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The Jennings Family


Elizabeth Jennings / Nadezhda
"You know what I wish as I fall asleep every night? That I’ll wake up and not be worried."
Played By: Keri Russell

A Soviet KGB officer posing undercover in America as one half of a married couple. She is coldly pragmatic and utterly dedicated to the cause.

  • Action Girl / Dark Action Girl
  • Action Mom
  • Armor-Piercing Slap
  • Arranged Marriage
  • Break the Haughty: In "Covert War", Elizabeth kidnaps a high-ranking CIA official and plans on killing him to get revenge for the assassination of her mentor, General Zhukov (in addition to two other high-ranking KGB officials). When she accuses her captive of murdering innocent people, her captive points out that they were not innocent. The captive then asks Elizabeth if she loves or cares about anyone, causing her to break down emotionally and leave the room. Elizabeth then decides to let him go in order to stop the covert war between America and the USSR from escalating any further.
  • Deep Cover Agent
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul"
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Her children may be the only things she values more than the Motherland.
  • Evil Can Not Comprehend Good: When President Reagan is shot, Elizabeth immediately assumes that it's the work of a rogue faction of the US Government trying to seize control, because that's how things work in the USSR. Philip explains to Elizabeth that she still doesn't understand Americans despite living among them for years. Philip is then proven right when it's learned that the man who attempted to assassinate Reagan was a lone nutjob acting on his own.
  • Femme Fatale
  • Hidden Depths
  • Hollywood Atheist: When Elizabeth finds out that Paige has been participating on a church youth group, she freaks out, as she believes religion to be "the opiate of the masses."
  • Honey Trap: At several points in the show, Elizabeth seduces men in order to obtain information from them.
  • Hypocrite: Elizabeth refuses to allow Paige to attend a church summer camp because she believes that religions "indoctrinate" people while they're young. Elizabeth herself was recruited into the KGB at a young age (and also, Nina attended a Soviet "Young Pioneer" camp as a child where she was taught how to be a good Communist).
  • Ice Queen
  • It's Personal: When General Zhukov (Elizabeth's friend and mentor) is killed by an assassin, Elizabeth goes against direct orders and embarks on a mission to kidnap and kill the CIA official who ordered the hit.
  • Jerkass
  • Ms. Fanservice: Elizabeth frequently dresses sexy when she's attempting to seduce a mark. She's also featured in a lot of sex scenes.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: On Claudia.
  • Power of Trust: With Gregory. Why she tries to convince the KGB to work with him concerning his exfiltration.
  • Rape as Backstory: Elizabeth was raped by a superior officer when she was being trained as a KGB agent. The man in question later reveals that one of the perks of the job was that high-ranking officers were allowed to rape young female recruits.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Claudia.
  • Undercover as Lovers
  • Villain Protagonist: Claudia is willing to murder innocent people and perform other immoral acts in order to serve the Motherland.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent
  • Your Cheating Heart: For years, Elizabeth carried on an affair with Gregory, even while she was pregnant with Paige. She finally ends the affair when she starts feeling love for Philip for the first time in their nearly 20-year marriage.


Philip Jennings / Misha
Played By: Matthew Rhys

A Soviet KGB officer posing undercover in America as one half of a married couple. He's more conflicted than his wife, having grown to like his American life and family.


Paige Jennings
Played By: Holly Taylor

The willful teenage daughter of the Jennings. She forms a friendship with Matthew Beeman.

  • Bratty Teenage Daughter
  • Character Development: While her change from being a relatively typical teen with a mild rebellious streak to a more clever young woman deeply suspicious of her parents happens toward the end of season 1, she gets a fair amount more in the second season. She goes from being the type of person that her own mother suspects would have trouble making it in the real world, to a willful, dedicated individual- seeking purpose in life through religion and anti-militaristic sentiments. Though she has misgivings about the particulars of Paige's budding transformation, even Elizabeth grows to respect her daughter's greater goals and convictions.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • In the Blood: She has inherited a lot of passion for "greater causes". Elizabeth also discovers that Paige is quite talented at forging her mother's handwriting.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: In "Comrades", Paige walks in on her parents while they're giving mutual oral sex to one another. The next morning at breakfast it's obvious that she was quite disturbed by what she saw.
  • Tyke Bomb: What the KGB wants her to become.


