'Americans' moves closer to its end game

Philip: It's not just me having a hard time. It's you, too. The kids. We're allowed to have a life.
Elizabeth: I can't. I just can't.

Season five of "The Americans" ended on Tuesday night. Now we have months to ruminate on the possibilities as the show gears up for its sixth and final season.

Last year the decision was made to assign an end point for "The Americans." Two more seasons and it would be over. And it was natural to wonder what that would entail. Season five was to provide a clue. But as far as moving things forward goes, season five left plenty to be desired.

Some have complained about the season, which didn't have as many revelations to gripping stories as past seasons. It was slower and more focused on simple character beats. Stan got a girlfriend. Henry did well in school. Paige sunk more into the spy life. Pastor Tim moved to Central America and some stuff happened in Russia.

There were no big revelations in the finale, aside from the fact that Philip and Elizabeth won't be leaving America behind for Russia — at least not yet. But did we really expect them to with one full season yet to go?

Still, the question remains of where the series is going and how it will end. Below are some of the things I think need to be answered in the final season.

* Who is Stan's girlfriend. At this point, so much time was spent on this topic in season five it's going to be a disappointment if she's not a spy. But if she is, what does that mean? Does that mean there's no happy ending for Stan Beeman? Or, worse yet, does that mean he won't survive?

*What happens to the kids? I'm assuming Henry gets allowed to go to that school now that the Jennings' aren't actually leaving the U.S. But what about Paige? There was a dark sadness to her character arc in this season, and I think she'll figure prominently in the end game some how.

* What is the end for Phillip and Elizabeth? This might have been a quiet season, but there was plenty of movement in their characters. Their actual wedding was a rare sweet moment for the series. And Elizabeth's tough veneer seems to be cracking, too. Even she seems weighed down by this life. While she was not yet ready to call it quits in episode 5.13, I think the end is coming. But is is coming in Russia? I think not. I think part of the hesitation for Elizabeth, and even for Phillip, was the idea of taking everyone back to a "home" they no longer really know or understand. I think the most likely outcome is that they defect and remain in America. My fear, however, is that one or both of them doesn't make it out alive.

We'll find out next Spring.


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