|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Original release||March 16 –|
June 8, 2016
The events of the fourth season begin immediately after the events of the last episode of the third season in March 1983 and end on the night of Super Bowl XVIII, January 22, 1984, which Paige and Matthew are watching at Stan's house in the finale.
- Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings (Nadezhda), a KGB officer
- Matthew Rhys as Philip Jennings (Mischa), a KGB officer
- Dylan Baker as William Crandall, a KGB officer biochemical warfare scientist posing as American
- Brandon J. Dirden as FBI agent Dennis Aderholt
- Lev Gorn as Arkady Ivanovich Zotov, the KGB's Resident
- Annet Mahendru as Nina Sergeevna Krilova, a prisoner in the Soviet Union
- Costa Ronin as Oleg Igorevich Burov, a KGB officer
- Keidrich Sellati as Henry Jennings, Elizabeth and Philip's son
- Holly Taylor as Paige Jennings, Elizabeth and Philip's daughter
- Richard Thomas as Agent Frank Gaad, Special Agent In Charge of the FBI Counterintelligence Division
- Alison Wright as Martha Hanson, Agent Gaad's secretary and Philip's informant
- Noah Emmerich as FBI agent Stan Beeman
- Michael Aronov as Anton Baklanov, a scientist involved in stealth technology who has been recaptured by the Soviets after defecting
- Kelly AuCoin as Pastor Tim, the head of a church Paige Jennings attends
- Daniel Flaherty as Matthew Beeman, Stan's son
- Vera Cherny as Tatiana Evgenyevna Vyazemtseva, a KGB officer working at the Rezidentura
- Julia Garner as Kimmy Breland, the daughter of the head of the CIA's Afghan group
- Peter Jacobson as Agent Wolfe, Gaad's replacement at the FBI
- Peter Mark Kendall as Hans, a graduate student and KGB informant being trained by Elizabeth
- Boris Krutonog as Igor Burov, Oleg's father.
- Frank Langella as Gabriel, the Jennings' KGB handler
- Margo Martindale as Claudia, the Jennings' KGB supervisor
- Ruthie Ann Miles as Young Hee Seong, a Korean immigrant and Mary Kay consultant whom Elizabeth befriends to gain access to Young Hee's husband
- Susan Misner as Sandra Beeman, Stan's estranged wife
- Karen Pittman as Lisa, a Northrop employee from whom Elizabeth is gleaning information
- Callie Thorne as Tori, Stan's girlfriend
- Peter Von Berg as Vasili Nikolaevich, a former KGB Resident
- Rob Yang as Don Seong, Young Hee's husband, who is of special interest to the KGB
The series was renewed for a 13-episode fourth season on March 31, 2015. In April 2015, FX announced Frank Langella would continue his recurring role on the series. The season began principal photography on October 13, 2015. Broadway veteran Ruthie Ann Miles was cast as a new acquaintance of one of Elizabeth's guises. Writing for the season had been completed by January 28, 2016; and the final day of filming was March 9, 2016.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|40||1||"Glanders"||Thomas Schlamme||Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg||March 16, 2016||BDU401||1.11|
|Philip confesses to Martha that he killed Gene to protect her, much to her horror. Paige talks with Pastor Tim about what her parents do. Gabriel gives Elizabeth and Philip a new mission: to meet with William, another deep-cover KGB agent who has access to U.S. research into deadly chemical and biological weapons. In an EST meeting, Philip recounts his youth, when he brutally beat and killed a bully, although his account only alludes to the severity. In Russia, Nina continues working with Anton Baklanov and later makes a request to her handler, Vasili Nikolaevich, to see her husband. Arkady, suspicious of what Tatiana is working on, learns it has to do with chemical and biological weapons. Martha gets William's surveillance schedule, enabling the Jennings to meet him unobserved. William gives them a vial of glanders, a highly contagious disease. When arriving home, Philip is confronted by Stan, upset after Tori saw Philip with his ex-wife Sandra looking "intimate" at EST. Philip denies anything happened, but Stan slams him up against a wall, believing he is lying. After Stan leaves, Philip inspects the vial, which was still in his jacket pocket.|
|41||2||"Pastor Tim"||Chris Long||Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg||March 23, 2016||BDU402||0.93|
