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'The Americans' recap: Nina must steal tech secrets -- or else!

On 'The Americans': Is Nina duping Stan once more?

Fearing execution on treason charges, KGB spy Nina Sergeevna (Annet Mahendru) must steal U.S. military secrets or flee for her life on “Stealth,” Episode 11 of “The Americans” on FX.

The Soviets are desperate to acquire leading-edge stealth technology, including a computer program that determines if warplanes are properly designed to avoid radar detection.

One of Nina’s lovers, FBI Agent Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich), obtained a security clearance for the high-tech project.

But if Stan refuses to share what he knows, Nina could stand trial in Moscow for leaking classified information to the FBI earlier in her career.

Nina’s other lover, Soviet spy Oleg Igorevich Burov (Costa Ronin), warns her about the consequences of failure.

“If you don’t think Agent Beeman will betray his country for you, you need to run,” Oleg insists.

Caught between the KGB and FBI, Nina turns to Stan in a panic.

“I can never go back,” she gasps. “Where will I go? What will happen to me?”

“Nothing will come between us, Nina,” Stan assures her. “Ever!”

So is Nina duping Stan once more? Or would she stay with the FBI agent and quit the espionage biz?

Also tasked with acquiring stealth technology is KGB spy Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys), who focuses on Radar Absorbent Material (RAM) for U.S. aircraft.

Posing as a Vietnam War veteran, Philip targets retired aerospace engineer John Skeevers (Zeljko Ivanek).

Dying of brain cancer and short on funds, John starts talking when Philip hands over a wad of cash. RAM, John reveals, is a special paint impregnated with microscopic iron balls that deflect radar signals.

When he’s not spying for the USSR, Philip tries to make amends with daughter Paige (Holly Taylor). The teenager is pouting because she can’t serve as a counselor-in-training at a religious summer camp.

“I won’t let her be indoctrinated by the church,” Elizabeth (Keri Russell) tells hubby Philip. But when Paige asks to join parishioners at an antiwar demonstration, the atheist mom has an epiphany.

“Paige is just like me,” Elizabeth realizes. “She wants to make a difference in the world. She’s just looking in the wrong place.”

In other developments, Philip learns from a bug planted in the office of Special Agent Frank Gaad (Richard Thomas) that the FBI discovered the secret identities of a couple found murdered in Virginia.

The deceased were KGB agents Emmett (Jeremy Davidson) and Leanne Connors (Natalie Gold). And the FBI just interviewed their son Jared (Owen Campbell).

Once again pretending she’s a social worker, Elizabeth visits Jared and discretely asks about the federal probe.

“I’m not stupid,” Jared says, suspecting his parents weren’t who they seemed. “I don’t know what’s going on. But I want to know what’s going on.”

Kate (Wrenn Schmidt), Elizabeth's and Philip’s KGB handler, speaks with Jared later at a pizza joint. Kate knows Jared can identify the Soviet spies, which places them in danger of imprisonment or worse.

But Kate has her own problems. She’s being stalked by ruthless Navy SEAL Andrew Larrick (Lee Tergesen), who was blackmailed by the KGB because of his homosexual lifestyle. Larrick breaks into Kate’s home and brutally overpowers her.

“You people destroyed my life,” he tells Kate after tying her to a ceiling fan.

“It’s not you that I want,” Larrick adds. It’s the “scumbags” who killed his military buddies at a secret training camp. Those scumbags would be the Jennings.

When he realizes Kate isn’t going to talk, Larrick calmly breaks her neck.

Before she was bound and gagged, however, Kate managed to write one last critical message for Philip and Elizabeth: “Get Jared out!”

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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