Dead Hand is the season premiere of the final season of The Americans on FX, and the sixty-sixth episode overall.  


It’s autumn 1987 and as a major arms control summit looms, Elizabeth is pushed to her limits as never before. Philip, meanwhile, has settled into running the newly expanded travel agency – until an unexpected visitor makes a disquieting request.


In the three years between 1984 and 1987, Philip has become a full-time travel agent running an expanded Dupont Circle Travel, Henry attends boarding school and plays hockey, and Paige attends George Washington University in D.C. and is a Soviet agent in training (and also is practicing Russian by watching a Soviet movie with Elizabeth and Claudia). Stan has married Renee and has moved out of FBI counterintelligence except for the now-married Sofia and Gennadi (whom he still handles with his ex-partner Dennis Aderholt, the new head of counterintelligence), while Elizabeth is exhausted and resentful from handling a full KGB case load nine weeks before the Reagan-Gorbachev summit in D.C. (December 8-10, 1987), with most of her work focused on the summit.

Claudia informs Elizabeth that she has been ordered by certain unknown parties in the Center to travel to Mexico City and meet with General Kovtun of the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces, who tells her about "Dead Hand" (a doomsday device) and the Soviet military's plan to overthrow Gorbachev if he renounces it. Kovtun asks Elizabeth to spy on Soviet negotiator Fyodor Nesterenko, who is meeting with American negotiator Glenn Haskard (whom Elizabeth is monitoring as "Stephanie", a home health care aide for his wife Erica, a terminally ill artist). Kovtun also gives Elizabeth a cyanide pill to take if captured. 

Meanwhile in the USSR, Arkady, now deputy chief of Directorate S and a Gorbachev supporter, recruits Oleg, now married (with a son) and out of the KGB (but also a Gorbachev supporter), to travel to the US and ask Philip to uncover (and possibly stop) Elizabeth's unapproved new mission; due to internal Soviet opposition to Gorbachev within the Center, Arkady cannot trust his own officers with this task. After arriving in D.C., Oleg signals Philip and then meets with him, telling Philip that he will stay in D.C. (without official cover) to await Philip's answer. 

While Paige is on a surveillance detail, a young U.S. security officer tries to coerce her for a date by taking her (fake) college ID. Elizabeth then kills him and recovers the ID. That night, when Philip tries to tell Elizabeth about Oleg's visit and points out the emotional toll of her job, she rudely dismisses him.


Song Title Performer(s)
Don't Dream It's Over Crowded House
Quince Años Chilo Escobedo
We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37) Peter Gabriel
Louisiana Saturday Night Mel McDaniel
Listening Wind Talking Heads
Gold Dust Woman Fleetwood Mac

Season Six
#601 "Dead Hand" #606 "Rififi"
#602 "Tchaikovsky" #607 "Harvest"
#603 "Urban Transport Planning" #608 "The Summit"
#604 "Mr. and Mrs. Teacup" #609 "Jennings, Elizabeth"
#605 "The Great Patriotic War" #610 "START"