Plot holes in Salt

As mentioned in Spys in Flats, I noticed a couple of gaping plot holes in this week’s new release, Salt. Well, to say I noticed them isn’t an attempt to flatter myself – you would have to be blind or in Hollywood to miss them. Or maybe they were noticed and nobody cared. I don’t know, but given that it looks like there may be a sequel, I thought a little illumination on the subject might be worthwhile.

Note that there are SPOILERS-A-PLENTY in the following.

At the beginning of the movie, and shown in all the previews I saw, Salt’s cover is blown. A Russian, who proves to have been her handler for the past 30 years or so, walks into the CIA (or whatever cookie-cutter-type agency) Salt works at, and gives up the information that there will be an attempt on the life of the Russian President while he’s in the States for a funeral. He then wraps up by saying that the assassin’s name is Evelyn Salt (and thus that Jolie is the spy).

She is, of course, immediately detained until they can look into this. During this time, the Russian agent kills his two escorts and walks to safety, leaving Salt (the Russian agent) to look out for herself.

Surely this must be the all-time most incomprehensible way of kicking off a mission! I mean, I’ve heard of leaving chalk marks on mailboxes, or having the window blinds half-way up. These days there’s email and phones and on and on and on. The only kickoff this guy could think of was to focus everybody’s attentions and suspicions on his long-hidden and very well-placed assassin?

It turns out that all this is a long-established plot to place well-trained Russian child agent sleepers in the US, so that they could grow up and attain positions of trust. Salt certainly did, and there are early indications that she’s not the only one. This isn’t a unique plot element, as I know I’ve read something similar before, but I can’t place it at the moment. Still, this general idea was handled well. So well, in fact, that the whole situation above seems even more moronic in comparison.

OK, so that’s one. Surely they would have had a way to notify Salt, to set her “active” and give her a mission, without blowing her cover at the same time (thus making it impossible – or movie-all-but-impossible – for her to succeed). Granted that thirty years ago it wouldn’t have been email, but there are plenty of options.

The second came at the end of the movie. Note that I’m not describing action-holes (one person going hand-to-hand with two or three other trained professionals and kicking their butts) here, but rather plot holes. Action holes are part of the genre, and we accept them even as we remember that these things are just begging to kill us if we tried them in real life. Just as punching somebody in the face is just as likely to break your fist as it is their jaw – still, there are few things as movie-satisfying as somebody crumpling under the hero’s (gender-free term) righteous blow.

OK, so the second plot hole (again, SPOILERS). As forecasted, there are other Russian sleepers in positions of trust. One of these gets Salt into the White House, and then sells his life in a bid to get the (US) President into a bunker under the White House. She also manages to get down there, and kicks and punches her way into the bunker itself. There she finds that (yet) another Russian sleeper has killed everyone but the President, after waiting for them to get the nuclear missile launch codes almost all the way verified. This new sleeper has a little conversation with the President (while Salt was running and kicking outside) in an attempt to get the President to OK the final launch, explaining the sleeper plot, giving his “real Russian name, and so on. The President bravely tells him to get lost, and receives a pistol-blow to the head for his troubles, knocking him unconscious – I think – after which his hand-print is used to verify the launch.

Two-minute delay before launching, during which time Salt breaks in, beats up the new sleeper, and cancels the launch at the last second. The (too late) security forces arrive at that moment, and shoot her in the back just as she disables the launch. It’s OK, she was shot in the vest (surprise, surprise) and is fine. Everybody knows getting shot in a bulletproof vest is like a walk in the park (never mind – action hole, not plot hole).

Here comes the plot hole: Salt, in cuffs, is marched out of the bunker, through the White House, toward a helicopter that will take her somewhere cold and dark (presumably). They walk her right past the new sleeper (the guy who killed all the bunker personnel and knocked out the President). She, in quite a cool scene, kills him. The reasoning she gives is that someone had to do it, and that nobody else would believe he was a sleeper.

What about the President?

Unless I missed it (always possible) there is no clear indication that the President is dead. You don’t see him again, but the sleeper does say “Somebody look after the President” or words to that effect when the security people finally break into the bunker and shoot Salt. The President is certainly never shot (though others are, and shooting him would have been a great “evil sleeper agent” moment). So, as far as I can tell, the President (who, you remember, heard what amounts to a full confession by the new sleeper agent) is alive and well, though possibly with a headache (another action plot hole to do with blows to the head and concussions, but never mind).

