Similar details were revealed at the Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday. Executive producers Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg explained how they have an actual document, originally called the “Master Plan,” which began as five pages and is now 50.
The document is now called the “Final Plan,” as it contains notes on stories for Seasons 5 and 6, which will bring the story of Soviet spies Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell) to a close.
“We figured out roughly what was going to happen in both seasons,” Fields said, “Then wrote out Season 5 in great detail. It’ll stand alone as a season, but does set things up for the end.”
As for what we can expect might happen when the show returns, not much was spoiled. Both Martha (Alison Wright) and Nina (Annet Mahendru) were referred to as “gone” — Martha’s not dead, it was made clear, but don’t anticipate her returning in the future — and also don’t anticipate any major new characters being introduced. “We’re making room for this final act,” Fields said.
Instead, look forward to Character Actress Margo Martindale having perhaps an expanded role in Season 5 — more than one scene, anyway — and a bigger overall story.
Also, some of the stories that have been percolating for some time — including the Jennings struggling with recruiting daughter Paige, and Stan becoming more suspicious of his neighbors – will come to a head. The fact that the other Jennings child, Henry, remains completely out of the loop, will become more of a story as the siblings become more separated by what they know and don’t know.
How all of this ends is in Fields and Weisberg’s Final Plan. When asked what kind of tone they aim to strike with the ending, Weisberg shrugged. “Look at us. We’re these lighthearted hopeful guys. Then we do things that we think are lighthearted, and you say it’s a downer.”
Fields and Weisberg said they haven’t seriously considered any spinoffs yet, but they did joke about a few ideas: Martha in Russia, a deep dive on the Mail Robot, and a prequel featuring Philip and Elizabeth in the 1970s.
As for finally being recognized by the Emmys (including nominations for Russell and Rhys, plus outstanding drama), Weisberg said that he “freaked out. I have not gotten over it, and I don’t think I will!”
“The Americans” Season 5 will premiere in 2017 with a 13-episode season and conclude in 2018 with a 10-episode final season.