Pastor Tim is the second episode of Season Four of The Americans on FX, and the forty-first episode overall.

Synopsis Edit

Philip tries with increasing desperation to get rid of a sensitive and dangerous package as family tensions in the Jennings house reach a boiling point when Paige shares a secret of her own.

Plot Edit

This episode begins immediately where the previous one ended. Phillip rushes into the house and, unable to keep the sample in their freezer, the Jennings put it in a cooler with ice and hide it in the wall behind the washing machine. When Elizabeth asks what Stan was so upset about, Phillip tells her he’s been going to EST, and met with Sandra about it. To his surprise, Elizabeth reacts in a neutral-to-supportive way, and even asks if it’s something he’d like her to go to.

Listening to the surveillance tapes from Pastor Tim’s office, Elizabeth learns Paige has told him about her parents’ identities. Elizabeth insists they have to act fast to kill Pastor Tim, but Phillip argues that will ruin their relationship with Paige. He then suggests trying to “work” him and finally: “we could leave. Maybe we should leave.” Instead, Phillip goes to the church at night and searches through Pastor Tim’s office, discovering he has a mountain retreat cabin he’ll visit in a few days. Elizabeth makes plans to go and check it out, but Phillip knows that if “you ever try and pull her into this job, and she gets even a whiff of some of the shit we really do, she’ll figure out we killed him.”

Elizabeth visits Pastor Tim’s cabin and notes he has a kerosene space heater that could be used to kill him. She later has a dream that Paige finds Pastor Tim dead in his bed, but when she screams, he rolls over and is actually Nikolai Timoshev, who then attempts to rape her.

Phillip and Elizabeth meet with Gabriel to return the sample, but he passes it back to Phillip, because moving it out of the country is a “military grade operation.” He gives them a computer which will be a “gift” from the Jennings to their kids. Later, a disguised Phillip boards an airport bus which is parked for several minutes as the driver takes a smoke break. Phillip sits in the last row of the bus beside a Czech pilot who is supposed to transfer the lab sample out of the country. The pilot accepts it, but then shares his hesitations, including a belief that last time, his co-pilot suspected something was going on. He panics further when a flight security officer sits near them; he soon notices the pilot is under duress. Phillip tries to intervene but the man says “When I see a distressed pilot, I have to talk to him. It’s my job.” Phillip then kills the man by strangling him, while the pilot looks on, horrified. The few people on the bus are facing forward and do not notice. The driver returns and continues on his route, but when the pilot exits the bus, Phillip sees he has left the sample tin on the seat.

Boris visits Nina at the Soviet research facility and the two seem genuinely happy to see each other. She gives him a letter, asking him to pass it on to a mutual acquaintance who will hopefully get word to Jacob that his father is still alive. She later tells Anton, but he is not happy she’s put herself in danger. It’s her decision, she says, and she needed to do it, not just for him. Nina is soon called into Vasili’s office. He informs her that an ex-convict in Vladivostok turned a note over to the authorities which was intended for Anton’s son. The prosecutor will be investigating; Nina thinks Vasili must be pleased. “Not really,” he replies. “Why did you do this? You were almost free.” Nina answers: “I’m not who I was.”

Arkady delivers the news to Oleg that his brother has died fighting in Afghanistan. Gaad also tells Stan the same and suggests he use it with Oleg rather than trying to blackmail him with the tape confessing his betrayal of Zinaida. Oleg and Stan meet; Stan tells him the US won’t make a trade for Nina, because there’s another prisoner they want more. Stan expresses his sympathy regarding Oleg’s brother, but Oleg simply says “So, we’re friends now?” before exiting the vehicle.

After the failed lab sample transfer, Phillip comes home and opens up to Elizabeth about the boy he killed in Russia. He tells her “This is the kind of thing that comes up at EST.” When she questions whether that’s good, he replies: “They help you deal with it. But, you have to think about it.” Phillip later meets with William and tells him they’re trying to obtain the access code for Level 4. William responds: “Anything you can do, to not succeed, would be greatly appreciated.”

Gabriel tells Elizabeth her mother has died, and that someone from their organization was with her. She spoke of Elizabeth and Paige and wanted to get a message to them that she loved them. But Elizabeth questions whether any of that is actually true.

Henry eats dinner with Stan Beeman and asks him to come over and see his new computer. He also talks to Stan about a science teacher he has a crush on. Stan gives him some of Matthew’s cologne.

Paige, wracked with guilt, confesses to Elizabeth that she told Pastor Tim “everything.” When Phillip comes home, Elizabeth lets him know about Paige, and they both agree they will not be able to kill Pastor Tim now, without her knowing they did it. “We’re in trouble,” Elizabeth says. “I know,” replies Phillip.    


Song Title Performer(s)
Tainted Love Soft Cell


The Americans 4x02 Promo "Pastor Tim" (HD)

The Americans 4x02 Promo "Pastor Tim" (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"