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"I said I would do anything I could to protect you, to keep you safe." Clark to Martha

Glanders is the season premiere of Season Four of The Americans on FX, and the fortieth episode overall. 


Elizabeth and Philip are supposed to get a biological weapon sample but fail to make the exchange when someone is watching. Nina works Anton in hopes it will lead to her freedom. Paige wonders if she can trust Pastor Tim with her secret.


Philip is in bed, unable to sleep at 3 am. He remembers being 10 years old in Tobolsk, USSR, lying in wait for the two older boys who regularly beat him up and steal his family's milk on his long walk home. He knocks one boy out with a rock. Attacking the other, Philip doesn't stop when the boy is subdued, continuing to beat him until he dies. Elizabeth rolls over in bed and asks if he's okay. Philip says she was right about Martha, he needs to tell her about Gene before she hears it at work. He gets up and goes to Martha's place, wakes her and tells her. She is horrified and begins to shout and cry hysterically that she didn’t agree to Gene's death and asking how could you do this? Martha is unable to bear "Clark" coming near her, and goes to sleep on the couch.

Glanders Episode 3.jpg
Philip's first murder.
In the morning, Paige tells Elizabeth that she heard Philip leave in the middle of the night. She asks what he's really doing and as Elizabeth explains, she lies that it isn't dangerous. "Clark" is at Martha's side when she wakes up and tells her they will need to start meeting at his place. Having spent the night at his place, Tori asks Stan if he's going to work but he decides to stay home. Paige goes to school but waits in the hallway until her classmates finish reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The Jennings meet with Gabriel, who's in trouble with The Center because Elizabeth took Paige to West Berlin to see her mother. He chastises them for going behind his back when he said they couldn't go to Berlin. Gabriel gives them a new assignment, picking up a package from another illegal, William, who works in a laboratory.

S04E01-Tori and Stan.jpg
Hates you? Stan Beeman?
Gabriel gives them a vaccine, saying everyone who handles the lab sample has to have one. At the Soviet research facility, Nina and Anton grow closer but he remains despondent over his son. He blames himself for being captured as he was with his mistress when it happened. Anton is called away by a Soviet officer. At the Reed Street Church, Paige sees Pastor Tim, feeling terrible about betraying her parents. He proposes they meet with him which horrifies her. She demands he not tell anyone and he encourages her to ask them more about what they do and then figure out what to do next. Philip and Elizabeth don disguises and follow William, but just before making contact, Philip decides to abort.

Glanders Episode 6.jpg
No one can bear this sort of thing alone.
Philip tells Elizabeth he felt something was wrong. She questions whether he actually saw something or just felt something. They argue and Elizabeth again asks if Philip is okay, but he refuses to discuss it with her. However, at an EST meeting, Philip recounts his troubling childhood incident, in front of an audience, but leaves out that he murdered the boy. He is unable to admit why it bothers him so much, and only says that he didn't need to hit him repeatedly. When the instructor Howard asks why the kid that was bullying him isn't asking him for forgiveness, Philip lies that the boy moved away. Sandra and Philip go to a bar after the session, where they are spotted by Tori. Sandra encourages Philip to tell Elizabeth he's going to EST, but Philip says she wouldn't approve if she knew.

Glanders Episode 8.jpg
You're confusing the feelings with the event itself.
At the FBI, Martha looks at the computer room without Gene in it. Agent Gaad receives a phone call and tells Martha to call Walter Taffet and have him come down to the vault. In the Radio room at the Rezidentura, Tatiana sends a radio transmission acknowledging temporary use of Directorate S operatives. Arkady tries to enter the room, but she apologizes and says she can't allow him. Elizabeth, sensing something is off with Paige, places a bug in Pastor Tim's office. She tells Philip that Paige is different since the trip to Berlin. The Jennings make another attempt to get William's package, but this time Elizabeth aborts the mission, after spotting a suspicious car.

The americans-radio room-glanders.jpg
Tatiana's secret transmission.
At the research facility, Anton tells Nina that the Soviets made a prototype of an stealth airplane wing, based on his designs. If it fails, he fears he'll be sentenced to a labor camp. Losing hope, Nina encourages him. Martha goes to Clark's place, where she says the FBI knows Gene is dead. She asks if Gene died quickly and is glad he told her before the FBI knew. Philip tells her he's been bothered by what he did as a child and wonders if it caused him to be the man he is now. Appreciating his openness, she agrees to obtain the FBI surveillance reports for William even after he says he doesn't want to put her in danger again. At the research facility, Vasili tells Nina that the wing built from Anton's design was a success. Nina demands to see her husband, Boris.

S04E01-Martha and Philip.jpg
I have to know everything.
At the FBI, Martha makes copies of the surveillance reports while Agent Brooks and others gossip about Gene. Stan approaches Martha to console her about Gene, silently apologizing for suspecting her. Arkady has tea with Oleg and commenting that he and Tatiana are getting along reading through the transcripts from Operation Zephyr. Arkady delicately asks Oleg to report if Tatiana is doing anything out of the ordinary. At Dupont Circle Travel, Philip and Elizabeth review the surveillance reports, and determine there was no one surveiling William the first night, so Philip's suspicions were unfounded. However, Elizabeth's was right and she tries to console Philip and asks if he's alright. Seeing there's no one on William that evening, she suggests they meet him.

S04E01-Phil Liz office.jpg
So I was imagining things.
Arkady meets Tatiana in the secure room where he tells her that he's been instructed to leave her alone. However, through various contacts he's learned that she is working for Department Twelve and tells her he doesn't want any dangerous viruses or bacteria in his Rezidentura. Tatiana says she can't discuss it. The Jennings finally meet with William in a park. He tells them he signalled Gabriel because his lab just received a new contract with Ft. Detrick, where the Department of Defense has a bioweapons lab. William hands them a small tin, saying to keep it in the freezer and get it to Gabriel within 48 hours. He tells them it's Burkholderia mallei, which causes a disease called Glanders, and against which the inoculation they received is useless.

S04E01-Tatiana and Arkady.jpg
This is my Rezidentura.
Angry to learn Philip was at a bar with Sandra, Stan approaches the Jennings as they pull into their garage. Philip quickly slips the tin into his front jacket pocket. Stan asks to talk to Philip alone, then confronts him about being with Sandra. Philip tries to explain, but Stan gets angry, grabs him by his jacket and slams him up against a wall. Philip admits he went back to EST and insists he and Sandra are only friends. Stan swears at Philip and leaves. Philip pulls the sample from his pocket and is relieved to see it appears undamaged.

Glanders Episode 15.jpg


  • This episode starts on March 9, 1983.
  • Henry does not appear in this episode.
  • "Previously on The Americans" voice: Philip.


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"