‘Americans’ bosses on endgame: ‘We hope they’ll still trust us two years from now’

The Americans just wrapped up its fourth season, which we now know will be followed by two more (13 episodes, followed by 10) to wrap up the story of the Jennings family. My review of the season finale is here, and I spoke with showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg about where things stand, how they decided they needed two seasons to wrap things up instead of one, and more, just as soon as I offer you a Coke…

The last timewe spoke, you said you were breaking the final stories of the show, and you didn’t know if you’d need one or two to do it. How and when did you realize you’d need two?

Joe Weisberg: Joel and I took our usual series of walks, and the main thing we realized was we had this very very full story that we wanted to tell in season 5, which meant that the ending we had, we weren’t ready to start telling it. That’s when we realized it was 6.

Joel Fields: It also felt like the ending we had would feel falsely accelerated if we tried to tell it next season as opposed to wading into six.

It’s funny, though, that the episodes that have aired since that announcement was made have had a real air of finality to them. People are dying, people are being sent away, Stan and Aderholt are getting ever-closer to figuring things out. And I’ve had a lot of readers say, “I trust these guys to finish the story the right way, but I’m not sure how I see two more years after the point we’re at now.” What would you say to that?

Joel Fields: We hope they’ll still trust us two years from now.

Joe Weisberg: We could give a very convincing answer that would put everyone’s minds at ease, but it would be too big a spoiler.