Warning: Spoiler Alert
Raymond Reddington must be an amazing chess player, due to his ability to think 10-12 moves ahead of his opponent. That skill served him well as he eluded the FBI and other Law Enforcement Agencies, before making a deal with the Bureau two years ago. That gift’s going to be crucial for Red to obtain his goal in season three of the NBC series “The Blacklist,” clearing Lizzie Keen’s name and restoring her reputation. Possibly getting her reinstated at the Bureau, but at the very least getting Keen her life back.
Prepare yourself for a long battle, this situation’s not going to straighten out in the next few episodes. Keen and Ressler won’t be sharing drinks at the FBI Task Force Christmas party, if they ever share them again. The second episode dealt with Reddington getting a strategic piece of his plan in place. His move won’t help he and Liz next week, it’s a long-term maneuver, also helping a victim of the justice system gain their freedom.
The action kicks off minutes after the conclusion of the previous episode, as Liz Keen’s seeking refuge in the Russian Embassy. A middle-management type starts questioning her and she demands to speak with the official in charge, the guy tries to stall her so she stands up in front of the security camera. She looks directly into the and says her name’s Masha Rostova and she’s a deep-cover agent for the Russian Spy Agency the FSB. She says she’s completed her assignment and now seeks asylum. Two men watch her on a monitor behind a closed-door and one picks up the phone.
The Russian Ambassador to the United States is engaging in a little afternoon-delight with the wife of a US Senator, whose also a TV News Anchor. The two are having fun in the tub when his cellphone rings, he goes out to answer it and sees Red sitting in his hotel-room holding a pistol at him. The Ambassador starts to call his security team, when Raymond suggests the Kremlin wouldn’t look kindly on the scandal that getting caught with his shower-mate would cause. Reddington tells the Ambassador he wants real-time reports on every move Lizzie makes while in the Embassy.
Ressler and Samar Navabi are with an FBI SWAT-Team outside of the Embassy and Ressler’s boiling mad. Navabi tells him that the State Department’s requested that they send Keen outside, but they’ve refused. Donald says if a Middle-Eastern Terrorist was in the Embassy they’d go in guns blazing, Samar reminds Ressler that Keen doesn’t fit that description.
Inside the Embassy Alexander Raskovich, the head of the FSB for North and South America, introduces himself to Keen. He tells her he knows the names and faces of all of his agents and she’s not one of them. So he asks her what she really wants and she tells him that she and Russia have been falsely accused of treacherous acts by the Cabal. She tells him the purpose of the Cabal’s to reignite the Cold-War between Russia and the USA. He tells her he’ll speak to his superiors in Moscow and for her to relax.
The Ambassador tells Red that Liz will get granted immunity, but they’re transferring her to Moscow. Reddington realizes that it’s a set-up by the Cabal and Liz will get killed before she makes it to Russia. He calls Ressler and tells him to make sure she doesn’t leave the Embassy. Donald tells him it’s too late they just took off and Raymond tells him the man that arranged for Russian agent Karakurt into the USA is behind this flight. Ressler realizes that Lizzie’s going to get killed unless he can stop her from getting to the airport. To confirm that to the viewers we see one of the security guys calling Mr. Solomon and telling him the package’s being delivered.
Donald starts ramming the limousine from the side with his SUV, the security guy in the back with Keen tries to shoot him but Liz wrestles away the gun. The driver crashes into a cement barricade and Ressler leaves his vehicle to try to retrieve Keen. Ressler and the security guy are aiming at each other when Keen takes out the security guy from behind, when Donald finishes his fight with another guy, Lizzie’s run away on foot. She heads to a park and punches in her location into her cellphone and perhaps Mr. Kaplan sent her an address to head to.
Deputy Attorney General Reven Wright’s trying to convince Task Force Director Harold Cooper to resign from the FBI. She says the Bureau will give him his full pension and retirement benefits and they’ll decline to file charges against him. Wright says that even if Harold wins by some miracle, he’ll finish out his career as a pencil pusher in some out-of-the-way locale. Reven says Harold deserves better than that and he says that’s right, he does.
