The Blacklist Season 3 Premiere

The Blacklist Season Premiere Recap: Here I Go Again, On My Own

If you were watching The Blacklist for the first time during Thursday’s Season 3 premiere, you might have expected the episode’s opening moments to have a very different outcome.

You might have expected that Agents Ressler, Navabi and Mojtabai would be successful in their capture of Red and Liz, or that their wide perimeter of cop cars and police officers would prevent the fugitives from ever getting out of Washington, D.C.

But if you’ve been with the NBC series since Episode 1, you know that Red and Liz’s immediate capture was never even a possibility.

Indeed, Season 3 of the drama begins in D.C., where the FBI task force — or what’s left of it, at least — is doggedly pursuing Liz (and Red, but he’s more of a footnote), after she gunned down Tom Connolly and has gained quite the reputation as a spy and a terrorist. Unfortunately for Ressler, who’s now in charge of the Liz Keen manhunt, she and Red elude the FBI on multiple occasions throughout the hour.

Plan A: They don FBI uniforms and take shelter in an underground bunker, a few feet beneath a bar owned by one of Red’s longtime associates. But the associate’s sister, Tiffany, is not OK with an alleged terrorist breathing the same air as her, and she calls in an anonymous tip to the FBI that brings Ressler & Co. to the bar — and straight to the bunker where Red and Liz were staying. They escape through an air vent, but barely.

The Blacklist Season 3 PremierePlan B: They steal a rich guy’s car and hide out in his rich-guy apartment for a while (interrupted only by the Spanish-speaking housekeeper), giving Liz just the right amount of time she needs to dye her hair platinum blonde. Red seems particularly taken aback by Liz’s new locks, and the agent realizes that it’s because she resembles her mother for the first time — but more on that later. Now that their underground hideout has been compromised, Red and Liz are forced to move up their appointment with The Troll Farmer, a proverbial illusionist who uses social media and Photoshop to create diversions. As Red puts it, “He is much more than a rumormonger. The events he creates appear to be real and provoke a very real response — smoke manufactured to turn the cameras away from the real fire.”

In short, The Troll Farmer is able to create a diversion for Red and Liz — fake photos and tweets that indicate the fugitives are roaming the streets of D.C., which they definitely aren’t doing — which should allow them to safely get out of the city. But Ressler is too smart for the hoax. Almost immediately, he figures out that Red and Liz are trying to create a distraction, and he and the FBI create a barrier of cop cars at the precise exit point that Red and Liz are hoping to use. Oops.

I’ll spare you the minutiae of Red and Liz’s attempted escape and merely give you the result: Red is able to get out, but Liz isn’t. In a last-minute phone call with Liz, Red assures her that if she’s anything like her mother (aside from the blonde ‘do), she is clever and resourceful enough to figure this thing out. And figure it out she does: At the end of the hour, Ressler and Navabi find Liz walking down the street, which immediately turns into an intense foot chase down a D.C. sidewalk. But before the agents can capture her, Liz climbs over the gate of The Embassy of the Russian Federation and proclaims: “Help! My name is Masha Rostova. I’m a Russian agent. I work for the FSB, and I’m seeking diplomatic immunity.”

OK, so it’s no, “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die,” but it’ll have to do.

Other highlights of the eventful finale:

The Blacklist Season 3 Premiere* We’re introduced to a new villain named Mr. Solomon (played by Edi Gathegi, Proof), who works on behalf of The Cabal and boy, is he nasty. Not only does he inform The Director that the rest of The Cabal has lost faith in his abilities (“Every breath you draw is at our discretion,” Mr. Solomon says with a freakin’ smile), but he also briefly kidnaps Dembe’s granddaughter (!) and introduces a nerve agent that will kill her in three weeks… unless Dembe cooperates long enough to get the baby an antidote. That. Is. Cold.

* Each member of the FBI task force plays The Blame Game with one another, with each of them partially responsible for Liz’s escape. Cooper admits that he told Liz to run after shooting Tom Connolly, and Ressler confesses that he let Liz get away during a crucial 60-second stretch in which he could have captured her. The bright side of all this? Cooper is finally reunited with his wife, Charlene, and he delivers the excellent news that he doesn’t really have cancer. (Well, sort of excellent news, if you don’t count the fact that Cooper was expertly manipulated by shady government officials.)

* Moments after escaping D.C., Red gives Ressler a call and makes him an offer that he legitimately can’t refuse: the name of a blacklister in exchange for Ressler’s word that he will give Liz the benefit of the doubt if he captures her. Ressler agrees to the terms, and his sole victory of the day comes in the form of The Troll Farmer, who he wastes no time in arresting.

