The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears is the eighth episode of Season Four of The Americans on FX, and the forty-seventh episode overall.


The Jennings' approach their breaking points as both Philip and Elizabeth must handle loyal agents. Will they make it through with their patriotism – and sanity – intact?


In the dark early morning hours, Martha, Phillip and Gabriel wordlessly get up, get dressed, eat, pack, and drive to a secluded field where a small airplane awaits. Martha tells Clark “Don’t be alone.” When he responds “you too,” she scoffs: “Oh sure, I’ll just learn Russian and …” Martha stops, sighs and then says “Yeah, okay. Me too.” She kisses Phillip, boards the plane, and flies away.

Back at the FBI, no one is able to locate Martha. Prints are lifted for her and Clark Westerfeld, but Phillip’s are not in any database. Gaad is called upstairs to meet with the director.

Phillip reads an EST book on the couch. Elizabeth asks how it went with Martha and he replies “Fine, good.” It’s clear he doesn’t want to talk about Martha, or about EST. Feeling shut out, Elizabeth calls Young-Hee and they see a movie. Phillip visits the cemetery where Gene is buried.

Later that night, Stan comes over to the Jennings asking if he can borrow beer – he’s running low, and his lawyer is sending him his divorce papers. Stan shares that there’s a disaster unfolding at work that all the beer in the world won’t solve. Elizabeth comes home and Stan leaves. Phillip still isn’t able to eat. He tells Elizabeth that based on what Stan said, the FBI was onto Martha. He admits he’d been worried he exfiltrated her for nothing.

Elizabeth tries to reassure Phillip, speaking gently to him, saying he was right, Martha had to get out, and she’ll be okay. She continues: “She was a nice woman: straight-ahead, uncomplicated.” But Phillip gets mad when she adds the word “simple.” “I don’t mean simple,” Elizabeth tries to explain. “I meant … easy. You know, to talk to. You could probably talk to her about those things that you’ve been … talking about.” “She was actually very complicated,” snaps Phillip: “People underestimated her.” Henry comes home and yells “Hey, Dad!” but Phillip doesn’t respond to him.

Phillip meets Gabriel, handing him a tape from Kimmy’s father’s briefcase. Gabriel informs him Mischa finished his tour in Afghanistan and is home safe. Phillip says he wants someone to contact Martha’s parents soon; Gabriel replies The Center will call in about six months. Phillip grows angry; he wants The Center to tell Martha’s parents they can see her again in a few years, although not in Russia. Gabriel tells Phillip that won’t be possible; The Center will never agree to it, and it’s something Phillip won’t be able to pull off on his own.

Elizabeth goes to EST where the instructor says everyone is trapped in a prison of their own making. He claims everyone loves their prison, and if suddenly freed, wouldn’t know what to do with themselves. When she gets home, Elizabeth tells Phillip where she went, and she can see why he likes it: “Things that are hard to talk about, that make you hurt too much: maybe it’s good that someone makes you look at those things.” However, Phillip gets defensive when Elizabeth expresses dislike of EST marketing practices: aggressively pressuring people to sign up for more seminars. Their conversation quickly devolves.

Phillip says he gets a lot out of EST, but Elizabeth questions whether he actually does: he’s unable to sleep or eat, and generally looks disheveled and stressed out. Phillip implies that’s because of Martha. But “it happens,” says Elizabeth. “We lose agents.” Phillip recoils at the word, but Elizabeth tells him bluntly “Yes, agents! That is what she was.” “She’s a human being,” spits Phillip. “At least she’s alive,” says Elizabeth. “You didn’t have to send her into the street to get mowed down.”

Phillip becomes furious, accusing Elizabeth of still thinking about Gregory, to which she responds “Of course I still think about him!” “Well I’m sorry the man you loved died and you’re stuck with me!” Phillip shouts. “I am stuck with you, because I took you back, after you slept with the woman who had your son and lied to my face about it!” retorts Elizabeth. The phone rings.

The Jennings go to Gabriel’s. Elizabeth says she got an emergency signal from Lisa. Gabriel notes the tension between them and asks what’s going on. Phillip finally says “I’ve been going to EST.” When Gabriel questions why, Elizabeth says “He doesn’t want to hear it from you Gabriel, or me. Apparently, he needs a group of strangers in some hotel room to listen to him.”

Paige skips Bible Study and Elizabeth yells at her, telling her she has to go every week, in order to stay close to Pastor Tim. Elizabeth says Paige can’t afford to be precious with her moods and shouts “Thanks to what you did, [your relationship with Tim] is all that stands between us and this family being destroyed.”

An exasperated Gabriel meets with Claudia: “They’re children! Bringing their marital spats to the job, going to EST … They say goodbye to an agent, and they think it’s the end of the world.”

Elizabeth, disguised as Michelle, meets with Lisa, who’s been drinking. Lisa says Maurice took their money and ran off to Florida with another woman. Elizabeth tries to convince her to go to a meeting, but Lisa is intent on “making things right” by confessing her actions to the police. When Elizabeth is unable to convince her not to, she kills Lisa by hitting her over the head with a broken bottle.

Phillip waits at Gabriel’s; Elizabeth enters, shaken up and speaking incoherently. Phillip notes her neck has a huge bloody gash; he helps her put her cigarette out, then tends to her wound carefully. Observing their behavior, Gabriel realizes the truth. He sits beside them, gently saying he will talk to The Center. There will be no new operations, just maintenance of the Breland bug and Young-Hee. Afterwards in their car, Phillip tells Elizabeth: “So I guess we’re gonna be travel agents now.” She replies that they should take the kids to EPCOT. The Jennings then go home and watch David Copperfield make the Statue of Liberty “disappear” on live tv.

The scene cuts to “7 months later,” (presumably, November 1983), with a resigned Paige playing mini-golf with Pastor Tim and a very pregnant Alice. Phillip and Elizabeth play hockey in the driveway with Henry, but abandon him the minute Paige shows up, to get an update on Pastor Tim. Stan visits the home of Frank Gaad, who's now retired from the FBI and planning a trip to Thailand with his wife. Gaad tells Stan if he’s hesitating trying to turn Oleg because his conscience is bothering him, “you can’t lose sight of who these people are.”


  • The episode takes its name from illusionist David Copperfield's televised special where he made the Statue of Liberty 'disappear,' broadcast on April 8, 1983. However, it may also be a reference to the difficulty involved in making something huge - Phillip's relationship with Martha - also disappear. Other things that disappear in this episode include Stan's beer (consumed by Matthew and the Jennings kids in the previous episode), Maurice (to Florida), and Lisa (killed by Elizabeth).


Song Title Performer(s)
End of the Line Roxy Music
Your Kind of Love Lloyd Conger


The Americans 4x08 Promo "The Magic of David Copperfield V The Statue of Liberty Disappears" (HD)

The Americans 4x08 Promo "The Magic of David Copperfield V The Statue of Liberty Disappears" (HD)

Season Four
#401 "Glanders" #408 "The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears"
#402 "Pastor Tim" #409 "The Day After"
#403 "Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow" #410 "Munchkins"
#404 "Chloramphenicol" #411 "Dinner for Seven"
#405 "Clark's Place" #412 "A Roy Rogers in Franconia"
#406 "The Rat" #413 "Persona Non Grata"
#407 "Travel Agents"