Previously on The Americans, ‘Salang Pass’
Praise be. We’re at church and guess who looks calm, comfortable, and happy? Paige and Pastor Tim. Guess who looks tense, awkward and ready to kill? Paige’s parents. Seated near the back of the church, they look like they just wandered in off the street and are now trapped. Pastor Tim extols Paige’s political virtues (she is her mother’s daughter, after all) and the Paige beams, beatifically. Elizabeth and Phillip glower, sullenly. Pastor Tim leans Paige back into the tub and she arises from underwater, reminiscent of Elizabeth in first scene of the season. You know, after that flashback of her pushing Paige, age 7, into the community pool. She is reborn. Elizabeth finds this birth far more painful than the first time around.
Pious Page is redecorating. Philip helps Paige exchange Springfield for Paris. He tells her he’s proud of her for sticking to her beliefs and that she shouldn’t feel pressured to go against what she feels is right. He tells her to be true to herself. Subtext: If your mother tries to peer pressure you into becoming a spy, just say no (even though I can’t)! Paige rolls her eyes and brushes him off. I guess you can’t baptize the teenager out of the girl.
Phillip-James and Kimmy are baked like bread. He plays a little Pink Floyd for her. Kimmy suggests taking a bath together as a better idea (C’mon, Kimmy). Phillip-James convinces her to go it alone and Phillip uses the opportunity to let his Bug Lady into the house. She gets to work on the briefcase.
Elizabeth is at home and restless. Who can blame her? Her husband might be sleeping with a minor. She goes to the garage to smoke, only to be caught by Paige. Her kids are already on to her dirty little secret. The nicotine secret, that is. Paige is surprisingly understanding and the two share a moment. Elizabeth lets Paige know she’ll support her no matter what. Subtext: you should support me, no matter what. Paige asks her mom if Elizabeth has tried praying. Paige says after awhile you start to feel something, a presence, and that it helps.
The Bug Lady is masterfully at work when Kimmy calls out for James. Philip-James gets her to wait in her bedroom, wrapped only in a towel. He comes in and gives her the Bug Lady’s earrings. As expected, she drops the towel. Philip wraps the towel back around her as the Bug Lady makes her stealthy exit. Philip-James plays the God Card. He needs to take things slow. Ever the teenager, Kimmy asks if it’s her. He tells her she is perfect.
Philip gets home and Elizabeth is in bed. Philip waggles a joint and the two light up. Even high, they can’t help but talk about Paige. Elizabeth tells Philip about the prayer conversation and worries Paige is living in a fantasy world. Philip tells Elizabeth Jesus saved him from having sex with a minor. However, if the operation drags on, he might have to. When she’s older. Maybe when she can legally operate a motor vehicle?
Don’t Trust the G…
Gabriel and Phillip are playing Scrabble, again. Phillip tells Gabriel about placing the bug. Gabriel urges Phillip to get it on with Kimberly so he can access the recording device whenever it is needed. Philip seems unconvinced, so Gabriel hits below the belt. Phillip’s old lover Irina was captured and faces a trial. Gabriel knows Phillip spoke to her a couple of years ago and he knows about Irina and Philip’s son, Misha. He’s in the military and takes after his father. Gabriel says he hasn’t told Elizabeth.
Elizabeth is developing pictures, when Phillip comes in. He starts to tell her about his conversation with Gabriel and Elizabeth prematurely jumps to Gabriel’s defense. Phillip tells her he has to change out Kimberly’s tapes on a weekly, not monthly, basis. He leaves Elizabeth to soak in the implications.
Gabriel and Elizabeth are having dinner. Gabriel brings up Philip and Elizabeth says Philip knows she is going ahead with her plans for Paige without him. “But you aren’t going ahead,” Gabriel says. Touche, G, touche.
Philip-James meets Kimberly outside of school and offers her a ride. Kimberly tries to brush him off, but Philip-James is persistent. Kimberly invites him over while her parents are away.
Kimberly takes Philip-James up to her room. Confession time. Drawing on the truth, Philip-James tells Kimberly he got a girl pregnant when he was seventeen, but has never met his son. He wants to be a part of his life, now. Philip-James says he’s really messed up right now and Kimmy is moved. Philip-James asks her to pray with him. The two kneel and Philip-James awkwardly offers up a prayer. Kimmy has one of her own. She asks for God to watch over James’ son and to allow James to see him, again. Looking at her face, it seems like Philip may have felt something. It may have helped.
Elizabeth meets Paige outside of her school and offers her a ride. They go to a run-down neighborhood, where she used to meet Gregory. She tells Paige Gregory was very important to her and they used to fight in the Civil Rights movement. Their ways weren’t always legal but were right for the greater good. “I brought you here because I wanted you to know that I’m more like you than you think.”
…with Sad-Sack Stan
Stan has his first date with Tori, the EST lady at his neighbor’s house. Completely normal. Thanks to Henry, “Inspector Clouseau” Jennings, we learn more about EST and Tori. Henry thinks it sounds weird. Everyone — on and off — the screen agrees.
Later that night, Stan and Tori are getting it on. Thankfully, at Stan’s. But he just can’t go with a good thing because his mind is on his wife. Lucky for him, Tori has EST training and shows Stan a little something about Experience.
Stan’s bubble is popped when Killjoy Aderholt gives him some bad news about a former colleague, Dave, who was killed in a plane crash. Like a junkie needing a fix, Beeman calls Sandra and once again reaches Arthur’s answering machine. He doesn’t leave a message, but she comes over later to drop off Matthew. He asks her to come with him to the wake. She is uncomfortable and noncommittal.
…with Hans-some Hans
Hans’ training continues. He tells a wiggy Elizabeth he followed a suspicious student, after class. He thinks the CIA may be running him with the South Africans. She tells him they’ll look into it, but not to follow him again. During their dinner, Gabriel gives Elizabeth a photo of Hans’ student meeting with a contact from the South African intelligence. The government is planning violent attacks to discredit the anti-apartheid movement. The Center has plans to use Reagan’s support of the South African president, Botha, against him.
…with (Not-Quite) Mama Martha
Martha faces the Mail Robot. Killjoy Aderholt sidles up and tells her he’s made a couple of calls and there will be no more classified files lying around. Martha’s eyebrows shoot up to her hairline. Will Martha’s usefulness come to an end, ruining her unfostered kid’s life? Will she have to dig deeper to help the toupe she loves?
…with Nefarious Nina
In Lefortova prison, things have changed. Evi is the one who is munching away while Nina is curled up bemoaning her losses. She tells Evi about her Capitalist and Communist lovers and how she loved them both, but they loved their countries more than her. All her efforts are not in vain. Evi opens up to Nina and confesses she was in on the plan all along. Mission accomplished. Nina is rewarded in private with non-Goolagish food and wine. Later, Evi is dragged away, literally kicking and screaming while Juicy Couture Nina placidly looks away. Cold. Piece.