Martha stops living in denial on The Americans

Craig Blankenhorn/FX
Craig Blankenhorn/FX

If you’re a fan of The Americans then you’re more than likely a fan of Martha. Oh yes, poor Martha. She may have started out as the perfect mark and one of the saddest characters on the show, but Martha has quietly become a bit of a firecracker. Sure, the feisty little FBI secretary may believe her sham of a marriage to Philip Jenning’s Clark (Matthew Rhys) is the real deal, but she may not continue to sit idly by and bury her head in the sand for much longer.

Count Martha’s portrayer, actress Alison Wright, as one of the many who didn’t believe Martha would still be around three seasons into the FX hit drama. “I had a feeling she might be in more than the pilot, but that was all. I really didn’t know if she’d go any further than that,” the actress tells The TV Junkies. “Everyone thought she was going to be dead by the end of the first season. Everybody did. She’s still going strong. She provides a nice balance now,” says Wright.

That balance may be something Martha pushes to the forefront sooner rather than later during Season 3 as she has continues to push Clark for children of their own. In many ways, Clark and Martha’s marriage is very real and having children together seems like the next logical step for them to take. “I think she’d be a great mom and I think she knows she’d be a wonderful mother. She’s very loving, nurturing and warm. I think Philip knows she’d be a great mom too,” explains Wright.

In fact, all of Martha’s pushing may actually start to get to Philip. Could Clark actually give in and give her what she wants? Wright certainly thinks it could happen since “maybe it would be a good idea. Maybe he might think it’ll give her something to do and to focus on. Somebody to be with all the time when he’s not around.” After all, notes Wright, “he thinks he can juggle millions of balls so it remains to be seen.”

A child could be the latest ploy Philip uses to keep Martha spying for him on her bosses, including FBI Agent Gaad (Richard Thomas), although she may start questioning Clark’s motives. Up until now, Martha’s been able to bury her head in the sand a bit when it comes to the information she has been handing over. “I think this season it hasn’t been talked about at all. She hasn’t mentioned it. They never have a discussion about it. I think it’s safe to say she’s having some sort of level of emotional denial there. She’s focusing on being a wife and being a mother and separating the reality of what she’s actually doing at work and who she could actually being doing it for. I think for her doing nothing is the least painful option at the moment,” explains Wright.

James Minchin/FX
James Minchin/FX

Unfortunately for Martha, while it may be the easiest approach, she may have to confront Clark about things sooner rather than later. “It doesn’t sit well with her, what she’s doing. It’s emotional denial. It’s our nature to avoid the emotional pain but at some point this season her relationship with Clarke is going to come to a crisis point. She will have to stop being in denial,” previews Wright.

Does that mean Martha might need another shoulder to cry on? Possibly one belonging to co-worker Agt. Aderholt (Brandon J. Dirden) whom we saw flirting with Martha earlier this season? “Well it depends on how persistent he is I suppose,” jokes Wright.

Persistent or not, it doesn’t seem like cheating is in Martha’s nature says the actress. “I think Martha is very loyal and I don’t think she’s a cheater. I think she has morals and standards and I do think she’s very much in love with Clarke and really, really wants to be able to trust him and believe him. She can do that at the moment, as long as she doesn’t think about things too much,” she explains.

If it’s not Agent Aderholt that Martha turns to, we here at The TV Junkies would love another scene between Wright’s Martha and Keri Russell posing as Clark’s sister, Jennifer, like we saw last season. So what are the chances of another meet-up between Philip’s fake and real-life wives happening? It may be best for us Martha fans not to find out, warns Wright.

“I don’t know if the next time Martha meets Elizabeth it would end so well. I’m not so confident that they could meet again and she could get away unscathed. Elizabeth is starting to ask questions about Martha and making little comments here and there about him spending time with her and what is it like? That sort of, not jealousy, but awareness, is coming about in Elizabeth,” she says. If only it were up to Martha then because “Martha is of course oblivious and would love to hang out with Clark’s sister,” laughs Wright.

Will Martha get her wish and force Philip into having children? Will she really pull her head out of the sand and put her foot down on the spying? If she does, what does that mean for her fate? Unfortunately we can do nothing more than cross our fingers for Martha and tune in to the rest of Season 3 of The Americans to find out. Hang on because it’s guaranteed to be one hell of a ride!

The Americans airs on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.