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All posts for the month November, 2015

Photo Courtesy Of Netflix

Photo Courtesy Of Netflix

Warning: Spoiler Alert

With just over a month remaining in 2015, it looks like it’s a pretty safe bet to declare the new Netflix series “Jessica Jones,” as the best television event of the year. Marvel Studios and ABC Productions have shattered the Comic-Book Movie Genre with a creation that defies boundaries and expectations. This production’s light-years from the Avengers or the X-Men films, it’s not a family friendly blockbuster filled with special-effects and wall-to-wall violence (although this series does not lack for violence.)

Jessica Jones is a suspense/thriller that just happens to have characters with superpowers in the story. It’s a cat and mouse game in which the cat and mouse eventually change roles and a character searches for redemption in all the wrong places. It’s more of a cross between the former FOX series “The Following” and “The Silence Of The Lambs” with a dollop or two of Heath Ledger’s Joker thrown in for flavoring. You can’t put this in the same category as “Captain America Civil War,” which is a win for all as boundaries get dissolved and stereotypes get broken.

Nobody’s going to claim that Jessica Jones is in any way a role-model, however she’s a very strong symbol for female empowerment. Krysten Ritter the actress that portrays her is destined to become a huge star and this will likely prove to be her breakout role. Ritter’s a strikingly beautiful woman with a signature look and plays the character with an almost ever-present sneer on her face. Some smart Hollywood executive should be actively pursuing a deal to team her and Amy Acker in a re-tooling of Lethal-Weapon. It would become a huge gender-bending series and may open some eyes in Hollywood about expanding action roles for women.

The story’s based on a graphic-novel entitled Alias, that Marvel released through one of their comic-book lines aimed at adults and from my brief knowledge of the publication it’s far more graphic than the Netflix production. These characters  have healthy sex-drives, but the production stays away from nudity and the coupling some times seems more like gymnastics than sex. Although violence is a constant in the show it’s comparative to a broadcast-network crime-drama’s and tamer than some.

The series could be rightfully titled “The Restoration And Reclamation Of Jessica Jones,” as the woman we meet at the onset of the series is just trying to make it through each day with a lot of help from her best friend Alcohol. She’s going through the motions as a private investigator, setting up part of her apartment as an office. The Jessica we first encounter’s a victim filled with self-loathing and seeing nothing but pain and ugliness everywhere she looks. It’s got nothing to do with her location it’s the demons inside her head that control her perception.

Jessica would be the lone survivor of a car accident that took the lives of her parents and her younger brother as a tween. This resulted in her being treated by some mysterious lab leaving her with super-strength and the ability to jump pretty high and far (although she tends to land awkwardly.) She also got adopted by the mother of one of her classmate’s Trish Walker, in a publicity ploy to get some goodwill from the audience of Trish’s sitcom “Patsy.”

Dorothy Walker’s the consummate “Stage-Mother From Hell,” constantly manipulating and abusing her daughter. The two girls form a lifelong bond not long after Jessica moved in with the Walkers, when Jessica stopped Dorothy from abusing her daughter by picking her up and throwing her against a wall like a rag-doll. Dorothy’s never forgiven her adopted daughter for that indignity, telling Jessica that her decision to adopt the girl had been the worst choice of her life.

As the girls become adults, Trish becomes one of New York City’s opinion-shapers hosting a highly rated daily radio talk-show, while Jessica goes through a series of menial jobs that are clearly beneath her. Walker’s always tried to convince Jones to use her abilities to help people in the guise of a superhero. Jessica rejects the spandex costume and name that Trish wants her to use, but comes to the aid of a young man when she sees him being beaten by three other guys one night on the street.

She easily takes out the trio and starts to tend to the victim when a rather dapper Englishman with a beautiful woman on each arm starts applauding her actions and calling out bravo. The man’s known as Kilgrave and he’s also gifted with abilities, he can get anybody to do anything he requests just by saying it, however he uses his abilities for nefarious purposes. He’s enchanted by Jessica and takes over her life for the next six-months via mind-control, effectively becoming the psychopath’s unwilling puppet.

The bond between controller and subject breaks when Kilgrave orders Jones to kill a woman who just provided him with a flash-drive buried underground in a steel box. Apparently Jessica’s mind snapped when she took the other woman’s life and started walking away from Kilgrave, who was so focused on commanding her to return he failed to see the city-bus that ran him over and seemingly killed him.

Suffering from PTSD and an experience that if she shared with doctors or law-enforcement would land her either in prison or a mental-hospital, Jessica attempts to rebuild her life as a gumshoe in Hell’s Kitchen. Most of her clients hire her to investigate their wives or husband’s to see if they’re stepping out on them, which often times lead to pretty angry clients when she confirms their suspicions.

The parents of a college coed and aspiring track star Hope Shlottman hire Jessica to help find their missing daughter who seems to have fallen off the face of the earth. Jones doesn’t take long to locate the missing young woman but she also discovers that Shlottman happened to be the latest plaything for Kilgrave. The psychopath also planted a goodbye present within Hope a command to shoot her parents to death upon their reunion. Shlottman’s immediately imprisoned for patricide and Jessica’s forced to deal with Kilgrave once again in order to clear Hope’s name and save her from a lifetime in prison.

The man that Jessica saved from the beating the night she first encountered Kilgrave, Malcolm Ducasse now lives in the same building she does and he’s dropped his dreams of being a social-worker, trading them for what lies at the end of a syringe. We’re also introduced to a dysfunctional brother and sister who appear to be in their early twenties as the sister Robin berates her brother Ruben loudly enough that it resonates throughout the entire building. Jones takes a trip upstairs to tell them to lower the volume and Robin looks upon her from that point onward as her mortal enemy while her brother crushes on Jessica hard.

Turns out that there’s a connection between Kilgrave and Malcolm as the Englishman’s not only controlling his mind, he’s supplying Ducasse with his daily fix making Ducasse doubly dependent on Kilgrave. In return Malcolm supplies him with a daily array of snapshots of Jessica. We find out in one scene that Kilgrave possesses hundreds if not thousands of shots of Jones just going about her business in the city unaware she’s being photographed.

Jessica makes the connection and she’s able to follow Malcolm to his meetings with Kilgrave in public venues, that Malcolm doesn’t even know the destination of until he’s told by some stranger from the street that Kilgrave ordered to contact him. Jones, Trish and Walker’s “Friend With Benefits” Will Simpson, attempt to take Kilgrave by surprise and imprison him until he agrees to clear Hope’s name. However their plan falls apart as Kilgrave hired a private security firm to protect him and they grab Kilgrave back.

It does however result in an uneasy truce between Jessica and Kilgrave, starting with an agreement that he’d stop controlling Malcolm in return for Jessica sending him a selfie every morning. Jones handcuffs Malcolm in her toilet and forces him to go cold-turkey to beat his addiction. She saves him once again however as Ducasse stays clean and he becomes perhaps the piece’s most empathetic character. After all that he experienced Malcolm still just wants to help other people.

Kilgrave’s convinced that he can get Jessica to love him without using any of his abilities. He buys her childhood home and recreates it to look exactly as it did when she left it before the accident that took her family in 1999. He assures her that he won’t use his mind-controlling powers on her at all, but if she hopes that he cooperate to gain Hope her freedom she has to agree to live with him willingly in the house. Jessica has some ground-rules such as he’s never to touch her but agrees to move in.

Jones actually gets Kilgrave to stop a tragedy in the making from happening in heroic fashion, as he orders a father and husband that’s holding his wife and children hostage with a rifle to let his family go and surrender to police. Kilgrave actually gets a rush from the look of gratitude he received from the mother after he saved her family. He proclaims that Jessica and he will become a team and he’ll become a hero.

Jessica brings back some takeout Chinese food back to the house to celebrate the days events and insists that the chef and housekeeper that Kilgrave has on staff join them for the meal. Jones’ laced both the chef and the housekeeper’s food with sedatives and when they collapse at the table she takes Kilgrave by surprise and knocks him out with a heavy anesthesia drug. When he wakes up he finds himself in a hermetically sealed room that cuts off his powers to the outside world. Jones has also installed what she refers to as a kill-switch, covering the room’s floor with water that comes up to Kilgrave’s ankles and a button that she can hit zapping him with enough electricity to send him to the floor shaking like a bowl of Jell-O.

We learn that Kilgrave acquired his powers through a series of experiments conducted on him when he was just a child in England. Albert and Louise Thompson a pair of highly trained scientists attempted to save their son Kevin from some mutation that left untreated would have according to them, left their son brain-dead at the age of twelve. Instead they introduced viruses into his system that kept him alive but the torture he went through as a child was horrendous. The experiment resulted in Kevin emitting a virus to all those around him forcing them to do what ever he wished, a very scary power for an angry ten-year-old boy who suffered through a nightmarish childhood to possess. He forced his mother to scorch her face with a hot iron after she yelled at him and the incident convinced Albert and Louise to abandon their child and run as far away as possible.

What ever moral-compass that Kevin would have retained had his parents stayed with him vanished when they did and the boy used his abilities at first to survive. To get enough food to last him through the day and a proper place to rest his head at night. However as he grew older his appetites grew with him, without anybody strong enough to refuse him took what ever and whom ever he wanted until he tired of them and then onto his next conquest.

Jessica locates Albert and Louise Thompkins and convinces them to go with her to see their son. Albert’s reticent at the thought to say the least but his wife convinces him that their son’s their responsibility. Jones secretly hopes that Kilgrave seeing his parents once again will cause him to lose his mind. However because of conflicting agendas of some of the characters, Kilgrave once again regains his freedom after ordering his mother to stab himself to death and for Albert to cut out his own heart.

Kilgrave got badly wounded in the exchange, stabbed and then shot in the same shoulder. He orders Jones’ attorney Jeri Hogarth into driving to the medical practice that she’s got the most confidence will keep this story from ever being know. Jeri drives to the home she shares with her soon to be former wife Wendy whose a physician and although the tension’s so thick in the room you could cut it with a chainsaw, Wendy patches Kilgrave up. Jeri’s intent in bringing Kilgrave to her home was to get him to “persuade” Wendy to sign divorce papers, but when the doorbell rings the psychopath orders Wendy to kill Jeri by stabbing her five thousand times and flees the scene. Wendy’s stopped and killed when Jeri’s secretary and girlfriend cracks her skull open with a stone figurine.

Kilgrave “persuades” the New York City District Attorney and a Judge to clear Hope of all the charges and Jessica’s to pick-up the college student when she gets released the following morning. However an incident occurs that keeps Jones from getting there on time and Shlottman once again falls into Kilgrave’s hands. He contacts Jessica to arrange a trade, he’s willing to give Jones the college student in exchange for his father. However Hope’s so intent on getting Jessica to terminate Kilgrave, she takes her own life by stabbing the stem of a wine glass into her throat.

No longer having any reason to restrain herself this sets up a fight to the finish between Jessica and Kilgrave. The psychopath becomes even stronger and more powerful and soon he’s able to control the minds of scores of people simultaneously. How does Jones defeat this demon, save New York City and the planet and regain her self-esteem in the process.

The role seems tailor-made for Krysten Ritter as she inhabits this character’s skin and lets us see beneath the bravado and snappy comebacks. We discover a woman who refuses to cut herself any slack for her actions while under Kilgrave’s control. One gets the feeling that Jessica would consider it a weakness to take herself out to end all her internal pain, but she would consider death a welcome relief from he daily battles against internal and external demons.