Henry Jennings
Played By: Keidrich Sellati

The young son of the Jennings.

  • Bring My Brown Pants: He has an 'accident' after the incident with a random creep. For a kid his age and the kind of situation he was in, it's hard to blame him.
  • Cheerful Child: He gets along pretty easily with his parents, in slight contrast to Paige who's hitting the rebellious stage.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Does this to the aforementioned weirdo.
  • In the Blood: Henry possesses a knack for breaking and entering, as seen when he infiltrates a neighbor's home so he can play their Intellivision video game system.
  • Out of Focus: starting in season 2.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He suddenly turns awesome when a possible weirdo picks up him and Paige. He decks the guy with a case of beer so they can escape.


The Beeman Family


Special Agent Stan Beeman
"The thing about racquetball is it’s not about power and speed. It’s about strategy. About making your opponent move too fast, tire out, and then make a mistake."
Played By: Noah Emmerich

An FBI agent tasked with rooting out Soviet spies. After spending a long time undercover with a white supremacist group, he and his family have moved into the Jennings' neighbourhood. A professional and highly driven man, Stan's homelife isn't as well-composed as the man himself.

  • The Ace: Gaad considers Stan to be his best agent.
  • Ascended Fanboy: In the episode "Stealth" we learn that Stan decided to become an FBI agent as a kid because he was a fan of comic book adaptations of famous FBI cases. Specifically, he mentions the FBI's takedown of notorious bank robber John Dillinger.
  • Badass Boast: He gets two great ones in "Safe House".
    "If anything happens to Amador, Vlad is dead. I will personally send you his balls to wear around your neck to wear at your next May Day parade."

    "If you don't tell me where he is you will never get dropped at my master's feet. My bite will go hard and you will know you are dead before your heart stops beating."
  • Character Tics: Stan has a left side facial tic shown prominently throughout the first two seasons.
  • Cowboy Cop
  • Dating Catwoman: Unbeknown to him, Nina is not as naive and innocent and she appears to be.
  • Deep Cover Agent: Spent some time undercover as a white supremacist. It is implied he he did unsavory things to maintain his cover.
  • FBI Agent
  • Genre Savvy: His personal experience gives him and additional edge and makes him even more competent.
  • The Handler: To Nina.
  • Hero Antagonist
  • He Who Fights Monsters
  • Jerkass: He may not talk much and is working for the right side, but take a close look at how he actually behaves: This guy is an asshole. It's telling that his son, his wife, his boss, and even his supposed paramour hate him.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: An overall squared build.
  • Let Me Tell You a Story
  • Married to the Job: Overly-committed to his duty at first, he alienates his wife even before his job becomes tangled with an affair.
  • Properly Paranoid: Stops being paranoid once Nina charms him.
  • Revenge Before Reason: He brutally kills a Russian embassy worker for basically no reason other than to avenge Amador's death.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: He goes on one after Amador's death, relentlessly hunting the KGB agents he believes responsible for killing his partner.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: He went deep undercover in a white supremacist organization before the series starts, which clearly took a toll on his psyche and marriage.
  • The Strategist: Puts together a beautiful misdirection gambit that pays off.
  • The Stoic
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Either since he started having an affair with Nina or since he shot Vlad in a fit of anger. You pick.
  • Your Cheating Heart: With Nina.


Sandra Beeman
Played By: Susan Misner

Stan's caring wife who feels her marriage being put to the test after her husband returns from undercover work a changed man.

