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The Americans (S3E05) - "Salang Pass" - 2/25/15

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The Americans (S3E05) - "Salang Pass" - 2/25/15

Old 02-25-15, 02:07 PM
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The Americans (S3E05) - "Salang Pass" - 2/25/15


Episode 5 / Production #305 - "Salang Pass" (Airs February 25, 10:00 pm e/p) - Philip juggles the many women in his life while Elizabeth takes drastic measures to complete a mission. Stan asserts a plan to save Nina with an unlikely ally. Written by Stephen Schiff; directed by Kevin Dowling.
Old 02-26-15, 11:10 AM
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Re: The Americans (S3E05) - "Salang Pass" - 2/25/15

I almost forgot about Martha. I realize that "Clark" has a plausible cover as to why they can't live together, but I'm finding it really hard to believe that he's able to live as Philip with a wife and kids, plus run a successful travel agency (their house in the 'burbs can't be cheap), plus run all his other secret missions. Unless the travel agency is a front for KGB money laundering and he really doesn't have to work that hard at that job.

The fact that Martha wants to adopt a kid makes me think he's putting in enough time with Martha to convince her that it's real.
Old 02-26-15, 02:38 PM
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Re: The Americans (S3E05) - "Salang Pass" - 2/25/15

Come on, you know that the travel agency is just a front. This was the land of no travelocity or internet booking of flights, those numbers could so easily be flubbed around. I doubt they do any work there at all.

But yeah, the whole Martha stuff needs to just be resolved or swept under the rug already. No way someone could live THAT many alternate lives.
Old 02-26-15, 04:00 PM
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Re: The Americans (S3E05) - "Salang Pass" - 2/25/15

Their travel agency being a front makes sense in explaining how they'd have lots of time to run their spy operations, but is a travel agency really a cash business? I can't imagine people would come to them to book flights, hotels, cruises, etc and just hand them huge stacks of cash.
Old 02-26-15, 06:34 PM
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Re: The Americans (S3E05) - "Salang Pass" - 2/25/15

Originally Posted by RoyalTea View Post
I almost forgot about Martha. I realize that "Clark" has a plausible cover as to why they can't live together, but I'm finding it really hard to believe that he's able to live as Philip with a wife and kids, plus run a successful travel agency (their house in the 'burbs can't be cheap), plus run all his other secret missions. Unless the travel agency is a front for KGB money laundering and he really doesn't have to work that hard at that job.

The fact that Martha wants to adopt a kid makes me think he's putting in enough time with Martha to convince her that it's real.
Obviously money is a not an issue. My only real plausibility problem with the show is how they seem to have enough hours in the day to do all the stuff they do, including their fake lives.

Notwithstanding that, awesome episode.
Old 02-26-15, 07:35 PM
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Re: The Americans (S3E05) - "Salang Pass" - 2/25/15

Between seducing a 16 in 8 months year old and the Sad Soviet Sex Room of Tears, i am going to need a doll to show where the Americans touched me.

just watching Philip's expressions and faces, especially his eyes, in scenes is some amazing acting to see.
Old 02-26-15, 07:56 PM
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Re: The Americans (S3E05) - "Salang Pass" - 2/25/15

Phillip & Elizabeth have to be the most amazing actors in the world to be able to not only fit into American society in their "main" roles but be able to play all of these other roles convincingly (not to mention being masters of disguises). The producers do a nice job of moving the story along quickly enough to get the audience to suspend disbelief about some of the more questionable stretches (Martha, travel agency, etc.).

Seriously doubt that they'll have Phillip go through with the seduction of the just-barely-older-than-14 mark despite their willingness to knock off other innocents (note to anyone working in a defense plant position...don't work under your car with the garage door open). Elizabeth is the cold-hearted one (funny how she horrified she is at the thought of Paige's baptism but not the idea that she could become a Soviet operative who might be required to seduce, kill, etc.) and would probably not flinch at the idea of seducing a 15-year-old. The producers may string this story along for another week or so but highly doubt that they'll ever allow Phillip to go through with the deed (he'll either back out or discover that he can get any information they need in other ways or some other thing). The "training" sequence was pretty brilliant, illustrating the lengths to which the Soviet masters had them go in order to be "conditioned" to sexual shenanigans of all types in order to establish that the physical part wouldn't be a problem. But it would certainly cast Phillip in a different light for the audience since he is the more sympathetic of the two (although showing Elizabeth's emotions that suggest jealousy on her part was another nice touch).

It was also a nicer touch having the kid talking about her absent parents leading double lives & watching Phillip's reactions.
Old 02-26-15, 08:36 PM
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Re: The Americans (S3E05) - "Salang Pass" - 2/25/15

Found this really interesting analysis of "Salang Pass" and the sexual lives of spies as depicted in The Americans (from Time.com). http://time.com/3723035/the-american...w-salang-pass/

One thing I'd forgotten about was the thought of Phillip not only using people for sex but also the possibility of his and Martha's adopting of a child if that were required to keep his cover & keep Martha as an asset. Also points out the Rocky Road/popcorn scene as creepy in that it recalls the scene with Phillip & Paige shopping for dresses (i.e., the kitchen scene could easily be an innocent father-daughter scene...as the story points out, reminding us of how uncomfortable this scenario should be rather than being titillating). Anyway, pretty good short read from Time.
Old 02-26-15, 09:06 PM
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The Sex Lives of Spies is a great title for something.

