ARPANET is the seventh episode of Season Two of The Americans on FX, and the twentieth episode overall.

Synopsis Edit

Philip uses his agent Charles Duluth to help him gain access to an early precursor to the Internet so that the KGB can bug American government communications. Nina faces the threat of a potential FBI polygraph exam, bringing her closer to KGB colleague Oleg.

Plot Edit

At the Rezidentura, Arkady and Oleg persuade Nina to take the polygraph test Stan requested. Oleg claims he can show her how to trick the machine, and the two begin practicing. After several failed attempts, he tells her “You have to believe what you say. You must commit to it.” Oleg also tells her to squeeze her anus before answering a difficult question. He suggests she pick out a spot in the safe house that’s empty, and picture him there.

Kate, wearing a head scarf, meets with Phillip, who scoffs: “You look like a spy in an old movie.” She appears hurt and then tells him he’s been ordered by the Centre to bug the ARPANET. Phillip goes to Charles Duluth’s apartment and finds him passed out drunk. Pretending to be a journalist working on a technology story, Phillip dons a disguise and he and Duluth visit the office of university professor Thane Rosenbloom, head of the department of computer science. Rosenbloom describes what he’s working on as “a handshake that introduces distant computers to each other, in virtual space.” Later, Phillip tells Charles “I need you sober.”

Henry uses his new telescope to spy on the neighbors and observes them leaving for vacation. He later lets himself inside their house, eats food from the fridge and plays video games (something his parents won’t permit him to do).

Elizabeth and Lucia meet in a café. Lucia says her father was a journalist who went to work one day and was never seen again. Elizabeth explains the plan for Andrew Larrick to get Lucia and ultimately the Jennings into the Martial Eagle camp. Lucia is insistent on knowing where Larrick will be, once she’s inside the camp.

The front portion of the Jennings’ travel office is a mess of tarps, ladders and painters. Elizabeth tells Phillip that Larrick wants to meet. When Phillip offers to go, Elizabeth says “No I’ll do it. You’re the better shot.” Elizabeth meets Larrick outside on a bench, while Phillip watches from a building above, with a sniper rifle. Larrick says he’s leaving for Nicaragua; Elizabeth tells him she’ll still need his help getting into the camp.

When Lucia finds out Larrick’s leaving, she becomes upset and tells Elizabeth she was going to kill him once they were inside the camp. Elizabeth reminds her that “The operation and Larrick are bigger than your wish for revenge.” Elizabeth later voices serious concerns about Lucia to Phillip, who opines that Lucia’s plan to murder Larrick would have gotten everyone killed. Elizabeth complains that Lucia is young and impetuous, but Phillip says “She’ll get over it.” Elizabeth replies “I’m not so sure about that. She burns hot.” Phillip retorts ”That sounds like someone I know.”

Nina meets Stan in their safe house and submits to the polygraph test. She is asked if she knows who killed Agent Amador, and she says no. She is then asked if she knows who killed Vlad. Nina looks angrily at Stan and says “Yes.” Nina successfully passes the test. She tells Stan they will now be together forever, and he agrees. Stan tells Nina he is willing to give Oleg the security logs he requested, just to keep her safe. Nina then lies that Arkady is in the process of getting permission for her to have access to the illegals program, at which point she "can get anything.”

Duluth returns to the university and gains entry to Professor Rosenbloom’s office. Finding the computer room keypad code in a desk drawer, he writes it down on his hand and goes to the lab. Seeing it’s full of students, he panics and tells Phillip, who is dressed as a janitor and pushing a large trashcan. Phillip goes to the basement and triggers evacuation alarms. Back upstairs in the now-empty building, he asks Duluth for the entry code, but he can’t read the ink which has smudged on his hand. Duluth recites the number from memory, then changes a digit. Phillip has him repeat the code again before telling him to leave.

The code works and Phillip enters the room, attaching the “bug” he has hidden in his trash can. Setting his watch for one minute, he is startled when a student returns to the room, to retrieve a wallet he’d left at his desk. As the student turns to leave, he notices the large trashcan and door ajar to the computer system. Later, Phillip meets Duluth in a bar and they argue over whether he’s drinking alcohol. Duluth insists it’s just cranberry juice and soda water and pushes Phillip multiple times to try it and see for himself. Duluth says their evening was “an amazing adrenaline rush.” Phillip responds with disdain: “I killed someone. Someone who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Duluth replies that he did what he had to do and Phillip says “For what? I mean, what was the point? For some Xs and Os on a virtual highway? I don’t even know what that means.” After he leaves, Phillip tells the bartender he’ll have what Duluth was drinking, and the bartender pours him cranberry juice and vodka.

Oleg and Nina are shown in a luxury hotel room together. She tells him he was her secret power for beating the polygraph machine. Oleg asks about Agent Beeman, and Nina replies "He means nothing to me."


Song Title Performer(s)
Set Me Free Utopia
Drivin' My Life Away Eddie Rabbitt


The Americans 2x07 Promo 'ARPANET'

The Americans 2x07 Promo 'ARPANET'

Season Two
#201 "Comrades" #208 "New Car"
#202 "Cardinal" #209 "Martial Eagle"
#203 "The Walk In" #210 "Yousaf"
#204 "A Little Night Music" #211 "Stealth"
#205 "The Deal" #212 "Operation Chronicle"
#206 "Behind the Red Door" #213 "Echo"
#207 "ARPANET"