Clark Middleton

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Photo Courtesy Of Virginia Sherwood, NBC

WARNING: SPOILER ALERT

The Blacklist,” returned to television with a sprawling two-hour episode, jam-packed with revelations. The evening was split into two separate episodes, the first one entitled “Dembe Zuma, Number 10,” while the second episode’s titled “Requiem.” While the first hour took place in the present, the second episode centered around the past, revealing the history of an integral character in the series. The second hour, provided some answers to long-standing questions, however many questions that fans of the series have remain mysteries. Once again the identity of Elizabeth Keen’s biological father came up, and once again fans walked away from the two-hour extravaganza without a definitive answer.

We’ll be splitting the two episodes into two separate recaps, as there’s far too much information to absorb in just one sitting. The recap of “Requiem.” will soon follow.

Our evening begins with a glimpse of the Metro-DC skyline, before taking us into the shower of Aram Mojtabai. As we see Aram through the glass doors, we watch an unidentified character come into his apartment, and open the bathroom door. Despite the ominous music, we soon realize his guest’s his on-again/off-again girlfriend, Janet Sutherland, who soon joins him in the shower. He asks how she got into the apartment, and she replied he left his front door unlocked. This doesn’t sit well with Mojtabai, as he’s certain that he locked the door, so he puts on his robe to investigate.

Aram’s instincts served him well, discovering he’s got an uninvited visitor. Dembe Zuma tackles him to the ground and soon has him hogtied on the floor. Janet hears a commotion emanating from the living room, so she slips on a towel to investigate. She discovers Aram’s bound and gagged on the floor, then she turns around to see Zuma, who orders her to remain quiet.

Next scene begins with Samar Navabi entering Aram’s apartment, as Donald Ressler and the police are doing a sweep of the premises. She asks Donald if they know where Aram’s at, and Ressler replies they’re still trying to piece things together. He escorts Navabi, into the bedroom and she sees Sutherland sitting on the bed. Jumping to the conclusion that Janet’s involved in Aram’s abduction, she starts to attack her, only to be stopped by Ressler as he explains Sutherland’s a victim and not a suspect.

We find ourselves in Harold Cooper’s office, joined by Raymond and Lizzie. Cooper asks Raymond the status of his investigation into Zuma’s location, after his month-long search. Harold tells Reddington that he and the Bureau are getting involved, as Dembe abducted Aram the night before. Red tries to assure Cooper, that Mojtabai’s not in danger, and that Dembe took a calculated risk, because he needs Aram’s help. Raymond wants to search for Zuma by himself, but Harold insists that Keen accompany him and report back to Cooper.

To avoid detection Dembe switches cars, taking Aram from the trunk of one vehicle, and then ordering him to get into another vehicle’s trunk. Zuma then takes the plates off of the car he abandoned and drives off to parts unknown.

Navabi and Ressler question Sutherland at the Post Office, about the abduction but she’s unable to provide much information, as she got stuffed into a closet. She says that she can track Aram, as he’s got a key-finder on his key ring, which she can access from his work station. Despite her innate distrust of Janet, she convinces Cooper and Ressler to allow Sutherland to use Mojtabai’s computer, as she truly believes the woman’s on their side.

Baz’s replaced Dembe as Raymond’s driver, and Reddington explains to Lizzie that they’re in search of the Sanctum Corporation. He explains to Keen, that it’s “an underground railroad for miscreants.”  Criminals that need to elude the law, or former allies turned enemies, utilize Sanctum Corporation’s services to escape the country and obtain a new identity. Liz asks if Dembe used the services, and Raymond replies that he used them last year, to hide his daughter and granddaughter, after Mr. Solomon poisoned Zuma’s grandchild.

As Raymond and Elizabeth attempt to track down a former client of Sanctum Corporation, Dembe takes Aram to a warehouse district, opens a garage type door revealing one of Reddington’s multitude of lockers stashed across the country. Mojtabai assumes that Zuma wants him to crack the code, so he can steal from Reddington and refuses to do it. Dembe punches in the code and opens the empty locker, and tells Aram he needs his help to find out who stole the contents, as that’s the identity of Raymond’s true enemy.

Aram asks him if he’s trying to help Red, and Dembe acknowledges the fact. He says he gave Raymond the poison drink, but he didn’t poison it. He can’t go back to Raymond until he finds out the identity of that person, who tried to kill Reddington, and sabotaging his operation.

The first man that Liz and Raymond attempt to question Richard Fickman’s been abducted in a bloody skirmish by the time they arrive. Which leads to our first encounter with Glen “Jellybean” Carter of the evening, who promptly tells Reddington that he’s not surprised Dembe went rogue. He said he never bought the strong, silent, brooding act and his fake African accent. He also tells Red that he found their relationship to be “a little Edgar Rice Burroughs”  (creator of Tarzan.) Reddington quickly cuts Jellybean off, and he gets the information he came for, the identity of Fickman’s abductor, an ex-con named Chuck Shaw.

Shaw admits killing Fickman, as repayment for Dr. Sophia Gallup, his prison therapist gaining him parole. Keen checks with the Prison hierarchy and confirms that Gallup’s in charge of the system’s prisons in the Northeast, however the only contact information’s a post office box. They’re able to access the last guy she paroled, Dennis Cauley, who now lives in Richmond, Virginia.

Aram’s only able to access a proprietary address, and tells Dembe that it would take him days to find out the person behind it. Zuma puts the safety on the pistol and tells Aram he can leave and asks forgiveness for his actions. He then slumps to the ground and sits in the alleyway, a defeated man. Mojtabai asks if he’s truly trying to help Reddington, and Dembe responds that he’s got three people in his life, his daughter, his granddaughter, and Raymond. Aram breaks into a grin and says he’s got an idea.

Baz, Liz, and Raymond drive to Cauley’s place, but he’s not there. A quick search of the apartment reveals a dossier on Gallup’s next victim, Alex Soto. Raymond looks at the file and says the man’s real name’s Daniel Nakamoto, a master forger of antiquities that ran afoul against a very powerful gang leader 13-years earlier. Cauley’s notes reveal that he’s usually at a museum at that time of the day.

Raymond sits next to Nakamoto on a bench in the museum, and after a quick round of you’ve got the wrong guy, Reddington reveals that his life’s in danger from the Sanctum Corporation. Nakamoto replies that if they’re truly after him, not even Raymond can help him. He starts to walk away and nearly gets stabbed by Cauley, however Baz takes the ex-con out. In Reddington’s car Nakamoto reveals that the couple behind Sanctum Corporation, Tony and Maria Lopez, ran a honey company in Ohio. They had set up safe houses in various bee colonies they owned. However they died nearly a year before. Raymond thanks him and tells him to pack up his belongings and Red would soon be in touch.

Aram comes up with the name of the person who robbed Reddington, just as Navabi and Ressler arrive on the scene after using the key-finder to track them down. Mojtabai says the woman’s named Kathryn Nemec, and we can see the shock register on Dembe’s face. It’s pretty easy to determine that Kathryn Nemec’s, actually Mr. Kaplan. He says he needs more proof, and Aram helps him elude Ressler and Navabi.

