Things are tense between Elizabeth and Philip as they have differing opinions over how to handle orders coming from the Centre.
Like the doe and fawns suddenly in the path of Elizabeth’s car in the season two opener, the first few seconds of EST Men foreshadows a theme for season three. Elizabeth recalls a young Paige, tip toeing to the edge of a public pool, and turning back, afraid. Scanning the room and observing other parents giving affirming and gentle swimming instruction to their children, Elizabeth suddenly grabs Paige and tosses her, screaming, into the deep end of the pool.
Elizabeth meets in a restaurant with a CIA source named Charlotte, who hands her a list of agents working on Afghanistan. Charlotte uses the restroom and, suddenly having regrets, calls the FBI. Elizabeth suspects she's about to be made and hurriedly leaves the restaurant. The FBI starts sweeping the area. Agents Gaad and Aderholt locate Elizabeth, who manages to fight her way out and escape. She is seriously injured and in the scuffle, loses the list. Later, Gaad says the list was confiscated by the CIA before the FBI had a chance to dust it for prints.
The staff at the Rezidentura view footage of Mujahideen executing a Soviet soldier. Oleg opines the USSR should not be involved in Afghanistan. Arkady later pulls him aside and warns him to be cautious around Nina's replacement until they know her better.
Phillip continues to use Annelise to get to the Pakistani ISI officer Yousaf Rana. Unfortunately, Annelise has fallen in love with Yousaf. When Yousaf proposes she run away with him, Annelise accepts and starts to tell him the truth about what she's been doing. He doesn't wait for her to fully explain but reacts by strangling her. Phillip, who has been listening through the wall, becomes alarmed and enters the room. Finding Annelise dead, Phillip tells Yousaf he can make his problem go away.
Phillip and Elizabeth are reunited with their old handler, Gabriel, who is stepping in now that Kate has been killed. He pushes the Jennings for progress on "laying the groundwork" for Paige. Elizabeth tells him she has started going to church with her and participating in church functions, strongly implying she is doing these things primarily to develop Paige as a future KGB agent. This upsets Phillip greatly; they argue and Elizabeth unconvincingly denies ulterior motives for trying to nurture a closer relationship with her daughter.
Arkady tells Oleg that Nina has been found guilty of espionage and treason. Arkady reveals a listening device had been planted in Nina and Stan's safe house, and that Nina did not report at least two of her meetings with Stan. He also tells Oleg it's possible Nina was actually in love with Stan. Oleg says he still wants to help her. He has already reached out to his father and begged for assistance, to no avail.
In the FBI office, Gaad similarly updates Stan about the developments with Nina.
Phillip accompanies Stan to an EST meeting. Stan wants to better understand Sandra, but he ultimately concludes that EST is nonsense. He later admits this to her when he brings some of her belongings to her new home.
Stan helps Martha increase her accuracy via target shooting at an FBI indoor range.
Elizabeth learns via a cassette recording brought by Gabriel, that her mother is dying. Although Phillip is still angry with her and has been seeking comfort sexually with both Annelise and Martha, the news causes him to reach out to Elizabeth sympathetically.
The FBI is assigned to protect an official from the US-Canada Institute who wants to defect.
Elizabeth teaches a young KGB informant how to follow a target in a vehicle without being spotted.
- In the Jennings' travel agency office, there is a 'Patagonia' poster on the wall behind the door, by their window. Matthew Rhys, who plays protagonist Philip Jennings, went on a voyage to the Welsh outpost in Argentina around 2010 where he filmed a movie as well as wrote a book reflecting the journey.