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March 8, 1983 is the final episode of Season Three of The Americans on FX, and the thirty-ninth episode overall.

SynopsisEdit

Elizabeth and Paige take a trip that lands them in treacherous territory.

PlotEdit

Paige and Elizabeth leave for West Berlin, under the guise of travel agency business. As Phillip hugs Elizabeth goodbye, he says he’s sorry he never got to meet her mother. Elizabeth replies: “You wouldn’t have liked her.”

Yousaf tells Phillip the CIA canceled their meeting with the mujahideen, and congratulates him: “Annelise finally pays off for you … the weapons stay out of your enemy’s hands. Was it worth it?” Phillip says he tries to think of all the young men who won’t be blown out of the sky now, because of what he, Annelise and Yousaf did. But then he admits: “Yousaf, I feel like shit, all the time.”

Arkady holds a meeting with Rezidentura staff, informing them The Center has ordered that “No one is to carry out any assassinations, or threats of assassinations, without approval from all appropriate departments and local rezidents.” Oleg tells Stan about the “no assassination” order and both assume Zinaida somehow got a message to The Center, and that she’s working for the Russians.

In West Berlin, Paige and Elizabeth wait in their hotel room, expecting to learn when they’ll be allowed to travel to East Germany. Instead, they are awakened one morning by a knock on the door, and Elizabeth’s mother is brought in on a wheelchair. She and Elizabeth have a touching reunion and Paige joins them, all three holding hands. Paige later questions how her grandmother could have let her mother leave as a young woman, expecting to say goodbye forever. She asks if Elizabeth could ever do that to her. Elizabeth only replies that Paige would never have to do anything like she did.

Stan records his meeting with Oleg, and takes the tape to Agent Gaad, coming clean about his activities. Gaad does not react how Stan expects, livid that Stan has been talking to Oleg without his knowledge, for quite some time, and never revealed that months ago, Oleg tried to blackmail him. After Gaad has Zinaida arrested, he tells Stan he’s recommended he be investigated, and terminated immediately. Gaad also says a CIA agent arrested a year ago in the USSR is a higher priority for a trade than Nina.

In the Soviet research facility, Anton has received Lisa’s photographs of the Northrop plant, and furiously starts to work. He tells Nina “I don’t quite understand it myself, but it’s exciting. All I really have left is my brain. And this, it’s a challenge.” Nina is coming to believe that Anton has never been intentionally stalling in his work on stealth technology. Later, she admits that she was sent to spy on him, but “I can’t keep doing this: buying back my life. I don’t know if it’s worth it.”

Phillip sits looking incredibly sad at an EST seminar, hearing the instructor say “When you try to separate sex from intimacy and honesty, it always goes wrong.” He panics when he sees Sandra Beeman also in attendance, and tries to leave quickly when it ends. She finds him and he asks her to not tell anyone he’s there.

In Gene’s apartment, Phillip sits playing absentmindedly with a robot toy. Gene arrives home and Phillip subdues him with a chloroform cloth, hanging him from the ceiling fan so his death will look like a suicide. He puts evidence in the drawers to indicate Gene planted the bug in Gaad’s pen. He accesses Gene’s computer and types a message which is also indicative of the way Phillip feels: “I had no choice ... I’m sorry.”

The Deputy Attorney General asks to see Stan in the vault, telling him he is not going to open an investigation: “I know Agent Gaad is not happy, but from where I stand, that’s two times you’ve gotten close to people [at the Rezidentura].” Stan is to continue his work with Oleg, and his co-workers and supervisors won’t be allowed to stand in his way. When Stan asks about Nina being released, he is told “That, we can’t do.”

Back at EST, Phillip listens to recommendations about “trusting your gut.” After the session ends, he approaches Sandra and they talk. Sandra is not sure anyone’s ever truly known her, but Phillip says Elizabeth really does know him. He then goes home to an empty house (Henry’s at Stan’s) and after listening to BBC news about the Afghan war, lies on his bed, staring at the ceiling for a long time.

Arriving back in the US, Paige tells Elizabeth she’s not sure if she can go home and just lie to Henry about everything. “To lie [to everyone] for the rest of my life … that’s not who I am.” Elizabeth says “Everybody lies, Paige. It’s a part of life.” Phillip is thrilled to see them both when they walk in the front door. Later, he tells Elizabeth about his difficult day, having to kill Gene: “He had all this kid stuff – games, you know, stuff Henry plays with.” When Elizabeth learns he doesn't intend to tell Martha, she presses him to reconsider: “She needs to hear it from you first. A woman like that, with this on her conscience … “ Phillip continues haltingly: “I almost feel like, when I do this stuff, if I don’t – I just feel like, from now on, I need to be able … to know … what I’m doing better, so I … “

Elizabeth is confused by his incoherence, and trying hard to understand, but suddenly they are interrupted by a news broadcast of US President Reagan’s speech on tv. “Hold on,” she says. “We should hear this,” and turns up volume. Phillip sits, disinterested, as Elizabeth watches Reagan give his “evil empire” speech. Henry is shown enjoying the board game with Stan. Meanwhile, Paige is on the phone with Pastor Tim, telling him her parents are liars, and trying to turn her into one. “I’m not supposed to say it. You can’t tell anyone. They’re Russians.” The episode ends with Reagan’s famous words: the USSR is the “focus of evil in the modern world.”

Historical eventsEdit

  • US President Ronald Reagan's speech, where he first referred to the Soviet Union as the "evil empire," was given on March 8, 1983. The date gives the episode its title; the most well-known part of the speech is also shown in the episode.

VideosEdit

The Americans - 3x13 (Season Finale) Promo "March 8, 1983" FX HD

The Americans - 3x13 (Season Finale) Promo "March 8, 1983" FX HD


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"