Our second meeting with Glen takes place in a car, as he’s performing his day job as a driving instructor. He tells them to climb into the backseat, and Raymond expresses his disgust at the situation. Jellybean tells them they can speak freely, as his student Ms. Vasquez doesn’t understand a word of English. We soon find out her driving skills are also non-existent. We find out that the Lopez’s died in a fire nine months before, they sold most of their bee farms, but their daughter Vanessa still owned one. Glen says that she’s a therapist, and Liz and Reddington realize that Vanessa Lopez and Sophia Gallup, are the same person.

Lizzie and Raymond head to the bee farm and walk in on Gallup, shirtless and bra-less with bees covering her entire upper torso, looking as if she’s wearing a bee-sweater. Raymond does his best Mr. Spock, as the only thing he can say is fascinating. He soon collects himself and apologizes for barging in, but says time’s of the essence. She assumes Reddington’s one of her parent’s clients, but he corrects her and says he’s looking for a friend.

She tells them that her parents were living a good life running their honey company, when a friend came to them asking for help. Soon another man arrived, and then another, and suddenly their income from Sanctum Corporation, dwarfed the money they made from their legitimate company. They stored all their money in a Vulcan safe in their basement, only the criminals they assisted knew it existed. Nine months earlier, somebody tried cracking the safe with an acetylene torch, burning down the house and leaving her as the only survivor. The bees seem to be the best way of healing her scars from the fire, as their stingers help her skin heal. After Liz calls the Bureau to inform them to arrest the therapist, she and Raymond head to Dembe’s daughter’s new home.

Dembe drives to the spot where Reddington shot Kate, and finds her gone. The burner-phone that he gave to his daughter Isabella, to contact him in case of emergency, rings. He picks it up and Raymond’s on the other end. Red tells him that his activities are making him look very guilty, Zuma counters with we’re both guilty, Raymond. He says she’s not here, and then screams in pain and drops the phone. Our old pal The Tracker’s carrying a crossbow and shot an arrow into Dembe’s calf. He steps on the phone, crushing it and continues after Zuma.

The Tracker finds Dembe on the ground writhing in pain, and he tells him he knows his identity. That he and the fellow in the hat left Kate for dead, but she survived and now he’s going to kill the two of them. He asks where’s his slick-suited pal, and Dembe pulls the arrow out of his calf and jams it into The Tracker’s thigh. As he stops to patch himself up, he calls Kate and leaves a message on her voicemail.

As Liz and Raymond drive off from the bee farm, Keen receives the information that Aram’s safe and that Dembe’s trying to help him. She then tells Reddington that Aram came up with a name, Kathryn Nemec, but she’s listed as disappearing 25-years earlier. Her words cause Raymond’s face to turn stone gray, and he tells Lizzie that’s Mr. Kaplan’s real name.

They soon arrive at the place where they left Kate, and Dembe comes out of the bushes, bleeding badly. Raymond tells Liz to get Dembe to a hospital, while he and Baz hunt for The Tracker. He shoots Baz in the leg with an arrow, but the duo outsmart the hunter, and take him prisoner. They take him to his shack for questioning.

Reddington orders The Tracker to call Kate, but he says it looks like he’s dead either way. Raymond says he truly abhors violence, and only uses it out of necessity. He then jams his pistol up against The Tracker’s forehead and says that this is one of those times. The Tracker hits speed dial and hands the phone to Red, saying that Kate knew he’d underestimate her.

Suddenly Raymond hears a cellphone ringing below them, and through the floorboards he sees it’s connected to explosives. He and Baz get out of the shack just before it erupts in a blaze of glory, The Tracker going out with a huge grin.

Our final scene takes us to Kate walking on a street at night and listening to The Tracker’s message. He tells her he didn’t give her up and refused to go down without a fight. However her war has arrived, so lock and load.

Photo by: Will Hart/NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Raymond Reddington’s watched his universe collapse before his eyes over the last few episodes of the NBC series “The Blacklist.” Red’s seen his organization hemorrhaging millions in capital and long-time friends and associates methodically killed, including his money launderer, and the man that ran his Mediterranean shipping operation  The man that courted death on a daily basis for decades, suddenly became concerned about his own mortality, and he’s vowed not to go gently into the night. Last week Raymond discovered that his enemy’s one of his own, when his banker David Levine, informed him that the money used to pay one of his adversaries came from Red’s own bank account.

The final episode before going on a nearly two-month hiatus, ended with a huge question for Raymond and the show’s fans. By breaking his own moral code, did Reddington alienate one of his oldest friends, to the point that his confidant felt they had no other choice but to take Red out? As we reached the final credits, all the evidence seemed to point in one direction, leading to a conclusion that would completely rock Raymond’s world. Have the creative staff of the show, once again pointed the fans in the wrong direction, or should we believe what we think we witnessed in the episode entitled “The Apothecary?”

Our evening opens with Raymond sitting in a hardback chair in his library, while Dembe pours him a Scotch. Zuma asks Reddington, if he believes it’s wise to gather eleven of Red’s associates in the same location? Raymond responds that one of the group’s a Judas and must be confronted, Dembe counters that Red’s putting himself in a dangerous situation. Reddington drinks his Scotch.

The scene suddenly changes, as a graphic informs us that it’s now nine hours later. Raymond’s lying in a makeshift triage unit, with a mask over his nose and mouth and a doctor telling him to breathe. Reddington asks what’s going on, and the doctor says his name’s Dr. Haverkamp and he’s part of Raymond’s emergency team (Should we take this as a sign that Reddington killed Dr. Nik Korpal, when he thought Lizzie died?) Red asks where’s Dembe, and the physician responds that he doesn’t know who that is. He then says that the man that brought Reddington into the facility, took off when his condition stabilized.

Haverkamp tells Reddington he got poisoned and unless they can identify the toxin, Raymond will die within 48-hours. Haverkamp gives him a bunch of steroids and an inhaler and says the combination will control the symptoms and Raymond unhooks himself from the IV and the monitors and asks for a cellphone. He calls Elizabeth Keen and asks her to gather the Task-Force together to solve a murder.

An ashen-faced and wobbly legged Reddington arrives at the Post Office and Ressler asks what’s wrong? Raymond responds that Donald’s prayers got answered, and he’s apparently dying. He tells the Task-Force members that he believes a member of the Blacklist, known as the Apothecary’s responsible for the toxin that’s killing him. The Apothecary’s a man that creates designer poisons specifically targeted to each victim. His toxins can mimic brain-embolisms, strokes and heart-attacks. Sometimes the poisons immediately kill the victims, while other strains, put the victim into a prolonged coma. He then informs them that a building contractor named Panetti, may have recently used the drug maker’s services, to put one of his employees into a coma.

We get our first view of The Apothecary, as he’s handling snakes and extracting their venom for his designer toxins. We then see him leave his lab, and enter his bedroom, where he takes off his lab-suit and strips down to a tank-top. We see a nearly comatose woman lying on their bed and the drug maker lies down next to her, and tells her all will be fine and he hasn’t given up on her. We see tears falling from the woman at the sounds of his words.

