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The americans Wiki

"Nobody sane would do this type of work." William Crandall

Chloramphenicol is the fourth episode of Season Four of The Americans on FX, and the forty-third episode overall.


A devastating flaw during a mission forces Philip, Elizabeth, William, and Gabriel to confront the depths of their patriotism...and their mortality. In Russia, in striving to be a better person, has Nina put her life on the line?


Elizabeth and William walk to a pay phone to call Joan and in code, inform her they are out of commission for the weekend, and request Pastor Tim and Alice not be killed. Elizabeth then phones Paige to let her know they are okay, but won't be home for a few days. Paige panics, thinking Pastor Tim or Alice have told the authorities about them but Elizabeth tries to reassure Paige that's not the case. Before leaving, William wipes down the phone booth and removes the receiver, wrapping it in plastic in case it's been contaminated with Glanders. Back in the apartment, William attends to Gabriel and outlines procedures for handling waste and minimizing transmission of the pathogen.

S04E04-William sick Gabriel.jpg
He ought to be in a hospital.
Oleg returns to the Soviet Union to attend his brother, Yevgeny's, funeral. He and his father Igor talk about his mother, Yelena's, depression and Igor indicates he tried to help Nina but Oleg presses him to do more. Henry goes to Stan's for milk and learns Matthew will be there soon and will help him with his computer. Henry learns how Stan met Sandra and asking more questions about women, Stan wonders why Henry doesn't discuss this with Philip. Henry tells Stan about the cancelled EPCOT plans and when Stan checks in on Paige, she lies where her parents are.

S04E04-Henry and Stan.jpg
He's not really around.
Elizabeth tries to console Philip that they have no choice but for Pastor Tim and Alice to die. In order for Stan to search Martha's apartment, Agent Aderholt asks her to dinner and she accepts. Elizabeth starts to feel nauseous but William doesn't know if she has Glanders or a reaction to the antibiotic. At home, Martha takes a valium and panicking about why Aderholt asked her to dinner, leaves "Clark" multiple voicemails. Elizabeth vomits into the toilet and feverish, she tells Philip if something happens to her, he's to have Pastor Tim and Alice killed and blame her. Henry won't know, and Paige then won't hate Philip, allowing him to raise them in the US.

Chloramphenicol Episode 4.jpg
It still might be the antibiotic.
During dinner, Martha tells Aderholt she's seeing a married man who isn't going to leave his wife. While they are out, Stan breaks into Martha's apartment, snooping through her drawers and taking photographs. (♫ Dorothy Moore - Misty Blue ♫) He doesn't find anything suspicious, other than the Kama Sutra book and her handgun, which he already knew she owned. Elizabeth grows increasingly feverish, and dreams of her mother's diphtheria illness when she was a teenager. Delirious, she wakes up wanting to phone Paige but Philip puts her back to bed. Nina arrives back at Lefortovo Prison in the same cell she used to occupy.

Chloramphenicol Episode 7.jpg
I'm not ashamed.
Walking in a park, Igor tells Oleg that Nina has been reckless and interfered with a secret project. Indicating how difficult is will be to help her, Igor gets Oleg to commit to remain in Moscow in exchange for trying to help Nina. William checks on Elizabeth while she's sleeping and finds her fever has broken. William asks Philip about his relationship with Elizabeth and is envious that he has someone to share the difficulties of their work with. Philip relates how their work has caused the incredibly difficult situation with Paige. Philip says he'd like to be normal but still be with Elizabeth, even if she was still a spy.

Chloramphenicol Episode 8.jpg
Will you stay with us?
Gabriel and Elizabeth both begin to recover, although it's determined Elizabeth never had Glanders but a severe reaction to the antibiotic. Her brush with death makes Elizabeth realize Philip was right, killing Pastor Tim and Alice is the wrong course of action. Philip again proposes they return to the USSR but Elizabeth wants to work Tim and Alice instead. When Philip and Elizabeth return home, they take Paige and Henry bowling. Paige questions Elizabeth's exceptional skill and asks if she was taught to bowl in Russia. (♫ Lene Lovich - Lucky Number ♫) Elizabeth replies in a Russian accent "vital part of training," and they both laugh.

Chloramphenicol Episode 10.jpg
OK Dad, we're getting creamed.
Nina falls asleep, dreaming she is pardoned, and given two airplane tickets for her and Anton to leave Russia. She is awoken by prison guards who inform her she's being transferred. They pack her few belongings and march her out of her cell, down a long hallway and towards the exit. They suddenly stop before a small table where an official informs Nina that her appeal has been denied, and the sentence of death remains in effect, which he says will be carried out shortly. One of the guards then shoots Nina in the back of the head. She collapses on the floor, a pool of blood growing around her. The guards bring a burlap tarp, lift her body onto it, and carry her away.

S04E04-Ninas dream.jpg
Nina's dream.


  • Gabriel refers to the "Great Purge" when speaking of the days before WW2 when they were "killing each other all the time."
  • William wears blue nitrile nonsterile gloves, however, these were not introduced until the mid 1990s.
  • This is one of the rare episodes in which Philip doesn't wear one of his disguises.
  • "Previously on The Americans" voice: Stan.


Song Title Performer(s)
Misty Blue Dorothy Moore
Lucky Number Lene Lovich


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"