"The subdued finale, says Matt Zoller Seitz, "is one of the best that I’ve seen, a terrific example of an ending that summarizes what the series was about while putting a new frame around it. 'START' pulverizes any idea of a script for these role-players to 'play' and forces them to work off-script. The privilege (or excuse) of needing to stick to the script, rain or shine, has allowed Philip and Elizabeth to break every last one of the Ten Commandments in the name of a higher ideal: the destruction of America and capitalism. It has also allowed Stan, the beer-drinking, flag-saluting Yankee, to feel patriotic even after hacksawing huge ethical corners, including falling in love with a double agent (later triple-agent) and straight-up murdering a Soviet operative in retaliation for the KGB killing his partner. (Philip did that deed, but thankfully Stan never found out.) Everybody’s gone off-script now, and the series goes off-script with them. And so The Americans, a series that has never shied away from its TV-ness, goes in a startling new direction in its final chapter, envisioning its two most important sequences as, respectively, a stage play produced without costumes or sets in a parking garage, and a Russian silent movie that carries much of its meaning through images, confining dialogue to a few sentences so tight-lipped that they could fit on old-fashioned title cards."