The Americans Darkroom Season 5 Episode 10 Recap – In the previous episode, Agent Wolfe is pressuring Stan to blackmail Oleg with an incriminating audio tape. The FBI needs Oleg’s help to find the two KGB agents they believe murdered Frank Gaad.
Another worry concerns Tuan who seems to have gone AWOL. When the Jennings catch him up, Tuan begs them not to tell Claudia. His excuse was that he had to go far afield so as not to raise suspicions as he made phones calls to his adopted family. Elizabeth believes his story. Philip is skeptical.
In Moscow, the PGU secret police are knocking on Oleg Burov’s door. The Soviet intelligence agents question him about his mission in the U.S. They have found nothing in the search of his apartment but still it’s a worry for Oleg, his mother, and his government ministry father.
The Americans Darkroom Season 5 Episode 10 Recap
In Episode 10, Alexei Morozov and Philip are drinking homemade kvass out of canning jars. Kvass is a vile beverage made from rye bread that requires Russian fortitude to drink.
Kvassing with Philip
Alexei feels comfortable enough with his buddy Philip to share family experiences. In spite of all the material advantages of America, he seems to be feeling a bit homesick. He says it’s not “so easy to be happy in U.S.” He misses the simple pleasures of life in his native homeland.
Kvetching with Elizabeth
Elizabeth is assigned to watch over Evgheniya Morozov. The two women have teamed up for a bit of kitchen gossip. Evgheniya’s troubles have deepened. Tuan’s dirty tricks have made things worse for the Morozov’s son Pasha. In a fit of desperation, Mrs. Morozov confides to Elizabeth that she’s been angry at husband Alexei for his constant putdowns of the Soviet Union. That’s why she tumbled into bed with one of her language students.
The Jennings’ have an objective and ulterior motive in their affiliation of the Morozovs. Because Alexei is a top biologist-agronomist, the Soviets want him back in a Moscow research facility. The Jennings’ plan is to make things difficult for the Morozovs. This difficulty will then make them desire to move back to Russia. The plan seems to be working.
Pasha and the Dog Poop
Morozov’s son Pasha is key to turn the tide against the Morozovs. Pasha resents that he’s been unwillingly dragged away from Russia. He has difficulties in school. Tuan exacerbates his feelings of isolation and rejection by getting some school hooligans to put dog poop in Pasha’s locker.
When Tatiana, a Soviet agent at the embassy, approaches Evgheniya Morozov about a move back to Russia, she seriously considers it. “I want family to be happy,” she tells Elizabeth. “What kind of people would put dog poop in a student locker,” she wonders.
Sofia’s Beautiful Smile
FBI agents Aderholt and Beeman have lured Sofia Kovalenko into spying for them. There were two basic concerns which were addressed by the agents. She was worried most about her beloved son’s future. And she had bad teeth. The FBI remedied both conditions by giving her the financial resources she need to improve both situations.
She’s a pretty woman and now has a beautiful smile to match. Additional developments alert Stan to other possibilities. Sofia’s beautiful smile has helped her land a man, Gennady Bistroff, a celebrity defenseman on the Soviet national hockey team. What makes the FBI agents perk up is that Gennady, in his travels, also acts as a courier for secret Soviet communications. This spells opportunity for agents Beeman and Aderholt. Along with other agents, Beeman and Aderholt have just attended a seminar on Soviet communications tradecraft.
Keeping it in the Family
The episode has a lot going for it in the way of relationship. Philip’s interior monologue is stimulated in yet another EST session. He’s still upset about being party to the use of the Lassa virus in Afghanistan.
After a visit with Pastor Tim, Paige voices her concerns about things she’s read in his diary. “He thinks I might really be screwed up. He said so in his diary. He thinks it’s because of all the lying.”
Elizabeth and Philip try to reassure her. They explain that not telling her about their occupation was a way to protect her. Recognizing Pastor Tim as something of a flake, they tell Paige not to mind him. Like the dedicated parents they are, they even offer a solution. They’ve arranged with Claudia to sucker Pastor Tim into a missionary job with one of the helping agencies in an African country. But only if Paige wants that to happen.
Paige is conflicted by the power her parents have – that they can manipulate things without Pastor Tim knowing about it. But when she goes a step further, reads and takes photos of additional pages of Pastor Tim’s diary, she knows she must do what’s right for her family. In so doing, Paige has clearly demonstrated a fitness for the spy game.
