The americans Wiki
The americans Wiki

"That's what we always say right before our people die for nothing. The next thing we always say is, it was so obvious." Claudia to Arkady

The Colonel is the season finale of Season One of The Americans on FX, and the thirteenth episode overall.


When Philip and Elizabeth are ordered to go through with a meeting that could potentially be a set-up, they find themselves confronted with unexpected truths about their relationship. Stan's investigation puts him and the FBI even closer to the Jennings.


After being arrested by police for failing to pay child support, Sanford Prince is transferred to the FBI. After interrogating him, Stan tells Agent Gaad that they should leave him alone until he panics and talks. "Clark" and Martha enjoy their honeymoon in bed. Elizabeth meets Claudia for breakfast, and hearing Prince is in FBI custody, she believes even more that the meeting with Colonel Rennhull is a trap. Claudia orders her to go ahead with the meeting and also assigns Philip to pick up the recording from the bug in Weinberger's office as Weinberger is meeting with James Baker about a classified operation that affects the Soviets in Nicaragua. Claudia is perturbed that the Jennings requested a new handler. Elizabeth issues a threat to Claudia before she leaves.  

S01E13-Liz Claudia meet.jpg
I'd stay out of my way.
At Dupont Circle Travel, Elizabeth tells Philip their assignments. Philip insists on meeting with Rennhull while Elizabeth gets the tape and takes Paige and Henry out of town, in case the meeting with Rennhull is a trap. Elizabeth disagrees and insists she meet with Rennhull while Philip gets the tape and the kids. The FBI has traced the location of the Weinberger bug's recording device to a car parked near Weinberger's house. At the Rezidentura, Arkady tells Nina she will not face execution if she returns to stand trial in Russia. However, Moscow has agreed to accept her offer to spy on Stan. Gaad briefs his agents on a plan that will require a Directorate S illegal to get at the parked car, which the FBI will be staking out.

S01E13-Arkday warns Nina.jpg
There will be no leniency.
Arriving home, Philip stays to watch a hockey game with the kids. Gaad agrees to exfiltrate Nina, if the stakeout goes well. In private, Philip is again unsuccessful in getting Elizabeth to switch roles in their mission. At home, Stan tells Sandra that the operation he's been working on will be over soon. He surprises her with a week's vacation to Jamaica, but she rebuffs his attempt at reconciliation. After putting the kids to bed, Elizabeth goes to the laundry room and listens to a recording from her mother.

S01E13-Liz listens to Mom tape.jpg
Your family is so beautiful.
In disguise, Claudia goes to the apartment of Richard Patterson, whom she tricks into letting her inside. She stuns him with a taser, and injects him with a substance that leaves him unable to move for 20 minutes. She tells him this is 10 minutes longer than it will take him to bleed to death, as she slits his jugular. As he lies dying, she shows him a picture of Zhukov and speaks about him. Unable to sleep, Paige catches Elizabeth coming up from the laundry room and is suspicious what's she's been doing there. At the Weinberger's, Gaad assigns the agents their posts with Agent Brooks getting into a surveillance van with Gaad. Claudia meets with Arkady who tells her she's been reassigned to Moscow. Believing the meeting with Rennhull is a trap, she tries hard to get Arkady to cancel it.

S01E13-Patterson death.jpg
We met in Stalingrad in 1942.
Stan tells Nina to wait all afternoon in their apartment. He says after the day's events, she will not be returning to the Rezidentura, but will be exfiltrated. He leaves and Nina stays behind, seriously tempted by his offer. At the travel agency, Stavos gives Elizabeth a note from Philip that he's meeting Rennhull and she should pick up the tape. Alone in the apartment, Nina leaves. At the stake-out, Gaad tells Stan that Prince wants to make a deal. Nina reports everything to Arkady who is convinced the meeting with Rennhull is a trap. He dispatches a number of cars with an "abort" symbol spray painted on their sides to the meeting location. Claudia watches from a car as a disguised Philip meets with Rennhull in a park.

TA-1.13-2 FULL.jpg
The damn thing's a fantasy.
During their conversation, Rennhull asserts that the SDI project is technically infeasible and is a ruse to get the USSR to waste resources. One of the "abort" cars passes by Claudia who drives her car into the park to warn Philip. Seeing they aren't being watched, they realize that the FBI trap is at the Weinberger's. Philip races to pick up Elizabeth. He does so just as she reaches the parked car, with Stan, Gaad and multiple agents watching. They crash through a road block and evade FBI pursuit, but in the process, Elizabeth is shot in the abdomen by Stan.  

S01E13-Car crash.jpg
It's them! Take them!
Stan arrives at the apartment and tells Nina that the exfiltration is off. She fakes shock and while kissing him, says she believes he'll take care of her. While Elizabeth is being treated at a deserted building, Philip refuses to leave. He phones Stan and making up an excuse that he and Elizabeth need to drive to take care of a sick aunt, he asks him to look after Paige and Henry. (♫ Peter Gabriel - Games Without Frontiers ♫) Martha arrives home and smiling, puts on her wedding ring. Prince talks to Agent Gaad about Rennhull in an FBI interrogation room while Nina gives Arkady a file on Stan. While eating at the Beeman's, Paige excuses herself to go home and get her homework. Recovering from her surgery, Elizabeth speaks to Philip in Russian, asking him to come home. Paige goes into the laundry room and starts to poke around.

S01E13-Liz Phil after surgery.jpg
Come home.


  • Henry doesn't want to go with Philip to his apartment, because he is watching the final game of the Stanley Cup, between the Minnesota North Stars and the New York Islanders. This game was played on Thursday, May 21, 1981 in New York. The Islanders won, 5-1. (see Timeline of Historical Events)
  • "Previously on The Americans" voice: Elizabeth.


Song Title Performer(s)
Games Without Frontiers Peter Gabriel


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"