Elizabeth comes back from her injury and straight into what should have been a routine mission - but it goes awry, leaving her and Philip in fear not only for themselves but for their whole network... and family. Paige's suspicions have only grown in her mother's absence. Meanwhile, Stan continues to fall for the Russian agent who has started to play him.
Philip singlehandedly but bloodily deals with two Afghan 'rebels' who came to receive American military support. The Jennings family seems happily reunited as recovering Elizabeth asks Philip to move back home, just in time for Henry's birthday. Suspicious Paige however starts clumsily checking on them, which causes an embarrassingly exposed encounter and arouses due parental caution. Henry's birthday is semi-aborted to be made up a whole carnival weekend, actually also a cover for a joint operation with few sleepers Emmett and Leanne Connors, who are killed in their hotel room, unlike their son, Henry's buddy Jared. Stan's boss ignores him, at higher command, and dismisses Sanford Prince's denunciation of formally cleared Colonel Rennhull, who later shoots him as alleged intruder. Lockheed arms expert, 'caught in bed' with alleged potential spies, is tricked by actual KGB posing as Air Force Security to follow their secrecy instructions. The KGB resident allows lover Nina to take more time with Stan while coaxing a Soviet minister's ambitious son Oleg Burov.
- Previously on 'The Americans': We met Directorate S agents Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings, covert Soviet spies. FBI Agent Stan Beeman found himself a Soviet informant and started a sexual affair with her. Phillip got close to the assistant to an FBI supervisor and married her. She said she'd do anything for him. Elizabeth was shot during an FBI sting and asked Phillip, who'd been living in a motel after some marital troubles, to come home. Their daughter Paige found something in the laundry room that might reveal her parents' real identities.
'Comrades': Elizabeth leaves a cabin in the woods, where a woman was apparently taking care of her. She drives off, braking suddenly when she nearly hits a deer.
Phillip is talking in a southern accent with some men briefing him on the situation in Afghanistan, where they are vowing to drive the Soviets from Afghanistan. Phillip assures them America will be with them every step of the way. One of the men hands Phillip a blade as a gift and tells him that he killed a Russian soldier with it. Phillip shoots them both under the table, killing one and telling the other to send a message back to his people that Allah can't save them, nor can the Americans, and the KGB is everywhere. Phillip tussles with the second man, then shoots him dead. He walks quietly through the kitchen to leave and sees a young man trying to hide. He tells the man "it's OK," then shoots him in the head.
Phillip drives Elizabeth back home and her son Henry runs up to her and jumps into her arms. It's a birthday party for Henry. Phillip gives Stan a full refund for the trip that Stan and his wife aren't going to take. Henry glumly opens his present, bummed that it's a telescope and not Intelivision. Phillip then tells the kids he's taking their mom out on a date.
The date, it turns out, is a spy operation. Elizabeth is having sex with another man and a woman when Phillip and another man, posing as Air Force security guards, burst into the room. The guards ask Roy if he thinks he got two women to sleep with him because of his high-level security clearance. Phillip warns Roy that he has to be more careful. They tell Roy that they're going to reset his security clearances and passwords to ones they give him, which will rotate every six weeks.
The kids are at home watching TV with a babysitter when Paige gets up to poke around the laundry room. She finds her mom's suitcase and opens it, finding mostly clothes before Henry sneaks up on her and screams, startling her. Paige says she's doing her mom's laundry to surprise her.
Elizabeth and the other spy talk about Elizabeth's time away from the family. She says she and Phillip are "better." Phillip and the other agent show up and they talk about their kids growing up. They make plans to meet up at an amusement park. They tell Elizabeth that Claudia sends her regards and Elizabeth is surprised to hear Claudia is still around.
On the way home, Phillip tells Elizabeth about the operation he finished with some Afghans, saying it "went bad."
At the house, Paige is worried that her parents haven't come home. She tries to wake Henry and tell him, but he doesn't care. She walks slowly toward their room and opens the door to find them naked, in bed, in a particularly compromising position. She rushes off.
Breakfast the next morning is awkward, but clueless Henry is chatting away. Before they leave for school, Phillip and Elizabeth have a conversation about trust and privacy with Paige. After Paige heads off, Phillip owners aloud whether they even know if that's the first time Paige has checked on them.
Stan and Gaad are doing some paperwork, but Stan keeps getting distracted by the pictures and the map behind Gaad. Gaad tells Stan they just have to wait for the next break. Someone comes to meet with Stan, someone an assistant says wouldn't leave until getting a chance to talk with Stan. He goes down to meet the person.
Stan goes downstairs and finds Sanford, who wants the money Stan promised him, but Stan says none of his leads panned out. Sanford says he gave the FBI everything he had and they "betrayed" him. Stan sends Sanford on his way, while Sanford continues to say every word he told them was the truth.