Reddington goes off in search of Zuma, while Ressler and Keen talk to the District Attorney about Panetti. The D.A. says that he’s been attempting to bring charges against the construction magnet for years, but he lacked the evidence. However Panetti got greedy and fire-bombed a competitor’s facilities and Panetti’s accountant Helen Dahle, agreed to testify against him, saying she wrote a check to the people that were responsible for the bombing. However with Dahle in a coma, he’s got no case. Liz tells the District Attorney that she and Ressler need to contact the victim’s doctors.

Raymond takes out a burner phone and tries contacting all those who were with him at the restaurant the night before, but he only gets their voice-mails. He then pays Dr. Haverkamp a visit, in the physician’s hospital and Haverkamp freaks out that somebody might see them together. He pulls them into a patient’s room and Red asks him about Dembe, Haverkamp responds that the only thing he remembers was that he drove a green station wagon that he parked outside the facility. Reddington finds the car, breaks into it and finds the registration. He then drives the vehicle to the address on the form.

The Apothecary’s keeping the woman, who we learn is his wife, sedated so she can’t run away again. However he gives her a way to call him, by tying a string on her finger that’s attached to a bell. When she moves her finger, the bell rings. He then puts an inhaler in her mouth, that puts her back to sleep.

Elizabeth and Donald, meet with Helen’s doctor, who tells the pair she thought that Dahle reacted from a nut allergy, but the medicine she used to treat her patient made her worse. Liz notices Helen’s husband and parents sitting outside her room and the two agents go and talk with them.

Helen’s husband Robert says that his wife had dinner with a friend from college, and then lapsed into a coma. He says that the police already cleared the friend, so they believe Panetti’s behind her poisoning. He then says that Helen’s parents had kept a constant vigil outside his wife’s room, but that he had gone to a hotel in Sarasota Springs last weekend on his own to get away and sort things out. He then begs the agents to find the person responsible.

Samar meets with Panetti and his attorney. The builder denies trying to murder Dahle and says her testimony wouldn’t have hurt him in court. Helen did indeed write a check to the people responsible for the fire-bombing, but the attorney says the check got cut so that Panetti’s business didn’t suffer the same fate. Panetti then says that he likes Helen, and if Navabi and the Bureau don’t find the ones responsible for her being in a coma, he will.

Raymond arrives at the address on the registration and finds the home’s front door’s ajar. He pulls out his pistol and calls out hello, he then sees signs of a scuffle, and his fedora on the floor. He puts on his hat and walks into the garage, where a car’s parked and we hear someone whimpering in the trunk. Reddington opens it, and finds a young woman inside, bound with duct tape over her mouth. He asks her who put her in the truck, and she responds by asking him if he’s playing a sick joke? She then informs Red, that he put her in there.

Aram tracks Panetti’s check and finds out it went to a non-existent charity, and then got sent through an elaborate money-laundering setup, making it untraceable. Liz did some digging and finds out that Robert Dahle, wasn’t alone in Sarasota Springs, as surveillance footage of him at the front desk of the hotel show him getting cozy with what appears to be his mistress. Cooper tells Ressler and Keen, to track down the girlfriend and try to get her to talk.

Raymond tries to get information from the young woman he took prisoner, after apologizing for his actions. She tells him that he’d been very polite given the circumstances. She then says that Red and his friend had broken into the apartment across the hall from her, and she called the cops. She then told the duo what she did and Reddington told her she was coming along with them in his car’s trunk. Red then nearly passes out and the young woman, named Lulu tries to escape, but Raymond gets to the door and asks for her help.

Ressler and Keen bring in Robert’s mistress, a woman named Brooklyn in for questioning. Ressler says that Dahle told them she poisoned Helen, but she denies it and says she wanted nothing to do with it. She says that the only thing she knows, is that he gives her the toxin twice a week. We see Robert in the hospital, opening Helen’s eye and putting drops from the Toxin into it. The mistress says she can tell the agents where the toxin’s hidden.

Liz and Donald, head to Robert’s home with a search warrant and find their suspect’s taking a bath. He stands up and Keen says that he best get dressed, unless he wants to go to jail naked. They find the poison, and inform Dahle they’re aware of the prenuptial agreement he signed, that keeps him from getting any money until their tenth anniversary, coming up in two weeks.

Raymond and Lulu, break into a pharmacy in search of steroids and another inhaler. Lulu finds both and Raymond takes some of the pills, but before he can use the inhaler he collapses on the drug store’s floor. Lulu doesn’t abandon Reddington, instead she brings him back to her apartment. After she gets some pills in him he returns to lucidity and thanks her for saving his life. She tells him that while he’d been comatose, she discovered the owner of the apartment across the hall, is Red’s attorney Marvin Gerard.

The apartment actually belongs to Gerard’s fiancée Becky, when Lulu and Red enter the apartment, it appears the couple left the place in a rush. Raymond notices there’s a message on the answering machine, he plays it to hear his own voice, telling Marvin that everybody’s gathered at a restaurant called John’s and are waiting for him. Lulu says she knows where the restaurant’s located and can take Raymond there, but he says he’s caused her enough trouble and tells her to take off. She wishes him the best.

The Bureau’s lab analyzes the toxin and it contains the venom of a very rare breed of snake. Aram’s located the only known member of the breed in the States, it’s the property of a defunct reptile farm in Pennsylvania. Aram tells Keen and Ressler, that records show the former operator, Asa Hightower still lives in an apartment on the property. The two agents head to check the facility out.

Raymond heads to John’s, and finds the kitchen door’s been barricaded with a coat rack. He removes the wooden rack and opens the kitchen doors, to find ten of the associates he summoned inside. While they are angrier than a bunch of wet-hens, Red’s banker David Levine and his money launderer Abe, try to fill in the blanks in Reddington’s memory. Raymond was in the midst of telling the group a parable about betrayal, when he realized that Marvin Gerard, wasn’t among them. He then sent the restaurant staff home and demanded his associates go into the kitchen.

Levine starts to pour himself a glass of wine, but Red slaps the glass from his hand. He informs his associates that he got poisoned, and asks the group if the wine he drank came from one of the bottles on the table? A young attractive woman tells  Reddington, that the waiter poured his glass from another bottle and gives it to Red. There’s a note on the bottle, apologizing for not being there, signed by Marvin Gerard.

Ressler and Keen arrive at the Hightower’s apartment, but Asa’s not there. They do however hear a bell ringing and they follow it to the bedroom and discover Mrs. Hightower. They call paramedics to treat her, as the two agents look around the facility.

Raymond calls Keen and tells her he’s sending the wine containing the poison to her. Elizabeth tells Reddington that he’s going to be fine, but suddenly Raymond goes into a coughing jag and collapses on the floor while he’s on the phone with Lizzie.

