The Americans returned to screens last night with a tense premiere episode that left viewers eagerly awaiting the twists of season 2. For anyone, who is yet to hop onto The Americans’ bandwagon, the show focuses on a pair of Soviet spies, masquerading as a suburban American family in the 80s, while secretly doing business for the Government. Last season struck exactly the right balance of intrigue, humor, political commentary and violence, not to mention it had Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys’ excellent performances to place it as the frontrunner for the title of national TV obsession, now that Breaking Bad is gone and Mad Men is going.

Keri Russell
Keri Russell plays Nadezhda, aka Elizabeth Jennings.

The season 2 premiere was clearly intended to stake that claim, using that age old TV approach – more of everything. There was more death, more tension and yes, a bit more humor in the first episode of season 2, but luckily, no one hammed it up (apart from the wig department that is.)

Matthew Rhys
Matthew Rhys is Misha, or Philip Jennings.

If Game of Thrones has taught us anything, it’s that starting a season with major character deaths secures you a good long run on television. The Americans must be following that same strategy. We won’t spoil who it is for you, but yes, you don’t even need to look out for the moment. It’s hard to miss. This episode served as a helpful reminder of just how much danger the Jennings are constantly in. It’s a lot. A lot of danger. Meanwhile, their teenage daughter, Paige is beginning to get suspicious about her parents’ secretive activities. And just like that, we have some major plot points set up for season 2.