Warning: Spoiler Alert
The latest episode of the NBC series “The Blacklist,” turned into an intriguing combination, of recounting the story from the first episode of the series, along with some reveals that should make the next few weeks interesting, at the very least. We also found out two pieces of information, one of which will help viewers gain insight, the other an unexpected twist, involving the number four man on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, Raymond “Red” Reddington, causing viewers to once again question what Red’s true agenda is.
Although the episode was chock-full of scenes from previous episodes, the action starts with a flashback to long before the story started, as the graphic tells us we’re in 1994. We watch a young teenage boy who looks about fourteen, running out of a hotel after snatching a purse, a waiter in close pursuit. Suddenly, a limousine pulls up beside the teen and the door opens, the kid hears a man yell come on in, which he quickly does, leaving the waiter in the dust.
The teen, still breathing heavily, thanks his benefactor sitting in the seat beside him, he then says that the other guy stole his sister’s purse. The man responds, you stole the purse Jacob, just as you stole the credit cards and the Pontiac. We see the man’s got a dossier on the teen, whose name’s Jacob Faust and a product of the foster-care system. The man tells him he’s been watching him for a while and he’s ready to offer the teen a situation, then tells him the reason he doesn’t get along with others is because he’s special.
The teen laughs at that, saying Social Services, tell a different story and the man berates the institution. He then says he’s offering him a chance to escape the life he’s known, he can take a ride with the man and the man can help him become anything he wants to be. This is the first meeting between Bill McCready, also known as the Major and his latest protégée, Jacob Faust’s now become the man we know as Tom Keen. McCready’s, like the Henry Higgins of sociopathic criminals, he targets very intelligent delinquent teens and molds them into the perfect asset for any criminal organization.
Back in the present, Task Force and Deputy Director of the FBI Harold Cooper, summons FBI Agent Liz Keen into his office, she joins the Deputy Attorney General, already seated. Cooper tells her a Grand Jury’s investigating the murder of the Harbor Master and they’ve subpoenaed Cooper to testify, he asks his agent what she was doing on the docks when the Harbor Master confronted her? She says Meera was dead, you were in the hospital and I did what ever I could to stop Berlin, that’s all I’m saying.
The Deputy Attorney General says as far as she’s concerned, she doesn’t want Liz to say that much, she filed a motion to quash the subpoena. A very select few know about the Task Force and she wants it to remain that way, and she won’t allow it to come out in this trial. Cooper says Keen best hope the motion works, as he won’t perjure himself for her, Liz looks shocked but nods her head.
Metro Detective Martin Wilcox shows up to Superior Court, looking disheveled and unorganized, his boss meets him there and chastises him for being tardy. He then tells Wilcox that the case got moved to another courtroom. As they approach the courtroom, they realize something’s strange as the Court officers make them surrender any electronic devices and even pens and pencils.
We go into the courtroom of Judge Renner, who states this is the first time his courtroom ever got changed, or closed to the public and asks the Deputy Attorney General what’s up with all the cloak and dagger stuff. She replies that any testimony by Harold Cooper, could endanger National Security, as Cooper and Keen are both part of a secret Task Force. She says it’s the Government’s right to determine what is and what isn’t vital to the nation’s interest and Wilcox blurts out she’s attempting a cover-up.
The Judge agrees that the public or Wilcox shouldn’t have the power to decide what should get revealed, but in his courtroom, he’s got that power. He says he can hold the Deputy Attorney General and the two agents in contempt and incarcerate them, or Agent Keen can be in his chambers in five minutes.
Harold heads back to the Task Force headquarters and soon he and Donald Ressler are greeted by Reddington and Dembe. Cooper tells him what’s going on and Red says in order to save Keen he needs to locate the Major, but they’ve had a falling out. So he needs the FBI to kidnap Malaysian Deputy Minister Mahmoud, as Raymond has information on the man to force him to reveal the Major’s location. Mahmoud’s out doing his daily run, when Samara Navabi distracts him, then Ressler and some other agents, overcome the Deputy Minister and get him in a van.
