Darkroom is the tenth episode of Season Five of The Americans on FX, and the sixty-second episode overall.


Paige’s snooping leads Philip and Elizabeth to make a choice that could shift the balance of their lives forever. Stan and Aderholt’s recruitment of Sofia suddenly bears fruit.


Phillip hangs out at Alexei’s house, drinking his homemade kvass. Alexei is concerned about Pasha, saying his son is like a dog that’s been beaten with a stick. Tuan comes home and Elizabeth tells him she didn’t report him. She says she believes in him and thinks he could be “great at this,” but he needs to not make a similar mistake again. After the Jennings return home late at night, they find Paige repeatedly mopping the same spot on the kitchen floor. While babysitting for Tim and Alice, she read about herself in his diary. He thinks she might be “really screwed up,” and Paige suspects he’s right.

The next day at the travel agency, Elizabeth says “Can’t you just see him there, writing in his diary every night, making his little observations about everyone …” She's apparently completely unaware that she’s no different, having spent her career doing the exact same thing. The irony of her statement appears lost on Phillip as well, who opines that Tim should have locked his diary up (in contrast with the Jennings’ “diaries,” which are always read by scores of people).

Oleg and Ruslan tail Lydia Formina and observe she is not living the life of a wealthy person. Oleg tells Ruslan about his recent troubles with Directorate K. Ruslan thinks Oleg still working is a sign they don’t have much on him. However, both agree that since his father is so important, they wouldn’t have risked searching his apartment unless they have a reason.

Stan and Dennis have the FBI rent a unit in Sofia’s apartment building, so she will have a safe place to meet with them. She says she’s been dating a man named Gennadi Bystrov, a former defenseman for the Soviet national hockey team. He now works as a courier for the Russian government. Later, Stan, Dennis and Agent Wolfe attend a small presentation about how the Soviets smuggle contraband via the diplomatic pouch. They try to devise a way, using Bystrov, to access the pouch.

The Jennings give Claudia the most recent tape from Isaac Breland’s briefcase. Phillip tells her something happened in Ghazni: mujahideen were killed by a hemorrhagic fever. They also ask if The Center might be able to finagle a job offer for Pastor Tim, somewhere far away. Claudia tells them The Center examined the wheat sample they sent and it is “remarkable.” She says their agronomists will be analyzing it for “years,” and they’ll need to keep working Stobert and Kemp long term.

At home, Paige asks what happened with the plans the Americans (supposedly) had to infest Soviet grain with bugs and Phillip says “It’s not going to happen.” “You stopped it?” Paige gasps, surprised and thrilled. Elizabeth answers “It was complicated but … they’re not doing it now.” Paige looks at them both with admiration, believing they did something important and wonderful, when in reality, all they accomplished was assassinating an innocent lab worker and stealing a sample of healthy grain.

Phillip and Elizabeth go out with Stan and Renee. After, Elizabeth tells Phillip “The Center has nothing to do with them, come on. And so what if they do?” Phillip replies “I don’t want Stan to be like Martha.” The scene cuts directly to Phillip listening to an EST lecture about instincts: "When you’re in the dark, you put your hands out in front of you. But if someone turns on the light and there’s nothing there, do you feel stupid?”

Paige helps Pastor Tim prepare boxes for the food pantry. He tells her she’s grown spiritually so much over the last year and is “definitely headed in the right direction.” He adds that she’ll do well in life, “there’s not a doubt in my mind about that.”

Phillip surprises Elizabeth by driving her to an abandoned warehouse, having arranged a real marriage ceremony for them via Father Andrei. After, they come home and put their new “true” wedding rings in the safe in their laundry room.

Based on intelligence gathered by the Jennings, Tatiana approaches Evgheniya on the street and tells her if she wants to come, she can: there will be no repercussions for anyone.

Paige arrives home, having taken pictures of Pastor Tim’s diary. She says she wants her parents to see if they can arrange the job offer, and thought if they had his diary, it could help guide what kind of position he’d really like. Phillip and Elizabeth bring Paige down to the laundry room and she watches as they convert it to a darkroom and develop the film. They are then able to read some of the words he wrote about Paige, and about them: “Are they monsters? I don’t know. But what they did to their daughter, I’d have to call monstrous. I’ve seen sexual abuse, I’ve seen affairs. But nothing I’ve seen compares to what P. J. has been through.” And: “There’s a psychic injury faith may help, but I fear it won’t be enough. The damage is done. How can she ever trust anyone again? … She doesn’t even know how much she’s suffering.”


  • Kvass (квас/хлібний квас/сирівець) is a traditional Slavic and Baltic beverage commonly made from rye bread (which is known in Ukraine and Russia as black bread).


Song Title Performer(s)
Slice of Life Bauhaus


The Americans 5x10 Promo "Darkroom" (HD) Season 5 Episode 10 Promo

The Americans 5x10 Promo "Darkroom" (HD) Season 5 Episode 10 Promo

Season Five
#501 "Amber Waves" #508 "Immersion"
#502 "Pests" #509 "IHOP"
#503 "The Midges" #510 "Darkroom"
#504 "What's the Matter with Kansas?" #511 "Dyatkovo"
#505 "Lotus 1-2-3" #512 "The World Council of Churches"
#506 "Crossbreed" #513 "The Soviet Division"
#507 "The Committee on Human Rights"