Salt, at the end of the movie, is on the run, having vowed to kill the other sleepers. OK, and more power to her, but there’s no reason for her to be on the run at all. Two minutes with the President, asking him to point a finger at the person who hit him and killed everybody else, would be enough to clear up the ultimate-bad-guy problem. Now, granted, Salt did cause a little mayhem and beat up some people. She even shot some folks, but they were just red-shirts (turns out she didn’t kill the Russian President after all, just paralyzed him). So, maybe a slap on the wrist …

Now, obviously this movie wasn’t written by John Le Carré or even Tom Clancy, and I’ve been told it was originally meant for Tom Cruise – troubling in itself – but surely whomever did write it could have done better than this? I watch a fair number of movies and a fair amount of TV, and I’ve come to expect plastic-thin characters, meaningless dialogue, and plots that are obviously an excuse for action as opposed to a motivation for it. Even so, surely this must be a new low?

Or am I thinking too much about an action movie? Should everything (including plot) be put under the action-movie banner and just brainlessly enjoyed for what it is? Clearly, the Karate Kid franchise couldn’t survive any other way …

0 thoughts on “Plot holes in Salt

  • After seeing the movie, I thought the way the mission is kicked off made no sense either. I thought, why couldn’t Orlov just have called Salt and told her it’s time to assasinate the Russian President. But then I read a review that reminded me that the point of the assasination was to have the US blamed for it, so the blame clearly has to fall on an American agent, namely Salt. That is why Orlov names her as the assassin in the interrogation room. The point of the assasination was to stir up tension between Russia and the US, to make the US look like the bad guy, not merely to kill the Russian President. That is why Orlov couldn’t just give her a signal to kick off the mission.

    I do think the second plot hole you point is definitely a plot hole.

    • Sure, but the same result (the US being blamed) would have been achieved if she had just walked up to the Russian President as a fully-accredited (non-suspected) American agent, shot him in the face, and then started taking out other people in the room. In fact, not naming her as a spy would have made it even more “American” (not just a pseudo-American). Blowing her cover first served no purpose that I can see.

    • Actually there are no plot holes… Winters says to Salt when they are talking through the glass under the White house bomb shelter, that he had to twist Orlov’s arm to get him to come into the CIA and give up Salt so he could have a patsy to blame it on. So saying that the way the movie kicked with a plot hole or inconceivable is ridiculous when it’s explained. Orlov’s intention was not to “notify” Salt that the time is now, no, he was being forced/coerced to do it by Winters.

      As for the President clearing her name; I had the same qualm but then when the DVD came out with the alternate ending it made more sense. It is clear that the president had died when Peabody and Salt agreed that no one else could clear her name. Although jumbled, Salt mentioned that Winters was dead and nothing of the president was underplayed.

      From their conversation in the helicopter at the end, it is very clear that the President is either dead or incapable or recollecting what happened. It is sad to me because movies these days need to have so much spelled out and nothing figured out by the audience. You can call it a plot hole if you want, but the evidence that the President is dead is on the walls, you just have to read it. I don’t want to see the helocopter pilot turn around and say, “HAY GUISE, IM FLYING A CHOPPAR!!”.

      It’s funny because I didn’t even realize the “writing on the walls” about the President until I read/saw the alternate ending. By all means am I a hypocrite and fall into this era where almost everything needs to be explained to forego “plot holes”. However, sometimes hindsight can bring us all back to enriching films that make you think.

  • The first plot hole you discuss was answered toward the end of the movie when her cia boss Ted(Liev Schrieber) says that he told Orlov to “out” Salt so that when Ted ends up as the only person alive in the bunker he would be believed in saying that Salt had done all the damage and he had managed to kill her after the fact.

    I agree that the second plot hole I think is more difficult. Perhaps you can explain the killing of Ted as her being concerned that Ted would escape before the President wakes up. Similary, if you are not sure the President is going to survive, it can account for her belief that no one would believe her. Alternatively, you can understand the conversation between her and Peabody (Black CIA agent) on the helicopter to mean that it makes more sense to keep blaming her as the “bad apple” as this will better allow her to gain the confidence (and ultimately kill) the other sleepers in the US. If she was to be publically (or even internally w/in the CIA) exonerated, she would lose some of the ability to hunt the other sleepers.