David Tennant does a superb job in the role of Kilgrave, many would have played the part broadly and bigger than life throughout the production. Tennant however plays Kilgrave as refined and a proper English gentleman, so the moments when he does chew the scenery pop and make an impact. Tennant plays the psychopath as charmingly as he portrayed the Time-Lord from Gallifrey, however without any of the whimsy and one can see the contempt bubbling under his skin.

Carrie-Ann Moss looks far more matronly than she did in the Matrix Trilogy and she’s far from being in fighting shape. However she still evokes fear from others in her portrayal of high-powered attorney Jeri Hogarth, a woman that’s every bit as evil and self-centered as Kilgrave. However she’s learned to play the system to make up for her lack of super-powers.

Mike Colter got introduced to Marvel fans as Luke Cage, a man with unbreakable skin and incredible strength who chooses to keep his abilities hidden from most. Jessica and Cage discover each have super-powers when they team-up in a bar-brawl which leads to a powerful sexual attraction between the couple after the fight ends. Cage’s story will be the subject of the next origin story that Netflix and Marvel present and he seems to be a pretty intriguing guy.

Eka Darville may bring the most humanity to the screen in the role of Malcolm. For the first half of the story Malcolm’s a member of the Walking Dead, he seems more like a piece of furniture than a person. However Malcolm makes the most of becoming clean and sober. He becomes one of Jessica’s staunchest allies and he believes in her even when she’s stopped believing in herself.

Jessica will be one of the stars of the Defenders along with Luke Cage and Matt Murdock, a production that’s scheduled to reach homes sometime in 2017. Halfway through this series, I wondered exactly how the creators of this story expected Jessica Jones to become a heroic member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There was no doubt that she had the physical skills to take on all comers, however was she strong enough mentally to overcome her self-doubts and to help others fight injustice? Jessica Jones answered the question to my satisfaction with this voiceover as the series concluded.

“They say everyone’s born a hero but if you let it, life will push you over the line until you’re a villain. Problem is you don’t always know always know that you’ve crossed that line. Maybe it’s enough that the world thinks I’m a hero. Maybe if I work long and hard, maybe I can fool myself.”

 

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

 The FOX Network and the creators of the Dark Knight Prequel “Gotham,” would never pretend they’ve got any intentions of reinventing the wheel with their series. The show’s very existence’s a testament to the story and the characters invented by Bob Kane in 1939. Those iconic characters that first appeared on the pages of Detective Comics have become such an ingrained part of our culture that more than 75-years after The Batman debuted, there’s a TV series telling the tales of Gotham City long before Bruce Wayne donned cape and cowl.

The concept of telling tales of our favorite crime-fighters when they were younger, certainly is far from unique with DC Comics selling plenty of copies of Superboy. We all know the drill, tell us why these characters we care about  chose the paths they did keeping us entertained along the journey. During the first ten-episodes leading into the Fall Finale next week, Gotham’s built a taut and tense story with characters that have haunted us. Although the show can be guilt of tipping it’s pitches at times, it pulled off the biggest shock in many a TV-season when they killed off Jerome Valeska in  the season’s third episode.

We’ve witnessed many embrace their dark-sides during the first year and a half of this show. Barbara Kean morphed from a society-gal that liked to get a little down and dirty every so often into a psychotic self-loathing creature that killed her own parents. GCPD Forensic Scientist Edward Nygma the man the pocket-protector was invented for, now  hangs on the corner of Schizophrenia and Insanity after murdering the love of his life Kristin Kringle and two others.

Nobody’s had a more eventful ride on the Crazy-Train during this adventure than Oswald Cobblepot, Fish Mooney’s insignificant umbrella-boy with delusions of grandeur when we met him. Turns out he wasn’t delusional and was a fast learner when it came to the arts of back-stabbing and being duplicitous. The Penguin started out this season as the King Of Gotham City, but he’s fared badly in his battle with Theo Galavan. He’s lost his empire, his friends and his inspiration his mother who Tabitha Galavan stabbed to death, dying in her son’s arms.

How do we live in a universe in which Sean Pertwee doesn’t star in his own weekly adventure-series? I’ve simply run out of superlatives to describe what he’s done with the character of Alfred Pennyworth. He and David Mazouz have to navigate a high-wire each week, balancing out a dynamic where the guardian’s also an employee and they pull it off tightly.

Morena Baccarin joined the cast in the middle of the first season as Dr. Lee Thompkins now the Medical-Examiner of the GCPD and Detective Jim Gordon’s love interest. Lee’s aware of all of the skeletons her boyfriend’s got stashed in his closet but she’s a realist and knows that doing the right thing isn’t always pretty. She’s not afraid to call him out when she believes he’s indulging his dark impulses too often.

Captain Nathaniel Barnes’ too much of a wild-card to make a call on at this time. His instincts seem good but we know far too little about him and his past to venture an opinion. He’s certainly more of a spit-and-polish type leader than the late Commissioner Sarah Essen was in the position.

Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne will have a mercurial relationship throughout this series. They’re destined to play their game of cat and mouse, with each one inhabiting each role as they grow older.

Donal Logue’s transformed Harvey Bullock from just another corrupt cop with his hand out, whose idealism had vanished years before and was just putting in enough years to collect his pension into a hero. A man that’s unafraid to go against the tide and stick up for what he believes is right. He believes in Gordon and would follow him to Hell and back.

Bruce Wayne’s grown from a sheltered boy who we met in the series premiere to a self-assured and confident young man that pulled off a first-class sting in the most recent episode. He’s made his share of mistakes in the time we’ve spent with him, usually involving biting off more than he can chew. He’s started to realize just how arduous the task of bringing his parents killers to justice and cleaning up systemic corruption in Wayne Industries will be and how far off he is from becoming the man he needs to be.

The Boy Scout Detective that thought he could single-handedly rid the GCPD of corruption died a long-while back. That look of confidence that used to fill the eyes Jim Gordon’s been replaced by a man that appears to feel more haunted with each passing day. Memories made of promises that ended getting broken, feeling the guilt that only those who believe that they’re saviors can experience. That you alone are responsible for being unable to stop all the evil and suffering in our lives.

Gordon’s finding it too easy to embrace his dark-side, the situations he’s experienced over the last few months would likely have most officers on some PTSD-Related disability and deservedly so. However Gordon can’t become so laser-focused on bringing the Theo Galavan’s of the world to justice, that he forgets his own code and his own values. James Gordon was a good man when we first met him and he had such strong convictions that he allowed Oswald Cobblepot to live. Would the man questioning if he should have killed Flamingo have made that same choice?

This week’s installment put all the final pieces in place for the Dumas clan to try to reclaim Gotham City as their own next week. The monks from the Order Of The Dumas a religious sect that believes in Purification Through Pain  The monks are killing throughout the city while they chant “The Blood Of The Nine Shall Wash Away The Sins.”

Selina convinces Bruce that Silver’s trying to scam him for her uncle. Wayne pulls off a sting worthy of Redford and Newman as they get St. Cloud to reveal the name that Theo says ordered the killing of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Crying to Bruce that Theo will murder her when he finds out she talked, the billionaire shrugs his shoulders. She screams to him you’re not like this and he smiles and says he is.

Gotham City Mayor Aubrey James could truly mess up a free lunch. Somehow Theo Galavan still has something he can blackmail the mayor with and James testifies that Penguin actually kidnapped him and  held him hostage. Galavan’s immediately set free and the charges get dropped. Gordon slugs Galavan in the jaw and two uniforms drag Gordon away and knock him out with a Taser.

The detective wakes up and finds himself secured to a rack and Galavan’s standing in front of him laughing. He’s about to have Gordon shot to death, but he says he’s got a  few minutes and cuts Jim loose then tells the cop to give it his best shot. Theo never gives Gordon a chance to raise his hands, knocking him down again and again with martial-arts moves. He then tells his men to finish him off. The two men beating Gordon with batons until they get interrupted when Penguin’s man Gabe shoots them both in the head. Penguin asks a barely conscious Gordon where Galavan went.

We find out his destination in the final scene as Galavan comes to find Bruce all alone in Wayne Manor and tells him he’s come for Bruce’s life.

The Fall Finale Airs Next Monday Night at 8:00 pm on FOX.

Courtesy of Scorpion

Courtesy of Scorpion

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Happy drives recklessly, but not recklessly enough for Walter’s liking. This driving plays like a high-speed chase, including Toby shouting out shortcuts with zero notice and Cabe setting up LAPD assistance. All to get to the airport in time to meet Walter’s parents. Whom he hasn’t seen in 15 years. Beyond the downright adorable Irish accents, there is one major detail that made itself known. There are issues between Walter and Sean O’Brien.

As they walk through the hospital, Walter excitedly tries to explain his research to his mother. The research he plans to lean on in order to save Megan. His father wants no part of it, not even to hear it. He even drops a ‘God’s will’ to which Walter replies, there’s my will too. Sylvester’s attempt to make a good impression on his parents in-law could have gone a lot better. The use of Super Fun Guy as room decor suggests that Sylvester has kids, apparently in Ireland, grown men don’t collect comic book stuff.

Toby and Happy stay out of the O’Brien family drama but in doing so catch wind of our problem for this week. The hospital has fallen under temporary lock down. Happy identifies fungus on the wall near a collapsed kitchen worker. Toby, ironically, is well versed in the species of fungi that apparently took down the cook and has begun spreading on the walls. They are locked down in the middle of an outbreak. Toby is able to stop a doctor passing by and spit out enough information so she knows that he knows something.

Walter tries to leave the hospital to get back to his research for Megan. Paige quickly identifies this as Walter avoiding the situation at hand, namely Walter’s parent’s and Megan’s deteriorating condition. Toby calls Walter to inform him of the developing situation downstairs. Walter gets Happy to find that doctor’s (Dr. Castillo) phone extension. She finds it and Walter calls it. Naturally, Dr. Castillo rejects his help.

Right about the time Dr. Castillo hangs up on Walter, Toby discovers their cook was sifting for gold nearby before work. His open leg wound became an ideal breeding ground for a very ancient, more resilient fungal species. No, I’m not going to attempt to spell it. Dr. Castillo’s infectious disease team believes it to be a much tamer species and begin spraying it with fungicide which on angers the stronger species. As a predicted behavior, the fungus increased reproduction and sent a massive amount of spores into that air. Most if not all of the infectious disease team are knocked out.

Whatever issues Walter and Sean have, they find a way to put them on hold. Sean brings out two clipboards with Doctor info on them while Walter quickly tries to smear drywall spackle over the door seems to keep the toxins out. Walter talks down to his Dad like he thought the lists on the clipboards would’ve helped when his father’s intention was to use them like a trowel. A tool used to smooth spackle over drywall. Sean points out that the spackle won’t be air tight when it dries. Good thing Paige found liquid nitrogen.

As things get worse and Megan seems to begin to do the same, Sean turns his frustration to Sylvester, wanting to know exactly who he is, what kind of man he is, and why he plays with toys. For a moment it appears that Sylvester will retreat to avoid confrontation. Then, his affection for Megan overpowers his flight instinct.

Sylvester: I’m Sylvester.
Sean: What kind of man are you?
Sylvester: The kind of man who’s been caring for your daughter. The kind that hasn’t left her side in three weeks. The kind that loves her. So you will just have to accept that.