The address leads Liz to a diner where Red’s already seated in a booth. In the booth ahead of him an abusive husband’s starting to get rough verbally with his wife. He notices Red’s glaring and asks what you looking at old man? Keen walks in at that second, which likely stops a confrontation from occurring. Raymond asks her if she’s okay and she says she’s not that Ressler just tried to kill her. Reddington informs her that Donald actually saved her life, if she’d gotten on that plane she’d be dead within hours.
Suddenly we can hear the wife telling her husband he’s hurting her and Red glares again, while Liz turns around to see what’s going on. The guy again screams at Reddington and Keen to mind their own business. Raymond gets up from his booth and walks over to the couple’s booth and starts to sit down next to the husband. The dude says you’re dead old man, then turns white when he realizes Red’s got a pistol pressed into his gut.
Raymond says to the guy that he’s obviously clueless about how to talk to a lady but he and his friend are having an important conversation. He concludes that the guy should finish his muffin, but if Red hears him say anything to his wife other than please or thank you, he’ll drag him into the restroom and wash his mouth out with soap. If that doesn’t work he’ll cut out his filthy tongue with the butter knife on the table.
Aram Mojtabai receives a tip where Liz and Red are and they all head to the diner where they’ll coordinate with the SWAT Team. Red and Liz see the police cruisers pull up in front of the diner and checks and sees they’re behind the diner as well. He goes into his dufflebag and pulls out a shotgun and shoots out all the lights and windows on the cruiser. He then locks the diner’s doors and apologizes to all the diners, he says if everybody remains calm and in their places they’ll have a great story to share at parties.
The driver of the limousine from the Russian Embassy’s the same guy that called Mr. Solomon and as he recuperates in the hospital, Solomon pays him a visit. He injects the guy with some toxin and the man starts convulsing and soon dies quickly after. One less person who can possibly tell the FBI and the Justice Department about the Cabal.
The SWAT-Team and the FBI Task Force converge on the diner and Ressler puts his pistol down on the hood of a car and says he’s heading in there. He goes to the front door and Red’s got all the occupants forming a human-shield across the windows and doors. Donald starts calling for Liz and Reddington heads to the door toting his shotgun and tells Ressler to get a pen and paper for his list of demands. Donald keeps talking to Keen saying he knows she won’t hurt anybody. Red puts the shotgun to a young man’s head and says that he will.
Raymond tells Donald he’s got three demands, that he restore power to the diner, that he get them an armored vehicle that will give them safe passage to any airport of his choosing. His third demand’s to get him Marvin Gerard, they’ve got 90-minutes or Reddington will start killing a person every half hour.
We find out from Navabi that Gerard’s a former attorney in prison for kidnapping his son. He arrives in a police-van wearing his orange-prison jumpsuit. Samar asks him if he’s apprised of the situation and he responds he got pulled out of his cell thrown into a van and treated roughly, but received no explanation. She tells him Reddington wants to engage his services and wants him to wear the jacket, pants, shirt and tie he provided. The FBI wants him to wear a wire, he says he’s going to ask me right away and I’m going to say yes but he agrees to wear it.
Gerard gets to the door and tells Raymond he’s got a parole hearing next week and this will ruin his chances of getting paroled. Red sets him up in a booth with a laptop and tells him to go through the contents of the Fulcrum and see if he can find anything to use against the Cabal. Liz asks Reddington why he brought him there and Red replies that Gerard’s the best at doing what makes lawyers so loathsome, finding loopholes.
Red then tells Liz the real story of Marvin Gerard. A brilliant young-man he graduated at the top of his class from a prestigious law-school and was the youngest man named as a federal judge. He had the perfect life, but then his marriage broke up and his wife started abusing their son. Gerard tried to go through every legal channel to gain custody of his son, but his ex-wife came from a very influential family. Then a friend of her wife started giving the teen barbiturates and other pills and the kid soon got strung out. Gerard kidnapped his son to save him.
However he soon got tracked down, the boy was returned to his mother and Gerard got disbarred and imprisoned. A year later their son hung himself and died at the age of just 15. This was not a case of justice getting served, this was the system working against a father to save his son’s life.
