"What will Pastor Tim do? That's the question," Fields tells TVGuide.com. "Are [the Jenningses] going to bake for him or something? They might invite him over. ... But yes, what will Pastor Tim do? And what will Paige do about it and what will Philip and Elizabeth do about it?"
Lest we forget, Paige (Holly Taylor) spilled the beans about her parents' Soviet identities to Pastor Tim (Kelly AuCoin) on the phone at the end of Season 3. The fallout begins in the second episode, after Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell) learn of their daughter's transgression, which leads to a lot of game-planning with Gabriel (Frank Langella) about how to properly handle her confidante.
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The Pastor Tim of it all will illuminate what Fields considers the larger theme of the season: raising a teenager. "It ain't easy. It ain't easy for anyone, especially if you're a deep-cover Soviet operative," he says. "[What teenagers do] is unpredictable and they can do things that can impact the whole family. In this case, she's holding a bomb that could destroy the family. At the same time, it's a lot of responsibility to put on a teenager's shoulders and I don't think anybody is going to be nominating these parents for Parents of the Year. But then again, none of us is a perfect parent."
What will Paige relationship with her parents be like now? And what will Martha (Alison Wright) do — if anything — now that she knows Clark's real identity? Here are six things to expect in Season 4.
1. It's a Post-Pastor Tim world: Ironically, Paige confessing to Pastor Tim might actually improve her relationships with her parents, as the teen "definitely feels regret," according to Taylor, and tries to make it up to them, including by baking a casserole. "'I can't take that back, but here's a casserole,'" Fields quips.
Joking aside, Paige will make a concerted effort to understand her parents, especially Elizabeth, and their at-times frosty relationship will become a little warmer. "We see through the struggles that [Elizabeth's] had with her mother, how Paige tries to comfort her with that and understand how she was raised, and tries to understand why this affects how Elizabeth is a parent to her," Taylor says. "She's not always been the most compassionate to her and Paige could never really go to Elizabeth with her feelings and be like, 'Feel sorry for me,' because Elizabeth isn't about that. I think that in her kind of messing up and spilling the beans here, she is trying to reconfigure her relationship with her parents.
"At the same time, it's hard when she doesn't really have any foundation to trust them anymore because everything she thought she knew about them has been torn apart. She has to reconstruct her whole image of who her parents are."
2. Stan Is the Man: For Henry (Keidrich Sellati) at least. Stan (Noah Emmerich) will continue to bond with Philip and Elizabeth's son, even dispensing advice about girls to the young man. "Henry hanging out with his neighbor Stan more and more is nice in terms of child care, but not great in terms of their deep cover," Fields says. "Of course, Henry doesn't know [his parents' identities], but the danger of him slipping something is real."
Stan could very well be using Henry as a pawn to resume investigating the Jenningses, but Emmerich believes their friendship is genuine, as they fill the respective voids in each other's lives. "Stan becomes sort of a father figure to Henry. His own father is absent quite a bit," he says. "And for Stan, his son is absent quite a bit and there's a new young man that Stan can be sort of a father figure to. They have some reflection in each other that they both are drawn to. It's a do-over for both of them. These two sort of weirdly isolated characters find each other."
3. Fight! Fight! Fight! You knew Philip spending quality time with his EST buddy/Stan's estranged wife Sandra (Susan Misner) was going to come back to bite him. (Side note: For a KGB spy, he's not very discreet about hanging out with his FBI agent neighbor's wife.) When Stan finds out, he automatically assumes the worst and confronts Philip. "I think it's understandable when you find out your friend is hanging out with your soon-to-be ex-wife — it's incendiary," Emmerich says. "In some ways, I think that makes things more dangerous for Philip. You don't want the FBI agent across the street angry with you. There's motivation on both sides to find a more peaceful co-existence."
4. No more poor, naïve Martha: After Clark de-wigged for Martha in the penultimate episode of Season 3, she was MIA in the finale, but she's back in full force in the premiere as she tries to reconcile the truth with the life she thought she had been living. "It's picking up after Philip/Clark's big reveal when he took his big disguise off for her, which I supposed came from a need to soothe her and to give her comfort. But really it's just pulled her deeper down into this tangle of lies and deceit and what's real and what's not, and what does that mean?" Wright says. "That's where we're going to find her. ... We're going to start with that journey of what that does to her and how she chooses to go forward."
Complicating matters is Stan, who suspects something's not quite right with the death of Gene, whom Philip killed and framed for Gaad's bugged pen to save Martha last season. "I think [Stan's] instincts and his intuition are more on point than anyone realizes, and I think he's given license to pursue them further," Emmerich says. "At the end of Season 3, we find him just beginning to have questions about Martha to some degree. He shows up to her apartment and that continues in the current season, to interesting places."
5. The real Nina: Nina (Annet Mahendru) is still stuck in a Soviet prison, but at least she has Anton (Michael Aronov). The two got close last season as Nina was working him, which will open up Nina as a character even more this season, Mahendru says.
"She has never been able to talk to anyone like this," Mahendru says. "It's unlike any other relationship she's had and she has no tangible relationship in her life. She'll never see her family again, and here she's observing a man who really doesn't care. He knows he might die, he's got nothing left but his son ... and it moves her in a way that actually allows her to be herself. ... I felt like I really got to meet Nina. We've all been wondering what she's really like and what she's actually feeling. ... She was a great agent, but it led her to imprisonment and she's a traitor and at the bottom of the bottom. And now I think she's really wondering, 'Was it worth it? What am I doing?' I think Anton allows her to take that leap to something real for herself."
As for whether or not she will ever be freed, count on Stan still trying to do all he can to get her back. "I don't think he ever has given up on helping Nina any way he can," Emmerich says. "I think he's definitely haunted by feelings of guilt and responsibility of her fate."
6. Wigs! Look for the "Young Kenny Rogers" in the premiere. ("But to me, it was always Mike Love," Fields says.) Elizabeth will also give us a new persona, Patty, when she works a Korean housewife named Young Hee (Ruthie Ann Miles). "She looks like kind of a single suburban aspiring businesswoman from 1983."
The Americans premieres Wednesday at 10/9c on FX.