The next step in the plan is to use an MRI machine to slow the power of the main circulation fan long enough to insert a series of metal poles removed from IV stands. The hope being that the poles will prevent the fan from cycling the air. This plan fails almost immediately. The poles fly out from the fan and one penetrates the door. Megan is getting worse and that pole just compromised the door they need to leave out of.

To make matters worse, a woman’s water just broke. Delivery is imminent and the room she and Toby are in could not be a worse location for bringing a child into the world. Toby believes without certain precautions the baby won’t survive in this fungal environment. While trying to sterilize the area Happy notices a large imprint of a hand on a sugar dispenser. That imprint belongs to Sylvester. Sylvester’s compulsion for hand sanitizer may be the break they need. Sylvester wipes his hands with a paper towel. He walks out into the hallway and using a straw propels his hand sanitizer spit ball at a concentrated area. Instantly that area of about 2″ inches looks clean.

Sylvester: I have super powers. I’m bacteria man.

This creates on some level a cure or at least a way to minimize the fungus. Problem is replicating it takes a certain type of mind and all the genius’ Cabe knows are locked in a hospital building. Paige reminds him that there is one remaining genius they know who is not in the hospital. Ralph.

In the meantime, a skeptical father-in-law watches his son-in-law impress in ways he didn’t think possible. Without even thinking, Sylvester ropes Sean into being his assistant in preparing a skin sample, placing it inside a stress relief ball and constructing a sling shot. Under the circumstances, even Sean is a little impressed.

Cabe and Ralph use a leaf blower engine in reverse to create a vacuum through a series of air ducts. Sylvester, using his little slingshot propels the sample ball through the ducts and the leaf blower pulls it through. Ralph did his part and now the sample is safely outside the hospital.

With all the pieces in place, Walter lashes out on a metal rod on the floor. Megan is the most important person he’s ever known and she’s dying while Walter is trapped. He refers to her as the only family he’s got, despite his parents being three floor above them. He even opens up to Paige that he cannot talk to his parents without Megan. Megan is the Paige to his family. She understands him and can translate to their parents, essentially.

Sylvester watches as doctors rush into Megan’s room, she’s seizing. Sylvester reports to Walter who takes it the way you might think. Calm and collected. That is until his second attempt at the door fails. Walter begins screaming at the door and punching it, displaying a level of emotional reaction he has not shown to this point. Paige is at a complete loss as to what to do.

The medical team gets Megan stabilized long enough for Sylvester to make a request of Sean. He wants one moment alone. Sean looks him in the eye and out of a newfound respects, grants Sylvester’s request. A week ago, Megan was depressed because she thought she’d never see the stars again. So Sylvester constructed a small apparatus that projects the stars onto her room’s ceiling. He then very matter of factly confesses his love for her in her present state. Adding that falling in love with her was the smartest thing he’s ever done.

Upon Cabe and Ralph’s arrival, they are barred from entering the building. There are no real holes in place to slide them through. Walter needs to find a way to get the cure inside the building. He begins brainstorming about the pipe access out loud and poses the question, how to get it inside a quarantined building. How to get the liquid mixture to all of the floors? Paige throws out the first thing that comes to mind.

Paige: Boil it. Use the pipe to distribute the vapor. (Walter stares blankly) Bad idea…?
Walter: No that is brilliant.

In order to boil the liquid, Happy will need to access a pipe in the kitchen to heat the other pipe. One problem, the kitchen is covered in fungi. Using aprons, hair nets, and scrubs, Happy covers as much of herself as possible. Wedged between two walls of fungi, Happy successfully creates a flame from one pipe up to the other.

In a last-ditch effort to save everyone in the hospital, Walter reaches out to Sean. He needs Sean to leave Megan’s room and do something that Walter can’t. Sean eventually agrees. Sean gets on the PA system and gives the entire building instructions on how to let the vapor in.

Toby is very close to delivering the baby outside the kitchen. The umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck, which is not a terrible thing to overcome, medically speaking. Toby will need help from Happy, who should’ve returned already. Toby looks over his shoulder and Happy appears. Then collapses. She came in contact with the fungus.

As the vapor billows in reviving doctors, nurses and even Happy. Using a laundry chute, Walter and Paige, back to back crawl up the chute. Sylvester and Sean punch through the drywall to give Walter and Paige a chance to exit the chute. Toby successfully delivered the baby. Megan is not getting better. Her face has become blue and she’s fighting for every breath she can get. Walter appears just in time. She tries to speak. “Walter don’t be afraid to…” Walter calmly tells her to relax and take a moment, then say what she needs to say. She exhales, closes her eyes…for the last time.

When they return to the garage, Walter’s sense of failure is palpable. He begins to unplug everything when his computer makes a notification sound. He sits down and clicks on the message. Megan has Sylvester send the message when she passed. Megan and Walter sitting on the beach. Both looking healthy and happy. Walter (in the video) gets up to grab another blanket. Megan looks into the camera and gives her brother her final words. “Walter don’t be afraid to love.” Everyone in the garage can hear. Mother and Father, Paige, Sylvester. Walter descends the stairs.

Walter suggests that everyone gets some rest. Cabe offers to give Mr. and Mrs. O’Brien a ride to their hotel. Sean stands before Sylvester, looks him in the eyes and offers for him to join them. As Sylvester is now family. Before they leave, Sean even apologized for discounting Walter’s efforts as Science Fiction. A monumental step for a man like that with a son like Walter. Everyone is about to depart when Walter asks if they ever heard the story of the time Megan pulled a fire alarm to get Walter out of trouble (Season 1 episode 2 if memory serves). Everyone does a 180 and comes back into the garage. A makeshift Irish wake in the making. Walter sits and Paige sits next to him. As he begins to tell the story he subtly clutches her hand. He tells the story as the shot fades to black.

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Social Media was abuzz this past week as fans of the NBC series “The Blacklist,” expected their favorite show to exonerate FBI Agent Elizabeth Keen and put Harold Cooper back in charge of the FBI Task Force in this final episode before going on hiatus. Even Raymond Reddington stated early in this episode that her life on the lam beginning at the end of last season when the Cabal set her up would conclude very soon. Liz would be partnered up once again with Donald Ressler, while the Director of the Cabal bled-out in some field and Matias Solomon stowed-away on a tramp-steamer to Laos.

Now viewers will display concern for Lizzie until the show returns on January 7, as Ressler tackled her in the woods and arrested her in the episode’s final scene. Although her former partner will do his best to ensure her safety in Federal-Custody the Cabal’s got enough operatives in high-places in the United States Government, that keeping that promise will be challenging for Donald.

Reddington and Dembe speak on the phone as Red’s driving with Keen while Dembe’s waiting in what looks like an antique shop waiting for a package. Dembe says something feels wrong to him and he should be with Raymond right now. Reddington says they need their “Care-Package” and they’ll hook-up in about an hour.

Raymond pulls in to fill up the tank and Liz says she’s going to use the rest-room to freshen up. Red says he’ll get them something to eat in the convenience store that’s part of the station. Liz returns a few minutes later and there’s no sign of Reddington or the beat-up SUV they’re traveling in. She checks with the store clerk and Raymond never made it into the store.

Liz calls Dembe and asks if he’s heard from Raymond and he says he’ll start searching for him, but Keen tells him to wait at the store for the package. She then calls Samar Navabi and asks her if she gives her the information to track Reddington’s computer will she promise not to tell Ressler? Unfortunately Keen couldn’t  have picked a worse time to call Navabi as the agent’s lying in Donald’s bed while he’s showering. The morning after their unexpected “coupling” late in the previous episode.

Samar has to use Ressler’s laptop to conduct the search and she tells Liz that Red’s outside Davis Creek, West Virginia in what looks like an industrial building.  After she gives Keen the information she deletes the surfing information, a move that came back to haunt her.

Aram tells Donald that  Reven Wright’s waiting for him in Cooper’s office. Ressler’s screaming at the Deputy Attorney General that Harold Cooper sold them out and told Tom Keen that he was heading to Wing Yee’s to bust Keen and Liz. Reven’s not concerned with Harold and Tom but she asks Ressler some information about Matias Solomon. When he tells her he can’t answer her questions she says she’s going to do some digging.

Harold and Charlene Cooper get some unexpected house-guests as four assassins carrying rifles head towards their house to kill them Tom Keen and Karakurt. Keen and Cooper kill all four gunmen and the four of them get into the Cooper’s car and take off. They soon realize why Cabal operatives can find them so easily as Karakurt’s got a tracking chip they put into his chest. Keen tells Cooper they have  to get under concrete or cement to block the signal.

Raymond come’s to and realizes he’s gotten kidnapped by a gang of robber-barons that look like extras from My Name Is Earl. Three brothers, Cash the oldest and dominant, Pablo the middle-brother with authority issues and T-Bone who speaks with a stutter. They live with Jilly who seems to be Cash’s girlfriend, but she could have a friends with benefits relationship with the other brothers.

The group’s teamed up with a local named Jasper and they kidnap and rob seemingly affluent drivers when they visit the area. Although the brother’s go gaga over Red’s Rolex they complain that he’s only got $700 in his and doesn’t have credit-cards or an ATM card. Raymond says that if they can negotiate terms he’ll make it worth their while to release them.

Harold hides the car inside a tunnel and Tom starts to conduct surgery using what looks like the lid of a cat-food can to slice open his chest. On the other end of the tunnel Solomon and a crew are tracking Karakurt and the man holding the laptop says the signal’s weak but they still can track it.

Aram tells Navabi that  Ressler wants him to check out Donald’s personal laptop to find out how search information got deleted. Samar tells Aram he can’t say anything to Ressler as she promised Liz she’d keep it from him, the information she deleted gives Red’s location. Mojtabai asks why she used Donald’s laptop and she says it was on her work station. The tech-guru promises to keep Ressler in the dark.

Liz makes the connection between Jasper and the Kings Of The Road, the name the thieves use and she picks him up in this blue-collar bar. He suddenly looks at his watch and says he’s got to get back to work when she asks him how she’d like her to go back with him to his place instead? Work’s no longer a priority.

Cash says that if they hurt Reddington they might lose out on  getting some money, so he suggests that Jilly goes and talks with him. She brings a children’s tea-set with her and pretends to have a tea-party with Reddington. She asks him his first name and he replies Kenneth as it says on the driver’s license he carries. She says no your real first name and he responds the same. She says they’ll hurt her if he doesn’t tell her and Red says that he thinks Jilly likes getting hurt or she would have left long ago. She giggles and starts rubbing him and finds a bank-deposit bag containing 25-grand.

The three brothers and Jilly are whooping and hollering saying that they’ll each get over six grand apiece. Pablo asks what about Jasper and Cash says he’s hired help, he’ll get what they give him. That doesn’t sit well with Pablo who says Jasper’s family, Cash points to the four of them and says this is the family.

Mojtabai breaks his promise to Navabi and tells Ressler that Samar erased the information and gives him Reddington’s location. Donald stomps over to Navabi and starts screaming at her asking how she could have hidden this from him. He says first Harold plots against him and now she does, Samar tells Ressler that she called Liz and warned her about the raid. Donald sneers at her and says you’re out of here, gather your stuff and be gone by the end of the day. Aram looks like he’s about to get sick.