Mrs. Hightower’s become more lucid since the paramedics treated her and she starts talking to the two agents. She informs them that her husband raped her, while she was comatose and got her pregnant. She tells them that she believes her husband’s at a baby-supply store, to find a mobile for the nursery he put together. Lizzie phones Aram and she and Ressler travel to the nearest baby-supply shop. After Hightower tries to take the sales clerk hostage, Keen knocks him to the floor with a table made for toddlers.

Navabi and Ressler question Hightower and he tells them he’s willing to cut a deal. Take the death-penalty off the table and he’ll tell them how to cure Reddington. Navabi asks The Apothecary if he’s afraid of death, and Asa responds that he’s not, however now he’s got something to live for. Even in a prison cell, he’ll still be a father.

Raymond’s being treated with the antidote back at the triage unit. Haverkamp comes out and tells Liz, Cooper and Aram, that he doesn’t want to raise false hopes, but Reddington’s stabilized and the antidote seems to be working just fine. Keen asks if they can go and see him, but Haverkamp says they should give him a few minutes to recover.

We see Raymond coming to, and in through the back door slip Baz and Glen. Reddington asks if they found Gerard, and Glen says they found “the little weasel,” at the airport with Becky, heading to the South Seas. Raymond asks about Dembe, but Baz gives him a look that Red recognizes as he’s still M.I.A. He gives Baz an address and tells him to bring Marvin there and he’ll meet them later.

Lizzie gets a call from the Bureau’s lab, telling her that the wine Raymond sent to her didn’t contain any of the toxin. She goes into the triage unit to inform him, only to find that Reddington left the facility without informing anybody that he took off.

Raymond’s back in his library , this time joined by one of his goons and a bound Marvin Gerard. Red’s lawyer asks what’s going on, and Reddington replies he’s not falling for Marvin’s innocent act, and asks where Dembe’s at? Gerard says he hasn’t seen Dembe, and he’s got no idea what’s bothering Reddington. Raymond tells him that he knows all about The Apothecary, and that Marvin’s the one who hired him and Isabella Stone. Red then talks about being held in a South Seas prison for 47-days, thinking he’d die there. On the 48th day, the gates swung open and Raymond was given two tins of Beluga caviar, that Marvin had somehow gotten to him, even though Gerard was also in prison.

Reddington says he’d been so touched by the gesture, that he arranged for Marvin to get released from prison. Gerard says he realizes all of that, hence he’d have no reason to betray Red. Reddington says they’ll get to Gerard’s motivation later, but right now he wants to know Dembe’s location and pulls out his pistol.

Just then Raymond’s goon comes back into the room and gives Red the cellphone, telling him Elizabeth’s on the other end. Keen tells Reddington that the wine didn’t contain the poison, and the toxin would need a higher alcohol content than wine to get released within Raymond’s system. She asks if he might have had some whiskey that day, and Reddington’s mind flashes back to the Scotch he had at the beginning of the episode. Raymond says that’s impossible, that only two people had access to that bottle, and he was one of them.

The scene shifts one last time, to a busy city street as Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower,” plays on the soundtrack. “There must be some way to get out of here, said the joker to the thief,” plays in the background as we watch Dembe Zuma enter the subway, pulling the hood of his coat over his head.

The Story Resumes Thursday, April 20, at 10:00 pm on NBC.

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

“Woke up this morning my house was cold
Checked out the furnace she wasn’t burnin’
Went out and hoped in my old Ford
Hit the engine but she ain’t turnin’
We’ve given each other some hard lessons lately
But we ain’t learnin’
We’re the same sad story that’s a fact
One step up and two steps back.”

Bruce Springsteen One Step Up

Tempers flaring, patience running thin and we’re witnessing long-term relationships hitting the danger zone. That could be an accurate summary, for Season Four of the NBC hit-drama “The Blacklist,” but that level spiked in Episode Four, entitled “Gaia.” When Aram Mojtabai let’s the fur fly, we know we’re traveling in unchartered waters.

Our episode begins out in the woods as we see the speaker horn of an old Victrola and sound of Classical Music fills the great outdoors. We then see a man who appears to be in his mid-thirties and as the camera pans to a long shot we see that he lives in an old school bus and he’s raising his own potted crops. He starts looking at his tomatoes, when blood starts dripping from his nose and he goes inside the bus. He grabs a pair of surgical scissors and extracts a large wad of blood-soaked cotton gauze out of his nostril.

He then picks up a radio phone and we hear him talking to a woman named Maya, he tells her he’s got two new targets and that she has to get her and someone else out of the state. The call doesn’t last long, as she either hung up on him or he reached her voice mail.

We follow the man to a retirement party, for a man who owns a helicopter charter service. The man retiring pokes fun at his head mechanic for being a Cubs’ fan and the man from the woods, puts a beer down in front of the mechanic and says he’s from Wrigley Ville. The mechanic nods in appreciation for the free beer.

The next scene, the mechanic and the guy from the woods run into each other again and start making small-talk, but the mechanic’s unaware that the guy from the woods laced his beer with poison and he dies of what the coroner believes was a heart-attack.

Liz Keen’s sitting on the floor, scouring through documents that she hopes will lead her to the location of her infant daughter Agnes, when her laptop emits a tone informing her somebody’s attempting to contact her. She opens her computer and she’s getting a video-feed from Constantin Rostov, he says he wanted to speak to her when she was alone and Lizzie only wants to know how Agnes’ doing. Rostov adjusts the camera to show Keen her cooing daughter and though she’s relieved her child’s safe, she tells Rostov she’s on to him and his plans.

The former FBI Agent tells Rostov that she’s aware of the blood disease he suffers from and that’s the real reason he’s been searching for her and Agnes. Rostov admits that his health’s at stake, but tells Lizzie that he just wants his family reunited and he says the only way that can happen is for her to cut ties with Reddington. He then tells Masha that the link will remain open, so she can check in with Agnes at any time. There’s an unspoken agreement that she won’t try to trace the link, or he’ll cut off contact.

Rostov’s getting another transfusion and Constantin asks if he has six-months, the doctor replies possibly less. He says Rostov always realized that the transfusions were only a temporary fix and a young dark-haired woman says that Rostov’s got to use the child. The doctor vehemently disagrees, saying even if Agnes’ and Rostov are a genetic match, the procedure would put the infant in mortal danger. The young woman scoffs at the doctor’s words and says that he’s not the one who’s dying.

Tom heads back to where he’s staying with Liz and she tells him about her conversation with Kirk and the link he’s set-up so she can see Agnes. Keen immediately wants to trace the link, but Lizzie begs him not to. She says that she can play on Rostov’s ego and gain his trust and then they can rescue Agnes and ensure her safety. Tom remains silent on the issue, so naturally Liz assumed he’d follow her wishes, you’d think that after all this time she’d realize that Keen always believes he knows best.

Raymond and Liz meet and he says he’s got a kind of, sort of clue that could lead them to Agnes. Reddington says that he’s searching for an eco-terrorist known only as Gaia, which is Mother Earth in Greek. Raymond explains that the eco-terrorist disguises his attacks as accidents, so that the people force Government Agencies to fix the problem.

