Air Date January 30th, 2013
Directed By Gavin O'Connor
Written By Joe Weisberg
Next Episode The Clock
Images of Pilot

Pilot is the first episode of Season One of The Americans on FX, and the premiere episode of the entire series.


The arranged marriage of Philip and Elizabeth Jennings grows more passionate and genuine by the day, but is constantly tested by the escalation of the Cold War. Tensions heighten upon the arrival of a new neighbor, Stan Beeman, an FBI agent.


In 1981, Philip and Elizabeth Jennings are deep cover Soviet intelligence agents from the KGB's secretive Directorate S, operating in Washington, D.C..  Elizabeth, dressed as a prostitute, meets an FBI bureaucrat and takes him to a hotel room, where she seduces him for information.  Meanwhile, Philip and Rob are surveilling a man named Timoshev, a Soviet defector.  When the latter realizes he is being set up, he runs off with Philip and Rob in pursuit.  Elizabeth catches up to them but Timoshev stabs Rob.  By the time Rob is brought to the hospital, they have missed the boat meant to transfer Timoshev back to the USSR.  They keep him bound and gagged in the trunk of their car.

Elizabeth and Philip live another life as a happily married couple in a Virginian suburb with their two children, Paige and Henry, who do not know their secret.  In a flashback, Elizabeth is shown as a young woman practicing training until Timoshev takes over.  He then proceeds to rape her.  Back in the present, FBI counter-intelligence agent Stan Beeman meets his new colleague Chris Amador and their supervisor, Agent Mark Bartholomew tells them that Timoshev never made it back to the USSR.  Philip, in disguise, meets a woman named Martha Hanson, who works in Agent Bartholomew's office.  She reveals that the FBI tracked down a car and took the license plate number and that Timoshev was kidnapped by two men and a woman.  Philip relays this information to Elizabeth.

Meanwhile, Stan Beeman has moved in across the street with his family.  The Jennings' family introduce themselves and Stan tells them he works in counter-intelligence.   Philip and Elizabeth see this as a coincidence and disagree on what to do with Timochev in the wake of Stan's presence, with Philip prepared to take him to Stan.  A flashback shows Philip and Elizabeth meeting for the first time and being given their mission.  Back in the present, Philip learns that Rob has died from his injuries.

Philip decides to hand Timochev over to Stan but when neither the latter or Elizabeth explicity reveal to him that Timochev raped her, Philip puts two and two together and kills him.  The Jennings dump the body in the Potomac River after dousing it in acid before having sex in their car.  Philip, in disguise, also pays a visit to the man who tried to come on to Paige as she was out shopping and almost kills him with a barbecue grill before leaving him with a warning to stay away from her.

Stan becomes suspicious when he learns that a car similar to Philip's is seen near the site of Timochev's abduction, but finds nothing when he covertly inspects Philip's trunk. In response to Timochev's disappearance, President Ronald Reagan issues a top secret executive order authorizing the FBI to use whatever means necessary to neutralize Soviet agents operating within the United States. 


Song Title Performer(s)
Harden My Heart Quarterflash
In the Air Tonight Phil Collins
Queen of Hearts Juice Newton
Roller April Wine


The Americans Pilot01:29

The Americans Pilot

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"

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