Here's news that offers a hint about the direction the just-wrapped "The Americans" will take in its second season. FX announced today that the spy drama will be moving a pair of its guest stars up to series regular status for its next year -- Annet Mahendru, who plays Nina, and Alison Wright, who's Martha.
The Mahendru move isn't surprising -- Nina ended the season as a twice-turned agent, sworn into Directorate S and poised to pass along disinformation to her FBI contact Stan and sometimes lover Stan (Noah Emmerich). It's likely she'll play a significant role in the next season, as it was information from her that prompted the KGB to call of the dangerous mission on which Phil (Matthew Rhys) had been sent, and as her loyalty doesn't seem set in stone.
The upping of Wright's charmingly oblivious FBI secretary to a regular is less expected, though intriguing -- Phil's been using her for information in a sham romantic relationship that's gotten more involved as the show's unfolded, until he actually secretly married her in the penultimate episode to ensure her loyalty. It'll be interesting to see Phil attempt to keep her believing in him, his need for stealth and his frequent absences, given the commitment he's now made.
"Annet Mahendru has been a revelation as Nina, bringing the character to life with a rich and subtle depth that keeps you guessing as to what's really percolating under the surface," said executive producers Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields in the announcement. "And Alison Wright's portrayal of Martha is heartbreakingly real at every turn. We are thrilled to add them to our outstanding company of actors."
Production on season two of "The Americans" is set to start this fall.