Some of the diners are starting to get edgy and the abusive husband makes the stupid mistake of trying to get Liz’s gun tucked into the back of her pants. Lizzie beats the crud out of the guy and halls off and whacks the diner’s owner when he tries to pull her off. Keen then keeps kicking the guy in the ribs until Reddington points the shotgun at her and yells that’s enough. Liz immediately aims at Raymond he walks over to her and slowly takes the pistol out of her hand. Keen looks around the diner and sees all the customers looking at her and recoiling in horror.
Reddington calls Ressler and asks what’s going on with his other two demands and tells Donald he’s got sixty seconds to restore the power to the building. He thinks Reddington’s bluffing, but the SWAT-Team commander orders they get turned on. He shows Ressler and Navabi his rescue plan and says it’ll cause little collateral damage, Samar says they can’t endanger any of the hostages.
The woman starts crying that her husband can’t breath and Reddington says Liz likely broke some ribs and may have punctured a lung. She tries to help but the woman tells her to stay away from her husband and she looks totally terrified. Liz backs off and shrinks into a corner.
Gerard calls Red over and tells him to read four lines from one of the documents. Reddington reads it and looks incredulously at Marvin and asks if that can be correct. Marvin says it looks like it to him and Red’s jazzed that he’s got something to use.
The woman says her husband’s getting worse and Lizzie says that he needs medical attention. Raymond says that within half an hour he’ll be in Ressler’s hands and tells her they’re leaving. He then tells all the customers that their afternoon together has concluded and has them all walk into a walk-in refrigerator. The diner’s owner, his waitress, Red, Keen and Gerard go into a walk-in freezer that has a hidden wall. Behind that’s an elevator which takes them to some money-laundering operation the diner’s owner runs. Soon Gerard, Liz and Red are out on the street blocks from the diner.
Marvin says to Reddington this will delay him getting parole for another ten-years and now his fiancé will leave him. Raymond asks Gerard if he likes Tahiti and then tells him that’s where he and his fiancée will now live on a banana farm Reddington owns. He tells Marvin he’s a free man and he’s going to keep finding nuggets in the Fulcrum, right then a limousine pulls up with Marvin’s fiancée in it.
Keen and Reddington are drinking some brandy in what looks to be a very posh apartment somewhere in the Metro-D.C. area. He tells Lizzie they put an important piece in place, they’re not going to fight their way out, they have to think their way out.
Keen says she can’t stop thinking about the man she pummeled or the way his wife looked at her. She said she’s never seen that kind of terror in someone’s eyes and asks Raymond how he deals with people being intimidated and scared by him. Red chuckles and says when he was a boy he dreamed of becoming a sea-captain, Liz asks why he didn’t pursue it. He says we don’t have time for every silly idea we think of and Keen says she thinks he would have made a great captain.
Red smiles at her and says he can understand her being concerned with how people perceive her. However he says if it gives her any consolation, when he sees her… He smiles and she does as well as we hear Graham Nash singing the CSN&Y classic Our House. Red throws open the door to the night sky filled with stars and water below them, they’re actually living in a storage container on the waterfront. He points out Polaris to Lizzie and says that’s how ancient sea-captains found their way home. He tells her when he looks at her he sees his way home.
The story doesn’t conclude with the lovely montage. The music fades out as the camera focuses on Mr. Solomon whose taking his shirt off. He says your granddaughter received the antidote, now you need to give something to me. He reaches into a bag and pulls out a sock and starts filling it with billiard-balls. He says nobody knows where Red’s hiding, but I bet you do. The camera pans to Dembe, tied up on the floor as Solomon starts swinging the sock.
Still not finished, Ressler’s walking into his apartment when he feels a presence behind him and turns around with his weapon drawn. The figures wearing a gray hoodie like Liz wore and in the shadows he can’t make out the person’s face at first. Suddenly he focuses on the face and realizes it’s Tom Keen. Tom says we have to talk and Ressler lowers his weapon.
The Story Continues Next Thursday Night at 9:00pm on NBC.