Martial Eagle is the ninth episode of Season Two of The Americans on FX, and the twenty-second episode overall.


Philip and Elizabeth's long-planned mission turns ugly, impacting each of them in different ways. Stan digs in deeper at work as his personal life continues to unravel.


Using the code word given to them by Andrew Larrick and the sanitation truck stolen from Bracey Septic, the Jennings drive into the Contra training camp. While Elizabeth assassinates two field commanders, Phillip takes pictures of training activities. He is discovered by a cook, and when the latter will not stop shouting, Phillip slits his throat. The noise from their altercation draws the attention of two SEALs, whom Phillip shoots. The Jennings exit the camp successfully, and return in their own vehicle to the wooded area where they left Lewis Rendell tied to a tree. He has died from exposure to the cold.

Stan has finally obtained code word clearance on the Stealth program, and meets with three of its scientists (Aaron, Wade and Zev). They tell him no one person – including Baklanov – would have the key to “everything,” as their jobs are highly compartmentalized. Stan also learns that all the scientists were together two months ago, in Alexandria, VA, meeting with employees from Lockheed and Northrup.

Phillip is shown getting dressed for church, staring at himself for a long time in the mirror, anguished over the recent deaths of innocent people at his hands. When Henry tries to show him a card trick, he monotones “not today.” He sits stone-faced during the sermon, after which the family meets Pastor Tim and learns that Paige has donated $600 to his church. At home, Paige and her parents argue, with Phillip ripping pages from her Bible and screaming in her face. Elizabeth later punishes Paige by waking her in the middle of the night to do chores.

Because Agent Gaad is being called before the subcommittee to testify about Vlad’s death, he is also being demoted. He packs up his office, throwing the bugged pen Martha planted into a box. Gaad later approaches Arkady in a restaurant. He threatens that if he loses his job or goes to jail, he’ll ensure Arkady goes down with him, by releasing Richard Patterson’s classified testimony to the press.

Fred confers with Phillip at a beach boardwalk, telling him the FBI has requested to meet with everyone who was at the January conference in Alexandria. After Fred leaves, Phillip sits for hours, despondent, on a bench overlooking the ocean, prompting a stranger to walk over and ask if he’s okay. Martha later comes home from work and is surprised to find Clark at her apartment, where he has drunk most of a bottle of wine. "The world is an ugly place," he tells her, "full of brutish, cruel, nasty people." Likely speaking about himself, Phillip/Clark then retrieves the doctored tape and plays it for her, and suggests that Gaad and her co-workers regularly make fun or her appearance. When he is unable to respond to her sexually, he leaves abruptly.

Stan begins interviewing the employees who were in Alexandria, going through their personal lives, searching for secrets, or “weaknesses.” Martha gets him police reports from the conference week in Alexandria, and brings to his attention it happened at the same time the Connors family was slain. Stan gets the evidence from their murder and combs through it, finding nothing. When he goes home, he sees Sandra packing; she tells him she’s going away with a man she met at EST.

In Nicaragua, Larrick is angered to learn of the deaths of the field commanders at the Martial Eagle camp. Elizabeth visits an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, and later has coffee with someone she meets there, an employee of Northrop.

Phillip breaks into Paige’s church, where he confronts Pastor Tim, telling him to stay away from his daughter. Tim says they never would have accepted Paige's money if they knew her parents disapproved. He offers to write Phillip a check, but then stops and says “That’s not why you’re here, is it?” He tells Phillip there is grace and forgiveness for him, and for everyone. Phillip asks “Do you believe that?” and when Tim says “I do,” Phillip turns and leaves. The episode ends with Phillip standing on the sidewalk outside the church. As he blinks a tear, the screen goes black.


When Philip has the volatile confrontation with Paige, actor Matthew Rhys discussed with the director that he would not let Holly Taylor know what his reaction would be in advance, to lend for a strong scene. His performance led Taylor to genuinely cry in the scene. Rhys says that scene was one of the hardest he's had to do and feels terrible for startling Taylor.


Song Title Performer(s)
Up to You Bonnie Ferguson


The Americans 2x09 Promo HD 'Martial Eagle' The Americans S02E09 Promo

The Americans 2x09 Promo HD 'Martial Eagle' The Americans S02E09 Promo

Season Two
#201 "Comrades" #208 "New Car"
#202 "Cardinal" #209 "Martial Eagle"
#203 "The Walk In" #210 "Yousaf"
#204 "A Little Night Music" #211 "Stealth"
#205 "The Deal" #212 "Operation Chronicle"
#206 "Behind the Red Door" #213 "Echo"
#207 "ARPANET"