The Clock is the second episode of Season One of The Americans on FX, and the second episode overall.


When Philip and Elizabeth are given an urgent task to plant a bug in Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger's office, they risk exposure when an unwilling maid of the Weinberger home refuses to cooperate.


Philip, posing as Swedish Intelligence Officer Scott Birkeland, seduces Annelise, and convinces her to discreetly take photos of the U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger's study. She does so by strapping the camera to her bra. Phillip and Elizabeth later develop the photographs in a darkroom, discovering that they can bug a clock that is in Weinberger's study. Phillip estimates the job will take between six and seven months. Elizabeth expresses surprise and mild jealousy when she sees a picture of Annelise.

Stan Beeman and Chris Amador conduct surveillance on a Soviet embassy worker named Nina Krilova and see her leave a stereo store with a large package. They confront the store owner about her identity and Amador finds a tin of Beluga caviar. Stan later tracks her down, telling her that he knows she is sending U.S. stereo equipment back to the Soviet Union. He blackmails her into spying on the Russians for the FBI.

Arkady approaches Vasili about a meeting which will take place in three days between Weinberger, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her defense secretary John Nott to discuss the Americans' proposed Strategic Defense Initiative. He wants to use the Jennings to infiltrate and bug Weinberger's office before then. Vasili reminds Arkady that he has just lost a Directorate S officer (Robert) and rushing this could result in the deaths of two more. When the Jennings receive their orders to proceed, Phillip becomes upset, considering the timeframe "insane."

They approach the Weinberger's cleaning lady Viola Johnson, whose son Elizabeth injects with poison, and offer to exchange the antidote for her cooperation. Viola removes the clock and gives it to the Jennings, who insert a listening device. She then balks at putting it back, not wanting to help the Jennings, but desperate to save her son. To help "motivate" her, Phillip starts to smother her already dying son with a pillow. She swears she will return the clock, and Phillip releases the pillow. Later, Phillip is shown visibly upset by his own actions; Elizabeth attempts to comfort him. Phillip's conflict over hurting or killing innocent people begins to emerge as a theme. Later in bed, Elizabeth tells Phillip she thinks if something happened to them, Henry would adjust and find his way. She says Henry is like Phillip, but she worries about Paige.

Stan comes home to an empty house and notices Phillip and Henry playing hockey in their driveway. He comes over to chat; he and Phillip make plans to play racquetball sometime. Stan pulls the tin of confiscated caviar from his pocket and offers it to Phillip. They go into the Jennings' kitchen and eat it with chips and beer.

Once Viola puts the bugged clock back, Phillip signals Elizabeth to inject her son with the antidote. Later when Elizabeth gets home, Phillip says he has something for her. He shows her a prepared plate of cut up vegetables and caviar. They eat it with crackers.

The Russians listen to the meeting between Weinberger and Nott, who discuss building a missile shield.


The Americans 1x02 Promo "The Clock" This Season on The Americans (HD)-0

The Americans 1x02 Promo "The Clock" This Season on The Americans (HD)-0

Preview of the Episode " The Clock "

Season One
#101 "Pilot" #108 "Mutually Assured Destruction"
#102 "The Clock" #109 "Safe House"
#103 "Gregory" #110 "Only You"
#104 "In Control" #111 "Covert War"
#105 "COMINT" #112 "The Oath"
#106 "Trust Me" #113 "The Colonel"
#107 "Duty and Honor"