The season finale for The Americans starts with a stakeout of William’s apartment. The feds are on to him, and he has already stolen a vial of the Lassa virus, with plans to deliver it to Philip in a meet-up at a D.C. park.
Stan Beeman and his sidekick Aderholt are right behind him, along with a surveillance chopper and countless fellow agents on the ground. He’s surrounded. And Philip is walking into a trap.
From there we cut to Paige, reading a Spanish textbook in her bedroom. Elizabeth comes in and crawls into bed with her. Paige asks, “If we’re in danger … If things can happen … Maybe I need to learn how to defend myself.”
She’s thinking about the assailant she watched her mother kill in a dark parking lot.
“I can teach you a few things,” Elizabeth says.
Elsewhere, the noose tightens around William as he goes for his late-night stroll. Just before he enters the park to meet Philip, William picks up on the tail and tries to run. There’s no escape, however, and rather than surrender outright, William makes a fatal choice.
He breaks the vial of Lassa virus and drives it into his palm, infecting himself and creating a major problem for the agents trying to take him into custody. By offering up his own life, he may have just saved Philip’s.
“Don’t move!” an agent yells.
“I suggest you don’t move!” William responds. “You might want to get me to a hospital with a bio-containment treatment facility – as soon as possible.”
Philip returns home and tells Elizabeth that William didn’t show. Given William’s earlier squeamishness about delivering the virus, he isn’t sure whether he simply flaked or was captured.
“Stan didn’t come home tonight,” Elizabeth says.
There’s an alternate meet-up planned for William the next day. They’ll try again.
Elizabeth tells Philip that she told Paige about Smolensk. “Do you ever wonder what it looks like now?” she asks. “It could be totally different.”
“Probably not that much,” he says.
From there, we shift back to Mother Russia and a hospital of some sort — a mental ward. A young patient there named Semenov Mikhail (nicknamed Mischa) is brought before an official. “You are lucky to have such important friends,” he says. ‘I’m not sure who they are either. Frankly, I think they just found out you were here. How do you like it?”
Mischa doesn’t answer. He has been detained here because he has been speaking out against the Party after returning from military service in Afghanistan. “You know this is against the law,” the official says. “Only a criminal or a mentally ill person would talk like that.”
His evaluation is nearly complete. A determination of being insane would lead to his detention for up to eight years. But his powerful friends are offering a different choice: Stop speaking out against the state and the war, and he will be released.
The young man agrees.
Those powerful friends he doesn’t know about? It must be the KGB. This is Philip’s illegitimate son. Thanks to his father’s faithful service, the party is looking out for his other interests.
Back in the states, we see a different hospital, and William is already ailing from the Lassa infection. Stan and Aderholt talk to him through a microphone and look down at him through a sealed window on the floor above his bed.
They ask if there’s anything they can do to make him more comfortable.
“In a few days, everything that’s inside me that … matters … will have oozed out through my orifices,” William says. “I’m a dead man. It’s a very unusual feeling.”
“Would you like a Coke?” Aderholt offers.
At least William gets a hacking laugh out of that.
NEXT: Philip expresses disgust for his work …