'The Americans' recap: Elizabeth tracking down killer of KGB spies

'The Americans' recap: Elizabeth tracking down killer of KGB spies
KGB spy Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell) fakes an attraction to a young sailor (Jefferson White) so she can learn more about a Navy SEAL, on "The Americans." (Patrick Harbron / FX)

By seducing a seaman recruit, Soviet spy Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell) closes in on a Navy SEAL suspected of murdering two KGB agents and their daughter on Episode 4 ("A Little Night Music") of "The Americans" on FX.

The recruit, Brad Mullen (Jefferson White), loves classical music. That gives Elizabeth her opening when she encounters him in a music store. After listening to a Mozart serenade together, Elizabeth and Brad begin dating.


Or at least he thinks so.

Knowing Brad has access to military personnel files, Elizabeth fabricates a story about the Navy protecting a SEAL captain who raped her. Enraged Brad vows to copy the records so Elizabeth can seek justice.

When they meet later, however, Brad says pulling the files is too risky. And sneaking around makes him tense.

"I can help you with that," Elizabeth says suggestively. Sounds like those records are forthcoming.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth's husband Philip (Matthew Rhys) investigates physicist Anton Baklanov (Michael Aronov), a Soviet Jew who fled his homeland and now develops stealth technology for the U.S.

Can the KGB "turn" Anton so he betrays America? No way, reports Philip, who recommends leaving Anton alone.

But Oleg (Costa Ronin), a fast-rising official at the Soviet Embassy in Washington, wants the scientist forcibly repatriated to the USSR.

Assigned to the task are Philip and Elizabeth, who attempt to kidnap Anton following a tryst with his mistress (Abby Nelson). But the girlfriend and a mysterious man violently halt the abduction, leaving the Soviet spies stranded on a dark street.

Their car is gone as the mistress drives off with Anton in the trunk.

As for Oleg, he increases his power at the embassy by obtaining a higher security clearance with a quick call to Moscow.

"Very Western," says embassy leader Arkady Ivanovich (Lev Gorn), disapproving of Oleg's advancement via family connections. "I'm always amazed at how many of our officers pick up American values if they're not vigilant."

Armed with his new clearance, Oleg probes the covert activities of Nina Sergeevna (Annet Mahendru), a KGB double-agent whose feminine wiles captured the heart of FBI Agent Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich).


"I had to give him your reports," Arkady tells Nina, warning her about Oleg. "He'll know about the Beeman operation but not about your betrayal," Arkady adds, referring to the time when Nina reluctantly acted as a "mole" for the FBI.

"If he's curious about me, he'll find out what he wants," replies Nina, knowing her life just became more perilous.

As for Stan, he's on his way up at the FBI after shooting a would-be sniper. On his way down is Special Agent Frank Gaad (Richard Thomas), who's taking the fall for the FBI's killing of Vlad (Vitaly Benko), a KGB spy posing as a Russian diplomat.

Stan obviously has a lot on his mind, with his marital problems worsening and his affection for Nina deepening. Over drinks with Philip, Stan bares his troubled soul.

"I'm having an affair," he confesses. But when Philip presses for details, Stan tells a lie about Nina being married.

"We're doomed," Stan says dejectedly.

Finally, Philip and Elizabeth's teenage daughter Paige (Holly Taylor) grows closer to new buddy Kelli (Lizzy Declement) by joining her church youth group. Alarm bells go off in Elizabeth's head when Paige says grace before dinner.

"She was praying, Philip," Elizabeth says, accusing the church of indoctrinating gullible girls with choral music and cute boys. Quoting commie Karl Marx, Elizabeth reminds her hubby that religion is "the opiate of the masses."

"We're failing them," Elizabeth laments, fearing their kids will succumb to decadent Western ways.