TV Eskimo has a different take on Paige and Pastor Tim which can be read here: ‘Pastor Tim’s Diary – The Most Powerful Weapon in the Americans?‘
People of a certain age will remember darkrooms, those mysterious places where raw film was developed into real pictures. Others who were born in the digital age will say whaaaaaaaaaaa? But Elizabeth, Philip, and Paige are in a room with no light except the red one.
Red light will be ‘read’ as black and is the only light by which the photographers may see what they need to see. Film is projected into paper and then into chemical liquid filled trays and voila! Wet pictures to hang on a clothesline until it dries. Philip and Elizabeth are astounded by what Pastor Tim has written in his diary when they develop the pictures.
The jist of it: Are they (the Jennings) monsters? I’ve seen sex abuse but nothing compares to what Paige has been through. It’s monstrous. She (Paige) has severe psychic injury. She doesn’t even know how much she’s suffering.
With the photographs, Paige has shown that the younger generation of Soviet spies is ready for service. She cannot see into the future of the Soviet communist experiment. What she feels most strongly is a need get the creepy Pastor Tim and his empty idealism as far away from her as possible.
A Marriage Made in Moscow
Paige’s parents are also having an epiphany. Philip is touched by the American way of life. When he and Elizabeth were given forged marital and identification documents in Moscow, there was no love between them – only cold calculation. In spite of the excesses to which they’ve been driven, a real understanding has developed between them.
And now Philip wants to cement their union in a traditional way. He and Elizabeth travel to an abandoned warehouse. They’re in disguise. Elizabeth asks where she’s being taken to. It’s a surprise for her and for the audience too.
In a touch of sweetness, Philip has brought Elizabeth to meet with Father Andrei, an orthodox priest and fellow Soviet agent, who marries them. The ceremony is mystical and traditional. Elizabeth is touched.
It’s as if they’re new again. Or what passes as new with communist agents operating in the U.S.
TV Eskimo is a big fan of Watching The Americans podcast – you can listen to the Darkroom episode here.
Other reviews of The Americans by TV Eskimo:
The Americans Darkroom Season 5 Episode 10 Recap characters and cast include:
Elizabeth Jennings – Keri Russell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Felicity, August Rush, Mission: Impossible III, Dark Skies, Austenland, Leaves of Grass, Waitress)
Philip Jennings – Matthew Rhys (Brothers & Sisters, Titus, Love and Other Disasters, Death Comes to Pemberley, The Edge of Love)
Stan Beeman – Noah Emmerich (The Truman Show, Little Children, Warrior, Super 8, Blood Ties, Pride and Glory, Miracle, Windtalkers, Cop Land)
Henry Jennings – Keidrich Sellati
Paige Jennings – Holly Taylor
Oleg Burov – Costa Ronin (Agent Carter, Red Dog, The Last Resort)
Agent Aderholt – Brandon J. Dirden (Public Morals, Good Friday, Ir/Reconcilable)
Yelena Burova – Snezhana Chernova
Evgheniya Morozov – Irina Dvorovenko (Power, Flesh and Bone, Forever)
Igor Burov – Boris Lee Krutonog (The Italian Job, The Hunt for Red October, 24, Alias)
Tuan Eckert – Ivan Mok
Claudia – Margo Martindale (Million Dollar Baby, August: Osage County, Sneaky Pete, The Good Wife, The Millers, Heaven Is For Real, Justified, Dexter, The Savages, 28 Days, Proof of Life)
Wolfe – Peter Jacobson (House, Transformers, As Good as It Gets, Cars 2, Ray Donovan, Colony)
Father Andrei – Konstantin Lavysh (Castle, Ice, Gang Related, Ray Donovan)
Pastor Tim – Kelly AuCoin (House of Cards, The Kingdom, Billions, TURN: Washington’s Spies, The Slap)
Tatiana Evgenyevna – Vera Cherny (Actors Anonymous, StartUp, Don Quixote)
Renee – Laurie Holden (The Walking Dead, The Shield, Major Crimes, The X-Files)
General Vijktor Zhukov – Olek Krupa (Home Alone 3, Burn After Reading, Hidden Figures, The Italian Job)
Sofia Kovalenko – Darya Ekamasova
Ruslan – Ravil Isyanov (NCIS: Los Angeles, The Last Ship, The Good German, The Jackal)
Alexei Morozov – Alexander Sokovikov (House of Cards, Elementary, Madam Secretary)