Last edited by hanshotfirst1138; 02-27-15 at 11:02 AM.
Old 02-27-15, 11:39 AM
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Re: The Americans (S3E05) - "Salang Pass" - 2/25/15

Have to TM that sucker, fast!
Old 02-28-15, 02:05 PM
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Re: The Americans (S3E05) - "Salang Pass" - 2/25/15

I have to believe the travel agency is mostly a cover and they are being funded by the Soviet Union. I don't think it has ever been addressed on the show but it would be implausible to believe they are leading double and triple lives while also holding a full-time job.
Old 02-28-15, 03:35 PM
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Re: The Americans (S3E05) - "Salang Pass" - 2/25/15

Originally Posted by Ropes Pierre View Post

just watching Philip's expressions and faces, especially his eyes, in scenes is some amazing acting to see.
Yeah, this was a great Phillip episode to watch. No one else mentioned the little role reversal in the Stan and Oleg plot. I'm actually looking forward to see how that one plays out in the end.

I stopped trying to figure out realistic the Americans would be in real life and just enjoyed the show as it is.
Old 02-28-15, 06:04 PM
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Re: The Americans (S3E05) - "Salang Pass" - 2/25/15

Originally Posted by sleepyhead55 View Post
Yeah, this was a great Phillip episode to watch. No one else mentioned the little role reversal in the Stan and Oleg plot. I'm actually looking forward to see how that one plays out in the end.

I stopped trying to figure out realistic the Americans would be in real life and just enjoyed the show as it is.
Good point re: Stan & Oleg. It's like Stan has the upper hand now & is leveraging Oleg...Stan seems back in his element now that Nina isn't physically present.

The producers deserve a lot of credit for keeping the show gripping & hiding the implausibilities. Just reading these threads, I'm not seeing anyone acting disgusted by the little plot holes (and bad wigs)...seems that the comments are just noting them even while the show is being enjoyed immensely. It's not like one of those shows that strain credulity to the point that it becomes laughable, and I think most of us have made our peace with the plot holes just as you have. Again, kudos to the producers.

Another thing I like about the show is that (although I don't want this to happen) the show could end at any moment given the dangerous work Phillip & Elizabeth are doing. This is one show that won't have any problem coming up with a definitive ending (even if they survive). And there are still lots of directions they can take given the romantic entanglements, Stan & Phillip friendship, recruitment of kids question, etc.

To be honest, never expected the show to be this good.
Old 03-01-15, 04:05 PM
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Re: The Americans (S3E05) - "Salang Pass" - 2/25/15

I became a Matthew Rhys fan with this show. His acting is really amazing.

I've posted before that I can't wait until Stan finds out the truth about Phillip and Elizabeth, comparing that scene to the one in Breaking Bad. In this episode I thought that, since they are showing really human people, almost realistically, there's another option, one where Phillip defects and becomes and ally of Stan. Or somehow Stan supports him, or them. I'm not sure if Elizabeth can be saved right now.
Old 03-01-15, 04:12 PM
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Re: The Americans (S3E05) - "Salang Pass" - 2/25/15

Originally Posted by Raul3 View Post
I became a Matthew Rhys fan with this show. His acting is really amazing.

I've posted before that I can't wait until Stan finds out the truth about Phillip and Elizabeth, comparing that scene to the one in Breaking Bad. In this episode I thought that, since they are showing really human people, almost realistically, there's another option, one where Phillip defects and becomes and ally of Stan. Or somehow Stan supports him, or them. I'm not sure if Elizabeth can be saved right now.
Interesting prospects...never thought about Phillip defecting (but can see that...especially to save his kids).

Agree that Elizabeth is pretty damaged. It's almost as though her entire being would crumble if she her faith in "the mission" eroded. I could almost seeing her having a total breakdown...she's living so much in denial right now about the future of her kids, it's almost like her violent, cold streak is just a facade she puts up to maintain her sanity. Sometimes she gets that thousand yard stare of cult victims.

As Ropes Pierre said, Rhys says a lot with his eyes. Can be pretty sad even when carrying out a mission.
Old 03-01-15, 09:43 PM
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Re: The Americans (S3E05) - "Salang Pass" - 2/25/15

Originally Posted by Raul3 View Post
I became a Matthew Rhys fan with this show. His acting is really amazing.

I've posted before that I can't wait until Stan finds out the truth about Phillip and Elizabeth, comparing that scene to the one in Breaking Bad. In this episode I thought that, since they are showing really human people, almost realistically, there's another option, one where Phillip defects and becomes and ally of Stan. Or somehow Stan supports him, or them. I'm not sure if Elizabeth can be saved right now.
I think Philip defects when the Soviets flip Paige, eventually working as a US asset under Stan without Elizabeth's knowledge. Philip has all but said he doesn't want his children becoming Soviet spies.
Old 03-01-15, 10:34 PM
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Re: The Americans (S3E05) - "Salang Pass" - 2/25/15

Philip's creepy sex room flashbacks is the most uncomfortable I've been watching tv in quite awhile.
Old 03-02-15, 01:57 AM
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Re: The Americans (S3E05) - "Salang Pass" - 2/25/15

Originally Posted by MrX View Post
Philip's creepy sex room flashbacks is the most uncomfortable I've been watching tv in quite awhile.
I think stuffing that dead body in the suitcase takes the cake.

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