"The Americans" One Day in the Life of Anton Baklanov (TV Episode 2015) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Philip and Elizabeth's home and work lives collide in new and dangerous ways. Nina struggles to figure out her next steps. Arkady assigns Oleg and Tatiana to an operation with uncertain potential.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • The mood is tense at the Jennings house, but Paige is full of questions about her parents' revelation that their Soviet spies. What are their real names? Why don't they have accents? Were they "doing something" the day they whisked the kids away for a surprise vacation in the woods? Is the travel agency real? Henry, still knowing nothing about any of it, comes down for breakfast and Paige keeps quiet.

    Gaad is poring through files and wondering what he could have done to be more careful about saying things in his office that could have been overheard.

    Gabriel comes home to find Philip and Elizabeth waiting for him, and they tell him Paige knows. "Good," he says, adding that they did the right thing. Elizabeth tells Gabriel she has an in at the hotel -- the manager -- and it shouldn't be a problem to get in. He also hands Elizabeth another envelope, which has included a recorded message from her mother. He says he's sorry but he's been told there may not be many more.

    Baklanov, the physicist "repatriated" to Moscow, complains to Nina that he needs to see photographs of what he's working on rather than just making projections. He confides in her, in English, that he thought she was just another woman in the string of them that have been provided to him. He said he slept with them at first but grew tired of waking up next to women they picked out for him. She says she understands.

    Elizabeth visits her friend Lisa, and Lisa's estranged husband Maurice, who is unemployed and facing financial difficulties. He says they want to get in on whatever Elizabeth has going on with the consultant, who would surely be interested in what is going at Northrop. Elizabeth first offers to loan them money and tries to talk her out of it. Maurice insists they don't have the kind of money they need, since they're in danger of losing their home to foreclosure, and says they want double the money Elizabeth is getting, because of the risk Lisa is taking by using her high-security clearance at Northrop. Lisa leaves the room and Maurice says he wants to meet Jack, her partner, but says he thinks Elizabeth is the real head of the operation. She doesn't deny it.

    Taffett tells Martha he's going to need to meet with her again -- for a while. A co-worker, a computer specialist, says he spent hours being grilled by Taffett, worrying Martha.

    Philip talks to Yousaf, who is still shaken by the killing of Annelise. Yousaf tells Philip that the CIA is flying three mujahideen commanders to the U.S. Philip asks about them. Yousaf says people don't understand how hard-core these mujahideen are, and that one of them even cut off the head off a Soviet soldier in the field. Philip asks about the other two.

    Elizabeth finds Paige sitting in the car in the garage and tells her they never wanted to hurt her or Henry, but she can't talk about any of it with anyone else around. She asks Paige to tell her she understands, which she does. Elizabeth starts telling Paige about her father, who died in the war when Elizabeth was 2. She tells her about growing up with a single mother and three other families in one apartment. She tells Paige that her mother had "a real spirit, like yours," and that she hasn't seen her mother since she came to the U.S. Paige listens politely before asking, "How can I believe anything you say?"

    Arkady calls Oleg and Tatiana into his to bring them into Operation ZEPHYR. He tells them about the listening device planted inside the FBI, and says he needs English speakers he trusts to decipher it all. They get to work.

    Philip goes to see Martha, who tells him Taffett wants to talk to her. He tries to ease her concern, and gives her some tips about how to seem convincing when she tells Taffett that she didn't do anything. He reminds her that she knows more than Taffett does, and has her practice saying she has no idea who planted the bug in Gaad's pen.

    Elizabeth is at the hotel, flirting with the hotel manager while having dinner with him in a room. He says he wants her to come back, then she sits on his lap and they move over to the bed. When she gets home, Elizabeth hesitates for a while in the car in the garage, seemingly upset.

    Philip meets with Gabriel and asks to arrange a trip for Elizabeth to see her mother in the Soviet Union. Gabriel says it's not possible. Philip unleashes his frustration about what he's asked to do without having his needs listened to. Gabriel asks him if he's falling apart. Philip says he's fine, but he doesn't want to keep hearing no from Gabriel.

    Martha meets with Taffett and he starts asking questions about any romantic relationship that might have compromised her in any way. She says she doesn't date much, and notes her relationship with Agent Amador. She seems surprised at how short the meeting is, and leaves when he says it's over.

    Baklanov opens up more to Nina, who secretly went through his room and found a bunch of unsent letters to his son Jacob, about not having been allowed to contact his family. She says she knows how he feels. He says he's not going to let "them" decide who he is. She tells him Jacob, his son, would be proud. He is surprised at her knowing his son's name. She tells him he should keep writing to Jacob. She assures him she hasn't told anyone.

    The hotel manager shows off his office to Elizabeth and shows her how the new computer works. He's interrupted and leaves Elizabeth behind while he deals with an angry guest at the desk (Philip). Elizabeth uses the opportunity to go through the computer records and grab a key and make an imprint of it. The manager comes back in and starts to kiss her, asking her to meet him in a room in 10 minutes. They kiss more, but she says she can't.

    Tatiana and Arkady are going through the many mundane conversations the bug in the FBI office has picked up, trying to have some fun with the various discussions about the broken vending machine and the short-lived USFL pro football league.

    Elizabeth gets home while Philip is sleeping, strips down and gets in bed with him. They have sex, neither of them saying a word. The next morning, Philip starts to tell Elizabeth that he thinks he's figured out a way for her to see her mother. Paige comes in and Philip tells her that she's trying to get Elizabeth to Russia to see her mother, but Elizabeth says she can't. Paige looks sad, but says nothing before walking out.

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