The Americans is back for another season.

I’ve just caught up with the first three episodes of Season 3, and so far so good. This excellent piece of cold-war drama focuses on the Jennings: a married couple living in the suburbs of Washington DC.

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They have two children and run a moderately successful travel agency … and between school runs and dinner parties, they still find the time to kill, seduce and steal secrets on behalf of the KGB.  Both were trained as spy-assassins before being shipped off to the United States, presumably never to return, and ordered to marry and have children in order to give the appearance of a typical, Reagan-era family unit.

I do remember an episode of Elementary that dealt with a similar plot, and I wonder if this is where the idea came from. Not that it matters; this is great viewing. The tension is enough to give you backache, especially now that the couple are faced with the possibility that they will have to train their daughter to become a ‘second-generation’ agent. The acting is brilliant, the scripting superb, and some of the scenes in the first three episodes had squirming in my chair. Things that your typical suburban assassin needs to know: how to fold a corpse into a suitcase and DIY dentistry.

Can’t wait for the next episode.

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