The Oath is the twelfth episode of Season One of The Americans on FX, and the twelfth episode overall.

Synopsis Edit

An Air Force colonel offers to sell SDI secrets to the KGB. Viola reports the bug in the Weinberger home. Phillip agrees to marry Martha hoping she'll continue spying while Nina confesses to spying for the Americans.

Plot Edit

Elizabeth's new source Sanford Prince tells her he has recruited an Air Force colonel who will sell important information on the Strategic Defense Initiative project for $50,000. After seeing some of his material, Moscow orders Elizabeth to meet with the colonel, despite her misgivings.

At the Rezidentura, Arkady tells Nina she will now be assisting him with activities related to Directorate S. He has her read aloud an oath, "a bond that can never be broken," as she commits to her new duties. Meanwhile, Viola Johnson grows increasingly troubled about her role in placing the bugged clock in Caspar Weinberger's study. She is shown at church listening to a sermon about deceit.

The Jennings worry that the meeting with the colonel is a trap, and suspect Claudia intends to harm them. Elizabeth is resolved to contact The Center, confirm their orders to meet with the colonel, and also ask them to assign a new handler. Phillip agrees, saying it's something they should have done a long time ago.

Reasoning that if the FBI is making plans to trap KGB agents, they'll be talking about it, Phillip asks Martha to plant a bug in Gaad's office. First however, he takes her to an expensive restaurant in Leesburg, VA, and proposes marriage, in an attempt to further ensure her loyalty. They marry in a private ceremony witnessed only by her parents and Clark's "mother, Alexandra" (Claudia) and "sister, Jennifer" (Elizabeth). Although the ceremony is a sham, Elizabeth is truly moved by it: "It's funny, I know they're just words people say." She then wonders if things would have been different between her and Phillip if they'd said them.

Nina's suspicions about Stan deepen, and she accuses him of murdering Vlad. Stan does not deny it, simply replying he would never do anything to hurt her. Her belief that Stan killed Vlad, along with her conscience being triggered by the loyalty oath, prompt her to confess her spying to Arkady, offering to become a re-doubled agent.

With the planned meeting only a few days away, Prince is arrested for an unrelated child support issue. Viola tells the FBI about the bug in Caspar Weinberger's office. The FBI responds by leaving it in place to provide the KGB with misinformation. From her account (and that of Richard Patterson after his abduction), Stan and Gaad conclude they are looking for a thirty-something married couple, and produce a rough sketch of them.


Song Title Performer(s)
Angel of the Wilderness Craig Marsden
Mississippi Queen Mountain


The Americans 1x12 Promo "Oath"

The Americans 1x12 Promo "Oath"

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"