Warning: Spoiler Alert
A TV show such as the NBC series “The Blacklist,” likely wouldn’t have aired 20-years-ago, as the show revels in displaying corruption in the United States Government. The series has shown it’s viewers time and again, that there are villains and monsters within the Government, who are just as evil and deadly as the people on the Blacklist. We know that Alan Fitch, the former Assistant National Security Director was deeply involved in an international cartel, that if discovered, would see its members behind bars, or in the ground. The brief dealings we’ve had with Fitch’s boss the National Security Director, have made us wary of the character as well.
During the last few months, we’ve met a new Government official, whose flat-out told us he has no principles, which is how he attained his power. His name’s Tom Connolly, who at least in his own mind will become the next United States Attorney General and an old friend of Assistant FBI Director and Task Force Director Harold Cooper. Connolly’s proved he’s a dangerous man to cross, as Cooper found out first-hand in the series latest episode “The Longevity Initiative.” However, we’ll get back to Connolly a bit later.
Our opening graphic tells us we’re starting out in New York City, as we go into a laboratory and listen to a conversation between two men in their mid-thirties, in front of a wall-to-ceiling aquarium, filled with jellyfish. One of them looks like a scientist, well-trimmed beard, glasses, wearing a tweed-jacket, the other sporting a sweater. The man in the sweater says to his colleague that this is the third one this month and the other man tells him he’s aware of that. The guy in the sweater says this isn’t what he was brought in for, he says I thought we were only supposed to find them.
The man in the sweater said he needs his colleague to be more careful, and the man in the jacket asks him if he’s now telling him how to do his job? The man in the sweater says someone’s going to get wind of this and we’ll end up in prison. His colleague says the man’s getting very well compensated for his risks and asks if he wants him to find a replacement and the man in the sweater says no.
A while later the man’s driving a delivery truck when a cop pulls him over and asks for license and registration, then asks to look in the back of the truck where he discovers three mutilated dead bodies. The driver shoots the cop, then steals the cruiser, leaving the truck and his victims behind as another cruiser arrives on the scene.
Charlene Cooper’s waking up the next morning, sees her husband Harold’s out of bed and his cane’s resting against his nightstand. She worriedly rushes to the living-room and Harold says for the first time in months he doesn’t need the cane. The trial project he’s on, has shrunk the tumor in his brain and he’s starting to feel like himself again.
Liz Keen’s still in her motel room, when her cellphone rings and it’s Tom saying he’s in trouble, Liz said the judge dismissed all charges and he says it’s not that. Red blew his cover in Dresden and now some dangerous people are looking for him and he can’t contact his handler. As soon as the words leave his mouth, the Major pulls up and tells him to get in, Tom tells Liz to have a good night, that evening and she hangs up.
After she’s arrived at the Task Force headquarters, Red and Dembe enter her office, Red clutching a gift bag. He pulls a bottle of wine out of the bag and gives it to her and she asks what’s this? Raymond says you don’t remember the vines, do you, the ones you and Sam used to pick grapes from? She smiles and says of course she does, they grew along the gate. Red tells her the bottle she’s holding, contains wine that she and Sam (her stepfather) made when she was a child, then wishes her a happy birthday. He says to share it with someone special, however the wine’s likely undrinkable at this point so he bought her another bottle of wine from 1981.
Reddington then gets down to business and asks Keen what she knows of the Longevity Initiative, and she replies she never heard of it. He tells her it’s a foundation run and started by Tech Billionaire Roger Hobbs, they’re trying to stop the aging process and allow humans to live forever in great shape. He then asks her if she heard of the shooting of the New York State policeman and she says there were three mutilated bodies found, but the suspect escaped. Red says they weren’t mutilated, they got experimented on, he believes that Hobbs’ started clinical trials and they were some of the patients. He then suggests she talks to Hobbs.
The foundation lacks a formal center so Hobbs meets Keen and Ressler at his house. Dressed casually and projecting self-confidence, he explains to the two agents that they’re attempting to solve the puzzle of death, they back projects that conventional investors won’t touch and the project means the world to him. Liz says that information’s come forth saying researchers linked to his project have begun clinical treatments on patients and he denies any involvement. He says he’s got a stadium full of attorneys, but he’s talking with them, because the project’s so important to him. Keen asks for a list of all his employees and he agrees to cooperate fully, but his facial expression shows some anguish as they leave.
Donald and Liz go to meet the Medical Examiner Dr. Jeffrey Maynard next and he tells them that all three victims had frontal lobe damage before they got abducted and experimented on. He realized it when he got the identity of the man on his table, William Eckoff who disappeared from a care facility three days earlier. Maynard says that cells were put into their brain, some human stem-cells, but other cells that weren’t human.
The scientist gets a call from the driver, who tells him he killed a cop and he’s fleeing the country and he suggests the other guy follows his lead. The scientist says he can’t do that then hangs up the phone, realizing his world’s falling down around him.
Harold gets a visit from his old pal the snake in the grass, Tom Connolly, who asks Cooper how he’s feeling. Harold responds partially thanks to him, he’s doing great, hasn’t felt this good since before he got attacked last year. Tom then reminds Cooper why you don’t let snakes grant you favors as the payback’s a bear, he brings up Roger Hobbs and says he hears Harold’s Task-Force’s investigating him. Cooper’s savvy enough to realize Connolly’s trying to get Harold to drop the investigation, but he denies that was his intention. He then tells Cooper to do what ever he believes is right, but we know he’s going to pull something.
