|The Americans episode|
|Directed by||Daniel Sackheim|
|Featured music||Nathan Barr|
|Original air date||January 28, 2015|
|Running time||46 minutes|
"EST Men" is the third season premiere of the American television drama series The Americans, and the 27th overall episode of the series. It originally aired on January 28, 2015 in the United States on FX.
Elizabeth Jennings meets an ex-CIA analyst, who is willing to share a list of CIA operatives in Afghanistan, but after feeling guilty, confesses her indiscretion via telephone and tries to waylay Elizabeth until the CIA arrives. Elizabeth is chased by Gaad and his associate. After fighting with them, she manages to escape with minor injuries, but loses the operatives list in the process. Gaad also informs Stan that Nina has been charged with espionage and treason.
Philip and Elizabeth meet Gabriel (Frank Langella), their mentor and original contact with The Centre, who tries to persuade them to recruit Paige. Elizabeth describes how she and Paige are attending Paige's church together and that they have grown closer. She says Paige is open to new ideas and ideologies, and that she and Philip are slowly laying the groundwork for telling Paige their true identities. Later, Philip and Elizabeth argue over whether Paige should be recruited and whether or not Elizabeth is assessing her abilities for The Centre. Gabriel also gives Elizabeth a cassette tape with a recording made by her mother, in which her mother says she is dying.
Stan Beeman attends EST along with Philip, but is annoyed with it and finds it stupid. He tries to give Sandra the impression he's open to EST, but when Sandra tells him to tell the truth, he confesses that he didn't like it. Arkady Ivanovich and Oleg Igorevich discuss if they can help Nina; Oleg has begged his well-connected father to intervene to no avail. Oleg is later shown tailing Stan.
Philip continues to persuade Annelise to extract information from Yousaf, and she agrees, but expresses doubts and tells Philip she's in love with Yousaf. Later, while she and Yousaf are having sex, she confesses that she has a secret but swears she is on Yousaf's side. Overcome with rage, Yousaf strangles her. Philip, listening in the next room and disguised as Annelise's husband, catches him in the act but is unable to save Annelise. Outraged at first, he controls himself and tempts Yousaf with the promise that he can make the problem go away.
The episode was written by Joel Fields and series creator Joe Weisberg and directed by Daniel Sackheim. The episode marks the first appearance of Frank Langella as Gabriel, mentor of Elizabeth and Philip. Beginning with this episode, Lev Gorn, Costa Ronin, and Richard Thomas are credited as series regulars.
The episode was watched by 1.895 million viewers and scored 0.6 ratings in 18-49 demographics, as per Nielsen ratings. The critics reviewed the episode positively. The A.V. Club rated gave the episode an A-. Alan Sepinwall from Hitfix reviewed the episode positively. TV.com described the episode as "EST Men was mainly a set-up/catch-up hour, but it unfolded in the taut fashion The Americans has come to perfect, and that's kind of all it needed to do."
- Kondolojy, Amanda (January 29, 2015). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'Duck Dynasty' Tops Night + 'The Game', 'Wahlburgers', 'Conan', 'The Americans' & More". TV by the Numbers.
- Adams, Erik (January 28, 2015). "The Americans: "EST Men"".
- Sepinwall, Alan (January 28, 2015). "Season premier review: "The Americans" - "EST Men":The Deep End".
- Sandoval, Ryan (January 28, 2015). "The Americans Season 3 Premiere Review: Not Without My Daughter". TV.com.