Season 3 Episode 1
"The Troll Farmer"
While on the run from Ressler, now leader of the task force, Red makes a deal with a Blacklister to help Liz flee the city.
Having just shot and killed Attorney General Tom Connolly, Liz seeks asylum with Red. With Cooper (and his wife Charlene) in jail for his involvement in the shooting, Reven Wright has named Ressler head of the task force and he's hunting Liz and Red with a vengeance and locking down the city. Of course, Red has a plan and it's already in play. Dressed as D.C. cops, Red and Liz drop out of sight and seek refuge in a bunker hidden below a dive bar, presided over by bartender Lyle. Red is suspicious to meet Lyle's sister Tiffany, who's visiting from Denver, and rightly so. It's not long before Tiffany recognizes Liz and calls the FBI tip line; Red and Liz barely escape Ressler. In the meantime, the Director holds a press conference - the first time in history that the Director of Clandestine Services has done so - to announce that Liz and Red are dangerous terrorists, out to get him and take down America. Since it's impossible to leave D.C., Red intends to sit tight and wait out the siege, so Liz steals a Porsche and they proceed to the ritzy condo of its owner, where Liz dyes her hair blond, reminding Red of her mother. When the maid appears, Red and Liz kindly lock her in the bathroom and vacate the premises.
A seemingly genteel man we'll call Mr. Solomon pays a visit to Dembe's daughter Isabella, a young mother. After knocking her to the floor, he leaves with her baby daughter Elle, then pays the Director a threatening visit. The Director said Red didn't have the Fulcrum; he lied. Now people in their organization have lost faith in the Director, thus every breath he draws is at their discretion... Across town, Isabella runs to tell Dembe about Elle's abduction. What does Solomon want in exchange for her? He wants Dembe. Meanwhile, Ressler arranges for Cooper and his wife's release, admitting that he didn't divulge what Cooper confided - that he told Liz to run after she shot the Attorney General. Nevertheless, Ressler believes Cooper is as complicit in Liz's escape as he is, and refuses to buy into Cooper's opinion that Liz isn't guilty - even after Cooper explains that Connolly planned to extinguish everyone on the task force.
Red takes Liz to the home of his next Blacklister, the Troll Farmer, whom he's had on retainer in case of just such a desperate scenario. The Troll Farmer uses social media to make things happen - or seem like they're happening, like smoke signals where there's no fire. His real name is Bo Chang, and he's none too happy to see Red. Chang needs a week to do what Red's asking, but Red will only give him an hour to make it seem like Liz is all over the city, overwhelming Aram and the task force's electronic sleuthing skills. While Ressler and Samar chase geese, Liz and Red conceal themselves in separate vans in hopes of at least one of them making it out of the city to clear her name. But Ressler finally catches on to the ruse and manages to deduce that the Troll Farmer is diverting all traffic to the south so Red and Liz can escape to the north. Ultimately, Red's van makes it out, but Liz's driver knows they've been made, so she circles back into the city. Believing all is lost, Liz calls Red, who offers hope in comparing her to her mother, the cleverest, most resourceful woman he's ever known. Thus inspired, Liz barks an address at her van driver... and it's the address of the Russian Embassy. Panicked by the prospect of Liz's capture, Red calls Ressler to make a deal: Red will turn over the Troll Farmer in exchange for Ressler's word as a man of honor that he will give Liz the benefit of every doubt if she's captured. Because Ressler knows Liz is neither a traitor nor a Russian spy... right?
Coldly furious, Dembe punches, kicks and shoots his way into Solomon's inner sanctum to demand the return of his baby granddaughter. Solomon calmly finishes a bite of cioppino, then phones Isabella, ordering her to run to her front door and take a photo of Elle, who's laying comfortably in her baby seat on the stoop. So why shouldn't Dembe kill Solomon right here and now? Solomon explains that Elle will be needing an antidote to the time-released nerve agent he's given her. Handing Dembe a gas canister with a mouth mask, Solomon orders, "Breathe deeply." After doing so, the mighty Dembe timbers to the floor.
Liz approaches the Russian Embassy on foot. She's about a block away when Ressler swerves up and leaps out of his SUV to give chase. Liz sprints for it, scales the fence, then tells the shocked guards, "My name is Masha Rostova. I'm a Russian agent. I work for the FSB and I'm seeking diplomatic immunity."