    • OK, but Salt killing the Russian President (for real, one assumes) would have accomplished the same thing – she would have outed herself. Otherwise, the whole thing only works if Ted is absolutely sure she’s going to make it into the interior of the super-secure bunker, as she’s his only alibi. Still not rock-solid, IMO.

  • Another big one– if she was a Russian agent, why not “out” herself to the North Koreans? She could have avoided all that torture.

  • watching carefully says:

    i agree with these plot holes. movies with triple agents like this always get some of the minute details wrong because the writers can’t even keep track of all the individual characters’ motivations.

    there’s a scene where the CIA agents are leaving Salt’s apartment after she evades them. Liev Shrieber recognizes her from behind while she’s walking away, and he alerts the other agents to give chase. but, later, we find out A-HA Liev is actually a russian plant himself (seriously. russian kgb? the cold war is so over. find some real villains, like greedy heads of corporations or over-ambitious american politicians). if Liev actually wanted Salt to succeed, he would’ve never alerted the team to her presence. instead, he would’ve covered for her and let her walk away.

    writers need to either get smarter or not try the double/triple agent thing. i feel like i need to cleanse myself of this crap by watching a bourne movie. really REALLY glad i bootlegged it.

  • It was explained why Orlov was brought in to blow salt’s cover, and it was due to the fact that they no longer trusted that she was on their side. By naming her as a spy as well as giving her the message that her marriage was unacceptable, Orlov was able to ensure that she both followed through with her mission (knowing her husband would be taken) and could not trust the US to protect her husband or herself. Her only option in this situation is to ‘murder’ the russian president hoping that she can gain the trust of her russian counterparts and possibly rescue her husband. Of course when they murdered the husband she was free to get revenge on all of them as she had nothing to lose…

    “Sure, but the same result (the US being blamed) would have been achieved if she had just walked up to the Russian President as a fully-accredited (non-suspected) American agent, shot him in the face, and then started taking out other people in the room. In fact, not naming her as a spy would have made it even more “American” (not just a pseudo-American). Blowing her cover first served no purpose that I can see.”

    Of course, and I’m assuming this was their plan the whole time, except having lost trust in Salt the russians changed the plan so that she was forced to murder the president and seek out the russians for safety since they forced her to be a fugitive.

    Also, she killed Ted because she was seeking revenge and saw an opportunity. Even after the president wakes up and points the finger at Ted, the worst that will happen is he will serve life in prison since Washington DC doesn’t have the death penalty. Thus her line “Somebody had to do it” makes sense, because truly nobody else would.

    As for why she fled the plane… Do you seriously believe that somebody who can be proven to be a russian spy who purposefully infiltrated into the CIA with the goal of starting a war, staged a murder on the russian president, endangered the lives of countless people, destroyed a cathedral, interrupted the funeral of the vice president, killed at least 13 people on US soil (even if they were russian spies), and took an active part in starting a nuclear war (even if she did nothing to aid the russians after the fake murder). She’d be serving life in prison after probably being sent to who knows where for years of interrogation, you can’t get off with a ‘slap on the wrist’ for what she did even if she changed her path with good intentions after getting married…

    As for the actual plot holes in the movie…

    1) Orlov was not chased, he flat out killed two guards and was allowed to walk out of the building even though he was a known russian spy. Nobody called it in, nobody tried to catch him… However when Salt tries to escape, they have full teams trying to detain her for further interrogation. So… murderers walk free and a recently accused member of the team gets shot at by her own team. Sounds unlikely…

    2) Ted doesn’t stop Peabody from shooting at salt despite needing her for the mission to come… and somehow they’re allowed to shoot her while she’s on top of a gas tanker on a packed highway.

    3) How does the local news receive the information that the russian president is not in fact dead before the white house does? You’d think something that important and being one of the factors leading to potential war would have reached the president before it reached Ted…

    4) How did she get to her house before any cops could, especially when she made it very clear that was where she was headed?

    Still, even with the plot holes, I enjoyed the execution of the movie… good times.

    • I see what you mean with the timeline stuff. Hadn’t really thought about that. And I did enjoy the movie, as an action movie. I just think that some things could have been thought through better. There are some comments later on about the probably success of murdering a loved one in order to bring a possibly disloyal spy back into the family.

