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Nikita (tv program)

On TV, the spies have it

On TV, the spies have it

Spies, sex, drugs and a beaming Ronald Reagan.

Those are the elements for one of the most arresting scenes you'll see this year on television. It will air Wednesday night on "The Americans," one of the most talked-about series this spring on cable TV.

The scene features a female Russian spy on a mission, a male congressional aide on cocaine, and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell), the Soviet sleeper agent at the center of the FX series, breaking into a congressman's office safe late at night while the other two go at it under a portrait of the Great Communicator.

For all the sensational aspects of the scene, the key element is spies. They have come to populate...