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The americans Wiki

"Paige your father and I, we...we were born in a different country." ― Elizabeth and Philip

Stingers is the tenth episode of Season Three of The Americans on FX, and the thirty-sixth episode overall.


Philip and Elizabeth deploy a plan for the C.I.A.'s Mujahideen visitors. Tensions at the Jennings' home escalate.


Pastor Tim shows up at Dupont Circle Travel, asking to book the Reed Street Church summer mission trip to Kenya. He then pressures Philip to consider having the entire family go, not just Paige. After making a suggestion on how to raise Paige, an annoyed Philip points out Tim has no children and declines going on the trip. Stan and two FBI agents accompany Zinaida to a movie theater. When she uses the restroom, she leaves a written message under the counter of the sink. Opening a hiding place in his bedroom, Henry looks at a picture of Sandra in a bikini until called down for dinner. "James" responds to a phone call to rescue Kimmy from a party, where she is inebriated and has no ride. (♫ Adam and the Ants - Stand and Deliver ♫)

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Paige needs to be treated like an adult.
At the Soviet research facility, Nina gets Baklanov to interact with her more by speaking English. He complains he needs stealth bomber photos and she explains how complicated it is to get an agent in place to accomplish this. She also indicates she lived in America which interests him. "James" takes Kimmy home and puts her to bed. She believes he's the only one who really cares about her. While she's in the bathroom, he switches out the tape in her father's briefcase. Returning home, he gets Elizabeth out of bed to listen to the tape where they hear that the I.S.I. is sending Mujahideen to meet with the CIA at a hotel in Crystal City in a few days.

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You got to hear this.
The next day at the travel agency, Philip tells Elizabeth that Yousaf isn't responding to signals for information about the meeting. Paige unexpectedly shows up, claiming she was in the area. Stan drops by the Jennings and finds only Henry home. Giving him a bootleg movie, he sees Henry's electronic football game and tells him about a football board game that is much superior. The Jennings don disguises and drink in the hotel lobby bar in Crystal City, watching the front desk shift change. Once they see the manager on duty is Neal, Elizabeth checks in, her mission to seduce him and find out which room the CIA will be staying in when guarding the Mujahideen. As Stan sorts through his and Sandra's possessions, Henry arrives and asks to play the football game. Commenting on the mess, Henry asks questions about their divorce and Stan gets the game.

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I hear it was amazing!
In her hotel room, Elizabeth calls the front desk to complain about a (planted) stain on the bedsheets. She flirts with Neal, gets his business card, and an offer for dinner. Philip meets with Gabriel who tells him Yousaf contacted the Rezidentura in Islamabad, but refused to talk to them. Instead, he’s flying to the US to meet with Philip directly. He also tells Philip that Elizabeth asked for Mischa to be sent home from the war, but he turned it down. Gabriel says they can force Mischa to go home, but Philip refuses. The Jennings arrive home to find Paige still up. She confronts them about constantly being called away from home, the late nights at work and having no extended family.

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Then how about dinner?
Having felt for years that she was abnormal for her doubts about her family, she's realized she has legitimate concerns. She says if they really love her they will stop lying to her and sobs. Philip and Elizabeth fall silent for a long time before Philip nods slightly and they sit down on either side of Paige at the table. They tell her they were born in the Soviet Union and that they work for their country, getting information that can't be obtained any other way. Paige is stunned to learn they are spies and leaving the kitchen, is stopped by her parents. They warn her that she now bears a great responsibility and that she can't tell anyone, not Pastor Tim nor Henry, or they will both go to jail, forever.

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This isn't normal.
Having laid in bed all night thinking, the next morning Paige tells her parents she doesn't want to go to school and doesn't want them to stay at home with her. She demands they speak Russian and Elizabeth says "We love you very much" which Philip translates. The Jennings then sit in their car in the garage, debating whether it's safe to leave her alone. Knowing any pressure will be counter-productive, they leave and spend a long, anxious day at work. Paige calls Pastor Tim while they're gone, to tell him she talked to her parents, but she doesn't reveal what she learned.

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I need to be alone.
Stan meets with Walter Taffet, discusses his failed marriage and lies that an affair wasn't the cause of his divorce. Taffet asks if Stan suspects anyone of planting the bugged pen in Agent Gaad's office but after hesitating, he says no. Noticing Martha isn't at her desk, he asks Aderholt where she is. He indicates she left early. In the secure room at the Rezidentura, Arkady tells Oleg that he's frustrated with the Center's demands for photos of a stealth bomber. Tatiana interrupts and after Oleg leaves, she shows Arkady the message that Zinaida left at the movie theater bathroom indicating she was threatened by a KGB agent. As Zinaida's mission is so secret, they wrongly believe that the threat was approved by someone in the KGB who didn't know about it, Arkady leaves to report the incident. Stan arrives at the Jennings for dinner and Paige stares at him. While sharpening a large knife to cut meat with, Philip covers for her and they sit down to eat.

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An apple with a worm in it. Trust.


  • The title of the episode is a reference to portable surface-to-air missiles, which can fell aircraft when fired by a single person using a shoulder harness. The mujahideen commanders spoken of on the recording obtained by Philip are brought to the US in the following episode, to negotiate obtaining Stinger missiles from the CIA (although, their visit does not go as planned). The CIA eventually (1985) armed the mujahideen in Aghanistan with thousands of Stingers, whose use were likely instrumental in ending the Soviet-Afghan war. The word "stinger" also has other connotations; someone who carries out a "sting" is involved in duplicitous, entrapment activities. The Australian television show "Stingers," which aired from 1998-2004, was a police-crime drama with prominent deep cover elements, including how various agents' personal lives became entangled with their jobs.
  • Tootsie is a 1982 American comedy film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Dustin Hoffman, as a talented but volatile actor whose reputation for being difficult forces him to adopt a new identity as a woman in order to land a job. The film was a major critical and financial success, the second most profitable film of 1982, and was nominated for ten Academy Awards including Best Picture.
  • The tape Philip and Elizabeth listen to indicates the Mujahideen will arrive in the US on February 18, 1983.
  • Tron is a 1982 American science fiction action-adventure film starring Jeff Bridges as a computer programmer who is transported inside the software world of a mainframe computer where he interacts with programs in his attempt to escape. It was released July 9, 1982, becoming a moderate success at the box office. Over time, Tron developed into a cult film and eventually spawned a franchise, which consists of multiple video games, comic books and an animated television series.
  • When Paige stays home from school, Philip and Elizabeth return home from work to find her watching a soap opera, which appears to be a General Hospital episode involving the characters Susan Moore and Scott Baldwin.
  • "Previously on The Americans" voice: Elizabeth.


Song Title Performer(s)
Stand and Deliver Adam & The Ants


Season Three
#301 "EST Men" #308 "Divestment"
#302 "Baggage" #309 "Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?"
#303 "Open House" #310 "Stingers"
#304 "Dimebag" #311 "One Day in the Life of Anton Baklanov"
#305 "Salang Pass" #312 "I Am Abassin Zadran"
#306 "Born Again" #313 "March 8, 1983"
#307 "Walter Taffet"