In Season 1, FX spy drama The Americans introduced its first and most important batch of characters. These included the Jennings, Stan, Nina, Sandra, Martha, and Claudia. These characters continued to appear on the show either in a main or supporting capacity and having been blocks of the foundation, several key stories were built around them.

In the seasons that followed several additions were made to the cast, creating a larger pool of characters. This resulted in the stories being deeper and more captivating. However, not all characters introduced after the inaugural season left a lasting impact. Whether it’s their mannerisms or them being granted tastier stories, a few stood out from the rest of the pack.

10 Oleg Burov

The head of the KGB Directorate X was known more for his relationships than his spy work. During his time on the series, he had complicated relationships with Nina, Tatiana, and Elina.

Burov’s scenes almost bordered on soap opera territory but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. From time to time, a welcome break was needed from the dark espionage themes. Risking his job to save Nina, who had been accused of treason, was a clear demonstration of how Burov placed matters of the heart above those of his nation.

9 William Crandall

Philip Jennings’ aliases on The Americans were the best ones but a few other spies had the perfect alternative names too. Foster Medical Research Group employee William Crandall was actually KGB operative Vitaly Sorokin.

Movies and TV shows always portray spy work as fun but Crandall’s introduction showed the underside of the carpet. Despite having been a KGB agent for 25 years, Crandall was disgruntled, with nothing to show for his years of service. He had not only paid the price mentally but also physically since exposure to dangerous chemicals had made him allergic to a variety of things. Despite his woes, he had a strong sense of loyalty and often turned down opportunities to switch sides.


8 Dennis Aderholt

The FBI counterintelligence agent’s main focus was to hunt down Soviet spies operating on American soil. And he did a pretty good job at it.

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Instead of openly declaring war on the KGB, Aderholt preferred taking a calmer, hand-around-shoulder approach. He would innocently befriend suspects and ask others on dates. The brilliance of his methods became even more evident in the series finale when he convinced Father Andrei to give up the names of agents who had come to him for confession. By painting the Soviet government as anti-Catholic, Aderholt managed to sink his talons into the priest.

7 Kate

After the relationship between Claudia and The Jennings broke down, Kate was appointed as their new handler. Though she appeared naive, she was the perfect seductress, capable of convincing men to do her bidding.

Kate was both likable and detestable. Her influence led to Jared killing his own family so that he could be with her. However, her loyalty never wavered either. She had the chance to give up the Jennings in order to save her life but she didn’t. To her, the mission was always bigger than any person, so she let Andrew Larrick kill her.

6 Pastor Tim

The Red Street Church leader grew close to Paige, something that made the Jennings uncomfortable. Paige eventually told him that her parents were spies. For this reason, The Jennings made the decision to kill him but they reconsidered, leading to one of the biggest unresolved storylines on the show.

Tim was a conflicted man and that’s what made him such a fascinating character. He struggled between his spiritual side and his relationship with the Jennings, feeling that he needed to expose them in order to do right by God. And as a priest, he was quite good at resisting temptation. Despite coming close to snitching on several occasions, Tim always managed to restrain himself at the last minute.

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5 Kimberly “Kimmy” Breland

Jennifer Garner is best known for her role as the fiery Ruth in Ozark but in The Americans, she was the innocent daughter of CIA Afghan group leader Isaac Breland. Among the worst things Philip Jennings did on the show was befriending and manipulating Kimmy in order to get more information on her father.

Kimmy’s innocence was the most admirable thing about her. She was a reminder of just how easy it is to be used in the world of espionage. Her lack of awareness extended to her own family as she had no idea what her father did for a living either. Luckily she didn’t end up ticking the spy TV show/trope where the unsuspecting character gets brutally murdered.

4 Lisa

Lisa’s job at Northrop Corporation’s assembly line made her a perfect potential asset for The Jennings. Elizabeth quickly approached her and befriended her in order to get her to take photos of the stealth aircraft.

Like Kimmy, Lisa was drowning in her innocence. A perfect example of a civilian caught up in a dangerous world, her dilemma on whether to do the right thing or keep quiet when she found out what was really going on made fans pity. Unaware of just how risky it was to do the right thing, she allowed her conscience to win. Unfortunately, Elizabeth had to murder her.

3 Gabriel Beloszoksy

After the death of Kate, Gabriel, the first-ever handler of the Jennings was reappointed to monitor them. Compared to the rest of the handlers, Gabriel was the more likable one.

Gabriel had plenty of admirable traits.  He was understanding enough to recommend that the Jennings be given fewer missions when he realized how the job was taking a toll on their lives. And even though he was pushing it at first, he was wise enough to know that recruiting Paige into the KGB wasn’t a good idea, even though that’s what the government wanted.

2 Hans

Disgusted by South Africa’s Apartheid regime and America’s support of it, Hans became a KGB agent. While working in the US as a teaching assistant he became part of the Jennings operational team.

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Though his character development was limited, Hans did his part in ensuring missions were carried out successfully. He understood his role and looked up to the Jennings. And even though he carried himself as a nice person, Hans had a ruthless bone in him. Committing murders was no problem with him and neither was torture.

1 Tatiana Vyazemtseva

Tatiana had the unfortunate honor of being the last person to be killed on the show. Prior to her death, she had adventurous stints with the KGB’s Directorate S and Department 12.

Tatiana’s greatest strength was her ability to effectively keep secrets even from her closest friends and associates. She was cut out for spy work as she was willing to be posted in foreign lands and conduct high-profile assassinations without any feelings of regret or remorse. That she died at the hands of Elizabeth was fair enough since she was one of the few agents who could match her.

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