Stan reports back to Gaad that he believes Sanford -- especially about the colonel Sanford said was working with the KGB. Gaad tells Stan that the colonel is "off limits." The conversation is all being picked up and recorded with a microphone Martha hid in Gaad's office for Phillip.
At the travel agency, Elizabeth flips through the books and sees Stan's refund but Phillip explains that they got 40 percent of the cost back and the agency paid the difference. He figured it was best in the long run and she agrees.
Stan is getting access to a stockpile of videotapes. They're bootleg videos that have been confiscated. Stan takes a copy of Meryl Streep's "The French Lieutenant's Woman" back to Nina's apartment to watch it. She watches and is upset by Streep's performance, and asks Stan if he thinks that she, like Streep's character, is a "whore." He says he just thought the movie would "move" her. She gets up and angrily tells him there's a new arrival at the Rezidentura. He's a new officer in charge of science and technology. Stan asks her what she thinks of him and she says he's "too soft." Stan asks her if she can find out his specific target. He kisses her on the neck and she seems happy.
At the amusement park, the families and their Soviet spy parents are all having a great time -- separately. The families walk past each other, just close enough for the parents to literally catch a glimpse of the others' kids -- a sign that the families clearly aren't allowed to make a real connection.
At the Rezidentura, Nina and Arkady are discussing how much information they can give her "man" about science and technology, but they have to find out how much Moscow wants to say. Arkady calls a man named Oleg to the office. While they wait, Arkady asks Nina if Stan has told her he loves her yet. She says he hasn't. Arkady warns her to be careful with Stan. Oleg doesn't show up right away.
Arkady finds Oleg rocking out to some music with headphones on. Arkady asks Oleg if there's any information of legitimate interest to the Americans that wouldn't be too valuable to give away. Oleg says everything worth giving is to valuable to give to the enemy. Arkady praises his training. Arkady asks him to look through the files and find something. Walking away, Nina questions Oleg's qualifications and Arkady explains that his father is a top official in Moscow and warns that the kids of such people rushing into the KGB will be the end of the organization.
Gaad pulls Stan aside and says they need to take a drive to the colonel's house. Sanford apparently showed up and started shouting about having cost him $500,000. The colonel says he had to shoot him. Stan stops the medical examiners on their way out with the body and notices two bullets to the head. He comments that one probably would have been enough.
At the amusement park, Phillip is discreetly pulled aside by the other spy. The guy asks Phillip to do a drop for him. He gives him some detailed instructions on the fly. The guy has two tails on him and they have to be avoided. The man is going to be looking for a guy in a blue hat, walking with a 10-year-old boy. Phillip protests and says they don't use their kids, but the other spy says it's just "a brush drop." The spy gives Phillip a key to their hotel room, where they'll meet afterward. Phillip begrudgingly goes and gets Henry and says they're going to get ice cream together. Elizabeth seems to notice what's happening and doesn't seem to like it. The drop seems to work just as planned. When Phillip gets back, Elizabeth is not pleased.
They walk to a hotel room while the kids spend more time at the amusement park. Phillip uses the key to get into the hotel room and finds the agent, his wife and daughter all shot dead. Elizabeth runs to find Paige and Henry while Phillip searches the room and finds a small envelope hidden in a briefcase. He takes it and leaves. As he walks down the hallway, he passes the spies' son, who is coming back from the swimming pool, and knows what he's going to find when he opens the door. Phillip leaves quickly, but hears the young man's scream when he goes into the room.
Elizabeth finds Henry at the amusement park, but he says Paige "just took off." Elizabeth looks for her and the park suddenly feels more chaotic than ever. Soon, she finds Paige and Phillip catches up with them and hurries them off.
At the house, Phillip pulls a small sketch out of a bottle of Bayer aspirin, and another paper has a series of codes written on it. He compares the codes to the ones he pulled out of the briefcase and writes down some numbers on another pad. He tells Elizabeth there's an address in the codes, about two hours away in Virginia, and a sketch of a propeller or a machine part. Phillip tells Elizabeth he should have done the brush drop without Henry. She tells him he had to think quickly and seems to forgive him. They worry about who might have done the killing and they talk about "the list" of people who would want them dead.
Stan comes home and his wife is surprised to see him. She has plans to go see a movie with some friends. She's watching Leo Buscaglia, "the love doctor," who she says believes "you can change the whole world with a hug." Stan isn't buying it. She tells Stan that Buscaglia says "love is always open arms" and if you close yourself you'll find you're left holding only yourself. She gives Stan a big hug, then backs away and says, "Anyway, that's what he's famous for." She asks him if he wants to come with them to the movies and he says, "Uhh, sure."
They end up at "The French Lieutenant's Woman," and his wife is crying. Stan is transfixed with the film.
Elizabeth is waiting for Phillip to come home. Phillip is with Martha, as Elizabeth has directed him to be in order to find out if the FBI is behind the killings. Phillip tells Martha about how hard the job is and she tells him to relax, adding, "You're home now."
Meanwhile, Elizabeth sits in their bed alone.