A Roy Rogers in Franconia is the twelfth episode of Season Four of The Americans on FX, and the fifty-first episode overall.


As Paige deals with last episode’s trauma, she sees her mother in a new light… and finds she has inherited some of her parents’ skills. Plus, has Oleg reached his breaking point with Stan?

Plot Edit

Henry and Phillip are playing a video game when Elizabeth and Paige arrive home after their near-mugging. Phillip meets them both upstairs and learns the full extent of what happened. Paige questions how Elizabeth could react so calmly and wonders if she’s killed anyone before. Elizabeth says yes, to defend herself.

Agent Aderholt visits the shop where the mail robot was repaired and asks questions about Andy’s mother’s death. Andy says her death wasn’t a surprise because his mom had been sick for a long time, and so no autopsy was performed. Returning to the FBI, Aderholt enlists another agent’s help in examining the mail robot; they find the recording device and then put it back. Agents then watch on a security monitor to see who will change out the tape. Agent Wolfe says he doesn’t care who it is because the KGB will just “do the usual: flip him, have him make his drop. We pick up some idiot from the Soviet embassy who has diplomatic immunity and PNG them, and nothing changes.” “Welcome to the division, sir,” replies Stan.

When a female janitor tries to switch the tape, she is arrested and interrogated. The FBI comes to believe she didn’t know who she was working for: “She met a guy at a Roy Rogers in Franconia,” says Stan, who hinted he was part of the mob, concerned the FBI would sting a gambling operation. Multiple teams of agents prepare to watch her make the drop.

Phillip meets with William and gives him the Level 4 access code obtained from Don Seong. William describes how people die from the strain of Lassa virus he’s being asked to obtain, and tells Phillip “I can’t do this one. It’s one of the deadliest pathogens on the planet. Let’s just say it actually gets out there, and I play a part in that.” When Phillip asks what he should tell Gabriel, William replies “Tell him the truth.”

Tatiana tells Oleg she’s been promoted to be the Rezident in Nairobi, thanks to her work in the US. She may be allowed to choose her deputy, and asks him to consider if he’d like the job. Oleg congratulates her and says he’ll think about it; whatever she’s done in the US must have been impressive. “As long as I don’t kill half the people on the Eastern seaboard in the next week or so,” she replies, walking away and giving him serious pause.

Elizabeth shares with Phillip what Matthew told Paige: Stan met with Martha’s father. Later, Phillip accompanies Gabriel to a pay phone where Gabriel calls Martha’s parents, saying their daughter is fine and doing well: “She’s being taken care of by people who respect her very much. She’ll always be taken care of, and she wants you to know she loves you and thinks about you.”

The next morning, Paige stays home from school with Elizabeth. She asks if Elizabeth knew her job would be dangerous when she joined. Elizabeth tells her she grew up in a city almost totally destroyed by World War II: “The people who survived had done without food, freezing and fighting. They all worked together and fought back ... I always wanted to be like that, no matter what, to fight back. Dangerous didn’t matter.” Elizabeth wonders what Smolensk looks like now and wishes she could show Paige where she grew up.

Oleg looks at photographs of the US space shuttle Challenger with Tatiana, wondering if it has a "dual purpose." He says there’s something appealing about joining her in Kenya, but is troubled by his family back home. Oleg soon calls his mother, who tells him she misses him and asks if he knows when he’ll be home.

Oleg then calls Stan and asks to meet. Oleg tells Stan he attended the Russian equivalent of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and feels the Soviets have “the best scientists in the world,” but they don’t have money, and that’s a dangerous combination. “Without the right resources, they get their hands on things that they cannot always handle in the right way.” Oleg then betrays Tatiana's confidence by telling Stan some of the work for the US biological weapons program is being sent out, and the Russians have a person in place in that lab.

Stan tells Wolfe and Aderholt what Oleg shared. Wolfe pulls everyone off the [mail robot] drop site but one car with a video camera. He feels Stan’s news is so big, they can’t afford to “shake up anything at the Rezidentura right now.” The pulled agents then dig through employee lists for the three government contract labs, looking for people with high level access. The FBI ultimately finds a William Crandall working in one of the labs, who was born in 1927, but died at the age of 5.

Phillip brings William to Gabriel’s; William says he started his job when he believed in something. Regarding procuring the modified Lassa virus, he asks “How can I believe in this, with all the damage it can cause?” Gabriel tells him this will be his last mission; after it's complete, he’ll be sent home, where he’ll be a hero.

After William agrees and leaves, Phillip tells Gabriel he also thought it was better to keep the Lassa virus to themselves. Gabriel says he’s not sure who was right about this one. “Well, you can always count on Elizabeth,” says Phillip. Gabriel feels her steadfastness is good for Phillip and he agrees: “The Center made a good match.” In a rare personal moment, Gabriel confesses “I used to think [I could] serve The Center better if I was alone. There’d be no one tearing away at you, weakening you. But, you go to shit anyway. And you’re still alone.”

Matthew gives Paige a ride from school and says his dad hasn’t left work for several days. They briefly kiss, and Paige returns home. There, she tells her parents Stan hasn’t been home for a while. “Is that important?” she asks. Phillip and Elizabeth imply Paige doesn’t need to “spy” on Stan or Matthew for them, but warn her that she needs to be careful who she opens up to. Paige asks why she doesn’t have to worry about the Beemans, but she does have to worry about Pastor Tim and Alice. When a phone call draws Phillip back to work, Paige presses him for details and accuses her parents of not trusting her. They ultimately say Phillip will meet with someone to get part of a “weapon,” which will be used by people back home to defend themselves, if attacked. “Great,” says Paige, not feeling any better.

Notes Edit

  • Roy Rogers Franchise Company is a Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States chain of fast food restaurants founded by the Marriott Corporation in 1968 in Falls Church, Virginia. Named after cowboy movie actor Roy Rogers, the restaurants numbered over 650 at their peak.
  • Franconia is a census-designated place in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. Located just southwest of Alexandria, Franconia has existed as a community since the 1870s, when a station by that name opened on the RF&P Railroad. It is named after the Franconia region in Germany.
  • When Paige stays home from school, Elizabeth joins her in watching a soap opera, which appears to be a General Hospital episode involving the characters Celia Quartermaine and Grant Andrews. The Grant Andrews character was a Russian spy, and portrayed by actor Brian Patrick Clarke from 1983-85.


The Americans 4x12 Promo "A Roy Rodgers in Franconia" (HD)

The Americans 4x12 Promo "A Roy Rodgers in Franconia" (HD)

Season Four
#401 "Glanders" #408 "The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears"
#402 "Pastor Tim" #409 "The Day After"
#403 "Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow" #410 "Munchkins"
#404 "Chloramphenicol" #411 "Dinner for Seven"
#405 "Clark's Place" #412 "A Roy Rogers in Franconia"
#406 "The Rat" #413 "Persona Non Grata"
#407 "Travel Agents"