FX’s final season of The Americans is only three episodes in, but it’s already evident Philip and Elizabeth’s relationship has been greatly damaged by Philip’s retirement from the spy game. Elizabeth has picked up the slack to the detriment of her mental and physical condition. She’s smoking like a chimney, constantly on edge, and has no patience for her husband or for any missteps by their spy-in-training daughter, Paige.
When season six episode three begins, Elizabeth (Keri Russell) is cleaning the blood from her face and hair following the unsuccessful meeting with General Lyle Rennhull which turned into a bloodbath. At home, Paige (Holly Taylor) is clearly upset and her dad (Matthew Rhys) assures her it’s okay to allow herself to feel bad and anxious, according to various meetings he’s attended. That’s better than pretending she’s fine. He admits he’s seen bad things and it’s hard to deal with it sometimes, however it’s easier because they have Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth arrives home, she’s angry at Paige for not following instructions. Their talk is interrupted by Henry calling home with a hockey update.
Paige explains she was worried about her mom, but Elizabeth won’t cut her any slack. She yells at her daughter that any other team member would be kicked out for disobeying orders. Philip tries to play peacemaker, but he fails. Paige apologizes and even though she wants to spend the night, Elizabeth tells her to go home.
After Paige leaves, Philip tries to have a civil discussion with Elizabeth, but she’s closed off. She does open up enough to reveal Rennhull had access to a radiation sensor. Elizabeth blames herself for the mission’s failure, saying she didn’t have time to work him. Elizabeth adds there are problems back in Russia. However, she can’t discuss with Philip the particulars of her mission.
Meanwhile, Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich) pays another visit to Sofia Kovalenko (Darya Ekamasova) and she admits she’s been talking to her new boyfriend about what she’s involved in. Stan worries it’s putting Gennadi (Yuri Kolokolnikov) in danger.
Over at the travel agency, Philip attempts to work out a new payment arrangement with Henry’s school. Expansion of the agency has had a negative impact on the family’s finances, and he’s behind in paying for Henry’s tuition. Fortunately, the school allows him to alter the agreement but warns him he can’t tell any other parents.
Paige and Elizabeth take a walk by the lake and Paige wants to know what happened. Elizabeth, who told Paige General Rennhull took his own life, lies and says the General was troubled and desperate. She goes on to explain that she needed something from him to keep Russia safe, and she was willing to to die to help her country. She also advises Paige that she can’t live her life being afraid. Elizabeth assures Paige the job she’s been assigned won’t require her to be involved in the type of operations Elizabeth performs.
Philip gives a pep talk, again, to his employees. He’s enthusiastic…they aren’t.
Stan Beeman and Dennis Aderholt (Brandon J Dirden) go over Gennadi’s mission and Stan wants to pull him out. He thinks something will go wrong since Sofia’s with this new man, Bogden, who’s a senior correspondent at TASS. The topic switches to Rennhull’s suicide and Stan remembers years ago when he brought Rennhull in after he shot a guy who accused him of being a Soviet spy. They both think it’s strange he’s shot himself, given the project he’s working on.
The summit breaks for lunch and a group head out to grab some pizza. Paige follows, as do other operatives.
Baseball and hockey are discussed and Elizabeth (in long dark hair) takes a seat within earshot. Glenn (Scott Cohen) talks about watching a Japanese baseball team with his wife, Erica, when they lived abroad. He gets emotional and the rest of the table pick up the conversation.
Stan meets with Oleg Burov (Costa Ronin) in his hotel room. It’s a surprise visit and Oleg looks none too pleased. Stan explains that he tried to keep Oleg safe in Moscow and apologizes for everything that went down. He then says he’s been switched to a different division of the FBI and asks Oleg about his own change in occupation. They discuss Oleg’s visit to the U.S. to attend a class in urban transport planning. Oleg’s really good at describing what that’s about, but Stan’s not buying it. They briefly talk about Nina and then Oleg says, “They had the tape you made of our conversation and they said they were going to use it against me and my family if I didn’t cooperate.” Stan apologizes again, saying he fought for Oleg.