|Philip explains to Elizabeth about what caused Stan to get upset and that Philip has been attending EST meetings. They take the vial to Gabriel, who insists they make the exchange as well as continue contact with William, as he will be granted higher access at work. Elizabeth listens to tapes and discovers Paige has told Pastor Tim about their true work. She and Philip debate on controlling the situation, despite Paige later confessing the act to Elizabeth. Philip meets with an airline pilot for the exchange, but must strangle a security guard to death when the pilot draws his attention by acting nervous. The pilot leaves the vial behind, and Philip must reclaim possession. Nina asks her husband to deliver a note to Anton's son, but the plan fails. She admits to Vasili about being the one who passed the note and resigns herself to spending her days in the gulag. Gabriel tells Elizabeth that her mother died. She later tells Philip about Paige's confession and her mother's death, and he agrees that they are in trouble.|
|42||3||"Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow"||Kevin Dowling||Stephen Schiff||March 30, 2016||BDU403||0.82|
|Philip and Elizabeth meet with Pastor Tim themselves and learn that he told his wife about Paige's confession. They, in turn, reveal this to Paige, who feels betrayed. Philip asks Paige to "work" Tim, maintaining a relationship in order to keep the secret, but Paige is reluctant. Philip and Elizabeth, as well as Gabriel and Claudia, debate the options of killing Tim or extracting the agents. Gabriel presents them with the Center's solution: the Jennings family will go on vacation to the Epcot amusement park, during which time separate KGB operatives will kill Tim. Philip believes Paige will still suspect the truth, but Henry later suggests the family vacation before either parent can mention it. However, the Jennings then discover Gabriel in his apartment apparently infected with glanders from the vial, which he likely passed on to them. They retrieve William, infecting him as well, and he provides vaccines, adding that all of them must remain quarantined in the apartment for the next 36 hours, cancelling the vacation.|
|43||4||"Chloramphenicol"||Stefan Schwartz||Tracey Scott Wilson||April 6, 2016||BDU404||1.04|
|With glanders lingering, Philip, Elizabeth and William hole up in Gabriel's apartment for an extended stay, worrying Paige. Elizabeth calls off the hit on Pastor Tim and Alice, then begins to develop symptoms herself. Meanwhile, Martha goes out to dinner with Agent Aderholt where she improvises a lie that she is dating a married man to explain her odd movements after work. Agent Beeman searches her apartment during her absence, but finds nothing incriminating. By the morning, both Gabriel and Elizabeth's conditions have improved and William pronounces them out of danger. Elizabeth finds that she now agrees with Philip that they cannot kill Pastor Tim and Alice without alienating Paige. The Jennings propose that they instead "work" the couple to ensure their secrecy. Oleg returns home to Russia and asks his influential father to assist Nina. His father agrees on the condition his son remain in the country for the sake of his mother. In prison, Nina has another blissful dream of release. A trio of guards wake her and lead her down a hallway, where she is informed that her appeal has been denied and that her death sentence will be carried out shortly. She begins to break down, then is executed on the spot.|
|44||5||"Clark's Place"||Noah Emmerich||Peter Ackerman||April 13, 2016||BDU405||0.89|
|Hans reports his belief that Martha is being tailed, casting suspicion and unease throughout the KGB. Meanwhile, Philip is unnerved at the news, and what the consequence might be. After learning of Nina's demise, Oleg returns to the Rezidentura, where he is met with little sympathy from Arkady. Oleg later meets with Stan, informing him of the death of his former lover. Elizabeth continues to slip deeper under her Mary Kay cover; while Philip extends an olive branch to Stan, following their falling out. The Jennings attempt to further woo Pastor Tim and his wife, Alice.|
|45||6||"The Rat"||Kari Skogland||Joshua Brand||April 20, 2016||BDU406||0.90|
|Philip extracts Martha from the field. He, she, and Gabriel stay in a safe house while she adjusts and the proper arrangements can be made to get her out of the country. However, Martha grows wary and leaves the house, against Gabriel's command. Meanwhile, Stan and Aderholt further unravel Martha and Clark's truth, and present the discovery to Gaad.|
|46||7||"Travel Agents"||Dan Attias||Tanya Barfield||April 27, 2016||BDU407||0.90|