Your turn! What did you think of The Blacklist‘s Season 3 premiere? Grade the episode via our poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Alan says:

    That was pretty boring

  2. Simon says:

    I thought it was pretty great.

  3. sladewilson says:

    I liked it because it was a good slow set up. Blacklist does slow burn very well and tonight was no exception. New mysteries. Very good episode.

  4. kirads09 says:

    It did not disappoint. Loved every minute. Didn’t find it boring or slow at all. (?)

  5. Lisa Russell says:

    I never can figure out the twist…..lovev that!

  6. Renee says:

    Loved it, new twist, keeps you interested and has me dying to watch the next ep!

  7. wrstlgirl says:

    Is it wrong that I’m way more interested in Soloman than I am anything else.

    • pixieballs says:

      Creators of The Blacklist are really good at writing charming, quirky and often sympathetic villains (and casting great actors to play them).

  8. Sar says:

    The story lines were too choppy and unbalanced presentation

  9. Joey Padron says:

    Good season premiere. Like Liz’s new hair color. It was a nice surprise to see Aaron from The Tomorrow People in the episode. Surprised what new villain wants with Dembe. Can’t wait to see what happens with Liz in next episode!

  10. Red Snapper says:

    I thought it was a pretty good premiere. I was hoping that they’d both get out and we’d have some episodes of them on the run together. I was not expecting her to end up at the Russian Embassy but it was a smart move. She had no other options and it was her only play. Did we know that Dembe had a daughter? I couldn’t remember. I feel super bad for him. New villain guy is definitely going to use him to get to Red and he doesn’t have much of a choice. I don’t think Red will hold it against him though. I’m excited for this season.

  11. Mr. Tran K says:

    I give it an A. The Blacklist is still going to be on my “watch list” and it’s great to see how Ressler is trying to handle the Elizabeth Keen situation.

  12. 221bsam says:

    Uh.. I think they were police uniforms, not FBI ;)
    Unexpected twists, I like the slow burn, I just binge watched all of season 1 & 2 on Netflix & it doesn’t feel so slow then, I don’t mind being trickle-fed the intel. It was realistic one would get through & not the other, clever!

  13. blonde21212 says:

    This was a very slow start to the series. Not a lot was said in the episode, could have watched the last 5 minutes and pretty much gathered what happened in the episode.

  14. Kevin Fowler says:

    This show is really starting to suck. I am getting tired of of government conspiracies and spies. And now you make our heroine a wanted fugitive. I am done watching this show.

    • alex says:

      i you don’t liek governmetn conspricies and spies then you’re watching the wrong show.

      • Kevin Fowler says:

        They should have kept show the way it was. If I want to see cheesy conspiracy stuff I would have re watched burn Notice or covert affairs.

  15. Kelly says:

    I loved last night’s episode. Feel bad for Dembe. I know I am in the minority here but I missed Tom/Jacob this episode, and I really don’t like Ressler anymore.

  16. obriensg1 says:

    In Plan A it should say “They don Capitol Police uniforms”.

  17. Ellinas1978 says:

    Way better than Scandal, which can be watched in less than 15 minutes with fast forward.

  18. This was the best premiere episode I have seen so far. Loved every minute. Especially, her running to Russian embassy. Gonna be interesting season of Blacklist.

  19. Susie says:

    Ressler is becoming unbelievable. NO one would turn on their partner like that. Even on drugs.

  20. Edith Krumholz says:

    I had a hard time at First because they did not open with what happened in the finale last season. I love the show and that’s why I said it was awesome. I hope liz will not keep the blonde hair.

  21. grys03 says:

    Good first up ep for season 3. Nice end twist. Little disappointed at the storyline that caused Ressler to be so focused on Liz’s recapture. Thought he would show more support. Enjoying Cooper being on the outside looking in. Hopefully, the writers will explore the investigative reporters storyline as sub-plots rather than a main story until it finally blows up.

  22. This show has literally lost the plot in Season 3, it’s just that endless “we’re on the run” BS with a tiny mix of their old routine, which we all liked.
    I give it a D+ / C- for season 3.

  23. blfan says:

    I hope Ressler and Liz eventually end up together. It’s the main reason my eyes are glued every week

  24. Retha Coetsee says:

    What channel on TV is Blacklist S3 showing please???

    • Gina says:

      .The saga of agent Keene drug on WAY too long. They should have wrapped it up much sooner. I really liked the show overall. James Spader is great. I do hope they let Elizabeth go back to being a brunette, She was much prettier. Not everyone has to be a blonde.

  25. Edith Krimholz says:

    I am not a fan of long searches for people and I thought the search for Liz went on much too long. That’s why I stopped watching 24 release all he did was search for his wife. But this is an outstanding show and I am always anxious for the next episode. i’ll be glad when Liz’s hair goes back to brunette