Philip and Elizabeth are coming close to a crossroads when faced with the reality that their kids could be killed as a result of their criminal activities in "Comrades," the second season premiere of The Americans.

Philip (Matthew Rhys) begins the episode by pulling a standard undercover operation, resulting in the death of two Afghans at his hands. The standard op, however, did not go entirely smoothly. In a moment of panic, Philip also shot an innocent busboy after his disguise was destroyed and his face was in plain sight. In a snap decision, Philip decided to kill the busboy to protect his identity.

And, no rest for the wicked means that Philip returns home to embark on yet another operation with Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and comrades Leanne (Natalie Gold) and Emmett (Jeremy Davidson), another spy couple who have two children, Jared (Owen Campbell) and Amelia (Gracie Bea Lawrence), not unlike Philip and Elizabeth.

The target is Roy, an man employed by Lockheed who is working on developing military technology. In order to get access to Roy’s personal information and communications, the women seduce him into participating in a threesome with them that is then interrupted by Philip and Emmett, dressed as Air Force security. Philip and Emmett inform Roy that he has done nothing wrong, but guilt him into believing that he must allow them to monitor all his phone calls and movements.

Everything in the episode appears to be going smoothly until Philip is forced to put his son, Henry (Keidrich Sellati) in the line of fire during a routine document drop at an amusement park. Emmett is originally supposed to execute the drop, but he panics when U.S. surveillance shows up and asks Philip to do the job because he has a better cover, as Henry is with him. Philip is not pleased with this turn of events, but everything goes as smoothly as possible, which is a relief for the struggling spy parent.

Philip and Elizabeth receive quite a shock, however, when they find Emmett, Amelia and their daughter Amelia dead in their home. Jared is the only survivor. The deaths of their fellow spies and the innocent children remind Philip and Elizabeth that their actions as Russian spies could have dire consequences on their children. While Philip and Elizabeth had entertained the thought that their children would be taken from them or abandoned should they be killed or caught by the U.S., they had not truly considered the possibility that their super spy lives could get their children killed. Brought together by their worries, Elizabeth and Philip sleep together and are interrupted by their 14-year-old, Paige (Holly Taylor) who is beginning to think her parents aren’t really the travel agents they claim to be. The awkward incident is enough to temporarily throw Paige off her investigation.

Meanwhile, the Jennings’ FBI neighbor Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich) is still trying to track down the spies that got away in the car chase – the couple the audience knows was the Jennings. His investigation hits a dead end when the only person that could have linked the Jennings to the Russians, FBI informant Sanford Prince, is found dead, shot by the untrustworthy Col. Rennhull (Victor Slezak), who claims self-defense. As Stan remains unaware of the true loyalties of his neighbors, he also becomes entranced by Russian spy, Nina Sergeevna (Annet Mahendru). Nina works at the Soviet Embassy, but Stan believes she is really a mole, passing the U.S. information, while she is really a double agent working for the USSR.

The Americans airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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