Renner tells Keen, she has the right to counsel, however if she requests it or refuses to answer his question, the discussion ends and he’ll see her in court. She’s then sworn in and slowly at first, then in a deluge reveals to the Judge, exactly what’s gone on in her life. How she went from having a seemingly ideal life, to realizing the whole thing didn’t really exist. How she went from her first day on the Bureau, from a rookie analyst, to the catalyst in a Task Force, centered around Raymond Reddington, a man she thought she had no connection with. She then tells him her husband was in reality a spy, only with her due to her unknown connection to Reddington and she killed him over four months before the Harbor Master got killed.
We head to Dresden, Germany where Tom’s on his new assignment for the Major, trying to infiltrate a German criminal’s gang. So far we’ve got very little info on the man running this organization, other than he’s in his mid-sixties and bought Tom a beer in the previous episode. He’s talking with an associate, about acquiring guns, when Tom interjects he knows someone in Salzburg. The older man says until they know him better, Tom may want to mind his own business, Tom says suit yourself and walks out of the pub.
Wilcox goes to visit Samuel Aleko, in prison and the Samoan says he’s got nothing to say to the detective. Wilcox says Liz’s testifying that Samuel killed the Harbor Master and Aleko calls him a liar. The detective says Wilcox could get the death penalty and Samuel laughs, saying he’s already taken a bullet in this situation. Wilcox realizes that Liz shot Aleko, at some time on the boat and sends forensics to investigate.
Red meets with Deputy Minister Mahmoud and tells him he’s aware that he also got created by Bill McCready and got put into power by a cartel, looking to exert influence in Asia. He says he doesn’t want to hurt Mahmoud, or reveal his secrets, but he will unless he gives him the Major’s location.
Renner becomes more and more incredulous with each statement Liz makes as we watch a greatest hits compilation of the Blacklist members they’ve taken down through the Task Force. Keen could extract herself at any time by admitting that Tom killed the Harbor Master, but she refuses to, because despite every rational molecule in her body, she’s still in love with him.
Meanwhile Tom’s tracked down the arms-dealer that the old man chose to supply him with guns. The man’s driving in his car with Dancing In The Moonlight blasting, when a motorcycle pulls up next to him at a stop light and knocks on the driver’s window. It’s Keen and he shoots the man through the forehead killing him instantly.
Mahmoud summons the Major to a closed restaurant to meet him, saying it’s urgent, McCready arrives with a bodyguard and berates Mahmoud for contacting him while on assignment, saying he knows the rules. Dembe walks out with gun drawn and the Major’s bodyguard aims back at him, but puts his gun down seconds later when Red walks in, also brandishing a weapon. McCready asks what he wants and Raymond responds Tom Keen.
Judge Renner falls just short of calling Liz a liar, then tells her he’s going to question her boss, so if she wants to save herself, this is her last chance. We can see Liz’s shaken by the statement, but she says she’s got nothing to say and he dismisses her. Cooper comes in and Renner asks if Liz was at the dock on official business and Harold perjures himself, saying she was. Another selfless act from a man who believes he’s got weeks to live, Renner says he expects they’ll talk soon.
Tom’s talking to some guy at the pub, when the old man comes over and the other guy makes himself scarce. He asks Tom if his guy’s reliable and Keen responds, he thought the man had somebody? The gang leader says they did but now they don’t and Tom laughs and says then we’re friends now. The man ignores the remark and again asks if the guy from Salzburg’s reliable.
McCready tells Red he can’t give Keen up as he’d betray a client by doing that. Raymond tells him he did that to him, we find out that Keen was hired by Red to connect with Liz, but Berlin offered him twice as much and he switched allegiances. He tells the Major he owes him and if he doesn’t get the info he wants Bill dies.
Red’s much happier in the next scene, gaining an ally in Mahmoud and getting the info on Tom from McCready. Dembe’s perhaps the most loyal human being on the face of the earth and he never questions anything Reddington asks or tells him to do. However he says you have to tell her Raymond and Red asks tell her what? Dembe says you have to tell her about Tom, Raymond and you have to tell her the truth about everything. Red says he doesn’t think he could do that. Dembe responds maybe it’s time he stopped thinking about it and just did it. An incredibly powerful scene, Dembe’s a man of few words, but the ones he uses, he makes count.
Renner’s visited by Wilcox and his boss and the detective tells him that forensics just found this shell casing on the boat, it’s from Keen’s service revolver and it’s got Samuel’s DNA on it. He says that’s physical evidence that Agent Elizabeth Keen, murdered the Harbor Master.
The Story Continues Next Thursday Night at 9:00 pm on NBC.