Oleg doesn’t believe or trust Stan. Stan, however, still feels the need to warn Oleg not to do whatever it is he’s come to America to do.
Claudia (Margo Martindale), Elizabeth, and Paige prepare a Russian stew. Claudia and Elizabeth share memories of home and different favorite foods, and then Claudia sends Paige off to the store. When she’s gone, Elizabeth is given information on a new target who has the sensors they need.
Later, Elizabeth brings Philip a container of the stew. He loves the smell but just ate Chinese takeout. She’s about to throw it out (they can’t keep anything Russian in the house), but Philip stops her to take a bite even though he’s full.
Elizabeth explains that she, Paige, and Claudia cook, watch Russian television, and listen to music from home. She’s homesick and hates being in America. Philip shocks her by saying he believes in a few years the relationship between America and Russia will be much better. “They’re talking about opening a Pizza Hut in Moscow,” says Phillip. He thinks young people are changing things and incorporating more Western influences into Russian culture.
Elizabeth claims she doesn’t want to be like an American and neither do the people in Russia. Philip reminds her she hasn’t spoken with anyone back home in 20 years. “Neither have you,” says Elizabeth.
Renee (Laurie Holden) and Stan do the dishes and she’s ranting about her job. She’s jealous he’s so passionate about his work when she dislikes hers. She asks if doing something for America makes him feel proud and Stan admits it does a lot of the time.
Renee then admits she’s also jealous of the fact Elizabeth and Philip work together at the travel agency and have a lot of things to talk about. She expresses a desire to be an FBI agent and Stan agrees she’d be good at it. However, she’s past the cut-off age for new agents. She asks if he can get somebody to make an exception, but he quickly shuts her down and says he can’t.
Elizabeth beats Philip to bed and he stands nearby, staring at her with a look of abject sadness.
The following day, Philip puts on a disguise and arranges a secret meeting.
Elizabeth pretends to be a woman named Tracy and meets with Evan, the new target Claudia pointed out in their hunt for the much-needed sensor. Tracy shows Evan her work ID and demands to see his. She then explains he’s there because the company is conducting a security audit and he’s not in trouble. She claims she’s just evaluating him and needs him to sign a confidentiality agreement, explaining others from his work will be part of this audit but that he can’t discuss this meeting or warn anyone at his work that they may be called in.
Evan signs the forms and Tracy then asks if there are any lapses in the security procedures or any places where the security could be improved. He agrees to answer her questions.
Stan picks up Gennadi at the airport, asking if he wants political asylum. Gennadi is with two other men and he agrees he wants asylum. Gennadi quickly figures out what’s going on and Stan takes him away.
Next, Dennis and other agents show up at Sofia’s place of work and ask if she requested asylum. She also understands what’s going on and goes with the agents despite the fact her boss, Bogden, yells at her to remain seated.
Sofia and Gennadi’s child is picked up at school.
Stan explains to Gennadi that Sofia told someone about their arrangement and they couldn’t risk anything happening to him. Stan also confirms Sofia wants a divorce, and Gennadi asks to speak with her. Stan says they’ll be keeping the couple separated and Gennadi responds by asking to see his child. Stan has to tell Gennadi that he won’t be able to visit Sofia’s location, and Sofia won’t know his location. Gennadi begs Stan to try to fix things with Sofia. He asks Stan to make sure Sofia knows he wants to be with her and he loves her. Stan promises to try and get that through to Sofia.
Evan provides Tracy/Elizabeth with a full rundown of the security procedures, complete with drawings of the facility. She thanks him for his assistance and reminds him not to speak with anyone. He agrees but adds that his girlfriend Theresa works in security and probably already knows about it. Tracy acts as though she knows Theresa, smiling and calling her “great.”
As Evan’s heading to the door, Elizabeth strangles him.
Philip meets with Oleg at night in the park.
More on The Americans:
- Recap of The Americans Season 6 Episode 1 “Dead Hand”
- Recap of The Americans Season 6 Episode 2 “Tchaikovsky”
- Recap of The Americans Season 6 Episode 4 “Mr. and Mrs. Teacup”