Important (but non-spoiler-y) things to know about the fifth season of FX’s The Americans:
1. It premieres Tuesday night at 10. This will be the ’80s spy drama’s first season airing on Tuesdays rather than Wednesdays, a quirk of FX’s current scheduling needs. (Taboo wrapped up its season last Tuesday, while Legion still has a month to go on Wednesdays.) Still, it feels good for FX’s best show to finally be airing in its premiere timeslot.
2. This is not the final season. FX and Americans producers Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields agreed last year to a two-season renewal that will bring the show to its conclusion. This penultimate season will be the usual 13-episode length; next year will be 10 episodes.
3. It is still one of the very best shows on television. FX gave critics the season’s three opening episodes. The first is more of a table-setter than some past Americans premieres have been, but the next two are outstanding, filled with the usual agonizing mix of spy thrills and family drama, and superb performances by Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich, and the rest of the gang.
4. The four previous seasons are available on Amazon Prime. If you haven’t watched yet, it makes for one hell of a binge.
5. Given current developments in U.S. politics, you’ll want to watch. It’s like having to sit through Friday Night Lights season 2 in that way (but not in the way of quality, because The Americans is brilliant): If you don’t, you won’t be able to make the same jokes everyone else is.
6. Did I mention that one of the very best parts of Peak TV is back tomorrow night at 10? I’ll have a review of the season premiere up as soon as it finishes airing on the East Coast, comrades. See you there.