Red’s picked the lock on his handcuffs a while before, but he waits for the right moment to attempt his escape.  He decides the time’s best when T-Bone and he are alone at the house and the youngest brother threatens him with the pistol. Raymond grabs the gun and shoots his opponent in the gut then tries to drive away, but Cash smacks him in the back of the head knocking Reddington out.

Mojtabai goes up to Samar and says if he realized Ressler would fire her he would never have told him. She says he promised her he wouldn’t say anything and he says that she lied to him. He says you told me that his laptop was on your workstation but you did your search in his apartment in the wee-hours of the morning. Aram’s jealousy cost Navabi her job.

Pablo and T-Bone convince Cash to let T-Bone go to the hospital to get his wound treated. As soon as the youngest brother leaves Raymond starts telling Pablo that Cash and Jilly are going to kill Pablo and fly to Aruba. At first Pablo tells him to shut-up but soon Reddington’s gotten into his head. Suddenly there’s laughing and hollering coming from the other room and Cash yells he’s on TV.

They see a news-report identifying Red and Liz and Cash calls up Jasper to find out if he knows where Liz’s at and tells him about her. He hangs up his cellphone and starts attacking her but she soon gets the upper-hand and grabs his gun and now he’s her prisoner.

Wright heads to Task Force headquarters and Ressler tells her they’ve got a location on Red and he’s fired Navabi for trying to keep the information from him. Reven asks if he’s perhaps being too inflexible and Donald looks her in the eye and says Tommy Markin and Wright looks confused. Ressler says that when his father joined the police-force he befriended another young cop named Tommy Markin and the two pledged they’d clean up the department. When Ressler’s dad refused to take a bribe from corrupt cops his old pal Tommy Markin ended his life by shooting him.

The four head down a dirt-road and Cash says they’re going to kill Reddington, but Red tells Pablo if Cash wants any money he can’t kill him. Pablo says that must mean he’s going to kill me and Raymond asks if he trusts Cash with his life. Suddenly Cash’s cellphone rings and Lizzie’s on the other end, she says she’s got Jasper as her prisoner and proposes a one-for-one swap. Cash laughs derisively at her and says Jasper’s just dead weight and hangs up the phone.

Pablo’s so angry he’s ready to spit and he tells his brother that Jasper’s family and it’s not his decision to make. The phone rings again and Pablo tells his brother to pick it up and work out a deal and Cash just laughs. Pablo pulls his pistol and the older brother says he doesn’t have the stones to use it. Pablo blasts him twice then tells Jilly to answer the phone and put it on speaker. He says to Keen he’s willing to trade Red to Liz for Jasper and two million bucks. She agrees but says she’ll call back in two-hours after she sets things up. Jilly says to Pablo that was beautiful and Red shudders.

Ressler gets a call from a West Virginia State Trooper and meets him at the hospital that T-Bone’s getting treated at. The officer tells Donald the guy says he got hurt in a hunting accident, but who hunts with a 38? T-Bone walks out soon after and tells both men he’s feeling fine now and just wants to go home and sleep in his bed. Ressler tells the officer that the guy’s wearing Reddington’s coat and he’s going to follow him home.

Dembe’s finally addressed by the man behind the sales counter at the store he’s waited at. There’s a military looking  brief-case on the counter and the man tells Dembe that it’s heavier than it looks. Liz picks him up and tells him they’re trading the briefcase for Red and Dembe says they need it to clear her name. She says that Red’s life’s more important.

Reven Wright pays Laurel Hitchin a visit at the President’s adviser’s home and Laurel says what a pleasant surprise. Reven wants to discuss Matias Solomon and says he used to work for Laurel at the CIA and the Presidential adviser says she had lots of employees. Reven says he was a special attaché for you so you must have worked closely. Hitchin says he imagines that Wright’s discussed this with Ressler in great detail and Reven says she came right over to ask Laurel when she discovered the connection.

Laurel pulls out a pistol and fires it into Reven’s heart, when she falls to the floor in a heap Hitchin says she hated to do that. She then asks Wright if she has any last words and Reven looks Laurel straight in the eyes and says Tommy Markin then takes her final breath.

Liz, Dembe and Jasper meet with Pablo and T-Bone and Liz and Dembe see Red on a cellphone and he tells her not to make the trade. Pablo says okay show us what you’ve got and Dembe opens the case revealing the contents to both men, although we see nothing. Pablo asks if it’s what he thinks it is and Keen says it’s worth far more than the reward money. Pablo tells Jilly to let Red go and he tells he she’s sick and needs to get help. She smiles to herself when he leaves.

After being on the run since the final episode of last season, Elizabeth Keen’s finally been captured. Ressler and a crew came seconds after the exchange and Ressler chased her down and finally handcuffed her in the woods. Will he be able to guarantee her safety under his charge? We’ll find out in January.

The Story Resumes January 7, at 9:00 pm on NBC.

Courtesy of NBC

Courtesy of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Picking up where we left off last week, Noah escorts Malina out of the crime scene that is the ice cream shop, Noah tries to reassure Malina that she is safe now. Noah vows to get Tommy/Nathan back, in Midian, CO. After they cross the street, Luke intercepts them. He is reserved and contrite as he returns to Malina the things she left in his car. Luke makes every effort to help further. Call it a debt owed for the life saved. Noah wants no part of it. Malina even has a look of disdain, now that she knows the trigger person is Luke’s wife.

Nathan wakes up in Erica’s home with evidence of a minor surgical procedure. Stitches covering a hole in the back of his neck. Erica begins in like you might expect, a collection of small lies that seem to the uniformed that they could be truths. Despite her best efforts, Nathan refuses to extend any level of trust. It doesn’t take her 90 seconds before she tries to paint Noah in a negative light. Erica, by the way, has some of the ugliest living room furniture. Nathan is still adamant about stopping this impending apocalypse. A notion Erica thinks is ludicrous. “How do you reverse the poles?” (north and south) I’m guessing, it has something to do with Malina’s ability to manipulate the northern lights.

Hiro created a time bridge, a connection between now and then. When Hiro was released from his captivity in Evernow, that bridge was severed. Erica needs Nathan to reconnect that time bridge. Nathan is still not convinced, but he demands to know when and where this future colony is.

Miko has found a way to do just that. She walks right onto “Gateway” in the future, the other end of the time bridge. She’s immediately met by other Erica sent over. Miko still pursues finding her father, she has no idea where or when she is. She does dispatch the small group of men relatively quickly.

Parkman has Farah and is attempting to her to reveal the location of “the girl”, which one must assume means Malina. When he gets no where reading her mind, he politely threatens to bring Carlos in to loosen her up. Later, Parkman brings Carlos in. Dressed in all white and handcuffed. Carlos is of little help, but his presence seems to loosed Farah’s grip on her own thoughts. Eventually, Parkman grows tired of this game and points a gun on Carlos, hoping it will force Farah into giving up the one nugget she will not let go of. Farah eventually cracks at the thought of Carlos getting killed in front of her.

Nathan teleports Erica, Quinton and Phoebe to Gateway. First he surveys the deserts vastness. Then Erica shows him Gateway in the distance. Always maintaining that it is inevitable that they would fail in fulfilling the prophecy. On a tour, Nathan seems legitimately impressed. He reluctantly agrees to help but only under the conditions that he be permitted to bring as many family.

Noah and Malina stop for gas and they both notice that Luke has followed them. Noah confronts Luke again to reiterate that they don’t need his help. Luke makes a sincere appeal including the admission of loss. He brings it back around to Malina saving his life. It looks like Noah may be giving in, then pulls a 180 leading Malina back to the car.

Miko gets inside what appears to be a safely guarded facility inside Gateway. There she discovers bodies is stasis. One in particular. The real Miko. That’s about the time her father shows up. He explains what he can and also tells her she needs to find the Master of Time and Space.

Taylor has an idea to gain access into Stoneridge. The shapeshifter morphs into Erica Kravid who will pay a visit to the facility unannounced. The problem is that neither Taylor or the shapshifter are aware of Parkman’s mind reading ability. They both think of Francis and Micah which tips Parker off that they are not who they seem.

Noah and Malina pull up to a massive storm cloud over a highway in Texas. Noah suggests she stay in the car but she doesn’t listen. She gets close and stands on the back of a pickup truck. Malina tries with all of her strength to push back this massive storm cloud. She is eventually successful. However her act to save people is brushed aside for the mere fact that she’s an evo. Then out come the evo bigots. Luke steps in and uses his own power to push back the mob. In all the commotion, they didn’t notice Nathan teleport in and snatch up Noah.

Whether Carlos was playing along to the submissive ways of the other guests or the sight of Farah snapped something back into place, Carlos summons the strength or courage to fight back. He frees Farah from the medical room she was apparently passed out in. Meanwhile, Parkman enters a room with a large glass cage that holds…the grown Micah. Parkman needs to know he’s on Erica’s list of those worth sending to the future. In short order, the heavily sedated Micah finds Erica’s list, with Parkman’s name on it.

Nathan stands on the platform for the time bridge and agrees to teleport back Quinton and Phoebe back. Before he can go himself, Miko jumps in front of him and takes out a few guards. Erica is immediately alarmed. Miko grabs Nathan’s arm, calls him the Master of Time and Space and tells him she’s there to free him. Nathan then teleports out of there.

Taylor, Carlos and Farah make it outside hoping to find those they came for. They are met by Taylor’s new friends. Who in turn are met with about a hundred Harrises.

Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW Network,

Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW Network

Warning: Spoiler Alert

This week’s chapter of The CW Network series “The Flash,” revolved around picking up the pieces, recovering from traumatic injuries and regaining confidence.  The pummeling the Scarlet Speedster received in his first encounter with Zoom left Barry Allen a broken man, physically and mentally. The monster from Earth-Two broke Allen’s back and humiliated him in front of the people he swore to protect. The Flash’s super-metabolism healed his physical wounds within a week, but it took a heart-to-heart talk with Barry’s hero before he regained confidence in his abilities and himself.

We join Team-Flash at STAR Labs a week after Barry’s spine got shattered, he’s slowly walking with the aid of a cane and Detective Joe West. He runs out of steam and says that it for that session. Caitlin tells him that the MRI results from earlier that afternoon show that he’s almost completely healed and he should be donning his suit shortly.

Harrison Wells tells Team-Flash he’s heading back to Earth-Two but Caitlin attempts to convince him to stay with them until they defeat Zoom. He walks off saying he’s going back to his dimension with or without their assistance. Cisco and Joe ask Snow why she’s so adamant about wanting Wells to stay and she says with Jay Garrick in the wind he’s their only source of knowledge on Zoom.

Cisco has his first date with Kendra Saunders and they’re going to see The Princess Bride in a cinema. They touch and Ramon goes Vibe and sees a vision of Kendra in her Hawkgirl uniform but he can’t process what he sees and it freaks him out. He tells her he hates to do this but he needs to leave and she stands there after he leaves confused and clueless.

Ramon’s not the only one with romantic problems as Barry has avoided seeing Patty since he got hurt and she knows he’s hiding something. She calls him and offers to bring over soup and take care of him but he tells her he’d hate for her to get sick. She hangs up confused and unhappy.

We jump to some scientific facility and we watch scientists and techs interacting when suddenly one of the top scientists Dr. Jeffrey Shore starts getting visions. One of his subordinates tries talking to Shore but he’s unresponsive then smashes open a plate-glass storage container and grabs a large canister inside it. The other guy tries to stop him, but Shore hits him in the head with the canister and flees the facility.