When Keen informs the rest of the task force, they review some of the accidents that Gaia engineered in the past and that some of the incidents took innocent lives in order to save other innocent lives. Harold sends Navabi and Ressler into the field to see what they can find on Gaia, however Aram stops Samar and apologizes that he basically blew her off the previous evening on the phone.

Mojtabai, asks Samar if she’d like for them to talk about her possible transfer later, but she informs him that she already decided to request a transfer and that its being processed. Although shaken, Aram congratulates her on her upcoming move and she says she’d better not keep Donald waiting.

As Donald and Navabi search through records trying to find some info on Gaia, Ressler tells Samar that he Googled Aram’s new girl-friend. She asks why he did that and he responds that he wanted to see if Elise was hot and Donald says she’s quite hot indeed.

The Gaia poisons a second victim an inspector for Borron Energy Service. He lambasted the inspector for allowing environmental dangers to exist, the guy replied that just about everything in this world can kill you. He takes his laced coffee back to his vehicle and shortly thereafter as the inspectors taking his last breaths, the eco-terrorist goes out to the guy’s vehicle and says that he was right about so many dangers out in the world. He then grabs the guy’s clipboard and hard hat.

We find ourselves in a shack and see Mr. Kaplan lying on a cot with a piece of cloth covering the wound on her cheek. Suddenly the door opens and we see the dog and it’s owner enter the cabin, however without Kate having her glasses the shapes are too blurry for her to identify and she falls back to sleep.

Aram tells the rest of the Task Force that he might have identified their suspect, as he’s been pretending to be an inspector doing spot inspections in energy plants. Aram’s tracked him to an energy facility he’s doing a spot inspection on at that moment and Navabi and Ressler head to the plant to apprehend the suspect. Security informs them where the suspect’s at, but he eludes them and steals a security vehicle with Donald and Samar in pursuit.

The Gaia thinks he’s made his escape but then he’s cut off by police vehicles in front of him and when he attempts to back up, he realizes he’s boxed in by law enforcement. The Gaia then goes forward and slams against the two police vehicles and escapes.

They recover his forged ID card and Keen tells Harold that Raymond’s in contact with one of his guys to track down the Gaia. Dembe and Raymond arrive at a bowling alley and Red shouts to our old friend Glen Carter, finder of lost people, that he needs his services immediately. Jelly Bean says he’s off the clock now and Dembe starts giving Glen pointers on how to improve his game. Raymond shows Glen the badge and he immediately recognizes it as the work of Ji Ming a Chinese associate of his.

Dembe, Raymond, Glen and the Asian fellow meet in the next scene and apparently the Chinese man only speaks Mandarin, which Jelly Bean happens to speak. Reddington tries to hurry the conversation along and tells Glen he just needs an address. The Asian gentleman looks at Red and then speaks in Mandarin and walks away. Glen says the guy doesn’t like Raymond, as Reddington looks like his third wife. At this point Raymond realizes that Glen’s just yanking his chain and he already acquired the address.

Liz, Raymond and Dembe head to where Gaia’s made his base of operations. They find a picture of Maya who’s pregnant in the photo and Keen starts talking about missing babies and now she’s consumed with Agnes. Raymond realizes what’s going on and tells Lizzie that they’ll soon have Agnes back safe and sound.

Tom gets in contact with a former associate named Krantz and the mercenary agrees to gather his crew and to locate Rostov’s link and help Keen recover Agnes.

They’ve identified the eco-terrorist as Owen Ayers, a highly decorated military veteran who retired for medical reasons a few years before. Ayers final mission was Fukushima, Japan, which suffered a catastrophic accident inside a nuclear plant. Ayers inhaled toxic-gas while on the mission, making him a dead man walking and he and his toddler son Skyler share a blood disease, that caused the child to be born with a disfigured face.

We’re back at the shack with Mr. Kaplan, when we finally see who carried Kate away on a make-shift stretcher. So far he’s only been identified as The Hunter, but he’s portrayed by veteran actor Leon Rippy,  who played the school janitor in 11/22/63. The Hunter resembles a retired roadie from the Allman Bros. Band, circa early Seventies, with silver hair hanging down to his shoulders.

He tells Kate that she’s been on her back for too long and he’s going to put her into a sitting position. He then puts his arm behind her neck and although she screams in pain, she’s able to sit. He asks her if she can understand him and then asks if she can nod, which Mr. Kaplan does. He then asks if the men who did this to her will be coming back and she shakes her head no. He starts feeding her some soup, but he realizes she wants to say something to him, she croaks out thank you and The Hunter smiles.

Aram and Liz realize that Ayers is planning a gas explosion in the Hudson River, dangerously close to the biggest nuclear facility on the Eastern Seaboard. Ayers intends to create a Fukushima on the Hudson and when contacted by Ressler on the radio he says there’s no way they’ll be able to stop him as he’s piloting a chopper over the Hudson.

Mojtabai attempts to hack into the helicopter’s controls but he’s unable to do anything. Cooper then asks if Aram can shut off the rotor and the Tech Guru realizes he can, but he says he’s already taken one life and couldn’t take another. Cooper then pushes the button that stops the rotor and Ayers crashes and dies in a field not far from where some kids are playing football.

Keen’s back at her home and she’s singing Rock-A-Bye-Baby to Agnes, just as Krantz, Tom and the other mercenaries are about to break into Kirk’s hideout. Unfortunately Rostov sees them before they can rescue Agnes and Constantin tells Masha that he’s disappointed in her for tracking the signal. She breaks down crying and says she doesn’t know what he’s talking about, then Rostov shows Tom on one of the camera feeds. Constantin says that he’s cutting off contact and cuts off the feed.

Maya and Skyler are sitting in an ice-cream shop when Raymond and Dembe join them in their booth. Red tells Skyler that he’s been looking forward to meeting him and right then the waitress puts down three ice-cream sundaes on the table, chocolate, strawberry and caramel.  Reddington says that he’s always found caramel’s a great lubricant in awkward introductions. Turns out that Raymond just wants the name of Tyler’s hematologist, which Maya gives up willingly. She asks if Raymond also has a special-needs child and Reddington says that an infant’s life’s in danger.

When Tom returns to the place he and Liz are staying at, Lizzie gets in his face about not respecting her wishes and she says she knows Reddington’s involved. Tom says that Raymond had no knowledge of what Keen did, that he got in touch with a former associate. Liz asks him if the associate’s from his skinhead days or when he was Berlin’s goon. Tom responds that nobody’s sorrier than he is that he failed, but Liz replies their daughter feels worst of all where ever she is.

Raymond and Lizzie meet again and Reddington explains that the reason he went after Owen Ayers, was that he Skyler and Rostov have the same doctor. That they’re very close to finding him and then they’ll be able to get Rostov and rescue Agnes. Lizzie tells Raymond she lied to him earlier and that Kirk did reach out to her with the link, but in Tom’s effort to rescue their daughter, Rostov escaped with their child.

