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The Troll Farmer” is the first episode of Season 3 of The Blacklist, the forty fifth episode overall and the Season 3 premiere. It aired on October 1, 2015 on NBC.


Press Release[]

LIZ AND RED ARE ON THE RUN - The season premiere kicks off with the FBI hunting Liz for the murder of the Attorney General. Red and Liz are named to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list and set out on the run to evade capture. Red calls upon a Blacklister called “The Troll Farmer,” to help them flee the city, while the task force must question whom of their own can still be trusted. Dembe is put in a dangerous and compromising position.

Number on The Blacklist[]

  • 38

Unanswered Questions[]

  1. Elizabeth Keen
    1. Keen’s decision to use the Russian embassy gives the Cabal “evidence” that she is guilty.
    2. Why did Keen declare herself an agent of the Federal Security Service (FSB) instead of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR RF)?
    3. Why did Keen not take the van or a taxi to the Russian embassy?
      1. A: She could not have taken the van as it was seized by Ressler’s taskforce. We don’t know that she didn’t take a cab to the embassy. The shot starts with her right at the corner of the block.
    4. Why was Keen so fearful? After 2 years of dealing with Reddington she should have more self-confidence.
      1. A: This is the first time she has been on the wrong side of the law. Previously, she was fighting the criminals, but she must fight the very system that she had served.
    5. Where did Keen learn about car styles and the types of owners?
      1. A: She is a criminal profiler, so she must have some knowledge about profiling.
      2. A: Red taught her more about being a better profiler and the types of cars to use to escape in during their partnership in the FBI.
    6. Why did Keen change her hair color?
      1. A: To alter her appearance, albeit temporarily.
      2. A: It might have been a gambit to gauge Reddington’s reaction and to get more details about her mother who was also blonde and looked like Elizabeth.
    7. Is Katarina Rostova alive?
      1. A: The last mention of Rostova was by Reddington who says than he cannot begin to explain how she “disappeared”. Therefore, it is possible that she is still alive and might even be seen for the season ending.
    8. Why did everybody use the title of “ex-special agent Elizabeth Keen”? She is now a fugitive. They did not say “ex-Naval Officer Raymond Reddington”.
      1. A: Reddington has had a considerably larger influence as the “Concierge of Crime” than he had as a naval officer. Elizabeth has just been declared a fugitive and is beginning her life on the run.
      2. A: He was also most likely called that during the beginning of his chase before he started his syndicate. As he grew and became a criminal with a different reputation, they changed their call from “Ex-Naval Officer” to “Concierge of Crime” to stress how dangerous he became since.
  2. Raymond Reddington
    1. Why did Red oppose Keen’s use of the Russian embassy?
      1. A: Going to the Russians reinforces the Cabal's allegations against her.
      2. A: Karakurt is Russian and presumably had help from the Russian Cabal members.
    2. Why did Red have only 1 safe house?
      1. A: The cordoned area was quite limited.
    3. Why would Red be interested in stealing sapphires from a mine foreman?
      1. A: He's a criminal. The sapphires were most likely worth a fortune he used to help fund his syndicate or use as leverage for a deal.
    4. Why did Red compare the monsoon to a “monarch gone mad”?
      1. A: He was being his usual poetic self symbolizing how bad the monsoon was.
    5. Why did Red insist on Ressler’s word concerning the “benefit of the doubt”? Ressler can be easily removed from his position.
    6. Did Red expose Chang to help Keen or because Chang had told Red they were finished?
      1. A: For Reddington, any powerful criminal beyond his control is a liable threat and therefore must be dealt with and/or coerced into further cooperation. The FBI is his weapon.
      2. A: The promise that he extracted from Ressler is just an example of how Red is adept at negotiating. There is no other way he could have extracted a promise from Ressler, since he does not have a personal life and is a very “by-the-book” man.
    7. Will Chang’s arrest damage Red’s credibility? Chang can blame Red for exposing him.
      1. A: Like all the other Blacklisters, Chang will not have a chance to blame Red. The taskforce “does not exist” and Chang will simply be put under lockdown. Also, Chang doesn’t know that it was Red who gave him away.
    8. Where will Red go?
    9. Will Red seek revenge on Lyle and Tiffany?
      1. A: Unlikely. He walked in on them arguing, but because the damage was done due to Tiffany, decided to cut off allegiances with Lyle.
    10. Why did Red not turn the phone off after taking it from Tiffany?
      1. A: She already made the call. There was no point since she already gave the hotline their location.
    11. Does Red know how to drive? He is always seen being driven.
      1. A: Yes, as seen in “Eli Matchett.”
  3. Bo Chang
    1. Why did Chang concentrate on the South to distract from the North? Even a rush job should have used all directions.
      1. A: The rush job forced him to go for something so obvious. If all the sightings were concentrated on the South, it would buy Reddington and Liz time and there would not be a chance of encountering law enforcement.
    2. Why did Chang need 7 days for the original escape plan?
      1. A: When Chang got only 1 hour, it took Ressler a few minutes to guess the endgame. It would be plausible to think that the full version of the plan would have involved sightings throughout the entire city.
    3. Why did Chang tell Red they were finished? Is Red the first rush job he has encountered?
      1. A: What can be deduced from Chang’s reaction when he sees Red is that he was the person who usually dictates the terms. The 2 of them literally showing up at his doorstep could attract too much attention. A rush job versus the entire power of the FBI could have put his business in jeopardy.
    4. How many of Chang’s other clients will be arrested?
    5. Who gave Chang the alias of “Troll Farmer”? Chang hated the alias.
    6. Why was Keen’s double so excited about meeting Keen and Red?
      1. A: Keen’s face was flashing all over the news channels in connection with a major crime. In the criminal world, she would be very “happening” at the time. With Reddington, he is a criminal legend and his presence on the Most Wanted list added a certain gravitas to his persona.
  4. Donald Ressler
    1. Why did Ressler say he would locate Red? He should not use an empty threat.
    2. Ressler's actions show a degree of double standards. In “Mako Tanida”, he went rogue with Bobby Jonica and used Red for help. Later, he developed an Oxycodone addiction and lied about it. Here, he enforces the rules because of duty. Such behavior will eventually result in a negative effect.
    3. Ressler’s reckless behavior is threatening both his position and relationships with Cooper and Samar.
      1. A: The pressure he is under to capture Liz and Red, is putting him in a serious position with Wright.
    4. How did Ressler locate the van Keen was using?
      1. A: Any vehicle leaving a police roadblock queue is automatically deemed to be containing contraband. Traffic cameras and localised all-points bulletin's are then be used to locate the vehicle.
    5. Why did the writers use the cliché of Ressler missing Red and Keen by mere minutes?
  5. Samar Navabi
    1. Is Red using Samar as a double agent?
    2. Who was Andreen?
    3. Why was Samar captured? A Mossad agent has superior training to a street gang.
      1. A: The gang member was in a state of panic in having his safe house raided by the FBI. He felt that capturing Samar and holding her at gunpoint to force Ressler into compliance was the only way he would escape.
      2. Q: How was Samar captured by somebody with inferior combat training?
  6. Harold Cooper
    1. Is Cooper’s career ruined?
      1. A: As long as the manhunt for Keen continues, he will be kept away from the workings of the Bureau as he is a suspected accomplice of hers, but since there is no concrete evidence, no charges were filed against him.
      2. A: Cooper told her to run so his career in the FBI is over.
  7. Reven Wright
    1. Why did Reven say that the Terror alert system had been upgraded to severe?
    2. Reven said that she had risked her position to keep Ressler as the task force leader. That gives the Cabal more leverage to remove her if/when something goes wrong.
      1. A: It would be more than just leverage the Cabal would gain from Wright. At the end of “Tom Connolly”, she realized how many members of the US government have aligned with the Cabal. They could see Wright as a potential threat as she is working to take them down and have her removed.
    3. Reven’s support of the task force seems to be balanced by her need for political survival.
  8. Peter Kotsiopulos
    1. Many people will not believe Peter Kotsiopulos’s denial based on past scandals and failures in the United States Intelligence Community.
    2. How secure is Peter Kotsiopulos’s position? Solomon said that he had lost control and was “dancing on a razor blade”.
      1. A: Not as safe as Peter thought in Season 2, as Solomon revealed his mistake in ignoring Red’s claims about the Fulcrum. Solomon mentioned that the other Cabal members are showing concern that he isn’t doing enough to stop this.
    3. Why did Peter Kotsiopulos say that the identities of the: Director of Central Intelligence, Director of National Intelligence, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Director of the National Clandestine Service; are kept secret?
    4. Why did Peter Kotsiopulos reveal his identity? Was it to protect the Cabal or himself? If the Cabal assassinates him then there will be questions from the Senate.
      1. A: Possibly himself, realizing the situation he is now in.
    5. Did Peter Kotsiopulos arrange for the use of the National Security Agency satellites?
  9. Dembe Zuma
    1. Why did Dembe not have a better security system or trained his daughter in the martial arts?
      1. A: Dembe is a good man and no doubt wished to keep his daughter away from the life he lived. Unlike Red, he gave his daughter full control of her life.
    2. What was the chemical he was forced to breathe?
      1. The label appeared to say “Propofol”. It’s a surgical anesthetic best known for being the drug that killed Michael Jackson.
  10. Will Tiffany and/or Lyle be indicted? They can claim Red threatened them for safety.
    1. A: Technically, there is no evidence that the FBI can use on them since none, other than themselves, actually saw them harboring Red and Liz. All Ressler found was a secret room which was empty except Lyle.
  11. Why did the car/valet box not have a lock? Keen and Red had no difficulty stealing the car.
    1. A: There is a lock, Liz can be seen quickly picking the lock and getting the valet box opened.
  12. What will Martha, the maid, tell the police and/or employer? That the apartment was robbed by Red or an unknown person?
  13. Why did the gang member refuse to release Samar? He was surrounded.
    1. A: In the panic after the attack on the building, she must have been his safest bet to escape.