He gets down to the street and suddenly he becomes coherent as if he’d been sleeping. He asks himself what he’s done and then sees the creature that controlled his mind Grodd, the super-ape that gained his powers when the particle-accelerator exploded. Shore asks the ape who he is and the giant simian growls back stupid human I’m Grodd.

Barry gets on the treadmill as Iris and Joe watch and West keeps throwing out words of encouragement. Barry finally starts to let loose when he flashes back mentally to getting beaten by Zoom he freaks out trips and gets thrown from the treadmill. Iris tries to connect with Barry but soon walks off and lets Joe talk to him. Allen tells the detective that Zoom destroyed him, he beat him to a pulp and showed all of Central City how he mastered the Flash. All those people he pledged to keep safe saw that he couldn’t back up his words.

West talks to Iris and says that Barry’s healed physically but nobody can get through to him. She says then it’s time to get the one person that can get through to him. Joe smiles and says they’ll discuss that at home, Patty just called him about a new case.

Caitlin tracks down Wells at a diner as he’s in the process of making a map. She says he has to stay and help Team-Flash and he says he made a big mistake coming to Earth-Prime. He says he hoped that with the help of the Flash he’d  defeat Zoom, now he’s going back to his world to accomplish that. Snow says he’ll just get himself killed and how will that help his daughter? She says they should have concentrated on closing the breaches to Wells’ world and the light goes on in his eyes. They’ll close all the breaches except for the largest in STAR Labs and trap Zoom.

Patty and Joe work the death of Dr. Jeffrey Shore and they believe their suspect’s a Meta-Human. Spivot says there was a similar case at another science facility  a couple of weeks before and she’s going to check out the other case for similarities. She also comments they found lots of hair at the scene and she’s getting that identified.

Cisco and Caitlin are talking when she becomes unresponsive and we see she’s having the same visions that Shore experienced. She slugs Ramon in the jaw and runs out, Barry and Cisco watch Snow leaving the building as if in a trance and Grodd’s following her.

Joe arrives at the lab with news that Grodd’s returned and Wells says that his dimension’s also got a version of the super-ape. Just then the man Iris summoned to get through to Barry arrives, Henry Allen embraces his son as Team-Flash attempts to come up with a solution to save Caitlin. Cisco comes up and says they’ve got a solution to save Snow and Allen asks him how. Barry hears a voice behind say with me and he turns around to see the Reverse-Flash sneering at him. Allen’s about to start beating him when Ramon explains it’s Harry and they found this suit in the vault. Wells will attempt to convince the simian that he’s the man that raised him.

Caitlin wakes up on the floor and starts calling for Grodd, the ape hears her and jumps down from the rafters to greet her. Grodd tells her that she’d always been kind to him and he needs her help. He asks her how he acquired his abilities and she says it’s a long and complicated story, but the actual cause was Dark Matter. Grodd says to her repeat, she wants her to create more of his kind. She says she doesn’t know how and Grodd says learn.

Dr. Henry Allen gives his son a complete physical and says he’s completely healed physically, then Barry tells him what he told Joe. Henry tells his son that his life got destroyed and his reputation ruined when he got charged with killing his wife and Barry’s mother. He said he could see it in people’s faces in the courtroom during the trial, how they stopped  trusting him and he eventually lost them all. His son asks him how he survived and Henry says by embracing it, if he could survive the experience he could withstand anything. He says he believes in his son and he’ll win back the people’s trust.

Wells and Cisco track down Caitlin in Grodd in a church bell-tower and Wells walks in and says hey buddy to Grodd. The giant ape says that his father’s dead but Harrison says no buddy I’ve just been gone for a while. He says now that he’s back Grodd doesn’t need Snow so he’s going to take her out of there and then says please. Grodd growls and throws Wells against a wall saying father take not ask and asks who he is?

Ramon and Snow can escapee and Barry tells them to take off but Cisco says that Harry’s still in there. Allen tells Wells to inject the ape with large quantities of the drugs he stole from the facilities and that will knock him out. Wells grabs the implements to inject the ape with and then he says he is Grodd’s father and Grodd just struck his father. As he’s telling him he didn’t abandon him he injects the gorilla with the drugs and he passes out allowing all to escape.

Caitlin stitches up the gash in Wells’ abdomen when they return to STAR Labs and West says they’ve got to do something about Grodd. Snow asks if he means killing the great best Joe says yes and she says it’s not his fault and he’s lonely and he’s looking for others of his kind. Harrison says that one of the breaches in Central City contains a jungle-habitat on Earth-Two with other intelligent creatures. When someone asks how they’ll lure him there, Henry says my son will lead him right Flash?

Caitlin lures Grodd out to the street then Flash takes her away and tells the ape if he wants Caitlin he needs to catch him. Grodd leaps from rooftop to rooftop and surprises Flash who once again has a flashback of Zoom and freaks, Grodd’s stepping on him and asking where Caitlin’s at? She lures Grodd into the circle that the breach covers and then Flash pulls her out of there. The breach starts sucking in the giant simian but he’s fighting to break free.

Henry contacts Flash through the com-device and tells his son he can’t let Grodd get free. He needs to summon up his strength and courage and knock him through the breach. Flash does it and the portal closes.

Cisco has another date with Kendra and when they kiss he realizes she’s Hawkgirl and he says you’re awesome. She asks him why and he says because she’s such a great kisser.

Courtesy of ABC/Marvel

Courtesy of ABC/Marvel

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Ward meets with Malick in the hopes of creating an understanding concerning a certain ‘vault’. This vault is rumored to house Hydra’s strongest weapon. Malick plays this one close to the vest. He claims the vault is nothing more than a rumor. Easy notion to sell if Malick hadn’t sacrificed the last living heir to it in Alex Von Strucker. Malick lets it be known that while Ward is resourceful and crafty, there’s no room in Malick’s plans for Ward or his short sighted vendetta. Then Ward takes out the team of men Malick left to harm Ward.

May watched from a distance as Andrew’s containment room was moved onto a flatbed truck to be sent to Rosalind’s containment facility. He’ll be put into stasis in human form in the hopes of delaying the inevitable. Fitz explains his lead to Simmons. He believes there is something to the ‘ram symbol’ he found in the castle that seems to match the mission patch on Will’s jacket. Daisy bumps into Lincoln, who slept for the first time in a while despite trying to avoid May. That’s not the only thing he’s avoiding. There is the awkwardness surrounding their kiss.

Mack voices some concern over Coulson’s new-found ‘closeness’ with Rosalind. Mack is almost accusatory about what that might mean. Moments later Coulson enters a basement like room where he outlines to everyone what comes next. Dr. Garner’s containment will be a sort of Trojan Horse. Teams of two will attack the intel grab from different angles. It’s time to find out what they’re doing, what they want and whether they can be trusted. Speaking of trust, May volunteers for Lincoln to be with her. There are a number of ways this could go.

Daisy activates a signal from inside Andrew’s containment room intentionally to get the ATCU’s IT department tripping over itself. Then Mack plays the role of an agent from the FBI’s cyber division informing them of two visitors en route. That would be Bobbi as the legitimate agent and Hunter as the hipster hacker turned FBI asset. With Daisy talking in his ear, Hunter sells the part well. All of this it appears, was done intentionally so that Rosalind would be tipped off.

Early impressions are that Simmons is procrastinating by way of organizing the books Fitz had sent in. The Ram symbol keeps appearing as a symbol of a blood sacrifice. She’s concerned that Will wasn’t sent through the portal by NASA, he was sacrificed. Fitz pushes through believing that they can find something in these books. Simmons has an emotional moment where she all but begs him to stop. Stop doing all the right things. Then she storms out.

With Hunter playing the hacker turned asset in place, Mack relays the building’s floor plan to Bobbi so that she can excuse herself to find the Inhumans and perhaps even a sample of the rumored cure. Now Hunter just needs to buy her time by stalling.

And now, a scene I’ve been waiting 3 years for. With that in mind, transcribed for anyone who missed it.

Fitz: Where do you get off!? Are you seriously mad at me?
Simmons: I’m mad at myself for roping you into this, it’s not fair. I’m mad that you’re so willing to help.
Fitz: So, as opposed to what? What do you expect?
Simmons: I don’t know, get angry. I cannot find a way out of this without hurting someone I care about.
Fitz: Do you think that I’m not angry? I’m sick to my stomach. I’m furious, but not at you. ‘Cause we’re cursed. The bloody cosmos wants us to be apart.
Simmons: The cosmos doesn’t want anything.
Fitz: Yeah well, I beg to differ. We had years, side by side. It just never occurred to us. And then when it does, we don’t have the courage to talk about it.
Simmons: You only mention it when we’re at the bottom of the sea facing certain–
Fitz: You wait til I’m bound for a war on an aircraft carrier, then you get swept off to some far flung planet. With him. Top marks. Pilot. Astronaut hero man.
Simmons: I would do anything–
Fitz: Do you love him?
Simmons: I don’t know…I…yes.
Fitz: Yeah…yeah, of course you do. He’s strong and smart and you gave each other hope on the edge of nowhere.
Simmons: Don’t do this Fitz.
Fitz: You think I didn’t look for dirt on him? I DID. And there’s nothing. I can’t hate him, he’s great. Why else would you fall for him. He did everything right.
Simmons: AND YOU DOVE THROUGH A HOLE IN THE UNIVERSE FOR ME!
(Fitz stares into Jemma’s eyes frantic almost like a mildly scared animal and dives into to the type of passionate kiss that has been building for three seasons. Fitz then slowly as if a sign of respect considering the line he just crossed backs up. Jemma takes a moment to reflect on what’s just happened and she willingly returns the favor.)
Fitz: We’re cursed.

Courtesy of ABC/Marvel

Courtesy of ABC/Marvel

Bobbi navigates through Mack’s instructions. Footsteps are heard approaching Andrews containment. The assumption is that it is Bobbi, but as it turns out it’s Malick. Malick is prodding Andrew for information by appearing to be the only person in this situation that wants to put control over Andrew in Andrew’s hands. Bobbi has found the lab. No Inhumans and no cure. She does stumble up what look like fish oil pills. Duh Duh Duh. The ATCU is not trying to prevent the spread of Inhumans, they are trying to turn them.

Coulson walks Rosalind into the containment that held Joey at one point. Then without warning locks the door behind him. She makes a caddy comment about needing persuasion if she’s going to spend the night in that room. Coulson replies that its him that needs persuading. She needs to convince him, she’s not Hydra. Or she’s never leaving this room.

Lincoln sits in the co-pilot seat waiting for May to say something. The silence is so unnerving that he eventually starts talking. He begins with an ‘unapology’ apology for bringing Lash out of Andrew. May wanted him along so she could find a way to apologize to Lincoln on behalf of Andrew’s behavior. She blames herself for not knowing earlier.

The Coulson/Roz fight continues. Neither one willing to back down. Both making bold accusations about the other’s intent until Coulson references her slip up. Early on she referenced Tahiti. The only way she could know anything about that is if she had a high level source within SHIELD or she’s Hydra. Coulson drums back up her dead husband ploy which actually illicit a real emotional response. Coulson drives harder suggesting that they aren’t trying to build a cure, they are turning as many Inhumans as possible. Then Rosalind makes the connection. Malick. He has his hand in everything. Advising the President, helping to create the ATCU, head of the science division, and her source for the Tahiti intel.