We end this episode with two quick scenes. Raymond visits Dr. Sebastian Reifler and he recognizes Reddington. He informs Red that Skyler Ayers, has done well and Red says he’s aware of that. However he needs to accompany the doctor the next time he has a house call for Kirk.

Kate wakes up in the cabin and after calling out hello, she realizes she’s alone. She gets up from the bed and realizes that one of her ankles has a shackle around it. Apparently The Hunter is not just a nice guy.

Photo Courtesy Of Christopher Saunders/NBC

Photo Courtesy Of Christopher Saunders/NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Sometimes the best defense’s a strong offense and Raymond Reddington’s decided that’s the tactic he and Liz Keen need to adopt on the latest episode of the NBC series “The Blacklist.” Although they started the third episode of season three on a ship bound for Spain, Red changed his mind and decided that he and Lizzie would take a trip to the Midwest. Although the pair eluded the FBI manhunt and would’ve been able to stop looking over their shoulders had they continued on to Europe, Raymond decided that the chances of exonerating Lizzie would be greater if they remained in the States.

The episode opens in a cornfield as we watch four men in yellow hazmat suits spraying the crops. Suddenly one of the men stops spraying and bends down and grabs an automatic weapon, then takes out his three co-workers. The gunmen then heads to a chain-link fence secured by a keypad and opens the gate to let three men in from a truck parked outside the gate. The leader of the three men ask the gunman how many employees are on the grounds and the gunmen says there’s nine factory workers and three security guards. As the men head towards the factory, we see a sign on the gate identifying the field as property of Verdiant Technologies.

In the hallway of Donald Ressler’s apartment building, Ressler’s trying to figure out why Tom Keen’s come to see him. Tom says that Lizzie’s not a spy or an agent trying to harm this country and he says he knows Donald believes that. Ressler ignores his statement and asks why he’s there and Keen says he wants to help and he can do a lot of things. He says to Donald that he knows the FBI agent doesn’t trust him and the feeling’s mutual, but they need to team up for Liz’s sake. Ressler tells Keen to get lost and if he shows up again Donald will break his arm.

Lizzie asks Red why the shipping container they were traveling in got taken off the ship and put on a cargo truck and Raymond says it’s time to stop playing defense and to go on offense instead. She thinks he’s being foolhardy but Red says that the Cabal’s already lost a lot of faith in the Director, as he gambled Reddington didn’t have the Fulcrum. When Red released the documents to some of the biggest investigative reporters on the planet, it put some members of the Cabal in immediate danger.

Raymond tells Lizzie they’re going to wreak so much havoc onto the Cabal that they’ll agree to clear Lizzie’s name and hand the Director over to him. She asks him how he plans to do that and he says we’re starting right now as we’re in Iowa, home of Verdiant Industries. Red explains to Lizzie that Verdiant Industries is the biggest manufacturer of genetically engineered seeds on the planet and their two main seed-lines are for corn and soy two staples of the planet’s food foundation. He also tells Keen that he’s looking for one of their executives named Susan Hanover, she’s the Cabal’s conduit to utilize Verdiant for money laundering.

Raymond looks at his watch and says something’s terribly wrong, Dembe was supposed to rendezvous with them there and provide transportation. The only reason Dembe wouldn’t be there is if he’s hurt or in danger. Red calls the finder of missing-persons Glen who ignores Raymond’s first call. Reddington hangs up and calls again and Glen tells him he can’t talk to him as the FBI came to his office. When Glen refused to talk the FBI took him back to headquarters and locked him up and he tells Raymond he told the feds everything about him. Glen then starts giggling and saying he’s not a snitch, but he says that he nearly gave Reddington a stroke.

Red ignores Glen’s baiting and gets right down to business telling him that Dembe’s missing. Glen suddenly gets serious and tells Raymond he’ll get to work on locating him right away and he’ll call Reddington as soon as anything pops up on his radar.

Back at the FBI Task Force, Aram discovers that Reddington and Keen were traveling in a shipping container on a vessel heading for Spain, when the ship complained of engine trouble and headed back to the States. Aram says only one shipping container got dropped off and he’s got the plate number of the truck that transported the container. He soon informs Navabi and Ressler that the container’s in Iowa and the two agents get on a plane to try to capture Lizzy and Red.

We visit the warehouse that Mr. Solomon’s torturing Dembe in and Red’s right hand man’s right eye’s swollen shut. Solomon bends down to the floor to stare in Dembe’s face and tells him he’s a fool, he says with all the agony he’s going through to keep Raymond safe Red’s not coming to rescue him. Suddenly another man stands in the doorway and nods at Solomon. The Cabal’s enforcer tells Dembe there’s a price for his silence, someone he knows quite well will get tortured if Dembe refuses to talk. He stays silent and we hear a man screaming in pain from the other room, Solomon smiles and says it’s on Dembe’s head.

When Samar and Donald land in Iowa they interview a Verdiant executive about all the employees shot to death. The man tells the agents that whoever shot all the employees also stole some highly guarded computer files. The files contain all the information on their genetically engineered corn seed. He tells the agents that some local small farmers have banded together and formed a vigilante group and he thinks they’re responsible. Ressler tells the executive that they discovered the group had a man inside the company Gabriel Costa. The executive says Costa couldn’t be involved as he was spraying the fields when the robbery and killings occurred. Ressler suggests he left the field with the other group members.

Red and Lizzie find the headquarters of the vigilante group and they find out their leader Eli Matchett took off in a huff about a week ago. He told them they’re a bunch of losers and not as serious about damaging Verdiant as he is and he said he was going solo.

Matchett and the other three men have recovered all the data they stole from Verdiant and they’re debating what to do with the information. One of the men wants to share it with the world, helping other small farmers and causing Verdiant’s stock prices to tank. One of the others says they should keep it among themselves so they can recoup the losses they suffered at the hands of Verdiant. Matchett grabs a rifle and says he’s got other plans and shoots his three cohorts dead. He then walks into another room in the facility where a chemist sits in front of a computer, he tells Matchett it’s just a matter of time for him to create the virus Matchett wants.

Red and Keen check out Costa’s apartment and realize he’s not there so they look around for any clues that he might have left behind. Lizzie notices that one of the air vents high upon one of the walls sounds funny, they open the great and they find a box that contains all of Costa’s information. Raymond sees Ressler and Navabi pull into the parking lot and the two exit the building barely a second before the agents enter.

As the agents search the apartment Ressler’s cellphone rings and Donald assumes it’s Aram on the other end. Lizzie tells him she’s not Mojtabai and Ressler starts his usual refrain about Liz turning herself in. She says that not going to happen and if Donald really cares about finding out the truth, he’ll back off and let her clear her name. He suddenly realizes that Keen and Reddington had just left the apartment and notices the grate from the air vent’s askew. Liz hangs up.

Reddington and Keen hole up somewhere and open the box from Costa’s apartment. Liz realizes they downloaded files about a new project Verdiant’s starting named Genesis. She’s also determined that they forwarded the files to the computer at the facility where Matchett and the chemist are creating the virus. Red realizes that the seeds they’ve hacked are the corn seeds and they could cause a planet-wide food shortage.

