"That's what evil people tell themselves when they do evil things." ― Betty to ElizabethDo Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep? is the ninth episode of Season Three of The Americans on FX, and the thirty-fifth episode overall.
Philip and Elizabeth struggle with the gravity of unexpected collateral damage.
|Elizabeth meets with Hans and tells him Todd may have seen him when they left the abandoned warehouse. Even though she can't be sure, Elizabeth is not willing to take the risk and tells him he can't work with them anymore. At Dupont Circle Travel, Philip tells Elizabeth the FBI found the bug in Agent Gaad's pen and, Martha knows that "Clark" isn't from the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) as he wasn't the agent brought into investigate. He recommends giving Martha time and going back to her place that evening. Elizabeth disagrees, worried that Martha may have reported him to the FBI and that agents may be waiting for him at her apartment. However, Philip says he trusts her.
|Arriving at her place as "Clark", he finds her happily cooking and no agents in sight. She tells him she's fine and that she just needed to know the truth. Receiving a phone call from Children's Services, she declines adoption and tells "Clark" that it's unrealistic. During dinner, she tells him the Mail Robot is in a shop for repairs, as a frustrated Agent Gaad attacked it. She answers "Clark's" questions about Gene. Oleg meets Stan in an abandoned warehouse, saying that he might be right about Zinaida being a spy. He says he has a risky way to find out. As Todd works alone in a university basement book supply room, Hans shoots him in the face but doesn't kill him. Han's gun jams and they fight until Hans is able to fatally choke him.
|Gabriel meets with the Jennings, and despite Elizabeth's doubts, recommends that Philip continue running Martha as an agent. Philip becomes upset when Gabriel says The Center is ordering them to bug the broken mail robot. Philip believes the Center will want Martha to switch out the tapes, and doesn't like the danger that will put her in. However, Gabriel says someone else may switch out the tapes and that they should trust the organization. When Hans tells Elizabeth he killed Todd she is not happy, but agrees to continue working with him. Hans indicates he'll do anything asked of him. Stan escorts Zinaida after a meeting and proposes that they order room service for her at her hotel.
|Philip and Elizabeth sneak into the repair facility at night and find the mail robot. Philip dismantles it and starts to affix the bug. Elizabeth sympathises that Philip has feelings for Martha which he doesn't want to discuss. When they hear a toilet flush and see a light on in an office upstairs, Philip continues working while Elizabeth checks it out. She finds Betty, the aged mother of the plant owner, paying bills. Elizabeth tells her she's here to repair a machine, but when Betty tries to call for help, Elizabeth stops her. She continues to stand guard over Betty while Philip remains downstairs working on the mail robot.
|Betty is chatty, and tells Elizabeth about her husband, Gil, who served in the war, and her son, Andy. Despite herself, Elizabeth becomes drawn into Betty's company, perhaps because she's missing her own mother. Betty has a heart condition and requests a glass to water to take her medication. Elizabeth locks Betty in the office and takes the phone. She checks in on Philip, telling him about Betty and her husband. Philip stops and looks at her, confused both about how she knows this, and her hesitation to take the obvious, needed action. Finally he says Betty picked a bad time to come to the office and he resumes working.
|Stan accompanies Zinaida back to her hotel, checking her room carefully before sitting outside her door waiting for room service food to be delivered. Betty and Elizabeth keep talking, with Elizabeth reluctantly sharing information about her family. When Elizabeth says her mother lives in Russia, Betty understands why she's there and that she's going to die. Betty grapples with her fate while Elizabeth slowly pours out the rest of her blood pressure medication and stares at her, silently indicating that she overdose. Zinaida hears a sound in her room and sees a disguised Oleg emerge from the shadows, pointing a gun. He tells her she has two weeks to recant everything she's said about the USSR's role in the Afghan war or he'll return and kill her. Zinaida remains calm and agrees to nothing. Stan enters with the food and Oleg attacks him, knocking him in the temple with his gun, before fleeing.
|At home, Paige tells Henry to stop playing a video game and go to bed. Betty starts taking one pill at a time. She tells Elizabeth she and her husband were married twice. They were divorced, but after his second wife died, they remarried and more realistic, accepted each other for who they were and were happy. Elizabeth tears up as she watches Betty take her pills and reminisce. Betty is surprised to learn Elizabeth has children and can't believe she chooses to kill people for a living. Elizabeth says she is making the world a better place, but Betty asserts that Elizabeth is evil and is fooling herself. Betty then dies. Meeting Philip as he's finishing up, Elizabeth tells him that Betty will appear to have died of a heart attack. Seeing Elizabeth is upset, Philip asks if she's okay. Refusing to turn around to hide her tears she says they have to leave.
|At the FBI, Stan tells Gaad and Agent Aderholt of the threat on Zinaida. He's told to go home and get some rest but he meets with Oleg who reports that Zinaida didn't confess or panic. Smirking while apologizing for hitting Stan so hard, Stan offers him a beer and quips back that a part of Oleg probably wanted to crack his head open. Playing scrabble with Gabriel and discussing the meaning of love and marriage, Philip recalls that when he first saw Elizabeth, it was like a bolt of lightning. Gabriel relates that Elizabeth rejected the first officer that was to be her husband and so, in a way, chose him. When Gabriel asks him to share what’s troubling him, Philip replies that he trusted Gabriel to look out for him and his family and that he's the problem. By pushing Elizabeth to recruit Paige to work for the KGB, Philip feels that he's the only one left looking out for his family.
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick. The book served as the primary basis for the 1982 film Blade Runner. The novel is set in post-apocalyptic San Francisco, where Earth has been greatly damaged by nuclear global war. Its main plot follows Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter who is tasked with "retiring" (i.e. killing) six escaped androids. The novel explores the issue of what it is to be human. Unlike humans, the androids are said to possess no sense of empathy.
- The Mail Robot plays a major role in this episode.
- Joshua Brand was nominated for the Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series award at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards for this episode.
- "Previously on The Americans" voice: Oleg.