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Clark's Place is the fifth episode of Season Four of The Americans on FX, and the forty-fourth episode overall.

Synopsis Edit

Philip must consider his life with Martha and make a crushing choice from which there is no coming back.

Plot Edit

Martha waits alone at Clark’s place, drinking wine and swallowing pills. Clark arrives and apologizes for his absence over the weekend, telling her he had an emergency with one of his colleagues. Martha doesn’t understand why he didn’t even check his machine and says she had an emergency as well: the counters are off on the Xerox she uses to make copies of William’s surveillance reports, and Agent Aderholt asked her to dinner. Her anxiety over these events caused her to call a doctor, who said she was having a panic attack and prescribed Valium. Martha tells Clark she can’t live this way and needs to at least be able to reach her husband. Phillip writes down the number of the call center, telling Martha to memorize it and only call from a payphone. A woman will answer, he says, but she can get a message to him any time, day or night.

Paige wakes Elizabeth in the middle of the night, saying she can’t sleep and begins to press her on details about her job, and disappearance over the weekend. She tells her Stan asked where they were, and she wants to know as well. Elizabeth tells Paige they’re going to take a break for now. “So much has been thrown at you, and maybe it’s too much. We tried to tell you everything and that hasn’t worked out so well, wouldn’t you agree?”

Phillip and Elizabeth talk with Pastor Tim and Alice again, this time bringing a (supposed) El Salvadoran priest, Father Rivas. The priest vouches for the Jennings, saying they are involved in the human rights situation in El Salvador, and relays an invented story of the Jennings warning him and his congregation before the arrival of a death squad. Later when the Jennings drop Father Rivas off at his apartment, Phillip wonders if he’s actually even a priest.  

Afterwards, Paige assumes “everything’s okay,” as if Pastor Tim won’t be an ongoing risk. The Jennings try to stress how important it is she make up with him, but Paige is unreceptive. However, she ultimately talks with Pastor Tim and it goes well. The Jennings ask Hans to follow Martha more consistently. Elizabeth presses Phillip to make amends with Stan. Elizabeth/Patty spends time with Young-Hee, who teaches her how to make Korean food.

Oleg exchanges bitter words with his father when he learns Nina has been executed. He attends his brother’s funeral, where Igor surprises everyone by firing his handgun, in lieu of his son not being buried with military honors. Oleg returns to the US, and finds Arkady unsympathetic, disappointed that Nina was given so many chances she continued to throw away. Oleg then meets with Stan and finds in him the only person who relates to how he feels about Nina’s fate. Oleg shares his grief that at his brother’s funeral, “they can’t even say the name of the war he died in.”

Hans watches Martha and, realizing she’s been followed to Clark’s apartment, is able to phone Phillip in time to escape. Phillip brings the answering machine tapes and photographs with him; Martha arrives to an empty apartment. Martha calls Joan, who tells her Clark will return her call at the pay phone within the hour. Clark calls Martha who is distraught and asks him to come see her tomorrow night, but Clark says it’s important to stick to their routine. Martha cries and says “well, then you’ve got to be there.”

The Jennings meet with Gabriel to express fears Martha may be “blown:” she’s likely being surveilled, and copies are unaccounted for on the Xerox machine she uses. Gabriel doesn't panic, clearly motivated more by a desire to maintain Martha’s access. He asks Phillip to give Martha a camera instead of using the photocopier; Elizabeth suggests having her memorize dates. Phillip turns them down flat (“The next thing she tries, they are putting handcuffs on her!”) and is angry with them both for not sharing his level of concern for Martha’s safety.

Matthew arrives at Stan’s house, surprised to find Henry camped out on the couch and acting like he lives there. Henry asks Matthew if he wants to go to a movie together. Matthew declines but agrees to play Trivial Pursuit. Stan orders pizza for them, but says he has to go back to work. At the Jennings' house, Elizabeth tells Phillip she’s concerned Henry spends so much time at Stan’s rather than with kids his own age. Phillip goes to the Beemans to retrieve Henry, taking the opportunity to apologize to Stan. They are able to patch things up.

Phillip agrees to let Henry stay with Matthew, but a horn honks outside and Stan announces “that’s work.” Elizabeth watches out the window as they exit the house, Phillip shaking hands with Dennis Aderholt, who is driving the car Hans spotted at Martha's. Elizabeth recognizes Aderholt as one of the agents who beat her up earlier. Back in his house, Phillip is unable to eat and Elizabeth tries to reassure him that they’ll know more by Tuesday. When he remains unconvinced, Elizabeth initiates sex, hoping to take his mind off brooding about Martha, who is shown sitting alone, swallowing Valium. Stan and Aderholt sit in his car outside, drinking coffee and listening to a game on the radio.

Notes Edit

  • Phillip and Paige are shown watching US President Reagan's March 23, 1983 address to the nation on defense and national security, on tv.
    CISPES Pastor Tim episode
  • Pastor Tim refers to C.I.S.P.E.S., the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, which was founded to oppose US aid to the Salvadoran military and government during the Salvadoran Civil War.
  • Rutilio Grande García was a Jesuit priest in El Salvador, and a close friend of Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero. In 1977, Grande was the first priest assassinated before the civil war. After his death, Romero changed his conservative attitude toward the government, and began to speak out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations, and torture. In 1980, Romero was assassinated while offering Mass; an extreme-right wing politician and death squad leader likely gave the order.
  • Max Dugan Returns is a 1983 American comedy-drama film starring Jason Robards, Marsha Mason, Matthew Broderick and Donald Sutherland. In the film, both Matthew Broderick and Kiefer Sutherland (cameo) make their first movie appearance. The plot centers around an English teacher and struggling single mother, whose life is disrupted when the father that abandoned her as a child reappears.
  • Howdy Doody was an American children's television program (with circus and Western frontier themes) which aired in the United States from 1947 until 1960. Wildly popular, it was a pioneer in children's television programming, setting the pattern for many similar shows. Howdy Doody himself was a boy marionette with 48 freckles (one for each state of the union at the time of his creation), originally voiced by Buffalo Bob Smith.
  • In 1932, Walt Disney received his first Academy Award for the creation of Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse was called the winner by many, even though technically Disney won; the press tagged Mickey as the "first non-human to win an Oscar." 
  • Lassie is a fictional canine character created by English novelist Eric Knight. Published in 1940, Knight's novel was filmed by MGM studios in 1943, as Lassie Come Home, with a dog named Pal playing the Collie hero. Pal then appeared as Lassie in six other MGM films through 1951. In 1954, the long-running, Emmy-winning television series Lassie debuted. The Lassie character has appeared in radio, television, film, toys, comic books, animated series, juvenile novels, and other media.  
  • Stan and Dennis during the stake out of Martha are listening to a UNC basketball and hear the game winner by Michael Jordan for the national championship over Georgetown. This game was actually played on March 29 1982.  

MusicEdit

Song Title Performer(s)
Under Pressure Queen & David Bowie

VideosEdit

The Americans 4x05 Promo "Clark's Place" (HD)

The Americans 4x05 Promo "Clark's Place" (HD)


Season Four
#401 "Glanders" #408 "The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears"
#402 "Pastor Tim" #409 "The Day After"
#403 "Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow" #410 "Munchkins"
#404 "Chloramphenicol" #411 "Dinner for Seven"
#405 "Clark's Place" #412 "A Roy Rogers in Franconia"
#406 "The Rat" #413 "Persona Non Grata"
#407 "Travel Agents"