Amber Waves



Critic Consensus: "Amber Waves" kicks off a new season of The Americans with compelling questions of loyalty, impressive contrasts of character, and a sense of desperation building to a dangerous boil.

Episode Info

In the Season 5 premiere, the Centre sends a new operation unlike anything before to Philip and Elizabeth, which puts more strain on their already tense marriage and family life.


Matthew Rhys
as Philip Jennings
Keri Russell
as Elizabeth Jennings
Holly Taylor
as Paige Jennings
Keidrich Sellati
as Henry Jennings
Noah Emmerich
as Stan Beeman
Susan Misner
as Sandra Beeman
Alison Wright
as Martha Hanson
Richard Thomas
as Agent Frank Gaad
Lev Gorn
as Arkady
Show More Cast

Amber Waves Photos

Critic Reviews for Amber Waves

Thoughtful editing reveals the passage of time by showing the agents taking turns in the increasingly large and deep hole they've dug, pausing to wipe the sweat from their brows or take a swig from a canteen.

Mar 8, 2017 | Full Review…

Risk only became more evident by the episode's end.

Mar 8, 2017 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Joe Weisberg's show. . .has always investigated the overlap between the personal and the political, and the ways the story you keep telling about yourself starts to become a second truth.

Aug 28, 2017 | Full Review…

If "Amber Waves" has a flaw its that a bold beginning and superb ending detract from the plot moving that comes in-between.

Mar 8, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Although there are still over 20 episodes left, The Americans is preparing its characters, and the audience, for the moment when they too have to let go, further cementing the show's place as the best drama on TV.

Mar 8, 2017 | Full Review…

With the knowledge that this season and next are telling the end of the story, the stage is set for even more exciting and emotional twists and turns.

Mar 8, 2017 | Rating: 8.5/10 | Full Review…

As they dig and dig, the monotony of their effort is a brilliant opener for a season that's all about the dirty work and the unromantic side of the business.

Jun 4, 2018 | Full Review…

This FX series has always been a heavy one, but now it's carrying an extra burden: the ongoing revelations about how Russian operatives may have compromised a U.S. candidate for president. But we're skipping ahead to maybe season 35.

Mar 8, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

After four years of slow-burning suspense, the show still knows how to pull a fascinating fast one on us -- even using some of those slow-burn techniques to accomplish it.

Mar 8, 2017 | Rating: A | Full Review…
Top Critic

Much of the episode was spent checking in on the status of the characters we know and love.

Mar 8, 2017 | Full Review…

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