"Because that is where their power lies, in secrets. If they can keep you afraid and ashamed, then they can keep you silent. And if they can keep you silent, they can control you." Stan to Fred
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 and sign given to them by Andrew Larrick and the sanitation truck stolen from Bracey Septic, disguised as truck driver Tom Braidic, Philip drives into the Contra training camp with Elizabeth hiding in the back of the truck. While Elizabeth surprises and shoots two field commanders, Philip takes pictures of training activities. He is discovered by a cook, and when the latter will not stop shouting, Philip slits his throat. The noise from their altercation draws the attention of two SEALs, whom Philip 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.

S02E09-Liz shoots commanders
Elizabeth shoots the commanders.
Having obtained access to the Stealth program, Stan 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 and they and their families are under tight security. After detailing what happened to Baklanov, Stan also learns that all the scientists were together two months ago, in Alexandria, VA., meeting with employees from Lockheed and Northrup who are competing for the Stealth contract.

S02E09-Stan Stealth briefing
They got to him.
Getting dressed for church, Philip stares in the mirror, anguishing about the recent deaths of innocent people at his hands. When Henry tries to show him a card trick, he's not interested. At the Reed Street Church, he sits glaring at Pastor Tim during the sermon, which focuses on redemption of sins. Church over, the Jennings meet Tim and his wife, Alice, who reveals that Paige has donated $600 to the church. At the FBI, though it's Sunday, Martha is in to help Agent Gaad pack. Stan asks Martha for surveillance reports from the Alexandria meeting. Feeling guilty for Gaad's demotion as a result of him killing Vlad, Stan reminds Gaad of the recorded testimony of CIA director Richard Patterson after his kidnapping, after which he disappeared. Gaad puts the bugged pen in a packing box.

S02E09-Tim Paige Alice
Paige has been such a blessing.
At home, Paige and her parents argue about the money she donated. Critisizing them, Philip screams at her and rips pages from her Bible. In private, Elizabeth tries to calm Philip about the deaths at the Martial Eagle camp and tells him Fred sent them an emergency signal. A disguised Philip meets Fred who tells him the FBI has requested to meet with everyone who was at the Alexandria meeting, which includes him. Philip provides advice on how Fred should conduct himself. That evening, Elizabeth wakes Paige and saying that if she wants to act like an adult, she has to do things she doesn't want to. She gives her several chores to do.

Philip angry Martial Eagle episode
You respect Jesus but not us?
The next morning, Gaad approaches Arkady in a restaurant. Relating that he's under investigation since the Soviet foreign minister won't accept the FBI fiction that Vlad was killed in a mugging, he tells him about Patterson's classified testimony. He threatens to release the testimony to the press which will result in everyone in the Rezidentura, including Arkady, being deported. Philip sits all night, despondent, on a bench overlooking the ocean, prompting a stranger to walk over and ask if he's okay. Stan begins interviewing the staff who were in Alexandria, going through their personal lives, searching for secrets. Getting to Fred, he says he'd never betray his country causing Stan to reflect on his recent betrayal.

Arkady in Martial Eagle
My problem is now your problem.
In Nicaragua, Larrick is angered to learn of the deaths of the two Navy Seals at the Martial Eagle camp. Elizabeth attends an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, and listens to Lisa speak about her recovery. Martha gets Stan the surveillance reports from the Alexandria meeting, and brings to his attention it happened at the same time the Connors were slain. He asks her to get the physical evidence collected at the Connors' murder scene. Elizabeth has coffee with Lisa who mentions she works on the high security assembly line for Northrup. (♫ Bonnie Ferguson - Up to You ♫) Stan combs through the evidence from the Connors' murder scene but finds nothing.

Lisa in Martial Eagle
I remember the last drink that got me here.
Martha 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, Clark then retrieves the doctored tape and plays it for her, and suggests that Gaad and her co-workers regularly make fun of her appearance. When he is unable to respond to her sexually, he leaves abruptly. At home, Stan finds Sandra packing. She tells him she's going away with a man she met at EST.

S02E09-Clark plays Martha the tape
Gaad is not your friend.
That evening, Philip goes to Paige's church and confronts Pastor Tim, demanding he stay away from Paige. Tim indicates he can't do that and offers to pay back the money Paige donated. Philip moves close to him and Tim asks if he's going to beat him up. Philip says he'd do anything for Paige and that he's not there to be saved. Tim tells Philip there is grace and forgiveness for him, and for everyone. Philip challenges Tim's belief but when he stands firm, Philip turns and leaves. Outside on the sidewalk, Philip looks back at the church and blinks a tear.

S02E09-Tim at end
I can't turn anyone away.


  • A goof exists on the driver's license Philip shows the security guard of his Tom Braidic disguise as it says his sex is "F" (female).
  • 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.
  • As Sandra packs a suitcase before telling Stan that she's leaving to have an affair, the radio is playing Dr. Ruth's Sexually Speaking show.
  • "Previously on The Americans" voice: Paige.


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"
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