I love this show. I come from these parts of the world, and was born at the peak of the Cold War in the family of a high-ranking naval aviation officer. I lived in the former USSR through the Gorbachev's era, before immigrating in the early 90s. I'm usually very skeptical about Hollywood's attempts to depict the period, but this show is an exception. Apart from some rare minuscular "oopses" , the show is true to the period and sentiment of the era.
I give it 5 stars before this final season ends. Why? This show has been amazing. I studied Soviet everything in College and checked with the real deal - and the show portrays not just the Cold War era - but the sentiments and differing idealogies and the unbelievable propoganda on the Soviet people quite well. Yes- it works both ways, but at that time they were lied to more. And these "Americans" are Soviet Agents, young Russians hand picked from an early age - just like they chose children for Olympic Competitions or Chess. And they grew up in Soviet Youth Leagues called "Komsomol". Then when they are young adults they are paired as married couples and they are referred to as "illegals" by our FBI agents, as they sneak over on ships - and in those days would take Social Security numbers and ID's of dead Americans. Once in place they never ever spoke another word of Russian, they were more into apple pie, American culture, Elvis etc than anyone born on this soil. They are running covert ops and killing people if that's what it takes. The acting and storylines are fabulous. Particularly interesting is the husband growing disillusioned with what he knows is Soviet crap as he sees how he is living but the wife is a zealot indocrinated into the ideology and as their empire is in decline - she is becoming a killing machine as her desperation to extract information at any costs has no ending... the male lead actor - WOW! At this juncture I hope he executes his wife...I am not a plot-spoiler. This has not been mentioned. It's just what I'd like to see happen. The show tells many truths of both sides - like the fact that we never celebrate nor thank the Soviets for stopping Hitler - which they did. At quite a cost - take all the what 8 million Holocaust deaths, times that by 3 or so, and that's how many Soviets died stopping Hitler, and we never even mention that. But I am not suggesting love for the rotten Godless lying propaganda machine lying to all its own people.
Dark dark dark. But what did we expect? So sad this show is ending. I have watched all the seasons multiple times and am always moved and enthralled. I do not like blood or gore, but I can look past the gruesomeness just to get to watch the evolution of Elizabeth and Philip’s relationship. Amazing actors. Damn, Liz is over-the-top this season. I have researched a few of the show’s historical references and been impressed and enlightened about a time-period I grew up in but was Paige’s age at the time and much less interested in current events than she has ever been. (Then again, my parents always spent every night at home). I can’t believe Paige meekly accepts her mom’s chastising after their first big mission. (Won’t spoil it). Poor Philip finally getting to enjoy life a bit and Liz relentlessly, myopically stays the course!
This *is* the best show on TV. It's sick, dramatic, unbelievable, and great story telling. The acting is terrific. This is what you've wanted to find if you like drama, spy stuff, shocks and twists, the thought of living next door to unbelievable neighbors. You'll shake your head and wonder "Did we just see that? Oh man! "
I can't wait till next week. And I haven't said that since I don't know when.