THE AMERICANS return tonight at 10 pm on FX for their second season. Yay! Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell play Russian spies in the ‘80s who are posing as a typical American married couple in the ‘burbs outside of Washington DC. Some of the storylines are very far fetched, but the show is so much fun that the absurdities are easy to forgive. So to whet the appetite of fellow fans or introduce possible new fans, here’s a scene from THE AMERICANS if I wrote the show. (I fully expect the producers to hire me on the spot to write an episode once they've read this sample.)
INT. JENNINGS HOUSE – DAY
Elizabeth is in the kitchen making Chicken Kiev and playing with a Rubik’s Cube. Phillip enters.
PHIL: We just got our latest assignment from Moscow.
ELIZ: I hope it’s something elaborate and dangerous and we can be done by 3:00 to pick the kids up from school.
PHIL: There are very few details. It just says, “Moose and squirrel must die.”
ELIZ: Moose and squirrel? That could only mean Rocket J. Squirrel, head of the CIA, and Bullwinkle J. Moose, mascot for the Seattle Mariners.
PHIL: The KGB has always suspected that that is just a cover and Squirrel is just posing as the CIA Director when in fact he’s the mascot for the Houston Astros.
ELIZ: Might they be on to the fact that the Cincinnati Reds are all KGB agents? I thought we hid the fact that the Reds were a Communist front very well.
PHIL: Former spy/player, Pete Rosbouchinska was caught wagering on the St. Petersburg-Yekaterinburg Rhythmic Gymnastics tournament.
ELIZ: How will we get to them?
PHIL: As luck would have it, they’re both in town for the Tolstoy Comedy Festival.
There’s a knock at the door. They both freeze. Phillip pulls a gun from his holster, Elizabeth pulls a gun from the cavity of the chicken. There’s another knock.
ELIZ: Maybe one of us should answer the door.
PHIL: Yes. That is exactly would Americans do.
ELIZ: I forget – do we get in disguise for this?
PHIL: What disguise were you thinking of?
ELIZ: My innocent young college girl look. The character I call Felicity.
PHIL: I think you can go as you are.
ELIZ: Fine. (hands him the gun) Put this back and inject the melted butter.
Elizabeth crosses to the door and answers it. It’s Stan.
STAN: Hi. I’m your new neighbor, Stan. We just moved in across the street.
ELIZ: Nice to meet you. Won’t you come in and have some shchi?
ELIZ: So what do you do, Stan?
STAN: I’m an FBI agent assigned to root out Russian spies who pose as Americans.
ELIZ: Did I say shchi? I meant Beans and Bacon.
STAN: Anything is fine.
ELIZ: Are there a lot of you in that department?
STAN: No. Just two. Me and Moose Malone.
ELIZ: I didn’t catch your last name.
Phil comes out of the kitchen.
PHIL: I took the pirozhki out of the oven.
ELIZ: Phillip, this is Stan Squirrel. He’s an FBI agent working with Moose Malone.
PHIL: Oh. Nice to meet you. Listen, we gotta run. We got to get over to the Tolstoy Comedy Festival.
ELIZ: Right. There are some people we need to see.
STAN: Sure. Listen, before I go, can I ask you a couple of questions about your neighbors?
ELIZ: Sure. Why?
STAN: Well, to be honest. They’re acting very strange. They try so hard to assimilate. I don’t think there’s an ‘80s fad or toy they don’t have. There’s not an ‘80s fashion at least one of them doesn’t wear. Their son is always taking home movies, the grandfather is forever exhibiting bizarre behavior, and the mother is overbearing and never shuts up. What do you think?
PHIL: Oh, you mean The Goldbergs. They just moved in in September. Definitely. They’re Russian spies. Keep an eye out for them.
STAN: Thanks. (handing them his card). If you ever see anything suspicious, just give one of us a call – Moose & Squirrel.
ELIZ: Will do. But we really have to run. There are two people we need to meet.
STAN: No problem. So long.
ELIZ: Do svidaniya.