Daisy and Mack look over the last file download while Hunter makes it to Bobbi after she’s already taken care of the situation. Daisy pulls up records that show at least one of the men of authority in this facility is in fact an Inhuman. That very authority figures walks through the doors facing Bobbi and Hunter. He levitates the guns on the floor and opens fire without touching the guns. They are able to avoid getting hit, but Bobbi has a trick up her sleeve. Her briefcase not only holds her sticks, but also a way to connect her to them. Now she can throw them and they will fly back to her. The fight continues and this new foe is formidable, but a shot to the back of the head from Hunter levels the playing field, so to speak. Just as they take a moment to breathe, Banks arrives offering to get them out of there.

Coulson permits Rosalind to make a call. Banks will lead Hunter and Bobbi to the NW parking lot. May hovers overhead and sees no evidence that is true. Until the parking lot itself opens up revealing a terribly convenient helipad. At the edge of which is Bobbi, Hunter and Banks.

Ward is able to infiltrate the ‘vault’ he’s been looking for rather quickly. So quickly in fact that Malick is waiting for him. After some complimentary small talk, Malick suggests that Ward might just be Hydra’s second head that has grown right next to Malick. And to the history lesson. Ward believes that Hydra was formed using Nazi resources in World War II under the direction of Red Skull. While most of that is true, Hydra is much much older.

Malick’s claim that Ward was too small time plays out in this final scene. A very long time ago, an Inhuman walked this earth that was destined to rule it. He was so feared that he was exiled, using the monolith, banished to a far off planet. Meanwhile Rosalind tries to explain her timeline with Malick. Simmons interrupts her and interjects the NASA theory. Fitz begins to lay down pictures of this ram symbol from over the years. One becomes the next, becomes the next, until two familiar images reveal themselves. The ram evolves into Will’s mission patch. And one of the ram images when turned upside down looks strikingly similar to the Hydra logo. Malick will gladly tear SHIELD apart as a gesture to Ward. But in return, he hopes Ward will assist in continuing to build their Inhuman army and for information on exactly how SHIELD just did something Hydra has not been able to do in a thousand years. Bring someone back from the other side. And if all goes well, Malick and Ward will rule beside this super villain when the time comes.

But for now, its time for Ward to pay someone a visit. The good Dr. SHIELD used airborne sedation to turn the monster off. Ward is more interested in turning the monster on. A notion that at least for a moment scares Andrew. With the mustard gas billowing in, Andrew tries to reel back, but the sound of him transforming can be heard.

Courtesy of CBS

Courtesy of CBS

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Megan’s doctor delivers news that appears to have a different effect on the two men in her life. Walter is only concerned with the best course of treatment so that he can buy himself some time to finish his research and save her. Sylvester is more concerned with her wishes and her quality of life, no matter how long it’s for. Walter actually went to the point of getting a court order turning all medical decisions for Megan over to him. Regardless, of her wishes.

Tonight’s mission is a little different but not foreign, shades of an Ocean’s Eleven style heist but applied within that Scorpion way. Homeland, in partnership with Mi-6 will provide support and let Mi-6 run point to collect evidence against Midacki and Ali. Two American ambassadors with ulterior motives. Two men who acquired their titles through bribery with the intent to travel under the shroud of diplomatic immunity. Gleason, the Mi-6 agent Scorpion needs to put in place during the General Assembly of the UN. Chief Cromwell is the Mi-6 authority figure who will be monitoring things from the New York Homeland office.

Next the team must figure a way to get through three phases of security at the UN building. Phase one is not that terribly difficult. The scanners in phase two make sneaking contraband inside virtually impossible. Without those items, phase three is a non starter anyway. Very quickly in typical Walter O’Brien fashion, he comes up with a plan. A plan that catches Paige, understandably, off guard.

Toby: We’re never going to get to phase three if we have to sneak this contraband past the scanners. I mean, how does that happen?
Walter: We’re going to get Paige pregnant.
Paige: …What?

The “contraband” they spoke of earlier are prosthetic hands, equipped with the unique ‘web signature’ of the blood vessels in the hands that correspond to Italian delegates who do not intend to make the trip. Once inside, one portion of team will let Happy and Gleason in through an electricians access door. All team members are accounted for when one of Midacki’s men comes around the corner gun raised. Once he identifies himself, Gleason takes over as a secret agent should, snapping the bodyguard’s neck. This is surprising to the team. Gleason turns his gun on them. Gleason is not here to translate anything. He here to assassinate Ambassador Midacki.

Gleason contacts Cromwell to inform her with the Deputy Director Cooper listening that Scorpion has been made aware of the new arrangement. Cooper tries to pull the plug on the entire op when Cromwell points out that her team, as clandestine as they’d like to think they are, are all over UN security camera footage sneaking in to the UN building.

In a secluded conference room Gleason lays out the plan. He needs to get inside the meeting room between Midacki and Ali. However, Midacki brings with him a computerized door (if you can believe that) which is installed before the meeting giving him even more privacy. Gleason needs Scorpion to hack the system and give Gleason access. Walter hesitates for only a moment and begins helping to his team’s chagrin. To Walter, helping unlock a door is not the same as aiding an assassination.

Megan slowly wakes with Sylvester at her side. She does not look good. In her parched and crackly voice she begs Sylvester to never let them intubate her again. Sylvester explains the court order, and she begs again.

It appears that perhaps Walter wasn’t trying to hack the security door software when he beckons Gleeson to see what he’s found. Cromwell is frantic to know what they found. Walter tells her that they can’t unlock the door. With time as a significant factor, they need a new plan. Now, we look to force Midacki to stop on the seventh floor where the security is dramatically more relaxed.

On the seventh floor the team can force the elevator to stop, giving Gleason an opportunity to take out the target. The door jams and there is drag out fight between Gleason and the security guard escorting Midacki. The result of which is Gleason being shot in the stomach with his own gun. Cromwell is barking orders at this point. She needs a status update. Midacki’s man tosses Gleason down an incinerator chute. Cabe tells Cooper that she can tell Cromwell that Midacki still lives, while Gleason does not.

Walter believes they can take out the target with minimal risk to anyone else. But that will involve Happy building a small bomb out of salami casings. Meanwhile, Cabe has a distraction plan using a thermostat hack and the second floor security checkpoint, Paige lifts a security guard’s jacket. Midacki goes on after the delegate from Poland. They will need to buy time. Cabe replaces the Polish delegate’s translator with…Toby. The master plan is to connect Toby’s cell phone to his coms then have Ray listen in from Megan’s hospital and translates the Polish (with the years of listening to his French Grandmother), thus allowing Toby to seem legit and on stage and allow him to riff and drag out the speech, buying the rest of the team some time.

Posing as a makeup artist, Paige gains access to the green room. This allows her to move Midacki away from his briefcase long enough for Happy to lift the laptop and replace it with Happy’s TV diner salami bomb. With Midacki speaking to the general assembly, Walter begins the countdown to the salami bomb. He gets to 1 and nothing happens. Walter keeps eyes on Midacki as he attempts to exit. In the stairwell, Walter notices that one of Midacki’s men is carrying the briefcase, not Midacki. The underbelly of the building sits on a sewer line. Walter tapes a lit match to a matchbox sized toy car. With the methane seeping through the floor vents, the match will be enough to ignite the methane gas.

The explosion mimics that of a bomb explosion forces the two bad guys the other way. Happy and Paige connect jumper cables from Cabe’s truck to the fence the two attempting to flee will inevitably try to scale. The current stops the security associate in his tracks but Midacki escapes.

What follows is something right out of Sherlock Holmes or Scooby-Doo. A series of reveals of exactly how Scorpion was able to pull off this sleight of hand. Cooper questions why Gleason went along with this rouse. Cromwell already knew. Walter was able to find evidence that Cromwell was in Midacki’s pocket. She pulls a gun on Cooper. Cooper was not worried despite Cromwell’s intent to harm as Cooper removed Cromwell’s bullets when she wasn’t looking.

Upon the mission’s completion, Walter quickly makes his way to the hospital. Once there, he is again indignant that Megan has not been intubated. He again leans on his court order. Sylvester politely reveals that his court order no longer supersedes anything. Sylvester, as Megan’s spouse now makes all decisions regarding Megan’s medical treatments. Instead of pushing back as one might have predicted, Walter accepts Sylvester’s genuine love for Megan and sees that he has her best interests at heart. Even if that does not coincide with Walter’s wishes. Walter will not give up or even slow his intentions, but he respects Sylvester’s intent to honor what Megan wants. Ray presiding over their nuptials may cause a problem, but for now, all seems well.

Photo Courtesy Of Nicole Rivelli/ FOX

Photo Courtesy Of Nicole Rivelli/ FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Despite everything we’ve soaked in until that very moment, our loftiest goals and heartiest claims of bravado the unvarnished truth is we don’t know how we’ll deal in a crisis until it’s thrust upon us. Which of us will demonstrate bravery or compassion, while others attempt to blend in with the furnishings? Even prior history’s an uncertain indicator, as the right situation could give a coward courage or the final factor that pushes somebody over the edge. This week’s chapter of the FOX series “Gotham,” showed some characters just wetting their feet in unfamiliar waters while others dove in head first embracing the rush.

We watch a news-truck throw a bundle of papers in front of a newsstand blaring the headline “Mayor Galavan Arrested” as Tabitha walks past the stand and into an empty bar. Bartender’s wiping the counter and asks if he can help her and she says she’ll have a Highsmith Royale. The bartender asks isn’t it early in the day then she repeats her order adds no ice and gives the man a bankroll. After counting it, he smiles and opens a hidden door leading to a jumping underground casino.

Tabby makes a beeline to the woman she came to see, a woman who owns the most infamous assassin-for-hire agency in Gotham City. A treat for fans of Doctor Who, the woman’s portrayed by Michelle Gomez whose taken on the role of Missy playing opposite Peter Capaldi. The woman guarantees Galavan that once she provides the name, the victim will  be roadkill before sunrise. Tabitha gives the woman a photo Jim Gordon.

Gordon’s down at Gotham General  asking Barbara Kean’s doctor if she can answer questions. The doctor looks at Gordon as if the detective’s loony and tells him Kean’s in a coma and it’s tough to predict when or if she’ll come out of it. They’re transferring her to Arkham and the doctor asks Gordon if he wants to ride in the ambulance? He declines and heads to the precinct.

Penguin wakes up from being drugged and he sees Ed’s standing over him. Cobblepot tries to get up and Ed tells him he’s badly injured and can’t move. Oswald tries to get up again and this time Nygma sedates him with a hypodermic needle. As Penguin goes back under Ed says rest up we’ve got a big night ahead.

Jim sees Lee at the precinct and she tells him Kean’s being transferred to Arkham and he tells her he knows as he was just there to see her. Lee’s  really ticked off at first then Gordon says she’s a witness in the case against Galavan and he needs her testimony. Thompkins says we all have a dark side, but Jim’s been running towards his over the last few weeks. She says that’s bad for him and them, he agrees and says he needs to meet Barnes at Theo’s penthouse. He promises they’ll discuss it that night.

