Duty and Honor is the seventh episode of Season One of The Americans on FX, and the seventh episode overall.

Synopsis Edit

Philip and Elizabeth's troubled marriage is further tested when a mission to discredit a Polish pro-democracy leader reunites Philip with his old flame.

Plot Edit

Phillip is sent to New York City to discredit Polish dissident Andrzej Bielawski, who wants to form an independent, anti-Soviet Polish government while in exile. Although Phillip extends an olive branch to Elizabeth before leaving, she is unreceptive and their last words to each other before he departs are bitter. In NYC, Phillip works with a KGB agent based in Canada named Irina, who was his lover before he left Russia. Through a series of flashbacks, their youthful courtship and ultimate separation is shown. It is also revealed that Phillip's real name is Mikhail (affectionate form: Mischa). In the present, Irina shows Phillip a picture of a young man in uniform and asserts that her son in Russia is also Phillip's.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth is in disguise at a casino, where she approaches an unsuccessful gambler named Sanford Prince. She tells him she's a friend of Adam Dorwin, to whom Sanford has been reporting for the last 18 months. Sanford accuses Elizabeth of killing Dorwin, and says that he doesn't care what she does to him. He begs her to put him out of his misery, because he's "dead already." She meets with Claudia to report on Sanford, calling him a "degenerate gambler." Claudia apologizes for Phillip and Elizabeth's abduction, removing her sunglasses to reveal substantial facial bruises remain from Elizabeth beating her. Elizabeth responds by saying "I'm sorry I didn't kill you."

Elizabeth and the kids dine at the Beemans. Stan phones to say he is working late and won't be home in time to join them; Sandra confesses to Elizabeth that their marriage is in trouble. She expresses admiration that Elizabeth and Phillip are able to work together professionally. Although Stan truly was working, he is soon approached by Chris Amador, who convinces him to stop and go out to a bar instead. While there, Chris suggests Stan approach a pretty woman they see. Stan declines, saying he's a married man with a kid. However, he later contacts Nina and they end up having sex.

Back home from the Beeman's, Elizabeth reflects on Sandra's assertion that "twenty years (of marriage) has to count for something." She picks up one of Phillip's shirts and holds it to her face, breathing deeply. She then phones him in New York, where he is asleep in bed. She tells him she's been thinking about him, and misses him. He struggles to respond and when she implores "come home," he slowly hangs up the phone without saying anything. The camera pans to reveal he is in bed with Irina.

The next morning, Stan and Nina are shown getting dressed. Nina tells Stan she will not blackmail him because of their liaison, or even meet with him again if he does not want her to. Phillip and Irina's mission is successful. Irina tells Phillip she "can't do it anymore" and that she "wants to live like a normal human being." She tells Phillip she plans to leave the KGB and "disappear." She invites him to join her, sounding very similar to Phillip when he proposed defection to Elizabeth. Phillip meets Irina in the train station as she departs, but declines to come with her, saying "I have a wife, a family." He asks her if "the boy" is real and she replies "Only duty and honor are real, Mischa. Isn't that what we were told?"

Elizabeth in disguise visits a man named Fucci at a moving company and asks about Sanford Prince. Fucci says Prince owes him $20,000 in gambling debt. Elizabeth tosses him the money in a brown paper bag, but Fucci replies "he's not for sale." Elizabeth overpowers him, and convinces him otherwise. She meets Prince on a deserted road, informing him she has paid his debt and that he now belongs to her. He speaks of a breakthrough in missile defense and hands her a thick envelope.

Phillip returns home from New York. Paige and Henry do not seem overly excited to see him, giving Phillip pause to consider how unaware they are that he just turned down an opportunity to leave them. Despite Phillip speaking brusquely to Elizabeth, she approaches him gently and again says she missed him. She says she wants to try to make their marriage "real" and not a sham. Phillip agrees to try; however, when Elizabeth asks if anything happened between him and Irina he says no, "nothing happened. There's only you. It has always been you."

Notes Edit

  • As Phillip gets dressed in his hotel room, preparing to pose as a purse-snatcher who intercepts Irina and Bielawski on their walk, US President Ronald Reagan speaks on tv. The footage shown was taken from Reagan's December 23, 1981 Christmas address to the nation, which included an update on the "Polish situation." However, it is likely this episode occurred in early April 1981, falling between the assassination attempt on Reagan (March 30, In Control) and Game 7 of the NHL Eastern quarterfinals (April 26, Safe House). See the Timeline of Historical Events for more information.


Song Title Performer(s)
The Box Fad Gadget
Coit Tower Millionaire at Midnight


The Americans 1x07 Promo 'Duty and Honor' HD)

The Americans 1x07 Promo 'Duty and Honor' HD)

Season One
#101 "Pilot" #108 "Mutually Assured Destruction"
#102 "The Clock" #109 "Safe House"
#103 "Gregory" #110 "Only You"
#104 "In Control" #111 "Covert War"
#105 "COMINT" #112 "The Oath"
#106 "Trust Me" #113 "The Colonel"
#107 "Duty and Honor"