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The Americans recap: Chloramphenicol

A major character meets a cruel end

Posted on

Patrick Harbon/FX

The Americans

TV Show
run date:
Matthew Rhys, Keri Russell
Current Status:
In Season

“My husband and I need to postpone deliveries for this weekend.”

That’s Elizabeth’s way of telling the Center: DO NOT KILL PASTOR TIM AND HIS WIFE. She and Philip are trapped, having discovered Gabriel overcome by the weaponized glanders, and they can no longer participate in the family trip to EPCOT that would have served as their alibi.

Instead, they’ll be spending the weekend in Gabriel’s apartment being administered the antibiotic that gives this episode its name: “Chloramphenicol.” Their reluctant doctor: William (Dylan Baker), the asset who is trying to deliver these chemical and biological weapons to the KGB.

Elizabeth also calls home and breaks the news to Paige that the trip is canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. Paige panics — she’s sure this has something to do with Pastor Tim leaking their family secret.

This will prove to be a monumental episode in the series — the first time since Agent Amador’s death in season 1 that a major character in The Americans will meet a grim end. But we’ll get to that … shortly.

While Philip, Elizabeth, and William take care of Gabriel (and themselves) in his apartment, Oleg Burov is on a family trip of his own, though it’s no trip to Disney World, either. He’s in Moscow for the funeral of his brother, who was killed fighting in Afghanistan. Oleg’s father, a powerful party official, wants him to stay and not return to the United States.

“Are you upset with me because of Nina?” his father asks.

“You didn’t help her,” Oleg answers.

His father dismisses his infatuation with her. “You think it’s easy to help someone like her?” the old man says. “She’s a traitor.”

“She came clean. She did everything they asked,” Oleg counters. “I don’t even know if she is still alive.”

“She’s not dead,” his father says.

“Dad…please,” Oleg begs. “I need you to find out what happened to her.”

His father sighs.

NEXT: If Elizabeth dies…