      I do get the “running away” part at the end as well, though I think that she would have been better used as a fake-killed-and-resurrected member of the American Team (for some reason I’m thinking of puppets …) like John Kelly/John Clark was in the Tom Clancy novels. If her goal is to go after the other Russian sleepers, it makes sense to help her out, though I assume that’s what the Firefly bad guy whose name I can never remember will be doing in future installments. Wipe the slate clean, agree that she did some bad and some good things, and set her on the trail with a little backup instead of soaking wet in the snow. If she develops a nasty chest cold, that could really slow her down.

    • There is no death penalty in DC, but the federal authorities can and do use the death penalty, and treason is a capital offense. I agree with the rest of your comments except that one.

  • those are some really good points about the first plot hole.. I’m still looking them over and trying to feel good about it. there is still another problem that will remain even if I manage to do that–

    after Orlov outed her, whatever the reason (if any, according to your disbelief-suspension), why didn’t she have any problems with it, when she got her nice fuzzy Russian hat and went to see him? She acted as if everything was just fine.

  • pking-2 from imdb makes a good point in response to the same question I just asked:

    “Salt doesn’t (too angrily) confront Orlov when they meet again?

    You mean, when she was acting as if she was still part of the team in order to uncover more of the plan so that she could then take out Orlov and crew?

    She wasn’t mad about the blown cover because she had switched sides (to working independently to undo Day X). And she wasn’t going to pretend to be mad about the blown cover and thus get herself killed or kicked off her next Day X assignment.

    She was all “hey buddy, I’m one of you still…you can trust me…”

    She was being a spy. She was double crossing Orlov.”

  • When you analyze the plot to the N-th degree, Salt really makes no sense and it’s useless to try and make sense of all the holes. For each plot-hole explanation there’s a counter-point, and delving deeper into the logic puzzle no side is left logically rock-solid. So I think we’re left with a couple simple options. Either A) The writers tried to make something air-tight but weren’t smart enough, or B) the story is intentionally fantastical. Without further ado, we all know it’s B), intentionally fantastical. Ummm…a smoking hot Victoria Secret-esque female double-agent performs physical feats not even Jackie Chan can do? Are you trying to tell me this isn’t pure fantasy? But you say the plot has to be logical? C’mon, dude. The problem here might be us trying to fit a logical square into a fantasy round hole. This Salt movie! Trying to pull one over on me insulting my intelligence, these writers are idiots! Uh, actually they just wanted to make a fantasy movie that makes money.

    Sorry, logicians.

    • Well, I see what you mean, and I definitely agree about suspension of disbelief and so on. I do see a difference between “plot holes” and “action holes,” though. The whole “babe who triumphs” thing is too obvious to talk about too much (though I do appreciate BBC TV stuff for using more “regular humans” in their stuff). Likewise, we all know there’s no point counting how many bullets someone is able to fire from an automatic without reloading. Or how many people they can punch in the face without their hands turning int hamburger (handburger?).

      Plot holes are different, because they involve suspension of intelligence or memory, not just disbelief. It\s not impossible to write a coherent story that involves betrayal and duplicity and so on and so on – authors do it all the time. Maybe the folks writing movies aren’t always in the same class, or maybe writing by committee has these drawbacks, but other movies have done it. Granted, the ones that pop into mind were books first, so maybe that says something …

      Back to the first (“why burn her”) hole, as that seems to be generating most of the comments – after all the back-and-forth, I’m still no clearer on it. If they doubted her sincerity, as I agree they did (the later dialog about her not having supposed to get married, for example), it still doesn’t make sense to test her sincerity by doing the most likely thing to turn her against them (killing her husband, and right in front of her too). Later on we realize that she was planning to double-cross them already, but wasn’t that likely to bring on a killing spree in anyone not stone-cold-sleeper? If they doubted her, that just doesn’t seem like a workable test.

  • the original plot holes the reviewer noted were not plot holes, as explained above. they lost trust in her and forced her to proceed with the mission by outing her and taking her husband. the president would recover and know that liev was a bad guy but not that salt wasn’t working with him instead of against him. so the president couldn’t clear her. they didn’t go after the russian agent first because they thought he was being guarded and was truthful and dying, and then because unlike with salt, they would have no idea where he would be going once he left the building. very good spy thriller with only the normal action film stretches of credibility.

