Pests is the second episode of Season Five of The Americans on FX, and the fifty-fourth episode overall.


Stan and Oleg wrestle with the harsh consequences of their complicated history, as Philip and Elizabeth face a new mission with devastating implications for their country.


The Jennings meet with Gabriel and give him the sample dug from William’s dead body. They tell him what happened to Hans. Gabriel says The Center is on edge with rumors the US is planning to contaminate grain shipments to Russia, leading to mass starvation.

The Jennings go home and check on their kids, panicking when Paige is not in her bed. They soon find her in her closet where she has retreated, desperately trying to find some sleep. Stan later tells Phillip that Paige seems burdened. Elizabeth brings up Matthew during another self-defense lesson with Paige, saying that physical intimacy can cause people to do and say things they ordinarily wouldn’t.

Agent Wolfe brings Stan into the vault to meet with a CIA agent, who is looking for tips on how to pressure Oleg. Stan gets upset when informed they plan to use the recording he made to blackmail Oleg. Stan later meets with the Deputy Attorney General to protest the CIA’s plans, but gets nowhere. The next day at work, Stan and Aderholt are incredibly bored, staking out the Rezidentura all day, photographing its visitors. Dennis is unsympathetic to Stan’s concern about the CIA blackmailing Oleg.

In Moscow, a CIA agent approaches Oleg as he walks home and hands him a note, saying Stan Beeman sent him, and “we need to talk in private, soon.” The note is a map showing where to meet, and when.

Stan tells Phillip he went out with Renee, who is “like a female version of you.” He introduces Renee to him at the gym and Phillip is suspicious of her intentions. Studying at Matthew’s house, Paige shares that she’s frustrated with her mom because “everything has to always be her way.” They kiss and make out.

With the help of Norm, Elizabeth tails Alexei Morozov on a government trip to an agricultural area of Illinois, returning at night to break into a small greenhouse the men visited. She finds plants in various stages of health; one group is completely overcome with tiny insects, or "midges." When she gets home, Elizabeth asks Phillip if Morozov has said anything to him about bugs. Phillip says no, but wonders if they just ought to kill him, before he can do anything that might lead to thousands of people starving. Elizabeth advises against that, saying they’ll need Morozov in order to figure out what’s going on.

The Morozov and Eckert families go out to eat; Alexei marvels at the food available, and that he can say whatever he wants, including “I hate Russia.” Pasha gets upset at his father and they argue in Russian; Pasha says he’d rather die in Russia than live in the US. When Alexei apologizes to the Eckerts, Elizabeth says “We understand” with a completely straight face. In the car on the way home, Tuan brags that he can get Pasha to do anything he wants, because he’s weak.

Phillip and Elizabeth offer to teach Paige a “technique” that can help her if she feels like she’s ever out of control with Matthew, or possibly on the verge of saying something she’ll regret. Elizabeth tells her that in order to keep her emotions in check, she can rub her thumb and forefinger together, and “picture me and your father to help remind yourself of who you are and where you come from.”


  • The first significant Bennigan's location was opened in Tysons Corner, Virginia, in 1977. By the early 1980s, Bennigan's had become one of the best known of the new style, mid-range casual dining franchised establishments in the US. Failure of Bennigan's executives to update and evolve the restaurant concept over twenty years led to significant sales and customer visit declines. Bennigan's consistently lagged behind its contemporaries (Chili's and T.G.I. Friday's). In 2006 Bennigans closed most of its New York and New England locations.


Song Title Performer(s)
Cross Country Feelin' White Heat


The Americans 5x02 Promo "Pests" (HD) This Season On

The Americans 5x02 Promo "Pests" (HD) This Season On

Season Five
#501 "Amber Waves" #508 "Immersion"
#502 "Pests" #509 "IHOP"
#503 "The Midges" #510 "Darkroom"
#504 "What's the Matter with Kansas?" #511 "Dyatkovo"
#505 "Lotus 1-2-3" #512 "The World Council of Churches"
#506 "Crossbreed" #513 "The Soviet Division"
#507 "The Committee on Human Rights"