Slanders on the FBI[]


Main star[]

Guest star[]


  • Joel Bissonnette as Lyle Fisher
  • Kelly Hutchinson as Tiffany Lepman
  • Victoria Janicki as Isabella Zuma
  • Rafael Poueriet as Markowitz
  • Logan Crawford as Reporter
  • Tiffany Villarin as Agent Kim Aquino
  • Patrick Byas as SWAT Agent
  • Steve Hanneman as SWAT Commander
  • Nathan James as DC Cop
  • Sandra Berrios as Martha
  • Stefanie Brown as The Double
  • Meng Ai as Troll #1
  • Elijah Guo as Troll #2
  • Jennifer Tsay as Troll #3
  • Angel Dillemuth as Drug Runner
  • Vanessa Kai as Red's Driver


External Links[]

Season 3 Episodes
 · The Troll Farmer  · Marvin Gerard  · Eli Matchett  · The Djinn  · Arioch Cain  · Sir Crispin Crandall  · Zal Bin Hasaan  · Kings of the Highway  · The Director  · The Director: Conclusion  · Mr. Gregory Devry  · The Vehm  · Alistair Pitt  · Lady Ambrosia  · Drexel  · The Caretaker  · Mr. Solomon  · Mr. Solomon: Conclusion  · Cape May  · The Artax Network  · Susan Hargrave  · Alexander Kirk  · Alexander Kirk: Conclusion  ·