FX’s The Americans Returns Tonight; Last Season: Reagan ‘Chicken Hawks,’ SDI a ‘Fantasy’ of Deluded Reagan

February 26, 2014 | 12:42 PM EST

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Season 2 debuts tonight of The Americans, the FX drama centered around husband and wife KGB undercover agents (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell as “Philip and Elizabeth Jennings”) who live with their kids as ordinary Americans in suburban Washington, DC when Reagan becomes President. 

In the next to last episode of the first season, at a scene in a restaurant sometime in 1982, a source tells “Elizabeth” she can trust a U.S. Colonel, who wants to pass on information about the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), because “he’s completely disillusioned with the Chicken Hawks in the Reagan administration.”

In the season finale aired the following week (May 1, 2013), “Philip” meets the Colonel in a Washington, DC park. The Colonel says the anti-ballistic missile program is “not credible” and, “at best, it’s 50 years from being remotely operational.” He asserts “the damn thing’s a fantasy,” prompting “Philip” to wonder: “Well, if that’s true, then why the commitment from the Reagan administration?”