At the beginning, the song "Harden My Heart" is heard on the soundtrack. This episode takes place before President Reagan's attempted assassination. The song was not released to the public until about nine months later.
The pilot for 'The Americans' starts off with historically inaccurate information. Two guys are talking about some tough guy who allegedly took out 4 Olympic Japanese judo players in a bar fight. And the other guy says "Which year? Because The Japanese didn't medal in Judo from 1964 to 1972.".... In fact the Japanese won 3 gold medals in 1964, skipped the Mexico City Olympics in 1968, then won 3 more gold medals in 1972, and 1 bronze.
Just after Philip and Elizabeth change the license plates on their car from DC to VA tags and begin to head out of DC to their Northern VA home with the body in the trunk of their car, they discuss which would be a faster way to get to the beltway (I-495)--the George Washington Parkway or I-66. I-66 did not open until August 1982, well after the supposed 1981 setting.
Elizabeth removes a pan of brownies from the oven using an oven mitt, indicating that it is very hot. However, when she bumps the pan with her right hand after removing the glove, she doesn't even flinch.