|Martha is on the streets wandering and running in circles in confusion and deep fear after leaving the safe house. Philip and Elizabeth come with the sample. Gabriel tells Philip and Elizabeth about Martha's departure. Philip and Elizabeth try to find her. Gaad is worried that this Martha episode will not go easy on his part as head of FBI CI. Agent Beeman refuses to contact Oleg and inquire about Martha after being ordered. Martha calls her parents and FBI is on her tail. She later calls Philip and he convinces her to stay put while he comes to her. But before he could reach her, Elizabeth forcefully abducts her back to the safe house. She is also worried about Philip's emotional involvement with Martha but he assures her that it is nothing. She asks him to lie to Martha that he will be with her in Russia. However, Philip is unable to do so, and tells her that they will probably never see each other again. Martha is deeply disturbed and grieved at this. Paige tries to bond with her brother. Oleg and Tatiana tell Arkady that they have found a pilot. Gaad says that he is "already dead" as the head of counter intelligence, as his secretary married a KGB officer.|
|47||8||"The Magic of David Copperfield V:|
The Statue of Liberty Disappears"
|Matthew Rhys||Stephen Schiff||May 4, 2016||BDU408||1.02|
|48||9||"The Day After"||Daniel Sackheim||Tracey Scott Wilson||May 11, 2016||BDU409||0.90|
|Paige undergoes driving lessons with her father, and asks that the family present a united front to an ever looming Pastor Tim. Stan adjusts to newfound difficulties. William brings a conundrum to Philip's attention, and they share in its grief. Elizabeth struggles with her "Patty" mission, and the depths she must go to achieve what is necessary. Pastor Tim expresses concern for Paige's mental well-being to Philip. The 1983 TV film The Day After airs, casting a cloud of unease upon everyone's minds.|
|49||10||"Munchkins"||Steph Green||Peter Ackerman||May 18, 2016||BDU410||0.82|
|The Jennings are shocked to learn that Pastor Tim has gone missing in Ethiopia. Alice is suspicious and threatens the couple, saying she has given a tape to her lawyer, with instructions for it to be sent to the FBI if Tim is found dead, or of anything happens to Alice herself. Paige is confounded by the entire situation, but is able to soothe a distressed Alice. As "Patty's" mission continues, Elizabeth finds herself conflicted about the ramifications for Young-hee's family. Philip checks in on Kimmy, finding out a disturbing new truth about her father. Pastor Tim is found safe and well in Ethiopia. Alice apologizes to Paige for her reaction and Paige passes the news back to her parents, though she has not asked Alice for the lawyer's tape to be returned. Although Elizabeth and Philip believe the tape was not actually sent, they agree that Paige was correct not to press Alice for it to be returned. Paige and Matthew spend meaningful time together. After a clandestine KGB mission goes awry, Gaad is accidentally killed in Thailand.|
|50||11||"Dinner for Seven"||Nicole Kassell||Joshua Brand||May 25, 2016||BDU411||0.81|
|Pastor Tim expresses remorse for his wife's actions and sympathizes with the Jennings' predicament. Elizabeth invites the pastor and Alice over for a family dinner; where Stan unexpectedly joins them, which propels the night into disorder. "Patty's" operation is completed with her alleged suicide, gaining access to lassa fever for William but with heartbreaking results for Elizabeth. Stan ends his relationship with Oleg, citing potential guilt. After Elizabeth picks up Paige from the food pantry, they are confronted by two muggers. Elizabeth offers them her purse, which does not appease them. When one of them menaces Paige, Elizabeth swings into action—dropping one man with a strike and fatally stabbing the other. Paige, in utter shock from what she just witnessed, leaves safely with her mom.|
|51||12||"A Roy Rogers in Franconia"||Chris Long||Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg||June 1, 2016||BDU412||0.93|
|Paige is still shaken from the killing of the mugger by her mother. She asks her mother about all the killing she had done and whether she felt any fear. William tells Philip he is done stealing bioweapons as he feels that he is doing something immoral. Tatiana informs Oleg she is moving to Nairobi and offers him as her deputy. Oleg after some time refuses her offer. Aderholt finds the bug in the mail robot. Oleg talks to his mother in Russia. Oleg informs Stan about the KGB bioweapons mission because he fears Russian labs are not equipped to handle such dangerous pathogens, based on past experiences. Gabriel tries to convince William not to give in to his emotions and to remain loyal to his country. Paige kisses Matthew and later when she reports her activities to her parents, they disapprove. Annoyed, she tries to find out more about their secret mission. Stan and the FBI have identified William and are ready to catch him.|
