News Ticker

The Americans – S3E5 – Salang Pass

Previously on The Americans, ‘Dimebag’

Child’s Play

Martha and Phillip/Clark are watching children sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider in a foster placement agency. Martha wishes she could eat them up. Phillip/Clark wishes the rain would wash him out. Martha tells a grumpy Phillip/Clark there are all kinds of love. If you only knew, Martha. Phillip/Clark faintly smiles.


More kids playing. This time in a public park. Elizabeth/Michelle brings her AA Sponsor (and Northrop Grumman employee) Lisa, a cup of coffee. Elizabeth/Michelle insists that Lisa needs a break from her troubled marriage and offers up her mother’s empty place. Fifty miles away. Elizabeth/Michelle would like to Lisa her out. I’m sure you would, Elizabeth.

Tall Man Stand-Off, Part Deux

Oleg is running. He pauses to catch his breath and who should appear before him? Stan Beeman, looking as cool as a Stan Beeman can look in an uncharacteristically dark coat. Stan tells Oleg that he thinks The Defector is a spy and if they can prove it, he can arrange a prisoner exchange. Milky Way for Nina Way. Oleg says he knows nothing about Zinaida. Stan urges him to find out.


Philip/Scott and Yousaf are meeting in a hangar. Ever the whiner, Yousaf wants to be let off the hook. Philip/Scott scoffs at such and urges Yousaf to get closer to the fundamentalist factions in the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Pakistan. Yousaf says the religious fundamentalists are growing and already taking up leadership in the military. Philip/Scott tells Yousaf to get closer to them by pretending to be one of them. Maybe Philip can loan him a wig.

Philip is listening to news about the Salang Pass accident on the radio. Elizabeth says he looks worried. Out of all the things Philip has to be worried about, he brings up Martha’s kid fever. Philip says he could give in to Martha if it kept her on track. Methinks Philip is warming to the idea of foster fatherhood with his fake family. Stone-cold Elizabeth changes the subject to Kimberly and asks what she’s like. “Young.” Elizabeth remains blank-faced and leaves. Philip looks nauseous.

Stan is having dinner with the Jennings and bonding with Henry over archaic vocabulary and The Man. Henry is fast becoming my favorite character. Henry sticks his foot all the way down his throat by bringing up another interest he shares with Stan. Mrs. Beeman. Paige, realizing no one has talked about her in several minutes, changes the subject to her baptism dress. Parent-of-the-Year nominee, Philip, offers to take her to buy one. Elizabeth quells her outrage with a grimace and some wine.


A Flock of Seagulls

Philip/Jim meets Kimberly at a bonfire. A couple of well-meaning lettermen come up to see check on Kimmy and Philip/Jim realizes she’s younger than she let on. Not quite sixteen. Philp/Jim expresses reservations about being seen in public together so Kimmy suggest they hang out in private. She invites him over to her place while her parents are away. Philip/Jim smiles. And everyone wishes they ran, so far away.

Magically Delicious

Lisa is in the house Elizabeth/Michelle loaned to her. She seems happy and doesn’t miss Maurice. Guess what? There just happens to be a Northrop plant nearby and she’s putting in for a transfer. With her security clearance, she’ll stand a good chance. Elizabeth/Michelle is her lucky charm.

Oleg visits Tatiana. He tells her she’s working too hard, pours her a drink and lays on the charm. Nina taught him well. Oleg works the conversation around to Zinaida. He has a great idea. Why not pose one of their officers as a defector and have them spy on the US for them? She thinks it sounds crazy but encourages him to write a memo. Maybe somebody will listen.

Who’s Your Sugar Daddy?

Philip and Paige are shopping and after a couple of misses, he picks out the perfect dress. She notes the high price tag, but good ol’ dad tells her to try it on. Greatest. Dad. Ever.

Elizabeth is scrubbing out her tub as Philip talks about his date with the 15-year-old girl. I can’t believe I just wrote that. Speaking of another 15-year-old, Elizabeth confronts Philip about Paige’s dress. She compares Kimberly’s lack of knowledge about her father’s work to Paige’s. Low blow, Liz.