Keen and Ressler visit the care facility that Eckoff got abducted from and find out from one of the patients, Eckoff was taken by a rep from Gold Crown Pharmaceuticals, named Lloyd Monroe. When they return to the Task-Force headquarters, Aram informs them that he’s bought a bus ticket in Buffalo to Canada and Keen tells him to get local police to stop the bust and arrest Monroe.
The Major tells Tom that he taking him to Hilltop Lanes, he’s to go to locker number B-15 and there are plane tickets waiting in there for him, he’s to take the first flight to London and meet a man named Mr. Pitts. Keen reaches into his bag and realizes his gun’s missing, he soon realizes Bill took it and he’s now about to kill him with it. He says to Tom the girl cost you your life, when they’re T-Boned by another car. Some men come out f the other vehicle and shoot out the Major’s car’s windows, then the old German man from Dresden grabs Keen and says Christoff old pal, we’ve been looking for you.
Monroe gives up his colleague almost as soon as he meets with Liz and Donald, the scientist’s Dr. Julian Powell, who used to work for one of Hobbs’ corporations, Sadobo Solutions. They raid his lab and find more victims and Dr. Maynard’s amazed at Powell’s work, as he’s tried to replicate the Immortal Jellyfish’s ability to regenerate when they get old or suffer mortal danger. That’s the cells he put into his victims brains.
Powell calls Hobbs, who tells him he’s discredited the Longevity Initiative and Hobbs with his experiments, but Hobbs will protect him if he gets to Hobbs’ home. Powell says this is bigger than you, bigger than all of us and hangs up.
The old German’s boss Elias, also survived the bullet barrage of Reddington, Ressler and Dembe in Dresden and they’ve got the Major and Keen bound on a couch. Elias slits the inner seam of Tom’s thigh with his knife but Keen says he won’t talk. Then one of the men bring Elias Tom’s wallet and there’s a picture of the ultra-sound of the baby he and Lizzie planned to adopt, with Lizzie’s name on it. Keen says he’ll talk if they promise not to touch Liz, then says she’s FBI. The old man tells Elias they don’t want trouble from the Bureau, so they agree to Keen’s terms, he tells them a client paid him to find out who in “The Disenfranchised,” murdered a woman named Sarah Hastings. Bill goes ballistic when Keen talks and vows to get even.
Hobbs calls on Red to eliminate Powell, but Reddington actually has other ideas. He wants to use Powell’s knowledge to try to recover a stolen memory of a young woman he cares about. The memory got literally erased from her mind as a child. Powell says in theory he could, but there’s a fundamental flaw in his work and tells Raymond he’ll show him.
Cooper gets a call from the doctor conducting the trial-program, Dr. Levin and Cooper says he’s feeling fantastic, Levin says that statement’s going to make his news even harder to share with Harold. They just finished a cost-evaluation meeting and it’s possible Harold could be pushed out of the program. Levin says he’ll do his best for Cooper as he cares deeply for he and Charlene. Harold hangs up the phone, realizing that Connolly’s applying pressure tactics to keep Hobbs out of trouble.
Powell takes Reddington to his fiancée’s home, she also suffers from a frontal lobe injury as he crashed a car after falling asleep at the wheel, six weeks after they got engaged. The house is exactly as it was when his fiancée suffered her injury, with the calendar reading April, 2005. He tells Red that he faked all his results so Hobbs kept bankrolling him, but he’s a failure. He takes a revolver out of a desk drawer and shoots himself in the chin.
Hobbs and Reddington are at Hobbs’ home listening to a news report on Powell’s death and Hobbs congratulates Red on doing a good job. Raymond replies it’s done nothing can come back to you, Hobbs’ thanks him for sparing him the rest of his days in a Federal Penitentiary.
Lizzie’s furious at Red for she assumes killing Powell, but Raymond tells her he killed himself. He then tells Keen not to rush to make Roger Hobbs an enemy. He says to Liz that a dark cloud’s approaching she’s not aware of and when it arrives, he’ll be a really good friend, exactly at the moment he needs to be.
Harold goes to see Connolly and Tom’s in a tux, getting ready to attend a fundraiser, he remarks that Hobbs came out fine. Cooper asks if Tom’s aware of the phone call he received saying he might get bounced from the medical trial and Connolly plays dumb, then says he won’t get kicked out, as Tom will make a call. Then he says that’s what friends do for friends.
Liz sits in her office alone the night of her birthday, when Ressler walks in with a box of takeout food from her favorite restaurant, she breaks out the wine she and Sam made and the pair are soon sloshed and very content. Raymond sits in the back of his car, looking at photographs of a young girl growing up, that resemble Liz strongly.
The Major’s outside, with his back against a chain-link fence, talking on his phone, he tells the party on the other end he doesn’t care about time or money, he wants Jacob Phelps, (Tom’s real name) found. Tom’s standing in front of a fire destroying all the phony passports and documents Bill gave him over the years. Liz then enters her motel room still tipsy, when Tom shuts the door and pins her against the wall. She asks what he’s doing and he says he didn’t know where else to go.
The Story Continues Next Thursday Night at 9:00 pm on NBC.