|52||13||"Persona Non Grata"||Chris Long||Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg||June 8, 2016||BDU413||0.77|
|Before he can hand the vial of deadly virus to Philip, William is cornered by the FBI so he deliberately breaks the vial on his palm and infects himself. In Russia, Philip's son Mikhail Semenov is released from a mental institution. Oleg informs Arkady about leaving for Russia to be with his family. In an EST meeting, Philip confesses his disenchantment with his job. Mikhail visits his grandfather and is given a package from his mother with different passports and currencies. He is determined to find his father in America as instructed by his mother. Arkady is confronted by the FBI and accused of Gaad's murder and the theft of the bioweapons stolen by William. He is ordered to leave the U.S. within 48 hours. Gabriel suggests Philip and Elizabeth leave the country and return to Russia after William's arrest. Tatiana informs Oleg that she has been temporarily assigned Arkady's job, and Oleg tells her he is returning to Russia. William's condition worsens and he begins to cough up blood. While being questioned by Stan and Dennis, he tells them he wished he had settled down and had a couple of children "like them". Stan tells Philip that he saw Matthew and Paige kissing. Philip tells Paige not to see Matthew again, as he feels she does not know what she is getting herself into.|
The fourth season received widespread acclaim from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it received a 99 percent approval rating with an average score of 9.2 out of 10 based on 45 reviews, with a critics consensus of: "With its fourth season, The Americans continues to deliver top-tier spy drama while sending its characters in directions that threaten to destroy their freedoms – and their lives." On Metacritic, the season has a score of 95 out of 100 based on 28 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".
Vikram Murthi of The A.V. Club gave it a perfect "A" grade and wrote, "If the fourth season reminds viewers of anything, it's that The Americans has a masterful control of tone, doling out horror and slow-burn dread like very few of its contemporaries." Ben Travers of Indiewire also gave it an "A" grade and wrote that the season "is on the equally stellar level of its predecessors". Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com praised the series and wrote, "It is that depth of character and nuance in the writing that elevates The Americans, along with its willingness to offer stunning narrative developments. [...] I'm now convinced that when we close the final chapter of this televised novel we may finally appreciate one of the best shows we've ever seen."
Maureen Ryan of Variety reviewed the show, praising it for its refusal to go in "cartoonish or preposterous directions" and thereby avoiding becoming one of a "cacophony of shows doing superficially outrageous things for attention". Ryan wrote that it "grows louder by the day" and pointed out that Elizabeth and Philip are now "even more untenable, and the show has never been one to drag out developments past their potency".
For the 32nd TCA Awards, The Americans won for Outstanding Achievement in Drama, was nominated for Program of the Year and Keri Russell was nominated for Individual Achievement in Drama. For the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards, the series received five nominations, for Outstanding Drama Series, Matthew Rhys for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Keri Russell for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for the season finale "Persona Non Grata", while Margo Martindale won for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. The prior omissions that the show has received at the Emmys was considered to be snubbed by the Emmys in the drama and acting categories by critics.
For both the 7th Critics' Choice Television Awards and 74th Golden Globe Awards, Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell were nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress in a Drama Series, respectively. For the 69th Writers Guild of America Awards, the series won the award for Best Drama Series.
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