Matchett heads back into the room where the chemist’s working and asks him how he’s progressing. The chemist hands Matchett a vial that he says contains 400 samples of the virus that can get released into the wild. Matchett starts grinning maniacally and says it’s hard to believe he’s got the means for humanity’s destruction in his hands.

Glen’s walking the streets and tracks down Dembe’s car outside of the restaurant he got captured in and the car’s got a stack of parking tickets on the windshield. Glen realizes Dembe must have gone into the restaurant and walks in through the front door. Glen tells the waiter he wants to get an order to go and asks if a chicken dish’s gluten-free, the waiter replies he thinks so. Glen says maybe the waiter should check, or Glen will come in very angry the next day after spending the night on the toilet. The waiter heads into the kitchen and Glen swipes the restaurant’s surveillance equipment.

Red and Liz have found Matchett’s lab and she puts a thumb-drive into the computer to copy the information. Unfortunately for them Navabi’s gotten hold of a picture of the pair from Costa’s parking lot and they get the plate number of the vehicle they’re using. They quickly track down the vehicle  and they soon arrive in the lab’s parking lot in the middle of the download. Lizzie has to pull the thumb-drive with just 78% of the files downloaded, but they once again elude Ressler and Samar.

Tom’s sitting in a Chinese restaurant and the waitress asks him if he wants anything else. He tells her that he’s actually there because he had this arrangement with this girl he used to be with, that she’d call the payphone in the restaurant at 7:00 pm to contact him. He says it doesn’t look like she’s calling that night, but he gives the waitress his phone number and asks her to give it to the girl if she calls.

Aram contacts Ressler and Navabi and tells them he just realized that Matchett’s trying to destroy the corn crop by releasing a virus and if he succeeds the food shortage will endanger the planet. The two agents then realize that Matchett’s going to release the virus on a farm owned by Verdiant which includes a parcel of land that used to be his farm.

Liz and Red hide out in a diner as they contemplate their next move. There’s one other patron, a bald man sitting at the counter whose talking on the cellphone and keeps glancing over at them. Keen realizes the guy’s after them, she tells Reddington she’s going to sneak out the back and tells Raymond to wait a couple of minutes and then walk out the front door. Red waits then starts to head to the door when the guy pulls a pistol, Lizzie comes in through the front door and has her gun aimed between the guy’s shoulder blades. Raymond tells him to put down the gun and the guy looks like he’s about to lay it on the counter when he pivots and aims at Keen, but she shoots him first.

When the guy hits the ground his shield falls out of his pocket and they realize he’s a cop. Raymond says they need to leave and Keen says they’ve got to get him help. They grab his keys put him in his car and drop him off at the emergency-ward of the local hospital then take off.

Donald and Samar have a road-block set up just outside the field that Matchett’s going to release the virus. He gets into the line for the checkpoint then hangs a U-turn and heads the other way with Navabi and Ressler in pursuit. Ressler rams Matchett’s truck off the road and the farmer jumps out of the truck and starts running, the two agents split up and approach the farmer from opposite sides.

Ressler catches him and the two start wailing on each other. Finally the two just collapse and Matchett grabs the vial and he’s about to open it when Samar stands on his arm with her pistol aimed at his head. She asks if the boys are done playing and Ressler says he’s all yours.

We see a woman talking on her phone on her country estate watching her young son playing on the swing-set, when suddenly Red strolls up to her. She says you’re Raymond Reddington and he replies she’s Susan Hanover, chief of tech for Verdiant and corporate shill for the cabal. He shows her his pistol and says let’s not worry the boy and the two sit down at her outdoor table.

Raymond tells her that he knows she hired Matchett to spread the virus and she indignantly denies the accusation. Red then reveals he knows all about Project Genesis, Verdiant’s already developed a new strain of corn that won’t succumb to the virus. Verdiant will appear to be the planet’s savior and make a handsome profit once the crops start dying. Hanover says she knew she shouldn’t have trusted Matchett. Reddington tells her the FBI’s already aware of the situation and she’ll be in federal custody in hours.

She asks Red why he’s there and he says that he wants her to share a message with the Cabal, this is just the beginning and he’ll make the Cabal’s members lives a nightmare until they exonerate Keen and give him the Director.

Aram tells Navabi they’ve received information implicating Verdiant in the virus situation. He tells her the information got faxed over and he believes Agent Keen sent it. He also says that Keen shot a cop in self-defense but it looks like he’ll pull through.

Donald meets with Harold Cooper, who didn’t take the retirement deal offered by the bureau and he’s stuck in some office as a pencil-pusher. He gets Cooper up to date on everything that’s happened and tells him about the meeting with Tom. Cooper says he doesn’t trust Keen either but he could be a valuable asset. Ressler says his gut tells him to stay away from Tom and Harold tells him to follow his instincts.

Dembe’s passed out on the floor when Solomon rouses him and points to the limp figure with his back turned to Dembe lying a few feet away on the floor. Solomon says that’s the price of silence and leaves the room. The other man starts to moan and then sits up, it’s Mr. Vargas who takes off his Beatle-wig revealing a full head of hair underneath. He glares at Dembe and says we’re going to die in here.

Keen’s back in the Chinese restaurant and gets ready to leave when the waitress says if he gets tired of waiting and gives Keen her phone number. As he starts to get up from the table Cooper walks in and tells him to sit back down. Cooper says he doesn’t like or trust Tom, which likely means he’s the best person for this assignment and hands Keen the Bureau file on Karakurt.

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

Photo Courtesy Of Fox

Photo Courtesy Of Fox

Warning: Spoiler Alert

This was the show I expected coming out of the gates, someone removed the training wheels off of the new Fox series “Gotham,” in its third episode and the result was a fun and exciting ride. The pace quickened, the writing seemed shaper, we met some new interesting characters and the main storyline could have emanated from a comic book. Hopefully, this episode’s where the series finds its footing and fulfills the hopes of Fanboys, Fangirls, and comic book readers as well.

The episode began at the station house as a youth services employee was giving custody of Selina Kyle to Detective Jim Gordon, as she told the young officer she had information on the murders of Martha and Thomas Wayne. She took Gordon to the alley they got shot in and schooled him not to trust juvenile delinquents, even if they’re as cute as young Miss Kyle. Selina tells the detective that she can prove she witnessed the murder as she threw the man’s wallet she stole that night down the sewer drain. Gordon handcuffs the girl to the railing of the fire escape while he raises the man-hole cover and goes into the sewer in search of the wallet.

What he didn’t bother to do was search the girl for any implements that could help her pick the lock on the cuffs. As soon as Gordon goes underground, she produces a pen and quickly picks the lock. Gordon’s naturally disgusted standing in sewage, but he quickly sees a wallet and it’s owned by the man who reported the robbery that evening. Just then Selina peers over the edge of the sewer hole, and throws the cuffs to Gordon, saying he’ll likely need them.

