - FX's new series about Soviet spies living in the U.S. in the '80s. Words like "nuts," "crazy" and "crossed the line" were just a few that popped up on the show's Facebook fan page.

If you missed it, you may not want to read any further. We absolutely do not want to spoil the fun. Suffice it to say the stakes just got a lot higher in a show where the worst case scenario is World War III.

Here's what happened:

1. The show's central romance went sour.

2. A key character was killed off.

3. And another character took justice into his own hands by committing a vengeful act of cold-blooded murder.

We've had a great time so far watching "Felicity's" Keri Russell as the "do what must be done" Soviet spy Elizabeth Jennings. It's been fun to see her spy-husband Philip, played by Matthew Rhys, get intimate with an FBI secretary to steal her secrets.

And the FBI's Stan Beeman, played by Noah Emmerich, has been a virtual by-the-book counterintelligence agent.

Until now.

Showing a disturbing new dark side, Beeman made it clear that he's willing to do just about anything for his FBI partner Chris Amador, as played by Max Hernandez. When Chris is kidnapped by Elizabeth and Philip, "Stan crossed the line," posted Randy Dunn on Facebook. "Don't really care for him anymore," added Facebook fan Sarah Gregory. "He really has turned into a villain."

But to Emmerich, "Stan is a ferociously loyal human being," as the actor told reporters during a conference call Wednesday. He doesn't see Beeman's motivation to retaliate for the kidnapping by shooting a KGB spy in cold blood as an emotionally rash decision, but rather "a calculated chess move that he feels must be made."

"It is revenge," Emmerich admitted. "I don't think it's personal. I think it's political."

Yet as loyal as Beeman is, he's complicated too. The guy is cheating on his wife with a Russian embassy worker.

"There's a conflict sometimes in life between loyalty and emotional need and the things we need to survive in life," said Emmerich. "I don't think Stan thinks of it consciously - analytically - as a betrayal. It's just a human need that emerges to which he surrenders to some degree."

The new developments make it clear things are going to get "even crazier" for the show's characters in the coming weeks, wrote TVFanatic. "The Jennings will need to be even more careful."

One of the great things about "The Americans" is its ability to make us sympathize with just about all the characters. Unlike Emmerich's boyhood movie hero Billy Jack in the 1971 movie of the same name, "The Americans" has no clear-cut Good Guys or Bad Guys. Each character has good qualities and fascinating flaws. "It's a very complex, messy, unclear world," Emmerich said. "There's our true self and there's our prescribed self. And betwixt and between the two, there's a lot of gray."

Initially, Emmerich almost turned the role down.

"I didn't want to be a guy who carried a badge or a gun, I've had too much of that," he said. So when the part of Beeman was offered, Emmerich kind of dismissed it.

Enter Gavin O'Connor, who directed Emmerich in the 2008 cop film "Pride and Glory." O'Connor - who was directing the pilot for "The Americans" - asked Emmerich to re-read the script.

"I really realized that this show is actually not about guns and badges at all," Emmerich said. "It's really about characters; it's about relationships; it's about identity and our understanding of each other and ourselves and how we relate. ... So I took the leap, and I'm ever so grateful that I did."

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soundoff (56 Responses)
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  4. Measures too Measures

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  24. Dusty Densieski

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    July 23, 2013 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
  25. I hope the guy with the beer is back on the show soon.

    April 9, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  26. He made sure the club was perfect for everyone--

    Stallone was his favorite guest....truth

    April 8, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  27. idgewood cntry club

    i know everyone there too.....papi worked there.....small world

    April 8, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • papi was a ballboy

      at the tennis courts - i remember him! he handled the balls for all the members.

      April 8, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  28. oh yea the one on the left still turns me on

    you betcha

    April 8, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Is the guy with the beer far away?

    April 8, 2013 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |


    April 7, 2013 at 6:23 am | Report abuse |
  31. Al Mayer -- Pick me up in 1/

    April 6, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Marina--Master

    i just love the guy on the left....oh man

    April 6, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • MASter Beeter

      guy on the left has a load in his pants - u can tell by his facial expression. Plus he wears a turtleneck under a v-neck, which is classic geek/current d-bag chic.

      April 8, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • fitty bucks says its a dickey...

      April 8, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al? no lie--he wants me but i'm not ready

      makie outie so what...daz it...i know how to handle that pen in the ink

      April 8, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  33. when you don't stop it the feelings for the bald guy get hotter


    April 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Margaret Peace

    agreed....the one on the left with the beer is hot

    April 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Marcia

    The guy on the left is hot.

    April 5, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  36. HNY


    April 5, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  37. gahh

    This show is wild, I never expected so much action. It's a must to watch every Wednesday night. I thought the FBI people were pretty wimpy, until Wednesday's show. Wow!

    April 5, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  38. HNY

    Yea the one on the left is hot

    April 5, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Margaret Mar

    The one of the left is a cutie...

    April 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Marvares

    I think the bald guy is hot

    April 5, 2013 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  41. Alvarez

    Interesting story. Now I'd like to place poop stains on their sweaters.

    April 5, 2013 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  42. Kongregat

    I get paid over $87 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I'd be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I've been doing,

    April 4, 2013 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • maria

      Why , I find this kind of troll always? why they try to sell something ? is this people trying to use the site for sales? please go away ! I just saw another one in another site shuld be reconized by the Rules and Terms of Service ....

      April 9, 2013 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  43. Liz

    Though there are no clear heroes on this show, I think Phillip is nearing villain territory. With my busy work shift at DISH, I wasn’t home to see his encounter with Amador when the episode was first on. But with my DISH Hopper set to record the season, I was able to catch up. The 2,000 hours of storage space is always going to use recording seasons of different shows, so I never have to worry about missing key episodes.

    April 4, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Bar Convo

    i enjoyed this show -

    April 4, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |

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