As we drop in at Wayne Manor we see that Bruce has company as Silver St. Cloud’s sitting in his library. She says she thought he’d refuse to see her and asks if he believes her uncle’s guilty? Bruce says of course not and says he has a question for her but right then Alfred walks in. He says given the circumstances he needs to ask Miss St. Cloud to leave, she gives Bruce her hotel-room key and tells him to join her there later.

Gordon heads up to Galavan’s penthouse by elevator when a guy stops the car at last second by sticking his arm in the door covered by a cloth bag. The guy looks like a homeless person but it’s pretty easy to see he’s the hitman. He asks if Gordon lives there then offers him a caramel then pulls out a piece of piano wire and starts strangling Jim from behind. The two smack the stuffing out of each other in the confined space, but the detective gains the advantage by covering the dude’s face with his bag and pummels his head until he blacks out.

He drags the guy out of the elevator to the penthouse and Captain Barnes asks who he is? Gordon says he doesn’t know but he just tried to kill him. The assassin’s phone rings and Gordon picks it up and just breaths. The woman who owns the agency’s on the other end and hangs up realizing Gordon’s alive. She goes over to the craps table and puts out an all-call to kill Gordon before sunrise.

Penguin’s lucid this time when he wakes up and he’s frightened to see Ed standing by his bed. Penguin says he’s leaving and Nygma tells him he’s badly injured and a wanted criminal and he’d be fortunate to make it three blocks. Penguin glares at Ed but gets into bed, then says he knows Nygma. Ed says they met last year at the GCPD and he laughs when Cobblepot asks if he’s a cop.

He then says he needs Penguin’s advice, he’s just become a murderer and realizes he can’t go back to his old life. He asks Oswald to mold him. Penguin lets out a derisive laugh and looks out the window, he says his empire’s in ruins and he’s friendless and he lost the one person he cared about due to his weakness. He says he’s leaving, then passes out.

Barnes calls for backup, right now they’ve got an unarmed guy from forensics and three armed officers in Barnes, Gordon and a young uniform named Officer Parks and she looks like the only time she’s ever fired her weapon’s at target practice. Suddenly the security camera feeds get cut and the now restrained failed assassin starts laughing. He says that’s his employer’s policy, if the first assassin doesn’t get the job done, they keep sending people until it gets done.

The forensic guy’s killed but Parks, Gordon and Barnes kill three of the guys and one looks like he’s taking a long nap. Barnes says they’re evacuating now and will return with the backup, Gordon begs Barnes to let him stay behind so none of Galavan’s people can take evidence while they’re gone. Just then the fourth guy comes to and slices Barnes thigh deeply with a blade. Gordon takes him out with gunfire, but Barnes’ artery got severed and they can’t move him.

Ed tells Penguin he’s got a gift for him. The man’s named Leonard and he’s bound with a bag over his head and Nygma tells Cobblepot he’s Galavan’s lackey. He says Penguin talks in his sleep and was talking about Theo killing his mother and he thought Penguin would get cheered up by a little vengeance.  He gives Cobblepot a blade and Penguin stands in front of Leonard, then drops the knife and says he’s through. He’s going to get better and leave Gotham City forever. He goes back in the bed and pulls the covers over his head and hums a tune softly to himself.

The agency’s owner’s at her wit’s end and makes a call she hoped to avoid. She gets a guy whose already got a bunch of corpses laying at his feet and he’s torturing his last victim, by slicing off a slice of the guy’s flesh and he’s about to eat it while the guy screams. He laughs at his victim and asks why just smell the fear when you can taste it?

He answers his phone and we find out he’s Eduardo Flamingo, a character out of the Batman comic-books universe. Flamingo’s known as the “Face-Eater” as he devours his victims faces after he kills them and his counterpart on the show’s also a cannibal. He says  to the woman he thought she revoked his membership and she tells him all’s forgiven and she needs him to kill Gordon before sunrise. He shoots his surviving victim and says he’s on his way.

Gordon ties off Barnes’ leg so he doesn’t bleed out before the EMT’s arrive and the Captain asks Jim what’s going on. He tells her that Kean said he’s a monster and Lee seems to believe it as well. He said he nearly crossed the line before the backup arrived at the church as he held that double-barreled shotgun aimed at Barbara and nearly pulled the trigger.

Barnes’ has had a couple of belts of whiskey to kill the pain and he tells Gordon about his second-tour-of-duty in the Middle-East. He and his platoon caught three enemy soldiers and had their hands zip-tied as a sandstorm approached. One tried to escape and Barnes tried to scare the soldier and stuck his gun in the guy’s mouth, then he felt himself pull the trigger. He says it took him years to forgive himself, when he finally admitted he was just a man. He says there is no line, there’s only the law. That’s what separates us from the animals.

Bruce comes into the library wearing his bathrobe and he tells Alfred that he realizes his guardian’s correct and he’ll contact Detective Gordon in the morning about help with Theo. Alfred asks him if he’s heading for bed and Wayne responds he is, Alfred says he already sent the taxi that Bruce called away giving the driver a generous tip. Bruce says he didn’t call a cab and Alfred dangles the hotel-key and says if he has to play prison-guard he will.

The backup arrives downstairs as one of the uniform’s tells Gordon that four officers have arrived and then there’s silence. Flamingo gets on the radio and says after he feasts on Gordon’s friends he’ll have him for dessert. Gordon says he’s heading down there. Barnes’ tries to stop him but has no other solution.

Gordon hits the street and sees the four officers bodies but he doesn’t see his opponent until Flamingo hits Jim in the head with a chain. Flamingo takes the early advantage but Gordon suddenly gets the upper hand and starts beating Flamingo’s face like Ricky Ricardo on the congas. Eduardo starts laughing as his face turns to pulp and the blood spurts, he sees the evil in Gordon and he’s goading the cop on. Jim sticks his gun in Flamingo’s mouth and Eduardo looks at him defiantly daring him to let the dark side win. Gordon finally screams NOOOOO and pulls the gun out of Flamingo’s mouth. Eduardo says you let me down my man. Gordon gives him his rights.

Penguin’s woken to the sound of Ed playing an organ and singing the song Oswald hummed earlier. He asks Nygma how he knows the song and Ed said he heard him humming it. He then says his mother used to sing it to him every night and she’d say the other kids are wrong Oswald. You’re handsome and smart and you’ll be a great man someday.

Ed says Penguin was correct before when he spoke of his weakness, then tells Cobblepot his mother had been his weakness, Penguin grabs the knife and presses it to Nygma’s neck and says his mother was a saint and she was the only person he loved. Ed says a man who lacks love can’t be bargained with or betrayed. He answers to nobody but himself, he’s a free-man, that’s who Nygma sees in front of  him. Penguin gives Ed back the blade.

Bruce tries to sneak out again, this time Cat stops him saying she’s got proof that Silver’s no good.

Tabitha visits Galavan at prison and he berates her for ignoring his orders and hiring a hit-man to try to take out Gordon. He says everything’s in place, the Brotherhood’s arrival’s imminent, soon Bruce Wayne will die and he’ll control Wayne Industries. He tells Tabitha as much as it pains him if he disobeys him again he’ll slice her throat.

Father Creel welcomes about ten hooded men onto the docks late at night, greeting them as brothers. A security guard comes up and says the docks are closed and he needs to see some identification. Creel nods his head and the men encircle the guard and start stabbing him, about a minute later they step away and the guard’s dead body lies where they just stood.

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Although we saw Elizabeth Keen and Harold Cooper gain ground in the effort to exonerate their reputations the latest episode of the NBC series “The Blacklist,” wasn’t as focused on Lizzie as the rest of the episodes in season three. Instead this chapter entitled “Zal Bin Hasaan” focused the spotlight on fellow Task Force agent Samar Navabi, a character that we know relatively little about. Navabi can be brusque and abrasive and doesn’t have any qualms about stating her opinion. While this episode didn’t expose a well-hidden soft and fuzzy side of her, we got at least a taste of what lead her on the path she’s chosen and her motivation behind certain decisions she’s made.

Before we forge ahead let’s take a minute to set the table and discuss what we do know about Samar Navabi. Raymond Reddington recruited Navabi to replace Meera Malik on the Task Force who got killed by Berlin at the end of season one. Samar was an operative for the Israeli intelligence/military agency Mossad, even though she was born and raised in Tehran, Iran an unusual pairing to say the least. We’re aware that she left Iran after killing a government official there and the murder charges haven’t gotten dropped. She’s remained an outsider since joining the Task Force, although events in the  closing moments of this episode might change that dynamic.

A graphic informs us that we’re in Tehran, back in 1992 and we watch a girl about twelve and her younger brother planting some flowers in front of  their home. A man briskly walks past them and into the house and seconds later we hear a woman scream. The girl runs in as the man leaves and she shouts for her mother but soon sees her parents got shot and lie dead on the floor. Her younger brother Shahin enters and asks her what’s going on and she blocks him from walking past her, not wanting him to see the carnage. She says to him it’s alright I’m here and will always be here. Shahin realizes his parents died and he breaks down crying in the arms of his sister Samar.

The doorbell rings at the Cooper home  and Charlene asks Harold to answer it. He’s unpleasantly surprised to find Tom Keen’s on his doorstep and Tom tells him he’s got Karakurt in the trunk of his car. Cooper tells Keen to get the car off the street and put it in his garage. Harold goes out to join Tom and Keen’s not exactly sure if Karakurt’s knocked-out or dead. Turns out he’s playing possum and tries strangling Keen to death with his bare hands until Harold whacks the assailant in the hand with a wrench. Charlene walks in at that point and drops her coffee cup on the garage floor as she takes in the scene.

Reddington, Dembe and Liz stand in the kitchen of an upscale restaurant and watch a breaking news report on the set mounted to the wall. Six employees from Lazarum Systems International based in Annapolis, got abducted at gunpoint and the government’s classifying the incident as an act of terror on United States soil. Red chuckles and says the tip was right.

The head-waiter enters the kitchen and asks Raymond why he’s there and Reddington responds he wants the man to set-up a meeting. The man says he told Red on the phone it’s impossible and Raymond replies that he told him that’s an unacceptable answer. The man says that in most situations he’d gladly accommodate him, but there’s far too much heat on Reddington and the other party and turns to leave. Raymond stops the man in his tracks and asks what if he gives them Zal Bin Hasaan in return?

The head-waiter smirks at Reddington and says the CIA, Interpol and Mossad have hunted him for years and  he thinks he can deliver him? Raymond responds he’s waiting for an answer to his question and the man replies sure you get us Zal Bin Hasaan and you’ll get your meeting. As he walks away Liz asks if that’s the tip  he got that the elusive terrorist’s behind the abduction and Red responds she’s correct and now they just have to find him. To help reach that goal Reddington calls Navabi.

Raymond tells Samar that Zal Bin Hasaan and his crew’s behind the abduction as Lazarum’s encrypting the defense shield for Israel and that he’s currently in or around Annapolis. She says that’s impossible and Raymond says you thought the same thing in Cairo as he stood right behind you killing your partner and leaving you in the ICU. He tells her she’s got another chance to capture him and this time she’s got a secret weapon  she lacked in their first go-round, him.

Remember how excited Ressler was in the previous episode when he acquired security-cam photos of Matias Solomon? They didn’t turn out to be the “smoking-gun” convincing Laurel Hitchin and Reven Wright that the Director had any connection to the Cabal. Peter Kotsiopolus says he’s never seen the man before in his life and Ressler says he’s your employee and he was on that plane to carry out your orders to kill Elizabeth Keen and Raymond Reddington.

