I have never been a fan fiction writer. But I am so unsettled by the ending to The Americans that I have been driven to imagine the future, twenty years down the road, in 2007.
Elizabeth and Philip: Now in their 60s, they went to work for the KGB and then its successor agency in Russia, the FSB, training intelligence agents in American culture and daily life. They have been able to keep track of Henry and Paige, but neither child has ever reached out to them, and they have not pushed for contact. For them, it’s as if their life in America was a dream, and the reality of their lost children is too painful to contemplate.
Paige: After a month or so in the shadows of homeless life, Paige contacted Pastor Tim, and eventually joined him and his family in Buenos Aires. She never engaged with religion again, but he helped her start over as a college student Now nearing 40, she is a successful international journalist with a focus on Russian affairs and a string of unsuccessful relationships behind her. She refuses to contact her parents, even when she visits Moscow.
Henry: Almost immediately, he became Stan’s foster son. Stan, who divorced Renee, without ever ascertaining whether or not she was KGB, and left the FBI, ensured that Henry finished college. Henry became a Ph.D. research psychologist, focusing on childhood trauma, and in his late thirties has been married and divorced twice. He has a couple of kids, but struggles to sustain his relationship with them. Like Paige, he refuses to contact his parents.
Oleg: With the thawing of relations between Russia and the U.S., Arkady was able to convince the real Americans to release him, thanks to his participation in the plan to save Gorbachev, and he eventually returned to his parents and wife and son.
Martha: She settled into an uncomfortable but somewhat satisfactory life in Russia with her daughter, now a university student. The Russians have been unsuccessful in arranging a legitimate return to the U.S. for her, but they have brought her aging and devastated parents to visit her and meet their granddaughter a few times. Martha has come to understand what happened, and when she unexpectedly sees “Clark” across the street in Moscow one day, she observes him for a few minutes with little interest. She is most sorry about Agent Gaad’s death, and has corresponded with Stan a few times, but recognizes that her future is limited to a life in Russia.
Now. Having created fictional futures for fictional characters, I feel a bit better.