Amir Arison as Aram Mojtabai in the Season 3 premiere of "The Blacklist."
Amir Arison as Aram Mojtabai in the Season 3 premiere of "The Blacklist." (David Giesbrecht/NBC)

Season 3 of "The Blacklist" starring James Spader (a school girl crush of mine, it must be noted) starts out with an exciting high-speed chase.

Liz Keen (Megan Boone) and Reddington (Spader) are on the run after the FBI marks them as high-priority fugitives. Particularly, Liz gets the blame for the murder of 14 agents and a couple of high-ranking government office officials. Last season, we found out that her mother was a Russian spy, giving her enemies a the perfect ammo to frame her as a covert member of the KGB ... even though she´s definitely not a Russian spy.

Reddington's savvy mixed with Hollywood magic comes to the rescue as they are able to dupe their pursuers by wearing police uniforms and finding refuge in a safe house that doubles as the basement of a local DC bar.

The first bit of humor ascends above the surface of the plot of this heavy season premiere as Reddington annoys Liz with his epic, literary toned anecdotes where he tries to bring comfort and make a point that he and she were stuck under the bar for a week or two ... and that isn't so bad, right?

And beneath the surface of the engulfing story of Keen and Reddingto's major problem we have a couple of supporting stories that aren't as well sculpted as they could be but are respectable and important side notes.


Donald Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff), Keen's former partner, fights his morals and intuition throughout the show as he slowly begins to (I would say unravel, but it is too early to really tell) admit that he has been helping Liz escape a number of times due to some subconscious and emotional loyalty he has to her.

The only problem is hat he's a big time agent and heading the chase of Liz and Reddington, so as he begins purposely overlook huge bread crumbs and lose the fugitives (as he does in this episode when he's tipped off about their whereabouts and lets them go). His bosses begin to suspect his loyalty to Keen and confront him with their suspicions.


Another somewhat interesting — and very scary side story — is the emergence of Mr. Solomon (Edi Gathegi), a terrifying man who essentially does dirty work for the Cabal (a mysterious agency that wants Reddington dead). Mr. Solomon is no joke and for his first evil task, he steals a baby. Seriously.

While Mr. Solomon is running around terrifying moms and intimidating Keen's enemies, things move along rather quickly as Liz and Reddington lose their hiding place at the bar and steal a Porsche as a getaway for very practical reason: No one would look for fugitives in a flashy car (sure, OK).

As they run, Reddington decides to drop by to see "The Troll Farmer."

Yes, you read right, "The Troll Farmer" (Meng Ai), a young computer genius who creates diversions through social media to confuse the feds with fake photos and tips from "citizens" who want to help find Keen and Reggington.

The Troll Farmer's team goes as far as to find lookalikes for the ex agents on the run (to create realistic images of the two) forcing Liz Keen to experience an awkward conversation with her "lookalike" who acts like she´s meeting a member of the Mickey Mouse Club.

The Troll Farmer is very upset by Keen and Reddington's presence as his deadline to mask the agents' whereabouts went from one week to down to an hour. The Troll Farmer and his team manage to mix the FBI up enough with fake tips and photos of the fugitive agents that Keen and Reddington make a break for it into separate vans, hoping to get through heavy police DC check points.

Ressler is running around like a chicken with his head cut off, chasing fake leads, but the super-smart computer hacker, FBI agent Aram Mojtabai (Amir Arison) is somehow able to weed through the diversions and get super close to finding Liz.

Reddington, understanding the dire problem finds a way to call Ressler on a cell phone and gives up the location of The Troll Farmer in exchange for Ressler's genuine benefit of the doubt, meaning all Reddington asks is for Ressler to emotionally crack a little and believe Keen is innocent, even though he had no real proof of it. Ressler takes Reddington's deal and takes note of The Troll Farmer's address

Keen finds herself on her own for the first time and is scared out of her mind, but in the spirit of her Russian spy mom, she thinks on her feet.

By the end of the show, we find Liz running about six feet ahead of her former partner, Ressler, and just as they are about the grab her, she jumps a fence to the Russian embassy and screams that she's an agent for Russia and seeks asylum.

Super drama. Hope Liz makes it out alive ... if she didn't there wouldn't be much of a series, but one can only assume such an outcome from this interesting, if not outright exciting, season premiere.