Warning: This post contains spoilers for the series finale of “The Americans.”
- “The Americans” ended its six-season run on Wednesday with a satisfying conclusion, but left one storyline up in the air that fans have heavily theorised about for a year.
- Fans have been suspicious that the character Renee, the wife of F.B.I. agent Stan Beeman, might be a Russian KGB agent after she was introduced last year in season five.
- But the finale doesn’t answer whether she is or not, and lets the audience draw its own conclusion.
- Actors Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell have their own theories, though.
FX’s “The Americans” wrapped up its critically acclaimed six-season run on Wednesday with a satisfying conclusion. But one storyline that fans have been heavily theorizing about for a year was left open to interpretation: whether Renee is a KGB agent.
“The Americans” follows Russian spies Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell) who are posing as a married couple in 1980s Washington, D.C. Their neighbour, Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich), is a counterintelligence F.B.I. agent. In last year’s fifth season, Stan begins dating Renee (Laurie Holden), and by the final season they are married.
But fans have always been wary of Renee, and many have theorised that she might be a KGB officer herself (Philip is even suspicious of her). When the character was introduced last year, fans expressed their concerns about Renee in a thread on “The Americans” subreddit.
“I think Renee is KGB and she’s watching the relationship between Philip and Stan.”
“The man finds a nice lady, starts making the scene, and the only logical solution is that it is a plot.”
“KGB…S05E07 Renee mentions going to Bloomington Indiana. refers to IU (Indiana University) as U of I (University of Indianapolis) So either KGB or bad writing, which seems more likely?”
Suspicion continued this year when Renee wants a job in the F.B.I. and actually gets an interview in the final season. Prior to the finale, fans were tweeting their theories and suspicions.
Aderholt mentioned that Renee's interview is next Wednesday. Coincidentally, the last episode of #TheAmericans.
— Robert M. Walker (@RobertMWalker2) May 24, 2018
I'm still wondering about Renee. Is she really in love with Stan or is there something nefarious there?#TheAmericans
— Nikki ???????????????????? (@TVbyNikki) May 24, 2018
Tonight is the last-ever episode of #TheAmericans, and I will be crushed to lose it… unless they never do anything with how Renee is DEFINITELY A SPY. Then I'm just going to be annoyed. #theamericansfx #GGANews
— Leona Laurie (@leonalaurie) May 30, 2018
I’m going to spend the next 12 hours thinking about how Renee is going to wind up executing Stan. Her absence from the last episode was disturbing. #AmericansFinalEpisode — watching The Americans
— Riley Lynch (@RileyLynch) May 30, 2018
Maybe Renee kills Elizabeth and Philip now, before they can be apprehended and interrogated. #TheAmericans
— Shirley For the People (@lacscully) May 29, 2018
But the finale didn’t answer the question of whether Renee is a KGB agent, a false alarm, or even something else.
Instead, her status is left up in the air. After the F.B.I. discovers that Philip and Elizabeth are the spies they have been searching for all these years, Renee gives Stan a big hug, and as Stan walks away, the camera stays on her ambiguous expression.
However, earlier in the episode when Stan confronts Philip and Elizabeth (and lets them escape), Philip warns Stan about his suspicions. It’s likely that Stan will be on alert from here on out – it’s just left up to the audience to draw its own conclusion.
Rhys and Russell have their own theories. During a conference call with journalists, they were asked whether they thought Renee was a Russian spy or not.
Russell implied that she was suspicious of Renee and said “that seems pretty creepy to me.” Rhys, however, said that he didn’t think Renee was a spy, which is ironic considering his character warns Stan that she could be.
“Stan was the only friend [Philip] ever had … There’s genuine concern for [Stan] there that I just think [Philip] couldn’t leave it unsaid,” Rhys said.
With “The Americans” done, fans will never know whether Renee was a spy or not. But the finale focused on a more important aspect of the show: the relationship between Philip and Elizabeth and their kids.
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