    • Well, I would have thought that the security camera film of them trying to kill one another would have been in her favour on the whole “working with Liev” thing. Not to mention Orlov and the boatload of others.

  • I would like to propose patches 1 and 2.

    patch 1:
    possible reason 1: Orlov was under some watchlist (by virtue of being a Russian, not because he was a high-ranking Russian officer), so the only way to speak to her personally (he didn’t think that the other agents will be able to convince her that it’s his orders) is to “deflect”.

    possible reason 2: Orlov chose to make a flash expose to draw all attention to Salt, making the CIA less likely to look elsewhere, making the already unsuspected Winter even less of a candidate for suspicion. If Salt decides to assassinate and succeeds, it’s a good thing for the Russian will arm their warheads. Even if Salt fails it wouldn’t be important, as he still has Winter. I think it’s not so important to get the Russian president killed, he’s just a side effect. What’s more important is give the CIA the jitters, so that they’ll want to have access (and they’ll have) to the US president. I think that if the situation is not tense, the US president will just have his SS agents, and there’s no reason for a CIA staff (Winter) to hang around him.

    patch 2:
    The president is most likely alive and unconscious, but it doesn’t matter. Neither Peabody nor Salt saw what happened in the bulletproof command centre before the authorization was done, so they couldn’t have known with certainty that the president was knocked unconscious by Winter after witnessing Winter shooting all the other guys. Remember that Salt was taken away as soon as the final troops arrived, thus there wasn’t any time for the president to wake. On the helicopter, both didn’t know that the president witnessed anything.

    It’s interesting to note that those agents are most likely KGB agents from USSR. Now that it’s dissolved and it’s Russia, who’s the one who controls these spies if the KGB replacement agency does not inherit this unit? It appears that it could be Orlov with his deluded political thinking of destroying the US, at the expense of their own president. Perhaps he’s a communist and don’t recognize democratically elected president of Russia.

    All these are just my opinions. Inaccuracies are my own.

    I love reading plot holes, and I equally enjoy trying to patch them (if it can be done, and if I enjoyed that movie of course), for if it does help someone enjoy a movie retrospectively, I’ll feel good about it.

    • OK, good thinking. You’re right – I don’t think she could have known that Winter had the little confession speech with the President. I really should have caught that …

      • Hmm, the only thing I think she didn’t know was if the President was dead or just unconscious. If she knew the President wasn’t dead, she could have figured out that he would know which guy KO’d him.

        • Well, Winter was saying “help the president” while she was in the room, so maybe we’re back on track again (that it was actually a plot hole). Of course, she didn’t see Winter knock him out …

  • I understand everything in the movie perfectly because i put two and two together and figured it out. However, the only part that i don’t understand that you might IS after killing Orlov and the other russian spies, if SALT wanted revenge on the russians why would she go to the white house to kill the US president? Orlov told her SHE was supposed to kill the president and she had no idea Winter was a spy so how did she know to save the president?why put the president in danger at all? there was no revenge to get by killing the president! I hope this made since please explain this i would appreciate it!

    • In terms of confronting the current plot holes mentioned, I don’t have anything to say that hasn’t already been said. I didn’t even pay attention to these when I saw the movie last night, but there was one thing I noticed that I think I might have missed the answer to, maybe? Because it seems strange that in editing they left this bit in there without following up . . .

      I seem to remember a (very short) scene in which someone (we don’t know who) was told about Salt’s husband, given a book on spiders, and told to study up on his bugs and the life of the arachnologist . . . Why? That led me to believe there would be some sort of switch-him-for-a-Russian thing or something, because why else would someone need to know all about his life and work? Maybe the one to take him from his home would need to know his life (arguably), but why study up on spiders?

  • This isn’t exactly clear to me, even though I have read all your posts (great for clearing up any holes- and confirming much of my frustration with the plot) but really, what’s Salt’s motivation for turning against Orlov and the rest? I doesn’t make sense to me that it would be due to her capture in North Korea, as that was due to CIA business, so wouldn’t she be more miffed at the CIA than the Russians? To me, that was the biggest plot hole that bothered me from the get-go….

