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"I think your defector isn't a defector." Stan about Zinaida

Salang Pass is the fifth episode of Season Three of The Americans on FX, and the thirty-first episode overall.


Philip juggles the many women in his life; Elizabeth takes drastic measures to complete a mission.


Martha takes "Clark" to look at foster children. Disguised as "Michelle", Elizabeth and Lisa meet in a park where Lisa's kids are playing. Michelle says her mother has just been moved to a nursing home and has an empty house 50 miles away that Lisa can use to take a break from her husband, Maurice, who is drinking again. Stan surprises Oleg when he's jogging and saying that he believes defector Zinaida is a spy, proposes Oleg find out if it's true. Zinaida could then be traded for Nina. Yousaf prepares to go back to Pakistan and tells "Scott Birkeland" to leave him alone, now that he's done what he asked. He tells "Scott" that the Russians are fighting barbarians and that the religious zeal is spilling over into the ISI, whose officers are growing their beards.

Salang Pass Episode Martha Clark.jpg
We're not buying one today.
Philip tells Elizabeth about looking at foster children and reminisces about Paige and Henry's youth. Elizabeth asks about Kimmy who Philip uncomfortably says is young. Stan has dinner with the Jennings. Henry asks about Sandra which makes everyone uncomfortable. Paige asks for a new dress for her baptism which Philip says he'll take her to shop for, to Elizabeth's surprise. In disguise, Elizabeth takes a dog for a walk past the house of Tom and watches him underneath a car, fixing it. "James" arranges to meet Kimmy but is annoyed to find it's at an outdoor party of high school students. (♫ A Flock of Seagulls - I Ran (So Far Away) ♫) Confessing she's 15, "James" makes Kimmy realize they should just see each other privately and she invites him to her house when her parents are away.

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Who's this?
After living in the house "Michelle" offered her, Lisa is happy and grateful. The house is close to a Northrup plant so she's put in for a transfer. Due to her high security clearance, she'll be at the top of the list for any opening. At the Rezidentura, Oleg has a drink with Tatiana after work hours. Oleg asks if the KGB has ever trained one of their officers to pretend to defect to gain access to information. Tatiana thinks it's a good idea but doesn't let on if she knows that Zinaida is a spy. Philip takes Paige dress shopping and she's grateful when he buys her an expensive one.

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I have got it.
Stan hangs out at Philip's home, drinking beer, and says that Tori, from EST, asked him out. Confessing that going to EST isn't getting him back with Sandra, he also says that Matthew is a mystery to him and being away on his previous FBI assignment resulted in them growing apart. Philip proposes Stan bring Tori to his house for dinner. At night, as Tom works under his car, Elizabeth kicks out a jack and the car crushes him. There's a Northrup parking sticker on the car's window. The next day, Elizabeth confronts Philip about buying the baptism dress for Paige, believing he's trying to keep her away from KGB recruitment. She draws a parallel between Kimmy and Paige which angers Philip.

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Take the pressure off.
Oleg meets Stan and reports he couldn't find out if Zinaida is a spy and that he believes Stan is trying to set him up. Stan tries to convince Oleg that his motivation is to save Nina. Lisa has "Michelle" over to celebrate getting the transfer. Noticing Michelle's expensive clothing and handbag, Michelle tells her about her new friend "Jack," who pays her to answer questions about her work at General Dynamics and implies Lisa could benefit too. Philip meets with Gabriel, who gives him some strong Afghani pot to use with Kimmy. Believing that Philip will need to have a sexual relationship with Kimmy to run her long-term, he sympathises. He also expresses concern for the stress that juggling Martha, Paige and now Kimmy is causing him and warns him that conscience can be dangerous.

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I wanted to celebrate my good luck.
"James" smokes the pot with Kimmy on the back deck of her house. As she talks about her family and her relationship with her father, he is pained to hear similarities between her and Paige. Kimmy says her step-mother and father are never there and she often doesn't know what they're doing. Moving to the kitchen, they eat and have a food fight. Kimmy eventually passes out on the couch. "James" enters her father's study and photographs a jacket and his briefcase, taking measurements for the placement of a bug. He picks Kimmy up off the couch and carries her to her bed. She wakes suddenly and kisses him, but stops when they hear doors slam outside. Her parents home, "James" flees out the back door.

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Yeah, you definitely need a better life.
Exhausted, Philip returns home to find Elizabeth waiting up for him. Remembering his training, he recalls having sex with men and woman of various ages and being told he had to "make it real." Elizabeth gets confirmation that he has to use his training when having sex with Martha. Saying he didn't sleep with Kimmy, he asks Elizabeth's advice if he should but she isn't sure what he should do. Replying honestly to Elizabeth's question if he has to make it real with her, he says he needs to sometimes. Turning towards her, he says "not now."

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номер лб-318.


  • The Salang Pass is a major mountain pass connecting northern Afghanistan to Pakistan. On November 3, 1982, a huge fire in the tunnel killed a large, but unknown, number of Soviet troops. At the beginning of this episode, Philip is shown listening to a BBC radio news report on the fire. However, this would place the timing of the episode ahead of several previous episodes (EST Men, Open House), which reference historical events (like the death of Leonid Brezhnev) that occurred after the Salang fire. (see Timeline of Historical Events)
  • Gabriel mentions the Boland Amendment which restricted American assistance to the Contras in Nicaragua. Philip and Elizabeth's infiltration of a Contra training camp, with Lucia's assistance, is implied to be a major contributor to the Amendment. ("Martial Eagle")
  • Kimmy has a poster of the Human League in her bedroom.
  • "Previously on The Americans" voice: Martha.


Song Title Performer(s)
I Ran (So Far Away) A Flock of Seagulls


Season Three
#301 "EST Men" #308 "Divestment"
#302 "Baggage" #309 "Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?"
#303 "Open House" #310 "Stingers"
#304 "Dimebag" #311 "One Day in the Life of Anton Baklanov"
#305 "Salang Pass" #312 "I Am Abassin Zadran"
#306 "Born Again" #313 "March 8, 1983"
#307 "Walter Taffet"