He says that Red and Keen have discovered information harmful to his organization. The Director laughs derisively and says his organization’s the CIA. Hitchin reaches her limit and shouts enough, then says it’s obvious that they can’t work together so they should work their leads separately. She looks Donald in the eye and says if she hears about subterfuge or lack of sharing information, she’s going to make that person regret it.

Ressler tells Aram and Navabi that he presented their case and he thinks he bought them some time. Samar then tells the men about Reddington’s information that Zal Bin Hasaan’s behind the Lazarum employees getting abducted. Then she tells them the story about Cairo and Aram mentions that it’s believed he’s behind the explosion in Pishin back in 2009 that killed her brother.

Aram gets a call on his cellphone telling him to turn on the TV and a news anchor reports that the following footage was mass-mailed to news organizations and it’s a tape of one of the hostages reading a statement written by his captors. He says his name’s Michael Hastings and he got taken due to his participation of  the Iron Dome project. He then reads we will find you and you will pay for  your crimes, we’ll contact you again in two-hours. That’s all that’s written and he looks around him with a confused expression until a bullet in the back of his head kills him. Ressler says they’re taking this case.

Mojtabai approaches Donald and tells him that the guy across the room from them wearing a sweater-vest works for the Agency and hacked a phone-number that Aram believes belongs to Reddington or Keen and he’s monitoring it. Aram however hacked the CIA guy’s hack and now he also has the number and he’s also monitoring it. Ressler tells him to be diligent so the Director can’t set-up a hit on Lizzie and Raymond.

Samar keeps looking at the tape for clues and finds a big one. When the gun fired the muzzle blast back-lit his glasses and she sees an energy-plant in the reflection. Aram quickly identifies it as Sellinger Power and the raid’s on. Samar tells Ressler that Mossad deserves to be in on the bust and he tells her to alert them.

Tom and Harold try to calm Charlene down in the Cooper’s kitchen and Harold tells his wife they can’t call the police. Keen says he’ll get him to talk soon and then asks if they have any power-tools. Suddenly they hear a loud bang in the garage and they run in to find Karakurt’s escaped from the trunk and poisoned himself by drinking a soy-based jug of soap. (Karakurt’s allergic to soy-products and can die from ingesting them like people with nut allergies.) Charlene runs to one of her neighbors and brings back an epipen which negates the toxins in the assailant’s body. They duct tape him to a lawn-chair when he recovers.

The Mossad agents that arrive to assist in the raid include many of Navabi’s former teammates including her former commander Levi. They decide to begin the attack with a concussion bomb that Mossad conveniently has on hand. Ressler starts to question why they’ve got one then shakes his head and says he doesn’t want to know.

The joint-force attacks the building and seemingly kill all of the kidnappers, but Levi informs them that Zal Bin Hasaan escaped through a secondary blast as all the men they killed are too young to be him. Suddenly  a Mossad agent tells Levi  and Navabi they have to see this and he leads them to a man caged in a cage that’s so small he can only sit. Samar looks at the man then sees his tattoo and her voice breaks as she asks Shahin? The man responds sister and it turns out that Shahin wasn’t killed in the blast in Pishin.

Samar leaves the building and calls Red and asks if he knew her brother was alive and being held by Zal Bin Hasaan? Red says he’s happily surprised by the news and assures her that had he known he would have informed her. She tells  him that Zal Bin Hasaan escaped and Raymond responds if he’s in country he must have gotten smuggled in as contraband. He says he’ll put out some feelers.

Shahin’s taken by ambulance as they all go to a nearby Mossad safe-house. After Shahin’s examined and given medical clearance, brother and sister sit down along with Ressler for Shahin to explain where he’s been for the last six-years. He goes back to that day telling Samar that he’d been filled with hope as student demonstrators had finally gotten government officials to meet with them in a meeting open to the public. He says he’d been with the demonstrators but the government set them up to make the people believe students were terrorists and they planted a bomb killing most in attendance. Donald asks why the Iranian government would sacrifice high-ranking officials and Shahin responds that’s how badly they wanted to destroy the student movement.

He says the regime hunted him so he was afraid to contact her. He moved to England and started a new life but got wind that the regime tracked him down so he came to the States. However shortly after moving here Zal Bin Hasaan sent some men to his apartment to capture him and had been there for six months.

Tom tells Karakurt the bad news is he’s going to live but if he exonerates Liz Keen will make him a soy-smoothie. Karakurt says something softly in Russian and when Keen leans in to try to hear him his prisoner head-butts him. Tom laughs and then we see Charlene and Harold sitting in the kitchen when they hear a bunch of  banging. Charlene starts to get up but her husband holds her hand firmly and she sits down and sighs.

Kean beat his prisoner  bloody with a medal-stool which is now badly bent and Karakurt’s lying on the floor on his side and breathing heavily. Tom says to him here’s your choice, we can let the Russians know you’ve framed them for the murder of the CIA agents and a United  States Senator and deposit him at the Russian Embassy. He says we both know how that ends up, or you can cooperate with me.

Raymond and Liz visit a dry-cleaner named Farzin whom Red found out helped smuggle Zal Bin Hasaan into the country. He says that he must know where he’s hiding when he escaped from the FBI and Mossad. The elderly man says he knows nothing and Reddington says he better speak quick or Red’s going to shoot him in the knee-cap. Suddenly the dry-cleaner has an address for Reddington and they bid him goodbye.

We find out that it’s Tom’s cellphone that sweater-vest tapped as he calls Lizzie and tells her he’s got great news and to meet him at Wing Yee’s. Liz tells Reddington she’s going to meet him and Raymond tells her he  thinks it’s a bad idea. Aram then calls Ressler and tells him about the call and Ressler tells Navabi he’s got to leave and get down there to keep Liz alive. As he leaves we see there’s trouble at the safe-house as one of the hostages is actually one of Zal Bin Hasaan’s men and he arms a bomb placed under a table.

Cooper calls Ressler to talk to him about Karakurt but Donald says he’s on his way to bust Liz and Tom. He says they’ll soon restore Liz and Cooper’s reputation and says he’ll speak with Harold later. Although we don’t find out until later Harold then calls Keen and he and Liz meet at another restaurant.

He tells her he’s got Karakurt and he’s going to cooperate and soon Liz will be able to walk freely again. He then says he made a huge mistake getting on his boat and leaving her when she was in trouble and promises to make it up to her. He then says he needs to head back to Karakurt.

Ressler and company arrive at Wing Yee’s to see that Liz and Tom aren’t there but Matias Solomon is and Donald recognizes him from the photograph. He pats him down and finds he’s carrying a Glock and Solomon says he’s got a permit to carry the gun as a concealed weapon. When he takes it out of his wallet Ressler drops it in Solomon’s soup and says it’s illegible and they’re heading to the Task Force.

Red and Dembe go the apartment and once inside split-up and start searching for Zal Bin Hasaan. Dembe heads into the bathroom and sees the sinks filled with whiskers. He opens the shower curtain and the man inside tries attacking him but Dembe soon subdues him and he’s on the floor when Raymond enters. Red’s expression shows us that something’s amiss and he asks the man who he is and he says he’s Zal Bin Hasaan.

Reddington says the man’s lying as Hasaan suffered third-degree burns all over his back as a result of a bomb he set-off a couple of years ago. He once again asks the man his name and once again he says that he’s Zal Bin Hasaan. Time for Raymond to call his buddy Brimley.

Samar tells Shahin since he entered the States illegally he’s going to get deported. Her brother says then he can return to England but Navabi tells him that he entered England illegally as well and they won’t allow him to stay there, they’ll deport him to Iran. Shahin says the regime will kill him and she tells him she’s already applied to try to get him political asylum as she won’t lose him again.

When it comes to Reddington’s menagerie of odd-ball sidekicks, Glen finder of lost persons is my personal favorite and I also have a soft-spot for Mr. Kaplan. That being said, it’s always a treat when ever the senior-citizen Marquis De Sade, Brimley pays a visit. We watch Raymond and Dembe standing in the hallway as we hear a loud whooshing of air coming from the bathroom. Brimley emerges holding a propane-torch and breathing heavily he says well he’s not Zal Bin Hasaan. Reddington asks him who is he then and Brimley says he could care less. He says the guy’s singing like Ethel Merman, he’s ready for you now and says he needs some air. Then Brimley straps his oxygen mask onto his face and slumps against the wall as Raymond and Dembe go to question the man.

Navabi’s in one of the back room’s of the safe-house when her phone rings. Red tells her to get all the hostages out and secure the safe-house Zal Bin Hasaan’s there and he planted a bomb. Just then the bomb explodes and the two terrorists in the room start shooting Mossad agents. Navabi’s able to hide and she watches as they take the hostages outside and shoot them. We then watch the man who planted the bomb pull back  a curtain revealing Shahin and he says Zal Bin Hasaan the hostages were shot. He smiles and says that’s good and asks his soldier if he’s seen his sister. Navabi hears the conversation, she now knows the truth.

The Mossad agents are held at gunpoint as Zal Bin Hasaan walks into the room and says imagine all  the money resources and manpower Mossad spends just to try to capture him. We then find out the real purpose of his operation, to obtain the hard copy of all the addresses of every Mossad agent, that’s locked in the safe in the house.

After they kill one agent, Hasaan asks whose the commander and Levi says he is. One of the men drags Levi to the safe and demands he punch in the code. Levi says none of his people will give it up and as the guy raises his weapon to kill Levi, Samar comes in and shoots him. They open the safe and set fire to the files but as they’re burning in the wastebasket Levi gets shot. Zal Bin Hasaan are too late to save the documents but they grab Samar and head to the docks.

Ressler starts interrogating Matias and he says he’s got diplomatic immunity and he was operating as an agent of the German government looking for one of the victims when he was on the plane in the previous episode. Suddenly the Director and one of his aides walk into the office and Peter says to Matias that Ressler believes they work together and he wants to prove they don’t. Ressler leaves and reminds the Director he’s being monitored as Wright and Hitchin are watching a close-circuit feed. Peter pulls out a multi-pronged fishing hook and he says to Solomon he’s going to swallow it. Wright wants to stop the Director, but Laurel tells her to allow him to proceed.

Samar says to her brother there’s nothing noble about what he’s doing and their parents would be ashamed. He says their parents were cowards and tried to weaken the government. She asks him if he planted the bomb in Pishin and he laughs and says that’s the day he became Zal the Warrior. As they head towards an old steamer, Raymond, Dembe  and two of Red’s henchmen appear on the docks and take out the three of Hasaan’s men.

Raymond calls down to  Samar and he tells her the decision’s hers to make. They can turn Shahin over to Mossad and he’ll die rotting in some hell-hole, or she can let Red take him and make his death count. She asks him what he means and he says saving Elizabeth Keen. She says take him and Shahin says  Samar you promised to always protect me. She says I made that promise to my brother and he died in Pishin.

Donald heads to Harold’s and he finds out about Tom’s involvement and that Harold tipped him off about the set-up. Ressler and Keen start fighting in the street until Cooper breaks it up saying he’s got to live there. Ressler gets in his car and drives back to the Task Force headquarters.

Ressler and Navabi both disgusted with the world and life seek comfort in each other and start making out. They head to her place and are about to get intimate when the screen fades to  black.

The Story Continues Next Thursday Night at 9:00 pm on NBC.