Gotham’s buzzing over the charges filed against a Bernie Madoff type of investment councilor named Arnold Danzer who fleeced people throughout the city. Our first view of him takes place while he’s on the phone with his lawyer, telling him to pay off who ever needs to get paid off to ensure Danzer never spends a minute in jail. He then tells his attorney, that he’s the lawyer and it’s his job to figure out how. He leaves the building and heads out into the street where a throng of reporters try to question him and he blows him off.

Suddenly a man wearing a children’s Halloween mask of a pig rolls a push-cart down the street shouting to all “Balloons, Balloons.” He rolls the cart over to Danzer and asks him if he’d like a balloon, but the investment banker ignores him. The masked man asks “Arnold Danzer?” and when he stops the masked man attached a handcuff to his hand, the other part of the cuff’s attached to a weather balloon and Danzer’s pulled into the sky by the helium balloon until he vanishes from site.

Back at the station Gordon’s appalled at the act by the vigilante, while Bullock’s amused. He tells his partner that Danzer’s a scumbag that got what he deserved, but Jim counters that citizens can’t take the law into their own hands. Harvey tells Gordon it’s a present and he should enjoy it, however Gordon does just the opposite.

Officers Allen and Montoya from the Major Crimes Unit pay Fish Mooney a visit to inquire on the whereabouts of Oswald Cobblepot and when they ask Mooney if he’s dead she admits he is, but tells them she’s not to blame. She then tells the cops that she’s heard that one of their own, Detective Jim Gordon sprayed Cobblepot’s brains all over the Gotham River. Allen asks why Gordon would do that, but Mooney tells him he’s asking the wrong question. She says what he should ask is whose powerful enough to get a young detective to kill someone for him and Montoya replies Carmine Falcone. Mooney tells the officer her deductive powers are amazing.

Of course Cobblepot’s not dead and we find out he’s back in Gotham. Unfortunately for him, so does one of Mooney’s thugs, whose ready to turn him over to her. But Oswald strikes first stabbing his assailant in the calf with his knife, then slashes him until he dies. He steals money from the corpse and asks the local food truck vendor for a tuna fish sandwich. He then heads to an Italian restaurant with a reputation for serving those who are “Connected.” He applies for a job in the kitchen, but the manager says Oswald doesn’t even have the right shoes. He then looks over at one of the kitchen staff and looks at his shoes. When the guy from the kitchen starts to head home Cobblepot approaches him at the bus stop and asks what size shoes does the man wear. The guy looks at him funny and tells him he wears size nine and Oswald smiles and says what a coincidence.

We head to Wayne Manor and witness a very peculiar site, the Wayne’s butler Alfred Pennyworth’s trying to engage young Bruce in a sword fight using a pair of canes. Bruce tells him he doesn’t want to play, but Alfred starts parrying and thrusting and Wayne reactively blocks his shots with his cane. This goes on for a bit, then Bruce yells he doesn’t want to play and his anger puts him on the offensive and backs Alfred into a corner. They both smile when they realize what happened.

That’s a twist of the legacy as Alfred never encouraged young Bruce to learn to defend himself or send him down the path that lead to him becoming Batman. Was this an isolated incident, or will this Alfred play a different role in Wayne’s upbringing in this new telling of the tale? Although his past hasn’t been revealed, he’s portrayed as someone who looks like they can defend themselves and though he gets cross with Bruce, we know he loves him dearly.

Although nobody cared when “The Balloon Man,” sent Arnold Danzer into space, the reactions far different after he disposes of his second victim. This time it’s a dirty cop Lieutenant Cranston who’s stopped by the man with the cart. Cranston perceives him as a threat and disables him, emptying the contents of “The Balloon Man’s,” pockets, but he’s able to slip the handcuff on Cranston’s ankle and he sails off into space kicking and screaming.

Allen and Montoya, confront Gordon on what Mooney told them and asks if he killed Cobblepot for money or as deference to Falcone. Gordon just tells them they’re wrong and says if they find any evidence, come find him. Montoya won’t let it lie there however, as she heads over to Jim’s fiancée, Barbara Kean’s apartment.

When Renee and Barbara talked in the first episode, the body language between the two of them suggested they had a past together and we confirm that in this conversation. Montoya and Kean were a couple, apparently a dysfunctional one as there were lies and possibly both of them were abusing alcohol and or drugs. But Montoya says that she’s telling her former lover the truth, Gordon’s a dirty cop, just ask him where he was the night Oswald Cobblepot got killed.

The distributor of the weather balloons calls the police and then comes in and meets with Harvey and Jim. the guy’s named Gerrick and he says a former employee stole four of them from him, that means two more remain. They track the former employee down and bring him into custody, he admits he stole the balloons, but says he sold them to a man who concealed his identity. Bullock then says to the kid, it’s the perfect crime, no body no evidence. The kid laughs and says that Harvey doesn’t know anything about weather balloons, they reach a certain height then the air gets cold enough to make the balloon brittle and it pops, the bodies will return.

In a nice piece of black humor, we’re outside in downtown Gotham watching an elderly woman walking her little dog, when she suddenly looks up and all she says is “Oy!” The next scene has a tarp covering both bodies, we can see the woman’s feet sticking out and Cranston’s arm. Uniforms searched Cranston’s body and he had a form on him with Gordon’s name on it. Jim knows whose responsible, it’s the child services employee Davis Lamond, that handed over Selina Kyle at the beginning of the episode.

He’s not at work and officers search his home and find no trace of him or the remaining balloon. (The third balloon got cuffed to a Catholic Church official who molested children.) The two cops try to figure out where Lamond’s storing the balloons, when Gordon figures it out, since there’s a new child services center the old one’s no longer used.

They head to the building and find the last weather balloon and start searching for Lamond, Bullock instead gets found by him and holds a gun to Harvey’s head as he goes to talk to Gordon. Davis says that Jim should work with him not against him, they’re both trying to shut down corruption in Gotham. Gordon explains that’s why we have the criminal justice system and he pledges to Lamond to make it work, but  “The Balloon Man,” says the police’s time’s past and then attempts to shoot Gordon but misses badly. Bullock subdues Lamond then hooks his arm to the weather balloon and the vigilante starts to rise. Gordon jumps up and grabs his feet, but the balloon keeps rising, he tells Bullock to shoot the balloon and he does, they both drop from the sky and land on the roof of a panel truck.

Jim heads to Barbara’s apartment and he’s physically and mentally spent. He tells his fiancée, that more vigilantes will follow, that corruptions leaked into every corner of Gotham’s infrastructure and branch of government. He says there are dirty cops out there, that will gladly shoot a suspect to death rather than try them. Keane looks him in the eyes and asks him, if he’s like that and he asks her if she thinks he’s capable of that mentality. She smiles kisses him, responds he’s not and that’s why she loves him. Just then the doorbell rings and Barbara answers it, she then turns to her fiancée with a confused look on her face and calls his name. Standing in the doorway, Oswald Cobblepot who greets Gordon by saying “Hello  James, old friend.”

The Story Continues Next Monday Night at 9:00pm on Fox.