305 - "Salang Pass"

Director:Kevin Dowling
Writer:Stephen Schiff


  • Great episode. Sent the Creep-O-Meter a going while he was in her house, but they didn't go there (yet)
  • steph_bsteph_b Austin
    edited February 2015
    I am bummed that the cast is ending but I'm pretty close to noping out. I have never liked Elizabeth. She is a brainwashed tunnel visioned psycho with no humanity. I've always watched for Phillip but if he doesn't break down with a crisis of conscience then I will bow out. I'm hanging in for hope that all this talk of defectors leads us to Phillip going defector. I honestly believe the season will end with Phillip saying "fuck this".
  • MmmBopMmmBop United Kingdom
    Well I'm super pissed about this & was about to join club bald move. You go back to shows that are old like breaking bad yet drop a show half way through a season. This was done with Justified although I know you gave it a few minutes on your bald move tv cast. I don't know why I should invest now with your shows, it's made me cautious. West Coast Project do a cast on The Americans but that's hardly the point, I was enjoying your thoughts. Sorry if my comments are not what you want to hear.
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    There's hard to watch (suitcase) and there's cringe-worthy (pliers).  That sort of tension feels good when it's eventually released.

    Then there's this episode.

    When the statutory rape arc is over, regardless of the resolution, I'm having a hard time believing it will have been worth the feeling I have now when watching the show.

    As far as the Bald Move boys dropping the show is concerned, the explanation given makes sense.  I've sat down to write feedback on these casts a few times, and I was really excited to follow The Americans with Jim and A-Ron this season - but it's hard to feel good caring about the current plot or putting energy into analyzing and discussing it.
  • MmmBopMmmBop United Kingdom
    edited February 2015
    When watching TV you mostly suspend reality, take game of thrones, how dark can that be and is. Dany was a mere child apparently yet we all watched her being brutally taken by carl drago (sp) and babies being brutally murdered. Women being throughly degraded, yet that's not as dark as Phillips storyline?
    the rape of crasters daughter....etc etc it's all alive in GoT. I don't believe for one tiny minute the girl in question in Americans is 15 as I know for a fact she is not, hence I don't get too wound up in that storyline, if it was real life then shit that's another matter entirely. I have children so can understand how people react.

    So the podcast ends. I'm done if A.Ron cannot enjoy that plot line being told, I respect that decision. I don't like it, but that's my opinion.
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    @MmmBop You're not wrong. There's definitely been a lot of arguably darker plot points in other shows that I don't find as difficult to watch.  

    My guess is that setting has a lot to do with this.  I don't see my house, my kids, my country when I watch Game of Thrones.  When I watch The Americans, I see a lot of very familiar settings.  I can't speak for A.Ron, but for me that familiarity takes it to an extra level of uncomfortable.  

    Let me be clear: I'm not saying the show is doing anything wrong.  I think they're trying to survive by getting the show noticed.  I definitely don't think they're advocating abuse and they're definitely not glossing over it - which Game of Thrones often does.
  • For me, it's not that it's dark - it's the combination of dark and soulless. Elizabeth is a single-minded robot and everything is a means to an end. Phillip is the potentially redeemable one here and I don't want to see him sell his soul for nothing. In the end we know who "wins" the Cold War so unless Phillip draws a line somewhere it's all just wallowing in shit and abuse. If that's the whole point here then I get the message already and can call it a day. I'm giving it a couple more episodes before I completely nope out. I need Phillip to have a crisis of conscience in order to keep coming back to this week after week.
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    @trippy  I agree.  I love this show so much.  Some have argued that it is soulless, or that Elizabeth is a robot or a villain, and I do not see it that way at all.  I think it is full of emotion, especially love (all kinds), and yes, the characters may do terrible things, but none of them do terrible things for selfish reasons like greed, glory, pleasure, etc.  I empathize with everyone, some more than others, of course.  I've found this season to be incredibly sad and full of dread, but the fact that it engages me so much and touches me so deeply is a stunning achievement, as I am not an easy customer in that area.

    I also do not understand the argument of, "Well, we know how the Cold War ends..."  Why is that a hindrance?  I'm watching it for the characters and the stories that are currently being told in this fiction.  What's the point of consuming any historical fiction or dramatizations, for that matter?
  • It's a hindrance for me because I don't see any humanity in these characters like you do, @pavlovsbell. If I found the characters to be sympathetic or realistic then I could be invested in their experience. You clearly see something that I don't. I'm glad the show works for you. The world is full of people who experience things in different ways. Clearly we are on different wavelengths and are having opposite experiences with this show.
  • I'm also a huge fan of historical fiction. Characters motivations matter far more than plot. The precise reason the Americans is losing me is because I am no longer able to connect to the characters. It's annoying because I was in love with season 2 and sorely disappointed with the trajectory of season.
  • steph_bsteph_b Austin
    edited March 2015
    I'm pretty sure you guys completely missed my point.
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    @steph_b  I'm sorry, I hope that I haven't offended you.  If I did, then I apologize.  I understand that everyone connects differently to art, and I respect your opinion.
  • No worries. I find it fascinating how differently any two people will respond to the show.

    And I wanna be clear that I felt a super strong connection to the show and the characters for the first two seasons and was blown away by my reactions to some of Phillip & Elizabeth's marks. It really made me pause to question why I was reacting the way I was to these characters. I had to question some of my own prejudices and judgements. I don't know what exactly has changed but season 3 has steadily been losing me. I'm still holding out hope that it'll come back around for me but I'm only a couple of episodes from losing interest.

    As for the bit about the Cold War, I grew up during the 80s and after the Berlin Wall fell there was a definite difference. I don't know that there was a winner but an era was most definitely over.

    How that affects my connection to the show is with respect to Elizabeth & Phillip's motivations and knowing how futile the whole deal was. If nothing redeeming comes out of it then I feel like I'm just watching them ruin innocent people's live for nothing.
  • ElisaElisa Los Angeles
    Honestly by watching The Americans now and what is going on in the Ukraine, Afganistan etc, IMO the cold war is definitely not over.  But I respect everyone's opinion.  I love the show.  The movie quality themes and layers, the actors and questionable motivations and decision making is just sublime.  I like dark myself especially if it is well done.  I too am a child of the 80's so I totally related to this show, the good and the bad.  Plus the music is fabulous :D 
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