"They're liars and they're trying to turn me into one." ― Paige to Pastor TimMarch 8, 1983 is the final episode of Season Three of The Americans on FX, and the thirty-ninth episode overall.
Elizabeth and Paige take a trip that lands them in treacherous territory.
|Paige and Elizabeth leave for West Berlin, under the guise of travel agency business but actually so they can see Elizabeth's mother. As Philip hugs Elizabeth goodbye, he says he's sorry he never got to meet her mother but Elizabeth replies that he wouldn’t have liked her. Henry is jealous of Paige who promises to bring him back a great souvenir.
|Yousaf tells "Scott Birkeland" the CIA cancelled their meeting with the Mujahideen, and congratulates him and that Annelise's sacrifice paid off and the weapons stayed out of the USSR's enemy's hands. He asks if it worth it. "Scott" says he tries to think of all the young men who won't be killed, because of what he, Annelise and Yousaf did. But he admits feeling 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.
|Stan and Sandra meet at Stan's where they divide up their possessions. In West Berlin, Paige and Elizabeth take a walk and discuss Elizabeth's mother. Elizabeth isn't sure when they'll see her and Paige is concerned when Elizabeth employs counter-surveillance techniques. Philip meets Gabriel and tells him that Paige and Elizabeth are waiting in West Berlin for her mother. Having not received permission from the Center for this, Gabriel is angry with Philip for blackmailing them and tells him to grow up. Oleg tells Stan about the "no assassination" order and both now know that Zinaida got a message to the Center, and that she's a KGB spy. They discuss what Nina is doing and what she'd think if she knew what they were doing for her.
|At the Soviet research facility, Anton has received Lisa's photographs of the stealth bomber from the Northrop plant, and furiously starts to work. He tells Nina that he doesn't understand it all but finds the work exciting. He admits he only has his brain left and enjoys the challenge. Nina sees that Anton has never been intentionally stalling his work on stealth technology. Having recorded his meeting with Oleg, Stan takes the tape to Agent Gaad, and comes clean about his activities. Gaad does not react how Stan expects, livid that Stan has been talking to Oleg without his knowledge and never revealed that months ago, Oleg tried to blackmail him for his relationship with Nina. Asking permission to try turning Oleg, Gaad challenges Stan why he'd ever trust him again.
|Philip attends an EST seminar on sex and is embarrassed to see Sandra there. They talk briefly afterward and Philip asks she not tell anyone he's attending. Elizabeth and Paige 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 enters their room in a wheelchair. She and Elizabeth rue all the lost time they could have had together and Paige joins them, all three holding hands. Zinaida is arrested by Gaad, Agent Aderholt and a team of agents and soldiers. After Elizabeth's mother leaves, she finds Paige praying for her in the bathroom. Gaad tells Stan that after spending hours with the Director of the FBI, he recommended Stan be dismissed and an investigation opened. The Director is meeting with the Deputy Attorney General (DAG) to determine Stan's final fate. Gaad also says a CIA agent arrested a year ago in the USSR is a higher priority for a trade than Nina.
|Paige asks Elizabeth how her mother could have let her leave as a young woman, never expecting to see her again and if Elizabeth would do that to her. Elizabeth only replies that Paige would never have to do anything like she did. In Gene's apartment, a disguised Philip sits playing absentmindedly with a robot toy. Gene arrives home and Philip subdues him with chloroform and then hangs him from the ceiling fan so his death will look like a suicide. He puts evidence in a drawer to indicate Gene planted the bug in Gaad's pen and types a suicide message on Gene's computer. The DAG asks to see Stan in the vault and tells him they're be no investigation or dismissal. Relating that he's to continue his work and tell the DAG if anyone gets in his way, he praises Stan for rising above the bureaucracy. When Stan asks about Nina being released, he is told it can't be done.
|Philip sits looking sad at an EST seminar, hearing the instructor say that instincts are more important than intellect. He meets Sandra afterwards where she says that no one has ever really known her. Philip says Elizabeth knows him, but she doesn't know he's at the seminar, and they both promise secrecy. Sandra proposes that while they're attending the seminar, they experiment by telling each other everything, which Philip says he'll think about. In Anton's bedroom, Nina admits that she was sent to spy on Anton, but says she can't keep buying back her life and that it's not worth it. Anton gives her advice how to loosen the power the Soviet system has on her.
|Arriving back in the US, Paige tells Elizabeth she's not sure if she can go home and just lie to Henry and everyone about everything. Elizabeth points out that everyone lies but Paige says that's not who she is. Philip arrives at home to find no one is there as Henry is at Stan's playing a football board game. After listening to the BBC news about the Afghan War, he's thrilled to see Paige and Elizabeth when they come home. In private, Elizabeth tells him about the trip and he relates how hard it was to kill Gene. Elizabeth presses Philip to tell Martha about Gene's death before she hears it at the office. In her room, Paige sobs and picks up the phone and calls Pastor Tim and asks for help.
|Struggling with the killing and lying, Philip tries to explain his distress to Elizabeth but she is confused by his incoherence. Trying hard to understand, she hears a news broadcast of US President Reagan's speech on TV which she says they should listen to and turns up volume. Philip sits, disinterested, as Elizabeth watches Reagan give his "evil empire" speech. Henry enjoys the board game with Stan. Paige tells Pastor Tim that her parents are liars and trying to turn her into one. She then says they're Russians and he can't tell anyone. Elizabeth turns towards Philip as Reagan says the USSR is the focus of evil in the modern world.
- 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. (see Timeline of Historical Events)
- "Previously on The Americans" voice: Philip.