    Also, if we take a second to think about realism (which, I know, should never be talked about in a film like this) how is it realistic that young children will follow the instructions that were instilled in them in their training all the way to adulthood. Sorry, but I wanted to be Miss America and a ballerina when I was little…

    • Well, I think that Orlov thought she might have turned because of the marriage, and then made it happen by taking and killing her husband (whom she had really fallen in love with). Her concern from the beginning was about whether he was safe, and I think it’s possible that she might have gone ahead with the mission if Orlov hadn’t killed what’s-his-name, the bug guy. Of course, she took the spider venom as soon as she know hubby was gone, setting up the fake assassination, so maybe not …

      On the realism front, there’s certainly room for doubt, but this kind of thing is pretty standard movie fare. And, of course, there are plenty of pop psychologists ready to explain away any amount of insane behavior on the basis of childhood trauma. Apparently, being spanked can ruin you for like (ah, this explains so much).

  • I just don’t understand why she went to the White House in the first place. By not killing the Russian President, Salt has demonstrated that killing for Mother Russia is no longer for her. So either she is going to the White House to kill the US President (which is inconsistent with the above) and shown not to be the case in the bunker. Or else she goes to the White House to prevent the other Russian sleeper (her CIA colleague, whom she does not know is a sleeper) from doing the dastardly deed. either way, it just doesn’t make any sense.

  • Maybe they blew her cover as a motivational thing, like if she pulls it off she will be assassin of the month or something? But seriously yeah, this movie was just stupid. The plot holes are so glaring and contradictory to the rest of the story that it’s really amazing neither writer, director or actor paused to think about why the characters are doing what they’re doing.

  • I think the writers thought they had a solid plot, but failed to make motivations clear to the audience with somewhat ambiguous scenes. Hell, in the part where Orlov is questioned and Salts’s trying to reach her husband, I thought she was worried to tell him she was going to be late hahaha.

    Anyway I think the “I blow your cover to obligate you to carry on with the mission” is the worst strategy ever.

  • Hey all,

    I’m not a fan of Angelina Jolie and plot holes in films bug me, however in this case:

    1) Salt was outed intentionally because they thought she was no longer trustworthy. That is explained by Liev’s character in the bunker. She can either regain their trust (which she did) or simply fail/be captured/killed. Either way a win for them.

    2) Their suspicions were correct, Salt was no longer trustworthy. She really did fall in love with her husband and was only pretending to complete the mission to attempt to get him back. You’ll notice how Salt does not kill a single American in the whole film, even in the bunker at the end. She injures and disables only. The Russians she kills.

    3) The president was knocked unconscious, and yes, upon regaining consciousness he certainly could have confirmed Liev’s status as a genuine bad guy, having witnessed him kill all the bunker personnel, reveal his true name and declare his intention to launch missiles. Yet somebody prevented him – there was only one person around to do that, Salt of course. However, Salt is not aware of what the president may or may not have witnessed, so it would not be wise of her to presume she is going to be exonerated, especially since she actually is a Russian sleeper agent, just one who’s allegiance has changed.

    Not for a second am I suggesting any of these things are plausible, in fact they may well border on preposterous, however technically they are covered in the film and therefore do not qualify as plot holes.

    • George,

      It doens’t matter whether or not you are a big fan of Angelina Jolie, or whether or not the scene is explained later in the movie. If the plot of a movie is not logical, we get distracted and cannot enojoy it fully.

      1) The main problem is that why Orlov would do such a thing that would make assassination less likely to succeed, especialy when he is the one who elaborately infiltratred the sleepers. What’s the point of making Salt a mole and waiting for 30 years?

      However, I have to admit that this was a necessary hole. If Orlov had told Salt to kill the Russian president privately and seceretly, there would have been no disbelief suspense about Salt’s identity in the first half of the movie. We would’ve known Salt as a Russian agent up front. The North Korean episode at the opening was importnat in this regard because it portrayed Salt as a faithful CIA agent.

      > 2) You’ll notice how Salt does not kill a single American in the whole film, even in the bunker at the end. She injures and disables only. The Russians she kills.

      Are you sure about this? She used fireamrs occasinally to make her way. I remember a scene where she shot a security officer through a chest of another officer. It looked very brutal.

      3) I didn’t get distracted about this. As a matter of fact, I was worried about Ted Winter getting away from what he had done if he managed to kill Salt. He was prepareing a knife. I didn’t think about the president very well.