Oleg has nothing for Stan. He doesn’t believe there is anything there to have but Stan disagrees. They talk of Nina. Stan tells Oleg that Oleg loves Nina. Oleg tells Stan that Stan loves her, too. Well, I’m glad we got that sorted. Stan says he wants to make it right and the Defector is their only way to do that.

Lisa and Elizabeth/Michelle are snacking on stinky cheese. Lisa got a position at the nearby Northrop plant in fuselage assembly. How exciting (for them both). Lisa comments on Elizabeth/Michelle’s new material extravagances. Elizabeth/Michelle says she’s met a consultant who asks her questions about General Dynamics and he compensates her. Easy money. And he’s cute. Who wants to bet he looks like Philip in a wig?

Philip visits Gabriel. They talk a bit of the Boland Agreement. Gabriel gives Philp a tin of Afghani pot. For Kimberly. He says, “It’s one of the ironies of this work that so many lives depend upon one man’s relationship with an adolescent girl.” Ironically, there are two adolescent girls that have a relationship with Philip. Gabriel cautions Philip that while there is nothing wrong with having a conscience, it can be dangerous.

I’ll Take You Down a Rocky Road

Philip/Jim standing on Kimberly’s doorstep, wearing his cowboy boots. She invites him in and then invites him up to her room. They light up and talk of Kimberly’s father. She thinks he works for the agriculture department. They were close when her mother was alive. Now her step mother and her father are never around. Hm. What other parents do we know that are never around their teenage daughter? The melancholy moment is interrupted by the munchies. They eat stove top popcorn and Rocky Road and have a food fight and luckily. We all hope this as messy as the night gets.


As Kimberly dozes on the couch, Philp snoops around the Brelands’. He takes pictures of the inner lining of a coat and briefcase. He then returns to carry a passed out Kimberly to bed. She unfortunately wakes up and even more unfortunately they kiss. They hear a car in the driveway and Philp/Jim races away. We are saved from losing our popcorn and Rocky Road.

Make it Real

Philip returns home and Elizabeth asks how it went. Philip tells her about the briefcase and they agree he’ll plan the bug the next time he’s there. Philip has a quick pot-induced flashbacks to episodes to his training in espionage seduction and we see that the work is far from glamorous or desirable. “They kept taking us we had to make it real. To ourselves,” he says. Elizabeth asks about Kimberly. He feels bad for Kimberly and asks if he should sleep with her. Elizabeth says she doesn’t know. She then asks if he has to make it real with her. “Sometimes. Not now.”

Other Happenings
  • Ding Dong: Elizabeth is walking a dog and eyes a man working on a car in his garage. Who is this dog and is he a spy? Later that night, the man is still working under the car. She kicks out the jack holding up the car, crushing the man underneath. His feet jerk and are still, like Wicked Witch of the East. Camera pans up and we see the Northrop parking sticker on his windshield.
  • Stan the Man: Stan tells Philip that Tori, the woman he turned down at EST, called the FBI asking for him. He seems to realize his marriage is over and contemplates dating. He says that his son hates him. Philip, high off his success with Paige, suggests Stan spend one-on-one time with Matthew. But Stan just doesn’t get his teenage boy. A lot had changed during the three years Stan was away on his undercover operation. Yet another episode that mentions Stan’s undercover operation with the white supremacists. More to come, I’m sure.
General Musings

We find out about Philip’s training and helps to highlight the differences between Elizabeth and Philip. Elizabeth learned from her training and abuse to close off her emotions. To put up walls to protect herself. To not allow herself to be vulnerable. She is a blank canvas and can assume and shed her identities easily. Philp, on the other hand, was taught to “make it real.” He brings who he is into every identity he portrays. This season we see how he connected with Annalise, Martha, and now, Kimberly. His relationship with Kimberly poses the greatest issue as it so mirrors his relationship with his own daughter. However, a father-daughter relationship with Kimberly is not the plan. This confusion of identity and morals is obviously taking its toll on Philp.

About Mallika Chakravarti (99 Articles)
Mallika is a digital marketer, yoga teacher and nutritionist. She spends her fun time writing, podcasting, consuming vast amounts of media and wishing she could fly. Mallika can currently be found thinking of something else.
Contact: Twitter

1 Comment on The Americans – S3E5 – Salang Pass

  1. Awesome right up. I missed so much. Thanks for filling in the blanks.

Leave a comment