  • Nice Girl: She is one of the only major characters who is completely innocent.
  • Not So Different: From Elizabeth. Both are keeping up a charade of a perfect marriage for outsiders but have severe problems that are tearing their families apart.
  • Promoted to Opening Credits: Susan Misner becomes part of the main cast in season 2 after recurring in season 1.
  • Stepford Smiler: Part of what makes her Not So Different from Elizabeth. She and Stan appear as a happy couple, but they're distant and Sandra doesn't feel like she knows him anymore.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives a scathing and heartbreaking one to Stan after a night out with Elizabeth.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Is utterly forthcoming with Stan about the fact that she's been seeing another man. Given his distance it is understandable and we feel sympathy for her.




Supervisory Agent Frank Gaad
"They kill us. We kill them. That's the world that we live in."
Played By: Richard Thomas

"This isn't a cold war. There's nothing cold about the covert violent exchanges between the United States and the Soviet Union. They've killed not only our agents, but our citizens. And for that they'll pay."

The FBI supervisor, an intense man eager to root out Soviet spies.

  • Badass Boast: After Amador is killed.
    "This will not stand."
  • Cowboy Cop: After the bomb blast that kills three FBI agents and a scientist, Gaad suggests to his subordinates that they launch an off-the-books revenge killing against the KGB rezident. All of the FBI agents agree except for Stan. But Stan quickly changes his mind when Amador goes missing.
  • Da Chief: He's the head of the FBI's Counter-Intelligence Division.
  • Determinator
  • Fake Guest Star: In the first two seasons he has appeared in nearly every episode despite never being a series regular.
  • A Father to His Men
  • FBI Agent: The supervisor, even.
  • Hero Antagonist
  • Not So Different: From Claudia. Both are fervent believers who can be ruthless in their strive to succeed.
  • Revenge Before Reason: After Amador is killed, he seems to take it as a personal slight.


Special Agent Chris Amador
"I am as unencumbered as bedbugs in a flophouse."
Played By: Maximiliano Hernández

An FBI agent and Stan Beeman's partner. In contrast to Stan, he's much more easy-going and snarky. After finding Phillip leaving Martha's home, a confrontation leads to his capture and eventual death.


Martha Hanson
Played By: Alison Wright

An FBI clerical worker who is unwittingly providing vital information to Phillip under a cover identity.



Nina Sergeevna Kirilova
"I do everything for you. I do my best."
Played By: Annet Mahendru

A Russian embassy worker who is ensnared by Stan Beeman and forced to work as a mole. She gradually proves herself to be more savvy than she seems, and even begins an affair with Beeman.


Arkady Ivanovich Zotov

Played By: Lev Gorn

Arkady Invanovich Zotov is the KGB's resident in the United States and does his work out of the Soviet Embassy, He meets regularly with Vasili Nikolaevich, an older, high-ranking official in the Soviet Embassy with whom he rarely sees eye to eye. Vasili seems more focused on maintaining his status within the government and enjoys the perks of being an important guy with a comfortable life. Arkady seems more focused on the various missions at hand and has a more direct approach to doing his job. Arkady is a thoughtful and pragmatic leader, however, and is always looking for ways in which even a potentially bad development can be turned into an opportunity.


Oleg Igorevich Burov

Played By: Costa Ronin

A new officer of science and technology at the Soviet Embassy who apparently owes his job to his political connections (specifically, the fact that his dad is a top official in Moscow.) He is a persistent thorn in Arkady and Nina's sides. All the same, he is an extremely savvy spy.

  • Hidden Depths: He is rather familiar with the ways of the West. Also, it's been hinted that his frat-boy Jerk Jock attitude notwithstanding, he knows a lot more about business than he lets on.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: In "A Little Night Music", Oleg pull strings to get his security clearance updated, ostensibly to find out why the Center is ignoring his recommendations on Baklanov, but also gains access to Nina's reports on her affair with Beeman.
    • Averted by his brother, who serves as an officer in Afghanistan.
  • Smug Super: Oleg constantly assumes that he has a right to know everything that goes on in the Embassy, even though he's just an officer in the science and technology department. As season 2 unfolds, turns out he can in fact back up his words with results.


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