      The thing that bothered me the most is what Emily wrote. I thought, when Salt killed Orlov and his guys, we settled with the whose-side-is-she-on-America-or-Russia suspense for good. Now she’s on the American side, for sure. Then she got along with no problem with the Russian guy with a scar and went to White House together. No revenge or whatsoever for this guy. I really didnt’ get this part. Is this another whose-side-is-she-on suspense? Did the moviemakers really think that they could fool the audience again? Or was she trying to sabotage the evel plot? But, she didn’t know Ted, too, was a mole.

  • Okay guys let me give you a rundown and then you guys point out if I have missed anything here.

    1. Chenkov/Salt is a Russian double agent who has now gained a position in the CIA.

    2. Salt is ordered by the CIA to Marry Mike as he basically has a free pass into North Korea and this of course is good for the Spy games.

    3. Salt is captured by the North Korean’s and only rescued because of the efforts of her husband.

    4. Salt returns to the U.S. and then Orlov shows up and outs her.

    5. Orlov outed her because Winter suggested he do so thinking they lost her loyalty in NK.

    6. Salt is genuinely worried about Mike and asks Winter to have him protected not know Winter’s true allegiances.

    7. Winter instead has Mike picked up… this will keep Evelyn from reaching him and escaping and also provide her with more reason to complete her mission of assassinating the Russian President.

    8. Salt Paralyzes the Russian pres. in order to gain trust with the Russian’s and get back to Mike.

    9. The Russians kill Mike… There is nothing she can do but watch… if she tries to stop it… guns were drawn and she is either dead or she will not be trusted with the information of Day X.

    10. Once she is told the plan which is they will secure the U.S. nuclear weapons she kills Orlov and the other Agents.

    11. She meets up with her contact… the contact blows himself up forcing the president to retreat to the underground bunker… reason for this is so that Winter will be completely locked in an underground bunker with the President and full control of the Nukes.

    12. Winter makes sure everyone knows Salt is on the premises… this secures his way out at the end… no one will suspect him.

    13. Winter Kills everyone in the bunker… and in the Director’s cut he even kills the president.. I think this may be where the only plot hole comes in…. just because of the difference in the versions.

    14. Salt kills Winter for revenge as he tells her that he had Mike picked up which ultimately lead to his death… and also because in the Director’s cut there aren’t any witnesses as the president is dead.

    15. Yes, Salt jumps out of the plane to escape… but the even bigger reason is that she wants revenge on EVERY sleeper agent in the U.S. She tells Peabody there are more than they can handle still out there. He let’s her go so she can go exact her revenge and also because he now believes she is innocent and doesn’t deserve what is in store for her…

    • Gil Meriken says:

      Awesome rundown, thanks!

      But what was she planning to do in the White House exactly? Tell the president the purpose of the whole scheme? She didn’t know there would be other sleepers, right? Or was that her intent, to make sure nothing bad happened?

      • I agree Gil, If you think about it logically, all Salt needed to do was to kill her Russian spy friend who
        worked for NATO, thus preventing him from getting to the Whitehouse and thus foiling the whole plot.

        …….but of course if that happened you wouldn’t have got to the climatic Nuclear countdown scene!

        The other plot hole that I see is that Orlov was high ranking spy who had knowledge of who the other spies were and what the Russians were planning.
        Now firstly would such a high ranking spy with all that he knew risk capture or even revealing his identity by walking into the CIA interrogation room………I think NOT!
        Secondly…….surely Salt would have tried to get information out of Orlov rather than kill him outright?

  • How does Orlov get into a facility like that without being scanned, especially after identifying himself? The shoe knife would have been picked up easily. Someone will probably suggest that it might have been hard plastic.

  • Salt goes to the whitehouse to prevent the president being killed, as she hates what the Russians have done to her and her husband. She is told by Orlov that the president will be killed, so she follows the plan through so she can try to prevent it happening. Up until she gets there, she doesn’t know Winter is a spy, but it’s obvious once she gets there.

  • OK I just watched the directors cut ON Demand — the final voiceover while she’s running through the woods of a newscast saying the president was laying a wreath at the crash site of his parents and sister’s plane in russia— are they trying to hint that she is actually the presidents sister?

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